We’re of two minds when it comes to putting punk music onto streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music, et al. On the one hand, those streaming services are owned by insanely wealthy, male-dominated tech companies that are basically the antithesis of everything that punk—and specifically the riot grrrl movement of the early-to-mid ‘90s—stands for. On the other, streaming has the potential to be a great democratizing force, allowing broke young people access to vast musical libraries that they could never afford to assemble piecemeal.
Bikini Kill, arguably the highest-profile of the loose coalition of bands that made up riot grrrl, has long been skeptical of streaming services, specifically the minuscule royalties they’ve been able to get away with paying artists. As a result, their music hasn’t been available to stream. That changed today, with a tweet from the band:
In an interview with Tidal about the move, singer Kathleen Hanna says, “You just want to have more people know about your work and get to hear the music however they get it ... I just don’t think it’s right that everybody can’t have access to it.” She adds that she hopes listening to songs like “Rebel Girl,” “Don’t Need You,” and “New Radio” is a “gateway drug to feminism.” She adds, “I hope they listen to the music and have feelings that they’ve already felt reinforced,” and that she’s proud of the new, more intersectional wave of feminists coming up today, even though “capitalism really fucks everything up.”