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.

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A Third Sex reunion show with The Haggard and Kaia Wilson

The Third Sex from their 7" "Mombies" cover

Anyone who is roughly my age and experienced Portland at the height of its dyke rock 90s knows the The Third Sex. Indeed my newly out 14 year old self swooned over the dreamy screamy vocals of Trish Walsh and Peyton Marshall.

For most of the length of their pop punk career I snapped photos, carried around around one of their 2 CDs in my Discman, and, eventually, played a show with them. Commemorated by their track “Maul 10.09.97″ on Back to Go, a final show at a tiny club on 14th and Alberta, back then not the gentrified arts magnet it is now, was one of the most emblematic, not to mention punk rock, Third Sex memories. And this tiny club, with leaking ceiling and cramped stage felt like the beginning of the end of an era.

Sunday night, that era will live again at Rotture (315 SE 3rd Ave).

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