Urge Overkill “Stalker” discusses her antics
December 29, 2014 1:37 AM   Subscribe

 
Huh. The nineties were a hell of a drug.
posted by MartinWisse at 2:03 AM on December 29, 2014 [4 favorites]


Ha, fun. I gotta agree, Urge Overkill really does kinda suck. But I especially love the Chicago subplot:

They were mean, pretty much... Then they started to get popular and we were like, ‘this can’t happen, this is bullshit.’ …I was thinking about this earlier. Chicago is the one place I’ve been to where people don’t put up with bullshit.
...
Yeah, we got into it at Delilah’s — We got into a big fight and Nate kind of bitch-slapped me backwards... I remember the cops came. We were outside. I love Chicago cops, I mean, you cannot get in trouble there. The cops were always more drunk than you, at least they used to be. I remember the cop going (in her best Chicago accent) ‘Let me get this straight, you’re just passing out pamphlets?” I’ll never forget that till the end of my days.
...
I went through a big naked phase in Chicago... You can’t do that anywhere else, you really can’t. Chicago is the coolest place ever.

posted by salvia at 2:18 AM on December 29, 2014 [7 favorites]


I used to go out wearing dry-wall stilts and big shoes. Karol made me these ‘Nate-pants’ and they were so long, made out of a perfect rock n’ roll material.


I want to know more about this perfect rock n' roll material. Denim? Snakeskin? Vinyl?
posted by univac at 3:42 AM on December 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


I want to know more about this perfect rock n' roll material. Denim? Snakeskin? Vinyl?

65/35 dacron/cotton blend with a wild print, man
posted by infinitewindow at 3:48 AM on December 29, 2014 [11 favorites]


CA) Rumor has it that Nash Kato actually hit you after you yanked on his coat?

Miss B) My hand made the motion of pulling on his coat. I said ‘what’s up, pussy motherfucker?’ It started the biggest bar brawl I’ve ever seen. A lot of bike messengers were there, bottles were being brandished, chairs were flying and people were fighting. I was thrown against the wall, it was awesome. I was so proud, I really was.
>

Ok. This is straight up something out of 'Californication'.
posted by hal_c_on at 3:56 AM on December 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


These people sound slightly unhinged. They heard some stuff about how UO was mean and sucky and decided to publicly, serially pester them. Ooooookay.

When UO toured Australia my friend waited their table at the Park Royal in Canberra. He asked them for an autograph on my behalf (I don't know why - I was aware of them because they were getting so much airplay but never bought their album or went to one of their shows). My friend wanted to do something a little different, autograph-wise, and asked Nate if he'd write something insulting. Nate was uncomfortable with the idea but my friend pressed him and eventually he wrote something to the effect of "hi um, [your friend] says you're a complete asshole -- Nate". Yeah. What a bastard.
posted by um at 3:57 AM on December 29, 2014 [4 favorites]


The last time I saw them was in San Francisco in about 1999. It was like something out of a movie. I bought a ticket, that was the only time I ever bought a ticket and gave them money. I was going to the door and it blew out of my hand down the alley. Then they wouldn’t let me in and I had to buy another ticket. I heard the bouncers at the club were really mean, and I had my trusty bullhorn under my skirt. I shuffled in. Nate played a slow song and I pulled out that bullhorn and started yelling into it and his eyes got really wide, and they tried to play it off. I kept waiting for the bouncers but no one did anything, except these San Francisco pussy people said ‘hey, man, I’m trying to listen to the show.’ I was like, ‘fuck you.’ Finally a bouncer tapped me on the shoulder and said ‘you can’t do this.’

This is one crazy motherfucker.
posted by hal_c_on at 4:01 AM on December 29, 2014 [4 favorites]


CA) What would you say to them if you saw them again?

Miss B) What’s up pussy? Long time, no see, pussy motherfucker!


Ok, see. This lady is crazy. But she doesn't stop. You gotta appreciate this kinda of unapologetic crazy.
posted by hal_c_on at 4:07 AM on December 29, 2014 [13 favorites]


Why?
posted by um at 4:08 AM on December 29, 2014 [14 favorites]


We found out they were playing in London and we had always wanted to go there, so we made it a business trip. I remember being in a record store out there and some guy in front of us asked the clerk if they had any Urge Overkill and we let out a scream that had everyone holding their ears. We whisked him out of there and told him how much they suck and gave him a copy of “The Stalker.” After that, he didn’t buy any CD’s.

So this nut took a trip to London and yelled at some record store and prevented the sale of one copy of their record...and she considers the trip a success! This is amazing.
posted by hal_c_on at 4:11 AM on December 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


Agree with um here. I stopped reading the interview half way through because it was clear this was mostly about someone not being mentally stable. It wasn't funny, just a little sad. The article makes it sounds like harassing this band really was the highlight of this woman's life, and that's a depressing thought.
posted by jscalzi at 4:12 AM on December 29, 2014 [21 favorites]


I dunno, it feels performative more than outright loony to me - both back then and now. I laughed, anyway.

There's a bit more context if you follow the link to the same site's interview with Urge Overkill, which includes a revealing statement from Steve Albini about the band:

Touch and Go had always operated on a handshake basis, with the presumption being that as long as everyone was happy with the arrangement, things would continue. Urge Overkill was the first band to try to take advantage of that by leveraging attention from the mainstream into sort of bullying Touch and Go into doing stuff that wasn’t really in their nature as an independent label like spending more on promotions, investing more into the band, advancing the band money because of an implied threat that Urge would sign with a big label if Touch and Go didn’t jump through hoops to appease them. Then, after Touch and Go did jump through hoops to appease them, Urge Overkill still left the label...

I think during the period where they were participants in that musical community, they were beloved in that scene, and rightly so. They were entertaining and they were funny. Their self-aggrandizement was a kind of mockery of the rock star bullshit which they later sort of embodied in a literal sense. The way I’ve described it in the past was the ironic distance narrowed to a point of nothing, and then it was no longer ironic. They were just another rock band trying to make money and get laid.

posted by mediareport at 4:25 AM on December 29, 2014 [11 favorites]


Also, I'm not usually 'but what about the menzzz', but I don't think that if the sexes were reversed that the writer would cop the same ha ha so adorable attitude. And that kind of constant unhinged hatred is frightening no matter who you are.
posted by tavella at 4:26 AM on December 29, 2014 [9 favorites]


"We had taken a picture at the Rainbo club photo booth, dressed as them and then months later they did a cover on AP (Alternative Press, July 1995 issue) magazine and the pics were almost identical, our posture and our attitude. It really is uncanny."

Well, you know what they say about imitation.

