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Hysteria. PMS. feelings? (Kate Nash | A Response)

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Kate Nash blog entry

By Kate Nash

Editorial note: apparently, there’s been a certain amount of negative ‘reaction’ to the new Kate Nash song ‘Under-Estimate The Girl’. The song is loud and angry and empowered, and not cute or dorky or shit like that. (Not that there’s fuck wrong with dorky or cute.) You can hear it here. Anyway, like I say, there’s plenty of people out there who don’t like the idea of ‘their’ Kate being like that – so she wrote them a reply on her blog. I figured I’d ask her permission to reprint it on Collapse Board, seeing as like she’s almost a regular contributor round these parts.

Take it away, Kate.

Just sitting in a bar in Liverpool and listened to a conversation about how some new girl that was hired isn’t very pretty. they said she was gonna be pretty but she isn’t.

Fucking hell man.

So anyway wanted to write a little about Under-estimate the Girl. Seems like people have gone bat shit crazy over this. It’s pretty interesting to watch. It’s funny, exciting, kind of thrilling, and sometimes a bit sad.

Just saw a pole on heat magazine… “WHO WANTS THE OLD KATE NASH BACK?!”

It’s weird to me because I guess it’s like when you haven’t seen someone for years and they’re like ‘WOAHHH you look so different’ and you’ve seen yourself in the mirror everyday so you don’t notice changes.

I’m extremely proud of the work I have done on both of my albums before now. Made of Bricks and My Best Friend Is you. In my mind they are sort of musical time capsules of how I was feeling at that time in my life and they were the songs that I wanted to write and the stories I wanted to tell. But just to let you all know, I will never make those albums ever again. I believe it is important to push boundaries, to try new things, and not to re-create. Art and humans alike are supposed to grow and change. Jeez if I was still the same person I was when I was 16 that would be fucking shit! And the same goes for everyone. And if I’m the same person I am now in 6 years that will be shit too.

I wrote this song one night after rehearsal and I was emotional and pissed off and I wanted to shout about it.

Any of my fans who have actually followed what I’ve been doing for the past few years will get it. Anyone who has listened to Model Behaviour, a b side to merry happy in 2008, to mansion song, I just Love you more, and I’ve Got a secret. Listened to me reference the buzzcocks as one of my favourite bands. To be honest anyone who has Caroline’s a Victim and Birds on Vinyl my first ever release. A decision I made because the songs were chalk and cheese and so am I. I have always said that I do whatever I want musically and I try out different things and do what I feel. Sometimes I’m happy sometimes I’m sad and Sometimes I’m pissed off.

Anyone who knows about the work I’ve been doing in schools with girls will get this. I have interviewed over 90 teenage girls over the past year about how they feel too ugly/fat/disgusting and bad about themselves to even think about starting a band or becoming a musician. THIS IS FUCKED UP!! The media and our celebrity obsessed culture is destroying the self esteem of our youth. We have become ruled by reality tv shows where 25 years olds get plastic surgery and botox to look younger and more attractive, we watch singing contests in which a bullying culture is encouraged. We watch youtube videos and laugh at a kid on the verge of suicide because he is bullied for being ginger. Magazines introduce us to women by age and weight first. No wonder everyone is so scared and hates themselves so much. I feel like we’re being told that we’re rubbish and if we buy into some product that just continues to fill the pockets of rich white men then we will feel better. Well here’s some news for you…we won’t. Whatever if you hate/love the song, there might still be something you like on the new record, there might not. If you want a 16 year old girl back, you can still buy “made of bricks” in most record shops. I’m proud of the work I did then but don’t expect me to ever recreate it.

It’s funny how a woman is slayed for expressing anger. I must be hysteric. PMSING HARDCORE. trying to be punk. How about I’m just sick of crap uninspired chart music, bullies and sexism. I’ve been hurt and I’m angry and playing bass and shouting about it makes me feel better. That’s all it is. And if that freaks people out then good.

