If you don’t know who Le Tigre were you need to do some Riot Grrrl homework people! JD Samson was part of this electronica/punk/screamo/post-disco/whateveryouwanttocallit trio in the 1990s and 2000s. Le Tigre ROCKED!
But also, they played with gender identities. I think the whole of Riot Grrl did. As soon as you have seen a woman in torn jeans and backcombed hair playing bass guitar screaming ‘SWAMP PUSSY’ you know that the role of ‘female rock artist’ is being fucked with. That the concept of ‘woman’ is being fucked with. (incidentally one of my favourite Riot Grrrl bands was Bongwater. Their analysis of post-feminist neo-liberalism via the themes of Pretty Woman was something to behold: ‘cos that’s all women are good for isn’t it? Sucking and Shopping, Sucking and Shopping, Sucking and Shopping….’ And now, maybe our popular culture is telling us that ‘sucking and shopping’ is all anyone is good for).
Le Tigre fucked with gender, perhaps the most consciously of all the Riot Grrrl bands. Not least through the persona of JD Samson. And in Samson’s new project, gender is still at the forefront … it is called MEN after all.
I don’t want to make too much commentary. JD Samson speaks on this OUT! interview more eloquently than I ever could. But it is worth a listen. And the new single by MEN, ‘Off Our Backs’ is damned catchy, with quite a sexy video too. We love you JD!!