Girl Germs

A Riot Grrrl playlist.

Most of these songs were on a mixtape called Grrrl’s Best Friend that I made for driving around with my girl gang during my junior year of high school. It was 1996. We were a few years too late to be a part of the original Riot Grrrl movement, but it didn’t stop us from making zines, writing “Revolution Grrrl Style Now!” in Sharpie on every available surface, and buying all the grrrl-band CDs and 7-inches we could get our hands on. “Rebel Girl” by Bikini Kill became a battle cry for four teenage girls who were sick of being made fun of for being different or harassed for simply being female. I’m not exaggerating when I say that Riot Grrrl and these songs saved my life.

Illustration by Minna


  • Narnie November 11th, 2011 11:10 PM

    Wonderful mix! Love it all, so glad you’ve mentioned Riot Grrl. An article on the movement would also be amazing :)

  • Snacky Onassis November 11th, 2011 11:14 PM

    This is the soundtrack of my high school experience. I gave the new girl in my english class a mix tape of Huggy Bear, Skinned Teen and Raooul and she is still my best friend a decade and a half later. Riot Grrrl totally changes lives.

  • November 11th, 2011 11:33 PM

    oh man I’m liking the look of this list! good work :-)

  • FashionHauties November 12th, 2011 12:08 AM

    I love this mix. Sort of indie, but its definately do-able.

  • Violetta November 12th, 2011 4:27 AM

    you forgot L7! wow, this mixtape is the almost-perfect soundtrack of my teen age.
    hugs&riot from Italy <3

  • Chimdi November 12th, 2011 11:11 AM

    yeah Heavens to Betsy! :D

  • redruby November 12th, 2011 11:23 AM

    I just got into riot grrl a few months ago, and it seriously did change my life. Not many girls in my highschool identify themselves as feminists because they think it’s like a dirty word, but I do. Bikini Kill is honestly one of THE most badass bands ever, and they have a song for almost any issue a girl has ever been faced with. . . . I have a major girl crush on Kathleen Hanna

  • Bean November 12th, 2011 11:49 AM

    I read the title and knew it had to be a Stephanie post! Haha. I can dig it. Though, even if they aren’t riot grrl and aren’t an all girl band, I say there should always be some Distillers. Oh! Or in the sense of all girl bands: The Runaways! [=

  • Katya November 12th, 2011 1:43 PM

    Loved it

  • Gabby November 12th, 2011 4:20 PM

    So i knew nothing of these bands before now but i will now dedicate free time to slowly building an obsession for them cuz this is one awesome playlist!!

  • LittleRed November 13th, 2011 3:25 AM

    Riot girrl isn’t usually my thing – but I did enjoy this playlist! Thanks xx

  • meggusta November 13th, 2011 12:38 PM

    Best playlist yet, guys.

  • sistergoo November 14th, 2011 1:33 AM

    like in my teenage years again :D :D

  • Sapphi November 15th, 2011 5:08 AM

    THANK YOU – grew up on this stuff….. ah, memories.

  • b.stro November 19th, 2011 2:21 AM

    I so wish I was my age (22) in the early to mid-90′s. I’d be be going to watch Hole, Bikini Kill, Sleater-Kinney, L7, and so many other kickass riot grrrl bands do their thing all the time :)

    Daisy Chainsaw and Bulimia Banquet are also worth checking out.