Pop culture treasure, high culture trash.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Be Your Own Finally Punk Grates

Feminism has taught me to distrust wave metaphors. They have a tendency to elide entire groups and eras from the historical record, suggesting that, for example, all American feminists between the years 1921 and 1965 were just sitting around cleaning their ovens and playing peanuckle, biding their time until Betty Friedan. Still, the cadre of riotous woman-powered bands breaking this summer is looking awfully watery crest-shaped, if stopping short of bidding for riot grrrl's second wave. A sampling:

THE GRATES
Hometown: Brisbane, Australia
Newly-released album: Gravity Won't Get You High [Dew Process]
Charismatic frontwoman: Patience Hodgson
Championed by: SXSW
Sounds like: Velocity Girl, Elastica, the Dishes, Fever to Tell-era Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Listen to: "InsideOutside," "Lies Are Much More Fun"

BE YOUR OWN PET
Hometown: Nashville, Tennessee
Newly-released album: s/t [Ecstatic Peace/Universal]
Charismatic frontwoman: Jemina Pearl
Championed by: Thurston Moore
Sounds like: Machine-era YYYs, Bikini Kill, Slant 6
Listen to: "Bicycle Bicycle You Are My Bicycle," "Girls On TV"

FINALLY PUNK
Hometown: Austin, Texas
Newly-released album: s/t, 7" [self-released/Kill Rock Stars]
Charismatic frontwoman: rotates, grrrl-style
Championed by: Brace Payne
Sounds like: Numbers, Erase Errata, Spider and the Webs
Listen to: "Negative Creep" (Nirvana cover)

Disclaimer: post scooped by both Interrobang?! and City Pages.

1 comment:

emmy hennings said...

Hmmmm, not sure about The Grates being part of any new pro-female/riot-grrrl 'wave' (although I love your dissing of that particular metaphor). Having seen them a few times out here in Australia (supporting Sleater-Kinney, no less), they seem to me like a fairly vapid take on an already vapid post-punk 'resurgency'. All surface, no feeling - or something close to it. There is little challenge or urgency in their sound, and I think they will be a) quickly forgotten and/or b) quickly assimilated into the bland, psuedo-corporate merry-go-round of Australian music festivals and 'alternative' radio.