Alex Blaze

Why I just plain can't stand the Scissor Sisters

Filed By Alex Blaze | May 30, 2007 1:28 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: class benefits, insanely rich people, Jake Shears, marketing, Pansy Division, Scissor Sisters, sexual transgression, Universal Music Group, Vivendi SA

04-07-31-03.jpgScissor Sisters Jake Shears and Baby Daddy sat down with Me Me Me last week to talk about being "the gay band". Some of their responses were a bit strange, like this one:

Yeah, [the subjects of our songs] are mostly female. They're heterosexual. I wanted the music to be accessible. I don't want to appeal to just a tenth of the population.
Notice how "heterosexual" and "accessible" are put into the same little box, specifically excluding "queer". The whole interview is pretty much about just that - how they need to be straight to be accepted by others.

That might be a "whatever" for most bands, but the Scissor Sisters? Several years ago no one had heard of them, but then they burst on the scene by being the gay band. And you can't really avoid it when you see their videos or live performances - everything they do is about portraying themselves as sexually transgressive. Sometimes I can't even tell if they're selling art that happens to be sexually transgressive or if they're selling sexual transgression itself.

Considering that they have so many lyrics about having sex with lots of people, using drugs, doing women's hair, mixed in with images of drag, orgies, dildos, and glam, so cynically, one has to wonder what their management is thinking. Perhaps there was a conversation among the mostly rich, white, heterosexual execs at Universal Music Group, under one of whose labels the Sisters are signed, about whether that band could even make it if they didn't have something edgy to them, something that queers loved, and then decided that something was sexual transgression, and decided to market that so that they could make more money to give to Republicans or yacht companies or whatever they spend their 25% of the music market share on. (Or maybe it was a decision that came all the way down from Vivendi SA, the owners of Universal, who also own 20% of NBC, Canal+, and have earnings in the tens of billions each year?)

So for them to market a concept that was once created and honed by queers, a concept that often faced and still faces violent opposition by the establishment, all to make money for themselves and for that establishment already irks me. But for them to turn around and say that they're trying to be heterosexual so that they aren't "inaccessible" just comes across as so arrogant, so greedy, and so lazy that by the time Baby Daddy says that "the timelessness is gone" when a song has gay lyrics (I'm waiting for someone to tell me that the timelessness is gone from Romeo and Juliet, Casablanca, or Pride and Prejudice because they're too heterosexual), I have to wonder if they aren't reading homophobic pseudo-intellectuals just to parrot their talking points back at us. I mean, someone has to be feeding them the ideas that "gay is too fringe", but "gay is profitable", so "let's go take some fags' money".

And if we needed any more proof that the Sisters are just trying to take money away from queers without even the slightest regard for us as people, here's what Jake Shears had to say about queercore band Pansy Division, who release their records on independent labels and don't have the money nor the dozens of engineers, producers, song writers, technicians, musicians, market researchers, or assistants working for them that the Sisters do, but who still made an impact on the queer music scene in the early 90's so that bands like the Scissor Sisters could have a chance at being taken seriously:

If you take a band like Pansy Division, I hate that shit! Number one, it's crap music and then it's so going out of its way to be shocking and offensive and gay... It's like, who cares?
Yep, that's real class there.

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Yeah, it's pretty ridiculous for the Scisssor Sisters to be insulting Pansy Division... In a few years the only work the Scisssor Sisters will be able to get is gay pride celebrations.

Finally someone comments here! And here I thought I was being controversial by attacking a group that's become such a "gay icon" on an LGBT site.

I liked Comfortably Numb. It is still a work of genius. But their first album started grating on my nerves soon enough and the Elton John association coupled with their increasingly retro sound makes them sound like a 70s radio ad for mouthwash. After reading this enlightened interview I am officially hating them. They're nothing more than Uncle Tom fags whose talent should be shown to be what it really is: a travesty of the worst, most self-hating kind.

Oh my god.

I just found this - and I love Pansy Division. These boring '70's rip offs aren't fit to lick their amplifiers. What crapheads.

No wonderI never liked the Scissor Sisters ...