The Kitchen Presents The Raincoats & Friends This November
Feminist punk icons The Raincoats' Gina Birch and Ana da Silva return on November 4 to host this added evening with friends in an exclusive benefit for The Kitchen. Palmolive, Anne Wood, Vice Cooler, Jenn Pelly (author of The Raincoats' The Raincoats), and special guests will be gathering onstage with performances, video tributes, viewings of Ana and Gina's student films, and much more. The evening includes an open bar and an opportunity for books, editions, and records to be signed by members of The Raincoats. Writer Rob Sheffield, of Rolling Stone, will also speak as part of this celebration. As The Raincoats return to The Kitchen after more than thirty-five years, Ana da Silva and Gina Birch are creating benefit edition posters, proceeds from which will support artists whose groundbreaking, genre-defying work appears at The Kitchen throughout the year.
Earlier in the week, on November 2 & 3, The Raincoats will celebrate the release of Jenn Pelly's The Raincoats' The Raincoats, the first book-length writing about the revolutionary band, focusing on their eponymous debut album. In this publication from 33 1/3 Press, Pelly builds on rare archival materials and extensive interviews with members of The Raincoats, along with Sleater-Kinney, Bikini Kill, Hole, Scritti Politti, Gang of Four, and others. At The Kitchen, founding members Gina Birch and Ana da Silva will join Pelly to tell the story of their audacious debut album, which Kurt Cobain once called "wonderfully classic scripture," and more.
In 1979, from the basement of a London squat, the Raincoats reinvented what punk could be. They had a violin player. They came from Portugal, Spain, and England. Their anarchy was poetic. Working with the iconic Rough Trade Records at its radical beginnings, they were the first group of punk women to actively call themselves feminists, paving the way, a decade down the line, for the riot grrrl movement. The Raincoats traveled to The Kitchen in 1982, performing an evening of music that John Rockwell of the New York Times described as "a contradictory confusion of feminism/glamour/folk/sex/rock." This concert was recorded live and later released as The Kitchen Tapes.
"The Raincoats were a total manifestation of punk's most sacred promise: this can be yours," writes Jenn Pelly in The Raincoats' The Raincoats. "Even if it hurts to hold down the strings. Even if you have no idea what the strings are called."
The Raincoats & Friends will take place November 4 at 8pm. Tickets are $50, and $65 for a ticket with a benefit-edition poster; they can be purchased online at www.thekitchen.org; by phone at 212.255.5793 x11; or in person at The Kitchen (512 West 19th Street), Tuesdays - Saturdays, 2:00 - 6:00 P.M.
Photo by Rocco, courtesy of The Raincoats.