I love quixotic random endeavors but this feels a bit icky. Also Chicago weather renders it one of the worst naked cities, for almost half of the year certainly, in the US - rivaled perhaps by Minneapolis-St. Paul, Duluth and Buffalo.
posted by vapidave at 4:28 AM on December 29, 2014


As I believe Frank Zappa put it "Ladies, you can be an asshole, too".

Of course, he was talking about anal sex, but still.
posted by Grangousier at 4:29 AM on December 29, 2014 [8 favorites]


This article led me to youtube to try to remember who Urge Overkill was. I listened to about 15 seconds of a song, and found Drivin N Cryin instead. So that's cool.
posted by natteringnabob at 4:30 AM on December 29, 2014


This woman is completely bonkers in a way that I find very impressive. Miss B, I salute you! You are today's Bonkers Champ Of The Day.
posted by Greg Nog at 4:47 AM on December 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


This article led me to youtube to try to remember who Urge Overkill was.

Urge Overkill were that band who did that song that was in that movie, yeah? That's who Urge Overkill were.
posted by Grangousier at 4:49 AM on December 29, 2014 [3 favorites]


Can't buy publicity like that.
posted by telstar at 4:54 AM on December 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I dunno. When stalkery behavior is sufficiently relentless and disruptive that the object of attention can't tell the difference from actual stalking... it's stalking. And should have been dealt with as such.

Whether or not UO were jerks, whether their music is still timely, and the genders of the stalkers and their targets; those are all irrelevant and distracting factors.
posted by ardgedee at 5:12 AM on December 29, 2014 [5 favorites]


mediareport: I'm struggling to see what the band did wrong there, except stand up for themselves. The handshake agreement did continue until someone wasn't happy with it, and the record label could have walked away at any time.

Wikipedia says T&G typically split profits 50/50 after promotion and production costs, so by asking for better promotion the band were cutting into their own profits too.

Another way of phrasing it would be "we tried repeatedly to get our label to invest in us, but in the end we had no choice but to sign with a company who could do the job properly".
posted by Leon at 5:13 AM on December 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


I remember this - I read a zine interview with them.

Seriously, the whole thing is so nineties, back when scenes and bands both mattered and also had the potential to be huge. No one would care now if some big small band stole from people, etc; it would just be seen as either irrelevant to the music or what people do.

I love those girls because they were not afraid to be mean and abrasive - against men, popular men even! - and never soft pedal or apologize.
posted by Frowner at 5:18 AM on December 29, 2014 [9 favorites]


Why?

Because:
The pair's hatred for the band has its roots in separate incidents, both involving liquor, National Kato, and a kiss. Miss B admits to thinking Kato was interesting at the time, Miss K pleads youth and ignorance. Their anger festered in private until they met. "We thought, what can we do?" recalls Miss K. "We figured, well, we can put nails under Nate's tires, so we did that. Then we said, 'We've got to put this in writing,' and that's when we decided to start stalking." [...]

"The number-one thing people ask us," says Miss K, "is 'Don't you have anything better to do?' To which we answer, 'No.'"
posted by pracowity at 5:20 AM on December 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


(I add that people did do similar stuff to women in bands - all the riot grrrl bands for example - but it wasn't about aesthetics or ethics, it was "show us your tits" and "you deserve to be raped". Show me a non-misogynist man who could do something like this w/out being rapey and misogynist but be purely an anti-fa.)
posted by Frowner at 5:22 AM on December 29, 2014


Spending tons of energy and mental space following someone you hate everywhere they go so you can very loudly announce how much you hate them instead of getting on with your life.

These women basically invented Twitter and Tumblr as a concept.
posted by middleclasstool at 5:26 AM on December 29, 2014 [19 favorites]


I love Chicago cops, I mean, you cannot get in trouble there. The cops were always more drunk than you, at least they used to be.


This is distinctly not my experience with Chicago cops.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:28 AM on December 29, 2014 [6 favorites]


The article makes it sounds like harassing this band really was the highlight of this woman's life

So, basically, she and her friend were reverse-groupies, right?
posted by octobersurprise at 5:35 AM on December 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


Would the women be Difference Makers or Alpha Dogs?
posted by Ik ben afgesneden at 5:52 AM on December 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


This article led me to youtube to try to remember who Urge Overkill was.

Same here, which makes me wonder if this whole thing isn't some sort of false flag/viral marketing scheme.
posted by TedW at 5:52 AM on December 29, 2014


I see why people's takeaway is that she was simply a nutter, but nuts or no, there's something so emblematic of that era in this interview...the 90s were the last time when the machinery of culture was still invisible to most people, when a critic from Spin could turn up at show and anoint you the New Hotness, and two months later a million dumb kids like me would be buying your albumn. Like King Arthur getting handed Excaliber, or Orsen Wells bellowing for the "standard Rich and Famous contract" at the end of the muppet movie....so, to muddle a quotation, the notion that these two chicks had, that they could stand athwart the star-making machinery yelling "stop" and actually succeed, that a zine could prevent someone from being famous, because David Geffen doesn't get to decide what's cool, we decide what's cool, and you're assholes and that's not cool and so you don't get to have this, do not pass go, do not collect 200 groupies --- that is so very, very 90s. For the most part, being an asshole has been very cool, and today running a successful band just about requires an MBA; the notion of integrity is an irrelevancy when you are your own corporate overlord, and selling out doesn't even mean getting rich, it's the only way to get paid at all....so now you'd never get this. Miss B and Miss K would be standing in the parking lot, saying "God I hate them, but they have like 100k followers on Twitter it's useless to fight them..."
posted by Diablevert at 5:53 AM on December 29, 2014 [33 favorites]


Why?

Because:


When you start something with "because", you imply whatever follows is going to answer the question. Nothing more than "they're mean" as been presented, aside from "we also heard some stories".

Being "mean and abrasive" is only laudable in the service of something laudable. Otherwise, you're just mean and abrasive.
posted by spaltavian at 6:09 AM on December 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


octobersurprise: "The article makes it sounds like harassing this band really was the highlight of this woman's life

So, basically, she and her friend were reverse-groupies, right?
"

I actually read it as groupies, no modifier required.
posted by signal at 6:09 AM on December 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


Urge is mostly known for their cover of Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon that appears on the Pulp Fiction soundtrack, but their album Saturation is a masterpiece.
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 6:17 AM on December 29, 2014 [5 favorites]


Come on, this is totally performance art.
posted by RedEmma at 6:25 AM on December 29, 2014 [8 favorites]


Wow, what noxious people all around.
posted by spitbull at 6:26 AM on December 29, 2014


So is this what Urge Overkill meant when they sang "The Kids Are Insane"?
posted by jonp72 at 6:32 AM on December 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


This makes me think of Michael Faraday.

