This post originally appeared at Mad Art Lab.
When Riot Grrl band Sleater-Kinney dissolved in 2006, I was about to b e a senior in high school, and I was devastated. All major (or minor) life events can seem traumatic when you’re 17, but Sleater-Kinney’s dissolution hit me hard. As a fairly rebellious teenager and wannabe punk, it sucked that so much of the rock ‘n roll music I loved was run by men, and Sleater-Kinney felt rebellious simply by daring to exist in a man’s scene. So when it was announced last year that a new album was due out in January, I was beyond thrilled. That album, No Cities to Love, did not disappoint (if you haven’t listened yet, check it out).
Sleater-Kinney was feminist before feminism was cool. They have been unapologetically spouting truth about feminism since the mid-90s, and making damn good music while doing so. In 1996, they demanded a seat at the boys table, singing “I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone.” In 1997, they used catchy hooks to put overgrown man-children on blast in “Little Babies,” a song about how women are sometimes expected to play mother-by-proxy to men in adult relationships. Even after the band dissolved, member Carrie Brownstein (non-SK fans know her from the hit IFC show, Portlandia) composed the score for the feminist art documentary, !Women Art Revolution.
Featured Image by Comtesse DeSpair