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Music to Fight Evil
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This long-lost end-of-the-century dance track is nothing less than a reading list of feminist and LGBT cultural and counter-cultural icons. A chorus of female voices chants noteworthy names to a hypnotic beat and the message to those who were still living at that time was clear and unequivocal: "Don't you stop / I can't live if you stop".

A lot of them you may not recognise, so here's a quick tour with some links for you to follow as an entry point to discover some of these interesting and diverse artists, musicians, writers, activists and thinkers.

Dorothy Allison – Award-winning American writer whose works explore themes of lesbianism, feminism and sexual abuse.

Eleanor Antin – Performance artist, film-maker and feminist most famous for assuming the persona of tragic African-American ballerina Eleanora Antinova.

James Baldwin – Author of Giovanni’s Room (1956), recognised as a classic of gay literature

Justin Bond – Transgender artist, actor and cabaret performer.

The Butchies – Lesbian indie band and label-mates of Le Tigre.

Tammy Rae Carland – Photographer and fanzine publisher turned professor, Tammy Rae Carland co-founded Le Tigre's record label, Mr Lady.

Cibo Matto - Japanese girl group best known for the single Sugar Water (1996) and its video, directed by Michel Gondry.

Laura Cottingham - Visual artist and critic; author of the How many 'bad' feminists does it take to change a lightbulb?

Angela Davis - Political activist and author of Women, Race and Class (1981); instrumental in the rise of the US Civil Rights movement and also the revolutionary Black Panther Party.

Vaginal Crème Davis - Legendary New York "terrorist drag" art-punk performer and founder of rock band Black Fag.

Vivienne Dick - Irish feminist and gender politics filmmaker who helped define the No Wave experimental film movement with short films Guerillere Talks and She Had Her Gun All Ready.

Hazel Dickens - Bluegrass singer-songwriter and advocate for workers' rights.

Diane Dimassa - Cartoonist and creator of Hothead Paisan: Homicidal Lesbian Terrorist.

Julie Doucet - Cartoonist and author of the candid and intimate comic series My New York Diary.

Cecilia Dougherty - Film artist whose work explores themes of identity and lesbianism in popular culture.

Hanin Elias - Syrian German industrial/techno artist and erstwhile member of Berlin anti-Fascist digital hardcore band Atari Teenage Riot.

VALIE EXPORT - Austrian video and performance artist known for the provocative series Action Pants: Genital Panic in which EXPORT photographed herself wearing crotchless trousers and holding a machine-gun.

Leslie Feinberg - Butch lesbian and transgender activist who attempted to popularise the neutral pronouns she/zie and her/hir and whose last wordsw were reportedly "Remember me as a revolutionary communist".

Aretha Franklin - Soul and gospel singing superstar most famous for the hits Respect and Think.

Alice Gerard - Peace activist who has worked to expose the institutionalised mistreatment of cadets in the US military.

Tami Hart - Queer singer /songwriter and Mr Lady labelmate of Le Tigre.

Bridget Irish - Queer performance artist from Olympia, Washington, USA, whose work breaks down the boundary between artist and audience.

Joan Jett - Eighties rock and pop star and founder member of girl band The Runaways.

Billie Jean King - Influential spokesperson for gender equality following a hugely successful tennis career in which she won a record 20 titles at Wimbledon.

Yayoi Kusama - Contemporary Japanese artist, the "princess of polka dots", creator of Infinity Rooms combining mirrors and LED lights that create a sense of endless space.

DJ Kuttin Kandi - Founder of the Anomolies hip-hop collective of female DJs and MCs.

Juliana Lueking - Musician and spoken word artist, more recently known for the Youtube series People Are a Trip.

Mr. Lady - Lesbian-feminist record label which released Hot Topic.

Shirley Muldowney - US racing driver and self-styled First Lady of Drag Racing.

     Hot Topic Redux by Canadian artist Kirsten McCrea (click image to visit her website)

    Hot Topic Redux by Canadian artist Kirsten McCrea (click image to visit her website)

Eileen Myles - Transgender poet and writer.

