I hate typing “Black Pussy.” I hate that the Portland-based riff-rockers are getting even more press because of their name (and there’s been a lot). I hate that they’ll probably be showered with ink again after they change their moniker to something ostensibly less controversial, which members of the oft-derided five-piece said was forthcoming. (I also hate that I forgot what I was doing yesterday and Googled the name just to see where they’re from. #NSFW) And I especially hate that veteran local-rock impresario Brian Forella recently found himself at the sharp end of what I consider unfair criticism over booking the band for a gig at his beloved venue, Lola’s Saloon, last week.
First, let’s get this out of the way: In my opinion, “Black Pussy” is immature, offensive, misogynistic, and racist. In a recent Vice interview, frontman Dustin Hill defended the name, saying that the words “black” and “pussy” have multiple meanings, and he decried the controversy as the handiwork of “trolls and crybabies.” He also added that he’s related to a black person. (Seriously! I’ll bet some of his best friends are … never mind.)
Hill also claims that his band’s name wasn’t engineered to court controversy *coughs* bullshit *coughs* and is meant to be a vague allusion to the Rolling Stones’ tune “Brown Sugar,” which is a pretty racist song to begin with. However the moniker originated, BP is pushing the boundaries of that long-held rock tradition of offensive, attention-seeking names. Is Black Pussy any more offensive than, say, Jon Cougar Concentration Camp, Funeral Rape, AIDS Wolf, or Gay Witch Abortion? BP isn’t even close to being the most prominent band to tag on the P-word –– that honor is held by either Nashville Pussy or Perfect Pussy, incidentally two better, more progressive-sounding acts.