Le Tigre is a feminist electro post-punk band formed in 1998 by Kathleen Hanna. Initially envisioned as a live back up band for Hanna's solo project Julie Ruin, Le Tigre mixes the politics and feminism of riot grrrl with fun electronic samples and lo-fi beats. Other members include Johanna Fateman and JD Samson. JD joined Le Tigre as a full member when co-founder Sadie Benning left the band before the Feminist Sweepstakes album. JD had previously worked with the band as the roadie and operator of the slide show created by Sadie Benning for Le Tigre's live performances of the first record. Le Tigre live shows are quite famous. The self proclaimed underground electro-feminist performance artists combine visuals, music and dance into their performances.
The band mixes politically aware lyrics with dance music. Their name might be derived from a clothing brand that was popular during the 1980s.
The song "Hot Topic" on Le Tigre's self-titled debut pays tribute to dozens of visual artists, musicians, writers, feminists and others who have inspired them. Among the honorees are: Yoko Ono, Aretha Franklin, Vaginal Creme Davis, Yayoi Kusama, Billy Tipton, James Baldwin, and Jean Genet. In a similar fashion the song "FYR" off the album *Feminist Sweepstakes is a tribute to the chapter and ideals put forth in Shulamith Firestone's Fifty Years of Ridicule in her 1970 feminist work The Dialectic of Sex.
The first two recordings by the band were released on the independent label Mr. Lady Records, run by Kaia Wilson of The Butchies and artist Tammy Rae Carland. Feminist Sweepstakes (2002) came out on Chicks on Speed's record label. The album This Island (2004) was Le Tigre's first on a major label (Universal/Strummer). Ric Ocasek of the Cars produced one track, "Tell You Now."