Between Bikini Kill and Le Tigre, lead riot grrrl Kathleen Hanna delivered Julie Ruin, a much adored album of smartly subversive pop demonstrating impressive range and playfulness. A couple of years ago, Hanna announced that she’d be picking up that thread again in band form, accompanied by former fellow Killer Kathi Wilcox and a few others, as the Julie Ruin. At long last, we’ve got the first taste of their forthcoming album.
While this version of “Girls Like Us,” featuring queercore icon Vaginal Davis on lead vocals, was recorded to accompany the new McSweeney’s-published memoir by author T Cooper, Real Man Adventures, a recording of the song with Hanna singing will be on the group’s debut full-length, says a source close to the band.
Other contributors to the book project include Rick Moody, Dynasty Handbag and, um, Soce, the Elemental Wizard. Meanwhile, “Girls Like Us” finds Davis bragging about various badges of decidedly ungirly awesomeness over cheap synth shots, a steady beat and a Teutonic bass line, plus the sing-along chants of the rest of the band. Over on The Rumpus (via Pitchfork), Cooper explained the song’s connection with his book:
This song was recorded for the chapter “When I Knew” (p. 229), which is about buying boxer briefs at Century 21 in New York City, and Marky Mark in his Calvin Kleins, before he was Mark Wahlberg and nominated for an Oscar–among other personal things I don’t really feel like going into here because it’s too intimate for the interwebs. Mostly it’s a send-up of that scene in “Silence of the Lambs” where the serial killer Buffalo Bill is mincing around his house in a silk kimono while his latest female (plus-sized) victim screams in a dungeon below, where he is fattening her up and conditioning her skin so that he can finish sewing the lady suit he is fashioning out of his victims’ hides.
Who needs a music video when you’ve got that visual to go with? Enjoy.