Patriarchy unwelcome at Butch Vs. Femme reunion show

Glitter, shouts of
“fuck the patriarchy” and some makeup that looked like corpse
paint made for a hell of a show at the Press Club Wednesday night.

Local queercore band
Butch Vs. Femme reunited about 10 years after its formation, and the
crowd that greeted their return was all too happy to see them
It helps that some great queer punk and death rock opened
up for them, too. By the time Butch Vs. Femme hit the stage, we were
already feeling kinda dancey.

Lips of Renegade, of
Chico, went up first. They played simple, catchy three-chord punk,
with lyrics focusing on gender politics and equality. Two songs were
opened with anecdotes about gross boys at their school that inspired
the rebellious music: One claimed that only girls with thigh gaps
were attractive (the crowd hissed so beautifully at that one);
another apparently offered a friend a piece of gum and asked for head
as repayment. They closed out their set with a cover of a Bikini Kill song and the crowd appropriately went wild.

Bitter Fruit, of
Oakland, took the stage next. The lead singer wore white face paint,
which went pretty well with the leggings and torn dress. Their sound carries you with it, heavy on the reverb and haunting in the way it evokes
wavy nightmare atmosphere while holding immediacy through distorted riffs and high tempo. They reminded me of local fave Screature, but if Screature was less goth, less synth-based and more
emotional, more queer.

Plus, one of their
guitarists rocked a silver glitter hollow-body. Gorgeous.

And then Butch Vs.
Femme came on. Comprising Chavez D’Augustine and Kimberli Aparicio,
the band recently used Kickstarter to help create their first
full-length, titled “Eat Yr Heart Out!”, with D’Augustine on
keyboards, Aparicio on drums and both on vocals.

You might have seen
D’Augustine around playing as Valiant Steed, rocking the keyboard,
drums and vocals all alone in a one-person band. And if you’ve heard
Valiant Steed, you’ve got a decent sense of BvF’s sound: passionate,
high-pitch vocals that almost sound out of control, quick keys set
to sharp tones and lyrics fighting for expression against hate,
police brutality, heteronormativity and more.

Fuck yeah to all of

The sound is easy to
grab onto, unless you can’t handle very shrill vocals or have a lot
of hate in your heart.

Maybe it’s that I’m
so used to such aggressive and violent metal shows, a whole lot less
gentle and sincere than this. Or maybe it’s that I truly believe that
we all need to express gender issues and the strange tangles of
attraction in more positive, healthy and honest ways. Or maybe it’s
just that the music for the whole night was so damn fun. Whatever it
was, Wednesday’s show brought a lot of refreshing love and joy to me,
and for that I’m grateful.

Love who you’re
gonna love and catch BvF at their album release on March 28 at
Starlite Lounge, with Ghostplay and PETS.

If you’re feeling
heavy tonight, you should come join me for Church, Cura Cochino and
the almighty Jucifer at Press Club. Friday night, the
rad-as-all-get-out Castle rocks with (waning) and Astral Cult.

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