[TypicalGirls] Le Tigre

WWWhatsup joly at dti.net
Wed Oct 20 15:52:52 EDT 2004

our girls le tigre, signed with universal after mr lady went down,
are commencing a major campaign.. 


>>This is what democracy looks like; this is what democracy sounds like!
>>On February 15, 2003, Le Tigre members JD Samson, Johanna Fateman and
>>Kathleen Hanna joined hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers in chanting this
>>refrain to protest the impending US war on Iraq. Though it was a massive
>>march, one that mirrored hundreds of others around the world that day, it
>>ended up barely a soundbite in the news later that evening. But J.D. captured
>>it all on her mini-disc recorder, and the refrain became the rallying cry on
>>"New Kicks," the first single off of Le Tigre's major-label debut, This
>>"New Kicks" is constructed from samples of dissenting voices at that rally,
>>layered over jagged guitar riffs and a kick-up-your-heels drumbeat. It's a
>>buoyant exercise in radical documentation, a tribute to resistance, and a
>>reflection of Le Tigre's deep convictions that it's within their artistic
>>scope to hold policy-makers--and the media interests that represents them--
>>accountable for their actions.
>>The idea of democratic process speaks volumes about how Le Tigre work
>>together, and why it is so difficult to ascribe fixed roles to the band-
>>mates. They work on every track as a team, picking out samples, making beats,
>>adding keyboard lines, guitar parts, and vocals, passing their hard-drives
>>back and forth. JD explains, "After our 2002 summer tour, we each got
>>identical Protools setups for our apartments. We became totally compatible,
>>able to pick up where the other left off in the song-writing process." Adds
>>Kathleen, "This time we had so much more control, so many more options
>>because we were able to do non-linear editing in our home studios — it was
>>like going from a typewriter to a computer."
>>Le Tigre co-produced This Island with Nicholas Sansano, renowned for his
>>studio work with Sonic Youth and Public Enemy, and the band says he was
>>instrumental in tailoring much of This Island for the dancefloor. But Le
>>Tigre still write all of their material and each is a innovative producer in
>>her own right. "I think just 'cuz we're women, people tend to think that
>>somebody else is writing all our songs. But we do it all ourselves. We don’t
>>have The Matrix over here, or a team of male DJs making our beats for us,"
>>says Kathleen.
>>The result of Le Tigre's collaboration is a deliriously addictive, hybrid
>>sound the band calls "feminist punk electronic music." It's a mix of drum-
>>machine samples, synth hooks, buzzing guitar loops, gang vocals, and
>>foolproof bass-lines. "TKO" and "After Dark" -- which will be released as the
>>first radio singles off the album -- are the irresistibly danceable, anthemic
>>tracks with thought-provoking lyrics that fans worldwide have come to expect
>>from the band. But this time Le Tigre's signature style has been taken to the
>>next level -- their underground aesthetics are thrown into relief by a
>>strategic pop sheen, and the sonic richness of This Island matches the band’s
>>ambition to, as Kathleen says, "make our message something you can feel in
>>your body."
>>Those who recall Hanna, and her former band Bikini Kill, as in influential
>>voice in the early '90s feminist punk-rock riot grrrl movement, won't be
>>surprised that songs like "New Kicks" and the hair-raising anti-Bush screed
>>"Seconds" are blistering indictments of the current administration. But what
>>may raise eyebrows is how deep This Island delves into the personal lives of
>>the band members such as the hauntingly beautiful "Tell You Now," (produced
>>by the legendary Cars frontman Ric Ocasek) and "Don't Drink Poison," which
>>pairs a sped-up guitar riff and frenetic beat to a "story about feminist
>>espionage." Johanna explains that the lyrics refer to " the coded way we
>>communicate with each other, and how we survive together as a band through
>>bizarre and alienating situations. " There is also "Viz" (an abbreviation for
>>"visibility") which is both an intimate narration of J.D.'s experience as a
>>butch in the public eye, and a hooky club track celebrating lesbian cultural
>>presence and queer community.
>>Le Tigre's roots go all the way back to a Bikini Kill show in Portland,
>>Oregon: Johanna, in the audience, was impressed and intrigued, and approached
>>Kathleen to give her a copy of her feminist art zine, Snarla. The two became
>>fast friends, and when Kathleen moved to New York soon after producing her
>>first solo venture, Julie Ruin, she asked to Johanna to help her produce it
>>for the stage. The two ended up writing new songs altogether, along with
>>their friend video-maker Sadie Benning. Shortly after the release of Le
>>Tigre's self-titled debut, Sadie left the band to pursue her art career, and
>>JD Samson, formerly a technician/roadie with the band, became a full-fledged
>>member of Le Tigre.
>>Since then, they have released the EP From the Desk of Mr. Lady, the album
>>Feminist Sweepstakes, and a collection of remixes. And while Le Tigre has
>>garnered much praise for their catchy and risk-taking recordings, their
>>electrifying stage show has won them a loyal and passionate following. With
>>video accompaniment, choreography, and matching outfits they show their
>>commitment to "putting on a show," and have established themselves as an
>>unmatched live phenomenon. Le Tigre has toured extensively -- in the United
>>States, Europe, and Japan -- and most recently performed at this past April's
>>Coachella, the alternative music festival in the Southern California desert.
>>But Johanna holds firm that while Le Tigre has grown -- they are poised for
>>the release of their most musically sophisticated record yet on the major
>>label Strummer/Universal -- the band's values have not changed. They are
>>keeping one foot firmly planted in the underground, evidenced by the launch
>>of their own independent label, Le Tigre Records, on which they will re-
>>release their entire back catalog. Says Johanna, "Our D.I.Y. background and
>>our history with Mr. Lady, which was a small, radical-feminist lesbian label,
>>is a really important part of who we are today. Without that history we
>>wouldn't have the confidence and ambition to seek a wider audience."
>>"We want to kick the door open for more radical art to be better funded, and
>>we want to have a greater influence on culture as a whole," she continues. To
>>that end, each band member is involved in other projects and has strong ties
>>to an overlapping feminist/art/music scene. Kathleen recently wrote the
>>preface to Scheherazade, an all-women's comic book anthology edited by Megan
>>Kelso, and curated a gallery show of work by conceptual photographer Tammy
>>Rae Carland; Johanna co-wrote a catalog essay for the 2004 Whitney biennial;
>>J.D. created a lesbian calendar in collaboration with photographer Cass Bird,
>>and is also in a band called the New England Roses.
>>With pivotal issues like gay marriage, the right to choose, and a seemingly
>>irresolvable war all coming to a head right now, Kathleen says, "It's
>>incredibly important for us to have a presence in pop culture right now. JD
>>adds, "We're excited to challenge mainstream media—I think people are ready
>>for it."

             WWWhatsup NYC
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