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Mike Watt + The Black Gang cover Bikini Kill

Posted by Loren on January 23, 2021

Mike Watt + The Black Gang cover Bikini Kill
Mike Watt + The Black Gang cover Bikini Kill

2021 is a lot of things already. It's also the 30th anniversary of Kill Rock Stars and one way that the label is celebrating is to release a subscription-based series where contemporary artists cover classics songs released by the Olympia, WA/Portland, OR label. The series kicked off with Mary Lou Lord and Mikaela Davis covering Elliott Smith.

Now the label shares Mike Watt + The Black Gang playing "Rebel Girl," originally released by Bikini Kill.

This rendition is a live recording from an Oct. 16, 1998 set at The Knitting Factory in New York, NY

We can reminisce and chat about classics all day, but why not go straight to the source? According to Mike Watt:

Me and K have a two bass-only band called Dos and we opened up for Bikini Kill once and that's where I first witnessed this tune "Rebel Girl" getting played. I just knew it was their song, the same way I first saw Superchunk do "Slack Motherfucker" and 'pert-near just like that time, immediately I wanted to do my own version of it. Lots of times I've dug songs from people I've witnessed for the first time but this went further with me: I wanted my way trying to feel like them, doing it. I know, kind of insane but that's what I've found about where music can take you... I love the phrasing so much with words you can really put your heart into full-on and also the big time econo main lick... ECONO! This live version here I got to do with The Black Gang (Nels Cline and Bob Lee) was during an encore and I was tuckered big time but still the tune itself helped me bring it - a great tune is like that. Soundman Steve Reed is singing along with us at the soundboard, I love it. This is the kind of tune I wish I could've played for D Boon even though I don't think I got all the words right. Nels Cline and Bob Lee kicked up much dust, a great tribute to a fucking righteous tune. Thank you Kill Rock Stars for letting folks hear.

Interested parties can subscribe here.

Mike Watt + The Black Gang cover Bikini Kill
Mike Watt + The Black Gang cover Bikini Kill

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