There’s way more to this cocky electro-rocker than meets the eye
Electroclash vixen, cocky technocrat, trashy rapper Peaches defies easy classification.
Over the course of four years and three albums, the Canadian-born, Berlin-transplant is a study in contradictions: smart yet dumbed-down; pornographic yet feminist; amazingly alluring and aggressively in your face.
Her stage shows run on sweat and adrenaline. In front of a crowd, Peaches is a woman possessed nothing keeps her from leaving her audiences in a sweaty, horny mass. A gender-bent provocateur, she’s a sex symbol to queers, straights, guys and girls. Parents, lock up your kids: On tour to support her latest disc, “Impeach My Bush,” Peaches visits Fort Worth on Friday.
Whatever way you look at her, this fiery femme is anything but conventional. Here are the “Teaches of Peaches.”
Peaches is sex
Nothing has earned Peaches more attention than the outrageously sexual tone of her lyrics.
On her 2002 debut, “The Teaches of Peaches,” the bisexual singer, born Merrill Nisker, reveled in nasty rhymes the likes of which were virtually unheard of from female artists. Challenging the traditional role of the cock-rocking lead singer, Peaches demanded equal treatment as a sexually voracious frontwoman with a dirty mouth and a hot bod to back it up.
Turning the tables on traditional sex roles, she was unabashed in her admiration for men’s asses on the track “Back It Up, Boys” from her 2003 record “Fatherfucker.”
On “Two Guys,” from her newest album, “Impeach My Bush,” Peaches and The Gossip’s Beth Ditto flip the script on the male fantasy of three-ways. Instead of two bi girls, Peaches enlists a MFM m?nage, where the boys “work it, guy on guy.”
Gender play has extended to Peaches’ latest tour. Her new backup band has been dubbed The Herms, a cross between the words “him” and “her.” The all-female line-up includes former Hole drummer Samantha Maloney, former Courtney Love guitarist Radio Sloan and Le Tigre keyboardist J.D. Samson.
Peaches is political
Though sexual politics tend to be her primary stomping ground, Peaches has taken up a variety of issues. Earlier this year, she joined PETA in protesting seal hunting in her native Canada, posing for a poster bearing the slogan “Canada’s Club Scene Sucks.”
On “Fuck or Kill,” the opening track off her latest disc, Peaches shouts, “I’d rather fuck who I want than kill who I am told to!” before calling for the President Bush’s impeachment in no uncertain terms.
Peaches is rock
Though she started producing grungy techno on an MC505 Groovebox, Peaches’ subsequent albums have progressed from raunchy electroclash to full-on AC/DC-style hard rock. Her stage persona has also morphed into an arrogant stadium rocker: stage diving, speaker climbing and the occasional fake-blood pack.
Peaches is a star
She’s quickly risen from virtual obscurity to cultural phenomenon. Her first major single, “Fuck the Pain Away,” now lends it name to a U.K. nightclub in Brighton. The track “Do Ya” from “Impeach My Bush” is the soundtrack for a Gap ad. Famous fans include Bjork and M.I.A. And Madonna reportedly works out to the album “The Teaches of Peaches.”
Her first record featured friends from the local Berlin scene. Peaches’ second album included a contribution from punk legend Iggy Pop. And things only got better from there. By her third release, Peaches was working with Joan Jett. Along the way, Peaches has also collaborated with Basement Jaxx, Chicks on Speed, Pink and The Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Karen O. Next year, Peaches guests on Yoko Ono’s new album.
Peaches performs at the Ridglea Theater, 6025 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth, Nov. 30. Doors at 8 p.m., show at 9 p.m. $18 advance, $20 day of show. 817-292-8400.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, November 24, 2006.