Jan. 30th, 2013

[identity profile] cabaretlights.livejournal.com

Shaky Hands

: Tegan & Sara's new album came out yesterday!, and across the world, the endlessly catchy sounds of 80s-inspired synth pop mixed with T&S-melancholia could be heard while people danced and spun in circles and cried -- I among them. Objectively, I was excited about this -- I've always liked Tegan & Sara, and I have such a soft spot for the type of music they've created on Heartthrob. So -- regardless of my situation -- I'm sure I would have loved this album. But, I'm not listening objectively.

Tegan & Sara are out, and damn proud of it. They are role models for thousands and thousands of queer girls & women across the world (in and out of their closets). There are few -- so few -- in their position. Listening to that album, much like watching The L Word, gives me this strange, wonderful feeling I've never had before. I can't put words to it, really. It's different from when I see heartwarming stories about same-sex equality legislation being enacted -- it's more immediate, more personal (I've always, after all, been someone who responds more strongly to media than reality). It's this strange sense of feeling that my choices, my lifestyle, is celebrated. As worthy of being storied, expressed, complexly addressed, as anything heteronormative. I like hearing words and knowing that they are sung by a woman and meant for another one. It makes me feel bigger than myself, less alienated, less afraid.

I'd like, though, if it was a little...clearer.
If it wasn't so easy to assume that these little pop gems were gender-neutral.
I get it. I have no problem with it, because the intent is enough for me. Mostly.
But it's like Jodie Foster's "coming out -- not!" speech -- fine, you're allowed to be private. Or careful, or marketable. But you're a public figure and it is hard, it is so hard, to find public figures who blatantly accept and publicize and make other people accept their lifestyles. When you're living a life that's illegal in some places, immoral in most, someone who takes a concrete stance is a personal monument. When I defined as asexual it was similar; it means more now, though.

So -- all that to say -- that while I was rockin' out to Tegan & Sara, at the back of my mind, I was thinking about this song. Which you may or may not remember hearing last February before a certain rapper took the stage.

This is balls-out (boobs-out?) lesbian.
"Seen her cross the line, line
That vision gave me shivers down my spine, spine
I never told her that I miss her
When I told her, she whispered
This voice of hers, tender
It's a clutter, she whispered...

Thank you.
I liked this song before I identified with it -- it's weird and electronic and I love Hélène Delorme's twisty, nasal, aching voice. But it's now that it really has import. There are not enough examples of positive same-sex representation, especially female. It shouldn't be such a big deal to have a girl use a female pronoun in her lyrics, but, it is. And for someone whose emotional bread & butter is media -- that's a big nutritious salad with an entire avocado, thank you very much.

Tegan & Sara do a lot to promote LGBTQ issues, in their interviews and in the way they live their lives, and being at their concert was an exercize in empathy and acceptance. But there is something incomparable about hearing a song and not having to twist the words.
[identity profile] amethysting.livejournal.com

Talkie Walkie

In trying to save money for my post-graduation trip to Europe, I stopped buying CDs.  This was a show of willpower because, all through CEGEP and university, I lived for Tuesdays.  I recorded album release dates in my agenda and made regular pilgrimages to Sam the Record Man, east of McGill on St. Catherine street. (I really miss that store--its uneven linoleum floors; hand-lettered signs; framed, autographed posters; its worn-in appeal).  I couldn't bear the thought of missing out on all of the new music that was coming out, so I submitted a steady stream of purchasing suggestions to the library--Talkie Walkie being one of them.  

Talkie Walkie is one of those albums that immediately defines a period of my life--a time that is still sharp etched in my memory.  As much as Tori Amos's Scarlet's Walk is associated with studying on the ground floor of the McLennan library, Talkie Walkie was Redpath's soundtrack.  Thank goodness it isn't tainted by the fact that I listened to it non-stop while working on the daunting final assignment for the archeology class I was taking at the time (everything about that class made me miserable; I very nearly failed). 

The sound of this album, and of this song in particular, mirrored the way I felt--strange and slightly off-kilter.  The simple lyrics and use of repetition that characterize most of these songs was like salve on a wound; a familiar pattern I could get a firm hold of.  I've always thought (and loved) that the opening of "Run" sounds like the music that plays in a castle in SNES's The Legend of Zelda (haha, no, really though).  Maybe that is why it evokes a sense of danger, of being highly attuned and alert.  The vocals sound digitized, but do not lose their warmth.  The lyrics describe a couple lying in bed; the speaker begs his lover not to leave because, when she does, he feels "sad" and "strange".  Lines like "stay like this/on the hills/of my chest" are so simple, but cement that image so effectively.  I love that the beat echoes footfalls.  Not to sound over-dramatic, but, in a way, Talkie Walkie was my synthetic heartbeat at a time when my own was alarmingly disjointed. 
[identity profile] amethysting.livejournal.com

...in any (or every!) sense of the word


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