AltCtrlToob, the Sexism Edition: Stormy Daniels vs. Swedish Chicks in the Snow

stormy daniels piss riverA friend and I have been having a running discussion about how gender factors into music marketing.  For better or worse, we both agree that a woman in a heavy band will garner that band more audience and media interest.  Is this a “good” thing?  Depends on who you ask — but I haven’t found anyone yet who will say it’s not true.

(Even talking about this phenomenon is tricky because it invites the Social Justice Police accuse you of being part of the problem.  I’ll put forward that acknowledging something exists is not the same as endorsing it.  But of course, there will be some problem with anything any woman does…)

Certainly no musician wants to be an advertising prop.  (Or at least, I imagine that most musicians worth their salt would place emphasis on music rather than BOOBS… I mean, a chick can’t help lookin’ good, but you wanna be able to play too.  *cough*)  And women have been used as advertising props since the dawn of time — Moses probably had a busty lady on his arm when he brought out the Ten Commandments.  The video below for Granny 4 Barrel’s song “She Likes Guns” is a perfect example.  Why did I watch this video at all?  Not because this band has actual chicks in it unless you count the dude dressed as a grandma, but because the video was directed by Stormy Daniels.  Perhaps you’ve heard of her…  Talk about advertising!

The grandma guy was interviewed in Loudwire and had this to say about the video:

“Jesse and I was in agreement that ‘She Likes Guns’ was real cool, and we wanted to put that out first, but the radio folks was like, ‘Well, guns: that’s kinda touchy, and we sure do like ‘Freak Flag.’ Why don’t we roll that out?’ But we already had the video done, so we shelved it. And we figured we were just going to wait until whenever the right time is.

“About a month ago, I said, ‘Hey, boys, you think it’s the right time now?'” he laughs.

In something of a (cough) perfect storm, the video combines two subjects that haven’t left the news in the past few weeks: firearms and Ms. Daniels.

 “That’s some crazy shit right there!” Granny says. “I guess ‘timely’ is the right word! You can’t write this shit, you can’t make it up!”

Wow, classy move capitalizing on school shootings as a marketing tool…  [Editor’s note, 4/7/18: Granny has contacted AltCtrl saying that the timing he was referring to in this quote was “Ms. Daniels” but not “firearms.”  His comments and our response are below.  He added in a later email to the blog, “Guns are in the news on a weekly basis, I’m sure that will never change. They’re always viewed in a negative way. We wanted a different perspective. To be clear, I do not support gun violence in anyway shape or form.”]  Overall, the song was repetitive and annoying, and the video gave me a headache.  The lyrics and visual content just seemed super juvenile — like, do adult men really think this is cool?  There’s nothing artistic about it.

But still, I watched “She Likes Guns” and I’m writing about it right now, sharing the video with Alternative Control’s followers.  As that same friend says, any PR is good PR — so Granny 4 Barrel accomplished their mission, even if they had to use Stormy Daniels’ rep rather than their own music to do it.

Meanwhile, I found a much more novelty in Piss River’s snow mobile race for their video “Bad Reputation.”  How did they get the shots of the snow mobile riders??  Was the cameraman literally on the back of another snow mobile?  This Swedish rock n roll band is fronted by (ahem) a “bad bitch” and is releasing a self-titled debut via The Sign Records in April.  L7 meets Motörhead with nary a thong or a corset in sight.  There’s some serious ‘stache action too — one reason you need a dude in the band every now and then.

And then we have this new video from Swedish band Maidavale, who are clearly not pandering to anybody.  Their psychedelic journey in “Oh Hysteria!” takes them into the woods for some “Light As a Feather, Stiff As a Board” — a female coming of age ritual that many of us will remember from middle school slumber parties.  Isn’t that approximately the age when we started turning against each other, vying for male attention?  Even in the title of this article, I pit women against each other for humor…  I don’t know if Maidavale thought of that when making this vid, but they must be playing on the fact that “hysteria” was once a medical diagnosis used to punish women who were out of line…  Bet ol’ Donald wishes he could use that on Stormy right about now.

What’s the point of all this?  IDK.  We cannot vanquish sexism with a single installment of AltCtrlToob.  We can, however, support musicians that rise above the lowest common denominator and scoff at anyone who tries to market shitty music with skimpy underwear.  Huzzah!

Seen any cool music videos lately?  Does your band have a video to share with the world?  Message the link to our Facebook page and it could be featured on AltCtrlToob!

For more from Alternative Control, find us on FacebookTwitterInstagramSoundcloud, and bandcamp.

