Today comes the second single off LAND TRUST: Benefit for NEFOC featuring Sonic Youth’s Kin Gordon.
“You’re not welcome. To the gated community,” Gordon speaks as the song begins. “We bought the block. But you gotta have cash.”
Gordon says the song’s lyrics were inspired by what housing activists have called the “financialization” of housing – the trend in recent years of enormous private equity investors buying up a huge share of the entire world’s affordable housing stock in order to trade bulk real estate as a speculative asset in the global financial markets. Investors typically buy up large areas in up and coming neighborhoods, becoming absentee landlords who ignore tenants’ needs while driving up rents and displacing long settled communities.
“I’m a bit obsessed” says Gordon, “with what’s happening with these big financial corporations like Blackrock and Blackstone buying up houses, becoming landlords. They pay far beyond a house’s value, putting home ownership even out of the range of the middle class – much less working class.”
In March of 2020, with Bikini Kill’s anticipated reunion tour canceled, the band’s touring guitarist Erica Dawn Lyle and drum tech Vice Cooler were wondering how to be useful. A long time participant in DIY punk communities, Lyle—also an arts critic, author, filmmaker, organizer, and free improvising experimental guitarist—was quarantined at her home in upstate New York as an early-pandemic spirit of mutual aid amplified throughout the culture.
“People were trying to figure out how to help each other,” Lyle said. “I thought: All the musicians are home right now. It would probably be easy for us to do something quickly—because everybody, everywhere, is trying to find a way to help.”
Cooler, a photographer and video director who is also a producer for acts like Peaches and Ladytron and the drummer of The Raincoats, was locked down in L.A.—conveniently, at his own home-recording studio. “Like everyone, I was extremely confused about how I could use my limited skill set and resources—which mostly exist in the music and video worlds—to help others from this place of isolation,” he remembers.
Lyle reached out to Cooler with the spark of an idea for a digital album to generate funds. The duo soon devised a remote process of recording: Cooler sent Lyle the drum parts, to which Lyle improvised guitar riffs. When they had about a dozen near-complete songs as a guitar-drum duo, they began reaching out to an array of guest vocalists in their extended community to contribute original lyrics and to sing. “Working on these songs everyday with Vice—and the hope that others would work with us—was like an anchor for me during that really difficult era,” Lyle said.
What resulted is not a traditional benefit compilation at all, but rather a uniquely collaborative album of original material. LAND TRUST: Benefit for NEFOC is a staggering survey of contemporary feminist punk spanning generations, including legends from the dawn of punk as well as newly emergent voices. A mix of industrial, art-rock, post-punk, and beyond, it finds germinal punk icons like The Raincoats, Kim Gordon, and Alice Bag alongside younger artists who they’ve inspired over several decades. All profits will benefit the Indigenous-led grassroots organization Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust (NEFOC), which acquires farmland in order to return it to Indigenous nations and to reconnect POC farmers to land stewardship and control.
Across sixteen blazing, high-octane tracks bolstered by Cooler’s expert pop production, the music of LAND TRUST is guided by a spirit of improvisation and ingenuity, an energetic antidote to the era of restless ennui that spawned it. “This is the very, very rare benefit album where no one just sent in some crappy B-side,” said Kathleen Hanna, who features on the record’s first single, “Mirrorball.” “All the songs are fucking great and the performers really put their hearts into it. It’s a testament to Erica and Vice doing a phenomenal job bringing people together.”
That includes the garage-pop daydreaming of acclaimed author and artist Brontez Purnell, the signature spiky poise of D.C.’s Christina Billotte (Slant 6, Casual Dots), and new wave anthems from the likes of Glasgow’s Rachel Aggs (Trash Kit, Shopping), former Priests vocalist-turned-avant pop firebrand Katie Alice Greer, and Control Top’s Ali Carter. Sometimes the record’s cross-generational conversation happens within a single track—like on “Lost in Thought,” the ripper featuring vocals from ascendant teen quartet The Linda Lindas plus bass by Bikini Kill’s Kathi Wilcox, or on “Hearing Myself Again,” where Lyle and Cooler are joined by New York experimental punk trio Palberta in collaboration with Raincoats violinist Anne Wood. Other contributors include Deerhoof’s Satomi Matsuzaki, the Breeders’ Kelley Deal, and Cooler’s neighbor in L.A., Phoebe Bridgers bassist Emily Retsas, who served as a third core member of the recording process. Lyle said, “It became this all-ages show for feminist rockers.”
