Wild Gift For A Birthday Grrrl
Dear Vanessa –
Yer birthday today places you at the end of what some deviously talented marketing creatures have come to call “Tweenhood,” that blink-of-an-eye stretch of years between 9 and 13. This is a formative time for you, and you’ll spend a great deal of it figuring out who you are and who you will be. These marketing creatures know this, and they’ve created a vast array of various buzzing, blinking media clouds of audio/visual materials designed to dazzle yer developing senses, influence yer tastes, and, ultimately, sell you stuff. Remaining an individual in the midst of all that hoo-haa takes savvy and courage.
For yer birthday, I am offering you (yet another) path of resistance to cultural homogenization. Their name is Wild Flag.
More importantly, I think they are great examples of women who’ve followed their creative impulses completely with positive results, and as you are a fan of biographies, I think you’ll be interested in them as individuals.
I know you’ll dig Carrie Brownstein. You know, the brown-haired girl who is in all of the scenes with the goofy-looking guy on Portlandia? That’s Carrie Brownstein. She’s the lead singer in Wild Flag, and she also played in a really great band called Sleater-Kinney. She is undoubtedly leading Wild Flag, taking the majority of the vocal duties and guitar leads. When you get around to listening to the album, listen to how hard she sings, like in the song “Boom,” for example. The texture of her voice and the nuanced inflection remind me a lot of Lene Lovich, someone I’m sure you’ve never heard of, but who was a favorite singer of mine growing up.
Carrie Brownstein is singing that song like she’s jumping off of a cliff. Fearlessly.
Vanessa, when I listen to this record, the word “fearless” comes immediately to mind — and stays there. Wild Flag doesn’t merely play their songs, they sound like they wanna beat their songs up. When I think of you, that same word, “fearless,” also comes to mind (right after “kind” and “thoughtful”) so I think that you already have something in common with Wild Flag. Something that I don’t want you to ever lose.
Live fearlessly, honey. Most people don’t, and they never come close to becoming the person they might have been. All that lost potential… it’s tragic when you think of it.
So listen… I KNOW yer gonna go for the LMFAO first, and then the Waka Waka, but give Wild Flag a chance at some point. I’ll bet you a future donut that, in a later life, it will be a favorite of yers and you’ll flinch when you hear that Waka Waka.
Happy birthday, sweetie pie. I love you.