Monday, 9 January 2012

Music Monday: Tura Satana

In my late teens, after years of listening to winsome indie, my music tastes underwent an huge change.  Beginning work in an alternative club which played mostly rock and metal, my cutesy plastic hairslides were exchanged for black lipstick, and Belle & Sebastian were supplanted by Marilyn Manson and Korn.  Not that I ever stopped loving indie music, but for a good few years I was more interested in rock. 

Tura Satana were my biggest passion, mainly because of the raw power of lead vocalist Tarrie B's anguished lyrics and delivery.  Throwing the word "whore" around like it was going out of fashion (this was, of course, the era of riot grrrl, where writing "slut" on your arm in eyeliner was a feminist statement); singing lines like "got a right to dress sexy when and where I want/ without being harrassed for it/ or being told that I asked for this" (Victim); displaying a lyrical obsession with blood, pain, sickness, love, sex and Catholic iconography, all to a backdrop of thrashing guitars and heavy basslines, Tarrie B was my nineteen year old-self's version of the perfect woman, someone I aspired to be like.  My ambition in life was to be as glamorously fucked up and as articulately angry as Tarrie and it was through reading her interviews in Kerrang and poring over Tura Satana's lyrics that I started to build an idea of how a feminist woman in rock might look and sound.  She taught me how to protect myself in a mosh pit, how to have a pithy comeback ready for the men who leered at me over the bar I worked in, or felt it was their right to cop a feel on the dance floor. 

I was walking into Leicester last week, feeling full of pent-up energy and frustration, when this Tura Satana track shuffled onto my iPod and reminded me of their brilliance.  It's incredibly different to anything else I've ever posted for Music Monday, and no doubt won't be to a lot of people's tastes.  But oh, the nineteen year old deep inside me - who wonders is she will ever grow up, who thinks saying "fuck" in a song makes it way rock and roll - still glories in the screamed lines at the end of Relapse: "Don't tell me that I can't be myself, that I can't be...".

No comments:

Post a Comment