Category Archives: Music

Awesome Young Feminist Questions Beyonce’s “Girls Run the World”

Besides being nonsensical Beyonce’s “Girls Run the World” is clearly not accurate. Women in fact do not run the world: less than 20% of heads of states are female. Apparently Beyonce’s version of “running the world” is owning the dance floor.

Boy don’t even try to touch this
Boy this beat is crazy
This is how they made me
Houston, Texas baby
This goes out to all my girls
That’s in the club rocking the latest
Who will buy it for themselves and get more money later

But I think no one critique it better than this amazing young feminist.

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Local DV group giving alternative view of Odd Future’s violent lyrics

Odd Future is scheduled to play at Pitchfork this weekend to the delight of fans and the dismay of local domestic violence groups. Their performance is sure to alight mixed emotions in Chicago; critics and fans are hailing the band as the “next big thing of their generation” while domestic violence groups have voiced concern over the group’s violent lyrics towards women.

Over the past year, Odd Future has made a name for itself with its intense hip hop beat, shock-value lyrics, and strong underground following. The group rejects any attempts at critics to define their music and they don’t bother to try to defend their hateful lyrics towards women. In typical 19-year-old fashion they “do what they want.”

Yet domestic violence groups in Chicago are quick to point out that Odd Futures fantasy raps are a reality for many women in Chicago. In order to remind festival goers of these realities, the d.v. group Between Friends will be handing out over 5,000 fans over the weekend with a list of resources for women who have experience violence. The group raised $1,700 in two weeks for the campaign and will now have a booth inside Pitchfork.

“We do respect the fact that they [Pitchfork producers] have the right to have the music that they feel people are interested in at their fest,” says Between Friends Programs Director Yesenia Maldonado. “But we’d like to make sure that they have the resources available while they’re there. This is a huge venue and we really want for people who haven’t heard these shocking lyrics—maybe they’re coming for another band and this is the first time they’ll be hearing [Odd Future]—we want to make sure that we let them know that this is something that we’re taking notice of, and we really want to get the other view out there as much as possible.”

There is something about blaringly different Odd Future that makes critics rush to proclaim them the next big thing, each critic trying to up the anty with hyperbolic predictions of Odd Future becoming the voice of a generation (obviously ignoring half of the future generation that would not like to be violently raped). They praise the harsh lyrics of rape and violence as an expression of naïve youth and assume because people can’t understand it, it must be new and good.

Even those critics who are critical of the band, always seem to end on an apology, as if it is their fault they don’t love the narrative of repeated violence against women. Although most will agree Odd Future has the right to exist and be produced, it is also important that the group be honestly critiqued and reviewed, glorified AND condemned.

Personally although I accept Odd Future’s right to make music, I think their music sucks and I have no desire to listen to a 20-year-olds fucked up fantasy about rape that is all too imaginative for him and all too real for many women. I think it is unhealthy for this to be proclaimed the voice of a generation when it is clearly only the fantasy of a few.

Odd Future gives one voice of a generation and groups like Between Friends are thankfully giving the other, to show the realities of domestic violence in our world. I for one am happy at least someone is willing to stand up and say this music is crap.

Check out an interview with Pitchfork founders here: http://www.wbez.org/blog/jim-derogatis/2011-05-02/pitchfork-odd-future-endorsing-rape-or-showcasing-art-85888

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Music: Pink no Lady Gaga, just an old-school Freaky Feminist

At first when I heard Pink sing/scream “Dirty little freaks, won’t you come and raise your glass,” I thought “Woah Pink is trying to be Lady Gaga minus the meat dresses and 13 ft heels.” I was a little disappointed in my screamer sister who I always held as an “original” since the Save the Last Dance days when she sported a pink mohawk when blond was the staple for female singers.  But before we judge Pink’s latest fist-pumping soon-to-be-classic song as just another Lady Gaga knock off, let’s remember that Pink was hoisting the freak flag long before Gaga studded her training bras.

Pink has always been about pushing the boundaries of a being a freaky feminist while still being a success and she has treaded that line boldly. Her latest video starts with Pink as Rosy the Riviter, the classic feminist symbol of strength; throughout the video she morphs into a skater, a geek, a “gangsta,” and, what I hope is a spoof on the latest gaga-inspired video trend of just weird images, a masked woman feeding a cow milk. She seems to be saying, as feminists before her said, and feminists after will continue to yell, sing and proclaim, “I am all these things. So raise your effiin’ glass.”

To that I say cheers and let’s save the Lady Gaga clone references for those her deserve the label, a.k.a. Ke$ha (a money sign, really?).

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Music: Kate Nash and the Useful Cunt

On this perfectly warm Monday night at Lincoln Hall, Kate Nash played to a sold-out group of somewhat homogenous (and largely homosexual) group of 20-somethings. She started with her traditional not-quite-happy indie jam songs. She continued with a mixture of head-jammin’ body slamin’ rock, lyric-driven indie pop, and darken stage poetic spoken word piece. Instead of an encore, the speakers blared stoned out versions of Disney classics.

The set made the audience sway, jump, tear-up, fist-pump, and it made one young gentleman crowd-surf. It left some wondering if Kate Nash was having a musical identity crisis. But in the end the sign in the front of her piano explains it all: “A cunt is a useful thing.”

Although she probably would tell the old-fashioned word feminist to fuck off, Kate Nash and her “identity crisis” ridden music is the epitome of today’s feminism. Her music does not scream  “the cunt is a beautiful thing,” nor does it seductively whisper “the cunt is something to squeeze into a thong and a tight skirt.” Her music rants against the cunt being anything other than what it is, a part of women and a useful thing.

From songs condemning “homophobic pricks” to songs about the hurt of love to songs about the redeeming power of love to songs about derogation of young women to songs about the possibility of life, Kate Nash touches on all dimensions of modern and identity-crisis prone woman.

Locking eyes with seemingly every member of the audience, Kate Nash presents herself and her music in a genuinely unapologetic way. She is powerful and flawed, a role model for every aspiring modern feminist.

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Small Stature, Tremendous Talent: Company of Thieves’ Front Woman Steals the Show

For almost two years, the Chicago-native band “Company of Thieves” has been hawking their debut album “Ordinary Riches” in every city and venue that would put up a stage in the corner; and at every city and venue all 5-feet-nothing of lead singer Genevieve Schatz steals the stage with her free-flowing vocals that vibrate with all the emotion of the lyrics matched with her seemingly seamless improvised stage performance.

Despite having to nurse her cold-scratched throat with tea before going on stage, Schatz delivered a full-bodied performance at last night’s St. Patty’s Day performance at Mystic Celt. Schatz whirled and jived to each song, while guitarist Marc Walloch danced with his guitar along side. Even keyboarder, Mike Miamone, infused the band with energy, standing on top of his chair for the band’s claim to fame song “Oscar Wilde,” inciting cheers from a Miller lited up crowd.

Genevieve Schatz's vocals rock the Celt

Although the band only had a chance to play four of their songs, they plugged one new song “Queen of Hearts” from their yet-to-be-released album. With Schatz’s distinctively raw yet hushed vocals backed up with strong chords, the sample of the new album promises to bring Chicago even more reason to be proud of this native band and their powerhouse front woman.

If you missed last night’s performance make sure to check out the band at Lincoln Hall tonight at 7 p.m. http://www.lincolnhallchicago.com/

To learn more about the band see their site at http://www.companyofthieves.net/.

Matisyahu, who also performed at the Mystic Celt on St. Patty's Day, beatboxes and harmonizes in the same breath

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