Posts tagged "more posts about music and feminism"
You see, Lana Del Rey is exactly what I was hoping to inspire when I took on the male rock establishment almost twenty years ago with my debut record, “Exile In Guyville.”
Let me break it down for you: she’s writing herself into existence. She’s giving herself a part to play because, God knows, no one else will and she wants to matter in this life. As far as I can tell, it’s working. I went straight to iTunes and bought her new release “Born To Die” in toto (how often do I do that??) because it was more than a collection of songs or a performance, it was a phenomenon. Maybe all the more so because she’s not overwhelmingly talented. The minute I hear the whisperings of “how dare she,” I’m interested.
I never thought my father was not middle-class. Or my stepfather, or my mother during the bad years. To think that would have been to insult him, somehow. So the most I could ever think to say, about my father, was that he was different. There was something different, about how he lived. There was his accent. I was not allowed to pronounce words the way he did, or use the same words, or string them together in the same order: “Ain’t,” and “don’t” instead of “doesn’t” (as in, “that don’t sound right”), were not how nice people talked. Similarly, I was to say “movie thee-ter,” not “movie thee-YAY-ter,” and “baby doll,” not “baby dowl.” My father was from Ohio, same as my mother; this wasn’t about place, this distinction. This was about “sounding nice.” Some people in our town sounded nice, some didn’t.
So I was in New York, and I was twenty, and as far as I was concerned, I had no father. I’d made a mistake, loving him; I’d corrected it; I was done, ready to forget. Which was hard, because the streets were filled with men dressed exactly like him.
The boys were growing their hair long, that year. They were wearing what they called “trucker hats,” sometimes with the John Deere logo, sometimes without. They wore the tough-guy polyester vests, the puffy zip-up kind. They wore t-shirts for metal bands; the understanding was that you didn’t wear those shirts because you listened to the bands, you wore them because they were funny. In a magazine called Vice, I could see that the daring boys were going for the jean jackets. I was puzzled, thrown off; I’d come here to get away from my father, to get away from the world he lived in, and everyone worth knowing wore that world around, laughing at it. And as little as I loved my father, I couldn’t bring myself to laugh.
Because those boys, and the girls they knew, sounded nothing like my Dad. They talked about their time in Prague, their time touring Europe; they talked about bands they’d hung out with, and those bands were The Walkmen and The Strokes and some of the girls had fucked some of them; one of my roommates was one of the girls, and when she saw that I had a Juliana Hatfield CD, she smiled and said, “yeah, I’ve partied with her a bit, she’s awesome.” I try to remember that these boys and girls were children, some of them only eighteen years old; I try to remember that I was stupid too, unbelievably stupid, that I also had bad politics that make me shudder to recall. It still doesn’t take away the way they made me feel.
Going to a bar, with my boyfriend, with the activist friends he’d made through Greenpeace; it was called “Trailer.” It was decorated to look like somebody’s idea of what you’d see in a trailer person’s home. To be precise, it was decorated to look like my home; it was decorated to look like the houses I’d visited growing up. We sat on a couch that had also belonged to my grandmother. And to my mother, during the bad years, right after she left my father; it was a hand-me-down. I traced the pattern of fruit in the print and thought about how I’d chipped my brother’s tooth, bouncing with him on the cushions.
This will destroy you.
“Interestingly the poetry world is getting celebrated for its VIDA showing of nearly equal gender parity in reviewing etc. The problem there though is that the majority of the poets writing are female. It’s true. That’s who takes workshops, that’s who gets MFAs, you can easily get some numbers there and frankly in the poetry scene the women are the ones who are generally doing the most exciting work. Why? Because the female reality is still largely unknown. And language is the thrill that holds the unknown in its vague and shifting ways…
Female reality is not better. But female reality has consumed male reality abundantly—we have to in order just to survive so female reality always contains male and female. That seems interesting as hell so at the very least I think it’s a lot more interesting than a monotonous male reality. Which seems just sort of staid and old. Tapped out. Female reality (and this goes for all the “other” realities as well—queer, black, trans—everyone else) is more interesting because it is wider, more representative of humanity—it’s definitely more stylistically various because of all it has to carry and show. “
Get more former teen girls writing rock criticism and this will be less of a problem!