Elevate Difference

Limited Edition Demo

Pulling together some of the best feminist talent in dance music today, MEN should be requisite listening if you intend on moving forward in your life as a party-loving progressive. I understand that feminism is not always a celebration; I have often in my life been accused of being too serious. However, I like to shake it. A lot. It would be easy to write about my fan girl love for JD Samson. Instead, the music of MEN really speaks for itself.

In their own words, MEN as a band and performance group believes in the “radical potential of dance music.” Indeed, if you’ve ever been at a friendly gender-bending queercore dance party, you no doubt understand the truth in this ideal. With ridiculous cool cred abounding, MEN is comprised of Le Tigre’s JD Samson and Johanna Fateman, Michael O'Neill of bands Hirsute and Ladybug Transistor, artist/producer Emily Roysdon (also of Hirsute), and Ginger Brooks Takahashi of Lesbians To The Rescue, a feminist genderqueer art collective.

Just in time for their fall tour, MEN have put out their Limited Edition Demo. While short, the EP is packed full of energy and beauty. “Off Our Backs,” a popular turn of phrase among feminists and lesbians and used for the journal of the same title, is a track about queering relationships and changing up sexual positions. “I’m a tease/We’re flipping can’t you see?/Off our backs and back up to lead.” I’m not sure the subtext of this song is immediately apparent unless you know MEN’s politics. I do wonder who would show up at a MEN concert without knowing that the band “speaks to issues such as wartime economies, sexual compromise, and demanding liberties.”

“Credit Card Babie$,” arguably the most catchy tune of the batch, seems to be an ironic nod to people who compulsively adopt children. And then there are the days when you just look at your best friend and think, “This is it?” “Simultaneously,” a word I consistently have trouble spelling correctly, is a song about existential confusion in this life. The song is much more brilliant than my days of youthful uncertainty.

Even the fourth track, “Off Our Backs (Jeppe's Money is a Major Issue Remix),” is a danceable hit. In this case, Jeppe is “Senior” from the now-disbanded Junior Senior, a sort of Danish Timbaland with his hands on knobs and turntables for a variety of reputable artists around the world.

Currently on the road with groups like Gossip, MEN are not to be missed. Buy tickets early, party people.

Written by: Brittany Shoot, October 19th 2009

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