Why Everett True is wrong

Written for Collapse Board

“Mostly only art created by women has any validity. The male experience has been created and recreated so often” – Everett True, 1992

That is such bulls***. It’s like saying that only Tuvan throat singing/rock hybrids have any validity because you don’t get much of that, either. (And, f***, it’s good stuff.)  I don’t flip the sleeve over to check the gender before I’ll listen to the record, any more than I’d think too much about whether they were, say, Turkish. And, yes, a Turkish act does bring a certain flavour to the mix that you rarely get with non-Turkish acts. It’s informed and shaped by its Turkishness but not wholly defined by it because it’s more than that and to reduce it to that is to insult it.

Take Aylin Aslim, for example. I don’t know who she is, but I love her. I don’t have the slightest clue what she’s singing about (though Google translate tells me it’s called “ghoul”). There’s definitely a Turkishness to what she does, but I don’t set out to listen to Turkish folk. I just like this one – her – because she has such a don’t-give-a-f*** attitude and playful energy that makes her an absolute joy to listen to.

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Rediscovered: Babes in Toyland

I left a message responding to Everett True’s excellent post on Babes in Toyland:

“Yes, I’d take issue with the “only art by women has any validity” comment, but the rest of it reminds me of a. why I ever listened to them and b. why I ever listened to you.

There was a QueenAdreena show where I walked up to Katie Jane Garside afterwards and thanked her, “for reminding me what it’s all about”. It was that same primal catharsis – a searing, gutteral scream that she MEANS. I think I might have hugged her.

Lori Barbero was incredible – a real inspiration to me growing up. I tried to play the drums because of her, but showing no natural aptitude, I gave up pretty quickly. Anyone can play guitar, but you need to be seriously f***ing HARD to play the drums.”

I wasn’t the world’s biggest Babes in Toyland fan, but I remember enjoying their album and waiting hours in the signings tent at Reading to meet them in ’93. They’re probably the reason I still team little dresses with giant army boots, two decades later. Back at the time, I was in this band with a much older girl who’d been friends with Courtney in LA. As a former addict, she’s partly responsible for my aversion to drugs: you see someone with 3rd degree burns, you don’t put your hand in the fire. We broke up before we even played any gigs – she wanted to call the band ‘Beef Curtains’, which I thought was obnoxiously crude, and my taste for witty barbed lyrics clashed with her vision of straightforward expletives. Still, we both agreed that albums like Fontanelle were magnificent.

This song still sounds just incredible.


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