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 Dora Bleu (3 Albums, 4 Tracks)


  • From Quagmire, Axa Hour of Dora Bleu
I am a woman and I am a musician, and I am something distinctly separate, that is neither of those, but something combinatory of those two and many other aspects. I am not a ‘womyn born womyn’ except in the imaginings brought by a set of purely social acts that
are sometimes amidst the multiple nows becoming a body. Nor am I a musician who sings for the ‘soul’ or some unspeakable emotion. I noise, in my quiet way, to speak the twisted and skewed, fully utterable at the moment we dare to say what has been feared or forbidden. As this neither woman nor musician, or both at once, I find my better self against fixity and commodity, loathing the marketing of the intimacy of personal space, a demand for the performer’s sexuality or personality, the gaze that coats living, changing, morphing tissue and fluid with the suffocating synthetics of expectation, projection, and other desires that form the violent refuse disowned by the normal world. (Trauma is not for oggling.) I cannot just yet call music “work.” For “work” in the corporate US is only ever mechanical reproduction. Only productivity is rewarded: (how many “records have you sold?”) When I view music as work, in this everywhere definition, it loses its intimacy, and becomes something empty and exhausting. Nor can I easily call music “property.” For property involves nervously guarding, and desiring isolation. I have never dreamed of a cash cow or a Mercedes. I do not wish to join the propertied class, so that someday I turn and look upon a bandmate as a “marketable” bringer of ‘cool’ or ‘cred.’ Yet it is not adequate for music to be free of charge, or to self-sacrifice in the process. Why should this worker-of-a-different-kind barely live? In this era, the life-sacrifice of a cultural worker can only endorse the very structure of exploitation and de-humanization pushed into, forward, around and within the de-humanizing world of multinational capital. The capitalist accumulators have to starve musicians, writers and thinkers to survive, because if they did not, the entire fabric of culture would be different, less tolerant of US security and less afraid. To allow ourselves to be starved willingly, bolstered by the fantasy of the ‘starving artist,’ is to collude with the plans of the agents of exploitation who right now stalk the globe with tanks and missiles. The anti-war demonstrators have broken a silence that has postured as US patriotism since September 11th. There are many silences to be broken. Silence breakers in the realm of the word, and in the structures of sound, are being starved, censored, and humiliated daily. Funding is steadily being cut off, intellectual projects are being gutted, major labels increasingly circulate more cheap-to-produce stock repetitions, recycled from backlogs of unpaid artist recordings, loading these de-skilling trances into the places most of us must traverse to eat, socialize and live. The brutal mass murder taking place in the invasion of Iraq, strategic assassinations, reliance on unpaid domestic labour, the inability to provide the basic necessities of life (healthcare, adequate incomes and housing for all people) and the de-humanizing gestures of those who offer sexual desire, or approval, in return for free music, all these things are direct descendants of a multinational capitalist regime which does not hesitate to manipulate nationalism and national identity for its agenda. The very structures of this regime demand maximum labour while returning minimum, if any, subsistence to its subjects. In many cases it prefers to exterminate those whose labours it is not in a position to benefit from. Though I describe here diverse and unequal forms of violence, varying in intensity, these acts, events, instances are related. Mass death and destruction in Iraq is symptomatic of a regime that values neither life nor labour. Now is the time to recognize the connection between dissatisfactions, revoltions, and violence, it is not the time to diminish or dismiss any of them. What will characterize the ’freedom’ or the ’not-war’ beckoned, if the violence and repression that drench those other practices, and form these very concepts, is ignored? 6 November 2003 (and still relevant) (-via Dora's Myspace page) photo via Flickr user steven'leah


Live Performance

12 December 2007