Hard-working orchestral folk punk band East Cameron Folkcore is releasing a lot of material in September. There is an all-new LP Better Off coming out in September (in Germany on Grand Hotel van Cleef) as is Fossils, an all-acoustic, live EP of older, truly stunning material. The EP is streaming on soundcloud now, and available for streaming and pre-order on bandcamp. The songs are as politically raw and emotionally complex as usual. The EP is “dedicated to the work and to those who do it.” so it’s also great to listen too while reading Dave Zirin’s commentary on the Olympics or writing the 95th job application without diminishing hope for a response, or, you know, working.
We Forgot the Records to Our Record Release Party
Vancouver hardcore band Needs gives you the soundtrack for your daily WHAT AM I DOING moment. Off of their self-titled full length debut album to be released May 12 on File Under: Music.
Wednesday, middle of the week, time for some awesome noise. Perfect Pussy played their first show on a (inter)national stage recently when they were part of NPR Music’s SXSW showcase. Through all the noise, shouting, and feedback it is a really charming live performance. Especially the stage presence of singer Meredith Graves is undeniably amazing, even on tape.
Meredith Graves is also awesome, outspoken, and feminist off the stage. She and her bandmates took on their home scene of Syracuse, severely criticizing the sexism, racism, and homophobia in the hardcore community, with the backlash that is to be expected. The article about it on bitchmagazine.org gives a good look into the scene:
Meredith Graves did actually host a forum on sexism in the Syracuse music scene earlier this year. On the website badlandsdiy.com, Graves and the rest of Perfect Pussy defended their criticisms, arguing that they were aimed towards specific subsets of the hardcore community and not the scene in general. But the forum’s medley of violent, sexist statements did little to help her cause. One Syracuse performer who told a local media outlet that there were “no traces of homophobia, racism or sexism in Syracuse hardcore” described Perfect Pussy as “a bunch of fags” and implied that he wanted to punch Graves in the face for “running her mouth.”
”No one in Syracuse has ever taken my opinion seriously before,” Graves told Syrcause.com in response to the backlash. “Now all of a sudden I go off and say a couple of really mean things and bring on this maelstrom.“
Their noise punk isn’t something for everybody, but based on their full length, the live show above, and their public persona, the hype is well deserved.
While Pierre Bourdieu is talking about bourgeois (art/serious) music, this argument the French sociologist makes in an interview with Cyril Huvé could be applied to discussions (and fights) in current pop music genres and subcultures, like metal, hardcore, punk, hip hop, techno, indie, folk, etc.:
“What is intolerable for thise who have a certain taste, that’s to say, a certain acquired disposition to "differentiate and appreciate” as Kant puts it, is above all the mixing of genres, the confusion of domains. Radio or television producers* who juxtapose a classical violinist and a fiddler, (or, worse, a tzigane violinist,) an interview with Janos Strarker and a chat with an Argentinian tango director, and so on, are – sometimes knowingly, sometimes unconsiously – performing ritual barbarisms, sacrilegious transgressions, by mixing what ought to be separated, the sacred and the profane, and combining that which the embodied classifications, tastes, require to be separated.“ (Pierre Bourdieu. Sociology in Question. SAGE, 1993. p. 104)
*Or music bloggers, teenagers with a youtube channel, …
When Jimmy Page was rocking, I didn’t think he was rocking for guys. But there were definitely some bands I felt that way about, where I wasn’t invited to rock along with them. Like the white T-shirt, hardcore punk white guys. They were way meaner than the heavy metal bands and way meaner than some huge Harley Davidson guy with a beard who liked blues. When me and Kelley would get together and play these country songs at bars and truckstops, those big Harley Davidson guys would cry, man, it would move them. Whereas those white T-shirt hardcore boys were very hung up about what girls could do, in bands or otherwise … Now you’ve got guys like Ian MacKaye “saving” girls from the mosh pit. Hey man, fuck you. Girls know what they’re doing when they get in the pit. They don’t need you to save them.
I discovered this great, howling song via NPR All Songs Considered’s CMJ episode. I wanted to describe it as “Joy Division and X-Ray Spex formed a riot grrrl band,” but that would be hack and not really adequate for a band as political, radical, and anti-(music)-establishment as the band from Washington, D.C. [They released the song as part of a tour-only cassette called Tape Two, for Christ’s sake.] Now I don’t have a better description, damnit, especially since music critic Maria Sherman already called them “as ‘a female-fronted, arty proto-punk band,’ reminiscent of the District’s bustling ’80s punk scene” on NPR. They’re punk as punk should be, and more hardcore than any thick breakdown could ever be.
Art! Art! Art! Art School!
Tell me what your worst fears are. I bet they look a lot like mine.
Tell me what you think about when you can’t fall asleep at night.
Tell me that you’re struggling. Tell me that you’re scared. No,
Tell me that you’re terrified of life.