Friday Genius Ten “Duuuuuuude” Edition
Update: sorry, I fucked up the HTML. All the cat pics are now up.
Team Pandagon is really kicking ass in the Bowl-a-Thon for the National Network of Abortion Funds. Because of you guys, we’re well past the $1,000 mark, and so both Jesse and I will be going bowling now, with him promising to bowl granny-style and I have promised to post my score so you can laugh at me. As I write this, we’re at $1,890, which means we could, with a final push, easily make it past $2,500. My friends suggested that what I should do, if we make it that far, is paint my toenails green to honor the greatest movie about bowling of all time. I can’t say I’ve worn of the fingernail polish on either my toes or fingers in at least 4 years, so this is not something I take lightly. I don’t even own nail polish remover, y’all. Of course, if we get up to $5,000 by the time the fund drive ends today, I’ve promised to bowl in a “Fucking magnets, how do they work?” T-shirt. So that’s where we stand. You can donate here. And as a special thank you, I’m going to leave extra kitty pictures in today’s Friday Genius Ten/cat pictures post.
On to the music portion of today’s Friday morning post. Silvana at Tiger Beatdown wrote an epic post that accurately described the issue of male dominance in rock music geekery. This happens in all sorts of worlds, of course, but this post really hit on something that female rock fans and musicians have noticed for a long time. It’s this phenomenon where you, the female fan, take men and their ideas and their talent very seriously. You look up to male musicians, listen to your male friends’ opinions, and generally think of men as a source of intellectual stimulation and admiration. But if you start extending this attitude towards women—and why not, since you think of yourself as a thinking person, despite having a vagina—you will butt heads with your male friends who find it implausible that women have much to offer the world besides warm vaginas, and in fact will start acting like some album or band is tainted if the women seem to like them a little too much.
By no means do all dudes who like music act this way, of course. But it comes at you from surprising angles. But as you gain experience, you learn to spot the guys that’ll think like this, because a major flag is they’re guys who like what Silvana termed Dude Music (and they won’t like anything done by women, unless they’re perceived as closely controlled by the men in the band, whether they are or not). Of course, this created a raging debate about what is and isn’t Dude Music, with more than sufficient butt-hurtness to go around, as is usual in these situations. But Silvana’s right; you know Dude Music when you hear it. It has a whiff of self-seriousness that stems from the male privilege of never having to yourself as an object of anything, much less ridicule. Stoner rock is the classic example of Dude Music. A lot of post-rock violates the self-seriousness rule and can be deemed Dude Music. What’s funny is that the general music snob crowd is losing a lot of enthusiasm for Dude Music, because we want danceability, relatability, and humor. There’s a reason that so much of the best rock now is Chick Rock.
But of course, the problem with writing about this is everyone starts nit-picking and finding exceptions and getting butt-hurt, which buries the original protest against a very real and miserable phenomenon. Which is why it’s so great there are songs that make fun of Dude Music, because some things are easier to say in song than in writing. Silvana picked out “The The Empty” by Le Tigre. So I’m building my Genius Ten off the first song that came to my mind that has always been my personal anthem of frustration about this. I have no idea what exactly inspired this song, but since she describes a guy who thinks he’s too good to hang out with the “girl band”, I have a pretty good idea. Both this song and “The The Empty” really point the direction of the only healthy way to deal with the Dudes in rock music. Ignore them. They’re becoming dinosaurs.
Original song: “You’re No Rock and Roll Fun” by Sleater-Kinney
A challenge for commenters sharing lists: skip all the bands that come up that are all dudes and let’s do lists celebrating the huge numbers of women in music, numbers that are increasingly hard to marginalize.
1) “Tell You Now”—Le Tigre
2) “6’1″”—Liz Phair
3) “All Medicated Geniuses”—Pretty Girls Make Graves
4) “Divine Hammer”—The Breeders
5) “Fire Sign”—The Gossip (I realize they’re just Gossip now, but I’m going to be a grandma on this one.)
6) “Dry”—PJ Harvey
7) “If You Should Try To Kiss Her”—Dressy Bessy
8) “Pile of Gold”—The Blow
9) “Victrola”—Veruca Salt
10) “Terrible Storm”—Tegan & Sara
Videos and bonus cat pics below the fold.
Okay, so part of the reason we have a shit ton of cat pictures this week is Marc got a new camera. And the cats love having their picture taken.