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Now that I have your attention

I thought it would be better to start a whole new thread because this is an important topic. And yes it will be bloody tedious. But here is the deal: ever since Jean Paul Sartre it’s been known in Western Civ that one quality of social interaction is the ongoing appraisal of everyone by everyone else. Sartre called it “the Look” and what he meant by that was how a person was changed when they knew they were being perceived by someone else. Sartre’s lover, Simone de Beauvoir, was the first to write about how men used this system to relegate women to the category of “other.” We are men (persons) but women are not. They are other. Please don’t kill the messenger here — I am just repeating what they said.

That system — appraisal of the others — has been used throughout history as a tool for everything from routine exploitation to monstrous genocide. It works because societies codify and institutionalize those appraisals and use them to diminish or enhance the status of certain groups.

And everybody (or most anyway) buys into those codes.

So the difference between the unknown female on the Ween cover and Marc Gartman is that Marc Gartman is a man whom everyone knows. Even if he were to appear with only a belt on he would still be Marc Gartman. If the photo of Marc were put on the jumbotron in Union Square, that would be a different story because most people would not know him.

What makes it sexpolitation is the use of an unknown female’s body to sell the music of a male band. And all of you fell for it. As always, it was a slam dunk.

Second topic – venues and services for musicians:

If you really believe that there can’t be enough venues then don’t expect those venues to be any good and expect that they will go broke from time to time and/or expect to pay more taxes.

Here is some info about what two cities famous for their music are doing:

I’m on your side but it’s OK with me if you don’t get that.

49 Comment(s)

  1. Yay Carla!!! My hero!!!

    emmadogs | Nov 1, 2011 | New Comment
  2. Hell, 1980′s glam rock was all about sexploitation.

    Can we also go back and slap Warrant around a little for “Cherry Pie”?

    Cyndi Lauper wrote “She Bop” … sure it’s a little veiled but clearly about masturbation.

    zra | Nov 1, 2011 | New Comment
  3. “Anyone who tells you they got into rock n` roll for reasons other than girls, fame and money is full of shit.” ~Gene Simmons

    zra | Nov 1, 2011 | New Comment
  4. Just to clarify one thing for those who don’t know: The Ween cover is a parody of the cover of All the Great Hits by the Commodores.

    Barrett Chase | Nov 1, 2011 | New Comment
  5. So what if I, upon seeing the Ween cover, appraised the band as juvenile boys, and thus categorically dismissed their music without listening to it? Sexploitation can be a double-edged sword.

    Interestingly, I also assumed the band was comprised of all men, despite not being familiar with them beyond knowing the name.

    Lastly, I recently read an article that those appraisal and categorization “codes” may in fact be hardwired as a remnant of a survival mechanism (i.e. that unfamiliar 300-pound cat, although I know it isn’t a lion, will likely attack me like a lion if I get too close.) The behavior of collaborating against a common enemy is equally hardwired. That may not excuse it, but at least offer a plausible explanation for it.

    Keep in mind this isn’t my area of expertise, nor have I researched it, but am offering what I have read as a point of discussion on the topic.

    Elden | Nov 1, 2011 | New Comment
  6. I guess I’m wondering if I fell for it if I like the album despite the cover? Or if I saw the cover and didn’t buy the album? Not everyone has a Pavlovian response to images such as this one.

    john | Nov 1, 2011 | New Comment
  7. Yeah, there’s a reason why Whipped Cream and Other Delights has sold as many albums … and it’s not just because Alpert is awesome either.

    zra | Nov 1, 2011 | New Comment
  8. Needs more Justin Beiber.

    c-freak | Nov 1, 2011 | New Comment
  9. I prefer Herb’s “The Lonely Bull” personally:

    john | Nov 1, 2011 | New Comment
  10. “You put a greased naked woman on all fours with a dog collar around her neck, and a leash, and a man’s arm extended out up to here, holding onto the leash, and pushing a black glove in her face to sniff it. You don’t find that offensive? You don’t find that sexist?”

    HappyHippo | Nov 1, 2011 | New Comment
  11. “But it goes to 11!!!”


