NEWS ROUNDUP: Bikini Kill Reunion, Toto Forever, and MORE

photo by Tammy Rae Carland

Bikini Kill Sells Out Reunion Shows in Minutes

Girls to the front! Earlier this week, Bikini Kill’s original members – Kathleen Hanna, Tobi Vail, and Kathi Wilcox – announced three reunion shows: 4/25 at the Hollywood Palladium; 5/31 at Brooklyn Steel; and 6/1 at Terminal 5. The band has been officially broken up since 1997 (they played “For Tammy Rae” at a book release party for Jenn Pelly’s 33 1/3 Raincoats tribute in 2017) though Wilcox and Hanna still play together as 2/4ths of The Julie Ruin. Bikini Kill have been steadily releasing vinyl reissues of their back catalog via their own eponymous imprint, as well as archiving materials – zines, flyers, demos, artwork, merch, personal photos – from the dawn of riot grrl, a movement they basically invented. But the “tour” announcement was definitely a pleasant surprise.

The punk band drew criticism, however, because tickets were only available through AES’s ticketing platform AXS, which of course left some fans out in the cold, even as scalpers began posting tickets via secondary markets in excess of $900 (face value was just under $50 with service fees). The band immediately announced a second L.A. show for April 26th; it sold out just as quickly. It’s certainly possible that more shows could be announced (particularly in New York, Hanna’s homebase) but it’s always a bummer to have to hit refresh dozens of times to no avail. At least there are plenty of YouTube clips from Bikini Kill’s heyday.

Toto Forever

When Toto penned their only number one hit, “Africa,” released in 1981, they probably didn’t think about the tune’s longevity. Sure, it’s catchy, but no one could’ve predicted its late-exploding popularity as the lyrics made their way into countless memes and TV shows like Stranger Things and South Park boosted recognition. Now, thanks to Namibian-German artist Max Siedentopf, “Africa” is never going to go away – because he’s erected an installation in the Namib desert, in which six solar-powered speakers play an MP3 of the song on a constant loop.

Siedentopf told NPR that the installation was “supposed to be a bit like a treasure that only the most loyal of Toto fans can find.” Indeed, it could be anywhere along the West Coast of Namibia, as the desert stretches some 1200 miles along the coast. Being a desert, the area is “nearly rainless,” and its name is derived from the Nama language, implying “an area where there is nothing.” And while it isn’t one of the two specific African landmarks mentioned in the song (Kilimanjaro/the Serengeti), maybe the installation will finally put Namibia on the map for Toto devotees.

That New New

Panda Bear teamed up with Dean Blunt to create the video for “Token,” from PB’s upcoming LP Buoys (out February 8 via Domino).

James Blake dropped a new album with very little fanfare; stream Assume Form below.

Weyes Blood hasn’t officially given any details on her forthcoming record, but she’s shared its first single, “Andromeda,” which was produced by Foxygen’s Jonathan Rado.

HEALTH is slated to release VOL. 4: SLAVES OF FEAR via Loma Vista Recordings on February 8 and have shared its blistering second single.


Dawn Richard (aka D∆WN) shared “sauce” from her forthcoming LP new breed, which is currently streaming over at NPR ahead of its January 25th release.

Experimental found-sounds duo Matmos celebrate the upcoming release of Plastic Anniversary (and 25 years as a band) with first single “Silicone Gel Implant;” they debuted some of their latest compositions at a Yo La Tengo Hannukah show this past December.

Swedish punks Makthaverskan are putting out a new 7″ and have shared its A-side, “Demands.”

SPELLLING shared “Under the Sun,” from forthcoming Sacred Bones LP Mazy Fly (out February 22).

Following a few sold-out reunion shows, San Jose art rockers Duster are back in the studio and have released their first single since 2000 album Contemporary Movement.

Xiu Xiu shared a disturbing video sequel to the equally disturbing “Scisssssssors;” both singles appear on Girl With Basket of Fruit, out February 8th.

Cardi B teams up with City Girls in a video for “Twerk,” which seeks to reclaim the booty-shaking dance move for black women everywhere.

Along with additional details about their upcoming collaborative album Lux Prima, Karen O and Danger Mouse shared the LP’s next single, “Woman.”

Lastly, we can’t get enough of this Leggy track from their upcoming LP and are super pumped about their January 23rd show at Baby’s All Right with Daddy Issues and Desert Sharks.

