Monday, August 25, 2008

Ladies, Women & Grrrls

This weekend I was indulging in an occasional guilty pleasure: reading trashy rock 'n' roll biographies. I had read the Neal Karlen book about Babes in Toyland years ago when I checked it out of the library in my temporary home of Lincoln, NE. But I felt like reading it again and for $5.00 at Aardvark Books how could I resist snapping it up and reading through it in one sitting on Saturday? The book is even worse than I remember in terms of writing quality and dubious facts. But it reminded me how much I love the Babes and, naturally, sent me on a nostalgic trip through their sonic catalog that I've owned for years.

It also got me thinking: where have all the bands with women who play actual instruments gone? I know there are bands with more underground/indie cache like Erase Errata, T.I.T.S or The Bruises and I think that's awesome to have these folks existing in that musical world. But there was actually a time, believe it or not, where bands containing female musicians actually had mainstream exposure and a relative measure of success. And while I have no desire to insist that mainstream exposure is necessary for a band to be relevant, it's vexing to see the current state of women represented in the mainstream when you think about how the mainstream is the bulk of what most people in this world are exposed to. The fact that there was a time where people who'd never seek such sounds out in the underground (or just plain didn't know they existed) were exposed to bands and musicians ranging from Babes in Toyland to Belly to Juliana Hatfield, from Hole to The Breeders to early-career Liz Phair seems almost mythological, like a fantasy of a more progressive time that one would read about in a novel set in the future; despite the fact that it was often peppered with horrible buzzwords like "foxcore" and grown women were saddled with the often insulting/diminishing "girl band" moniker. Hell, even the amount of mainstream attention the stridently anti-mainstream Riot Grrrl movement received meant that people who weren't a part of that insular, underground world knew of the existence of Bikini Kill or Bratmobile or Heavens to Betsy. But what about now?

I have always loathed the way music journalists and critics compartmentalize and essentialize female musicians with the whole Women in Rock label/line of questioning. Much like the 2/3 gay band I am in, most women who have had such a title foisted on them want to be recognized as musicians first and foremost, not just a gender that is constantly met with shock and awe at their ability to create music and play instruments despite their lack of male chromosomes. But I think it's safe to say that a lot of those same women do see the value derived in other women, young or old, (and men too, for that matter) gaining inspiration from seeing them do their musical thing. These days it seems like the lion's share of women garnering attention in the pop music world are singers and nothing more. And often times "singer" is stretched to the utmost limits of its definition. Even someone like Feist, a singer-songwriter with a fair amount of popular attention, is more known for her videos where she dances around in American Apparel outfits than her actual guitar playing or songwriting. And while it's not her job to present herself as one thing or another, it still feels like a bit of a nod to the depressing state of how women are currently represented in the music industry. Former punkers-turned-pop-sweethearts, (and, some said, sellouts) The Go-Go's would seem downright alien in the world of popular music these days. I feel like if they appeared here and now for the firs time they'd be relegated to small-venue shows and minor indie fame status.

The break-up of Sleater-Kinney in 2006 and the subsequent dropping-of-the-radar of The Donnas (never a fave, but still) seems to have been at least a temporary nail in the coffin of female rockers with any kind of mass attention. The world of music is one full of swinging pendulums and sea changes so it's not like this is necessarily a permanent state. But when the pop music world is so full of Amy and Duffy and Rihanna and The Pussycat Dolls - despite the range of talents or abilities represented by that pop chart sampling - it feels like things are dismal when it comes to hoping for a world where the people actually know of women who can shred on guitar or beat the hell out of a drum kit or, hell, even write a weird, crossover, guitar-pop hit like "Feed the Tree", a song that would sound so totally out of place on the radio today. One can only hope that a young woman who has managed to discover the twisted nursery rhyme poetry of Kat Bjelland or is inspired by the drum-pummeling majesty of Janet Weiss is somewhere unconsciously (or consciously) planning how to show the world - men, women, boys, girls - that women can be much more than singing marionettes in the ever-mind-numbing landscape of pop music.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Hipsters Will Be the Death of All That is Good in the World.

Read this fantastic and biting Adbusters article Hipster: The Dead End of Western Civilization.

Seriously, this article is fucking genius.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Widely Applicable

If you just replace "food" with any other type of blogger category.

Married To The Sea

Siouxsie Sioux

Really never in danger of not having "it" no matter her age, is she? Watch and learn, pop tarts, watch and learn. And enjoy these photos while you listen to the brilliant "They Follow You" from her flawless solo debut.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Can you decide?

I haven't posted in a bit as I have been A) busy and B) uninspired. But due to a hilarious discussion that came up at my workplace about bestiality (I work at a porn company, so our casual discussions are often inappropriate compared to other work environments) I thought of this possible brain twister of a question:

If you absolutely had to choose and there was no way out of it, who would you rather have sexual intercourse with: an animal or an immediate family member? (i.e. mother, father, sibling - no second cousins or hot step-uncles or anything)

I honestly don't know if I could decide. Like if the fate of the universe hung in the balance and my choice would ensure it's safety, the universe might be fucked.

Oh my God, I had to cross this out because the thought of either answer groads me out so much. So hey, what would you rather eat - a box of donuts or a box of donut holes?? DIFFICULT CHOICE.

Friday, August 15, 2008


Oh, honey, everything is wrong with Muriel Puce.

"Mr. Babcock, Knowledge is Power!"

Isn't it though?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Buffy Manga Gang!

Okay, so I got a little obsessed with Face Your and made a whole collection of Buffy Manga avatars. They aren't perfect but I did my best and had myself a geeky ol' time. Enjoy!!

