Los Campesinos! - Miserabilia
“SHOUT AT THE WORLD BECAUSE THE WORLD DOESN’T LOVE YOU”
There’s been a post going around tumblr lately about the twee male gaze and let me tell you: I feel you. ‘cos twee, although not a perfect descriptor for Los Campesinos! but certainly close enough, is all mixed up with connotations of emosogyny and mansplaining and a culture of indie elitism. If you’ve read earlier Los Campesinos! interviews, Gareth is fucking rampant with it. Most explicitly on the latter charge, but you gotta wonder about a guy who comes from that scene and his preoccupation with all them girls what done ‘im wrong.
It’s a good thing above author jakec doesn’t contribute to that culture by, say, using katydidnot’s words without proper attribution.
lol nick beat me to the reblog i was thinking about. but yes: if you’re referencing not just like, ~a broader conversation~, but what you yourself say is a specific post, it’s bad manners, to put it charitably, not to link to that post (or even name the author!). when it’s a dude ostensibly writing about dude grossness, not-naming the woman who at this point has done a fair amount of work intelligently identifying and exploring the particular breed of dude grossness in question? maaaajor side-eye, to say the least.
(also everyone should click the link to read katydidnot talking about the twee male gaze, i don’t even really care about twee but her stuff is great.)
hahahaha, oh my fucking god you guys
HE FEELS ME
anyway this is irritating because also he is dismissing the entire genre as twee male gaze/twee dude feelings which totally fucking ignores the fact that twee music is much more inviting for women to participate than most scenes. like, did you learn about the twee scene only from reading my twee male gaze posts (and not like, my other posts) my point isn’t “TWEE MUSIC IS INHERENTLY PRETTY SEXIST, ON ACCOUNT OF IT BEING TWEE MUSIC” which you seem to think it is; my point is “twee music thinks it’s not sexist, but unfortunately, like all music it is,” and you are totally undermining my point if you write something that just takes at face value that everyone knows how sexist the twee scene is.
I loved seeing people defending Katy on my dash, mostly because DEFEND KATY is my #1 political/moral/emotional stance on this earth and I never get to apply it because pretty much everyone is always nice to Katy because she’s the best person in the world. Mostly I get to be mad when people rip her off, or are wrong about twee stuff, so it’s cool to get to be mad about both happening at once. ANYWAY, at first I was like “hey Katy can I reblog that conversation in DEFENSE OF GARETH,” and I was joking but I realized I actually have a lot to say about how Gareth interacts with twee cliches, at least through the second album? So I’m gonna write some stuff about that. A lot of my interface with what Katy writes about—although, like, I have an enviable Krecs stash myself, and paid my Sarah dues, whatever—comes from a punk background, and mostly a pop punk background, and we have a lot of discussions about where what she is talking about meets what I talk about. (So, like, a lot of KRS, a lot of eighties pop punk/bay area punk, MTX especially, nineties alt punk and geek punk, etc.) (A thing I would call a defining quality of Katy is that you can be like “hey do you know any twee songs about x?” she can draw up a giant list like, immediately, with extensive footnotes, and I am the same when it comes to dumb punk and pop punk, and I think that’s one of the reasons we are kindred.) ANYWAY, needless to say, Los Camp is one of the only bands that I have ever called My Favorite Band that could also theoretically be called a Twee Band (although, not really), so I find my unique qualifications to be very useful here, in arguing about Gareth. I just think if you are reading Hold On Now (in particular) in terms of the sensitive dickwad twee archetype—and I am not saying Gareth isn’t a sensitive twee dickwad, at all—then you should also be reading it in terms of what he has to say about that, as an archetype. Which isn’t a sophisticated argument, even? But it’s also a really easy one, soo… Anyway, that’s all I have to say—although I will say more, before long.
Mostly I just wanted to publicly take issue with this (and like, I WOULD, but stay with me here)
So what if he’s got girls in his band? I grew up with only women for family members and that didn’t stop me being a little asshole in my formative years. Thank god I found NOFX and transferred all my anger towards Bush and THE SYSTEM; if I’d found Los Campesinos! a few years earlier I might’ve just started wearing cardigans, cosy in Gareth’s validation.
Okay, I understand that this is an easy shorthand, and I fully grasp that it’s in reference to “I had a Not My President shirt in 2004,” which, fine. But, like, as a career defender of pop punk as Maybe Not As Sexist As You’d Think, NOFX is WAY MORE SEXIST THAN LOS CAMPESINOS, LIKE ARE YOU SERIOUS. (They might even be more sexist than Belle & Sebastian??)
Listen, I think the twee-cardigan as subcultural-fedora is a good observation and I think it’s pretty cool that indie dudes en masse are starting to unmask that bullshit, but are we really fetishizing FAT MIKE’s unabashed-no-holds-barred-fucking-misogyny as the noble alternative to pretending you’re not sexist? Like, I might have employed this strategy in the past, but I’m a woman??? Like, I am less sexist because I grew up listening to the guy who wrote such classics as
It’s that time of the month,
Again, you’re bitching,
Stop yelling at me.
I know you’ve got to plug yourself up,
But why take it out on me?
Just leave me alone,
Stop yelling at me,
Leave me alone,
When it’s your time to bleed.
You’re at a party, the girls are lame
But it’s Friday night, you want to get laid
So you beer bong down, six Meister Brau
And the Girls don’t look so bad to you now
Six pack girls
So you pick her up and bring her home
And stick your pop in her slop
Wake up the next morning
and show her the bus stop
Like, ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME. “I’m not sexist because I grew up listening to NOFX.” (*bonus points for the fact that they are a favorite white supremacist band, but w/e.) I guess that knowledge explains this:
I assume everyone, like me, immediately imagines walking in on their most beloved/despised ex and someone prettier making out to the sound of “You! Me! Dancing!”
which, like, no, I think that just makes you creepy as fuck but whatever.
Anyway, I really like the “emosygyny” statement and I wish that could be explored a little more because I think that’s actually where a lot of this stuff originates in Gareth’s work, and I’m fascinated (and baffled) by the choice to source in it Sarah Records or Belle & Sebastian—not to mention the choice to paraphrase someone else’s work on sexism in twee and completely ignore the role of women in those contexts—IE, THE MOST IMPORTANT ORIGINATORS OF THE GENRE.
Like, every time I talk about Los Camp in the context of “twee” Katy gets mad at me because it isn’t really fair. I mean, they’re a lot more like Fall Out Boy, really.
i never listened to los campesinos because louise didn’t like them when they first made music but i am not politically opposed to them, i am way politically opposed to that writer though.