Music Monday: The Linda Lindas – Punk Is Alive and Well in the U.S.

The Linda Lindas, a young, half-Asian, half-Latinx group comprised of two sisters (Lucia,14 and Mila,10), their cousin (Eloise,13), and close friend (Bela,16), recently performed their song “Racist, Sexist Boy” at the Los Angeles Public Library. The song went viral, collecting nearly 4 million views on Twitter.

The clip opens with Mila introducing the song, which she says was inspired by an encounter she had with a boy at school who told her his dad had said to stay away from Chinese people.

“After I told him that I was Chinese, he backed away from me,” the fifth-grader says. “Eloise and I wrote this song based on that experience.”

Eloise, who sings and plays the bass, then delivers the lyrics, “Racist, sexist boy, you are a racist, sexist boy,” with piercing intensity.

The girls first played together in 2018 as part of Kristin Kontrol’s pickup band at a Girlschool festival in Los Angeles. Later that year, Bela asked Mila, Eloise, and Lucia to play with her for a gig at the Hi Hat in Highland Park and they’ve been together ever since. They eventually came up with their band name after watching Linda Linda Linda, a 2005 Japanese film about a group of teen girls who perform songs by the Blue Hearts at a school show. The film’s name is based on the Japanese punk rock band’s song “Linda Linda.”

Singing about social issues is not new for the Linda Lindas; ahead of the 2020 presidential election, the girls released a single titled “Vote!” to encourage people to cast their ballots.

It seems as if the girls have grown up in households that valued the arts.

Eloise’s dad is Martin Wong, co-founder of the culture magazine Giant Robot.] Since Chinatown has this history of punk shows, her parents put on shows to raise money for my elementary school music program.

Lucia and Mila’s dad works in the music industry. Lucia has played classical piano since she was in preschool, but was always in awe of the guitars, drums, and keyboards that their dad had.

Bela’s parents aren’t musicians, they’re more visual artist types. She just decided she wanted to play guitar and was the only one who knew how to play her instrument going into the band.

“The goal of the song is to make it so that this world can become better,” Lucia said. “It’s sharing a real-life experience that happened and it’s trying to educate people and not undermine them because of their intelligence.”

Mila and Eloise wrote Racist, Sexist boy over Zoom in five hours.

I’ve got to find a better way to spend my time on Zoom than just talking about debits and credits…

sources:

Buzzfeed News

Pitchfork

32 thoughts on “Music Monday: The Linda Lindas – Punk Is Alive and Well in the U.S.

  1. It may take a bit more practice playing and songwriting before I would be willing to call the musicians, but they are lively and socially conscious performers with the right kind of drive. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’m ot a fan of punk music either, but I just love their commitment to wanting to get their messageout there. I’m just curious if they will still be at this five years from now…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree there was commitment, but I very much doubt they’ll last five months, let alone five years. Don’t libraries have a requirement for quiet over there? That wouldn’t have been allowed here!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I thought the same thing; that’s what I liked so much – their passion. While I am not a fan of punk rock, this does sound like music I’ve heard from established punk bands…

      Like

  2. It’s so sad that this is how I now learn about breaking bands. Back in the day, I heard them on the DC alternative radio station WHFS of in music bars between sets. I love that song, and I love it even more because it’s delivered by a group of clean-cut kids wearing Bikini Kill t-shirts.

    Like

    1. I am impressed that you have heard of Bikini Kill, a band I have never heard of. The article I read mentions that they have opened for Bikini Kill and also covered two of their songs…

      Like

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