Sunday, 17 April 2011

Buyers Guide: Kathleen Hanna

Kathleen Hanna
Kathleen Hanna, whether she likes it or not, is the poster girl of riot grrrl and feminist flavoured music. Her bands have influenced many of the current wave of female fronted/all female bands.

She has inspired women in many ways, not just through music but also through being creative- for example with zines, and also inspired and continues to inspire women to be activists for women's rights and more.

With many zines and feminist related flyers, you will find iconic images of Kathleen Hanna and her lyrics are used often on feminist blogs.

For any person first getting into female music, finding Kathleen Hanna's music tends to be life changing. For myself, it was hearing 'Rebel Girl' that first led me on the road to feminism and ultimately what got me to explore this kind of music more, scratching below the surface of what the mainstream music world had to offer.

So here's a guide to help you with the albums you should listen to involving the feminist icon.

Essential Classics

Bikini Kill- The C.D version of the first two records
Bikini Kill is where it all started and this compilation album has all the classic tracks on it, that make them such essential listening. It's shouty, angry, feminist lyrics may not be like anything you've heard before if you're new to the genre, but trust me, with a few listens you'll grow to love it.

Le Tigre- self titled
Kathleen Hanna's second band, now with a more tuneful, electro fused sound that you can dance to. This album contains some of the best tracks and was even listed as one of the songs in the 1001 albums you must hear before you die book.

Good- Worth Exploring

Julie Ruin
Julie Ruin was Kathleen Hanna's solo project which she has now reserected so hopefully we might hear more of this kind of music soon. It's also electro flavoured, but slightly more downbeat than Le Tigre.

Le Tigre- This Island
more fun electro with a feminist flavour!

Essential Playlist- the songs

Bikini Kill- Rebel Girl

Julie Ruin- Radical or Pro Parental

Le Tigre- TKO

Bikini Kill- Jigsaw Youth

Le Tigre- Deceptacon

Bikini Kill- Distinct Complicity

Le Tigre- I'm So Excited

Le Tigre- On The Verge

Bikini Kill- New Radio

Bikini Kill- Suck My Left One


  1. Pussywhipped was my favorite Bikini Kill album. Also, The Fakes are a cool Kathleen Hanna band too.

  2. Thanks for your comment. I haven't heard of The Fakes, I will check them out!
    Thank you for stopping by, I'm a regular reader of your blog! :)