14 Jul 2002 at Capitol Hill Block Party
I first saw The Gossip at the last Block Party, when they played live for KEXP, and was totally impressed with their energy. John Richards (who was on the air at the time) still hasn't stopped gushing about their set.
With good reason. The Gossip are the greatest thing to happen to punk rock since macaroni and cheese.
Beth Ditto. Whoa. She's the southern bad-ass belle with the black smeared eye liner. Audacious and overt, she proudly boasted a red half shirt that declared, "I worked hard for this body," with luscious white ripple-y sexy flesh undulating in the sun as she gyrated around the stage.
She is a large and gorgeous woman. You know, I debated writing that (what with our weight-obsessed society considering it such an insult to use the "F" word). Then Beth started complaining about the heat, proclaiming (have you noticed she never just "says" something...?), "Walking up hill in a skirt when you're a bigger girl... the chafing! And the tit-sweat that goes on? Fuck that shit."
Then I realized — why would I hold back? If there's anything I could convey about this band, it's their in-your-face forthrightness, musically and philosophically. Beth loves her body. And hell, she should! She is HOT. Hotter than skin chafing burns, and cooler than tit-sweat soothes, even. We should all feel as awesome about our bodies as she does.
Oh yeah — and the music! The guitar sounded nearly bass-like to me, with a twangy-punk rock tone, singing country-flavored lyrics like, "I could be so good to you... Honey Honey Honey Honey Honey" (or substitute "Daddy" or "Baby" and likewise repeat x5). When she talks, she sounds like Luann from King of the Hill.
My only complaint: the set was as short as her shirt; lasting only twenty minutes. I know I'm not the only one who was left wanting to hear much, much more. Perhaps next Block Party.