    “Its the saddest chord”

    emmadogs | Nov 1, 2011 | New Comment
  12. (snark.)

    zra | Nov 1, 2011 | New Comment
  13. Barrett, thanks for clearing that parody thing up — no really — it makes sense in a weird sort of way.

    I didn’t get the thing about the dog collar though — could you explain that? Could you also explain the Herb Alpert thing?

    You guys are just too sophisticated for me.

    carla | Nov 1, 2011 | New Comment
  14. The dog collar thing is a reference to the movie This is Spinal Tap, which is a fake documentary about a heavy metal band that plays up all the stereotypes.

    This video of excerpts from the film covers the dog collar part right up front.

    Herb Alpert’s Whipped Cream and Other Delights is one of the most recognizable album covers of all time. I admit that I fell for it. It was a slam dunk.

    Paul Lundgren | Nov 1, 2011 | New Comment
  15. Herb Alpert was a bandleader in the 1970s … most noted for a.) co-founding A&M records and b.) producing Whipped Cream And Other Delights … the sneak peak album of many a young man.

    Green background and an attractive woman in a white dress with a whipped cream bodice. (The whole picture was supposed to be her covered in whipped cream.)

    zra | Nov 1, 2011 | New Comment
  16. OK -- yes -- now that you mention it. I never saw Spinal Tap but the Lonely Bull came out when I was in High School and the whipped cream thing a little later. Thanks!

    carla | Nov 1, 2011 | New Comment
  17. (Thanks, Paul.)

    zra | Nov 1, 2011 | New Comment
  18. Poor Marc, just wanted someone to shoot some video for his new music project, but unearthed a whole shit-storm of why there are twisted battles between men and women instead; on the order of guns, germs, and steel. The reasons and methods, the natures and nurtures are complex and intertwined.

    What bothers me is that women often deny that men, in order for mating to proceed, must do the lions share of initiation. Who inevitably become burned when they misinterpret signals. If men subjugate women, as they have come to, I think it inevitably stems from their fear and misunderstanding, but also because they have a primal attraction to the female their reasoning side can’t explain, sex addicts like the X-files guy, and every other dude aside, and their brains get funny when they start to think about a hot one. But also, the vicious power plays we all grow up with, what make us resentful or mistrustful of each other, drive that vicious cycle.

    It always points back to our mammalian natures. You really shouldn’t even be commenting on relationships until you’ve studied animal behavior for a lifetime. That women complain about the way men are is almost comical when you know things about the mating habits of deer or cats. Everything we do in the way of our mating rituals filters into this, even putting rings on your neck to make it longer, if it’s because the men desire it, it’s also men who’ve done the most scouting and inevitably often have to defeat or kill another male to get the woman, historically and presently speaking.

    I would imagine this prompts male mindset quite considerably through the ages toward temptations to objectify. Abs and a nice chest are good on both. We do so much enjoy categorizing and boxing things in our society anyway, from Santa Clause, to 9-5, to the latest fashions, to each other. These are all engrained forms of thinking within our DNA, ways of viewing the world. A

    rtists and other people who think outside the box may sometimes help us out of these nasty patterns, passed down to offspring, becoming even harder to change through the generations. Until one day, someone says, “I think this should be different,’ and people agree and finally do something about it.

    Women appear to do more waiting for the right man to show up, and determine whether his characteristics are appropriate for her ‘future.’ Both are capable of change. It’s a colorful and bizarre dance, each needing and compelling the other, and the troubles that ensue, are eternal entertainment for the gods.

    Dr. Horace Thole | Nov 1, 2011 | New Comment
  19. I am totally confused by this entire thread. I kind of get the references to album covers and sexism, but what am I missing here in all this stuff?

    Endion | Nov 1, 2011 | New Comment
  20. I there is very little being discussed that is really “engrained in our DNA.” I would argue that to a great extent we like what we like because we have grown up with a certain amount of pressure to like what other people like. There are a great many exceptions to that, which is why concepts change over time.

