We’ve talked about it in letters
And we’ve talked about it on the phone
But how you really feel about it
I don’t really know
What’s Yr Take on Cassavetes?
I honestly know very little about John Cassavetes. What I do know is that he was in Rosemary’s Baby. Ever since hearing Le Tigre‘s song “What’s Yr Take On Cassavetes,” however, I’ve felt a need to have a take on him.
Okay. Not really, but the song is great and Le Tigre is quickly becoming one of my new favorite bands.
Back during high school when I was really into the whole riot grrrl band movement, I had a few Bikini Kill albums. Compared to the other “riot-grrrl” bands I was into, most notably Babes in Toyland, Bikini Kill was quite hardcore. I remember loving the perversity of the introduction to the song “Carnival”: “This is a song about the seedy underbelly of the carnival / The part that only the kids know about / This is a song about 16 year old girls giving carnies head / for free rides and hits of pot.” For me, all of Bikini Kill’s songs captured pure punk rawness without succumbing to the violence that most male-oriented punk groups seemed to exhibit.
That said, I grew out of Bikini Kill rather quickly and ended up selling the albums sometime during college. Now, as I listen to politically and lyrically tame electronic and whatnot music, I cannot imagine listening to such music.
Nonetheless, I’ve missed the idea of Kathleen Hannah and her politically-charged lyrics. That’s why finding Le Tigre has been so great.
Unlike Bikini Kill, Le Tigre is more pop/electronic oriented (including keyboards and sampling!) so their music is much easier to listen to. Whether “being easy to listen to” is a good criterion for music is probably a ripe place for debate, but either way, Le Tigre is fun to listen to and they have political lyrics. It seems, to me, like a good situation.
The first Le Tigre album I owned wasn’t actually a real album — it was a remix album creatively called Remix. I fell in love with the DFA remix of “Deceptacon.” I also loved the lyric from “Much Finer” that went: “Do you wanna stay in bed all day? (yeah!) / Do you remember feeling any other way? (no!).”
After Remix, I felt the need to get more Le Tigre as soon as possible. Lucky for me, I stumbled across the self-titled Le Tigre shortly thereafter. Hearing the original version of “Deceptacon” only convinced me further that I loved Le Tigre.
Beyond Le Tigre and Remix, I have yet to get more Le Tigre albums. I’ve seen This Island in the used bin at the CD store a few times, so I figure I’ll grab it eventually. Until then, I’ll just have to ponder my take on Cassavetes… (“Misogynist? Genius? Misogynist? Genius? … Alcoholic? Messiah? Alcoholic? Messiah?”)