The Need and Bangs reunite for Pacific Northwest benefit tour

The Need's Rachel Carns with bandmate Radio Sloan in the background in an old school Oly alleyway

It has already been a summer of reunions, but Kaia Wilson doesn’t have the market cornered on dyke rock revival. Avant garde/metal/punk/hardrock scrappers The Need and fellow OlyWa queercore riot grrls Bangs are back in the saddle for a special 3 day benefit in the Seattle, Olympia and Portland this Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. We get the weekend night, at Berbati’s Pan (231 SW Ankeny St), so expect it to be packed.

Comprised of the energetic and wide eyed drummer Rachel Carns, and the more introverted sound producer dude and guitar god Radio Sloan, The Need were always a little out there, even within the lesbian music community. Their first release featured the vocal stylings and frenetic spoken word of independent filmmaker and performance artist Miranda July and Carns kept up the wild vocals and strange lyrics on their two album releases. They also collaborated in Olympia’s masterful summer 2000 rock opera The Transfused about a misfit band of animal people that were enslaved to the human corporate machine.

Power trio Bangs, formed in 1997, was headed by guitarist Sarah Utter and bassist Maggie Vail, sister of the influential Tobi Vail, and talented musician, Kill Rock Stars worker and hipster in her own right. Their straight up pop punk is more exemplary of the late 90s Puget Sound scene and was the meat and potatoes of labels such as KRS.

This reunion was put together by Vail to benefit longtime friend and record label colleague Natalie Cox, who is suffering from a rare form of cancer.

The focus of Vail and Co.’s altruism is former Kill Rock Stars employee Natalie Cox, a prominent figure in the Oly music scene who was diagnosed with angiosarcoma in July of last year. Angiosarcoma is a particularly aggressive and rare form of cancer (approximately 0.1 percent of all cancer cases in the world are angiosarcomas), which usually starts in the blood vessels and then spreads elsewhere.

The proceeds from all 3 shows, which also feature Pacific Northwest favorites C Average and the Thrones go directly to Cox. There are also limited edition silk screened posters to commemorate the event and remind us all that local musicians take care of each other.

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