Riot Grrrrls Week continues – although Babes In Toyland would take big umbrage to that – since they have been more closely associated with the Grunge movement than with Riot Grrrls – but . . .they have been a huge inspiration to the movement. So . . .
From their well-researched Wikipedia Page:
Babes in Toyland formed in 1987, after frontwoman Kat Bjelland met drummer Lori Barbero at a friend’s barbecue. Originally from Woodburn, Oregon and a former resident of San Francisco, Bjelland had moved to Minneapolis to form a band. Over the following months, Bjelland convinced Barbero to play drums and formed Babes in Toyland in winter 1987. In its initial formation in 1987, in addition to Bjelland and Barbero, the band included Kris Holetz on bass and singer Cindy Russell. Following the departures of Holetz and Russell, it was believed that the band briefly recruited Bjelland’s friend – and former bandmate of the band Pagan Babies – Courtney Love on bass. However, during a March 2015 interview with Andrea Swensson from The Current, the members of Babes In Toyland confirmed that Love was never in the band, with Barbero stating “She lived in my house, and one time I think when we were rehearsing she came down and probably picked up something and tried to play and we were just like, “get out of here.”
Michelle Leon was recruited as bassist.It has been noted that several songs from the Babes In Toyland’s debut album shared lyrics and verses with several songs by Hole, most notably Hole’s first several singles, including b-sides from “Retard Girl” and “Dicknail”. It is thought that Courtney Love and Bjelland had collaborated on songs in their previous bands, but in actuality, Bjelland was the sole writer of the lyrics as confirmed by close friends of Bjelland and Love who knew the two at the time.
The band achieved their initial notoriety through Bjelland’s “babydoll” image — sometimes referred to as the kinderwhore look — which contrasted dramatically with the raw power of her singing voice and her aggressive lyrics. After a number of live shows in 1988, the band released their first single, “Dust Cake Boy“, through Sub Pop records’ singles club in 1989. As the single reached significant underground success, Babes in Toyland entered the studio in 1989 to record their debut album. Originally titled Swamp Pussy, Spanking Machine was recorded with grunge producer Jack Endino at Seattle’s Reciprocal Recording and released in April 1990 on Minneapolis’ Twin/Tone Records.
Bjelland performing with Babes in Toyland in Paris, France on tour with Sonic Youth, 1991
Other bands interested in the underground music scene — most notably Sonic Youth — were fans of the album, so much so that Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore invited the band to perform on Sonic Youth’s 1990 European tour to promote their latest album, Goo. The band also performed alongside Sonic Youth at 1991’s Reading Festival, which was documented by Dave Markey’s music documentary, 1991: The Year Punk Broke.
British DJ John Peel was also a fan of the album, citing it as his “favourite album of 1990.” During the band’s tour with Sonic Youth in 1990, Babes in Toyland recorded a radio session for John Peel, one of the many Peel Sessions. The band also did a second session with Peel in 1991, and the sessions were released as The Peel Sessions — the band’s second EP — in 1992. The band’s first EP, To Mother, was composed of outtakes from Spanking Machine and was released in 1990 and received critical acclaim entering the independent charts and staying there for a thirteen weeks, ten of which the EP held the number one spot.
This gig comes around the release of their third album, Nemesisters, which was issued in May of 1995 – and was part of the promotion tour, which included a legendary (and somewhat notorious) appearance at Roskilde in Denmark.
Crank it up – and enjoy, or at least get some angst out. Screaming at the top of your lungs is good for you. I whole-heartedly recommend it. Been doing it a lot lately . . . .