Saturday, December 09, 2006

Finnish rock has a female future

MG 2241
Originally uploaded by villoks.
I was in Finland last weekend. I have developed a habit of walking both to the literary and music department of the Stockmann department store and checking what Finland is reading and listening to.

The crown jewel of my purchases this time was the second CD of the rock band PMMP. During the last months they have developed into favourites of the Finnish press. It is difficult to find a music, lifestyle or women's magazine without an interview with the two women.

Why has this happened? The reason is for once actually one that calls for celebration: they have something to say. The band consists of two women with firm opinions and courage to express them. I have listening to the CD on repeat now for a week.

As someone who occasionally has a strong longing for Finnish language, PMMP is just the right medication. They play with words and handle real problems such as domestic violence. As they said in one of the dozen interviews, they have been amazed how few artists in Finland have tackled this issue which touches a great number of families and women in the country. Could not agree more.

Just a few examples of their tone (translated from Finnish):

Chorus of Some Limit:
"If you hit once more, I will kill you. And I will hit with something that you have used to beat me. I will step aside from the way to heaven to somewhere dark. I will be taken somewhere where one does not even need one's name."

Chorus of Personally:
"Personally, you are Christ to yourself. Others need to wait for your salvation. And personally you are the only dictator, in the leading role to lives of others."

Unfortunately, in the case of PMMP one still sees how music journalism works differently for women. They have been described as a girl band and been compared to all sorts of bimbo duos. It is true that they are two women, they have a feminist tone but then again, their music is very much rock.

It still seems that the media has difficulties handling new paradigms, i.e. women making their own lyrics and compositions and handling issues that really matter. One sees that a lot of journalists still wish to search for the (male) mastermind behind the pretty girls.

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