While Lyle describes the roster of collaborators as a kind of dream team of all-time great players, Cooler points out that the artists invited to participate were also people with whom the duo had standing relationships and affinity. “In a lot of ways this record reflects the family we have each built with each other through a lifetime of art and music making,” Cooler said, underscoring the number of artists involved who he’s known since his teen years, or has built deep artistic collaborations with (like Ah Mer Ah Su and Louisahhh). “We all help each other out and collaborate, even outside of music.” Describing her lifelong musical partnership with Ivy Jeanne, who features alongside Mike Watt on “Never Was,” Lyle adds, “We have been making music and doing activism together since we were kids living in squats.”
LAND TRUST feels like a fitting outgrowth of that paused 2020 Bikini Kill tour. Those shows were themselves inspired testaments to community across time, space, and a common purpose of empowerment through art. Lyle notes Bikini Kill’s origins as the instigator of a widespread movement of grassroots self-organizing among women. “That’s something I really relate to about them. Besides being in punk rock, my background is in political organizing, so I saw this from the start as an organizing project,” she said of the album.
Punk icon Alice Bag, who in 2019 opened the first Bikini Kill show in over two decades, wrote about NEFOC’s ethos on her song “Soul Fire Farm.” “I feel really lucky to have been invited to participate in this benefit record,” Bag said. “I was moved by [NEFOC’s] respect for the land and the ways in which they turn the process of farming into an empowering experience that nourishes both mind and body.” (It was through Soul Fire Farm in Petersburg, N.Y. that Lyle and Cooler were connected with NEFOC.)
Among the surge of mutual aid projects in June 2020, Lyle was particularly inspired by G.L.I.T.S. Inc’s crowdfunded purchase of two buildings as housing for trans people of color in New York City. “I thought, this is permanent, this is really going to last,” Lyle reflected. “People of color, poor people, queers, radicals – we’ve lost so much access to living and cultural space through gentrification and displacement in the time I’ve been involved in subculture and activism. In this ongoing climate of dispossession, NEFOC is trying to return land that was stolen from Indigenous people centuries ago.”
“It’s become so difficult to organize or make change when everybody’s so far flung throughout cities and living so precariously in fear of eviction. But on a farm you have the collective work to produce healthy food, you have meeting and gathering space for visitors from the city to heal and decompress from their work in social movements and the pace of urban life, you have potential employment. And all this without fear of eviction. The ownership of land makes all of these things possible,” Lyle said. “The land that NEFOC acquires for farmers becomes collectively owned. Farms run by African Americans make up less than 2 percent of all of the nation’s farms. NEFOC is working to change that.”
This sense of imagining new horizons manifested in the creation of the music itself—a hopefulness that Lyle ironically feels was uniquely possible inside the very darkness of the beginning of lockdown. “In those early first days of covid, when everyone was responding more in unity to the crisis of pandemic and the ways capitalism was accentuating it, it felt suddenly easy to imagine that you could really just call up all your favorite musicians and ask them to make a record with you and that they would be really glad to help out,” Lyle said. “It felt like, ‘Well, the world’s cracked in half now, so anything is possible.’”
Beloved Los Angeles punk band The Linda Lindas release a video for “Why,” a standout from their critically acclaimed debut album Growing Up, out now via Epitaph Records. The video, directed by Elizabeth Ito and Suzie Vlček, features Kathleen Hanna as the voice of the interviewer and story and character design by the band’s Eloise Wong.”
“The ‘Why’ music video is a tribute to The Decline of Western Civilization, the legendary 1981 documentary about L.A. punk by Penelope Spheeris, and Spirited Away, one of our favorite Miyazaki movies. it is set an an imaginary Save Music in Chinatown show, part of the series of all-ages matinee fund raisers for music education at Eloise’s school, where we played some of our earliest gigs with some of the musicians from Decline––Alice Bag, Phranc, Keith Morris, Chuck Dukowski––who are now our friends. The art was drawn by Eloise, the flyers are real, and no dessert was wasted!”
Los Angeles-based, all-female punk band The Linda Lindas share a video for their new single “Talking To Myself,” from their highly anticipated debut album Growing Up. The black and white Ryan Baxley-directed video is a playful tribute to the classic Twilight Zone episode “Living Doll.”
Of the song, the band’s Lucia de la Garza says “The song is about the spiral you go into when you’re lonely. You start to question yourself and all the decisions you’ve made. I’m always looking back on conversations and going “Oh, I should have said this, I should have said that”. But it’s also about needing other people, not just for reassurance, but because we’ve all learned from the pandemic that you need other people to talk to in order to stay sane.”