Except, thankfully, Faraday decided to apply his endless fount of energy and determination to teasing out the secrets of electricity and magnetism instead of fucking with Beethoven.
posted by Naberius at 6:41 AM on December 29, 2014 [13 favorites]


I love UO.

I never thought Nash Kato was an asshole. This was the era of smashing pumpkins and Liz Phair. They were in the same circles. I saw their videos back to back on JBTV 2am on Sunday mornings.

I ALWAYS thought that if these guys were bigger assholes, they would have been big-name famous outside of wicker park.
posted by hal_c_on at 6:43 AM on December 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


What horrible, unpleasant people. The stalkers, not the band. I, too, found the interview tonally a little too on the 'oh, wacky hijinx!' rather than 'that's not a good thing to have been doing'.

Frowner: I love those girls because they were not afraid to be mean and abrasive - against men, popular men even! - and never soft pedal or apologize.

Well, that's... something. Neither being a man or being popular should make it OK to be stalked and harassed. I would not have thought that had to be said, yet here we are.
posted by gadge emeritus at 6:46 AM on December 29, 2014 [15 favorites]


MetaFilter: don't you have anything better to do?
posted by scruss at 6:58 AM on December 29, 2014 [3 favorites]


"(I add that people did do similar stuff to women in bands - all the riot grrrl bands for example - but it wasn't about aesthetics or ethics, it was "show us your tits" and "you deserve to be raped". Show me a non-misogynist man who could do something like this w/out being rapey and misogynist but be purely an anti-fa.)"

So putting nails under cars and physically fighting women in bands is okay as long as it's not ""show us your tits" and "you deserve to be raped"."?
posted by I-baLL at 7:08 AM on December 29, 2014 [6 favorites]


The band was being neither stalked nor harrassed. All of these antics took place at UO shows. They were being heckled, repeatedly, at a time when they were ascending rapidly in popularity. It's clearly tongue-in-cheek performance art of some kind, and I find the dismissive "crazy women are crazy" remarks a little off-putting, to be honest.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 7:12 AM on December 29, 2014 [10 favorites]


Yeah. That 90s irony as performance art as lifestyle as situationist comedy thing really got tired fast. But, what are you going to do? Every generation are annoying, in toto, when in their collective actual and emotional 20s.
posted by clvrmnky at 7:13 AM on December 29, 2014


I mean, I don't see anyone here mentioning the fact that these women never laid a finger on the band, but members of UO physically assaulted them on at least two occasions. But no, won't someone think of the rock stars.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 7:14 AM on December 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


these San Francisco pussy people said ‘hey, man, I’m trying to listen to the show.’ I was like, ‘fuck you.’

What a lovely person.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 7:19 AM on December 29, 2014 [3 favorites]


"I don't see anyone here mentioning the fact that these women never laid a finger on the band"

Uh, they keep saying "we got into fisticuffs" and "we got into a big fight". The whole thing even started with them putting nails under the band's cars.


" But no, won't someone think of the rock stars."

To quote from the article:

"Here’s the difference, we did it in public where everyone could see us. We didn’t threaten them. It wasn’t like a horror movie…Well, it may have been for them, but they deserved it."

Oh, so it's okay to make somebody's life into a "horror movie" for years if you think that somebody "deserves it" because you think they were mean to you when you met them once?
posted by I-baLL at 7:20 AM on December 29, 2014 [3 favorites]


These nutbars should be getting serious professional help, not being celebrated. I can't believe that some people are saying this is ok behavior.
posted by holybagel at 7:22 AM on December 29, 2014 [3 favorites]


Christ, what an asshole. Quality of music in question aside, or really anything else aside, pouring your energies into being mean to someone is just not a step in any sort of right direction as a human being.

The band was being neither stalked nor harrassed.

I think any reasonable definition of 'harassed' would include what these people did.
posted by dirtdirt at 7:23 AM on December 29, 2014 [5 favorites]


I mean, I don't see anyone here mentioning the fact that these women never laid a finger on the band, but members of UO physically assaulted them on at least two occasions. But no, won't someone think of the rock stars.

Her take on having provoked a massive bar brawl seems to have been "that was awesome!" Full stop. I don't see much cause for won't-somebody-think-of-the-children-ing either side in this scenario. They wanted to be agents provocateur, and succeeded so well people are still interviewing them about it 20 years later.
posted by Diablevert at 7:24 AM on December 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


Here, let me pull the quotes for you:

CA) I read that (Urge drummer) Blackie Onassis actually threw you at the Lounge Ax?

Miss B) Yeah, we got into fisticuffs. That little maniac pushed me so hard that I went flying backwards.

CA) So it was a legitimate beef, it wasn’t staged?

Miss B) Yeah, we got into it at Delilah’s — We got into a big fight and Nate kind of bitch-slapped me backwards, causing my glasses to cut my nose.


So yes, that's at least two occasions that two women who engaged in repeated heckling got physically assaulted by members of the band. That can be dismissed and glossed over, but yelling shit through a bullhorn and handing out flyers is CRAZY WOMAN BEHAVIOR. Unrepentant assholes, sure, but crazy? Kinda reeks of sexism, to be honest.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 7:26 AM on December 29, 2014 [7 favorites]


Hecklers suck. Persistent hecklers can cross the line from 'annoyance' to 'menace'. These women proudly report on their actions. Someone who repeatedly yells at you and insults you may not be the absolute most accurate reporter of whether they touched you in their constant attempts to annoy and harass you - and constantly insulting someone whenever you share a public space is most definitely a form of harassment.
'Won't someone think of the rock stars' is not what anyone's saying, but it's nice to know that a dismissive attitude is being assumed simply because people don't regard the actions of these women as simple pranks or performance art, but something more dangerous and threatening.

Printing an anti-zine is one thing, doing the 90s equivalent of 'your favourite band sucks'. They went many, many steps beyond that. To regard them as victims of sexism comes across as a callous and shallow reading of events entirely predicated on treating women and men by extremely separate standards of behaviour, unrelated to the idea that aggression is aggression no matter who it is coming from, or directed to.
posted by gadge emeritus at 7:29 AM on December 29, 2014 [4 favorites]


"So yes, that's at least two occasions that two women who engaged in repeated heckling got physically assaulted by members of the band."

Are you not reading the beginning of what you quoted?

"Yeah, we got into fisticuffs."

"Yeah, we got into it at Delilah’s — We got into a big fight"

She doesn't say "The band members began to hit us out of nowhere". She says that they started fighting and then she says what ended the fight was the member of the band pushing her back and, on the other occasion, slapping her.
posted by I-baLL at 7:30 AM on December 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


Sounds like she was willing to 'engage in fisticuffs' and 'get into it'. It seems paternalistic to describe her as an assault victim.
posted by thelonius at 7:30 AM on December 29, 2014 [7 favorites]


Naberius: Except, thankfully, Faraday decided to apply his endless fount of energy and determination to teasing out the secrets of electricity and magnetism instead of fucking with Beethoven.