6 Comments

  1. Granny

     Hi Jessie
     Just read your article on my song and video.  Although I appreciate you taking the time to write the review….You made a huge mistake in taking what I said “hey boys you think it’s the right time now? “
    Waaaay out of context. The timing I was referring to was that Stormy is in the news now more than she was ten months ago when she filmed this and that at the core this song (and the title) is a metaphor for a woman’s inner strength…. which I believe is also relevant in today’s climate?… 

     The Article also said that the song was about unabashed women who take out bad guys/villains… Did you read this part?

     You accused me of Capitalizing on school shootings? Are you serious?  Those school shootings are a huge tragedy and it breaks my heart.

     I take great offense at that accusation. This song and it’s artistic interpretation of a woman’s empowerment is so far removed from what you just spun out into the universe that I need to let you know this is bad vibes and bad karma …

     You’re certainly entitled to your own opinion and I have pretty thick skin… But accusing me of capitalizing on dead human beings?…  You got the whole thing wrong 

    I’m totally not cool with this Jessie

    Granny

    1. AltCtrl

      Hi Granny,

      Thanks for getting in touch. Whether you’re a musician or a blogger, some people will like or agree with what you are putting out and some people will not.

      Re: school shootings/gun violence. This is what the Loudwire article reads:
      “About a month ago, I said, ‘Hey, boys, you think it’s the right time now?'” he laughs.

      In something of a (cough) perfect storm, the video combines two subjects that haven’t left the news in the past few weeks: firearms and Ms. Daniels.

      “That’s some crazy shit right there!” Granny says. “I guess ‘timely’ is the right word! You can’t write this shit, you can’t make it up!”

      That comes off as “Hey, gun violence is in the news and our song is about guns!” Perhaps that is partially due to how Loudwire couched your quote referring to “firearms,” but it comes off as very callous in the light of why firearms have been in the news lately.

      And yes, I read the part about “women’s empowerment” — but women in lingerie licking gun barrels seems objectifying rather than empowering. I have no problem with Stormy/porn/whatever. But porn is *for* sexual gratification. That is its purpose. Marketing your music with images that are tailored for men’s sexual gratification is… Not letting the music speak for itself? At best. And the director of the video I assume was carrying out your artistic vision.

      This makes me think of a video that a local-to-me band put out recently — The Mighty Ploughboys covering Steve Earle’s “Galway Girl.” This is an example of what I’d say is empowering or at least celebrating women, rather than objectifying them: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lchzBBC9930

      Alternative Control is a small blog, but we take music journalism seriously. If you feel we have misrepresented your quote in Loudwire regarding gun violence, I’d be happy to do a phone interview with you about that and the “She Likes Guns” video in general. We let the interviewee speak for him/herself; here is an example of how our phone and in-person interviews are formatted: https://bit.ly/2JrSWbs

      Let me know.

      Thanks,
      Jessie

  2. Pingback: Listening Lately: The Music Blogger’s Dilemma with Phat A$tronaut, Piss River, Aura Noir, and Howling Giant | Alternative Control

  3. Granny

     Hi Jessie!

    Thank you for the response. I agree with you completely that some people will like what we’re putting out and some people will not. I’m totally fine with that. And by the same token musicians that you write about will like what you write about them and some will not….it’s all good.

     Guns are in the news on a weekly basis, I’m sure that will never change. They’re always viewed in a negative way. We wanted a different perspective. To be clear, I do not support gun violence in anyway shape or form.

     I also said the following in that same article:

    He continues, “When Stormy and I did the treatment for this video, we said, ‘There’s always negative press about guns, and I just want a different perspective.’ Yeah, we used real guns in this video, ’cause it’s fuckin’ cool! And we had these beautiful ladies holding guns, and there’s nothing sexier than that! But at the heart of the song, it’s about women’s empowerment and courage and inner strength. That’s what the guns are a metaphor for. It’s not about a bunch of killin’ and crazy shit like that! It’s more artistic and it’s from a female perspective

     It’s OK we can agree to disagree and the fact that you and I are discussing this means a lot to me….The bottom line is, this is a shock rock band and this is the entertainment business… (Please see our press release on this video/song)

    http://bravewords.com/news/granny-4-barrel-releases-she-likes-guns-music-video-directed-by-adult-film-star-stormy-daniels

     The video is an artistic interpretation of a song about females with guns with a Quentin Tarantino esque vibe. Because of the title we knew when we released it there would be opposition… but I don’t believe in censorship so there would never be a reason for me to change the title and betray the original artistic inspiration.

     Would love to have a interview with you sometime… I’ve been reading some of your articles and enjoying them. I can have my management reach out to you and set it up.

    Thanks for taking the time Jessie!

  4. Pingback: Gun Control, Shock Rock, and Prunes on the Road: Granny Goes on the Record with Alternative Control | Alternative Control

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *