And women reacting to sexy men producing synthesized harsh noise
December 1, 2015 10:36 AM   Subscribe

Women reacting to (and producing) harsh noise and sexy men of the synthesizer, two single-serving tumblrs from a WHPK dj (previously)
posted by kenko (29 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
Those kids watching Thurston Moore have my back, I can just tell.
posted by valkane at 10:46 AM on December 1, 2015




I don't know about that "women reacting to harsh noise" link. Like, do we really want to uphold the long-running stereotype of women not being into noise music? It's tired, false, and damaging of inclusivity in a scene which badly needs it. The author seems confused about what message is actually coming across.
posted by naju at 11:19 AM on December 1, 2015 [17 favorites]


Like, do we really want to uphold the long-running stereotype of women not being into noise music?

I also found that off-putting, but if you go through it, there are many more images of women producing noise music and women being into noise music than there are of women reacting in bafflement. It also has an image of e.g. this playlist from a radio show the author did (with a co-dj, apparently), focusing on women making noise music. The title and current topmost image may be a little unfortunate but the content gives the lie to them, I think.
posted by kenko at 11:24 AM on December 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


(I had originally intended the link to the first tumblr to includeboth "reacting to" and "producing", but then I wanted to include the Harsh Noise Wally link as well, so the first one got trimmed. Rhetorical dangers of link text selection!)
posted by kenko at 11:27 AM on December 1, 2015


I thought that someone had discovered that women react to harsh noise and sexy men in a ways that are difficult to distinguish, and was expecting some kind of quiz to see whether I could guess which they were reacting to.

I would totally take that quiz. (If it's short enough.) (And I wouldn't share my results on social media; that's just now how I roll.)
posted by Sunburnt at 11:28 AM on December 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Like (and I know I shouldn't threadsit! sorry!) the message that actually comes across here, to me, is that some women are super into noise music. I would guess that the woman who runs the tumblr is into noise music. I don't actually get why the stereotypical message is what you'd think does come across if you look at more than the current top image.
posted by kenko at 11:37 AM on December 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


I did go through the full tumblr, though! The q & a addresses what I'm getting at, and I don't think she responds convincingly. There's also this exchange (with a subject of one of the photographs) and I don't think she comes off too well there either. I could explain more but I'm in danger of overthinking a tumblr link.
posted by naju at 11:48 AM on December 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


The day noise music stops inciting controversy will be the day it is no longer cool.
posted by grumpybear69 at 11:54 AM on December 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm a man and I react badly to noise music. Is that okay?
posted by tommyD at 12:29 PM on December 1, 2015


See also
posted by yobgorgle at 12:45 PM on December 1, 2015


Actually I have to apologize... as a dude I'm the last person who should be criticizing! Sorry.
posted by naju at 1:01 PM on December 1, 2015


noise is cool? as a huge noise fan I find that assumption odd

I mean there was a time in the early 2000s when hipsters liked the idea of noise, but that moment is long gone.
posted by idiopath at 1:18 PM on December 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


I don't know about that "women reacting to harsh noise" link. Like, do we really want to uphold the long-running stereotype of women not being into noise music?

Yeah, seriously. Women can also have shitty taste in music.
posted by hal_c_on at 1:22 PM on December 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


The message that comes across is... pretty confused I think. Like it started out being a joke about women not appreciating noise music then added women making noise music for balance and now hell if I know what it's saying.
posted by atoxyl at 1:31 PM on December 1, 2015


hell if I know what it's saying

That's noise in a nutshell!
posted by grumpybear69 at 1:38 PM on December 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


Like it started out being a joke about women not appreciating noise music

Given that the first image is of the author waiting to perform at a noise show, I don't think it started out that way. I mean, it can certainly communicate contrary to the author's desires for it, but I don't think it was ever an intentional joke.
posted by kenko at 2:04 PM on December 1, 2015


I don't know about that "women reacting to harsh noise" link. Like, do we really want to uphold the long-running stereotype of women not being into noise music? It's tired, false, and damaging of inclusivity in a scene which badly needs it. The author seems confused about what message is actually coming across.

I am being genuinely naive here, is this a tongue in cheek sarcastic comment or for reals?

Anyway, my favourite entry is the youtube video a few links down.... Astral Social Club, Manchester. Something about how hard the two guys are working the guitars in ways almost totally unrelated to actually making noise, with someone's back turned waiting for the bathroom or something, and one awkward face not sure what to do.

Women, men, making, reacting, who knows. Its just a hilariously tragic scene of a band/audience ratio of 1:1, and the audience part looks like they wandered into a trap.
posted by C.A.S. at 2:44 PM on December 1, 2015


My comment was for reals. Why?
posted by naju at 2:54 PM on December 1, 2015


It was hand-wringing in a way that could be read as parodic.
posted by Sebmojo at 3:29 PM on December 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Naju said "Like, do we really want to uphold the long-running stereotype of women not being into noise music?"

