Reading about the recent RAND study suggesting that so-called "sexy music" triggers sexual activity in teenagers, it struck me what a load of fucking horseshit these suspiciously unscientific studies really are. We've all heard this kind of thing before; it's the sort of overfunded, specious bullshit study that makes the rounds once every few years when some parental group gets its collective dander up about hip-hop or pop music.
People always like to claim that rock and hip-hop music is degrading to women, and that kids who listen end up having sex earlier than kids who don't.These arguements are facile and insipid.What they don't take into account is the complexities of a society in which sex education is controversial and widely disapproved of, yet prizes useless luxuries so much that middle class families can't afford to have one parent staying home, giving their children a strong foundation and support.
Arriving just in time to answer this new wave of Tipper Gore-style kneejerk conservatism, here comes the new Peaches album.I admit that I was at first reluctant to review this album, as Peaches doesn't need any more exposure.For the last couple weeks it has seemed as if I couldn't open a newspaper or fashion magazine without a lovely two-page layout of her crotch.Furthermore, her last album Fatherfucker, was completely dreadful.Now, considering the RAND study, I've realized that I would wholeheartedly support a Peaches tour of American high schools.
Peaches herself wasmaking her living as a teacher when she recorded her first album, appropriately entitled The Teaches of Peaches ("I.U.D./S.I.S./Stay in school/Cuz it's the best").¬†So it seems perfect that Peaches should continue in this vocation, performing at gymnasium assemblies all over our nation, teaching girls that it's alright to embrace their own sexuality, that it's perfectly normal to want to have a threesome with two guys going at it, and it's okay to force the men go down on them. Sex is natural, and children need to know how to protect themselves, and how to respect everybody else's bodies.We need to have more sex in the schools, more sex on the television, and far less violence.Greater Than One once said: "It's okay to show a man having his balls kicked on TV but not having his balls stroked," and that's where our society is gravely wrong.
Impeach My Bush is one of the most amusingly-titled albums of the year, and though we're nearing the dreary midpoint of the dreaded second term of Hell, it's never too late for some anti-war and anti-Bush sentiments.Musically, this album is more fun and less mannered than Fatherfucker, Peaches letting her audience know that it's okay to dance and shake their dicks, tits, and asses to the beat. Songs such as "Downtown" and "Two Guys" are more catchy and memorable than many of Fatherfucker's forgettable ones. The production veers closer to Peaches' bargain-basement techno roots and away from the shlocky cock-rock poses that informed her sophomore effort.Peaches even subtly incorporates some of the latest sounds and production styles that define the commercial hip-hop scene, getting in touch with her inner Timbaland, Pharrell and Kanye.Lots of little high-end twitters and low-end bassy bottom-end groove, clipped drum machine swats and eyeball-vibrating synth effects.When she does bring the rock on tracks like "You Love It," it doesn't seem as calculated as the Joan Jett-piggybacking of Fatherfucker.
But, back to the main subject: there's not enough debate about how TV shows, music, films and video games that glorify violence have had an impact on teenagers.It's not surprising, as we have a bloodthirsty war-mongering administration, and the US has averaged a major war a decade for the last two centuries.Peaches opens up the album chanting her anthemic screed: "I'd rather fuck who I want than kill who I am told to." Isn't this a message which could benefit our youth?I couldn't agree more. ¬†
Unfortunately, Peaches' message is reaching the wrong audience.Hipsters and club kids have already gotten the message, along with the usual layers of Bianca Casady/Paris Hilton-style post-ironic detachment which seems to prevent anyone from taking anything seriously anymore.These people don't need Peaches.Peaches needs to be singing for every 13-year-old boy and girl in the country, shoving her crotch in the faces of the youth of today as an antidote to their parents hypocritical scapegoating and acquiescence to the same tired old modes of conservative head-burrowing.
As for these witch-hunting perverts who claim music "lowers kids inhibitions or makes them less thoughtful," they need to clean out their hard drive of barely legal smut.Somebody is buying this shit, and it's not some 12-year-old kid who bought the new Snoop Dogg record.One of the most frightening implications of the article by researcher Steven Martino is his warning that we "need to think more critically about messages in music lyrics," a statement which belies a sad trend.We need less critics in this world, we need less critics at concerts with their arms crossed, and we need more fans in the crowds cheering and dancing.Thanks, Peaches, keep up the fight!