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photos by P Squared Photography
The Julie Ruin @ Bowery Ballroom 9/3/2013
She conceived the group as what she called her "dream band," with players from different walks of her life: on bass, her Bikini Kill band mate Kathi Wilcox; on guitar, Sara Landeau, an instructor at the Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls, where Ms. Hanna occasionally teaches; on drums, her friend Carmine Covelli; and Kenny Mellman, Herb of the cabaret act Kiki & Herb, as a keyboardist and songwriter. They rehearsed casually around town and at Ms. Hanna's New Jersey home -- "I can't call it jamming, because I hate that; I don't jam," she said -- without considering where it would lead.With The Julie Ruin, Kathleen Hanna finds herself back on indie rock terra firma, but Tuesday night's album release show at Bowery Ballroom (9/3) , the band's other roots -- which might be summed up as the Joe's Pub drag-cabaret scene -- were proudly showing. Kiki & Herb's Kenny Mellman plays keyboards and their drummer Carmine Covelli also plays in Bridget Everett & the Tender Moments which also sports Hanna's hubby Adam Horovitz (who was at Bowery too, photo below) as a member. The Bowery show was hosted by everyone's favorite drag king comedian Murray Hill (who has also shared stages with Kathleen before).
According to Ms. Wilcox, "When she approached me to join the band, she was sort of like, 'We may never tour, we may never make a record, but we're just doing this now for fun, because I need to.' "
But Ms. Hanna arrived with some songs intact -- including one, "Just My Kind," written for Christina Aguilera -- and though she didn't have an overarching sound in mind, she knew what she liked. "I know I love sexy surf guitars, I know I love loud snare," she said. "I love really simple repeating bass lines, and I love weird mad scientist keyboard sounds."
Mr. Mellman, a musical savant and a voracious consumer of new bands, gave himself the task of keeping the Julie Ruin up-to-date. "The last thing I wanted was for it to start sounding like a '90s revival," he said.
- [NY Times]
Most people in attendance (a crowd that included Dave Hill and Kim Gordon) were probably too busy dancing and enjoying themselves to think about such things. While the show was a celebration of The Julie Ruin's debut album (out this week) and most of it was played, their set featured a number of Le Tigre songs. A picture of the setlist is below. The show was the kickoff to their tour and opening were sonic and cultural descendants, Swearin'. Photos from the show are in this post.
If you missed it, the tour finishes in NYC as well with a show at Music Hall of Williamsburg on October 25. Tickets for that are still available.
More pictures from Bowery, and video of The Julie Ruin's performance one night later on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon (aka last night), below...
The Juiie Ruin - "Oh Come On" on Fallon
The Julie Ruin