I come from a generation of people who could laugh at themselves and make fun of the very things they enjoy. I come from a generation of people who could even make fun *with* stereotypes because we used our intellect to be aware that that's all we were doing. "Women reacting to noise music" is something women and lovers of noise music can enjoy.

But what needs to happen is people need to start using their intellect. Stop pretending that something that is meant to be funny is actually a personal attack that will destroy lives. I call this "feigning indignity". It exists because we have so much freedom and leisure in this progressive society of ours that people are bored out of their minds and are also envious of people who are actually struggling or experiencing actual sexism and racism, that they want to pile on and pretend they're fighting the fight.

But they're not. You are not championing feminism or the end of sexism by claiming that a tongue-in-cheek Tumblr feed called "women reacting to noise music" is repeating stereotypes.

I don't know if Naju is in their 20s or early 30s, and I promise this is not directed at them personally. But I'm sensing this complaint more and more from this demographic. I'm honestly beginning to think this next generation has no sense of humor or irony. ???? They are incredibly positive and aspirational people but don't EVER tell a joke around them. They'll get offended. And they'll accuse you, the person who was there protesting and challenging actual racism and actual sexism for decades, of being the enemy just because you cracked the joke.

Oh and I'm sure my critique here will be portrayed as "mansplaining" or "an example of excusing sexism" and so on.

Who was it that said revolutions always end up eating their own?
posted by engelgrafik at 4:01 PM on December 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


I disagree with naju about what the tumblr communicates, but I bet I agree with him about what "I come from a generation of people who could even make fun *with* stereotypes because we used our intellect to be aware that that's all we were doing. "Women reacting to noise music" is something women and lovers of noise music can enjoy." communicates.
posted by kenko at 4:03 PM on December 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm a woman who makes noise and has been to countless noise shows and I've definitely made some faces at noise I'm unimpressed by (or just ignored it, like that woman knitting or the one texting). Which I guess is how I read this tumblr the first time I saw it, like "I am unimpressed by your array of effects pedals, I've heard better."

That Pharmakon one is kind of funny because when I saw her she was clearly in the depths of a tour and smelled atrocious; I probably made a face when she went by me, too. Even though she killed.
posted by jeweled accumulation at 4:25 PM on December 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm not championing anything or feigning indignity, and I've got a sense of humor, I think. I've just been around noise/experimental scenes enough that it really, really bothers me how white-male-dominated it all is. Especially when my ideal of "noise" is basically that it should be the most friendly music for anyone to jump in and participate in. Forget punk's "three chords" dictum - with noise, you don't even need to know a single chord or any songwriting theory whatsoever! Just do your thing! It should be the ultimate form of expression for all sorts of people on the fringes who have reason to be disaffected (or who aren't disaffected! noise can be joyous too!). Yet it's so fucking whitecismalecentric, and there's so much gatekeeping, reinforcement and childishness to keep it that way. There's constant joking about how the one woman in the crowd is "some noise dude's girlfriend who is bored out of her skull" or whatever. See also: one of the submissions in the tumblr, "this reminds me why I never got a girlfriend by playing this music" (paraphrasing.) Sorry I made the mistake to care about this scene I'm (notionally) a part of, and want it to do better and be better... I guess I forgot to laugh...
posted by naju at 4:38 PM on December 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


But I admit I'm personally responsible for the wholesale death of humor and irony, sorry everyone
posted by naju at 5:37 PM on December 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


argh! scold's!!! [writes seven paragraphs of not-scolding]
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 5:46 PM on December 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


Naju, I think your perspective is right on...but I also think 90% of commenters here aren't close enough to the flame to get what you're saying.

I'm not super into noise, but I'm really into its cousin Experimental Ambient and I'm often bothered by how white dude-i-fied it is. Like, is nobody else interested in the genre or is it just not promoted because of standard patriarchy BS? I suspect the latter.
posted by Doleful Creature at 6:27 PM on December 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


I did interpret this similarly to naju - as being about the stereotype that noise is such a nerdy thing that only guys care about it. But then if the proprietor is a woman who makes noise music I go back to not knowing what's going on - like is there an inside joke on *another* level or is it just that joke or is it a joke about that joke...?
posted by atoxyl at 8:41 PM on December 1, 2015


My first reaction was it was deflating the self-importance of the performer, rather than going "Ha ha, she's not a real music fan."

From this post, it sounds like she enjoys the deviation from the Official Proscribed Correct Way TM to act at a noise show: "so if you came here to laugh at pictures of women who you think don’t belong at shows you’re in the wrong place"

On the other hand, that it has to be said is a bad sign. Bad sign for the tumblr or bad sign for the scene? I'm not sure.
posted by RobotHero at 9:08 PM on December 1, 2015


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