Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Julie Ruined In Paris Fire: False

Casey Dorrell

Dear readers, Casey is feeling a bit under the weather, Calum is off for reading break, and Geoff is busy doing top-secret Mocking Music business deals in shady back-alleys. As such, we didn't post anything new yesterday. I had every intention of posting something nifty for you today but, alas, I'm not feeling well so I'll leave you with this repost from back before we left, proving that we've always had some mean photoshop skillz. Word.

We've all experienced this. You have a friend, probably a close one, maybe even your best one. But as time wears on you find that where you once had everything in common, you now differ on all things. Still, the shift is gradual - it's not so hard. Then there's the other type of split, one where someone makes such a bewildering and willful change that you can do little but scratch your head in puzzlement. Such was the case with my friend in high school as he pursued his dream of being a drunk prep - such is the case with Le Tigre in their quest to break into the mainstream.

Le Who? Le Tigre is Kathleen Hannah's post-riot grrl electro-dance group. Hannah is better known as a member of Bikini Kill, the early feminist punk band that kick started the riot-grrl movement. Beyond that, she's known for her for her public fights with Courtney Love (Hole being a "suspect" member of the riot grrl movement, and Hannah being an early friend of Kurt Cobain). In retrospect, it seems that Hannah saw Love as a media-whore well before everyone else caught on.

Le Tigre with New Member
One of These Things is Not Like the Others . . .

After the end of Bikini Kill in late 1997, Hannah released a self titled album under the pseudonym Julie Ruin which left behind the punk in favour of more upbeat electronic music. From Julie Ruin came a three-person band, Le Tigre. In all, Le Tigre released three albums of danceable politics. It was the third, This Island, where the bewildering shift began.

The album was their first on a major label, Universal, having left behind their own label, Mr. Lady Records known for the personal notes that came with any direct label orders. A lot of the faux indie and punk types confuse success with "selling out" and therefore got upset over the label change. But really, they'd never spoken out against being on a major label. Next, when the new album came out, it was less political. Also, the post-punk rough-edge aesthetic was lost, leaving the band with a unatural sheen reminicent of electo-dance band, "Chicks on Speed".

At the same time, people started hearing "Deceptacon" off Le Tigre's self-titled debut on TV. Le Tigre had sold the rights to the song to Telus (a Canadian Telecommunication Corporation). In their defense, there's nothing particularly offensive about Telus. Hannah explains, "Signing to a major didn't make us rich by any means. Having bills to pay is a fact of our lives and sometimes we have to do weird shit to keep the band financially afloat."

Hilton and her Tigre
Who's a Little Le Tigre! You Are! Yes, You Are!

Then comes last week's news. At first I thought it was some sick joke. I fact-checked like crazy, latching on to one contradictory report hoping that it might be the true one. I'm still clinging to that, for now, but it's probably futile. Le Tigre, guardians of the post-riot grrl feminism, are collaborating with Paris Hilton. First reported by MTVe.com, the story has also been picked up by Much Music, Philadelphia Weekly, and SoulShine. The only ray of hope is provided by an MTV.com story from last week which cites Le Tigre's rep as acknowledging Hilton approached the band but cautioning, "that's as far as it's gotten".

Hilton's new album is rumored to have the tentative title of "Paris is Burning" in a nod to her earlier amateur porn success in "A Night in Paris" and a sucker-punch to late Joe Strummer of the Clash ("London's Burning"). Le Tigre's song production and co-writing credit will find interesting company with other confirmed collaborator, JC Chavez (Black Eyed Peas declined involvement).

Febuary 22nd, 2006 Update: It seems that we can wipe one sign of the coming apocalypse off our collective whiteboard of doom. There is no news denying the Le Tigre collaboration, but there's also still no word confirming it. I'd say it's safe to say that, at this point, it will never happen. How the whole rumour began is anyone's bet. Was there ever any truth to it? Did Hilton even approach Le Tigre? Who knows.

Download:
Paris Hilton - Screwed (Alex G Remix)
Le Tigre - My My Metrocard
Le Tigre - Deceptacon (DFA Remix)
Le Tigre - Nanny Nanny Boo Boo (Junior Senior Mix)
Mu - Paris Hilton

Buy:
Le Tigre - Feminist Sweepstakes
Mu - Out of Breach (Manchester's Revenge)

Comments on "Julie Ruined In Paris Fire: False"

 

Anonymous Rollins said ... (22/2/06 8:48 am) : 

didn't realize that Le Tigre featured Kathleen Hannah you learn something new everyday! I might actually have to listen now.

 

Anonymous Michael said ... (22/2/06 4:52 pm) : 

My problem with the post-major label Le Tigre isn't some "they sold out" thing.. the music just isn't fun like it was on their debut album. They became this almost radio friendly band.. I'm sure they'll make a few bucks appearing on The OC at some point.. more power to them though.. they seem to enjoy themselves and I respect them.. I just don't really put on This Island too often. Remember that Sonic Youth video Kathleen was in? How could anyone not love that woman. Julie Ruin was much better than Le Tigre by the way.. it felt like a natural extension to Bikini Kill.. This Island isn't.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (27/2/06 9:03 pm) : 

the title of the record has nothing to with any clash song. is more likely a sideways ref. to the film of the same name.

 

Blogger Casey Dorrell said ... (27/2/06 10:46 pm) : 

Psst . . . it was a joke.

 

Blogger Zheng junxai5 said ... (17/6/16 12:58 am) : 

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