By Rob van Alstyne
By Zach McCormick
By Emily Eveland
By Jack Spencer
By Michael Madden
By Reed Fischer
By Emily Weiss
By Emily Weiss
PEACHES IS THE living embodiment of camp. No, that doesn't mean that the makers of Meatballs are going to be staging a sequel to their film at her next show. It means that the old-school rapper is deliberately raunchy, overexposing sex to the point where it becomes banal, and satirizing female rap sexpots in the process.
The Canadian chameleon's sexual education has been a long time, um, coming. After crooning along to Lilith Fair-grade (read: bland) acoustic folk (Mermaid Café), squonking with avant-jazz experimenters (Fancypants Hoodlum), and making some generally nasty noise (the Shit), the little fruit has finally ripened with her standup comedy version of The Joy of Sex set to electro beats. Leaving behind her former partner-in-slime--the John Travolta of rap, Chilly Gonzales--Peaches has finally gone solo (as every good sexpert should learn how to do) with her debut The Teaches of Peaches (Kitty Yo).
Peaches' Teaches highlights the ridiculous nature of graphic language, diminishing the idea of sex as power in the process. Remember when your geography teacher pointed out Lake Titicaca on the map and you giggled shamelessly? That kind of base humor/innuendo creates Peaches' sauciest song titles: "Diddle My Skittle" (Tee hee! She's talking about her little red corvette!). "AA XXX" (Oh ho ho! She's comparing her bra size to the rating of the porn show in her naughty mind!) and "Fuck the Pain Away" (Ha ha ha, that's...wait a minute! There's no subtlety in that last one!). The awkward jokes carry over into the music, where lo-fi loops, crackling synth effects, and a DIY spirit combine to make something like a Le Tigre soundtrack for a 900 number. But comparisons seem almost futile for this sex-crazed anomaly who seems part Run-D.M.C. and part RuPaul, as she reminds us on "Diddle My Skittle," claiming, "There is only one Peach with the hole in the middle."
Yet, it is Peaches' live shows that seem to capture her sexual satire most vividly. She has a reputation for writhing all over the place like a cabaret harlot auditioning for a circus act, educating the audience with her "teaches" while electro beats pulse through the floorboards. Wearing fishnet stockings, pink hot pants, a see-through leotard top, and an Elvis hairstyle rivaled only by twin pompadours of armpit hair, she dry-humps the stage with acrobatic vigor. Instead of turning the tables on male-dominated rock shows, she parodies the sexual and musical power that musicians have over their audience, acting as an androgynous, sexually ambiguous imp who taunts her fans. "You came to see a rock show!/A big gigantic cock show....You came to see it all!" Peaches sings over hip-gyrating synth guitars in "Rock Show." And she does have it all: the cock (both in terms of cool arrogance and control over the male species); the rock (played entirely by samples and loops); and the flock (a salivating group consisting of lesbians, straight boys, and jealous drag queens, all equally transfixed).
And this fan base seems to be steadily swelling: Local rap hooligans the Pizza Boys had to be physically restrained from licking her the last time she played at the Entry. Gender bender Marilyn Manson once went backstage after a Los Angeles show to tell Peaches what a great dancer he thought she was. Cynthia Plaster Caster created a mold of Peaches' breasts during a performance in a Chicago record store (how's that for subverting phallic symbols?). So come for the rock show, the cock show, or simply to diddle your skittle. You're bound to see it all.