Saturday, September 21, 2013

Pauline Black

I've been reading this book Women of the Underground: Music and I'd say I've never heard of at least 75% of the women interviewed in the book. Still, some of the interviews are really interesting, and Pauline Black was both a woman I've never heard of before and a very interesting interview. In the interview she talks a lot about her introduction to 2-tone ska and a lot about how, coming from her background and having the personality she has, the ideas on race and gender that were being manifested by the music scene at the time were a real lifesaver for her. There were problems in the scene then and there are problems in the scene now, but she was raised in an environment where she was lead to feel inferior for being black and lead to feel incapable for being female, and then ska came out and it was like 'No Pauline! We want you to be part of this! We want you to headline, because you kick ass at this!' and it's a really interesting thing to think about.

So I decided to look her up, because I'd never heard her band, The Selector, before. Here's the first thing I noticed: Nobody, I mean nobody, loves 2-tone ska more than Pauline Black. It might seem sort of stagnant that she hasn't really branched out in all this time, but I think it's honestly really awesome that she's still doing the same thing she loves in much the same way after all these years. It's not like anyone ever told Nicola Tesla 'Hey, why don't you branch out from this electricity stuff and try something new?' And she's adorable. I don't mean that in a belittling way, but she really is. Her personality is so cute, and so fun, and at the same time she's a stone cold badass. I hope I'm as cool as she is when I'm almost 60 (I turn 29 in two weeks).




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