Indie's Clit-Rock Revolutionaries Throw a Bigger Slumber Party

I stopped going to indie-rock concerts for a while because they were all the same. Dour-faced, emaciated men painfully wailing about lost girlfriends and existential crises over the strumming of the quietest electric guitars. Even the audiences looked miserable. Between sets, so-called fans would hold a Pabst with one hand and a worn belt loop with the other, looking more like they were waiting for a barium enema than to be to rocked hardcore.

Le Tigre renewed my faith in the live show. Riot grrrl idol Kathleen Hanna and company walked onstage in matching teal-and-magenta zigzag outfits. Feminist films and the musicians' faces were projected all along the mirrored club walls. Le Tigre did choreographed, synchronized dance moves that looked like the inverted robot crossed with the locomotion, and the crowd was bopping around all white-kid-excited, having traded in self-absorbed angst to enjoy the girly electro-punk.

Le Tigre are the arbiters of an indie-rock movement—a clit-rock revolution, full of bands who share both a sense of humor and an unembarrassed femininity. Women in rock are sometimes so preoccupied with being taken seriously that they try to excise any stereotypically girlish traits, but in Le Tigre, there's even something girlish about the dulcet alto of JD, a self-proclaimed butch dyke with a mustache. Clit rock is not afraid to sound like a slumber party. It's about singing poppy odes to actor Jason Lee and graphic novelist Ariel Schrag—or, in the case of the All Girl Summer Fun Band, Canadian boyfriends.

Le Tigre's new This Island is even more staunchly pop than their previous records. The title track proclaims, "You say the same thing to me/Rent's high/And the war's on/And it's last call." Good fun—though the more politically tinged moments (the "peace now" chant in "New Kicks," the call for tolerance of lesbianism in "Viz") can sometimes be hard to take seriously in the vicinity of a cover of the Pointer Sisters' "I'm So Excited." Especially one that sounds a bit too much like Jessie Spano freaking out because she took so many caffeine pills on Saved by the Bell.

This Island is Le Tigre's major-label debut. With any luck, it will spawn an army clad in high ponytails and short skirts to march its combat boots over emo, and bop into the future.


Le Tigre play Irving Plaza October 31 and November 1.

 
My Voice Nation Help
0 comments
 
New York Concert Tickets

Concert Calendar

  • November
  • Fri
    28
  • Sat
    29
  • Sun
    30
  • Mon
    1
  • Tue
    2
  • Wed
    3
  • Thu
    4
Loading...