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Will The Julie Ruin you for all others?

Kathleen Hanna drops Ruin release deets

Kathleen Hanna
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Kathleen Hanna
Who the hell is Kathleen Hanna ... other than a feminist punk poet with an affinity for zine writing workmanship? Who is this woman who dwells in the netherworld of alternative culture, plotting and demonstrating? Who is this transformative post-whatever icon who keeps pushing the waistband on the pants of pop-rock aesthetics to fit her angry, rabble-rousing agendas? Well, she's just a writer. At least that's how I've pegged her since I first started listening to Bikini Kill and Le Tigre during my formative years as a gay outcast in high school. Granted, her music scorched the silly side of a grounded movement at times. I never took her stances too seriouslyat least not as seriously as those who deem themselves riot grrrlsbut I always appreciated her mediums. On hearing that she’s resurrected the Julie Ruin moniker to release new material, I was psyched, and I still am.

Putting the word “The” in front of the namethus making it The Julie Ruin, y'allHanna has resurrected not only a name, but an idea and a good one at that. If you haven't heard her post-Bikini Kill bedroom recordings, you should take a listen. They're not groundbreaking, but they were a solid precursor to the “Deceptacon”-era Hanna who would make her mark on the music industry. Maybe she wasn't a chart-topper, but she maintains a loyal fanbase that is keen on hearing her wild vocals inundate them with a little radical mystiqueFeminist Sweepstakes, anyone? I digress … Hanna has announced that The Julie Ruin's debut album, titled Run Fast, is set to hit the streets on the 3rd of September (you know ... the day we’ll always remember). So be on the lookout for that, and while you're waiting for that illustrious morn to approach, you still have the old basement recordings of the original incarnation to tide you over. And if Le Tigre's This Island and The Julie Ruin’s first single, “Oh Come On,” are anything to go by, then you know Hanna delivers the goods when she has the proper studio treatment to rely on. Just sayin'.

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The Julie Ruin - “Oh Come On”

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Music

Sonic reductions of Scott Walker, Crystal Castles and The Bryan Ferry Orchestra

In this week’s Sonic Reducer, I weighed in on new albums by Scott Walker, Crystal Castles and The Bryan Ferry Orchestra. Check out videos and sound from featured acts below.

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Scott Walker - “Epizootics!”
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Crystal Castles - “Plague”
The Bryan Ferry Orchestra - “Don’t Stop the Dance”

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Music

Best of 2010 mix for ears to hear

The better to see you with, my dear

Of course you know the old dancing-about-architecture thing. Well, synesthesia aside, it is bloody hard to hear without ears or see without eyes. So if you happened to read last week’s “Best of 2010 for weirdos and malcontents” and were almost intrigued enough to seek out the music, dissemble no more. Here’s a mix with one track from each of the albums, including the ones I was too lazy to write about.

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V.19 No.52 | 12/30/2010

Year in Review: Music

Drones, Dub, Kraut, Harp

Best releases of 2010 for weirdos and malcontents

Mad genius Whitman arms his modular synths with razor-sharp spurs and lets them fight each other to the death. Result: a tapestry of colliding sine waves beautiful in their autonomous complexity. This originally-cassette-only objet d’art is now available via iTunes.

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