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:
And then go buy Who Took the Bomp? Le Tigre on Tour.