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Archive for the ‘Le Butcherettes’ Category

[POSTPONED: June 16, 2021] Chicano Batman / Le Butcherettes [rescheduled from May 3, 2020; moved to December 15, 2021]

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I know of Chicano Batman through some songs on WXPN and through a cool Tiny Desk Concert.  They play a groovy psychedelia that is laced with soul and funk and indie rock.

There’s always a great bass sound that underpins Bardo Martinez’s soft vocals.

They also have a great name.

The more I hear them the more I think they’d be fun to see live.  Last time they came to town, they were opening for someone.  But this tour they are headlining.

Le Butcherettes I also know from a Tiny Desk Concert.  Teri Gender Bender is a great punk front woman. She channels different vocal styles and can rock with the best of them.  She is also unafraid to stare at the audience.  I imagine she’d be an intense experience.

I was unable to see them in May (that was Acid Mothers Temple night), but I’m free on the new date.

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[POSTPONED: May 3, 2020] Chicano Batman / Le Butcherettes [moved to June 16, 2021]

index

I know of Chicano Batman through some songs on WXPN and through a cool Tiny Desk Concert.  They play a groovy psychedelia that is laced with soul and funk and indie rock.

There’s always a great bass sound that underpins Bardo Martinez’s soft vocals.

They also have a great name.

The more I hear them the more I think they’d be fun to see live.  Last time they came to town, they were opening for someone.  But this tour they are headlining.

Le Butcherettes I also know from a Tiny Desk Concert.  Teri Gender Bender is a great punk front woman. She channels different vocal styles and can rock with the best of them.  She is also unafraid to stare at the audience.  I imagine she’d be an intense experience.

I was unable to see them in May (that was Acid Mothers Temple night), but I’m free on the new date.

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CV1_TNY_06_10_13Schossow.inddSOUNDTRACK: BOSNIAN RAINBOWS-“Torn Maps” (2013).

bosnianBosnian Rainbows are the collaboration of Omar Rodriguez-Lopez (At The Drive In, Mars Volta) and Teri Gender Bender (Le Butcherettes).  Interestingly, I normally think of Omar as being the dominant force in the music he makes, but for this song, it seems to be all Teri.  Teri is a Latina singer who takes no shit.  In her Tiny Desk concert, she is fierce and intense, and that comes across here as well.

Perhaps the biggest surprise is how synthy this song is.  It has a very retro feel–like a lot of 80’s bands (Missing Persons and ’til Tuesday’s darker moments and of course, there’s an element of Siouxsie in her voice as well).  But there is something especially intense that Teri brings to this song that takes it out of the realm of safe synth pop (perhaps it the dark bridge).  Omar peeks through a bit during the instrumental break which has a pretty wild guitar solo and some intriguing effects that I wish were more prevalent.

I’m fascinated by this song (although I wish I could hear the vocals more).

NPR is streaming this whole album as I write this, although I’m not sure if it will still be available as of this posting.

[READ: June 17, 2013] “The Ripper”

The second in the “True Crimes” series is from David Peace (an interesting name, hmmmm).  In this one, the year is 1977 and young David is obsessed with Sherlock Holmes (and I would assume Encyclopedia Brown, but he doesn’t mention the boy detective).  Peace was ten years old and set up his own detective agency, intent on solving all local small crimes.

And then he learned of the Yorkshire Ripper.  In the piece he says “I was a lonely ten-year-old boy who found the Yorkshire Ripper” which proves to be untrue.  That was a real bummer because that would have made a great story.  As it turns out, he thinks he has found the Yorkshire Ripper, but he hasn’t.

For those of us not following English serial killers, the Yorkshire Ripper was a man who killed dozens of women from 1977 to 1979.  Peace spent his time poring over clues, certain that he could find what the police could not.  And then came the breakthrough—a tape sent in to the local police station stating “I’m Jack.  I see you are still having no luck catching me.”  Peace listened to that tape (which was available at the local police station for the public to see if they could identify the voice) dozens of times.  And his prime suspect became his science teacher “Jock” Carter.  (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: LE BUTCHERETTES-Sin Sin Sin (2011).

I learned about Le Butcherettes from their Tiny Desk Concert.  So I thought I’d check out their album.  I’ve listened to it a few times now and it’s really quite good.

While the Tiny Desk Concert showed a subtle side of Teri Gender Bender, this album rocks really hard.  All three songs from the Tiny Desk Concert rock much harder here, and are actually better in this full band context (especially “Henry Don’t Got Love”).

It has a punk feel and reminds me of a more commercial sounding Bikini Kill or other Kill Rock Stars punk.  “Dress Off” is all Teri’s voice shouting over drums: “You take my dress off. Yeah, you take my dress off.
Yeah, You take my pretty dress off.”

In the Tiny Desk concert, Teri Gender Bender channeled PJ Harvey completely.  On the album, she has a bunch of different vocal styles that all work well for the songs.  Although “New York” is totally PJ, “The Actress That Ate Rousseau” reminds me of punkier No Doubt and”Tainted in Sin” has a simple stark keyboard melody with Teri singing a more aggressive guttural style.

