Manics, L7 and Feeder influences of Pussy Riot's?

MUSIC The other day I wrote about Faith No More supporting Pussy Riot, like many other artists and celebrities have. You might think Pussy Riot is a new thing, as the Russian collective only formed a year ago, in August 2011. But it's quite an old concept, actually! - Keep reading, kids!


Pussy Riot - LITERALLY


Ms. Sparks of L7 flashing her goods on British television
L7 was a somewhat successful band coming out of the grunge era. The feminist rockers did pretty wild live shows, usually, with a lot of instrument bashing and that sort of stuff going on at the end of the gigs. In all the commotion on stage, a pair of pants or two could also occasionally slide off, flashing some well-groomed girl beard. Below is L7's scandalous performance of in British television, where singer/guitarist Donita Sparks has a lovely surprise for the unsuspecting viewers up her sleeve (...or pant, rather) that she save for the end. "Pussy Riot" in the most literal sense, if you catch my drift...

At one point vocalist Donita Sparks even removed her tampon on-stage and threw it into the crowd yelling "Eat my used tampon, f##kers!". This was no ordinary gig, however. Apparently they were experiencing some technical difficulties, forcing the band to stall their set. The crowd got restless and started throwing mud onto the stage, which clearly enraged the lead singer and guitarist of the band.

Balaclavas in pop music


Manics performing "Faster" on TOTP w/ James in a balaclava
The band Pussy Riot is well known for making balaclavas fashionable in pop culture. This is nothing new either, however. Another classic live performance that shocked Britain, was Manic Street Preachers' appearance on TOTP, in 1994. During their darkest period ever as a band, with guitarist and lyricist Richey Edwards in midst of a mental breakdown and at the brink of his disappearance and assumed suicide later that year, the band gets invited to play on national television, in the highly popular and cheerful TV show Top of the Pop. Singer James Dean Bradfield delivered Richey's depressive lyrics wearing a balaclava, in front of hundreds of dancing teenyboppers, completely unaware of what was going on. BBC received no less than 25,000 complaints from agitated viewers, caused by this performance alone.

Feeder's edgy topless video for "Renegades"

Fast-forward six years, to 2010 - still a year before Pussy Riot had formed - UK rockers Feeder hires the cover girl of their new album for a very revealing music video. The video tells the story of a young woman who's had it with her dull everyday life as an office rat, and decides to put on a balaclava and raise havoc with a baseball bat.

Why she had to take every other garment, besides a tiny pair of underpants, off is still very unclear, however. I've never had any doubt in Feeder's capability as musicians and as a band, but this just seems a lot like a cheap publicity stunt to me. Unlike Monster Magnet, Feeder never occurred to me as a band that would sell their stuff with tits and ass. Makes me miss the old days of Polythene even more!



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