Meredith Graves is the singer for a noise punk band called Perfect P*ssy, and when they performed at Three Links in Deep Ellum last month, a review in the Dallas Observer prompted a response from FrontRow’s Andi Harman. The piece addressed D.O. music editor Jeff Gage and his focus on Graves’ appearance, specifically his mentioning of the singer’s “not-at-all-punk-looking shorts and striped shirt…”
Now Meredith Graves herself has addressed the review directly. In an interview with the fashion site Stylelikeu—which has been previously syndicated by Huffington Post and featured multiple times in Forbes—she discussed the writer’s assessment of her sincerity regarding her music, which was largely based on her appearance:
Stylelikeu: Can you talk about assumptions that other people may, or actually—you have witnessed—have about you based on your style?
Oh, yeah, I had a very, very, nasty encounter last week that I’m still thinking about. We played a show in Dallas, Texas. When we showed up, we found out that someone had drawn an extraordinarily sexually explicit flier, and we were really unhappy about it. So at the end of our show, we stopped our set and I said, “Hi, you know I don’t usually stop after sets, but this is really problematic. Women aren’t really taken seriously in punk.” And the Dallas Observer let a guy write an article where he said, “You know, the singer of this band is a very strong feminist and she said all of this stuff. But it’s very, very hard to take her seriously because of her appearance. She was wearing a stripe-y t-shirt. She has blonde hair. She was wearing very ‘un-punk’ shorts.” And those are actually the shorts I’m wearing. I wore them today to show you how just un-punk they were. I have no idea where this guy got off thinking it was acceptable to devote one paragraph to my politics, and three to my appearance. But according to him it became a question of my authenticity. He said that because of how normal I looked, the name of our band, my violent stage performance, and my feminism—seemed inauthentic. And it was totally a dude, of course. It was some ‘Jeff’ person.
She later adds:
F*ck you, Jeff. From my very un-punk shorts.
Note: This video might be slightly NSFW.
Finally, here are photos of people famously associated with punk wearing stripes and shorts. I don’t know why anyone would expect a music editor to have any access to this information, but I thought I would do my part in offering some historical context for that next show review where you may decide to judge an act based on their clothing. Jeff, if you need any help identifying these musicians, feel free to send me an email. Or perhaps just tell Henry Rollins that his shorts aren’t very “punk” if you ever run into him: