This is awesome. Kathleen Hanna has announced that she and former Bikini Kill members have started a Bikini Kill Archive online, where users can add their own memories and stories. Check it out!
Discovering Bikini Kill at fourteen was one of those life changing experiences. I can see from this site that I'm not alone and other people found their music as inspiring as I did. Everybody has their own favorite Bikini Kill song, but mine was always their only quasi ballad, "R.I.P.- Rest in Pissoff- ed ness" about a murdered gay boy.
There's another boy genius who's fucking gone
I hope the food tastes better in heaven
I know there's lots of rad queer boys up there
I hope every time they talk to you
They know they're lucky to be yr friend
I had never heard such a boldly queer positive song. Maybe I still haven't. I was fourteen and living in rural Washington State, and the message helped. So much so that maybe it saved my life. Who knows? My best friend Alice, who is still my template for awesome women (see every play I've ever written) and me both got our first tastes of self-esteem from this loud music, which said to us that even though we were weird and queer and gay etc. we were okay. Not only were we okay, we might just be fucking AWESOME.
God, I wish there were more bands like Bikini Kill today. I cringe when I think that Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift or whoever don't have strong alternatives telling girls and fags and outsiders to reject what they're being sold and to make their own way. Except for The Gossip I can't think of any radical females in the game.
Speaking of music, an old livejournal friend recently wrote that she wished there could be a freeze on straight dude music critics for a while, so that we could get some different perspectives. What would happen?
Would U2 finally fucking retire? Would under appreciated subgenres (by douche bag critics, that is) finally get the recognition they deserve? Like motown? The girl groups of the 1960's like The Ronettes and The Shangri-las? How about disco, which never gets the respect it deserves? And how about the fact that music critics always skip over New Wave in it's entirity like there was nothing between punk and grunge? To her view (and mine) critics act like music begins and ends with The Beatles and that Yoko Ono was just a musical footnote. BULLSHIT.
Let the ladies take over for a while. And the fags. Music history would look a lot different.