Whether it's Fred Durst insisting that he "did it all for the nookie," or Kelis bragging that her "milkshake brings all the boys to the yard," there's no shortage of lyrical love for lady parts in music's vast history. And there are plenty of vagtastic band names to match. The majority of these came from dudes obsessed with trying to gross out the world with their unapologetic perversity—Anal Cunt, Cliteater, and, shudder, Beef Curtains—but now, female anatomy, as a title, is finally being taken back by fearless feminists.
With artists like Pussy Riot, Perfect Pussy, Thunderpussy, and so many more, it would seem that "pussy" is the new black (which reminds me, there's even a Portland-based band called Black Pussy). And these great bands aren't trying to shock you with misogynistic songs about going on a "Bitch Hunt" (fuck you very much, Vulvathrone), but rather remind the world that words like vagina, vulva, and clitoris aren't disgusting, censorable terms or fuel for some guy's bullshit gore-porn act. Vaginas, and all their related parts, can be cute, badass, and/or awesome!
So with that, we've put together a guide to some of the best va-jay-jay jammers out there, including links to where you can hear them (to spare you from having to wade through the endless pages of porn that inevitably show up after typing some of their names into Google). Viva vaginas!
Pussy Riot pussy-riot.livejournal.com
It's hard to deny that the Russian feminist collective ignited the most recent pro-pussy trend when three of its members—Maria Alyokhina, Yekaterina Samutsevich, and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova—received international attention in 2012 after their arrest for staging a guerrilla-style public performance of an anti-Putin punk song. The women's trials, imprisonment, and continuing protests made the word "pussy" unavoidable for every major media outlet. While all three women are now out of prison, they continue to be outspoken against President Putin and Russia's problematic government, most recently protesting (and, as a result, being attacked) during the Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Perfect Pussy prrfectpussy.bandcamp.com
Syracuse's Perfect Pussy are all the rage right now, with their furious debut full-length, Say Yes to Love, rightfully earning critical acclaim from Rolling Stone, Spin, Pitchfork, NPR, and right here in The Stranger. Say Yes to Love is a fast, tense ride, but it's worth every ear-lashing. You'll have a chance to witness Perfect Pussy's driving punk live when they play the Black Lodge on Thursday, May 22. Go!
The Muffs themuffsband.blogspot.com
The Muffs aren't new to the game—the SoCal band has been around since 1993, playing sunny and snotty Fastbacks-esque pop punk (their song "Funny Face" is the third-best song on the Angus soundtrack). They haven't released a record since 2004's Really Really Happy, and it looked like the Muffs were officially done forever when singer Kim Shattuck briefly played bass in the Pixies after Kim Deal's departure. But then Shattuck announced that there will be a new Muffs record out this July! Rejoice!
VAG (Very Angry Girls) are a power-pop trio from Limerick, Ireland. Their name is a bit deceptive—listening to their sunny, harmony-heavy songs actually soothes anger instead of inciting it. If you like Upset (you do!) and other fun-but-still-badass-sounding pop, then you will love these ladies. Bonus pussy points: They cite fellow vag bands the Muffs and Hole as influences!
Duh, of course Hole would be included on this list. Sure, the vague band name could apply to any negative space (physical, emotional, or otherwise), but I don't think wonderful wackadoo Courtney Love would mind being among such lovely company. In fact, during a 1995 interview on Later... with Jools Holland, Love explained the name came to be during a conversation with her mother, but added, "Then, you know, the genital reference... go ahead and make it if you want." Oh, we will, Courtney. We definitely will.
The Vaginasaurs thevaginasaurs.bandcamp.com
This is, for sure, my favorite vag-friendly band name, if only because it conjures up the hilarious image of a giant vagina with tiny T. rex arms and a tail running around in prehistoric times and eating everything up. The Virginia Beach outfit play lo-fi, doo-woppy pop that will sound especially nice at your next summer picnic. And be sure to invite your crush, because playing them the so sweet "Pitter Patter" will probably earn you a kiss. Personally, I'm hoping they call their next album Ov-RAWR-ies!
Vagina Panther vaginapanther.com
Like the Vaginasaurs, I love that this name makes me imagine some kind of centaurlike creature, except this one is half panther/half vagina. Their 2012 EP Judge sounds like what would've happened if Belinda Carlisle never went solo and the Go-Gos tried to survive the grunge phase of the 1990s.
Our local music scene hasn't escaped the pussonification of band names—Thunderpussy just played their first show a few weeks ago, and the band features members of La Luz, Cumulus, This Bitch Don't Fall Off, and the Grizzled Mighty. There isn't much available online so far (save for a sexy performance of Elvis Presley's "Trouble"), but their Facebook page warns us to "get ready for rock n roll's new diamond in the muff."