Tag Archives: Kim Gordon

Ep. #88: Vanessa Dunn of Vag Halen

Vanessa Dunn is the lead singer of Vag Halen, one of Toronto’s most exciting and confrontational rock bands. On Facebook, they describe themselves as “Toronto’s feminist art rock band that brings the bad with a dash of ass! Armed with a repertoire of classics, Vag Halen muff dives into the salty cock rock waters, blowing nether regions with their commitment to all things queer and all things rock.” Having seen the band myself, I can verify that that is all totally, totally true. Vag Halen storm Guelph on April 12 for a set at Kazoo! Fest at Van Gogh’s Ear. The band is on at 11:30 PM sharing a bill with Whoop-SZO, Biblical, and Legato Vipers. Here Vanessa and I discuss the pizza in Parkdale, growing up in Scarborough and celebrating the suburbs, where Vag Halen came from and what it might stand for, Katie Ritchie of the Organ, good Van Halen (David) and bad Van Halen (Sammy), how the band covers songs by different cock rock, hair metal bands who are male-centric, as an attempt to assert and understand the role of women and queer culture in such realms, the sexy, revealing attire and stage presence of Vag Halen, the power and cultural contributions of Tawny Kitaen and Miss Elizabeth, Vanessa’s acting background, whether or not we’re well past the era where musicians can get away with blatantly misogynistic and homophobic aesthetic stances, Nirvana’s decision to perform at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with women like Joan Jett, Kim Gordon, Lorde, and St. Vincent filling in for Kurt Cobain, why Axl Rose is the worst, most complex person, how personas or behavioural patterns in musical genres can perpetuate problematic lyrics and attitudes, running into Alice Cooper at a restaurant, Vanessa’s love of Depeche Mode and the Jesus and Mary Chain but her passion for hard rock, whether Vag Halen will ever write its own songs, the generally positive reception for the band in Toronto and Vanessa’s place as a role model, what’s new in Vag Halen’s set these days and why things are gonna get heavy at Kazoo! Fest, and nothing more.

Related links: twitter.com/VagHalen kazookazoo.ca vishkhanna.com

vaghalen

Listen, subscribe, rate/review on iTunes.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ep. #35: Thurston Moore

Thurston Moore is one of America’s most influential and notable musicians, best known for playing guitar, writing songs, and singing in New York City’s Sonic Youth. Since that band formed in 1981, Moore has taken on countless other musical projects, collaborated with many, many artists in different contexts, and started his own label, Ecstatic Peace! Well before Sonic Youth went on hiatus in 2011, Moore began working with a new group of players and eventually formed a band with them called Chelsea Light Moving, who released their self-titled debut LP earlier this year on Matador Records. Chelsea Light Moving’s current tour brings them to Hamilton’s Supercrawl on Sept. 14, Toronto’s Horseshoe Tavern on Sept. 15, and Montreal’s Cabaret Mile End on Sept. 16. Moore was in the midst of a 10-hour drive when we talked about the Station to Station public art project, Levi’s jeans, his early band the Coachmen, playing with Yoko Ono and eating dinner with Philip Glass, teaching himself how to operate a guitar, the attraction of subversion, confusion and nostalgia in youth culture, the shock of short hair in the 70s, Iggy Pop, Girls and the new bohemianism, living in London and its culinary renaissance, the formation of Sonic Youth compared to starting Chelsea Light Moving, poetry and writing, his thoughts on Lee Ranaldo and the Dust and Body/Head, his future work and collaborations, David Berman’s poetry, the Nihilist Spasm Band, Perfect Youth: The Birth of Canadian Punk, the song “Alighted,” and more.

Related links: chelsealightmoving.com matadorrecords.com vishkhanna.com

thurston_moore-1600-1540x1020

Listen, subscribe, rate/review on iTunes.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,