Thanks so much to all my amazing beautiful long time supporters who grow with me. This small UK tour is amazing because you are truly the dedicated ones and you get it. You don’t know how much that means to me. I hope we can change the world for the better in some way. And whenever you try and do that you get attacked for it. But I’d rather be scared than bored. I’m excited for you guys to hear the rest of the album. It’s a real mix of angsty shouting, pop harmonies, surfy twangy sounding guitars and big bass sounds.

Anyone who sends me videos/mp3s of songs they have written themselves, I’ll post it on my blog and tumblr. It can be as lo-fi as you like. Be yourselves and don’t be afraid, it can be whatever you want, no judgement from me, music is opinion and expression and you have the right to express yourselves. I’ve got your back and fuck some magazine who tells you you’re not good enough. We’ve all got spots, flaws and things that we like that others don’t. Don’t worry about it.

Send any original songs to beyourselfyoufabulousstain@gmail.com

Positive vibes. Love you guys. Gonna get ready for tonight’s show now.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxx <3

Editorial P.S. – here’s a link to an X-Ray Spex song Kate and I did together.

35 Responses to Hysteria. PMS. feelings? (Kate Nash | A Response)

  1. Debbie Harry June 21, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    This is fucking wonderful. God bless you, Kate Nash.

  2. Steph June 21, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    My problem with the song isn’t that it’s punk, that’s what I loved about Kate Nash before that she had that little sparkle of rebellion in her. My problem is that it’s lazy and she’s a talented artist that could do better than a rushed song written in a day. Hoping the album will be better x.x.x.

  3. Princess Stomper June 22, 2012 at 12:27 am

    There is something incredibly fucked up about our culture, in which we’re so used to botoxed, photoshopped, plastic-surgeried images that we don’t even know what “naturally beautiful” is any more. “Beauty” means simply “skinny and polished” – you don’t even need a pretty face any more, but even the most symmetrically-featured girl is ugly if she’s got “ethnic” features or too pale or too dark or too short or too tall or – God forbid! – too fat.

    I just responded to a forum post in which a boy who thought he had “hit the jackpot” because a UK size 10 girl had agreed to go out with him was then having to deal with her deeply eccentric behaviour. Perhaps he should have talked to her like a human being before asking her out.

    When I was in my 20s, I found a photo of myself as a young teenager, and I cried because I realised I was pretty. I had wasted all those years hating myself, desperate with self-loathing, self-disgust and self-pity, when I should have been enjoying my youth. I wasn’t a knock-out by any stretch, but I was no way as revolting and hideous as I thought I had been. I still struggle when I look in the mirror – as I’m sure do you – but I try to remind myself of that moment and tell myself that when I am old I’ll look back as I am now and wonder why I was so cruel to myself, and think that I wasn’t so bad. I’ll think about how I feel when other people criticise themselves, and how I think “you look fine to me”, and try to be as kind to myself, but it’s really not easy. Not when Kim Kardashian’s bum’s too big, and she’s any role model to begin with.

    It’s sad, too, that men are now made to feel bad about themselves. Get your perma-tan and your teeth capped and that “energizing” face balm with “power peptides” or whatever. What, no six-pack? You’re a failure as a man! Six-pack? Try eight-pack, only wimps have six-packs and frankly you’re not trying. You can’t grow old, either – look at Arnie Schwarzenegger, so botoxed his face will fall over, or Tom Cruise with his frozen grin and artificial teeth. Hair transplants. Pec implants. Metrosexuals.

    Funny how they never show the outtakes on ‘Ten Years Younger’. “This boob job went wrong – how hilarious!”

    Anyway, good on you, Kate. I love what you’re doing.

