new review of weak teeth’s “get a life, read a book, eat a dick” from @yeahgrrrl. give the track a listen and feel free to post honest comments, or reblog if you feel so inclined.
get a life, read a book, eat a dick- weak teeth
Recently, my good friend Mike Pagano, singer for Providence band weak teeth asked me to write about their new record “what a plague you are” (tor johnson/flannel gurl records) on this blog. He told me he’s been feeling like as a band, weak teeth has a hard time reaching out to the feminist scene and wanted my help. This lead a to a long discussion between us about what makes it hard for generally all white, male, political punk bands to get recognition or respect in the DIY feminist punk scene.
I will be the first to admit that sometimes who makes up a band makes me not give a shit about them. This is horrible, I know, but being bombarded with band after band of the same demographic (let’s be real: four white dudes) doesn’t lend itself to inclusivity. As i say in one of the new two funerals songs “how could you possibly claim that it’s fair game? when we don’t see anyone like us on stage. So you’ve got it made it’s the perfect connection, the same kids on stage what a perfect collection” (this by no means, even begins to cover the aspects of class and race in punk rock and its representations). In other words, i don’t feel represented, and the amount of crap i’ve put up with for being angry and having a vagina while playing music is unquantifiable. So what makes weak teeth different for me? Granted, my roommate and partner are in this band, but besides that, i actually truly believe in their music and the message behind the words.
I’ve known the members of weak teeth for a few years now and I can understand what might make them unapproachable, or abrasive. But what makes them unapproachable to most is what draws me to them: they’re awkward, loud, and quote a lot of movies and maybe say some shit that rattles the most PC of punks, but these guys will support you, stand up for you, listen to you or call you out on shit that’s fucked up. Most importantly, they do not claim to know everything or to be right. In fact, Mike writes in the song “it’s nice to talk to someone who has the same void”:
“you already know you’re right before you get a chance to speak,
like you’re the only one who figured out the truth.
it must be so fulfilling to know that everyone is wrong.
if this is progress, then i don’t want to live life anymore”
A sentiment that most of us can relate to in politics, life and most of all the DIY scene. Their (accidental) humility, makes it easy for those of us who relate more to politics than to true *feelings* (i.e. pop punk bout failed romance blahblahblahboring) to get behind this band and its message.
Musically they’re fucking tight. I don’t pretend to listen to hardcore or really know that much about it but i can confidently say that they are one of the most musically interesting and intense band playing right now. They’re all amazing at their instruments and i’ve watched them truly grow since their first 7” Not many bands can make me feel as much as this band can live. Songs like “repetition implies importance, implies importance” give me chills as much as seeing Strike Anywhere live for the first time does, or listening to Thursday’s “war all the time” when i was 17 and brooding. Some of weak teeth’s songs are XcrustX and don’t get me stoked that much, but the songs that get me on this album, really get me.
Mike is an incredibly smart, educated and political person. I always have amazing and open political discussions with him, he is completely unassuming and eager to learn. He doesn’t do what a lot of dudes do when confronted with feminism: he listens, he learns, he doesn’t interrupt or assume his experience is more valid of correct because of his privilege. He doesn’t know everything, but he’s asked me to pass on literature and to teach him about what makes me struggle for what i do. He asked, he didn’t expect me to tell him what was up.
Mike is one of the only people who’s written a song attempting to translate a woman’s experience that has actually brought me to tears, and i don’t say that very openly. “get a life, read a book, eat a dick” is about one of his best friends who grew up in pakistan, under strict muslim rule. faced with insurmountable obstacles, she fled to the united states to give her daughter a better chance. I don’t think sharing the intimate details of her tribulations on this blog is necessary but posting this song and its lyrics are. While this is about a specific friend, i can’t help but feeling like this song (maybe accidentally) characterizes a more universal female experience. I’m not claiming he does it better than we do, but just that the lyrics of this song hit me hard.
Read for yourself, give this band a chance. They are a great group and always willing to hear people out on their opinions. Let them sleep on your floor, buy their record, or don’t. But if you do, i doubt you’ll regret it. Also listen for my backing vocals on the record, i guarantee you i am the only high end to any of the gang vocals and you’ll be able to spot me :)
“What a plague you are” drops on october 22,
release show: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=141913155902418
Tor Johnson Records: http://www.torjohnsonrecords.com/
Get a life, read a book, eat a dick
i bore the brunt of every failing, every memory fraught with your regret.
make no mistake, it’s my privelege.
you can’t shame me into feeling sin for the nightmare that i grew up in.
desecrate, relegate, my soul will never be broken. your words can’t hurt me anymore.
every scar i suffered paved the way for a love i’ve never known.
I’ll show you ever day so you never have to live like her.
you’ll never know that pain. I won’t apologize for who i am or regret my damaged dreams.
cause you’ll never hear me scream these words about what life was like for me.
So Hiba [her daughter], this is your world now. Live a life without regret.
Tell your mother every day you love her. Thank her every chance you get.
you won’t be raised afraid. i don’t blame you, the decisions were mine, but come what may i own my life. i owned my life.