According to historians, Faraday was working on a rudimentary hearing aid so Beethoven could hear his taunts regarding the roll of his breeches and his taste in wig powder.
posted by dr_dank at 7:31 AM on December 29, 2014 [10 favorites]


So putting nails under cars and physically fighting women in bands is okay as long as it's not ""show us your tits" and "you deserve to be raped"."?

There's a tradition of, like, aggro aesthetic critique that I find interesting and funny - it's not something unique to these women. Lots of artists have brawled over art. (And it's not as though UO were known as being sensitive, poetic, peaceful types - they too were pretty aggro. This whole thing would read very differently if it had been a couple of singer-songwriters who were not bar-brawlers and had no history with these women.)

The thing is, I remember this. I remember Urge Overkill, I remember that particular sort of gross Chicago scene. This was a bunch of brawl-y people (and bike messengers! remember bike messengers? They will fuck you up) brawling over art.

I'm not saying that you had to have been there, but it does help contextualize things if you knew about just all the petty shit that was always going on, and people getting at each other. People were into that, for some reason. And since it was, broadly, between equals who enjoyed mixing it up, it doesn't bother me.
posted by Frowner at 7:31 AM on December 29, 2014 [4 favorites]


(I mean for pete's sake, remember all the early punk scene stuff? Remember the woman from the Rezillos smashing a cream pie in someone's face? People really got into that stuff over music and its associated politics, and it wasn't all that political. The sainted Clash used to fight people.)
posted by Frowner at 7:34 AM on December 29, 2014 [4 favorites]


Spin's take.
posted by josher71 at 7:35 AM on December 29, 2014


There are very few reliable narrators in this world when it comes to participation in fist fights. "So there I was, just minding my own business, screaming in the dude's face with a bullhorn, when out of nowhere he slaps me" is certainly one gloss you could put on "we got into a fight at Delilah's" and I bet it's the one she prefers. I bet the singer's version of this story might be quite different, and a neutral observer's quite a third thing. And while handing out flyers at a show may or may not tip the meter on your personal vendetta-o-matick, flying to another continent? Solely so you can stand outside a show of a band you hate telling people not to go in, with a little sideline in buttonholing people in record stores, so you can deliver your impassioned sermon on why they too, random Londoner, should hate this band? That doesn't seem a wee bit obsessive to you, regardless of the genders of the people involved? Because I'm a random CD buying Londoner, I'm pretty sure I'd think the stranger gripping me firmly by the lapels was off their onion regardless of sex.
posted by Diablevert at 7:36 AM on December 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


So there I was, just minding my own business, screaming in the dude's face with a bullhorn, when out of nowhere he slaps me" is certainly one gloss you could put on "we got into a fight at Delilah's" and I bet it's the one she prefers. I bet the singer's version of this story might be quite different

In all honesty, I think screaming into someone's face with a bullhorn is a punch-able offense. Bringing a bullhorn and screaming over a show other people came to see is pretty close by itself.
posted by spaltavian at 7:45 AM on December 29, 2014 [9 favorites]


that's at least two occasions that two women who engaged in repeated heckling got physically assaulted by members of the band

Or at least two incidents that are claimed to have happened. They don't exactly sound like the most trustworthy of tale tellers.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 7:54 AM on December 29, 2014 [3 favorites]


Unless you are Tom Waits, you shouldn't have a bullhorn at a music show for any reason.
posted by thelonius at 7:55 AM on December 29, 2014 [5 favorites]


Performance Art is the only true Art. This is a masterpiece.
posted by j03 at 7:55 AM on December 29, 2014


Her art now.
posted by josher71 at 7:56 AM on December 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


Chicago is the one place I’ve been to where people don’t put up with bullshit.

Bullshit.
posted by juiceCake at 8:10 AM on December 29, 2014 [3 favorites]


> Unless you are Tom Waits, you shouldn't have a bullhorn at a music show for any reason.

Unless you are Gibby Haynes, you mean...
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 8:15 AM on December 29, 2014 [8 favorites]


Whoa. After reading that I get the feeling this woman was one lousy day away from emulating Valerie Solanas.
posted by TDavis at 8:16 AM on December 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


> Unless you are Tom Waits, you shouldn't have a bullhorn at a music show for any reason.

Unless you are Gibby Haynes , you mean...


Or Shiina Ringo.
posted by Grangousier at 8:32 AM on December 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


These ladies rock. UO truly did suck, and those women were performing a public service.
posted by ergomatic at 8:42 AM on December 29, 2014 [6 favorites]


Hee! How funny to read this here. I know her from her Athens days. She is 100% authentic freak, completely unmoved by the tut-tutting.
posted by feste at 8:42 AM on December 29, 2014 [7 favorites]


She is 100% authentic freak

The word for someone who goes around starting fights and pissing on everyone's parade and generally just making trouble without regard for basically anyone else is asshole.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 8:52 AM on December 29, 2014 [7 favorites]


I'm thinking back to the Jerry Lee Lewis thread a few days ago. Now there's a man who's indisputably an asshole, but I still admire him. Yeah, he did a few things that - in the cold light of day - maybe weren't such great ideas, but if I could trade places with anyone I could do worse than a rock'n'roll force of nature who never got caught.

The people defending this woman might have the same sneaking admiration for a woman who yelled "fuck you" at the top of her lungs at some preening rock stars, and is still completely unrepentant about it today. There's a kind of charisma to that.

Lets face it, we all choose a position with our guts then cast around for the evidence to support it. I minimise the 13-year-old bride with "not that unusual for the time and place, plus they were married for a decade so it can't have been that bad" the same way as Frowner's minimising this woman's behaviour with "but you have to understand the punk context".
posted by Leon at 9:09 AM on December 29, 2014 [4 favorites]


I'm really hoping that the descriptions of physical altercations are, at the very least, wildly exaggerated, because that puts a sort of queasy gloss on what otherwise seems like a sort of weird synergy between the band and a couple of diehard fans. Babb, far from being some sort of neo-Valerie Solanas, has been a well-regarded metal sculptor in the Athens (GA) area for nearly two decades, and Cooper doesn't seem to be interested in talking about it (it's difficult to tell, because it's not dated, but the Reader article seems to be from the mid-nineties). As far as I can tell, Babb hasn't put out a copy of the fanzine since '95 and hasn't even seen the band since '99. As willing as Babb is to put on the old persona, I wouldn't be surprised at all if she doesn't bother to show up.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:14 AM on December 29, 2014


Metafilter: a tradition of, like, aggro aesthetic critique.
posted by mynameisluka at 9:27 AM on December 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I think Frowner's nailed it with the reference to these actions in the context of the local music scene. In the post-punk/pre-internet underground music scene, the responsibility for manifesting the rock'n'roll bachanalia had moved from the band to the scene as whole, and "performance art" that could be absurd and provacative and juvenile and occasially anti-social wasn't at all out of the ordinary.

