Thursday, March 18, 2004

#40) LeTigre - LeTigre (released in 1999, I bought it on CD at City Lights after listening to the radio station's copy a bunch)

Kathleen Hanna may just be another critic who can't stand to be criticized, but few display as much imagination and spirit. That energy isn't just in what she says but how she says it, whooping, sighing, shrieking, taking on numerous poses and personas. While Bikini Kill's Joan Jett-produced "Rebel Girl" single wass a definite classic, the self-titled debut from LeTigre, the band she started after Bikini Kill's break-up (and making a solo album as Julie Ruin), remains the one time where the music has been as novel and assured as she is.

If Bikini Kill was punk than LeTigre is new wave, with the fuzzed out guitar riffs strapped on top of drum loops, keyboard blips and the rare but effective vocal sample. "Deceptacon" and "The The Empty" rip the hearts out of those who would bore her with vicious glee, while "Les And Ray," the name-dropping "Hot Topic" and "Eau D'Bedroom Dancing" give shout-outs to their inspirations, the latter capturing the warm glow music can provide a solitary listener - somehow LeTigre made an anthem about the experience without losing the experience's fragility. The follow-up Feminist Sweepstakes felt like a party with weaker beats that they didn't want me dancing at anyway, but I'm hoping their upcoming major-label debut(!) will be as inclusive, witty and thrilling as this one was.

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