Category: MEN

Coachella 2011: Dancing your way into credit card debt with MEN

In the week leading up to the Friday kickoff of the Coachella Music and Arts Festival in Indio, Pop & Hiss offers a preview of some of this year's less-established or underappreciated artists.

Who: MEN

When: Sunday, April 17

From: Brooklyn, N.Y.

MEN, the art/performance collective founded by Le Tigre's JD Samson, will be performing two days after taxes are due, but trust that they feel your pain. One of the spikier sentiments to be found on its debut release, "Talk About Body," regard the complications of being a broke artist in a world that parties first and writes the check later. Or wait, maybe that's an advantage? Nevermind, just pass the $7.99 Champagne.

Money also makes a handy analogy for all sorts of sexual-political statements, which they touch on above in "Off Our Backs," a title that nods to the longstanding but now-defunct feminist journal. As heavy as that all might sound, it's certainly not when there are dips of hot-lava bass, rubbery synths and a disco beat to spur on dance-floor frenzy.

In "Credit Card Babie$," Samson and her cohorts Michael O'Neill and Ginger Brooks Takahashi paint a little utopia, one with friends procreating to make "a newborn gay creation" raised on radical politics. Alas, even in that reality, "our love goes on credit card." Price of Coachella ticket: $320. Price of a cup of beer: $7. Dancing to hot agit-prop disco: Priceless.

--Margaret Wappler

MEN's JD Samson talks about bodies, unfunded babies and the perilous pleasures of pop

296_MEN_good%203_Emily_Roysdon Yesterday, JD Samson released her band MEN’s debut album, "Talk About Body," and it features the sexiest song about getting knocked up in recent memory.  On, “Credit Card Babie$,” a disco track driven by Moog blasts and little bites of punky guitar, Samson promises, “I’m gonna (sleep with) my friends to get a little tiny baby.”

But the unprintable hook is actually a sad reverse-double-entendre. Turns out the simple wish to have a kid is also probably the most destructive thing one can do ecologically, financially and socially to yourself and everyone around you. It’s a tough decision, but the hooks of “Babie$” give it a hot-and-bothered urgency.

“We had this skeleton of a song idea and I assumed it was going to be super-depressing, because it’s so hard to plan for and support a family,” Samson said. “But then we thought it would be cool to juxtapose it with this fun disco track, to make an anthemic space to relate to it."

That dynamic forms the backbone of MEN, which performs at Amoeba Music in Hollywood at 6 tonight. Samson and bandmates Michael O’Neill and Ginger Brooks Takahashi pair viciously catchy disco-punk with  lyrics that function equally well as floor-filler chants and more difficult reflections on how the wants of the body interact with the political sphere.

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