Thursday, July 23, 2009

Who's that Queer? Peaches!

Brought to you by Pistol Pete

You may recognize her as the stylish, loud, electro-clash rock-chic, but before she became Peaches, Merrill Beth Nisker (born 1968 in Toronto, Canada) was an elementary school music and drama teacher. The electronica musician whose songs are notable for use of explicitly sexual lyrics plays her own instruments for her songs, programs her own electronic beats, and produces her own albums. Oh, and let’s not forget her ability to rock a mullet and look darn good doin’ it! That’s an accomplishment in itself.

Gender identity is a constant subject of Peaches' music, as she has suffered from gender identity issues since childhood, and often plays with traditional notions of gender role representation. Her lyrics and live shows consciously blur the distinction between male and female; in 2003 she appeared on the cover of her album Fatherfucker with a full beard. She disputes accusations of "penis envy," preferring the term “hermaphrodite envy”, as she was determined by her physician to have "undescended testicles" in 1995. More recently, she has announced her belief that, “there is so much male and female in us all.”

She released her first album, Fancypants Hoodlum, under the name Merrill Nisker in 1995, and subsequently developed the style and persona that would take her to international fame as Peaches. Her songs have been featured in movies such as Mean Girls, Waiting..., Jackass Number Two, My Little Eye, and Lost in Translation. Her music has also been highlighted on television shows such as Showtime's The L Word and NBC’s Ugly Betty. Peaches performed guest vocals on Pink's album Try This, on the song "Oh My God," and on the Chicks on Speed album 99 Cents, on the song "We Don't Play Guitars."

Peaches’ live background band, The Herms (short for hermaphrodites) was formed in the spring of 2006. They played at small and large venues alike with sex and sex-related themes as the "shock factor" for the audience. "Herms" is also a reference to the 1970's duo Peaches & Herb, and blending of the words “her” and “him.

For her fourth album, 2006's Impeach My Bush, Peaches enlisted guest musicians Joan Jett, Greg Kurstin, Josh Homme, Samantha Maloney, Beth Ditto, Feist, Dave Catching, Brian O'Connor and Radio Sloan to perform on several of the tracks. Her most recent album, I Feel Cream, was released on May 4, 2009 in Europe and May 5 in North America. The first single from the project is a double A-side of "Talk to Me" and "More”.

Source: Wikipedia

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