  4. Daniel PJ June 22, 2012 at 1:02 am

    She is missing the point, no-one is critisizing her for her change in direction – just that the song is horrible – I am yet to read a single positive word on the song. Yes this stroppy teenage attitude is funny, but it is about the music Kate – you just can’t write and tune. I love how she says she is pushing boundaries – with music that has been done 30 years ago 30 times better! I also hate this idea she has in her head that she has to dismiss all her previous work in order for her new work to have relevance. Be proud of what you have done girl, it is pathetic to slag off your own records when they are an important part of where you are now. It all reeks of a little girl trying to be cool rather than someone actually doing it from the heart, it all seems so very plastic. To come out with statements like she is never going to play music like on her first two records again just comes across as petulant – but she has form as I seem to remember she had the same equally as stroppy attitude towards her first record when the second one came out. If she ever gets to record number four – which is looking unlikely as she ain’t going to sell any of this record, then expect embarrassment of her third album phase and a more mellowed out Kate for her hippy album! Please someone get this idiot out of the music industry. AND to think that an angry woman is something that people don’t like, perhaps she should step out of her little art school kid environment and have a look at the real world where the likes of Ani DiFranco pour beauty and soul into their anger and give the world hope and inspiration rather than just growling at everybody. It is not the angry shouty behaviour that is annoying – but the fact that you just don’t really mean it, you think you do, but you don’t really you silly little girl. If you and these other tormented kids are angry at the stereotype you feel you are being forced to become by the mainstream – then don’t watch the mainstream – go and explore how brilliant intelligent women and men express themselves and enjoy the positive culture rather than being so obsessed with finding something to shout about. There are much more important issues worth being angry about than x-factor my dear.

  5. Dee June 22, 2012 at 1:29 am

    The thing that is lazy that has anything to do with the song, is the fact people listening to it can’t be bothered to realise that THE SONG ISN’T ON HER NEW ALBUM. It was something she recorded a couple of weeks ago, where she had been back from recording in LA for a whole bloody month. Isn’t it obvious that it was something she did because she felt like it? What is the problem with making music simply to get something out of your system? Isn’t music meant to be expression in one of it’s purest forms? The song was FREE, for fuck sake! If you don’t enjoy it, fine. At least you didn’t ‘waste’ 80p on it.

  6. Charley Stone June 22, 2012 at 1:33 am

    Dee has it exactly.

  7. Charley Stone June 22, 2012 at 1:36 am

    Daniel PJ, she hasn’t dismissed her previous work, in fact she said she’s proud of it. Also I think you might wanna revise your use of phrases like “you silly little girl” and “my dear”. That’s no way to get a girlfriend!

  8. Daniel PJ June 22, 2012 at 1:36 am

    OK Dee, calm down. It doesn’t really matter if it is on her album or not, it is crap. And her attitude is the problem, she thinks people are laughing at her because she is so angry, but everyone is laughing at her because her new song is awful. You don’t make a video to a song you just want to get off your chest. Real musicians do this sort of thing all the time – but they keep it to themselves because it is about a personal release. She put it into the public arena and in doing so has given the world to have an opinion on it. The fact that you are deluded enough to think that this is just a one of hissy fit shows you haven’t read anything she has said in defending the new direction – this is what the whole laughing at her thing is about – her new direction is not very good! You clearly have hopes that she will do something better on the new album…good luck with that!

  9. Daniel PJ June 22, 2012 at 1:40 am

    Thanks for that Charley – I am referring to her in terms that are in line with her childish attitude to the world and anyone who disagrees with her. She will turn around and be embarrassed by this phase in a years time, I am just trying to help her get there a little quicker. Look guys, she put this crap song into the public and made a video and is stating that it is her new direction, don;t go having tantrums at me because you are hoping that the rest of her new work is going to be better. Be honest and admit that it is a rubbish song, I win and we can all go back to thinking that what we write on the internet actually means anything at all.

  10. Charley Stone June 22, 2012 at 1:45 am

    “Be honest” – well I like it actually. Sorry about that. I’m not going to go out with you, though.

  11. Everett True June 22, 2012 at 1:50 am

    Hey Daniel.

    I think I should give you fair warning that I only printed your ‘opinion’ as a prime example of the sort of patronising sexist crap female performers have to contend with on a daily basis.

    While you’re here at Collapse Board, why not take a look around, little boy?

    We’re not prejudiced: we believe that sometimes men can make records just as good as women. I say ‘sometimes’. I mean, occasionally of course … when they’re not having tantrums or being petulant or stroppy or teenage or silly or art school or “little boy” or plastic or cool. My dear.

