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Archive for the ‘The Lady Doth Protest’ Category

(Editor’s Note: This is Rachel’s long-awaited fourth post for her column, “The Lady Doth Protest”)

Raw vulnerability splayed on stage; this is what I want from a concert. I’m thinking of moments like Of Montreal’s Kevin Barnes desperately screeching “The Past is a Grotesque Animal” – a song about the dissolution of his marriage – as his wife plays keyboard behind him. What drama! What dancing! When the performer’s heart is in the game, it’s easy to get your heart in the game, too.

But what happens when the performer’s heart is elsewhere? Is it possible to enjoy a concert when the artist isn’t engaged? (more…)

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(Editor’s Note: This is Rachel’s third piece for her weekly column, “The Lady Doth Protest)

Lately I can’t stop listening to the song “Smoke Dope and Rap” by Andre Nikatina.  An anthem about Andre’s love for weed, rapping, and his hair, the song also demonstrates his disdain for everything not included in the aforementioned list. Women in particular get the short shrift; take Janine for example. “Ooh it’s Janine, she licks my dick clean,” Andre croons when she calls him, yet her fellatio skills aren’t enough for Andre to want to smoke with her. He boasts that, “I know she got mad /Because I killed it and I didn’t bring the weed/ I did bring the weed but I left in the my Cutty /Did you really think I would smoke some dank with you dummy? No!” That line is hilarious. At the same time, it illuminates the misogyny pulsating through the song. Since my obsession with “Smoke Dope and Rap,” I have tried to reconcile my feminist* perspective with Nikatina’s clear disregard for women throughout the jam. (more…)

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(Editor’s Note: This is Rachel’s second piece for her weekly column, “The Lady Doth Protest)

Last Monday, Lady Gaga came to Portland, Maine. The visit received no press until late Sunday, when word spread that the shape-shifting spectacle would attend a protest for the repeal of the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. The rally took place in a large, shady park in Portland, where upwards of two thousand people gathered around the small stage, clamoring for a glimpse of Gaga. While waiting for her arrival, outed military members shared their stories of discrimination. Even as discharged soldiers talked about losing their honor, career, and pension, the crowd’s attention veered elsewhere. Most rubbernecked in search of a limo, a rhinestoned Escalade, a cavalcade of elephants dressed in Nazi-chic leather—anything that would signify Gaga’s entrance. Yes, yes, gays serving openly in the military and all that, but will Lady Gaga wear shellfish? Perhaps even lobster, to support local Maine businesses? (more…)

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(Editor’s Note: This is Rachel’s first piece for her new column, “The Lady Doth Protest)

Music has the power to sprinkle a menial job with positivity and productivity. Moving in time to the rhythm, I can efficiently work my way through tasks while practicing my subtle shimmy (side note: I currently work at a small stationery and invitation store).  This is all assuming, of course, that I like the songs playing – a faulty assumption to say the least.  The scene in 40 Year Old Virgin where Paul Rudd goes insane after two years of listening to Michael McDonald on loop comes to mind.  Perhaps Michael McDonald is an extreme example, but work has a funny way of ruining even the finest musicians through perverse repetition and association. (more…)

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Hey, Playtonics! 

My name is Rachel and we are about to embark on an intriguing path together – the start of a new column called “The Lady Doth Protest.”  I am the lady, though the protest in the title has a bit more ambiguity.  While the original context of the entitled quote is a complaint about a woman in a play jabbering on and on (the worst possible scenario for the column), the word “protest” has gained new shades of meaning since Hamlet first took the stage.  It stands in for more than a mere whiner; a protest has a weight of purposefulness to it. A protest identifies a problem and seeks to bring it to greater attention.  At what point, though, should we stop lauding ourselves for picking a new issue to have a self-important chinwag about?  Where does the progressiveness end and the nitpicking begin?  It is this tension, between engaged listening and outraged reaction that I wish to explore.  (more…)

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