Sarah MacLachlan is bringing back the Lilith Fair. I am not thrilled. I didn’t go to it when it last came to Austin, because I was in college then, and had to save my money. The only acts I wanted to see were Eryka Badu and the Dixie Chicks, and the Dixie Chicks canceled, so I said fuck it. I couldn’t take it; all the acoustic guitars and earnestness. I’m sure MacLachlan means well, but she’s done the greater feminist music community a great disservice. Last night, I went to see the Gossip with a friend who identifies as a male feminist, since we are both huge fans. His band is playing on Halloween, so he’s going to miss the shows before the Butthole Surfers in Austin, which is too bad, because MEN and Peaches are opening for the Surfers. And I was teasing him about it, saying that it’s too bad, because between these bands and the Gossip, it’s like a super-feminist music weekend. And he pulled a face! I was so annoyed, because I was like, “You would LOVE it,” and he would, but the phrase “feminist music” has all these connotations that are completely unfair: women with acoustic guitars boring you with their earnest, pedantic music. But Peaches and MEN are nothing like that, of course. So I blame Sarah MacLachlan and the Lilith Fair for these knee-jerk reactions. Feminist music nowadays is most likely going to be accompanied by gold lame and disco balls, but we can’t shake this awful reputation.
Anyway, the Gossip was awesome. They’ve added a bass player, which I don’t love, but it worked on some songs. Mostly, getting away from the evil influence of Rick Rubin and playing live confirms that the songs on their new album are indeed awesome, just badly produced. They definitely had an air about them of people who have finally Made It. This probably the 4th time that I’ve seen them at Emo’s, and so I knew where Beth Ditto was coming from when she marveled that they were headlining the outside stage, since they used to be stuck on smaller stages at Emo’s. Thus, I was shoved into the worse possible moment of feeling ambiguous about a band I love hitting it big. The Gossip is hitting it big, but they’re kind of selling out to do so, with hiring Rick Rubin as a producer and adding musicians and keyboards. And something has been lost with them giving up their raw sound. It was a great show, but it was a little bittersweet because of this.
Anyway, thus today’s Genius Ten mix. Leave yours in comments.
Original song: “Heavy Cross” by the Gossip.
1) “Bulletproof”—La Roux
2) “Walking On A Dream”—Empire of the Sun
3) “Zero”—Yeah Yeah Yeahs
4) “22”—Lily Allen
5) “We Walk”—The Ting Tings
6) “Ready For The Floor”—Hot Chip
7) “I’m Good. I’m Gone”—Lykkke Li
8) “Lights & Music”—Cut Copy
9) “Never Forget You”—The Noisettes
10) “Stop Me”–Mark Ronson (Smiths cover)
Beneath the fold, feminist music that doesn’t suck.