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February 20, 2012 4:50 pm

Rock and Roll Feminism Straight Out of Brooklyn

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Amy Klein performing with her group "Permanent Wave" in Brooklyn. Photo: Amanda Farah via Flickr.

Tablet – The brainchild of former Titus Andronicus guitarist Amy Klein, Permanent Wave is three things in one: a “combination between activism, a show-booking entity, and a production company,” says Sophie Weiner, who’s involved in all three. A feminist rock collective, or call it what you want; its bands are not the kinds of acts that you are likely to see at the Grammys anytime soon.

Here’s what a Permanent Wave-sponsored show looks like in practice: A loud electro thump crashes into the graffitied warehouse walls of 285 Kent, a club in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Staccato guitars and unstoppable drums loop around each other as J.D. Samson becomes one with the crowd. “Who am I to feel so free?” she hollers into a sea of waving arms. “Who am I?” Every audience member seems to take the question personally, throwing it back not only at Samson, but at an unseen force of oppression that seems to exist in the air right above them. It’s sarcastic, but deadly serious: “WHO. AM I. TO. FEEL SO FREE.”

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