Feminists Are Annoying

Article written for controversial school pamphlet:

FEMINISTS ARE ANNOYING

From personal experience I can tell all women it is essential that you do not proudly proclaim yourself a ‘Feminist’. You must remember to never try to assert your authority – this will be only detrimental to your cause. Make sure that, if by some horrible coincidence you are labelled a feminist, everyone knows you don’t hate men.  Most likely you will be outed, stereotyped or disagreed with on most accounts. Of course, if I were in fact to give out instructions on ‘How to be a Feminist’ it would inevitably be completely hypocritical of the point of this article and also would be ‘annoying’.

Yes, I could make this an angry, rampant article about feminism and how women are treated unfairly because it is an extremely relevant issue but I don’t think it’s interesting anymore. I agree that we should shut up about feminism, we’ve heard it all before and it’s boring. Honestly, I’m bored too. I am bored of having to continually assert my right to speak, be heard and be respected. I’m also bored of the fact that mentioning the word will get you nowhere except eye-rolling and heavy sighing. Because feminists are bitchy, and loud, and annoying – right? Someone has got to shut them up.

I’m being satirical, by the way. I’m being funny. Feminism is funny – isn’t it? Irritating feminists is really funny. It’s hilarious that I am still compelled to write an article in a private, liberal boarding school about how women are not treated equally to men. Humanity has walked on the moon but girls are still having to prove their right to equality. I get it – talking about feminism makes us uncomfortable. But actually, it should be uncomfortable, and awkward. I want you to feel a little ashamed, annoyed and bored by this article – I want you to feel something. Get annoyed and get angry. Feminism is now so far removed from its original purpose that it has become a demonised and largely rejected concept for most people. The intended impact of feminism has become lost amongst the ‘white feminists’ and ‘menimist’ movements of Twitter and the media. For those who don’t know, mainstream ‘white feminism’ does not only disregard intersectionality but sometimes even attempts at diversifying their feminism actually contribute to the dilution of intersectional feminism by speaking over the voices which talk about the wage gap and exploitation of WOC. Be proud of standing up for equality and associating yourself with a ‘feminine’ concept.

It’s ironic because most of you have probably stopped reading by this point – the only ones left are the people who want to disagree and the bra-burners. What I’m trying to say is that yes, I agree with you, feminists are annoying. Sometimes you think we need to shut up. The reality is, feminists are annoying because they have to repeat themselves over and over again. Feminists are annoying because they get wound up by stupid little boys (and girls) who believe it is their god given right to be in on an inside joke against women, when in fact they are perpetuating the sexism which has been alive for hundreds of years and ridiculing a cause which women have literally died for. Why did no one teach them to shut up?

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This Isn’t What We Expected from The Vaccines

What did we expect from The Vaccines? Probably not this crazy new sound – but we are loving it. The indie-pop band recently released their new single, a UK tour and a multitude of festivals dates. ‘Handsome’ has the familiar pop rock melodies of ‘Norgaard’ and the ironic teenage angst filled lyrics of ‘No Hope’ but it also is a breath of fresh air for the band. Justin has said that he wants the song to sound bad in 10 years, and have it define a generation of music – a bold claim for this self proclaimed pop band. I don’t think pop necessarily has to sound bad in 10 years, it just needs to be so familiar that you know it like it the back of your hand and the tune is so lodged in your brain that it’s pretty impossible to remove it once it gets stuck there.

Since ‘Handsome’, the band have given us a taste of the album with other singles like ‘Dream Lover’ and ’20/20′ (seen live 3rd April 2015). ‘Dream Lover’ is dripping with heavy, electronic riffs and is a spaced out, crazy single. 20/20 is upbeat, guitar-shredding, Vampire Weekend-inspired enjoyment, similar to their older stuff – it’s my favourite so far. However, it does have a close competitor in the form of ‘Minimal Affection’. I must admit when I first heard the opening notes of MA I wasn’t convinced – it wasn’t really up my street, or so I thought. On a second, and then third, and then fourth listen (all back to back you understand) – I was sold. It’s funky, it’s catchy – it’s like The Strokes, Chromeo and early Vaccines B-sides in one big, beautiful melting pot. Solid, groovy tunes and ambiguous lyrics are looking more and more likely to characterise the new album.

Has Sia Gone Too Far?

Sia’s Elastic Heart music video is the latest controversy to hit the music world. Recieving over 5 million views in the first 24 hours, this latest single is classy pop magic, filled with head flicks, passion and electronic key changes. Classic Sia. The music video features Maddie Ziegler, the same extraordinary girl from Chandelier. However, it also has a guest appearance from Shia LaBeouf. Both are clad in nude coloured skin tight leotards and dance around a large cage, similarly to the aforementioned Chandelier. People saw this and they immediately assumed a promotion of pedophilia.

