Paloma McLardy, also known as Palmolive, founded the influential punk band The Slits in 1976. Born in Spain, galvanized by punk’s explosive energy, she took up the drums and crafted an iconic style that favored passion and imagination over technical prowess. The journalist Vivien Goldman has said, “The Slits created a new paradigm for being a woman.” In the words of Palmolive, “We were four fearless young women who came together and exploded as a cultural bomb, irritating a sensitive societal nerve. We were pretty unconscious of our potency, and yet we were certain that we did not want to conform to the roles prescribed to us as women.”
After three years in The Slits, Palmolive migrated to The Raincoats, with whom she recorded an album and then left the music scene altogether. Both groups were at the center of a movement that revolutionized the face of music and culture. In the past year, Palmolive’s influence has been chronicled in Here to Be Heard: The Story of The Slits, a documentary by William Badgley, as well as Jenn Pelly’s book The Raincoats. Following her time as a musician, Palmolive spent 16 years teaching Spanish to young children in Hyannis, Mass. This summer, she plans to start a new chapter and write a book about her experiences.
The afternoon begins with Tianna Esperanza, a singer/songwriter who embodies a depth of talent and heart well beyond her years. Her music has been described as having hints of Sade, Public Enemy, and Gil Scott-Heron. Tianna is known for her personally inspired lyrics with roaring protest undertones, making for a powerful and unforgettable experience. Q&A with Paloma will be hard after screening.