I Really Loved “Who Took The Bomp?: Le Tigre On Tour”

If you love music, Kathleen Hanna should be your hero. There is no compromise on this; she just IS.

In the new documentary “Who Took The Bomp?: Le Tigre On Tour,” the band’s 2004 tour supporting This Island is presented partially through fantastically edited live footage, but also through insightful interviews and hilarious backstage antics. I had the honor of attending a recent screening of the film at NYC’s MoMA and left feeling the same blinding musical enthusiasm I felt for bands I’d loved as a teenager.

The women in Le Tigre are all inspiring in different ways (obvs JD = Left Eye, Johanna = Chilli, Kathleen = T-Boz), but I was especially touched during interview segments where JD compares her difficulty accepting her body during adolescence to her sudden emergence as a sex symbol rockstar. You guys, I knew I loved MEN and Le Tigre but I seriously had no idea JD was so funny and precious. The band also discuss their difficulty in being an all-girl band, a feminist band, a queer band, and their struggle to be seen simply as musicians in a misogynistic, bro-metal-dominated music scene. Their obvious love for each other and their music is real and palpable throughout the film, and I was reminded of what it means to truly love a band with your entire heart. Le Tigre broke the mold and led the way for not only a new wave of electro-pop musicians, but also for 21st century feminists.

After the film ended, Kathleen Hanna and Johanna Fateman answered a brief Q&A, wherein they talked a bit about their current projects. Johanna is busy parenting, writing and operating a salon in New York called Seagull, and Kathleen has been working on the Riot Grrrl Archives (now available at the NYU Fales Library) and writing and recording with her new band the Julie Ruin. JD sadly wasn’t present, as she’s currently on tour with MEN.

Nothing I’ve seen since “The Runaways” has made me want to run home and pick up a guitar more, and this feeling was cemented when my friend and I got up to leave and ran smack into Joan Jett, who was apparently just hangin’ out in the audience the whole time. Oh hey.

“Who Took The Bomp?: Le Tigre On Tour” comes out on DVD June 7 on Adam Yauch’s Oscilloscope Laboratories. You should watch this clip of the band performing “Deceptacon.”

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Stef Schwartz is the Music Editor at Autostraddle.com. She's a rock'n'roll jack-of-all-trades, vegan crusader and legit professional weirdo. She lives with her cat Scully in the wilds of Los Angeles, where she writes terrible dance music, drinks quality bourbon and misses New York City. Follow her on twitter.

Stef has written 90 articles for us.

21 Comments

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    Cannot wait to see this. Saw MEN a few weeks ago, and TAMI HART is their new guitarist. Hell yes.

    Also, my hairstylist recently left me in Seattle to go work at Seagull NYC, so while I am a tad bitter, I think that now gives me like 2 degrees of separation from Johanna Fateman. Holla at me Johanna.

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    Good stuff!
    My band at the time got to be the support act for them for most of that year so I got to see them play every night for months. There were a lot of moments where I just thought ‘man, these guys are doing all the right things and making a lot of queer kids feel a zillion times better about their lives’.
    Other times I just snuck into their dressing room and drank their beers.

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    The MoMA screening was amazing. DID YOU GUYS SEE JOAN JETT?! She sat right behind me and I almost died.

    I really loved the part when JD talked about how being in Le Tigre shifted her own identity/changed the way she thought about herself. It was awesome.

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    oh my god. funny story. Le Tigre just came to new orleans and they were staying at a friend of a friend’s house and had a big party after the show. BUT my friend who knows THEIR friends wouldn’t go because this woman who teaches gender studies at my school was there. Apparently gender studies teacher has a thing for my friend and would be pissed if she brought me, a student. I don’t know if anyone understood that but yeah. I really wanted to go.

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    SO my embarassing/adorable babydyke story is that when i went to see le tigre in college in 2004, like three months out of the suburbs and my relash with my high school boyfriend, some friend had some rly qt friend visiting from somewhere else and we like “got along really well” and danced a lot and got drunk and held hands and then i made out with her like a few weeks later and it was the first time i was all like, “holy crap it’s not only me other girls might want to make sexy with me too, this is, like, possible, maybe i can like really be gay or something” #LIFECHANGINGQUEEREXPERIENCES

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    I was a at the MoMA screening! This documentary was fantastic. It had a feel good sense but at the same time noted struggles they faced as a queer feminist band. Warning: the slipknot scene will cause excessive giggling. be prepared. Also, the fact that I knot only got to meet 2/3 of Le Tigre but also Joan Jett was a little too much for me to handle. MoMA essentially was like “Oh hey, Danielle is coming, lets just throw all of her inspirational heroes in the same theater and see if she survives.” Can’t wait to get this on DVD.

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