End Notes

  • Lana Del Rey, Jared Leto, and Courtney Love starred in a Gucci commercial released this week, soundtracked by Link Wray.
  • Cardi B posted an expletive-laden political rant via Instagram on Wednesday, criticizing the government shutdown. It’s already been remixed by the Autotune the News dudes. Belcalis Almanzar 4 Prez in 2o20!
  • Panorama Music Festival is going on hiatus as parent company AEG looks to secure a new location.
  • Sony has finally dropped R. Kelly in light of the disturbing allegations of his behavior toward women. Scrutiny has intensified for the artist since Lifetime aired their much-discussed Surviving R. Kelly documentary earlier this month.
  • Matt Daniels has updated his chart mapping the largest vocabulary in hip-hop, with Aesop Rock topping the list. You can toggle it so that it shows only members of Wu-Tang Clan, who clocks in at #5 (the GZA’s solo work is ranked one spot above, at #4).
  • Speaking of the Wu, there’s a documentary coming to Showtime in the spring that features the iconic NYC rap crew.
  • Bandcamp is opening a brick-and-mortar outpost in Oakland in February.
  • Gladys Knight has agreed to perform the National Anthem at Super Bowl LIII on February 3rd. The soul singer made some controversial statements about Colin Kaepernick, the quarterback whose police brutality kneeling protests left him a free agent. The halftime show will be headlined by Maroon 5, with special guests Big Boi and Travis Scott.

PREVIEW: Our Favorite Electronic DJs Playing at Panorama

So we lost Cardi B, who got replaced by Lil Wayne, due to her pregnancy, but Panorama Festival is still packed with some amazing women in music. Janet Jackson, who is making a long awaited come back, Sza, who has had an amazing year since her release of album Ctrl, and indie star favorite St. Vincent, will all be performing at this year’s Panorama festival in NYC on Randall’s Island. Surprisingly, the musical arena in which women are really thriving, is electronic. Here are some of our favorite ladies bringing you tunes from house hits, to avant garde ambient, keeping the dance floors of Panorama Festival alive with some female frequencies.


From playing music for her friends over bowls of curry to getting booked at Coachella in just under a year Yaeji is killing it in the world of “underground” club music. When Yaeji first moved to New York after college her focus was on painting and graphic design, but she found herself in the club and music scene of the New York underground. Yaeji quickly found that the best way to be a part of this world was, of course, to add to the musical soundscape.

At first glance Yaeji’s music is light and fun, bouncing with an addictive bass. However, on further inspection her music is the open expression of an exposed artist expressing her personal path through anxiety, and finding her own identity as a Korean-American.



DJ, producer, radio show host, affiliated with the badass girl squad DISCWOMAN, and scoring a fashion film for her friends at clothing brand Chromat, DJ Bearcat has her hands in every musical facet the industry will present to her.

The Fader described Bearcat’s music as “not just mind-body-soul medicine, but the best pep talk money can’t buy.” DJ Bearcat became known for her political mixes which featured sound clips from women speaking to gender and racial violence, layered over her produced music. “Charged Up – Sandy Speaks” mix is one of her most well known renditions of political activism in her electronic music.



Jlin has an obvious love affair with sound. Her tracks are composed of all original material which she conjures in her small hometown of Gary, Indiana. Genre defying, Jlin has devoted her life to her music, and is reaping the rewards of her dedication. In 2017 Jlin’s 2nd album Black Origami made it onto Rolling Stone’s 20 best EDM and electronic albums of the year. Known for her abstract sounds that revolve around silence and noise, Jlin was originally inspired by the sounds of Chicago’s electronic style known as footwork.

Jlin is bringing her own unique perspective to footwork. Her songs are a melding pot that have been called avante garde as an attempt to describe her random, yet methodic approach to music production. She’s got a glitchy style that makes you think she’s stalling you out on the dancefloor, until she let’s the bass line sink into your feet.


Laurel Halo

American electronic artists based in Berlin, Germany – where all good electronic artists seem to be stemming from these days – has been producing music since 2006. Laurel Halo is known for her much more abstract style in the electronic music realm. Releasing her latest album last June for label Hyperdub. She’s had a packed year traveling and touring constantly across Europe. Halo will be returning to her home soil for Panorama festival.

Described in an interview with Pitchfork as “abstract patterns, orbiting loosely like weightless space debris”, her minimalist approach to electronic music brings the most minute sounds into the forefront. No sound is left behind in her latest musical album Dust, released last year to critical acclaim. Layering her own distant voice of vacancy to add an element of humanoid behavior to the far off electronics of her music.