The Need - American queercore band from Portland, Oregon, whose debut album was released by Quercore label Chainsaw Records.

Lorraine O'Grady - Award-winning New York video and performance artist and feminist writer whose 1992 work on black female identity, Olympia's Maid, was highly influential.

Yoko Ono - Provocative Japanese conceptual artist best known for Cut Piece, in which audience members were invited to cut off pieces of her clothing, and of course for her "bed-ins for peace" with her husband John Lennon.

Cathy Opie - Award-winning fine art photographer who came to prominence with her images of queer communities in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Ann Peebles - Blues singer best known for the hit I Can't Stand the Rain.

Gretchen Phillips - Post-punk singer-songwriter, founder of riot Grrrrl band Meat Joy, whose songs are inspired by sexual politics and lesbianism

Carol Rama - Italian contemporary avant-garde artist and pioneer of "queer abstraction" whose work proposed a new concept of human sexuality beyond binary gender confines.

Marlon Riggs - Filmmaker, educator, poet, and gay rights activist whose documentary Tongues Untied intertwined his own experiences with the story of black gay men in contemporary America.

Faith Ringgold - Artist best known for her narrative quilts depicting influential African-American women.

Carolee Schneeman - Avant garde artist known for the 1964 piece Meat Joy in which scantily clad participants interacted with animal flesh.

Mab Segrest - Author of Memoir of a Race Traitor, the story of her experience as a white lesbian activist combating the Far Right in North Carolina.

Nina Simone - Singer and composer whose songs To Be Young, Gifted and Black and I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free formed the soundtrack to the American Civil Rights movement

Cathy Sissler - artist whose film Lullaby for the Almost Falling Woman investigates anti-corporate sabotage.

Ariel Skrag - Lesbian cartoonist who told her own life story in a series of graphic novels, beginning with Awkward in 1999, which was later adapted into a teen sitcom by MTV.

Sleater-Kinney - Nineties post-riot grrrl rock band from Washington state whose first two albums were released by the queercore label Chainsaw Records.

The Slits - Feminist Seventies punk rock band best known for the track Typical Girls from their album Cut.

Gayatri Spivak - Indian feminist literary critic who defined the phenomenon of strategic essentialism - the gathering-together of diverse minorities with a common, short-term political goal.

Gertrude Stein - 20th Century modernist poet, highly influential in the world of art and literature, although seldom read today.

Billy Tipton - Mid-20th Century jazz bandleader who was born female and lived his entire adult life as a man, his secret only revealed after his death in 1989.

Ut – New York female "No Wave" trio formed in 1978.

Urvashi Vaid - Indian-American LGBT rights activist, author of Irresistible Revolution: Confronting Race, Class and the Assumptions of LGBT Politics (2012).

Krystal Wakem - Artist whose drawing of a tiger paw is featured in the artwork for Le Tigre's album Feminist Sweepstakes; an article by Hillary Chute in the book Singing for Themselves: Essays on Women in Popular Music says she was the niece of the band's label owner.

Kara Walker- Contemporary artist whose series of life-size paper silhouettes told the horrifying story of American slavery.

Laurie Weeks - Writer and performer, not to be confused with the Australian rugby international, and author of the lesbian coming of age novella Zipper Mouth.

David Wojnarowicz – American artist who controversially scattered the ashes of his partner on the grounds of The White House in protest over the US government's inaction over the AIDS crisis.

Mia X – rapper whose 1997 album Unlady Like was a Billboard Top 40 hit.

Melissa York – drummer from The Butchies.

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About the curator: Jon Ewing

After graduating from the University of Keele in England with a degree in Politics and American Studies, Jon worked as editor of a music and entertainment magazine before spending several years as a freelance writer and, with the advent of the internet, a website designer, developer and consultant. He lives in Reading, home to one of the world's most famous and long-running music festivals, which he has attended every year since 1992.

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