too much typing—since 2003

8.10.2008

onomastic crossdressing

Funny how band names seem to fall into trends. Over the years we've had the "Jesus" trend, the "Super" trend, a smattering of "Orange" bands, and of course the ever-expanding zoo of animal bands. And in the last year or so, it seems male musicians want to explore their feminine sides - or at least, name themselves as if they are. Of course there's Greg Gillis and Girl Talk - but since every other music blog has posted his stuff, I'm not. So instead here are tracks from Girls, The Girls (not the same band), and Women. (And Parenthetical Girls.) No one in any of these bands is biologically female.

Girls are from San Francisco. Their song is called "Lust for Life," and it's not an Iggy Pop cover. And Googling this is challenging.

The Girls are not the same band as Girls (and online websites that drop articles can kiss it). Instead of being from San Francisco, they're from Seattle, and given that their forthcoming album is called Yes No Yes No Yes No, they also are guilty of making web searches difficult. Their song is "Transfer Station," and it's probably my favorite of this bunch.

Women are all grown up, and they're Canadian. Dan at Said the Gramophone called "Black Rice" one of the more straightforward songs on their self-titled album, and he's right.

(Finally, here's a cover by Parenthetical Girls of Orchestral Manœuvres in the Dark's "Joan of Arc (Maid of Orleans)" - which is not the same song as "Joan of Arc." (I bother to write out the band's name in full rather than use the convenient abbreviation "OMD" because the band's first four or five albums are quite different from the rather fluffy synthpop of their later work: well worth checking out for some dark, moody, often experimental textures.) This version was originally released on obscure label Aagoo's limited-edition picture single, but it's more readily available from Pitchfork's site - which is where I got it.)

And if anyone knows of any all-female bands named "Men," or "The Boys," or "Boys," please let me know...

Girls "Lust for Life" (download, 2008)
The Girls "Transfer Station" (Yes No Yes No Yes No, 2008)
Women "Black Rice" (Women, 2008)
Parenthetical Girls "Joan of Arc (Maid of Orleans)" (limited-edition picture disc, 2008)

8 comments:

PCarino said...

In the past 6 months or so, I've noticed several bands whose names sound like female solo acts. Neva Dinova is one example, but I can't recall the others offhand...

PCarino said...

Oh, and to answer your question, there was a great ol' Portland band from the early '80s, all female, called the NeoBoys.

yellojkt said...

There's always The Barenaked Ladies and New York Dolls. And Two Nice Girls were.

JJRJ said...

The two non-Kathleen-Hanna members of Le Tigre are in a group called Men.

(And on your original theme, Rob Crow of Pinback + Zach Hill of Hella are a duo called The Ladies.)

By the way, don't men have estrogen too? I mean, yeah, it was obvious what you meant, but I've never quite understood why people turn to biological shorthand sometimes when talking about gender. Yeah, saying "men" and "women" can get a little repetitive, but so?

2fs said...

jjrj: mea culpa on the biological error. But as you noted, it's readily understood, and I guess the reason I used the biological shorthand is that it's what the language does. That is to say, using "estrogen" to convey an association with women is by this point a typical usage of the word - otherwise, you wouldn't have understood what I wrote. As to why I used it...uh, to not keeping using "woman" and "female" and "feminine," I suppose. Generally, the shorter and lighter the blog entry, the less diligent my inner editor.

I guess I'm not sure what bothers you about the usage (other than, you know, the way some people dislike the word "craft" because the sound of it makes their stomach curdle, or some similar issue of personal taste).

2fs said...

Of course, having been compelled to recognize that "complete lack of estrogen" is factually incorrect, I decided to edit the entry...and ended up removing the "estrogen" reference entirely.

This leaves Vladimir waiting all by himself.

jonderneathica said...

The Blackgirls were two white women. And that reminds me of the Young Black Teenagers; but the less said about them, the better.

jonderneathica said...

Clorox Girls are a male trio. They will be playing a power pop festival in Austin this month with the Boys!