Sure, a lot of people don't want to deal with a heckler with a microphone, but a lot of people also don't think a rock concert should be a cleanly mediated reception of some auteur's creation. Rock and roll is many things, but when it's alive it's nearly always tense and dynamic and struggling with conflicting impulses, and I don't see these ladies' actions as "crazy" or even separatable from the punk rock sandbox that they were playing in.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 9:28 AM on December 29, 2014 [7 favorites]


I remember a few anti-tv show/performer/whatever zines from the 90s that seemed fun at first, but then devolved into something more troubling.
posted by armacy at 9:35 AM on December 29, 2014


I never cease to be fascinated by the weird hate people from the 90s Chicago scene have for Urge Overkill and the general inability to enunciate the basis for the hate. Like, the band members were not good participants in that particular scene or something? I wasn't part of the Chicago scene, but I was part of the Detroit scene not long before then, so I can imagine the sort of ego clashes that lead to people hating bands or loving them without regard to such considerations as music.

But setting aside the sophomoric feuding of the early 90s Chicago scene, Urge Overkill were an amazing band. The digs against them amount to basically a much tamer version of Replacements folklore, so who cares?

As noted above, Saturation is a masterpiece. I would put it among the top 5 albums of the 90s, easily. For those of you who contend that Urge Overkill sucks or that you had to look up who they even were, what were you listening to in the 90s that you thought was so much better? Smashing Pumpkins? Guns 'n' Roses? The Lemonheads? The Gin Blossoms? Spin Doctors? I mean come on.

I'm not saying UO was the greatest band of the 90s or anything (though the only thing that keeps me from trying to make that case is The Afghan Whigs, honestly). But I can't imagine anyone who actually likes rock and roll could listen to Saturation all the way through and still muster any sort of hatred or ambivalence about it unless they had personal reasons unrelated to music.
posted by The World Famous at 9:41 AM on December 29, 2014 [7 favorites]


This is one of those topics that makes me glad most people think Early Music is all ready fragile, irrelevant, and frankly, dead.

Because people had riots and started bloody revolutions at the opera, you know.
posted by Dreidl at 10:05 AM on December 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


I knew of Urge Overkill, but I never knowingly heard anything of theirs, and listening to the first couple tracks of Saturation on YouTube isn't convincing me that I missed anything.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 10:29 AM on December 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


As noted above, Saturation is a masterpiece. I would put it among the top 5 albums of the 90s, easily. For those of you who contend that Urge Overkill sucks or that you had to look up who they even were, what were you listening to in the 90s that you thought was so much better? Smashing Pumpkins? Guns 'n' Roses? The Lemonheads? The Gin Blossoms? Spin Doctors? I mean come on.

Please. No one who was likely to listen to UO was also likely to listen to Smashing Pumpkins (perhaps at the very, very start of their career, I guess.) Smashing Pumpkins were a punchline by the time UO attained even very modest success, as were Gin Blossoms, etc etc - one might as well wear a Pearl Jam tee and be done with it. What did people listen to? In my particular social circle, people listened to Mudhoney, anything on (appropriately enough) Kill Rock Stars, anything on Simple Machines, Dinosaur Junior, Jesus Lizard, all the riot grrrl...hm, for some reason New Model Army was sort of a big deal as well. Unwound, Versus, Sebadoh, that kind of thing. I personally was working my way through as much of the discography at the back of England's Dreaming as I could find.

I mean, we were all frosty little snobs, of course, and people are free to listen to UO as much as they like. But the point of comparison isn't Smashing Pumpkins at all - that would be like saying that if you didn't like Bikini Kill, well, what were you listening to that was so great, Brittney Spears?
posted by Frowner at 10:30 AM on December 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


Oh, and Husker Du and Arcwelder and anything on Touch and Go.
posted by Frowner at 10:31 AM on December 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


There's a bit more context if you follow the link to the same site's interview with Urge Overkill, which includes a revealing statement from Steve Albini about the band

I mean, Steve Albini never has anything bad to say about anyone.
posted by Ham Snadwich at 10:39 AM on December 29, 2014 [6 favorites]


Smashing Pumpkins were a punchline by the time UO attained even very modest success

Saturation was released on June 8, 1993. Siamese Dream was released on July 27, 1993.

Smashing Pumpkins may have been a punchline among Chicagoland hipsters sometime between Gish and Siamese Dream, but to suggest that the Pumpkins were a punchline two years before Mellon Collie seems kind of silly.

But the point of comparison isn't Smashing Pumpkins at all - that would be like saying that if you didn't like Bikini Kill, well, what were you listening to that was so great, Brittney Spears?

It wasn't a comparison. It was an expression of disbelief that anyone even marginally aware of rock and roll in the early-mid 90s would have no idea of who Urge Overkill was and then have to look it up, or that anyone who had actually listened to Saturation would say UO sucked for any reason related to the actual music.

I still listen to Dinosaur Jr. and Jesus Lizard from time to time, but I put Sebadoh on the other day and was kind of surprised that I can't really stick with it for very long anymore. It's not that it hasn't held up generally, but more than I'm just not in the mood for that particular brand of whatever it is.
posted by The World Famous at 10:45 AM on December 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


I dunno—I managed to love UO, Smashing Pumpkins, and Bikini Kill at the same time. I was too young to go to the clubs at the time, but was into the local scene in Chicago (and as much Riot Girl stuff as was possible from the midwest before the internet was big) well before the mainstream really embraced any of the above.

Only seeing Nash Kato do a solo acoustic gig at a record store in Portland in the early 00s while wearing sandals helped to cure me of my inexplicable attraction to him. One should never see her rock idol's naked toes on stage.
posted by Bunglegirl at 10:50 AM on December 29, 2014 [3 favorites]


I put Sebadoh on the other day and was kind of surprised that I can't really stick with it for very long anymore

Same here, god that did not age well.