    If you look at what has been considered the “desirable” female form in western cultures it has changed significantly over time. Hell bells there are other human cultures, right now, who find female breasts pretty sexually uninteresting but a glimpse of thigh is near pornographic. Relationships and mating rituals of other species, even mammalian, are not a terribly good equivalency, except as perhaps as an argument against anything being particularly “unnatural.” How cats mate and how humans do their delicate tango of finding one another has nothing to do with one another outside of facile analogies.

    The wider issue is pretty tricky to navigate. If someone is consensual and well remunerated it is hard to argue they are exploited. But, perhaps it represents an exploitation of a larger group of people. There definitely has been a big spike of sexual assault and domestic abuse during the recession of the past few years, but that is a historic pattern during tough economic times and is hard to correlate with wide-spread sexualization of aspects of media, personally I think such things are more related to power and control rather than purely sex (yes the two can interact).

    Is sex bad? Is the human body shameful? No. But coming to a consensus on what is too much and how tight a leash to keep on it (sorry) is pretty hard given historic and current abuses of power.

    (For what it’s worth, I lived in Nashville for several years, years ago, and hated the music scene there. Auditions for open mic nights.)

    edgeways | Nov 1, 2011 | New Comment
  21. I agree about the commercialization of music -- but here is one more point about the venue thing: when the issue of not enough venues for Homegrown was mentioned -- what that really meant was not enough bars willing to be a venue for free in hopes that they will sell a bunch of liquor. There are no hired halls for Homegrown — right? So what about the other 360 nights of the year?

    carla | Nov 1, 2011 | New Comment
  22. I understand that Ween is supposed to be ironic and satiric (and I can point to some of their songs that are) but their satiric edge is lost in songs about women, many of which seem to be actually, not parodically, misogynistic.

    My dinner’s on fire while she watches TV
    And if you ever wondered what it’s like to be me
    She takes all my money and leaves me no smokes
    She yells at my buddies and insults my folks
    I’m breakin’ my back, doin’ the best that I can
    She’s got more time for her dog than her man
    And I’m no dope
    But I can’t cope
    So hit the fuckin’ road
    And piss up a rope


    You can piss up a rope
    And you can put on your shoes
    Hit the road, get truckin’
    Pack your bag
    I don’t need the ag
    On your knees, you big booty bitch, start suckin’
    You ride my ass like a horse in a saddle
    Now you’re up shit’s creek
    With a turd for a paddle
    And I can’t cope
    So piss up a rope

    You can piss up a rope
    And feel the pissy dribble
    You can piss up a rope
    And watch me giggle
    For the last six months I been packin’ your bag
    You can wash my balls with a warm wet rag
    Till my balls feel smooth and soft like silk
    I’m sick of your mouth and your 2 percent milk
    And I’m no dope
    But I’ve lost all hope
    So hit the fuckin’ road
    And piss up a rope.

    Repeat chorus three times

    “Piss Up a Rope” from 12 Golden Country Greats

    So, let’s see…he’s kicking her out of the house, but he wants a quick blowjob first? Merely putting a song like this to a country tune doesn’t make it satirical enough. The bar of satire is set much higher.

    More examples can be provided upon request.

    Ramos | Nov 1, 2011 | New Comment
  23. This post is incredibly aggravating.

    Neither of the OP’s topics are related, except by the fact that Marc probably expected Carla to pay him when he played at Chester Creek Wine Bar. Musicians offer a service. If you don’t want the service, don’t pay for it. Simple.

    Come on. In terms of sexism, don’t you think that there are bigger fish to fry than a satirical novelty act who reached a modicum of success?

    Ugh. I’m dropping “The Friendly” from my name for this response. This is dumb.

    Old Knifey | Nov 1, 2011 | New Comment
  24. I never thought I’d be a Ween apologist on PDD.

    Ramos, maybe you don’t think that song is funny, and that’s a matter of taste, but you can’t say that Ween’s song is meant to be taken seriously in any way whatsoever. If you believe that you are simply wrong. Sure, they aren’t trying to change the world or make a political statement, but they are trying to be absurd. You don’t listen to that song and say, “I can relate to this.” You listen to it and laugh, or at least realize that you’re supposed to laugh because it’s ridiculous.

    My whole problem with the original complaint was that it didn’t take into account the intent behind the album cover, which again is comedy not misogyny.

