THE BRETT KAVANAUGH hearings, in which the Trump-nominated associate justice of the Supreme Court faced allegations of sexual misconduct from a trio of women, sent shockwaves across the nation; there was corruption, there were cover-ups, there were bad actors.
Now, and within 24 hours, two American musicians concerned with the fallout and the implication for the politics of gender have released songs directly referring to the scandal.
If you tuned in earlier you’ll have seen Bitch approach the whole sleazy nexus with pride and glitter and a light touch, on her track “Easy Target” – why not go see here, if you haven’t already; the flipside of the dime, as it were, comes with the darkness, grace, dancefloor industrial pulse and the unmediated anger of Shilpa Ray’s new track, “Bootlickers of the Patriarchy,” directly drawing on the press conference Senator Susan Collins held after the Kavanaugh/Blasey Ford hearings.
“It’s about women who succeed from undermining the success of other women or choose to gain success from exploiting the oppression of other women,” Shilpa says.
“This is a character who has taken many forms throughout history: the kind of woman who seems perfectly content playing gamma to the alpha male.
“‘Bootlicker’ is my direct challenge to the notion of ‘women supporting other women, as well as the falsehoods and unrealistic expectations that come with a statement like that.”
“I wrote the song to be played in two different arrangement styles, the first half being slow and haunting and the second going balls-to-the-wall rage.
“I was re-exploring a lot of industrial/proto-industrial music I had listened to as a teenager in the 90s and used some elements of synth/drum machine sounds to convey all that anger, panic and darkness.”
To make firm that industrial connection, “Bootlickers …” comes doubled up on the 7″ release and digitally with a version of Ministry’s subtly retitled “I’m Not An Effigy”.
Shilpa continues: “I was obsessed with the Ministry album With Sympathy when writing tracks for my next full-length album. It is the record Al Jourgenson has stated multiple times that he’s ashamed of most, which is saying a lot considering this man’s autobiography.
“I teamed up with my friend Heather Elle of Flossing for this collaboration. It’s my first official recorded track where I’m playing guitar, so as the saying goes, it’s never too late to pick up a new instrument and get totally lost in it.“
To celebrate the release, Shilpa Ray will be performing at Kung Fu Necktie, Philadelphia, tonight, November 11th; and at TV Eye in Brooklyn next Friday, November 19th. Click through on the venue hyperlink for tickets and more information.
Shilpa Ray’s Bootlickers of the Patriarchy / I’m Not An Effigy is out now digitally via Northern Spy with a 7″ to follow and available to pre-order here, now.