Apr 1 – Los Angeles, CA – The Wiltern # – SOLD OUT
Apr 2 – Los Angeles, CA – The Wiltern # – SOLD OUT
Apr 3 – Los Angeles, CA – The Wiltern #
Apr 10 – Los Angeles, CA – The Troubadour – SOLD OUT
Apr 27 – New York, NY – Irving Plaza # – SOLD OUT
Apr 28 – New York, NY – Irving Plaza # – SOLD OUT
Apr 29 – New York, NY – Irving Plaza # – SOLD OUT
Apr 30 – New York, NY – Irving Plaza # – SOLD OUT
May 1 – New York, NY – Mercury Lounge – SOLD OUT
July 2 – Oakland, CA – Mosswood Meltdown
Aug 20 – Tokyo, JP – Summer Sonic
Aug 21 – Osaka, JP – Summer Sonic
Oct 22 & 29 – Las Vegas, NV – When We Were Young Festival
Los Angeles-based, all-female punk band The Linda Lindas have announced their forthcoming album Growing Up. The highly anticipated release is due out digitally on April 8 and on physical formats June 3 via Epitaph Records. Today, the band shares the title track “Growing Up,” written by vocalist/guitarist Lucia. Alongside the track, they release the music video directed by Humberto Leon, co-founder of fashion brand Opening Ceremony and owner of Los Angeles restaurant CHIFA. The video, completely shot on iPhone 13 Pro Max, features custom clothing from Rodarte & Batsheva, and eyewear from Warby Parker.
Humberto Leon on directing “Growing Up”:
“Directing my first video for The Linda Lindas was a dream come true because I love the message and voice the girls have, and I am a true fan. I was really inspired by the girl’s love of cats and wanted to take that to the next level and so the video is a conversation about turning points in their lives all being viewed through the gaze of their cats. It creates a narrative of whether the cats want to trade places with the girls or vice-a-versa.This video was extra special because I worked with the girls on designing the outfits with Batsheva, styling the looks with Rodarte and Warby Parker. The entire video was a collaboration between me and the girls. By shooting the video on iPhone 13 Pro Max, it created an intimacy with the video that felt like we were listening in on a day in the life of The Linda Lindas.”
Tomorrow night, The Linda Linda’s will perform on The Late Show With James Corden.
*w/ The Beths
Feb 11 – Pioneertown, CA – Pappy & Harriet’s *
Apr 1 – Los Angeles, CA – The Wiltern #
Apr 2 – Los Angeles, CA – The Wiltern #
Apr 3 – Los Angeles, CA – The Wiltern #
Apr 27 – New York, NY – Irving Plaza #
Apr 28 – New York, NY – Irving Plaza #
Apr 29 – New York, NY – Irving Plaza #
Apr 3 – New York, NY – Irving Plaza #
Oct 22-23 – Las Vegas, NV – When We Were Young Festival
Best of 2021 – Last year we missed doing our annual “Best Of.” This year we present it after a year of quarantine albums galore. Tours didn’t start until May but new music was flowing from the start of 2021. 2022 is already aiming to be a busy year. Here are our choices for the Best of 2021.
We’ve evolved from Phoebe Bridgers, Megan Thee Stallion and others of last year to a new crop of artists.
Best Label – Fire Talk Records – Home to Bnny, Mamalarky, Packs and more this boutique label is setting up to be the next Saddle Creek Records.
Secretly Group @secretlygroup, Saddle Creek Records @saddlecreek, Fire Talk Records @firetalkrecs, Don Giovanni Records @DonGiovanniRecs
Nest New Artist – “New” is always relative. Georgia Maq has been part of Camp Cope, and Isabella Manfredi was part of The Preatures. Our winner is Ashe who album Ashlyn was hard to put down this year.
Georgia Maq @goldsoundz_, Allison Russell @allisonrussellmusic, S.G. Goodman @s.g.goodman, Ashe @ashemusic, Jillette Johnson @jillettejohnson, Hawxx @hawxxmusic, Noa Kirel @noakirel, Kill Birds @killbirdsmusic, Killboy @killboy , Sloppy Jane @sloppyjanebandd , Ydegirl @ydegirl, The Linda Lindas @the_linda_lindas, Allison Ponthier @allisonponthier, Isabella Manfredi @isabellamanfredi, Pom Pom Squad @pompomsquad
Best Local (Colorado) Artist – Local artists can often be touring or even national acts. This category was very competitive with the amount of quarantine albums that came out. Our winner is Companion who mesmerized us in the Spring. They will quickly become a national act.
Best Dance – Dance is also electronic and electro pop. Magdalena Bay & Sofi Tukker are the 800 lb gorillas in this category. Kito is our winner for surprising collaborations.
Magdalena Bay @magdalenabay, Sofi Tukker @sofitukker, Kito @kito
Best Pop – Pop like Indie is often open to interpretation. It is often what dominates at venues. Our winner is Charlotte Cardin whose Phoenix album was one of the best albums this year.