In my opinion, Sia, a world renowned and critically acclaimed pop queen, would not intentionally promote anything of this nature. Her new hidden identity has allowed her to express herself in her music in a far better, and far freer way. You can practically hear her heart pounding out of her chest in every beat, and she clearly carries out her work with the up most passion and conviction, and in turn I would imagine she expects some respect, as an artist if not as a person. As for this music video, it is not about a relationship, not a sexual one anyway. Sia predicted, wisely as always, that there would be a backlash towards the video. She hasn’t been controversial for the sake of controversy, she has employed two extremely talented individuals to express her music. There’s a number of people who have interpreted this video as a presentation of Sia’s relationship with her father, which is valid from an artistic perspective, but she has stated specifically that it is not about her father, and these interpretations do somewhat perpetuate the abuse element of the piece.

The video is about Sia. It is about her mentality and ‘two warring Sia states’. Whether it is a present and past Sia, a disturbed and sane Sia, or an uncontrollable and stable Sia we may never know, she may never reveal this to us, but what she has told should be respected. I just can’t help but feel a little disappointed in these comments. From watching the video you can see that this beautiful piece of dance, theatre, art has a deep rooted emotional centre and the elegant, modern choreography pushes all the right boundaries. Judging this video as sexual and abusive is crude and is a discredit to Sia, Maddie and Shia. They have all worked incredibly hard on this, especially Maddie, a girl of only twelve and the flawless accuracy and passion which seeps through the screen is what people should pay attention to. If you see this video as supporting pedophilia then you need to check yourself and realise that it’s probably you that needs to reassert their view of music, people and society, not Sia.

My Top Albums of 2014

This is All Yours – Alt J

Alt J’s eagerly awaited second album ‘This Is All Yours’ dropped in late September, followed by a national tour and worldwide appearances. The progression from their last album is clear to see, but for me, the singles shone brightest. Hunger of the Pine, Left Hand Free, and my personal favourite, Every Other Freckle are perfectly paced, atmospheric tracks and are a credit to the band. However this is not to dismiss the other tracks. Beautifully delicate melodies, such as in Garden of England and Bloodflood II sparkle wonderfully and the charming duet in Warm Foothills add to the ambiance of the album. ‘This Is All Yours’ should be listened to as one piece of music. The electronic tones melt into each other and the gentle ebb and flow of vocals washes over you. It’s all part of Alt-J’s genius musical talent, and their ability to entice and submerge a listener into their dreamlike, slow motion lives.

Favourite Tracks:

  • Every Other Freckle
  • Bloodflood II
  • Hunger of the Pine

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Wanted on Voyage – George Ezra

Injected with life and spontaneity, Ezra’s debut crackles with a folk pop style which addicts even the most cynical of critics. Influenced by his travels and idols like Ed Sheeran, Tom Odell and Mumford and Sons, ‘Wanted on Voyage’ managed to capture my interest and, somewhat unexpectedly, hold it for a whole year. Ezra exploded in 2014, and what with performing at Glastonbury, bringing out his first album and touring he has managed to stick to his roots and stay down to earth. This humbling LP is joyful and warms the soul.

Favourite Tracks:

  • Blame It On Me
  • Listen to the Man
  • Leaving It Up To You

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St. Vincent – St. Vincent

Quirky lyrics and a bold sound gratify the mind and ears in St. Vincent’s self titled LP. Sweeping an extraordinary number of accolades, nominated for a Grammy and NME awards, and a shower of five star reviews, this LP took over 2014 in a big way. Still seemingly remaining under the radar, Annie Clark’s alternative electronic rock has really made an impact in the critics world and justifiably. She weaves and interconnects synth sounds, harmonies and heavy basslines with the epitome of sophistication and class. In this vein, it seems suitable that she sits on a pink throne on her latest album cover, claiming her place as queen.

Favourite Tracks:

  • Prince Johnny
  • Digital Witness
  • Rattlesnake

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The 1975 – Medicine

The 1975, an indie pop band from Manchester, have produced a single with a radical change of pace compared to previous hit singles like ‘Chocolate’, ‘The City’ and ‘Sex’. This new song, ‘Medicine’ is essentially a ballad, designed to make young hard core female fan’s hearts melt slowly and painfully. I really love the song and it is a call back to their early EPs which included songs like ‘You’ and ‘So Far (It’s Alright)’ which are fairly similar to this new one. However, I keep expecting a crescendo and a rhythmic drum beat to kick in, leading the final 40 seconds into a dramatic key change, making the single a little more exciting and invigorating. This doesn’t happen. Before you know it the melancholic, infrequent vocals have come to an end and you are left needing to repeat the song, wondering if there is something you missed.

