Mixtape: Riot Grrrls!

By Eva Bryner, Arts Editor

Welcome to Mixtape! Throughout the year, we hope to bring you new music finds, and to create intriguing musical atmospheres! Before we delve into this issue’s column and the world that is Riot Grrrl, let’s get a little history lesson.

Riot Grrrl is a movement of underground feminist punk that formed during the ‘90s in the Pacific Northwest. Riot Grrrl songs talk about female empowerment, sexuality, racism, sexism, and a ton of other social and political views associated with Third Wave Feminism. Not only does the Riot Grrrl movement include music, but creative DIY projects, Zines, and art, both political and otherwise. Riot Grrrls are not afraid to take a stand! This playlist, I hope, will give you a glance into badassery of the Riot Grrrl world. Feel free to hit play on the youtube playlist above and listen as you read!

“Will Anything Happen” -Blondie

Even though Blondie wasn’t exactly part of the Riot Grrrl movement, Debbie Harry is just the most amazing woman, and a true punk icon. “Will Anything Happen” seams together classic elements of punk songs alongside the bright riffs and harmonies that just ooze that Blondie feeling. Blondie has countless iconic tracks, and “Will Anything Happen” is just another example of great artistry and expression through music.

“Fairytale in the Supermarket” -The Raincoats

The Raincoats sprang up during the odd period that was the rise of the British punk scene. However, their dynamic style allowed them to differentiate themselves from more fast-paced bands of the time such as The Clash and The Sex Pistols, which helped to start the Riot Grrrl movement. A punk girl band that wasn’t afraid to sing about feminism was interesting, new, and exactly what everyone needed. Sadly, they went rather unrecognized until Kurt Cobain mentioned them as an influential band in his life. This mention propelled them into a new level of stardom, which is wonderful, despite the fact it had to take a popular guy artist to get them noticed, and bridge the world to the wonderful world of girl punk.

“Distinct Complicity” -Bikini Kill

Would it really be a Riot Grrrl playlist, or even a punk playlist if I didn’t include Bikini Kill? Bikini Kill is everything Riot Grrrl is about. From Olympia, Washington, Bikini Kill’s aggressive style fit into the then male dominated punk scene. Singing of feminist “Girl Revolution,” their fan base grew quickly. They first came together to make a feminist zine, also called Bikini Kill. Bikini Kill embodies punk in every way, aggressive vocals, pushy riffs, and loud drums, and most importantly, no fear to do exactly what you want.

“69” -Ida Maria

Ida Maria is more of a modern artist who only released her debut album, “Fortress ‘Round My Heart” in 2008. Ranging from Stompy songs like “Forgive Me,” “Bad Karma,” and “I Like You So Much Better When You’re Naked,” to quiet, calming songs such as “In The End,” and “Keep Me Warm,” Ida Maria has me in love. “69” captures the side of the Riot Grrrl movement that just isn’t afraid to talk about anything, including a tormented love/sex life. Ida Maria drones in the beginning, “We are absolutely under no circumstances fine/We’re fiiiiinnneeee.” Playful yet punk, this song/Ida Maria always holds my love.

“Heard it Through the Grapevine” -The Slits

This song, originally by Norman Whitfield, has been covered by so, so, so many artists, including Marvin Gaye, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and Amy Winehouse. Despite this, The Slits’ version stands out. Keeping a funk feeling with the bass, Ari Up, the lead singer, shakes out the classic lyrics. Her voice is so unique, it’s impossible to ignore. The Slits themselves were a huge part of normalising girl bands in punk, and showing other girls that they can do it too.

“Her Again” – Sleater-Kinney

This tune is a little on the sad side for Sleater-Kinney, but still boasts the classic punk aspects. Sleater-Kinney was not an immediate success, and has taken many many breaks from music, only to eventually come together and make more classic punk songs. Their most recent album, “No Cities to Love,” is only a few years old after debuting in 2015. With every album, they have only been able to hone their craft, putting out the kinds of albums that will be loved for years to come, and not easily forgotten. Sleater-Kinney, we love you, and all Riot Grrrls, we love you the most!