Friday, May 12, 2006

Riot Grrrl Videos a go-go Pt. II!

I really do mean to do this as a weekly thing at least, but alas for a car accident got in my way. Sometimes there are things that are more important than sitting in front of a computer. Just as an aside, I'm okay! Psalty the diesel wonder car on the other hand, remains to be seen. Daddy misses you Psalty!

So anyways, here I've got three videos for y'all. One is not really a riot grrrl video, but like the Magik Markers video that I posted, I am just head over heels for Klaus Nomi. Whenever I watch the Nomi Song dvd I smile the entire time. If you are desperate enough to be hitching a ride with me up to SF you might be unfortunate enough to witness my Klaus Nomi sing-a-longs. This video for "Falling in Love Again" is super early 80's harsh angles, colors, clothes, everything. In conclusion I love Klaus Nomi so damn much. Why is it that as a lesbian, I always fall in love with dead gay men?

The next video is for The Slits Typical Girls. I do enjoy The Slits very much, and I had a chance like a year or so ago to listen to an Ari Up remix album and I remember liking one remix very much. "Typical Girls" was one of the first Slit's songs that I heard. I remember discovering the name Ari Up in like some Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of music and wondering who this other Ari was. This was the summer before I went into 9th grade, so Napster was just starting. I went home and downloaded a bunch of Slits songs and the first one that I heard was "Typical Girls." Great lyrics. I rocked that mixed tape in my yellow Walkman - I didn't get my first cd player until my sophomore year of high school. My brother got all of the electronics and I was given hand me downs if I was lucky. I was a girl so that meant I would want a beadazzler. Least I forget the shit fit put up by my father when I wanted to play guitar. That's okay, It's so easy to have to therapy bills sent to daddy, because I'm just a little girl, so how could I possibly pay for it myself?

So the last video here is for Heavens to Betsy - The Ones. If you know me, you know that Heavens to Betsy is my all time favorite riot grrrl band, and just generally one of my favorite bands. So fucking good! I'm weird and tracked down all of their recordings thanks to eBay and now have everything including their demo tape. The first song of theirs that I heard was "Terrorist" and I was around 15. It was so unlike anything that I had ever heard before. As an angsty teen I immediately connected with the rawness of the song. Again, thanks to Napster I downloaded a few songs and loved every single track. A few months later was my first trip ever to San Francisco with my mother, we were trying to pretend that we still had a good relationship, and my first trip to an Amoeba Records (they're killing LA record stores!). I bought a copy of Calculated and it was total loooove. I fell in love with many things on that trip, Calculated, San Francisco, and lyrics relating to being a homo. To this day whenever I'm in SF I always thing about Calculated and The Frumpies. Oh look, I'm being all sentimental. I do love San Francisco very much, and it is really a mystery as to why I do not live there.

I really connected with riot grrrl when I was like pre teen / early teens and to this day still really love it. I think a lot of it had to do with the messages that i received from my parents, but knew were bullshit. I always knew A.) that I was a queer and B.) that I did not identify with or wish to partake in the things that I was told and shown that were supposed to identify myself with as female. Sex and gender are two very different things. Sex is physiological, and gender is a structure that society has invented. I reject gender. I identify as being genderqueer, I do not identify as any particular gender, nor do I accept them. I was on that retarded show on MTV Date My Mom, last fall, and mentioned to the producers that I do in fact identify as being genderqueer. My mother blurted out at one point that I call myself genderqueer, but she doesn't really understand it despite the fact that I try to explain it to her. I was surprised that they left that little bit in and didn't leave it on the cutting room floor. The girl on the show with my mom, whom I am still good friends with actually, thought of genderqueer as being androgynous. I feel that calling oneself androgynous is acknowledging the two "genders" but choosing to reject them. I feel that as genderqueer I am just this way. It's more than myself simply rejecting these created roles for both sexes. I was just born completely and utterly queer. Sweet! I don't think I can quite explain the feeling of being told as a little girl by my mother that she was "proud" of the fact that she shaved her legs every day no matter what. My mother is no idiot mind you, crazy yes, but idiot no. More gems from my mother include getting all bent out of shape one afternoon while I was watching like the Discovery Channel or some crap, and yanking me into her room and forcing me to watch the Home Shopping Channel because they were having hours and hours of dolls on for sale. She told me I needed to be into more female centric things. When I bring these things up with my mother, whom I am out to, laughs and denies the incidents, then tells me that I make big deals out of nothing. My mother to this day tells me not to get fat and jokingly tells me that she'll disown me if I get, "big fat butch hips." She also tells me that my sexuality and identity are a fad. I don't give a shit if she's joking, and I let her know how her comments anger me, but jesus. That's why I still love listening to riot grrrl, or seeing somebody like Klaus Nomi. The messages and words are still relevant to me today. It makes me sad that positive music, or truly raw and honest music is so hard to come by these days. People seem to be far more image oriented in the current context than anything else. Even with this insane war and administration I don't really hear or see any one performer standing up and blatantly taking it on. I'm speaking of this in the realm of queer, grrrl type punk. It really makes me sad. Also, working with videos and what not all day, it does fucking suck to see people who truly believe that if you put a "hot chick" into a shitty piece of content that it suddenly becomes good. It really makes you think. In conclusion, fuck the objectification of women.


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