Thursday, May 08, 2014

Very 90s Feelings

I'm having so many 90s feelings right now. I started down some internet hole that led me to a Bikini Kill tumblr and this video. Some random thoughts:

1) Kathleen Hanna's voice and Kiedis' are similar at times
2) Wow, things really were intensely anti-fashion. A baggy tshirt for The Jam and a skirt she had cut off and probably some sneakers. I dressed exactly like that. I remember how when Lipstick (the dance night) became a thing that I couldn't believe all these girls that were wearing, well, lipstick and high heels. We even called them "Lipstick girls". I for one was very threatened. I mean, a few years before that I felt some pressure to not even shave my legs (and didn't for a while) and I felt like these younger girls were from another planet.
3) Hanna when she strips down to a bra tells people to stop taking pictures and says "I thought punk was about living in the moment" and urges them to just enjoy it and stop making her feel self-conscious. And meanwhile I recently watched a show through a bunch of giant phones because everyone in front of me was filming. Sigh.
4) Why did I get rid of everything? All my Sassies, all my tshirts, all my zines, why??? I guess because I didn't enjoy the 90s while I was living through them, at least the early and mid-90s
5)I've probably told the story of how I missed Bikini Kill at the Loft because I couldn't find it. (If you've talked to me in person I'm sure I have). I saw them at Gilman the night before (she was wearing a baggy tshirt with a bikini body on it) and they said they were playing at the Loft the next day. I had some idea that it was behind a bookstore (maybe they said that) and I went to Levinson's books (where the first Temple started) and looked around behind there. Oh well, at least I got to see them thanks to reading MRR. I also remember going into Hindenberg and feeling very intimidated and uncool. SS was behind the counter and didn't exactly chat me up.
6) I will never stop being impressed that Scott went to the International Pop Underground in Olympia. I heard about it but didn't know anyone who was going.
7) Tobi Vail rules. Seeing her band Spider and The Webs maybe 8 years ago was a favorite show of mine.
8)I haven't watched the new Punk Singer movie. Really I have such mixed feelings towards that time that I'm avoiding it. It's dumb and I should watch it.

I have to tear myself away from the internet!


Anonymous said...

I've had trouble bringing myself to watch Punk Singer as well. I think it's because the idea of seeing that time through someone else's eyes is very unsettling to me and somehow almost makes me feel embarrassed, which is an emotional reaction I can't explain except that maybe to me it wasn't such an organized movement at the time as it's made out to be in retrospect. I was just listening to Bikini Kill this morning.

Natalie Rose said...

What a good rabbit hole to go down.

I never felt anti fashion, I always felt it was anti cookie cutter sexuality. Without feeling boxed in by societal pressures (and frankly proud to be fighting them) I was able to comfortably create my own ideas of what made me feel fashionable and sexy.It gave me a chance to get comfortable in my own skin a bit before becoming the flashy lady I am today. I needed that time between adolescence and adulthood. What I still cringe at is some of the shitty judging against other ladies I was doing, which as we all know was supposed to be what we were against.


beckler said...

The northwest experience of it is super interesting to me. I invite either of you to email me some thoughts for me to post, with pictures hopefully!

def part of my problem with it is young people getting it wrong but that just means I'm old enough to have lived through an era and watch it cycle back. The Courtney Love veneration just really bugs me. And the fact that better bands are forgotten. Although watching footage she was a fucking magnetic performer for sure.

PS on a side note I highly recommend the Candy Darling documentary on Netflix.

beckler said...

where is the beat happening veneration? and tobi vail's other bands? beat happening have such an awesome catalog.

Natalie Rose said...

I was never a Beat Happening fan, Well a Calvin fan in particular. I know, I know such a terrible northwesterner.

The Candy Darling Doc is so good. I loved it.


Anonymous said...

I LOVE BEAT HAPPENING. Like, so much. The first thing I bought at Hindenburg was the Black Candy LP and I remember Kendon sold it to me and made fun of it. One time Dub Narcotic played at the Loft and they stayed at my house. I gave Calvin my bed and I thought there was no higher point in my life.