Don’t get me wrong, it is a beautiful song which could be timeless, and clearly has a lot of heartfelt meaning, but I personally don’t see why they chose this particular song to introduce their second album – it could turn away a large part of their fan base who are there for the upbeat, interesting pop songs which defined the last album in terms of singles. In my opinion, a band should put out music first and foremost for themselves, and the 1975 have done this, so in that sense it was a good decision and they obviously felt strongly about sharing this song with their fans. I really love the lyrics because although they’re simple they evoke a lot of emotion and they don’t overpower the music, but rather blend into the song as another layer, like a bass guitar. The beat is solid and the melody is catchy in its own way. Definitely check it out and form your own opinion.

Julian Casablancas+The Voidz – Human Sadness

Aggressive melancholy is the first thing which comes to mind upon hearing this epic, distorted 11 minute single from Julian Casablancas’ new project. The Strokes’ front man, who has an infamous knack for writing catchy and short songs, presented his fans with this deeply emotional and drawn out song, proving to them and to everyone else that he is one of the best songwriters of this generation. With the clearly painful and personal lyrics, this song has a way of connecting with every single person who hears it, which is an extremely rare and incredible thing to achieve. These lyrics are painfully poetic and I have not felt anywhere near the same level of grief and pain needed to try and understand or analyze them, I just know that they are beautiful and distressing.

This song is a journey. A twisted, brutal, depression-driven journey which has an ironic and troubled beauty to it. Take, for example, the fact that a clear and catchy riff can be heard throughout the song. It contrasts completely with the atmosphere and meaning of the song but it sounds amazing and gives the feeling of a warped and crazed pop song. There are clear stages and sections to this piece which are highlighted by explosive guitars and separated by varying crescendos. Casablancas wanted to use this song as way of delivering a message, portraying emotional torment and baring his soul. At least that is the way I see it.

Buy ‘Human Sadness’ and their new album ‘Tyranny’ here 

 

“Human Sadness” – Lyrics

Put money in my hand
And I will do the things you want me to.

Vanity, overriding wisdom,
Usually common sense.

Should I delete it,
You said you’d read it
You promised you would never ruin it with sequels,

I wake for you, on and on

Beyond all ideas of right and wrong there is a field,
I will be meeting you there.

The moon’s a skull, I think it’s grinning
The room is full of people now I think it’s spinning

Wanted you, didn’t ask for nothing.
Wait for you, on and on

And I don’t need your tie, I don’t need to, tired of saying it.
We don’t need more talk, don’t empty out your canteen on the desert floor.
Ahhh, it’s all my fault

Never wanna spell it out,
I just want to say that it is all my fault,
I could never spit it out,
I don’t wanna fix your tie.

Never want to say we’re sad,
Thankful that we got some chance,
I know you won’t get back your time,
I wish that you could take it back.

Beyond all ideas of right and wrong there is a field,
I will be meeting you there.

He wanted it more than me, I suppose
I was in a rush to wait in a line.
Now I hear echoes of my old self,
This is not the way to be.
All at once,
I lost my way.

Is it not true, the things that we did?
Come here at once and look what they did
Come here shut down and tune in tonite,
Learn the words that they teach you without you realizing it
Come here sit down and watch some TV

Mine all mine, wait your turn,
Cross my cross, slice his hand,
Not your son, not your friend, not your enemy.

I rely on the little things to get me by,
Conscience says, “I’m okay”,
You don’t hear what they say.
“He’s not my son, search his home”
Off to war,
It’s time to go hide inside.

Soft skin,
Weak chin,
Just walk me thru it, tell me what to do I’ll do

Hurry hurry, that’s my baby
Ohh, do what you can.

All the time – he waits for me.
And now we talk from time to time,

Hits you on the head when nobody’s there,
Then he says, “come here could you fix my tie?”

It’s never gonna be,
To be is not the way to be.

Show me where to go, don’t get angry so quickly,
Fuck depression.

Beyond all ideas of right and wrong there is a field,
I will be meeting you there

Understanding is more important than love,
If not money will always trump justice

All is lost,
I’ll find my way.
So I say,
To be is not to be.
To be is not the way to be.

BAIO – On&On&On&On

Tropical beach vibes and subdued cool radiates from this new track by BAIO of Vampire Weekend. ‘On&On&On&On’ may have a lot of the similar African influences and infamous summer riffs of early Vampire Weekend, however it is definitely a step in a different direction for bassist Chris Baio.

I love this track and although summer is coming to an end, ‘On&On&On&On’ feels like it could extend the heat and energy of those few months for the whole year round. Along with notably subtle and feminine vocals, the repeated beats and distorted keyboard sounds add to the enticing nature of this track and give it an undeniable edge over my other favourite DJ tunes. A deep, brass sounding bass line contrasts with the smooth finger clicking and simple but melodic notes to create a sound which was just made to be heard in a hammock or on a sun lounger. It’s interesting enough to put on repeat and exciting enough to tweet about more than once. I would highly recommend buying the new EP; you won’t regret it.