Her Love Is Real, But She Is Not
omebody build a time machine, quick! We need to send Edie Sedgwick, or rather, Justin Moyer (El Guapo), back to the seventies. Why? Because that was a time when people could still be shocked by a rock star in drag. Maybe it’s just because I’m from Canada, where men marry men and hamburgers eat people, but seeing a man in drag is about as interesting to me as…seeing a woman in pants. I’m po-mo like that.
I don’t think I’m alone in this. Consider the history of rockers in drag: Bowie was cool, Boy George was “slightly odd” and by the time we got to Kurt Cobain wearing lipstick and Marilyn Manson having boobs, nobody gave a shit. And that was almost a decade ago. So now we’re supposed to care because the drag queen du jour is riding electro beats? Sorry, no. Peaches is actually a woman, and she’s past it. The only person who still cares about Peaches is Madonna, a woman who hasn’t been ahead of the curve since, well, around the time the band Curve were popular. If Peaches is so 2001, why should the hip kids accept an even less attractive male equivalent?
I’m sorry. I know there are people out there who will try to claim this is anything more than a gimmick, but they’re wrong. The best argument I’ve read so far is that Edie Sedgwick is the “indie” drag act, and that that somehow makes it acceptable. If there’s anybody out there who still actually thinks that way, I hope they don’t have any friends.
As for this trainwreck itself, the songs are all similar in the way that virtually all crummy electroclash songs are similar, distinguished only by Ms. Sedgwick’s vocals. Sedgwick has two modes: “sexy” and a really bad Ian Svenonius impression. I’m of two minds which annoys me more. On the one hand, the “sexy” stuff here is so gratingly coy and false that it makes Karen O. look like a heroin-starved torch singer. But the Ian Svenonius stuff is annoying because it’s become a horrible cliché. Next time you hear some older hipster lecture you about how influential Nation Of Ulysses were, you can nod your head knowingly. They inspired thing like this! Fantastic.
But wait: there’s more. After all, what’s worse than pseudo-gender-bending electroclash? Pseudo-gender-bending electroclash that tries to get political. That’s right! There are a few oblique political references on here and then there are things that might be political like: “What does it profit a monkey-man to gain the world and lose his monkey-soul?” If that’s a reference to the President, I genuinely don’t want to live any more. If it isn’t, then, what the fuck?
I guess this is my fault. Last week I fawned over Charming Hostess, who delivered an exciting, inventive album that manages to discuss things like politics, race, and gender in an intelligent, and fun, way. So, logically, I should be punished by having to review this. Lucky for you, dear reader, my sacrifice will hopefully keep from ever coming into contact with Edie Sedgwick. Avoid at all costs.
Reviewed by: Ryan Hardy
Reviewed on: 2005-03-18