Row 1: Buffy, Willow, Xander, Giles.
Row 2: Angel, Cordelia, Oz, Faith.
Row 3: Spike, Anya, Tara, Joyce (in kitchen)
Row 4: Riley, Dawn, Bunny Anya, Dark Willow

Manhunt Loves John McCain

If you've got a paid profile on the ever-popular gay hookup site you might want to consider deleting it since one of the owners just sent John McCain a nice big check!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Ew. Ew. Ew.

Why doesn't Woody Allen just film himself shooting his load on Scarlett Johansson's tits and get it over with?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

In San Francisco:

Lens-less glasses are the new neck scarf.


P.S. For those of you who don't believe me, feast your eyes on the horror:


In San Francisco:

Burlesque is the new Electroclash.



Sunday, August 10, 2008

Live On Stage

Three Bands. Three Gay Drummers. So much fierce hotness. Photos from our show at the Hemlock last night.


Puce Moment:


Saturday, August 09, 2008

Ex-Boyfriends Show & Radio Reminder

Today is totally Ex-Boyfriends Saturday! Here are the two things you MUST remember to do:

1) I'm going to be on Pirate Cat Radio this Saturday to talk about my band, play some songs and give away some tickets to our show at the Hemlock Tavern tonight! Tune in to 87.9 FM at 2:00 pm PST *TODAY* if you're in the Bay Area or you can listen on iTunes under the Alternative category or, better yet, come on down to their cafe at 2781 21st Street @ Florida Street.

2) Come to our show at the Hemlock Tavern tonight! We're playing with 2 fantastic SF bands, Puce Moment and Forever. Everything starts at 9:30, it only costs $7.00 and it's 21+

You may now touch yourself in breathless anticipation of these thrilling events!

Friday, August 08, 2008


I have the feeling that I am metaphorically holding my breath a lot these days. Last week felt like three months worth of emotion and stress packed into 7 tiny days. My Dad was in the hospital, my family and his girlfriend were all freaking out in various ways and somehow I found myself standing like an assertive hieroglyphic with my hands outstretched to either side trying to halt their emotional tidal waves from crashing all over me.

At the same time I was emailing our label to request information and materials we should have received years ago and letting them know of our disappointment over the lackluster promotion of our second album. Then, out of the black and white of newsprint, I found out my band was named Best Indie Band 2008 by the readers of the SF Bay Guardian. It was like I didn't have enough of a face to contain all the different emotions that seemed to be ping-ponging through my body.

Most workdays have ended with me stumbling home, exhausted and sore all over, plopping myself in front of the TV and gobbling hastily prepared meals or zoning out on Internet porn until I collapse into bed and read something comforting and familiar like Dykes To Watch Out For or Lynda Barry collections to unwind my racing mind so I can actually fall asleep. My dreams have been so vivid and jam-packed that I wake up confused as to what's actually happened and what was a flashing moment in my subconscious mind: super powers, people pretending to be Darth Vader, fantasy record shopping for suddenly released material from beloved long-defunct bands and disturbingly intense makeout sessions with someone I have zero sexual interest in all must mean something more significant in some form of analysis. But to me it's just my brain trying to dump some of its contents to prepare for the next day's worth of thoughts upon thoughts upon thoughts.

When I was a kid and my asthma was really bad and I couldn't get treatment for it I would be so embarrassed to wheeze out loud in front of my friends and classmates that I would hold my breath to keep from making a lot of noise. Not all of the time, mind you, but whenever I was in a quiet classroom or in the backseat of some friend's parent's car with no radio on or at the dinner table during grace. It was a really hard habit to break and became an unconscious response to stress, fear, anger or anxiety. These last couple weeks I've found myself having to consciously make myself exhale as I walk to work or make my dinner or sit at my desk at work or lay in bed waiting for sleep to wash over me. My father pops up in my mind seemingly every other minute and I just clench my stomach and stop breathing without meaning to. I can't write stories that are floating around in my head or consider things like going to school, which once seemed so enticing, or even really working hard to find a date without it all getting caught behind a mental image-dam of him sitting at home with an oxygen tank and a hose hooked into his nostrils. And I just keep reminding myself that it's okay to put things on hold while I sit through this horrible waiting for something I never want to happen.

See? This entry wasn't even going to be just about him and yet he's taken it over. But I don't think I could stop that if I wanted to. The irony of my last name being German for "without worry" has never been less lost on me.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Today's Mood

Now all I need is a veil.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

I'm Gonna Be on the Radio - Win Free EXBF Tix!!

I'm going to be on Pirate Cat Radio this Saturday to talk about my band, play some songs and give away some tickets to our show at the Hemlock Tavern that night!.

So tune in Saturday to 87.9 FM at 2:00 pm if you're in the Bay Area or you can listen on iTunes under the Alternative category or, better yet, come on down to their cafe at 2781 21st Street @ Florida Street.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Ex-Boyfriends @ The Hemlock Tavern Sat. 8/9!

We have a great show this Saturday August 9th at the Hemlock Tavern. We're playing with 2 fantastic SF bands, Puce Moment and Forever. Check out our Shows page for more info and then come on out and see if we've earned our snazzy new title of Best Indie Band 2008 as chosen by the possibly not sane readers of the SF Bay Guardian!

Friday, August 01, 2008

Pop as Curative

This has been the roller coaster week of doom and emotional upheaval x 100. Right now the only thing I need, than than a vacation, is some old school Bananarama videos.

This is what pop music really needs to be like again.