Who Took the Bomp? Le Tigre On Tour! Film Review

Le Tigre
Le Tigre: Kathleen Hanna, Johanna Fateman, and JD Samson
These are the ladies that taught me how to be a lady. In the many variations of who a lady can be.

In Who Took the Bomp? Le Tigre On Tour!, Kathleen Hanna talks about how Le Tigre’s electroclash music, choreography, and style was vulnerable. And it was dorky, fun, and passionate. And very, very political. They were an unapologetic feminist queer band composed of women musicians, and the film smartly weaves this into the narrative. There are rants and celebration — but no preaching or rockstar crazy — and lots of good music and spirit.

Watching the film made me miss the band terrible. (Le Tigre broke up in 2005.) And it also made me realize just how personal and inspiring their music is to me as a queer feminist. But it was especially inspiring when I was younger.

Le Tigre’s songs explore the personal being political, the suppression of feminist herstories, about being a lady band and female artists, about the harsh realities of the world, about sexism and homophobia and hate. But at the same time, to me, their message was always hopefully. Their message was always: you are not alone; we hear you.

All three members — Hanna, Johanna Fateman, and JD Samson — talk in different ways about how they pushed the envelope and did something that mattered to so many people. Whether it was feminism, gender performance, or just the simple act of being three women in a band, Le Tigre’s legacy lives on. They were a radical act.

As a documentary and a band movie, Who Took the Bomp? Le Tigre On Tour! was insightful, heartwarming, and entertaining. The live performances were mixed in well with the interviews, both while on their final tour and post-Le Tigre. I highly recommend this film to any Le Tigre fan or anyone interested in feminist music.

If nothing else, the scene where Fateman (on a dare from the others) gets her picture taken with Slipknot is worth watching the entire film.

And if you’ve never heard their music listen: Continue reading “Who Took the Bomp? Le Tigre On Tour! Film Review”

My Birthday Bash Day 4: Icon of Everything, David Bowie

For complete context about why I’m not having a birthday party for my 27th birthday this year and how you can still celebrate with me, read You’re Invited to My 27th Birthday Bash.

David Bowie
Anyone who can pull of both looks unapologetically in his lifetime and be an all-around awesome and talented person is my hero.

When it comes to my heroes, I’m a bit compartmental. I want to write like Margaret Atwood. I want to create amazing art like J.H. Williams III. I want to play the bass guitar like Kim Deal. But since I was about 13-years-old, David Bowie has been my icon of everything. I don’t just want to sing, write songs, be outspoken, dress lavishly, etc. like him. I want to be like him. (Okay, I would also totally have sex with him. Which those “want to be” and “want in my bed” circuits in my brain have always cross-fired.)

But back to Bowie, what I like best about him is his attitude. A principle of living life to the fullest in all aspects. I love life as a performance, while managing to have an actual life. I love that, even as an older artist, he is who he is at that very moment. He’s confident in both his talents and his life. And especially when I was younger, struggling with my sexuality and being a “weirdo,” I felt a great kinship to Bowie and his story.

The summer before I went to college in 2002, I lost my mind and went to see Bowie perform at Moby’s Area2 concert at the Gorge Amphitheater in Washington. All summer, I should’ve been preparing and packing for college as I was moving to the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, which was about 6 hours away from my hometown. But no, I was obsessing about David Bowie. I read at least two biographies and everything I could find on the internet and watched Ziggy Stardust and Labyrinth over and over.

If you’ve never been to the Gorge Amphitheater, I highly recommend it. The stage backs up right to the Columbia Gorge so the performers are set behind perhaps the must beautiful natural setting possible. (Sadly, I seem to have lost or misplaced the few photos I had. Though I don’t remember clearly, but we may not have been able to bring cameras to the concert.) Continue reading “My Birthday Bash Day 4: Icon of Everything, David Bowie”

Birthday Bash Day 2: The Pianist Child Prodigy

For complete context about why I’m not having a birthday party for my 27th birthday this year and how you can still celebrate with me, read You’re Invited to My 27th Birthday Bash.

Erica playing the piano at her very first recital.
Tiny me at my very first piano recital.

