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The Gits Screens At The Whistle Stop

Mia Zapata, lead singer of The Gits

The Gits were a Seattle punk band led by the raw, blues-fueled voice of its lead singer Mia Zapata. & The band formed at Antioch College in Ohio where Zapata famously jumped on a table during a party and launched into Bessie Smith covers. & It's relayed as one of those college moments where, & if you were there, drunk or sober, you've never forgotten it. The Gits soon moved to Seattle where they found underground fame, a community of fellow punk rockers (like the girl band 7 Year Bitch) and became part of a Seattle scene garnering lots of media attention because of its burgeoning grunge scene.

The Gits found their loyal following and after two album releases and a planned North American tour, they were poised to make it big. & Atlantic Records was ready to sign them. & But on July 7, 1993, Mia Zapata left The Comet Tavern where she'd been hanging out with friends and while on her walk home, she was attacked. & Hours later, Zapata's body was found. & She'd been beaten, raped and murdered. & The tragedy struck the Seattle scene hard and mourners lined up for blocks at her wake.

A new documentary called The Gits will be screened Wednesday night at The Whistle Stop bar in South Park as a fundraiser for the San Diego Women's Film Festival . & The story is so tragic, but so much of the film charts the band's formation and rise that it doesn't feel like a downer. & There's a lot of concert footage, some rougher than others, but I kind of like the grainy, jumpy video. & It's well-matched to the grungy dive bars The Gits played in and to their punk sensibility. & Zapata is amazing to watch, if mostly because of her incredible voice. & She sounds like Lucinda Williams, if Williams left her guitar behind and just went balls out, punk-rock style. The Gits screens at 9pm - The Whistle Stop is a good place to watch this kind of doc and all proceeds benefit the sixth year of the San Diego Women's Film Festival. & Oh, and Joan Jett and Kathleen Hanna of Bikini Kill are both in the film - they were big fans of The Gits. This is one of those school night events that I like to recommend because it's unique in San Diego, the film and the venue are perfectly matched, and it's for a good cause. &

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