Ah, Peaches. You gender-bending, dirty-mouthed, son of a gun!
If you’ve never heard of Peaches, you really should make sure you read this. There is a lot to learn from her and a lot of good music to be listened to by her!
Born Merrill Beth Nisker, Peaches comes to us from the land of milk and honey, Canada. She was a school music and drama teacher before she started wearing strap-ons during live performances and making music about sex…go figure. Peaches put out an album as Merrill while she was still living in Toronto and living with her then roommate, Feist.
From there she evolved into the woman we know today, Peaches. She explains,
I got that name from a Nina Simone song called ‘Four Women.’ She sings the song talking about women’s struggle. And the last woman she describes, she gets really passionate about her. And at the end of the song she says, ‘Her name is PEACHES!’ And the way she said it, she was SO passionate that I thought I really would love her to be saying that to me.
Her next album, The Teaches Of Peaches, featured the song for which Peaches is probably most well known, ‘Fuck the Pain Away.’ This track features addictive beats and a chorus that just feels so naughty to sing it’s fun! This video is an earmuffs moment. It’s not the full version of the song, but this video is hilarious.
Peaches’ 3rd album, Fatherfucker, took her into a more politically conscious phase of her music. The criticisms and response she got from her sex-loaded album, The Teaches of Peaches, left her responding to comments about her sexuality and gender identity and personal politics. She explained the title of the album once after receiving a question about whether or not her motives were based in shock value alone.
Why do we call our mothers motherfuckers? Why do we stub our toe and say, “Aww motherfucker!”? What is a motherfucker? … We use it in our everyday language, and it’s such an insanely intense word. I’m not one to shy away from these obscene terms that we actually have in our mainstream. Motherfucker is a very mainstream word. But if we’re going to use motherfucker, why don’t we use fatherfucker? I’m just trying to be even.
She put out her 4th album entitled, Impeach My Bush, in 2006 and it became her most successful album to date debuting on the Billboard 200 at #168.
Peaches says something, in fact she says a lot of things, most of which aren’t being said in today’s music, and most of which are being thought and felt by a huge number of people. Sex is on people’s minds! Dirty, primitive, sexual thoughts have crossed EVERYBODY’S mind. Peaches is about saying the things that link us all as humans and that most people are afraid to say out loud. Peaches is about breaking down the walls we build up around ourselves to hide our thoughts and feelings. Walls that seperate us from ever really knowing that in fact, we AREN’T the only one who has ever thought that dirty little thought, and we AREN’T the only one who wants that dirty little thing. Above all, Peaches is about having a good time and loving life. Can’t really argue against that!
It’s hard to believe Peaches is 40 now, and easy to believe that her age hasn’t stopped her one bit. Her new album was released in the US yesterday. I Feel Cream features some slower than typical tracks, but the lyrics are still hard hitting and the beats are undeniably hers, strong and unforgiving. This album features probably the most melodic and pop sounding tracks Peaches has ever produced. I imagine she will sell more records with this one given the current music trends and the more widely palatable sounds in this album.
Check out Peaches’ Myspace to hear some of the new tracks. I really like this video for the song ‘Talk To Me.’
Inspiring are the people who commit their lives to self-expression no matter how many people disagree with how, what, or why they are saying whatever they are saying. It takes serious strength of character and thoughtful creativity to say something new and to say it loud. Peaches is awesome and I totally appreciate what she brings to music and to our culture. Whether or not you agree with her politcs or enjoy her music, because she is out there saying what’s on her mind, she creates a space for everybody in the world to express themselves freely.
Here is a short mini-documentary about her. It gives a good picture of what she’s about and why she is so badass.
So go turn up some Peaches, dance naked in the mirror, and love everything that you are!