From Courtney Love's Band Hole To L7 To Sleater-Kinney, Here's Your Unofficial 2015 Guide To '90s Girl Band Reunions
They're dead no longer: on Tuesday, L7 announced an upcoming reunion tour and documentary, marking the return of some of the most notoriously badass ladies in rock history. It seems like, once again, all the '90s girl bands I missed out as a misfit 15-year-old in the mid 2000's are slating to come back for 2015. Do you even know how I feel right now? Weird. Weird is how I feel.
Weird because, all of a sudden, the bands I love, the mythical women I look up to, are now resurrected tangible forces. The bands that marked me as a freak and an outsider are now the kind that trend on Facebook. It's not a bad thing, necessarily. I suppose the Internet has led to a rise in popularity over time, building communities, connecting fan bases, and so on. I mean, I learned about most of these bands from the Internet. But, with this all in mind, it's hard to keep track of all these bands if you're out-of-the-know with '90s angry girl music of the indie persuasion.
Allow me to brief you with a refresher course. Here's a guide to five bands of that are (some more officially than others) eying a comeback in the coming year.
Origin: Los Angeles, California.
Personnel: Donita Sparks, Suzi Gardner, Jennifer Finch and Demetra Plakas.
Sounds Like: Ladymonsters that leave a trail of destruction wherever they go.
Notoriety: The moment everyone talks about is when a rowdy crowd began to sling mud on the stage. Sparks, clearly agitated, pulled out her used tampon and threw it into the crowd. Adorable.
Status: As previously mentioned, they're slated to go on a European reunion tour and they're raising funds for their documentary, Pretend We're Dead, on Kickstarter.
Babes in Toyland
Origin: Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Personnel: Kat Bjelland, Lori Barbero, and Maureen Herman (who replaced Michelle Leon in 1992).
Sounds Like: A banshee trashing a haunted attic, where baby dolls decay and Victorian negligees rot.
Notoriety: Specifically? Well, Bjelland was often credited for establishing the "kinderwhore" look (in tangent with someone else on this list), but I always give her credit for having the strongest wail of ANYONE in this (or many other) genres. And when you pair that wail with the crass lyrics on tracks like "Handsome and Gretel?" There is NOTHING more abrasive.
Status: The babes are reuniting for a handful of shows, but unless you live in California or Europe, you may be out of luck. They're currently slated to play two gigs in Cali, four in the UK, and the Primavera Sound Festival in Barcelona, Spain. Time will tell if they'll expand their tour to other parts of the United States — like, I don't know, the New York area perhaps?
Origin: Mainly Los Angeles, California.
Personnel: Went through several line-up changes, but consistently had Courtney Love, Eric Erlandson (who, incidentally and technically, is a man) with Melissa Auf der Maur and Patty Schemel rounding out the most popular Live Through This era.
Sounds Like: The pain and agony about the things you can't change, and the transformation from female to unstoppable force of nature.
Notoriety: Chalked up to Love's antics, from panty-flashing to breast bearing to punching people in the face.
Status: Unclear. They've reunited for an impromptu jam at the release of Schemel's Hit So Hard documentary in 2012. Love told Pitchfork last June that a reunion may not happen, but later told Paper Mag that the four have been rehearsing and a reunion in 2015 is likely. Stay tuned.
Origin: Olympia, Washington.
Personnel: Corin Tucker, Carrie Brownstein, and Janet Weiss (who is the longest lasting in a string of drummers).
Sounds Like: If the wittiest girls in your Female Studies class blended their sarcasm and satire with melodies and harmonies — with a punk rock spirit underneath, of course.
Notoriety: The story behind the cover of All Hands on the Bad One is cute: according to Weiss, it's a picture of Brownstein being hauled off a dance floor. "She worked herself into a frenzy and passed out. People are laughing in the background because she's wearing a bunny suit," Weiss explained. I don't need to know WHY, but I'm glad it happened.
Status: It's a full force reunion. Sleater-Kinney released a new album January 20th, had all their famous friends sing the title track, and are going on a full blown tour this February. And guess who is $80 short and going to see them? This girl.
Jack Off Jill
Origin: Fort Lauderdale, Florida (which, having spent many summers with my aunt there, I can attest is every inch a place of humid teenage mediocrity).
Personnel: Many, many people, with the mainstays being Jessicka Fodera (now Addams) and Robin Moulder.
Sounds Like: Nursery rhymes composed by Satan and sang by the angriest kindergartner in town.
Notoriety: So many things. In particular, Addams earned the title of "The Patron Saint of Self-Injury" from her habit of cutting herself on stage. However, she does promote of sense of body positivity: Addams boasted a "zaftig cherub" body type when she was JOJ's front woman, and proudly considered herself "the alt.rock Tracy Turnblad."
Status: TEASED MERCILESSLY! On December 27th, 2004, the official Jack Off Jill Facebook page posted the well-known JOJ Ouija picture, often labeled "1992 - 2000," now leaving the death date empty. Addams acknowledged these rumors on Twitter, remarking:
Then Addams started doing tweets like this:
So one of two things are happening. Either a Jack Off Jill reunion is already in the works, or Addams, bless her, is trying to give me an anxiety attack for the sheer sexual thrill. Hopefully we'll find out soon before I die from stress.