I watched the Punk Singer and I liked it. It was a good trip down memory lane, remembering how important Bikini Kill was to me at that time in my life and made me remember how polarizing liking them could be. I was definitely friends with guys who didn't take them and all of of the other riot grrrl bands seriously. I loved it and even though I wasn't able to be comfortable in my skin at that age either, I felt like I was when I listened to those bands with my friends.

The song Rebel Girl is in some band-theme video game. Rock Band? I can't be bothered to look it up, but I played it once and sang it proper. High score! It was awesome. If there's ever a Halloween show where we can do Bikini Kill again (please, round table, make the exception!) I want to be in that band.


Natalie Rose said...

I hold the Julep comp from Yo-Yo as my favorite 90's time machine ever. Still all those songs just kill me. Even Alien Superstar which I have had a love hate issue with since day one.

Also Team Dresch Personal Best. The cover along was my fashion inspiration at the time.


Caroline said...

In my suburban island without access to a car, riot grrrl was SO FUCKING IMPORTANT to me and has absolutely shaped the person I am today. Although I had a few friends who were also interested or involved in RG, mostly I was on my own and so I don't have a lot of negative feelings about it. It maybe made me more afraid of men and male sexuality, but that was mostly some baggage I already had. Otherwise the music and words and intense teenage emotion of it all was an absolutely buoy for me. And I LOVE that I still feel so much of that when I listen to music from that time, it is still so powerful for me.

What Jana says here is so important: "maybe to me it wasn't such an organized movement at the time as it's made out to be in retrospect." That is totally true. In fact, Hanna talks about it in The Punk Singer. The lack of any formalized movement or structure to RG was one of the best things about it, but also makes it weird to talk about because it varied so much regionally and personally.

founder, RG Walnut Creek
former member, RG DC
owner, Huggy Bear tattoo

Anonymous said...

As I was listening to Bikini Kill this morning (on my old lady fitness walk) I was thinking about the riot girl meetings I went to and how I helped fold zines with Kathleen Hanna at one, but to me it seemed that unless you lived in Oly that you were always suspect.
I don't have many pictures from that time. If any. I was just trying to enjoy the moment in true punk fashion and not document it. ha! Girls in front!
Except tall ones like me.

Caroline said...

Also, I was definitely at that Gilman show! Awwww, baby Becky and baby Caroline, angry feminist ships passing in the East Bat.

beckler said...

Wow! I was there with a Riot Grrl penpal I who I met through MRR. I stayed at her house in her room and she lived with her parents. We didn't really have anything in common and it was very weird. That shows why I have such mixed feelings. BK was mindblowing but I had no friends to hang out with that were into this stuff. Like seriously not a one. I was living in Lincoln and only knew people there, none of which liked punk. The closest I could get was a sharp who I could go to ska shows with.

I even remember the shirt KH was wearing.

I also drove my Datsun B210 over a curb and popped the tire and drove home the next day on one of the little tires that you are not supposed to drive on.

Was it the one where the Japanese lady band called The Gaia played?

beckler said...

I was really dreaming about a Halloween band while I watched it. OF COURSE it is due for a re-do. How about me as KH (I know, I know but maybe I can do it) you as Kathi Wilcox, Heather Crocker as Tobi Vail and Alec as Billy? It has to be after Alec moves back which I won't accept may not happen.

I wish I could be Tobi since I like her the best but I don't think I could learn to play drums. Maybe?

Ooh and Tiger Trap someday obviously. With my voice there's no way I could be Rose. Probably Angie.

DaveNinja said...

I some how missed Bikini Kill back in the day. I saw the Punk Singer and liked it so i got some of the BK albums to listen to.

Scott Miller said...

I knew a guy who let Bikini Kill stay at his house on tour, really sweet, good looking shy punk dude. Kathleen Hanna was sleeping on his floor & made a move on him, & we was so scared he pretended to be passed out! I think RG was a really important thing but that totally sums up being a dude in the middle of it!

Cody S. said...

I liked the Punk Singer a lot. I totally missed out on the RG thing. I think it really hit and was important a few years before my time, and I don't know how I would've been exposed to it anyways. I've always liked female fronted punk bands, and most of my friends (even/especially the girls!) did not and it bummed me out. Though I think by that time a lot of the girls in band had kind of shifted away from the RGl thing and more into a "I'm just one of the dudes, I'm not a feminist, I don't get offended" thing which is kind of lame.