Wolfe attending the EMP Pop Conference in Los Angeles, 2011.
|Birth name||Allison Wolfe|
|Also known as||Baby Donut|
November 9, 1969 |
Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
|Labels||Kill Rock Stars
Cold Cold Hearts
Dig Yr Grave
Metal Church (guest)
Allison Wolfe and her sister Cindy Wolfe were born identical twins in Memphis, Tennessee, on November 9, 1969. Together with their sister Molly, they grew up in Olympia, Washington. Their parents divorced when they were all still young children, and they were raised by their mother, Pat Shively. A radical feminist and self-described lesbian, Shively founded Olympia's Eastside Women's Health Clinic in 1981. It was the first women's clinic in Thurston County, and throughout Shively's two decades of work it was the target of relentless anti-abortion demonstrations. The protests could be harrowing: Wolfe's mother endured verbal and physical abuse, and death threats forced her to go to the clinic armed and wearing a bulletproof vest. (The EWHC was razed in a fire in 2005, set by a still-unidentified arsonist.) Pat Shively died of ovarian cancer in February, 2000, and Wolfe credits her as being a lifelong influence, a feminist role model "almost too big to live up to."
At the University of Oregon, Allison met Molly Neuman and together they pieced together essays, photos, drawings, and other creations into a single digest. The resulting Girl Germs was self-published through several issues in 1991 amid a flowering of Olympia zines, many of them produced by Wolfe's friends and companions. Contributors to Girl Germs included Kathleen Hanna and Tobi Vail who authored their own zines, Jigsaw and Bikini Kill. Despite amateur production and scarcity, these zines quickly achieved a near-legendary status among their audience. They were deeply representative of the growing community of feminist punk rockers which has often been termed by the title of another Wolfe-Neuman zine, a weekly compendium they called Riot Grrrl.
Wolfe and Neuman took the themes of their zines to music. Like Hanna and Vail who reappropriated the name Bikini Kill for their own band, Wolfe and Neuman joined with guitarist Erin Smith to form their own, Bratmobile, in 1991. Both bands recorded for Kill Rock Stars, an Olympia-based independent label. Bratmobile released their first full-length album, Pottymouth, in 1992.
After Bratmobile ended in a disturbing onstage breakup in New York City in 1994, Wolfe and Smith eventually reunited to form Cold Cold Hearts with an expanded rhythm section provided by drummer Katherine Brown and bassist "Nattles". The band toured extensively and released one album, Cold Cold Hearts, in 1997. Wolfe later sang with Deep Lust, her first band with male musicians which she lightheartedly describes as "my boy band". Deep Lust also toured and released one self-titled album on Kill Rock Stars in 2000.
Wolfe remains involved in what she terms "cultural activism", not only with Partyline, but also with the bands Dig Yr Grave, Deep Lust, Hawnay Troof and its offshoot, Baby Truth. She also initiated Ladyfest and has been involved in Bands Against Bush. Allison did the English adaption for Nana, a punk rock-themed manga series. She also occasionally writes cultural arts pieces for the Washington Post. Allison currently lives in Echo Park, Los Angeles, and sings for a band called Cool Moms.
- "Allison Wolfe interview". Dissonance. 10 October 2006. Radio CPR. 97.5 FM. http://dissonance.libsyn.com/webpage/10_10_06_allison_wolfe_bratmobile.
- "Feds Lead Investigation Because of Abortion Issue". The Olympian (Olympia, WA). 11 January 2005. Retrieved 5 January 2012.
- Butler, Cornelia H.; Schwartz, Alexandra; Adler, Esther (2010). Modern Women: women artists at the Museum of Modern Art. New York: The Museum of Modern Art. p. 228. ISBN 978-0-87070-771-1. Retrieved 5 January 2012.
- From Bratmobile to Manga Grrrl: Indie Icon Allison Wolfe on Nana
- SPIN.com: Partyline
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