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Load-In to Load-Out: Babes in Toyland emerge triumphant at Underground Arts

Babes in Toyland | Photo by Chris Sikich | sikichphotography.com
Babes in Toyland | Photo by Chris Sikich | sikichphotography.com

A world without the music of Babes in Toyland is a world lacking the angst and catharsis conveyed as only they can. Originally made up of Minneapolis guitarist-vocalist Kat Bjelland and drummer Lori Barbero, along with bassists Michelle Leon and Maureen Herman (who replaced Leon in 1992), the band re-emerged this year after disbanding in 2001.

When they finally played Philly’s Underground Arts on October 22 it had been 20 years since Babes in Toyland last set foot in the city. New and old fans alike showed they still wanted the band’s punk rage. And boy, did the band deliver. Rounded out by new bassist Clara Salyer, they pummeled Philadelphia with a brilliant set. Continue reading →

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Babes in Toyland Rides Again: The 90s punk icons’ road to reunion

Babes in Toyland onstage at Riot Fest | via facebook.com/babesintoylandofficial
Babes in Toyland onstage at Riot Fest | via facebook.com/babesintoylandofficial

Kat Bjelland didn’t get the best night’s sleep. The day I caught up with her via phone at her Minneapolis home, she says she’d been up super late, rushing around the house, getting everything packed prepped to go on tour. At the moment, she’s exhausted, but good to go. “All I need right now is my vitamins and a blender to make smoothies,” she laughs. “I’m really excited.”

This year, Bjelland’s band – the iconic punk power trio Babes in Toyland – played its first shows together in 13 years. Tonight, it launches its fall tour at Underground Arts in Philadelphia. It’s the band’s longest run of tour dates since its 90s heyday, when it used to be on the road 10 months out of the year, and the energy is in the air. Continue reading →