    That said, this debate has made me think, so that’s good. And while I was checking this thread on my break at work I was a little afraid that someone would see the photo on my phone and get the wrong idea, so I understand people’s concern about having it on PDD.

    I just don’t want PDD to start censoring photos based on political correctness, except in extreme cases where actual maliciousness or hate is involved. Up until now all of our policies are geared toward civility, not content.

    Barrett Chase | Nov 1, 2011 | New Comment
  25. Scotchgard, my old friend.

    dbrewing | Nov 1, 2011 | New Comment
  26. Let’s read some more Ween lyrics Ramos!

    dbrewing | Nov 1, 2011 | New Comment
  27. @ Ramos--this song is not about all women, so take a pill. This song is about a woman who wronged him and he is “pissed” and taking revenge. Have you heard of the Dixie Chicks “Earl” song? would you claim the band is practicing misandry by killing a person the protagonist was angry with?

    Maybe you should occupy a recording studio or a graphic design office in protest.

    Over reaction for these sorts of things is comical. If all you have to worry about is the lyrics to a song that less than 1% of the worlds population will ever hear, then you must have all the other problems in your life sorted out.

    @All — Art is beyond your opinion — demanding that it fit your ideals is absolutely the most asinine demand one could make. You worry about you, and I’ll worry about me, and Ween can worry about Ween.

    B-man | Nov 2, 2011 | New Comment
  28. I was and still am a big Ween fan. God Ween Satan blew my mind and I bought the other albums as soon as they came out. (The Pod: Leonard Cohen parody, God Ween Satan: Led Zep, Black Sabbath, pick your favorite satanic band parody, White Pepper: Beatles parody) So there’s no denying that these guys built a career out of being immature and stupid and making fun of things. The Chocolate & Cheese cover: I get the joke, the immaturity and all that, but it was more Howard Stern than say, Lenny Bruce. I thought they could have done better.
    Some of their stuff is smarter than other stuff, and I think a parody of sex just hits people differently than a parody of heavy metal, Garth Brooks, psychedelia, drugs, junior high or anything else.

    Warrant’s Cherry Pie … yeah, there’s no explanation for that, but I do understand what Carla’s saying about venues.

    brian | Nov 2, 2011 | New Comment
  29. The Dead Milkmen.

    Hell, look at the guy who pretty much instituted the idea of making fun of people and things and the foibles of humanity as he saw it: Frank Zappa.

    You could throw a dart at any one of his albums blindfolded and hit a song that offended somebody…

    (Catholic Girls, anyone?)

    I think though, in the case of Zappa and a lot of the others (ween included) the social commentary is secondary to the music being played…the lyrics were there to throw people off…if you’re going be offended to something as silly as the lyrics, then you’re not going to hear the genius in the music, which is where the real genius lies.

    zra | Nov 2, 2011 | New Comment
  30. Not that it really matters at this point but I did pay Marc when he played in the wine bar.

    carla | Nov 2, 2011 | New Comment
  31. I am confused.

    “Now that I have your attention.”

    So it is okay to use a half naked woman to get my attention (or so you think) to bitch about some other half naked woman from an album cover used to advertise a gig featuring the music from said album. Um, my brain hurts.

    Bill | Nov 2, 2011 | New Comment
  32. word

    c-freak | Nov 2, 2011 | New Comment
  33. Now that I don’t have your attention, perhaps this thread will cease.

    Paul Lundgren | Nov 2, 2011 | New Comment
  34. PS: I prefer the gal on the Venture’s Hawaii 5-0 album and she pretty much has all of her clothes on.

    Bill | Nov 2, 2011 | New Comment
  35. Heartbeat City.

    zra | Nov 2, 2011 | New Comment
  36. Slim | Nov 2, 2011 | New Comment
  37. “…when the issue of not enough venues for Homegrown was mentioned – what that really meant was not enough bars willing to be a venue for free in hopes that they will sell a bunch of liquor. There are no hired halls for Homegrown — right? So what about the other 360 nights of the year?

    • Venues pay to be a part of Homegrown. They have for the past six years.