In 1989, I got Barbie Beat for either my birthday or Christmas. Barbie Beat came with a cassette tape, which played Barbie and her friends’ theme music. You were encouraged to sing along with them. Like a good little girl, I’d spend hours jumping on my bed and singing my little heart out. (My bed actually collapsed once as my constant jumping on it loosened the screws enough that it fell apart. While I was jumping on it.)

My maternal grandma, whom I love and adore, used to tell me I was such a wonderful singer. She’d whip out her child’s recorder — all primary colors and big buttons — and record me singing whatever new songs I’d learned in school. Grandma still has those tapes as she played them for me a few holiday gatherings ago.

Like every small child in the US, I wanted to be a famous musician. However, I’m both completely tone deaf and have a bad voice. My singing career was cut off at the knees. Only my grandma would defend my voice today.

At 7-years-old, I started playing the piano at my mom’s insistence. When I first started playing the piano, I had to play inside the barn. My mom had been dragging around an upright piano rescued from a friend’s summer home, and the barn was where it was stored. I’d sit inside the hay-filled barn, listen to the mice, and play “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” over and over. Then I’d go pet the cows. By the time winter rolled around, my parents moved the piano inside the house, where there were modern amenities like heat.

Then there were the recitals. I had to wear ridiculously puffy dresses to my recitals. To this day, I’m pretty sure scratchy tool constitutes as child torture by the UN. Continue reading “Birthday Bash Day 2: The Pianist Child Prodigy”

Sprinkles from Around the Web 05/21-05/27/10

Sprinkles from around the web


Philippe Cousteau Jr. and Sam Champion take hazmat dive into Gulf’s oily waters. Video of what the oil-and-chemical-filled Gulf looks like. Horrific. Sad.


Come party with Lady Gaga: From her dressing room to a sex club, an exclusive interview in which the singer discusses fame, the paparazzi – and those health rumours. And the 12+ reasons why I love Lady Gaga. (Music video NSFW.)

The Weekly Geek: Proud to be a nerdy gay girl. Reasons why being a queer fangirl is awesome. Continue reading “Sprinkles from Around the Web 05/21-05/27/10”

Confessions of a Geek: No iPad, No Kindle, No iTunes

Erica and Winston in front of books
Me and Winston, my cat, in front of some of my books.
I didn’t order an iPad. I don’t have a Kindle or Sony e-Reader. I don’t buy TV or music off iTunes. I still trudge every week to the comic book shop to pick up my weekly stack. I still frequent used book stores to collect whatever trashy vampire book I’m reading next or cookbook I want to pillage for recipes. I still buy CDs and pay for my favorite shows on DVD. I still have freaking vinyl records.

Admittedly, I have a love for books — yes, the physical form in my hand. They never run low on batteries and only cost you page wrinkling or under $20 to replace when you drop them in the bathtub. However, I wouldn’t mind giving up my CDs and DVDs for digital copies. If for no other reason, I’d have more shelf space for books. (Oh, yes, I am that girl, the one you never want to volunteer to help move.) I’ll admit to owning an iPod, and how it’s much more convenient to have 128 GB of music at my fingertips when I need to tune out at work.

I don’t own an iPad or Kindle and I don’t buy from iTunes because of Digital Rights Management (DRM).

I don’t like the idea that Amazon could hit the kill switch on a book I paid money for. Same with iTunes. And how many generally technologically savvy friends have I had who’ve killed all the music on their iPods due to syncing issues related to DRM. I’ve also had several tell me that every CD they buy off iTunes, they immediately burn to a disc, which rather defeats the point of digital copies. The iPad premiered with a Marvel Comic Book app. It looks very slick. Besides some issues I have with pricing, how do I know these comics aren’t going to disappear when Marvel decides I can’t own them anymore?

Amazon tells the consumer how many times s/he can share books to different devices and with other Kindle owners. Marvel doesn’t allow sharing, unless you want someone to borrow your $500 iPad. iPods are set from the factory to wipe their entire harddrives when hooked up to a different computer.

I think I’ll keep my books, my CDs, my DVDs, and yes, my vinyl records until someone sorts out this DRM issue in a way that’s pro-consumer, not pro-corporation. I’m okay with being old fashioned here.