  12. Daniel PJ June 22, 2012 at 1:54 am

    OK Charley. You do know that it is best to meet people in person – there is a real world out there. And I am not sure where this proposal has come from that you are so readily rejecting…me thinks perhaps you are a little delusional…and incredibly hopeful…but if you really like the song then we already know you have no taste which kind of reflects well on your rejection of my phantom proposal! Have fun in your made up world, I am going to actually live and meet real people. Have fun ya’ll!

    PS. you don’t really like it, you think you do, but if you go and listen to 1% of what music is out there you will feel very silly and know that you didn’t like this, you are just trying to make a point and feel like you have stood up for the silly billy that is Kate Gnash!!!!

  13. Daniel PJ June 22, 2012 at 1:58 am

    Look Everett, I don;t mind not being published on here. If you want to reject anyone who disagrees with you then what does that make you? The real issue is not me but that someone like Kate Nash thinks she is some kind of spokeswoman in an argument that died out ten years ago and that she has no idea of the work of real positive work the likes of Ani Difranco does for women and music, it is shameful that she thinks she can be angry and anyone actually cares – this is about the music, and her music is terrible and very childish. Really guys, are you just having a go at the big bad man who speaks the truth or do you really think I am the bad guy?

  14. Charley Stone June 22, 2012 at 1:59 am

    One shouldn’t laugh at the afflicted, but clearly Daniel is pre-menstrual at the moment.

  15. Brigette Adair June 22, 2012 at 2:01 am

    Wonderful Kate. Thanks for writing this!

  16. Everett True June 22, 2012 at 2:01 am

    @Daniel Calm down, little boy. Did your team lose today, or something?

  17. Everett True June 22, 2012 at 2:06 am

    If you want to reject anyone who disagrees with you then what does that make you?

    Someone who believes that not everywhere on the Internet should be a haven for silly little sexist boys using their silly little misogynistic language.

  18. Daniel PJ June 22, 2012 at 3:29 am

    OK, if e stop all the sillyness, which some of you are taking a little too seriously. I take great offense to being called sexist in any way. If you think that Kate Nash is any sort of feminist role model you are very very sorely mistaken. She is using feminism as an excuse for being in a bad mood and making bad music. She says she is being slayed because she is a woman expressing anger – but as my original point says, she is being slayed because this new song is terrible and she is hiding behind some bogus female crusade which is actually just her against anyone else. If for one moment she, and all of you for that matter opened up your minds to what the likes of Ani Diranco, Sian Evans, Sleater Kinney, Laura Marling, Natalie Merchant, Cat Power, Shelby Lynne, Laura Viers, Florence and the Machine, Sinead O’conner etc etc etc, and then going further back to Janis Joplin, Carly Simon and Patti Smith – they are truly amazing and inspirational women who not only fight their own battles with dignity, but produce the most incredible music. For anyone to suggest that Kate Nash’s hysterics over a little criticism of her music is in any way comparable to anything any of those or millions of other women go through every day is the true sixism here, not some jokey comments I put in a post to highlight the immature behaviour of a musician who is well past her sell by date and utterly hypocritical. So please all of you come back with something of substance to prove me wrong because if you think this is real sexism then you live a very happy and sheltered life. I fight every day to make sure those who don’t have a voice are heard and have been the subject of incredible vistimisation and abuse for standing up for every race and gender when they are done wrong, how many of you have ever put yourselves on the line in the real world for someone else for no reason other than your gut feeling is telling you you have to do something? Let’s get all this straight, I adore music, it is my life after my family, and when I see the most amazing musicians being ignored and having to spend their lives in crap jobs because the likes of Kate Nash are taking up the airwaves and music industry money it does make me angry, but not because she is a woman or angry, because she is wasting it all and abusing her position to make bad music. Your moves.

  19. Daniel PJ June 22, 2012 at 3:41 am

    That said, this is a great little website and without Kate Nash I’d have never found it so there is the one good thing to come from this song! I guess every cloud does have a silver lining!

  20. Princess Stomper June 22, 2012 at 7:37 am

    @ Daniel PJ, OK, I’ll bite. (Resists urge to say “calm down, dear”.) I think you’re the one missing the point.

    First off, I’ll reveal my own ignorance by confessing that my familiarity with Kate Nash extends to her name alone – I’ve never heard anything off her first two albums, so I’m coming into this without the baggage of expectation.