    • Homegrown uses as few hired halls as possible.

    • Homegrown is not responsible for booking music or validating venues throughout the year.

    adam | Nov 2, 2011 | New Comment
  38. Again, I say “Fuck yeah!” to Smooth Sailing on I-35, although the faster traffic limits my ability to flash my boobs as I’m driving through Duluth.

    However, as amusing as this post thread was, it causes me to be rather glad to not live in Duluth anymore. Feels as though some want to rename this blog “Perfectly Politically Correct Duluth.”

    Purple | Nov 2, 2011 | New Comment
  39. Let me tell you ’bout the fucking bitch, Deaner!
    Why’d you know she’s a fucking bitch?
    She didn’t -- she’s a fucking bitch, Deaner!

    Common bitch, my head itch
    Scratch it bitch, common bitch
    Common bitch, little girl

    Common bitch, wear good stitch
    Fetch it bitch, common bitch
    Common bitch, little girl

    Common bitch, poppa’s home
    No shit, common bitch
    Common bitch, little girl

    “Common Bitch” from GodWeenSatan

    Ramos | Nov 2, 2011 | New Comment
  40. Who are those women, Paul? They look a bit upset.

    bluenewt | Nov 2, 2011 | New Comment
  41. Do they have happy hour at the satire bar?

    dbrewing | Nov 2, 2011 | New Comment
  42. A disrespectful thread towards women with legit reasoning. Also, it’s disappointing that it concludes with these last few comments. What is this? The Ol’ Boys Club, PDD? Puke.

    L | Nov 3, 2011 | New Comment
  43. And far be it for me to let it end on a sour note. Enlightenment isn’t mine to give, but yours to achieve.

    zra | Nov 3, 2011 | New Comment
  44. Who the hell is Ween? Some band that a few music snobs up here based their crappy sound on? Who cares?

    Homegrown annoys me in that we have hundreds of bands perform on one weekend and then the next there it goes back to a handful. We wait all year for this one event when we should have the NorShor up and running and drawing bands of the First Avenue level. Then a bunch of people are out and our local acts get to open and get exposure.

    Endion | Nov 4, 2011 | New Comment
  45. @Endion “We should have the NorShor up and running.” I guess I missed you at the planning and/ or development meetings. Who is this “we” you are referring to?

    Get up, Get out, and Get some. If you want these things go make them happen. Saying they “should” is waiting for someone else.

    Here is a place to start.

    I fully support your other sentiments though, bigger live music acts would benefit many in this town.

    B-man | Nov 4, 2011 | New Comment
  46. I thought the government was just going to fix it up for me, now I have to pay the tax money and be involved? I should do more.

    The NorShor should be the middle venue between the DECC and Beaner’s. If we get off on the subject of venues and bands coming here this thread will finally make sense and pass 100 posts.

    I think we need more things like Homegrown, but smaller and more frequent. I love RT’s for the sound and stage. The Rex is good, but it faces the same issue I have at RT’s, getting served can be tough some times.

    My idea for the NorShor would be to have a bar right next to the stage up front. You could get a drink and be up by the band. That way the place wouldn’t feel so empty when there are not many people there. The venue is huge and could support great music.

    I have been to the Ogden in Denver, Webster Hall in NY, The Depot in Salt Lake City, The Independent in San Fran, and The Whiskey in LA -- along with the Varsity, First Ave, and Orpheum in Mpls. They all should be the example of what the NorShor should become.

    Endion | Nov 4, 2011 | New Comment
  47. the Nor Shor *was* all that..or on its way to becoming *that*…the problem is that the former owner didn’t care much for code, or keeping the building code compliant.

    *Now* that it’s been purchased away from said owner, before it can be of any use, it needs to be brought up to code, both building safety and ADA wise… | Nov 4, 2011 | New Comment
  48. burn your bras!

    c-freak | Nov 4, 2011 | New Comment
  49. I’m with C! Burn your bras and your panties! Eveyone go Canadian; we can save the enviroment by washing less laundry. And, it’s liberating. Danny- ignore this post. We don’t want to see wagon tracks on your sweat pants.

    Jim | Nov 4, 2011 | New Comment

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