The Punk Singer!

One Cool Thing is a series on IC where we post art, projects, music, or really anything that we think you should check out. It may be related to parenting, it may be related to the LGBT community, or it may just be something that’s really awesome. First up, an inspiring film project from director Sini Anderson on feminist icon and queer-friendly rocker Kathleen Hanna, called The Punk Singer.

Kathleen Hanna

Now, people’s musical tastes are people’s musical tastes, and I certainly can’t expect everyone to know and love former Bikini Kill/Le Tigre/Julie Ruin lead singer and original Riot Grrrl Kathleen Hanna as much as I do. But if you don’t know who she is and you’re queer, it’s worth finding out. If you do know who she is and you’re queer, you probably already love her, too. A quick primer:

In the early 90s, Kathleen Hanna formed the band Bikini Kill with Tobi Vail, Kathi Wilcox, and Billy Karren, and became one of the founding forces behind the Riot Grrrl movement. In short, Bikini Kill and Hanna endured all kinds of bullshit from dudes who didn’t want to see a woman speaking out onstage and daring to participate in their moshpit.

Bikini Kill’s music was unapologetic, political, feminist and intense, and Hanna’s sweating, screaming, and in-your-face performances as their front woman changed many young girls’ lives. After Bikini Kill split up in 1998, Hanna formed the band Le Tigre with Johanna Fateman and (eventually) JD Sampson, who continued to create politicized music that stood up spoke out for women’s issues and gay rights. After a brief hiatus, Hanna is back in music with a revival of her band Julie Ruin. Really, the best way to familiarize yourself with her is by watching these:


A good example of the moshpit resistance – the dudes in the audience don’t know what to do.


Oh hey, did I mention Kathleen Hanna is awesome?


Here are some clearly inspired teenage girls acting out the Le Tigre song “Deceptacon.” It’s probably one of the cutest things I’ve seen all week. Especially the “More crackers, please” toss. Also: The credits at the end, including outtakes, make me realize just how powerful (and scarily technologically empowered) the YouTube generation will grow up to be.

Annnnyway, thanks to the very fantastic and democratizing power of Kickstarter, Anderson recently reached out to help fund her documentary (so far it’s been produced on a shoestring budget, and they needed a boost to get the film edited and finished). Here’s the trailer for the movie, and Anderson explaining the project:

The great news is: She reached her goal! The still relevant news: You should still donate! Anderson elaborates on their Kickstarter page about their quest for funds:

If by chance we should exceed that minimum editing budget? We will put the money into color correction, sound mixing, and paying down our debts. Just to give you an idea: we shot this filmed having raised only 3% of our overall budget. That’s not a typo: 3%. That money was immediately spent on equipment. Every single person attached to this film has worked for FREE to get us where we are now. The fact that we have been able to finish shooting this film only having raised 3% of the total production budget is a resounding testament to everyone’s energy and dedication to the project. I know there are huge numbers of people out there who believe as strongly as we do that this film should be made. Now, we really need your help.

Congrats to Sini and her crew for reaching their goal – we can’t wait to see the film!

Here’s Kathleen Hanna’s blog

Once again, here’s the Kickstarter project to fund the documentary

Here’s a link to an awesome book about Hanna and the Riot Grrrl movement, by Sara Marcus

3 Comments

  1. Josh says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this, especially on a queer parenting blog. I’m a huge fan too; the music and politics are a major part of my identity as a queer parent.

    Reply
  2. Kendra says:

    Yeah! So glad you can relate. I’m going to try and post more art/lit./music themed topics in this series, so if you have any suggestions, let me know!

    Reply

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