    The song? Not “my thing” generally speaking – I loved Babes In Toyland but never cared much for Bikini Kill, and I don’t like the vocals. That said, it’s catchy – so catchy that I played it three times in immediate succession, so I think there’s plenty positive to be said about it.

    I don’t think you’re reading her post correctly. Where is she being stroppy and teenage? Her comments about evolving as she grows don’t strike me as being angry or petulant – she explicitly says that she’s proud of her earlier work, but another way to put is “you can never go home again”. I assume the boundaries she is pushing are her own. How is she petulant for saying she is never going to remake her first two albums? How is that different to Radiohead saying they’ll never write another song like ‘Creep’?

    I don’t really understand how someone can not mean being angry – isn’t that a contradiction in terms? “You don’t feel how you feel you feel.” Surely that’s impossible! She either feels something or she doesn’t – either it’s a cynical exercise in marketing in which she’s pretending to feel something she doesn’t (doubtful, and commercially problematic if she did), or she genuinely was angry about something at that moment. Whether you like the result is immaterial. I also don’t think that she was convinced that people don’t like shouty women, so much as they don’t like her being shouty because they preferred her earlier style.

    Plenty of people have made videos to songs they just wanted to get off their chest: they make something spontaneously and then think, “Actually, this is cool”, and then they promote it. Happens all the time.

    Come to think of it, the song actually reminds me of Filter’s ‘Hey Man Nice Shot’, itself spontaneously written and recorded on an eight-track by a couple of pissed off session musicians from Nine Inch Nails.

    And with your response to Charley, you’re well and truly into troll territory, so I really ought to stop feeding you – unless you can explain how you can think you like something. You either do or you don’t. I don’t really think you’re the bad guy so much as Ani Difranco’s PR agent doing a really shitty job.

    Coincidentally, I just read this paragraph from Shirky’s “rant about women”

    “It’s tempting to imagine that women could be forceful and self-confident without being arrogant or jerky, but that’s a false hope, because it’s other people who get to decide when they think you’re a jerk, and trying to stay under that threshold means giving those people veto power over your actions. To put yourself forward as someone good enough to do interesting things is, by definition, to expose yourself to all kinds of negative judgments, and as far as I can tell, the fact that other people get to decide what they think of your behavior leaves only two strategies for not suffering from those judgments: not doing anything, or not caring about the reaction.”

    So, Kate is risking this kind of backlash by putting herself forward, which is all well and good. Daniel, on the other hand, is making me think he’s a jerk – not least because he admitted that he came here specifically to look for articles on Kate Nash so that he could criticise her. I thought you said you had something better to do?

  21. Charley Stone June 22, 2012 at 8:21 am

    This evening at rehearsal someone said something funny and I laughed and then immediately wished Daniel had been there to tell me if I really found it funny or if I’d laughed by mistake.

    Also v grateful for the list of other female artists – I had no idea there were so many!!!

  22. Everett True June 22, 2012 at 9:00 am

    Also v grateful for the list of other female artists – I had no idea there were so many!!!

    Every day is an education, isn’t it Charley?

  23. Daniel PJ June 22, 2012 at 9:02 am

    Fair comments Princess Stomper, I stand corrected on many points. I do however still think that Kate Nash is silly and the song is terrible. To be fair as well, I made comments about Kate Nash based on my experiences of her – and you have to watch her on Jools Holland promoting her second album – stroppy teenager personified – my responses to the others such as Charley were a response to her quite amusing jokes about me coming on to her – all pinch of salt, but if you read between the lines any personal responses I made were in response to those initially directed at me – including Everett’s comments. I feel justified in mocking Kate Nash and her deluded crusade because it is just so silly and childish, but to hurl abuse back at me makes it more personal, so perhaps everyone should calm down a little, realise these are pop stars and they are not real people in terms of who they are and what they show us, and carry on looking for some good music – God knows we could all use some inspiration in this day and age. Interestingly though I believe it was Kate Nash who started the whole PMS comments – which shows great disrespect to the genuine troubles many women experience with severe PMS – and then to carry it on as a joke is pretty anti-feminist do we not all think?

