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Originally conceived as the live backing band for her Julie Ruin solo project, Bikini Kill founder and quintessential riot grrrl Kathleen Hanna formed Le Tigre, another bold, feminist-oriented trio, with filmmaker Sadie Benning and zine creator Johanna Fateman in 1998.
Borrowing a page from Hanna's Julie Ruin output, Le Tigre mixed punk's directness and politics with playful samples, eclectic pop, and lo-fi electronics. The group also added multimedia and performance art elements to their live shows, which often featured support from like-minded acts such as the Need. Le Tigre arrived in late 1999 on Mr. Lady, followed by the From the Desk of Mr. Lady EP in 2001. Benning left the group to pursue her filmmaking career before the recording of Le Tigre's second album, Feminist Sweepstakes, and was replaced by J.D. Samson. Feminist Sweepstakes, which featured a more sophisticated sound and more overtly political lyrics, arrived later in 2001. Remixes followed in summer 2002. The band made a surprising leap to the majors for 2004's This Island, which was distributed through Universal. ~ Heather Phares & MacKenzie Wilson, Rovi