It's not that it hasn't held up generally

I'll go there if you won't. I actually found myself wondering what I ever liked about it. That doesn't happen with most of the stuff I liked back then.
posted by Hoopo at 10:50 AM on December 29, 2014


Albini is relatively diplomatic in that quote - I've seen him take potshots at UO a number of times between 1993 and now. And he definitely was friends with them once, he actually lived with one of them. Of course that's Steve Albini.
posted by atoxyl at 10:56 AM on December 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


(no, don't say that Sebadoh doesn't hold up anymore!!!)
posted by armacy at 11:04 AM on December 29, 2014 [2 favorites]




To regard them as victims of sexism comes across as a callous and shallow reading of events entirely predicated on treating women and men by extremely separate standards of behaviour,

Worse than that, I'd say. The ongoing "Oh how cool that they attacked those people and weren't sorry for it" is infantilizing, like how we all find it cute when a one-year-old tries to smack Mama away, but more troubling when it's a teenager. It all seems to come down to "Yeah they put nails under people's cars and followed them everywhere and issued screeds about how much they hated those people and yelled through a megaphone so their targets couldn't even speak... But they're women, so it's adorable."
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 11:10 AM on December 29, 2014 [3 favorites]


I remember a few anti-tv show/performer/whatever zines from the 90s that seemed fun at first, but then devolved into something more troubling.

Anybody remember Even Dando Must Die?
posted by jonp72 at 11:11 AM on December 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


(no, don't say that Sebadoh doesn't hold up anymore!!!)
posted by armacy


epony-something, certainly
posted by The World Famous at 11:13 AM on December 29, 2014


I still really like Sebadoh's Weed Forestin' - or at least, I know all the songs pretty much by heart. I never got super into anything of theirs after that. It was definitely the soundtrack to a very, very unhappy six months, and I still think of "Mr. Genius Eyes" whenever I encounter a certain variety of male academic.

UO and all those bands (and including many of the ones my friends liked at the time - Mudhoney and some of that whole Seattle rocky-grungy stuff) just all sound too big and loud to me. They have, IMO, either too much or not enough abrasiveness, or the wrong kind.

Honestly, almost the only stuff I listen to anymore that was actually recorded right in the early nineties is old riot grrrl and associated acts, some dance music and some of the bands that basically went nowhere from Sub Pop and Kill Rock Stars. Kicking Giant, that kind of thing. I had the most wonderful Nothing Painted Blue cassette that you literally cannot find anymore and no one has even heard of - it had a cover of Jonathan Richman's "New Teller" and a song about Upland CA. And that, out of all the things, was the thing I lost.
posted by Frowner at 11:16 AM on December 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


No one who was likely to listen to UO was also likely to listen to Smashing Pumpkins (perhaps at the very, very start of their career, I guess.)

I think it's worth pointing out that what might have been true for a circle of friends in Chicago in 1992 does not hold true for everywhere else. Where I grew up, having Siamese Dream and Saturation would not have been at all weird. They were 2 popular rock records. 1990-1992 saw NKOTB, Rod Stewart, Bryan Adams, Celine Dion, and Phil Collins tracks among the top-40 singles, and outside of Toronto, Vancouver, or Montreal (and maybe Halifax), options were pretty limited for alternatives to MuchMusic and top-40. The early 90s, post-Smells Like Teen Spirit, had a lot of us teenagers scouring AP and whatever else for their record reviews, recording college radio shows and hoping they identified the songs, for a glimpse of anything interesting and new. It made for some record collections some people might have considered sort of eclectic.

That said I always found UO sorta boring and never got into them. Maybe I should give them another listen, he said in the thread about their biggest ever haters
posted by Hoopo at 11:20 AM on December 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


This is a boring observation, but I feel like UO wasn't nearly as bad as the haters say, nor as good as the "you can't possibly have a music-based reason for not liking Saturation" sentiment expressed here. In my mind, Saturation was a perfectly-average '90s alternative rock album. I could rattle off at least a dozen early/mid '90s albums I'd rather listen to front-to-back, and yes, horror of horros, a few of those came from Pearl Jam and Smashing Pumpkins. I think the band got a lot of undeserved flack for things other than the music, but that the music was just good, not great.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:25 AM on December 29, 2014


Sister Havana is a good track bu the only one I really ever listen to anymore.
posted by josher71 at 11:28 AM on December 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


"you can't possibly have a music-based reason for not liking Saturation"

Well, come on, I wasn't saying that. There's some space between, on the one hand, not liking something and, on the other hand, thinking it sucks.
posted by The World Famous at 11:32 AM on December 29, 2014


Well, come on, I wasn't saying that.
But I can't imagine anyone who actually likes rock and roll could listen to Saturation all the way through and still muster any sort of hatred or ambivalence about it
emphasis mine.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:36 AM on December 29, 2014


You know, just the other day I was saying in the "Not Hating On Marvel Movies" thread that one should not issue blanket condemnations (absent some particularly compelling reason) because one never knows why a particular work is meaningful to someone and one's standpoint is always limited, hating on something (for banal reasons) usually suggests ignorance rather than analysis, etc. And yet here I am!

I retract my comment about Smashing Pumpkins, etc.

I had a spectacularly frustrating run-in with an academic over the holiday, and I took - in that very moment! - a resolution to remember that Making Other People Feel Small does not lead to growth or knowledge generation or any good thing. So anyway. In the spirit of that resolution, I remind myself that if I knew more about music and genre, I would not be so negative because I would be able to understand more about the work in question.
posted by Frowner at 11:38 AM on December 29, 2014 [3 favorites]


Hey, even I would agree that everything Adore and onwards was mostly crap, and even Mellon Collie has some tracks that resulted from Corgan being too far up his own ass.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:43 AM on December 29, 2014


emphasis mine.

Yeah, fair enough.
posted by The World Famous at 11:48 AM on December 29, 2014


even Mellon Collie has some tracks that resulted from Corgan being too far up his own ass.

That title alone!
posted by Hoopo at 11:50 AM on December 29, 2014 [4 favorites]


Wesley Willis "Urge Overkill"

The band played it on
The show was great
The rock and roll was perfect
The rock and roll was excellent

posted by ...possums at 12:22 PM on December 29, 2014 [4 favorites]


I don't know if it still is, I mean I hope it is, but Chicago used to be a pretty great city for functional, objectively - crazy people, especially those with an artistic bent, right along with Austin, Portland, and San Francisco.

This is the same time that Wesley Willis was arguably being exploited, but definitely living out his rockstar dreams. Spots like The Hideout and Lounge Ax made That Douglas and his pre-show poetry readings a treasured part of the concert going experience, whether you liked him or not. He was often a great poet on paper and a terrible reader live, and sometimes a tremendous, overconfident asshole, briefly leaving the city for NYC because he felt under appreciated here.

This is also a great city for boorish prima donnas to flourish. Some of our more talented shitheels include Steve Albini, Billy Corgan, and Kanye West.

And the places where they intersect, the small rock clubs and scene dives and underground that cherish the assholes and the off-kilter alike, can have a very high bar for what is considered unacceptable.