  24. Daniel PJ June 22, 2012 at 9:04 am

    And yes Charley there a lot – at least another three more who escape me – but pushing ten currently active, not bad going – some of them are actually quite good…for a woman. \m/ ;o) \m/

  25. Everett True June 22, 2012 at 9:05 am

    Dude, you come on to a website you know absolutely fuck all about – among many other things, it’s stridently (and proud of it) pro-female – using the sort of arcane and provocatively sexist language I’d hoped had disappeared with Bernard Manning, and then complain that *you* are being personally abused. Get a fucking grip. Seriously, did your team lose or something?

    Big bad man

    You fucking wish.

  26. Charley Stone June 22, 2012 at 9:14 am

    Anyway, back to my dating tips. If anyone wants to go out with me, words to avoid might include: “silly”, “deluded” and “calm down”. Hope this helps!

  27. Daniel PJ June 22, 2012 at 9:14 am

    Calm down Everett, do you miss 90% of what I have written? Does only Charley get this? I made a very tongue in cheek comment about Kate Nash and you have made many personal comments about me – I have only complimented you, this website, women and music. I am very confused here – never mind my team losing, did yours get relegated?

  28. Charley Stone June 22, 2012 at 9:26 am

    Aaaaaaargh. Yes, I am very amusing, but I am not bantering with you. I am trying to say: do not use this language! it is INCORRECT. You will turn around and be embarrassed by this phase in a year’s time, I am just trying to help you get there a little quicker. For real. Don’t try and pretend now it was all tongue in cheek. Unacceptable! and now I must go to bed, for I am worn out from the intense rock and mad keyboard solos. But heed my words, young man.

  29. Daniel PJ June 22, 2012 at 9:27 am

    Can we stop now, I don’t like the song or the person who sings it, you guys do – end of discussion. If my language has offended some of you then I am sorry, but being called sexist is not something I take lightly so perhaps some of you are also not such wonderful innocent freedom fighters you think you are. I am just saying that there is much better music in general than this, if you really disagree with that comment then let’s have a grown up discussion about it. To be fair, although little girl is bad taste so I apologise for that, but deluded and silly are perfectly acceptable in the context. I am available for children’s parties by the way.

  30. Everett True June 22, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    Sorry Daniel. I can’t be bothered to listen to a troll trying to justify his ‘opinions’ in a really long-winded, pompous – and yes, patronising – fashion.

    You’re barred mate. As are pretty much all other sexist assholes who come here, pretending they give a shit about free speech, when all they really give a shit about is the freedom to parade their dullard, unfunny ‘opinions’.

  31. Golightly June 24, 2012 at 12:59 am

    Proof that listening to Ani DiFranco doesn’t make you a feminist. Not being sexist makes a person a feminist. Expecting music to meet you in your male-dominated delusionary world makes you a sexist (yes it is just a popular delusion propagated by the mainstream media… all the women I know in real life and on here are testament to how deluded this male dominated vision of ‘reality’ really is… because all of us are not matching up to the women we are shown in the mainstream media, even the models and actresses don’t match up to it pre-airbrushing and studio wizardry.) All Collapse Board does is presents a more realistic view of women- and men for that matter. It doesn’t hide the facets of female experience that don’t tally with the prescribed Programme, it displays them casually and honestly. Respect to Kate Nash for what she said and also to Princess Stomper for owning that troll. Awesome.

  32. Karrener Blaze June 24, 2012 at 3:07 am

    I love the song. It’s magical. x x x x x

  33. Karrener Blaze June 24, 2012 at 3:12 am

    And I love this post too. I love Kate and I love Charley Stone. Sorry I can’t be more articulate, too tired. x x x x x

  34. Dee June 24, 2012 at 5:41 am

    It must suck being called a sexist; it must be even worse than misogyny itself. Maybe I should take Daniel’s advice and calm down. My problems mean nothing in comparison to the torment and social injustice of being called out on your bullshit.

  35. Erika June 24, 2012 at 10:35 am

    Kate Nash, Thank you. Sending a song.

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