What’s Kathleen Hanna Listening to 16 Years Post-Bikini Kill?

The riot grrrl icon’s Top 5 ranges from Santigold to Patsy Cline.

Courtesy of <a href="http://bikinikillarchive.wordpress.com/photos/">Bikini Kill Archive</a>.

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Two decades ago, Bikini Kill’s Kathleen Hanna, who now fronts a quintet called The Julie Ruin, was at the forefront of the punk-rock feminist movement. I asked the riot grrrl icon what she’s listening to nowadays, and here’s what she had to say. To read the rest of our interview, click here.

1. I’d say Santigold is probably my favorite younger artist. “Creator” is the song that I listen to when I’m really like, “I can’t do it anymore!” It’s such a bold statement about being someone who makes stuff, whatever that stuff is. It gives me so much confidence.

 

2. I really like Grimes a lot. I love that she produces her music and she’s unapologetic about being a feminist. It sounds like a contradiction to mix fashion with feminism and I really love that she just walks through that like, “What do you mean? There’s no contradiction.”

 

3. I’ve been really into Vic Chesnutt lately. His music is so moving and so beautiful, and his voice is just so different than anybody else’s. I’ve lost a lot of people to suicide and I can’t listen to the music of friends who died of suicide, but I can listen to his, because he wasn’t my friend. There is sadness in his pain and also just joy. I love the idea that he survives through his music. That’s a really hopeful, sweet thing.

 

4. I really love LCD Soundsystem—like everybody else on the planet—just the way that James [Murphy] took so many references of Joy Division, or whatever he was referencing, and really was able to make it his own. He has a great record collection and knows a lot of music and it really comes out in such an interesting, beautiful way. He mixed a song on our record, so I got to meet him, and it was really fun.

 

5. I love old country music: Hank Williams Senior, Patsy Cline, Tammy Wynette, and all that kind of stuff. George Jones is a favorite. I just really love the style of writing where every chorus is colored by the verse and the verses change what the chorus means. It tells stories of peoples’ lives. I listened to country music as a kid. I’m kind of leaning toward that way of writing as I get older.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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