A recent thread on my Facebook wall, was about whether or not to bar an individual completely from a [queer, feminist, weird-art, no wave] scene on the grounds of rape allegations. One of his DEFENDERS' argument was, "he's violent and he's abusive but he is NOT a rapist" because violence alone isn't the norm but isn't that rare either.

This reminds me of something Lisa Crystal Carver would have done in her youth. A campaign to keep local assholes/shitty musicians down. I can empathize with Nash Kato and co. but everything seemed to work out fine for them.

The women (or at least the one interviewed) regards it as a crazy thing she did when she was acting young and crazy, the impetus for a trip to Europe with a friend, and something she might revisit nostalgically on a big anniversary. I have older friends who treat a trip to Vegas or Burning Man, or a trip on mushrooms, or a big annual orgy the same way. I dig it, and I wish trolling still took this much time, energy, and face - to - face interaction now twenty years later.
posted by elr at 12:22 PM on December 29, 2014 [11 favorites]


MetaFilter: don't you have anything better to do?

Yes. Wait a few threads, and we'll post an overblown fake high-brow deconstruction, with far too many words, about the 69 position.

Metafilter: re-hashing long lost Alt Rock incidents, and overthinking sex, since 1999
posted by C.A.S. at 12:33 PM on December 29, 2014 [4 favorites]


The women (or at least the one interviewed) regards it as a crazy thing she did when she was acting young and crazy, the impetus for a trip to Europe with a friend, and something she might revisit nostalgically on a big anniversary

When she snuck the bullhorn into a show in 1999, she would have been 33 years old.
posted by Hoopo at 2:27 PM on December 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


Hey hey, c'mon. You can bleed when you want to bleed.
posted by salvia at 2:58 PM on December 29, 2014


If anyone deserved to be sea lioned in the 90s...
posted by aydeejones at 2:59 PM on December 29, 2014



Suddenly, there’s a commotion at the entrance. Crashing through the front door, accompanied by the sound of insincere neighing, comes a horse—rather, an old-school vaudevillian two-person horse costume, accessorized with a huge pair of blue-tinted sunglasses and two pairs of white golf loafers on its “hooves.” Around the horse’s neck hangs a “UO” medallion and a bucket bearing the request “MARTINIS PLEASE.” Noticing the saddle bearing The Stalker logo, the bar’s bouncer corrals the filly and pushes it towards the door, but the bartender protests. “Anyone who goes to that much trouble deserves a fucking cocktail!”

SPIN (Oct ’95)
I dunno, that’s pretty funny.
posted by Coda at 3:12 PM on December 29, 2014 [7 favorites]


"I wasn't part of the Chicago scene, but I was part of the Detroit scene not long before then, so I can imagine the sort of ego clashes that lead to people hating bands or loving them without regard to such considerations as music. "

"Lookout, Jason, it's Jack!"

"I put Sebadoh on the other day and was kind of surprised that I can't really stick with it for very long anymore"

If you can't enjoy Magnet's Coil or License to Confuse, your heart is dead.
posted by klangklangston at 3:18 PM on December 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


Read Miss B's interview, and the band interview linked to in it, and tell me who you'd rather be stuck in the back of a van with for three hours. Their "stalkers" (very public, very performative, very discomfiting) were always more interesting than Urge Overkill--and I liked the band!
posted by Scram at 3:51 PM on December 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


I have no opinion about the music. I only recognise their name for their cover of 'Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon' from the Pulp Fiction soundtrack. I have no opinion about them as performers, or for that matter as people; some people like them, some people thought they were arseholes, the usual.

What's discomfiting to me is the idea that you can have a couple of women decide 'We hate this band and so will try our hardest to torpedo their careers through acts of harassment', then follow through with vandalism and harassment and not incidentally doing their best to ruin not just the band but the enjoyment of anyone else who has come to see their show/listen to their music - and because, what, they had talents other than harassment, or they occasionally went more creative than their usual tactic of repeatedly calling the band motherfuckers, or because apparently everyone was doing stuff (pie in the face! punks in the 90s!) like it, it gets treated as no big deal. Hijinks. Pranks. Art.

Fuck that.

It's pretty damned hard to separate this from the idea that they are only being so fondly dismissed because they were women, because there is not a chance in hell that if these were men harassing other men, let alone harassing women, they would not be regarded as a threat and a menace. Following the band around to the point of going overseas to harass them and people who might like them wouldn't be seen as a positive act, it would be seen as dangerous and worthy of calling the police. An account from the stalker claiming they were pushed down after "motioning to pull on his jacket" and calling him a "pussy motherfucker" wouldn't be dismissed as a violent act towards someone who didn't deserve it; it would be seen as having made threatening moves and actions and the band member would be within their rights to react defensively.

It ignores the long, dangerous history of people who become fixated on celebrities, replacing it with standard victim-blaming, or at least suggesting they should have known that this offensive behaviour would never escalate even further. Urge Overkill aren't rapists or murderers, they're a band, a band of men, and that apparently makes it OK to try and make their lives a horror movie. Hell, as a band they've been mildly successful, so might as well debate whether they were even good enough to deserve being stalked!

Metafilter's always had too much of a 'your favourite band sucks' to it, but it boggles the mind for it to become 'this random band was harassed for years, but they were men, it was by women, and c'mon, it was the 90s, so it's not just forgivable, but laudable'.
posted by gadge emeritus at 4:39 PM on December 29, 2014 [16 favorites]


Last bar fight I saw at Delilah's, someone got glassed and had to got to the hospital.

I don't like bar fights.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:41 PM on December 29, 2014


If you can't enjoy Magnet's Coil or License to Confuse, your heart is dead.

Thank goodness those are the first two songs on that CD!
posted by infinitewindow at 5:12 PM on December 29, 2014


I can remember UO being the media darlings of the moment in 92-93 and everything I read told me I would love them and I tried, I really tried. Best I can say about them is mediocre. Lots and lots of hype and nothing to back it up. Saturation was boring. But's that's my opinion.

And mentioning them in the same breath as Sebadoh is just sacrilege. Lou Barlow is a genius and your favorite band sucks.
posted by photoslob at 6:43 PM on December 29, 2014


gadge emeritus: Metafilter's always had too much of a 'your favourite band sucks' to it, but it boggles the mind for it to become 'this random band was harassed for years, but they were men, it was by women, and c'mon, it was the 90s, so it's not just forgivable, but laudable'.

