Mike Watt releases Bikini Kill cover for Kill Rock Stars’ 30th anniversary covers series
Iconic Olympia/Portland indie label Kill Rock Stars turns 30 this year, and to celebrate the anniversary, they've launched a covers series with over 30 artists covering songs from KRS' catalog. The first cover was Mary Lou Lord and Mikaela Davis' cover of Elliott Smith's "Some Song," which came out on New Year's Eve, and today they've released the second cover, Mike Watt + The Black Gang (aka Nels Cline and Bob Lee) taking on Bikini Kill's "Rebel Girl." Mike Watt says:
Me and K have a two bass-only band called Dos and we opened up for Bikini Kill once and that's where I first witnessed this tune "Rebel Girl" getting played. I just knew it was their song, the same way I first saw Superchunk do "Slack Motherfucker" and 'pert-near just like that time, immediately I wanted to do my own version of it. Lots of times I've dug songs from people I've witnessed for the first time but this went further with me: I wanted my way trying to feel like them, doing it. I know, kind of insane but that's what I've found about where music can take you... I love the phrasing so much with words you can really put your heart into full-on and also the big time econo main lick... ECONO! This live version here I got to do with The Black Gang (Nels Cline and Bob Lee) was during an encore and I was tuckered big time but still the tune itself helped me bring it - a great tune is like that. Soundman Steve Reed is singing along with us at the soundboard, I love it. This is the kind of tune I wish I could've played for D Boon even though I don't think I got all the words right. Nels Cline and Bob Lee kicked up much dust, a great tribute to a fucking righteous tune. Thank you Kill Rock Stars for letting folks hear.
Kill Rock Stars founder Slim Moon adds:
It is fitting that this second single in this 30th anniversary series is by Mike Watt with Nels Cline and Bob Lee, just as it was fitting that the first single in the series involved Mary Lou Lord. It is another 'slight return' of an artist we had the pleasure of working with a bit back in the '90s. The trio on this single were featured on the 1999 This Is A Prayer 7" 3-song single. Watt's trio L'il Pit released a 7" on KRS in 1997, and Dos, Watt's duo with Kira Roessler, dropped their third album, Justamente Tres, on Kill Rock Stars in 1996. To whatever degree I believe in the "great women and men" theory of human history, Mike Watt is one of the towering figures in the history of punk rock - so is Nels Cline - and Bikini Kill is the greatest punk rock band in the history of the world. Knowing I got to work with these amazing people means I can die happy.
Other confirmed artists for the series include Badlands, Eyelids, Fruit Bats, Little Mazarn, Califone, MAITA, Shutups, TEKE::TEKE, Møtrik, and Ryan Sollee (The Builders & the Butchers), and more are TBA. You can subscribe for $20 to get all the singles for the entire year.
Listen to the two currently released covers below...