Thursday, January 26, 2017

Feminism & Cherry Glazerr

Cherry Glazerr may be one of the most inspirational and topical bands you've never heard of, until now. I did mention them before in a post about a year ago, and was really excited to see them open for Best Coast back in early 2016.

In a similar vein to the amazing talent of Kathleen Hanna's slew of feminism-heavy noise rock bands Le Tigre, Bikini Kill and The Julie Ruin, this band has something to say and they say it LOUD.

With the state of the world as it is right now and women's rights being discussed behind locked doors by mouldy old men with too much power, thank heavens for this band. Clementine Creevy, the lead singer at a modest 19 years of age, has created some lovely and powerful songs with equally powerful lyrics to go along. With the other three members of the band Sasami Ashworth, Tabor Allen and Sean Redman, she was able to make me feel like we have some hope to make real change amongst this hellish turn of events.

It all started when I entered the venue and was immediately greeted by three huge painted cartoon vaginas, complete with glittery clitorises (how about that for a band name?). It seems like feminism is 'in style' which, while not really the point of the whole thing, definitely helps to spread the word and create positive action. So I thought it was all a good bit of tongue-in-cheek fun.

Clementine sporting a lovely Dickies jumpsuit onstage, surrounded by big cardboard vaginas.

It makes me think of how being private about our privates is actually attributing to our close-mindedness about sexuality, gender, and all sorts of other “taboo” topics that are hard to discuss. But why should they be this way? Did you know that every year the city of Kawasaki, Japan celebrates Kanamara Matsuri, aka the “Festival of the Steel Phallus”? The festival is a celebration of the penis and fertility, and maybe I'm reading too much into it but the whole thing feels like an exercise in being open about the natural processes of the human body instead of feeling ashamed (which seems to be the American flavour of the day).

At the show, I had a good view of the setlist at Clementine's feet and knew that my favourite song in the world was coming up:

Even the band name's origin reeks of topical interest. Chery Glaser (the person) is a radio host for NPR, and was so impressed that the band named themselves after her that she interviewed them. Not to mention, what a cool name. You can listen to it here:

During the live set that I was so lucky to attend on Tuesday, Clementine addressed the crowd and shared a thought: “Nowadays, women don't have to do anything they don't want to do”. While quite the obvious statement, it still made me a little teary through my big smile. While not every room is so fortunate, this one in particular was filled with nice people and respect and overall good vibes.

I was right at the front, so the moshing that mostly happened behind me was quite a spectacle to see. Most of the audience around me was made up of young women, and as they respectfully danced into each other, it made me feel a sense of pride, happiness, and satisfaction that yes, women don't have to do anything they don't want to do. And the opposite is also true. A couple of women even crowd-surfed (one of my secret bucket-list goals) into an inviting a friendly crowd. It made me feel like maybe this was my moment as well, but I still couldn't quite muster up enough courage. If this is the way the tides are turning though, my time will come sooner than later.

Check out my second favourite song, incoincidentally about grilled cheese:

Before this show, I'd recently been feeling slightly at a loss because I want to be a part of the change and a source of positivity in the world, but I missed the Women's March due to attending a hackathon. This show was special to me because it made me feel like I was right in the thick of it, surrounded by vaginas (both real and metaphorical), and showed me that I am already living my life as a feminist every day.

And I got the setlist! Thanks to Cherry Glazerr for the most fun and empowering night I've had out in a while.

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