New rule inspired by Coda's comment: harassment will only be tolerated if the perpetrator is wearing a two-piece horse costume.
posted by dr_dank at 7:06 PM on December 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


It ignores the long, dangerous history of people who become fixated on celebrities, replacing it with standard victim-blaming,

Yeah, there have been no shortage of celebrities killed or attempted-murdered or put in genuine fear for their life by stalkers---mostly male, but in some cases female. It's not so cute to be on the receiving end.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 6:46 AM on December 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


Smashing Pumpkins may have been a punchline among Chicagoland hipsters sometime between Gish and Siamese Dream, but to suggest that the Pumpkins were a punchline two years before Mellon Collie seems kind of silly.

Well, it was Stephen Malkmus doing the suggesting, so you can take it or leave it depending on your opinion of Malkmus circa 1994.
posted by 99_ at 9:47 AM on December 30, 2014


so you can take it or leave it depending on your opinion of Malkmus circa 1994.

I'm really bad at math, and my memory of 1991 through 1993 is a little hazy, as I was out of the country the entire time, but still, I'm pretty sure 1992 was before 1994.
posted by The World Famous at 11:59 AM on December 30, 2014


Thank goodness those are the first two songs on that CD!"

Yours didn't come with "Careful"?

Metafilter's always had too much of a 'your favourite band sucks' to it, but it boggles the mind for it to become 'this random band was harassed for years, but they were men, it was by women, and c'mon, it was the 90s, so it's not just forgivable, but laudable'."

It's weird how you're fixated on the gender. This was around the same time that zines like Die, Evan Dando, Die were out, when fights over alternative bands still broke out (the twee indie kids hadn't yet become the majority of audiences), GG Allin wasn't dead yet, and you know what, their zine is actually pretty funny.
posted by klangklangston at 12:08 PM on December 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


but to suggest that the Pumpkins were a punchline two years before Mellon Collie seems kind of silly.

I'm really bad at math, and my memory of 1991 through 1993 is a little hazy, as I was out of the country the entire time, but still, I'm pretty sure 1992 was before 1994.

Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
Studio album by The Smashing Pumpkins
Released: October 24, 1995
posted by 99_ at 1:16 PM on December 30, 2014


I can't tell whether I'm just irreparably unhip, or the band is actually as obscure as it seems. (These are, of course, not exclusive possibilities.) But, the obscurity makes the whole thing charming in a way that compulsive stalking of headliners wouldn't be. Any schmoe can heckle Madonna, but following a local guitar band across the Atlantic just to annoy them? That's performance art worth paying to see. That the band didn't embrace their stalkers and create a complicated stage narrative about them seems a real waste of potential. A band with a nemesis is a band worth seeing twice, whatever their music sounds like.

To be clear, I agree that scary-stalking is a bad thing and should be discouraged. Buying tickets to attend concerts and then being publicly disruptive may be selfish and rude, but it's a very different thing from sending death threats and hiding in the bushes outside of an actor's house. Calling this "terrorizing" (as the article does) is insulting to those who have actually been terrorized. There's a limit to how much the public should be allowed to demand from self-proclaimed rock stars, but this sort of thing strikes me as clearly within that limit.

Also, media criticism in general should include more bullhorns.

The temptation to engage in copy-cat stalking of vaguely popular public radio hosts who annoy me is strangely tempting. I'll bet I could take them all in a fistfight, especially if I caught them by surprise while wearing half a vaudeville horse costume and shouting through a bullhorn.
posted by eotvos at 1:40 PM on December 30, 2014 [4 favorites]


That's very charming of you, eotvos. They are people I don't like, so blame the victim. They are people I don't like, so it's totally cool that their car was sabotaged, and if they are frightened by it, they are 'insulting the real victims.'. They are people I don't like, so I'll decide what is really stalking and make sure it doesn't include them.

Miss K:
"We figured, well, we can put nails under Nate's tires, so we did that. Then we said, 'We've got to put this in writing,' and that's when we decided to start stalking.".

Fuck that. If there was a female band who had a couple of guys sabotaging equipment, writing monthly magazines about how much they hated them, stalking them to different continents so that they could harass people out of attending their shows, I'd happily see the guys in jail. And I am not such a hypocrite as to decide that only the most attractive victims count and that just because they are guys in a mediocre rock band that they should be fair game.
posted by tavella at 2:05 PM on December 30, 2014


"Fuck that. If there was a female band who had a couple of guys sabotaging equipment, writing monthly magazines about how much they hated them, stalking them to different continents so that they could harass people out of attending their shows, I'd happily see the guys in jail. And I am not such a hypocrite as to decide that only the most attractive victims count and that just because they are guys in a mediocre rock band that they should be fair game."

My Christ, I don't even care that much, but fuck this "If men did it!" horseshit that keeps getting peddled. Did you actually bother to read the fucking 'zine? The whole thing is about how the music is fucking terrible and the band dress like tools. Contemporary beefs like Dandy Warhols vs. BJM or, fuck, even Ray and Dave Davies make getting po' faced over this just look like sanctimonious maunderings.
posted by klangklangston at 3:09 PM on December 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


you know what, their zine is actually pretty funny.

I'd say more disturbing than funny when you consider they filled 10 issues with this stuff on top of their regular performances and harassment. That's some pretty intense obsessing.

This was around the same time that zines like Die, Evan Dando, Die were out

That title was German, it means "The, Evan Dando, The". But seriously all the descriptions of it I've read say it wasn't singularly focused on Evan Dando and it actually sounds a bit like the zine equivalent of a lad mag.
posted by Hoopo at 4:07 PM on December 30, 2014


It's weird how you're fixated on the gender.

Well, comments about loving these women for speaking out against famous men, or accusing anyone who thinks this sort of behaviour isn't the sign of a balanced mind being guilty of sexism, kind of put their gender front and centre.

I specifically said that it's not about the hate-zine; it's the aggressive harassment and stalking that's being called performance art, even though one half of the performance, the band, are not willing participants - and that's not even counting the audiences who have their gig disrupted. This isn't a beef between bands, this is two women being toxic towards a group who can't even respond or retaliate without being immediately regarded as the worse offenders; the interview even specifically includes how they tried to get the cops involved, and when that didn't work they tried to play it off in many different non-aggressive ways, or tried to pretend it was intentional, because if there's one thing they couldn't do, it was to get it to actually stop.

In contemporary language, these women used the fact that they'd be considered to be punching up to commit crimes, safe in the knowledge that the band couldn't do anything in return without being regarded as punching down, and therefore the aggressors, however much they were provoked. According to a number of commenters here, what separates them from any ordinary stalkers who would be willing to travel internationally to harass their victim is a) they don't like the victim, so screw them, b) the stalkers were proud about their crimes, and c) it was all done in public.

And, yes, behind a lot of it also seems to be d) they were women and their victims were men, so how bad could it be, really? Which strikes me as bullshit of the rankest order.
posted by gadge emeritus at 4:32 PM on December 30, 2014 [3 favorites]


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