The Ettes and I Love Men
The thing about the Pipettes is that men love them. You’re thinking “Duh, the Pipettes are hot and twenty.” But let me tell you something, buster: No matter how hot and twenty most women musicians are, men do not pack the Rickshaw Stop or any other place to hear them. The only other lady band I can think of that drew in the dudes was Sleater-Kinney, R.I.P. But S-K brought the geeks, because geeks have great taste and don’t necessarily follow the codes of normative masculinity.
The Pipettes show last night, though, was full of big-shouldered, short-haired, bro-looking guys. Other than that, and the fact that the joint was overrun with Devil-Ettes (I got to meet The Pixie. Hi Pixie!) who got a song dedicated to them, it was just your standard awesome British girl-group show. Openers Smoosh, who I was ready to not like, turned out to be creepy in that underage-meat-on-display-way, but also, the two girls are genuinely talented musicians. Chi-hui Yang, my escort for the evening, said “If I ever have kids I want them to be precocious and cool like that.” Chi-hui is incredibly cool and has great hair, but he can’t do crossword puzzles for shit. His kids will probably take over the world anyway, which is fine with me.
Also I went to the Hemlock the other night as part of a random evening spent with lecturers in the PWR department at Stanford. Did you know that everyone at Stanford begins every sentence with the phrase “At Stanford?” Like they say “At Stanford, I ate a tuna salad sandwich for lunch.” Or “At Stanford, we are all up in fucking arms because we can’t ride our bikes in the arcades anymore.” But I digress. The point here is that I ran into Aaron Kierbel, who plays drums in: Rupa and the April Fishes, Cotton Candy Cabaret, Kugelplex, Bat Makumba, a bunch of other bands I can’t remember, and this past Sunday, Charming Hostess. Aaron challenged me to a mix tape duel a while back -- cassettes, not CDs. It’s very much harder to make a mix tape than a mix CD. Approximately twenty times harder, I’d say. Anyway, the tape Aaron made for me is greatness since he’s a voraciously curious musician type, so in spite of being only 25, he knows some stuff. It’s even got found-sound transition dialogue stuff, which is suuuper hard to get right on analog tape. It starts with a French language version of “These Boots Were Made for Walking” that convulses me every time I hear it with lines like “Ces bottes sont faites pour marcher/ Et tu vas le regretter/ Car je mettrai ces bottes un jour ou l’autre pour te quitter.” So he goes “Indulge me! Tell me just one song on my tape that you really liked.” So I go “‘Bods!’ Totally ‘Bods.’” Which is a song by Bruce Haack, an early pioneer of children’s techno music. --Hiya Swanhuyser