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By David Rolland
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When an artist is utterly outspoken about herself, it's hard to resist trying to goad her into saying a little bit more. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't. Or sometimes it doesn't work before it works.
Take, for example, Peaches. The Canadian electroclash superstar and all-around provocateur has never had a shortage of things to say about herself. Yet when I asked her to explain to the three people who might not know who she is and why they should love her, here's what I got as an answer: "If you don't know who she is by now, then you shouldn't even bother. I'm not even answering that question." So there, baby!
It turns out, though, that was but a temporary glitch in the proceedings. Peaches still has some definite things to say about herself. Sometimes she just wants you to work for it.
"Well, who is Peaches and why should we love her? I mean she's everywhere in every formation now," she finally says. "I've been doing this for ten years. I was a weird little blip in the machine, and I've influenced pop culture. And I've always said that I want mainstream culture to come to me — I'm not going to it. And it's unfolding in that way for many things. The reason why they should love me is because, uh, it's the real deal and there's no way around it."
Now, that's the Peaches we all know and presumably love. Her music career actually began somewhat more than ten years ago, back in 1995. That's when the then-less-assuming vocalist born Merrill Nisker released the LP Fancypants Hoodlum. Five years later, she returned with the single "Fuck the Pain Away" and the album The Teaches of Peaches, and the rest, as they say, is notoriety.
In 2003, Fatherfucker caused a bit of a furor, no doubt helped along by a guest spot from Iggy Pop (on "Kick It") as well as a riling-up of the crowd at that year's Winter Music Conference. "I performed at the Winter Music Conference Awards that they have around the swimming pool," she recalls. "People were very confused by me there, and I had a big red dress on and high heels. I just tried to steal people's awards while I was singing and they were really not impressed. And then I gave someone the microphone and swam across the pool and laughed. It was fun.
"I was pretending. I wasn't going to steal anything," she continues. "But once I jumped into the pool and swam, then everybody stood up, and there was a reaction... Nobody knew what was going on really."
Then, in 2006, Peaches unleashed Impeach My Bush, which, depending on your point of view, is best-known either for the tracks "Fuck or Kill," "Slippery Dick," and "Stick It to the Pimp" or for the relatively tame "Boys Wanna Be Her." And again, she hit Miami, this time with a nude conclusion to her performance at the festival's annual free, beachside "Art Loves Music" concert.
Three more years on, Peaches is back with I Feel Cream, which is produced in part by Simian Mobile Disco and Soulwax, and on one track ("Billionaire") features the vocals of Florida's own Shunda K, formerly of Yo! Majesty. Peaches also has a new gang backing her up, a Berlin-based band called the Sweet Machines. (Her old band, the Herms, is out.) And, as ever, she's utterly outspoken about herself — and her show.
"I could rock you in my underwear with no band and it would be an amazing show. So imagine that with like costumes and an amazing band and lots of fun gadgets that have been made specifically for the show," she says. "I am very concerned with people having a live experience where it's not the same if they just watch it on YouTube."
You got that? Good. If that's not enough to get you to Revolution this Friday night, well, perhaps nothing is. Just don't ask her to repeat it.
Read the full Q&A with Peaches at Crossfade, New Times' South Florida music blog, at BrowardPalmBeach.com.