Peaches - "Boys Wanna Be Her"
In support of National Pride Month, for the entire month of June I will only post artists who Identify as somewhere on the LGBTQI Spectrum. We are loud, we are proud, and we deserve to be heard.
She is a warrior for intersex people. She is loud, aggressive, proud, silly, and shocking. Once you've seen her, you can't forget her. Merrill Beth Nisker, better known by her stage name Peaches, is a Canadian electronic musician and performance artist.
Born in Ontario to a Jewish family, Peaches began her musical career in the 1990s as part of a folk trio, Mermaid Cafe. In 1995, she established a rock band, The Shit. That year she also released her first solo album, Fancypants Hoodlum. Moving to Berlin, Germany, it was here that she was signed to the Kitty-Yo label and released her second album, The Teaches of Peaches (2000). Touring as the opening act for bands like Marilyn Manson and Queens of the Stone Age, she subsequently released her third album, Fatherfucker (2003).
Her songs have been featured in movies such as Mean Girls, Waiting..., Jackass Number Two, My Little Eye, Drive Angry, and Lost in Translation. Her music has also been featured on television shows such as Lost Girl, The L Word, Ugly Betty, South Park, 30 Rock, True Blood, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee and has been used for the promotion of Dirt. Peaches performed guest vocals on Pink's album Try This, on the song "Oh My God", on the Chicks on Speed album 99 Cents, on the song "We Don't Play Guitars", on Christina Aguilera's 2010 album Bionic, on the song "My Girls" (which was produced and co-written with Le Tigre) and recently on Major Lazer's 2013 album Free the Universe on the song "Scare Me" featuring Timberlee.
Born Merrill Beth Nisker in 1966 in Toronto, Ontario, she attended a private Jewish school. Nisker was a class clown, who "wasn't particularly smart. I was interested in creative performance stuff, but that turned out to be difficult for me because it was all so structured," she told Kitty Empire of The Observer.
Her family was culturally Jewish, though they were not religious. Her grandparents immigrated to Canada from Poland; her paternal grandparents were from Ukraine. In an interview in URB magazine, she recounted how growing up she experienced antisemitism; on her walks home from school, students from a nearby Catholic school would throw stones at her and call her a "dirty Jew".
Peaches has been a very vocal user of psychedelic, recreational drugs, as well as a staunch proponent of transexuality, promiscuity and obscenity, hyper-sexual liberalism. Gender identity is one theme of Peaches' music, often playing with traditional notions of gender roles representation. Her lyrics and live shows consciously blur the distinction between male and female; for example, she appears on the cover of her album Fatherfucker with a full beard. When asked if she had chosen the title for shock value, she commented:
Why do we call our mothers motherfuckers? Why do we stub our toe and say, "Aww motherfucker!"? What is a motherfucker? ... We use it in our everyday language, and it's such an insanely intense word. I'm not one to shy away from these obscene terms that we actually have in our mainstream. Motherfucker is a very mainstream word. But if we're going to use motherfucker, why don't we use fatherfucker? I'm just trying to be even.
So, today, with every version of myself turned to 11, I choose Peaches' "Boys Wanna Be Her" as my, explore every crevice, search every valley, familiarize yourself with every intimate part, song for a, why not me, let's get wild, I dare you to shock me, Tuesday.