Kathleen Hanna simultaneously embodies a childlike innocence and bottomless rage with her voice, her words and her message: she is the ultimate rebel girl.
The vulnerability she puts forth in her body of work is only matched by the fire with which it is presented. Kathleen bares her soul in every lyric while leaving the listener with a gut punch of truth in the way she delivers.
While 50thirdrdand3rd of course has discussed the important role Kathleen has played in leading the Riot Grrl movement and carving out her own place in punk rock history, I thought it would only be appropriate that my first blog be about my personal shero.
I grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania where I attended Catholic school from kindergarten to 12th grade. As soon as I started to drive at 16, I spent most of my time at the Borders book store at the mall where I would buy BUST Magazine and then special order every CD I could afford from the music reviews section before even hearing any of them. One of the first bands and albums I discovered while reading BUST: “Feminist Sweepstakes” by Le Tigre, Kathleen’s second band. At the time, I had no idea what Bikini Kill was – my mind was about to be blown!
I became completely obsessed with Le Tigre. This was the era of George W. Bush and I was determined to be a badass chick just like Kathleen who would contribute to saving the world! My favorite song on this album is “FYR.” Hearing Kathleen and her band scream, “Feminists we’re calling you! Please report to the front desk!” over a dance beat was pretty much what meeting your band soul mate feels like. I couldn’t believe this band was real! I am an avid pop music fan, so the blending of such deep political messages over joyful and fierce beats sounded like heaven to me.
I immediately ordered a few Bikini Kill CDs, where I discovered Kathleen’s origin as Riot Grrl founder and the harder edge of her first band. I remember listening to “Double Dare Ya,” and once again, getting chills as she screams, “We’re Bikini Kill, and we want REVOLUTION, GRRL STYLE NOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWW.” Seriously. Kathleen Hanna is a punk rock goddess and she represents the kind of music I love – anything that is intense and in your face.
I love all genres of music. I once trained as a classical singer and ever since then, I have gained an appreciation for punk, hip hop and rap, drag queens, psychobilly, rock n roll, Nashville country, pop music, electro, heavy metal and more. The more off the wall and outrageous, the better. In addition, I am obsessed with the sounds of New Orleans, my favorite place in the world. I am always looking for new bands to listen to from my city soul mate.
Some of my all-time favorites (in addition to Kathleen Hanna’s bands) include: Peaches, St. Vincent, Cyndi Lauper, The Dead Weather, The Kills, Azealia Banks, Phish, Andrew WK, The Soul Rebels, TT the Artist, Caitlin Rose, Holly Golightly, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, and more. My all-time favorite voice is that of the late great Amy Winehouse.
I look forward to discovering new music through my writing here at 50thirdand3rd, in addition to sharing some of my favorite songs with you! Lots of love!