Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Spell It with RRRRRRRRRRRRRR

WHOA mad blog-withdrawal. I think it's just cuz I've been in music-land and new website-building land and also house-hunting and packing-moving land... unfortunately that shit takes time (where is my cabana team). I don't mind it so much though, all part of the general life upgrade.. you're supposed to work for things to enjoy them fully right? And who knew that kickboxing and the patriarchy go so well together? Not to be even more of a bitch cliche but uhhh... I love that shit. Also it's a fabulous opportunity to wear my vintage Puma wrestling boots. Ideal.

Moving means loud tune listening, and I've been back into the grunge / punk / riot grrl music action like whoa. And just in case you are one of those obnoxious people born in the early nineties (arrrgh, you never get my jokes or Hallowe'en costumes, I was THE BEE GIRL!!!), here is a reason why I keep using two r's when I spell "grrl". Nope, it's not cuz I'm retarded or because I saw some cool chick spell it like that on her blog... actually, oh shit. Wait a minute.

Ok so technically it wasn't a blog, it was a zine, but that was basically the early nineties' answer to the blog, only like, wayyyy harder to do so it was about a billion time cooler. Cuz you had to be fucking dedicated to get your shit together to type something out, find drawings for it and then get it together to steal (I mean borrow) someone's copycard and photocopy it and then staple it and stuff it or whatever and then mail it to say, oh I don't know, some random Canadian prairie capital where a pissed=off, overly-sexed mentally-frustrated teenager with purple hair and bad jewelry awaited EVERY SINGLE WORD. Cuz yah. Doing all that pretty much reeks of effort. Thank god all I have to do now is just type some shit, copy paste some pix / music and as you can see, I can barely find the time to do that. So I think we've established that chicks like Kathleen Hanna who put together the Bikini Kill zine were wayyy baddass.

I must tell you that IF YOU HAVE NOT READ THE RIOT GRRL MANIFESTO you are simply missing out on a key part of Crystal Precious.

Go ahead, read it. If you've read it, read it again. I'll wait for you.

...waiting....

Yay! Good job. Now imagine 'lil ol' me... always that the chick wanting to talk about music, obsess over music, listen to music, wanting to be in a band, go to every rave ever, dance to music, make music... and really not seeing too many other girls doing that. Especially in my high school. Like, none. Just dudes giving me weird looks and telling me I was fun to party with and that I should wear skirts more. Uhhh....

Don't forget we weren't all connected by a click of the mouse back then. If you lived in the middle of the Prairies, you had access to cable TV, select mags, music and that was it. Anything else you had to dig for. I think I was 16 or 17 before we had dial up, I didn't even have an e-mail address until I graduated from highschool. So reading this in print was the first time I'd ever heard anyone ever say anything like this, much less write it in a tangible form, and I knew as I was reading it it had been mailed out to thousands of other girls (I mean grrlz) just like me. It was kind of a big deal. It made things seem possible. It changed my life.

Of course I'm not the kind of person to follow someone else's mantra to the letter, and these days I'm thinking about this in the context of whole new category of underground performance art / community building. I also have much more complicated thoughts about capitalism and about how our general economic structure affects the way we relate to one another, and how women, especially women with high media profiles, fit into that. But aside from those mental amendments I don't think these manifesto words have ever left me. The truths and hopes and resolves they instilled in my little teenage heart are as clear to me as on the first day they settled there. I am forever grateful to them and to Ms Hanna for making me feel like I wasn't the only grrl on the planet. It made me excited to meet new grrlz and maybe team up with them and maybe... make some music.

Sooo first thing's first... I started skipping highschool a lot (best decision of my life, seriously) and found some theatre / music kids to hang out with, some of whom I'd met through the raves and inner city house parties. Hanging out with like-mindeds made me feel a little braver. Consequently I started my first band at 15 with Steve Ferminiuk on bass, David Gregoire & Mitch Delot on guitars, and a serious metal kid on drums. We were called... wait for it... Sodom & Gamorrah. Severe right? My dad thought we were super annoying. Lots of screaming and leather. It was perfect. Mostly originals, we had songs called "Cancer" and "Mrs. Alexander". We also did a few covers... "Long Snake Moan" from PJ Harvey's To Bring You My Love album, for example. Not gonna lie, I'm simultaneously relieved and saddened that no evidence remains of good ol' Sodom. This was obviously before Pro-Tools and Logic or even the common ownership of laptops. We played our debut show in the basement of a bingo hall near Grant Park Shopping centre (I wonder if that was where I got the idea to put on burlesque shows in halls. Might've been. We got away with murder there). After that it was Ozzy's in the basement of the Osbourne Hotel, the all ages metal bar under the Zoo. Someone there saw me do my thing and later at a party asked if I would try out for the band that would ultimately became Moses Mayes (it was called Supershagg then). I was 16. They liked me. Yeah both bands were pretty much all dudes, but still. It was Winnipeg and I had a band. And they let me do what I wanted, for the most part, I wrote all my own vox and lyrics. And so CP took her first wee steps.

Lately I'm finding I'm kind of scratching my head again. It's like, oh shit, Oprah quit... phewf, we still have Tina Fey. But its weird because I've spent a lot of time figuring out how to NOT be pissed off about sexism in my industry (and yes, many pills of ecstasy were consumed during this period.... works great, try it out). My conclusion is that I think some people are taking advantage of the irony card now. Like, there is so much un-PC satirical humour out there now that some assholes are relying on the assumption that people will just trust that they are joking when actually they aren't... they are just being really sexist. And the fact remains that mainstream media is still what SUPER impressionable 12, 13, 14 year-olds are seeing, regardless as to whether they will ultimately find solace in some alternative sub culture... or whether they will even want to. And while I have to laugh at blatant sexism when it's just absurdly offensive and therefore impressive in its uncensored glory, I don't want to be doing that as often as I am lately. Like, still not really laughing at the c-rap hip-pop music videos. They're not even trying to be ironic. Like really???? STILL?????? I wrote my rebuttle to that like 9 years ago. Big surprise that I'm kind of narrowing my eyes a bit and writing rhymes that feel like they belong in a Sodom and Gamorrah song.

Was this happening the whole time I was at the rave? How come the gays have like 9 channels now and we're still oiled up doing crotch moves in the Akon video 80 times a day?

I really love posting this Cazwell video because my good friend Isaac said something I think is probably really true about it... straight guys watch this very video and feel the same way that we feel every time we see a video-ho video. Try it. It's an indescribable feeling... not all bad, but definately unsettling. One difference though is that the dude in this vid has the distinct advantage of obviously being the one in charge here. In the flip version the females wouldn't be in charge and would be sitting on everyone's laps. Also I can't embed this vid from YouTube because its flagged as adult content. Think it'd be flagged if it was chicks? Fuck naww... you'd be watching it at 9:30 in the morning on MuchMusic while you eat your Wheaties and get ready for school. Just calmly pointing that out. NBD.

Again, it's CAZWELL'S ICE CREAM TRUCK. Just try it out. Now imagine having to see this sort of thing EVERY DAY OF YOUR LIFE EVER, often SEVERAL TIMES A DAY. See why it starts to fucking piss us off after awhile?

In other news, I totally need some ice cream now that is completely unrelated to this video. I swear.

big love and grrrrrrrrl growlz
xoxo
CP

PS: If you are in Vancouver this Friday and you are not on the giant steampunk pirate ship party cruising around the city as the sun sets, I seriously question your judgement. LIKE SERIOUSLY. This will be epic beyond all things conceivable. Boarding starts at 7pm, we set sail at 8pm. 750 Pacific Blvd. MAKE IT HAPPEN.