Hana Vu @hanavuuu, Lucy Dacus @lucydacus, Japanese Breakfast @jbrekkie, Baby Queen @queenofthebabies, Charlotte Cardin @charlottecardin, Jess Chalker @jess_chalker_, May-A @mayacumming, Ashe @ashemusic, Girl In Red @girlinred, Angèle @angele_vl, Sloppy Jane @sloppyjanebandd, Nadia Vaeh @nadiavaeh, Olivia Rox @oliviarox, Number One Popstar @numberonepopstar, Bahari @bahari, Noga Erez @nogaerez, Lola Lennox @lolalennex
Best Rock – Rock is often the guitar driven beat that keeps you going. Kill Birds, who have been touring with Foo Fighters are our winner.
Royal and the Serpent @royalandtheserpent, Amyl and the Sniffers @amylandthesniffers, Mattiel @mattielworldwide , Upsahl @upsahlmusicl, Self Esteem @selfesteemselfesteem, Kill Birds @killbirdsmusic, Nadia Sheikh @nadiasheikhmusic, Red Hook @weareredhook, Pom Pom Squad @pompomsquad
Best Indie – Indie always means both a sound but also a level of development. These are the artists at the small venues touring to survive. We have a diverse selection this year. Bnny is our winner.
Best Experimental – There is always a “flinch” moment when you saw experimental. It involves a great deal of risk as personified by our winner Fifi Rong who is working on her dual album set with one album all in English, and one all in Chinese. She is crowdfunding now.
Insect Ark @insectark, Fifi Rong @fifirong, Sasami @sasamiashworth, Irreversible Entanglements @irreversibleentanglements, Haru Nemuri @haru_nemuri
Best Hip Hop – This is the first year that FEMMUSIC has this category. There may be some arguments as to whether all these artists fit it. Coi Leray is the best newcomer in this area. Ray BLK is our winner.
Bia @bia, Tones and I @tonesandi, Doja Cat @dojacat, Sza @sza, Cardi B @iamcardib, Megan Thee Stallion @theestallion, Coi Leray @coileray, Ms Banks @msbanks, Ray BLK @rayblk, Remi Wolf @remiwolf, Tinashe @tinashenow
Best Jazz – We will admit to not hearing as much jazz this year. Laufey is the winner with original interpretations of classics.
Laufey @laufey, Nnenna Freelon @officialnnenna
Best Country – Brandi Carlile is a favorite in this category and will take home more GRAMMYs. Allison Russell wins for being new and original.
Brandi Carlile @brandicarlile, Allison Russell @allisonrussellmusic, Yola @iamyolaofficial, CMAT @cmatbaby, Jackson & Sellers @jacksonsellersmusic, Ingrid Andress @ingridandress
Best Heavy Metal – Infected Rain is a former winner in this category. Jinjer, Halestorm & The Pretty Reckless dominate. The Velveteers are this year’s winner.
Hawxx @hawxxmusic, Edge of Paradise @edgeofparadise, Jinjer @jinjer_official, The Velveteers @thevelveteers, Infected Rain @infectedrain_official, The Pretty Reckless @theprettyreckless, Halestorm @halestormrocks
Best R & B – This category includes powerhouses like Arlo Parks and Dawn Richard. Alewya is our winner for new and original music this year.
Muni Long @munilong, India Shawn @indiashawn, Dawn Richard @dawnrichard, Alewya @alewya11, Arlo Parks @arloparks, Tkay Maidza @tkaymaidza, Danielia Cotton @danieliacotton, Saleka @saleka
Best Surprise – A “surprise” for us is that unexpected performance when it was not expected. It includes some risky performances such as LVXURI and Big Klit. S.G. Goodman is our hands down winner. We caught her as an opener and she garnered as much reaction as the headliner. She is a blunt, and emotive songwriter.
S.G. Goodman @s.g.goodman, Kiesza @kiesza, LVXURI @mx_lvxuri, Big Klit @klitoriusmaximus
Best Comeback – This has been a surprisingly competitive category. Whether it’s the return of ABBA after a long time to Adele’s new album. The big surprise this month is Taylor Swift taking the world with the longest song. She is our winner.
Kylie Minogue @kylieminogue, Avril Lavigne @avrillavigne, Deborah Gibson @debbiegibson, Liz Phair @LizPhairOfficial, Taylor Swift @taylorswift , ABBA @ABBA, Adele @adele, Lorde @lorde
Los Angeles-based, all-female punk band The Linda Lindas have released their highly anticipated new single “Oh!” “’Oh!’ is one of the first songs we collaborated on during the pandemic, masked and distanced on the front porch,” recalls the band. “It started with the main riff and progression Bela brought to the band. Eloise wrote the verses and Lucia and Mila wrote the choruses. The song deals with trying to help out someone and having it blow up in your face.”