The Linda Lindas gained national attention when they played a gig at an L.A. library. Now, in celebration of their debut album Growing Up, the all-girl punk band (members are between 11 and 17) return to the library for an NPR Tiny Desk Concert.
“The four members of The Linda Lindas – sisters Mila de la Garza and Lucia de la Garza, their cousin Eloise Wong and their family friend Bela Salazar – first played together in 2018, as members of a new-wave cover band put together by Kristin Kontrol of Dum Dum Girls,” writes NPR’s Melissa Lorusso. “Soon after that, they formed their own punk group, going on to open for artists like Bikini Kill, Alice Bag and Best Coast.”
In April of 2019, the Linda Lindas were opening for Bikini Kill at the Palladium in L.A., and Amy Poehler just happened to be in the crowd. Bikini Kill is “one of my favorite bands,” Poehler said in a video conversation with the Linda Lindas published on the website Consequence of Sound. “You guys opened, and everyone was blown away.”
Poehler was so moved, in fact, that she included two songs from the band in her Netflix film Moxie. The songs they play in the film include a cover of “Big Mouth” by the Muffs and the Bikini Kill song “Rebel Girl.”
The band also gained attention for another punk rock burner, “Racist Sexy Boy,” which they performed during a set at, of all places, the the L.A. public library. The performance was part of the TEENtastic Tuesdays series for Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month.
The song is based on a real-life experience. “A little while before we went into lockdown, a boy in my class came up to me and said that his dad told him to stay away from Chinese people,” Mila de la Garza explained when introducing the song at the library. “After I told him that I was Chinese, he backed away from me. Eloise and I wrote this song based on that experience.”
For the band’s Tiny Desk Concert, “Racist, Sexist Boy” is a fitting finale. As NPR’s Lorusso writes, it’s a song full of “powerfully righteous anger” and it sounds as fresh today as it did when it first rumbled through the library stacks.
LINDA LINDAS TINY DESK CONCERT SET LIST
- “Growing Up”
- “Talking to Myself”
- “Cuántas Veces”
- “Racist, Sexist Boy”
Read more about the Tiny Desk Concert on the NPR Music website.
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