Unsurprisingly for someone named Teri Gender Bender, there are some political songs as well.  “Bang!” has the lyric, “George Bush and McCain taking over Mexico.  Next thing you’ll see is their army banning seranata

Although there’s a lot of short songs (7 are 2 and a half minutes or under), there’s a few long ones too.  “The Leibniz Language is over 5 minutes and “I’m Getting Sick of You” and “Empty Dimes” are both over 4.  There’s also an instrumental, “Rikos’ Smooth Talking Mothers” which is a simple song spurred on mostly by scratchy guitars.

The final song, “Mr. Tolstoi” is the anomaly on the album.  Teri “sings” with a fake Russian accent  over a very Soviet-style keyboard march.  The chorus:

I want Raskolnikov To be inside of me.  I want Sonya’s eyes.  I want Sonya’s eyes.

Weird.  But not outrageously crazy for this record.  It’s good noisy fun.

[READ: January 23, 2012] “Labyrinth”

It’s no secret that I love Roberto Bolaño.  And I’ve said before that one thing I love about him is the astonishing variety of subjects and styles that he comes up with.

So this short story is forthcoming from his newly translated collection of unpublished short stories called The Secret of Evil.  What I love and find so unique about this story is that the entire story is based upon a photograph.  The New Yorker includes the photograph (I wonder if the The Secret of Evil will include it also).  In the photograph, eight writers/thinkers sit around a table.  Thy are: J. Henric, J.-J. Goux, Ph. Sollers, J. Kristeva, M-Th Réveillé, P. Guyotat, C. Devade, and M. Devade.  The only person I know of this list is J. Kristeva, whose work on semiotics I have read.  [I just looked her up on Wikipedia and learned that she has also written novels, including: Murder in Byzantium, which deals with themes from orthodox Christianity and politics and has been described by Kristeva as “a kind of anti-Da Vinci Code.”  Gotta put that on my list].  But the others are (evidently) prominent in their fields as well (editor of Tel Quel, author of several novels and non-fiction, etc).

The beginning of the short story is an extensive detailing of the photograph.  Bolaño looks at each man and woman in the photo and describes them with exquisite accuracy.  Beyond that he imparts a bit of speculation about what they are wearing, where they are looking, their attractiveness and even, about the length (or lack) of necks. (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: LE BUTCHERETTES-Tiny Desk Concert #185 (January 9, 2012).

The write up for this Tiny Desk show implies that I should know who Le Butcherettes, and leader Teri Gender Bender, are.  I don’t.  But that doesn’t matter.

In this set, it’s just Teri Gender Bender and her acoustic guitar.  And she is channeling early PJ Harvey like nobody’s business.  If you like PJ’s new album but miss the less than subtle aspects of her earlier  records (and who doesn’t, honestly), this is a very enjoyable set.  Teri is angry and it shows.  But it’s all done on an acoustic guitar, so the anger is modified by the music.  It’s a neat trick.  But it’s also a little disconcerting.  Not least because she seems so nakedly honest when she sings (when she coughs aggressively during “Henry Don’t Got No Love” it’s not entirely clear if that’s part of the song or not.  But also because Teri is not afraid to look right at the camera (or, indeed, the audience) when she sings the songs.  Teri is very pretty but there is something haunting about her, which makes these songs of loss and love all the more effective.

See for yourself here.

[READ: January 22, 2012] “Notes on The Chelsea Girls”

I’m not going to start reviewing films, or, worse yet, reviewing reviews of films.  But since I like to try to read all of the academic articles that get recommended to me, I wanted to mention this one too (I admit I will not be subjecting myself or readers to a thirty plus page article about Charles Darwin and pigeon fanciers (which seemed interesting, especially the pictures, until I saw that it was over thirty dense pages).

It’s childish to laugh that a reviewer of Warhol’s The Chelsea Girls is named Battcock, but I’m not above that sort of joke.  What is amazing, to me, is how intellectual this review is.  I’m used to reading reviews in Entertainment Weekly or even The New Yorker, which talk about the plot of the film and the quality of the direction and what not.  And The New Yorker often trashes mainstream film on highfalutin grounds.  But even that doesn’t come anywhere close to:

Warhol still questions the very nature of the medium and its relationship with the cultural matrix and the contemporary value structure–for which he clearly holds no brief.  He is determined to prove that only vital institutions can provide vital art statements; his challenges to the medium serve ultimately to assure its legitimacy.  If in his earlier movies he attempted to redefine the nature of film and to clarify its limitations, the new works may be said to check out the remaining restrictions of the art form.  These include such physical aspects as the two distinct types of images (the retinal-visual and the cerebro-visual), as well as the nature of the auditorium, projection and screen.

Battcock is kind of hash on the film–which is actually several short films–two of which are projected side by side at the same time.  He says the individual shorts, which run about 30 minutes each, are “a little bland.”  Although, as he points out above, the actual films themselves are kind of beside the point.

Indeed, he criticizes other critics for missing the “point” of these films, which is that Warhol is “stripping the cinematic medium of its pretension and decorations.”  Rather, he complains, “Nearly all the other critics writing in the popular press dwelt with the lugubrious insistence on the squalidness, sordidness, perversion, etc of the lives depicted in the film” (more…)

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