wears the trousers magazine


incoming: beth ditto
February 11, 2010, 1:58 pm
Filed under: news, trouser press | Tags: , , , ,

Beth Ditto with Michelle Tea
Coal To Diamonds: A Memoir

[Spiegel & Grau; September 2010]

Pre-orders are now open for Beth Ditto’s recently announced memoir, Coal To Diamonds, due in mid-September through Random House imprint Spiegel & Grau. Named after a track from 2006’s Gossip album Standing In The Way Of Control, the book is a collaborative effort between Ditto and queer author Michelle Tea. Tea’s own heavily biographical work makes her the ideal collaborator for helping to bring Ditto’s unconventional rags-to-riches story – the stuff that biographers must dream of – to life on the pages: the Gossip frontwoman rose from a religiously repressive, poverty-stricken childhood in Arkansas to become a world-famous, openly gay, feminist punk rocker, outspoken about everything from faux-lesbian politics (we’re looking at you, Katy Perry) to anorexia’s role in the pop industry.

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gossip: music for men (2009)
June 23, 2009, 9:30 am
Filed under: album, review, video | Tags: , , , ,

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Gossip
Music For Men ••
Columbia

This is your wake-up call. The Emperor isn’t wearing any clothes – an appropriate perspective given Beth Ditto’s penchant for rolling around naked in front of the camera. Some will no doubt swear blind that St Beth is unremittingly wonderful, flying the flag for queer sensibility and challenging body stereotypes. Well, look at the flipside. Isn’t it desperately sad that Gossip, as a band, is represented in popular consciousness by Beth Ditto’s naked body and not, say, by their music? Ditto is as relentlessly self-promoting and as much indebted to the consumer society’s addiction to the manufactured image as Britney Spears. However, to put it bluntly, we are supposed to believe that she is subverting that culture simply by virtue of being overweight. You can make up your own mind about that one, but, as The Times candidly pointed out, the person who goes from slagging off Kate Moss to being best buds in the space of a heartbeat is surely following the profit rather than principles.

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beth ditto takes on barbie
April 28, 2009, 1:20 pm
Filed under: news, trouser press | Tags: , , , ,

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Gossip girl joins the Superdoll posse

Over the last couple of years, Gossip frontwoman Beth Ditto has become almost as familiar a sight out of her clothes than in them, having posed butt naked in various brilliantly provocative magazine spreads. Now, with a new fashion line for UK chain Evans due in July, she’s turning her attention to playing dress up with other women with a range of “slouchy, rock-inspired clothes and accessories with enough sparkle to give Barbie a run for her money.” That’s all well and good (and dare we say almost obligatory for major label artists these days), but the real story here is that Beth has been immortalised in poseable plastic by London-based company Superdoll Collectables for the campaign imagery photographed by Philip Rankin. Some people are complaining that the doll is not exactly proportioned to match Beth’s famous curves but we think it looks pretty cute (pic below the cut).

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trouser shorts: peaches, the gossip, love is all

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In case you need a reminder why Peaches is just so damn well amazing, the Canadian electro-rocker has conveniently posted a mini-documentary recapping her career so far up on her website. Billed as “A Brief History Of Peaches”, the video features several clips from old TV interviews and plenty of performance footage of Ms Nisker in hotpants and knickers. Classic quote: “All of us have sex appeal and all of us feel sexy; it’s not just people who shave every part of their body, with blonde hair and big tits.”

Watch right to the end and you’ll catch a glimpse of what’s to come when the new Peaches album, I Feel Cream, is released on May 4th.

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As tattle tale goes, this news is so yesterday, but it seems we will have a brand new Gossip album on June 21st. Pointedly titled Music For Men, the band’s fourth album will be their first for major label Columbia. Recorded in Malibu, California, and produced by Grammy-kissed studio boffin Rick Rubin, the album is said to feature, in Beth Ditto’s own words, “a shit-load of love songs”. Speaking to NME.com about the album, she said: “Writing down the tracklisting, we had about 14 songs and seven had the word ‘love’ in the title. I had no idea I was so romantic.”

The first single, ‘Heavy Cross’ will be released on June 15th. Tourdates are coming.

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Fresh from last month’s long overdue UK release of their second album A Hundred Things Keep Me Up At Night, Love Is All have recorded a new covers EP made entirely of classic Swedish pop songs. Bearing the straightforward title Love Is All Play Swedish Covers, it finds the band repeating the formula followed for their Wishing Well +5 tour EP in which each of the five members got to pick one song to record without the input of their bandmates. The EP will be sold in a limited run of 200 copies on the band’s upcoming European tour, packaged with a small fanzine. Taking advantage of the new 10-song Myspace player, you can listen to all five covers here. Currently the band only have two UK dates, both in London:

09.05.09 Proud Galleries, London
10.05.09 The Lexington, London 

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Listen to the new Annie single, ‘Anthonio’, produced by Richard X. Out on May 4th.

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Stevie Nicks is apparently harbouring a desire to form “an all-girl choir” featuring Michelle Branch, Sheryl Crow and the Dixie Chicks’ Natalie Maines, she revealed to WWD.com. Currently in the midst of a lengthy US tour with Fleetwood Mac, Stevie also told WWD that she’d like to “do something crazy with Timbaland and Justin Timberlake” and revealed her love for R&B tunes that move her feet. The singer released her first live album in the UK last week; The Soundstage Sessions features 10 (of 18) songs recorded in front of a small audience in Chicago, including a duet with Vanessa Carlton on Bonnie Raitt’s ‘Circle Dance’ and a solo cover of Dave Matthews Band’s ‘Crash Into Me’.

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Alan Pedder