Feminist Sweepstakes Enhanced, Import
Le Tigre is Kathleen Hanna (Bikini Kill), Johanna, and video artist Sadie Benning. As an electronic act, the trio celebrates the radical aspirations of 90's DIY, feminist, punk art rather than playing into the "women in rock" stereotypes of feminist rage. This is their second album, which now includes a video of the song "Well Well Well".
On Feminist Sweepstakes, Le Tigre's sound has a much more produced quality than the grittier sound of previous albums, but nonetheless maintains the uninhibited rawness that has now become synonymous with the name Kathleen Hanna. Direct in their intent from the start, Kathleen & co. boldly declare their mission as a band "for the ladies and the fags," on the first track "LT Tour Theme," in such a way that is so genuinely endearing and grateful to their core audience that any lady or fag that refuses to get up and dance clearly has a heart of stone.
Le Tigre never fails in the ability to connect with their audience, and Kathleen illustrates exactly how she has become the feminist heroine she is on such tracks as "FYR." In what is perhaps the most lyrically poignant song on the record, the women of Le Tigre call out to all their fellow feminists to help knock down the patriarchy, throwing out mocking statements like "Yeah we got all the power getting stabbed in the shower/ and we got equal rights on ladies' night" that are sure to hit a nerve with any woman tired of playing the victim.
Sure, Le Tigre isn't exactly setting Shakespeare to music, and the lyrics may be lacking in poetic ambiguity, but that really isn't the point. Though often didactic and blunt, the honesty of Le Tigre's lyrics creates a poetic truthfulness all their own which never loses sight of its intent. "On Guard" is yet another track that declares the strong-willed, take-charge spirit of the band, a declaration of power in response to the cat calls and physical scrutiny women face on a daily basis.
At times, the message overpowers the music, such as on "Dyke March 2001," a recording of the event which, though successful in its message, lacks the melodic quality that would make it a song to listen to on repeat. Yet overall, there is a down-to-earth feel to Le Tigre's words, a practical brand of activism that understands and empathizes with their audience. Le Tigre shows heartfelt concern for the people whom they are singing to, as on the finale "Keep on Livin'," a refreshing break from the generic lyrics of uninvolved mainstream rock stars.
Kathleen has lost nothing in the shifting of genres; still the s'wheat lady that gave a voice to a generation of women, Kathleen is every bit as affective as she was in her Bikini Kill days.
Whatever inspired Kathleen Hanna to think activism needed a dance beat truly deserves any praise it receives.
True, they are one of my all time favorite girl-riot-true-uninhibited bands out there today, I am a critic. It seemed like to me that a few of the songs, were just thrown together to get the album out there. But a lot of the songs are so intricate and unique one of a kind, thus is why I even bothered with this purchase.
Here's a list of songs from this album that I think everyone will enjoy:
* Tres Bein
* Keep on livin'
* Fake French
* Dyke March 2001
Keep in mind, I do have an aquired taste, and among the pickiest of listeners.