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Merrill Beth Nisker
Merrill Beth Nisker (born November 11, 1966), better known as Peaches, is a Canadian-born electronic musician and performance artist currently residing in Berlin, Germany, whose songs are noted for questioning traditional gender norms and use of sexually explicit lyrics.
Her songs have been featured in movies such as Mean Girls, Waiting..., Jackass Number Two, My Little Eye, and Lost in Translation. Her music has also been featured on television shows such as Showtime's The L Word, Ugly Betty, South Park (on the 13th season titled "Butters' Bottom Bitch"), 30 Rock (4th season episode titled "Future Husband"), and has been used for the promotion of Dirt. Peaches performed guest vocals on Pink's album Try This, on the song "Oh My God," and on the Chicks on Speed album 99 Cents, on the song "We Don't Play Guitars."
- 1 Early life
- 2 Career
- 3 Notable themes
- 4 Discography
- 5 Filmography
- 6 Awards and nominations
- 7 See Also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Born Merrill Beth Nisker in Toronto, Ontario, she attended a private Jewish school where her classes were taught half in English and half in Hebrew. Kids from the nearby Catholic school frequently teased her. Nisker was a class clown, who "wasn't particularly smart. I was interested in creative performance stuff but that turned out to be difficult for me because it was all so structured," she told Kitty Empire of the London Observer.
Mermaid Cafe, Fancypants Hoodlum, the Shit 1990-1999
During the early 1990s, Nisker was part of folk trio Mermaid Cafe. The name was taken from the Joni Mitchell song "Carey". She later released her first album, Fancypants Hoodlum, under the name Merrill Nisker in 1995, and subsequently developed the style and persona that would take her to international fame as Peaches. In 1995, she started the Shit, a noisy four-piece combo with Chilly Gonzales (a.k.a. Jason Beck), bassist Sticky (later of Weeping Tile and Music Maul), and Dominique Salole (a.k.a. Mocky). Their absurd, highly sexual rock music was a harbinger for what Nisker would become, as it was during this time that she adopted the Peaches name. The Peaches moniker is taken from the Nina Simone song "Four Women" where Simone screams at the end, "My name is Peaches!" In Toronto, before rising to fame, she was a roommate of fellow recording artist Feist.
The Teaches of Peaches 2000-2002
After creating a six-track Lovertits EP, Peaches moved to Berlin, Germany. While visiting her old friend Jason Beck, who was enjoying modest European success as Chilly Gonzales in his new home base of Berlin, Peaches landed a one-night gig. On the merits of that show alone, Berlin's Kitty-Yo label signed her on the spot. The label offered her the chance to record a new album, The Teaches of Peaches, back home in Toronto, and the already-completed Lovertits EP was released in the summer of 2000. The full-length album The Teaches of Peaches, was released that fall.
Nisker signed to a European contract by Sony following the release of The Teaches of Peaches. She later made a big-budget video for the song "Set It Off," in which she sat in a locker room as her pubic and armpit hair grew to Rapunzel proportions. Sony dropped her after the music video's release. "Now they want their money back," Peaches said.
In 2003, Peaches released her sophomore album Fatherfucker on XL/Kitty-Yo after years of touring and opening for artists like Marilyn Manson and Queens of the Stone Age. She once again penned and programmed all of her album's music herself. The single "Kick It" features Iggy Pop and which Peaches described to Rolling Stone as "more about rock 'n' roll than sex."
For her album Fatherfucker, Peaches was nominated in the "Outstanding Music Artist" category for the 15th GLAAD Media Awards along with Rufus Wainwright, Meshell Ndegeocello, Junior Senior, and Bitch and Animal, but lost to Rufus Wainwright.
Impeach My Bush 2006-2008
For her third album, 2006's Impeach My Bush, Peaches enlisted guest musicians Joan Jett, Greg Kurstin, Josh Homme, Samantha Maloney, Beth Ditto, Feist, Dave Catching, Brian O'Connor and Radio Sloan to perform on several of the tracks.
The Herms (short for hermaphrodites) were formed in spring 2006 as Peaches' live backing band. They played at small and large venues alike with sex and sex related themes as the "shock factor" for the audience.Template:Citation needed "Herms" is a reference to 70's duo Peaches & Herb and blending of words her and him. Peaches and Herms was the opening act for Nine Inch Nails and Bauhaus during the second half of their 2006 summer U.S. tour.
Peaches was nominated for her album "Impeach My Bush" in the category "Outstanding Music Artist" at the 18th GLAAD Media Awards along with the Ditty Bops, Owen Pallett, Pet Shop Boys, and the Scissor Sisters, but lost to the Scissor Sisters.
I Feel Cream 2009-present
Her fourth album I Feel Cream, was released on May 4, 2009 in Europe and May 5 in North America. The first single from the project is a double A-side of "Talk to Me" and "More".. Peaches enlisted some of her contemporaries to co-produce a number of tracks including Simian Mobile Disco, Soulwax, Digitalism and Shapemod. Long time friend and collaborator Gonzales co-wrote some of the songs on I Feel Cream and Shunda K (the voice of Yo Majesty) featured on the track "Billionaire".
Peaches has been noted for her stage costumes and flamboyant sense of style. Her looks are often both nostalgic and futuristic; aggressive and glamorous; and push the limits of gender identity. Peaches and her band Sweet Machine wear costumes from a variety of designers but most notably she works closely with stylist/designer Vaughan Alexander, celebrity hairstylist Charlie Le Mindu, and a young American fashion designer by the name of John Renaud.
In 2010, Peaches and backing band Sweet Machine once again toured Australia performing at the sold out Big Day Out festivals and at a series of sideshows. Peaches was supported on this tour by Shunda K who performed their collaboration "Billionaire" at BDO festivals and at the sideshows, and was also the opening act at the sideshows.
In March, the people who owned the rights to the musical Jesus Christ Superstar denied Peaches from performing the one-woman version of it that she was planning to stage in Berlin. After receiving the attention of several media outlets, Peaches successfully negotiated with those rights-holders, and the musical was performed March 25â€“27 at Berlin's HAU1. Gonzales accompanied Peaches on piano.
Peaches will appear in a movie called "Ivory Tower", which also includes spots from Feist, Chilly Gonzales, Tiga and Gonzales' father. Peaches stars as Marsha, a performance artist engaged to a man named Thaddeus (Tiga). Things get complicated when her ex, Hershall (Gonzales) comes back into her life. The movie is set in Toronto and was shot over 13 days in late winter/early spring 2010. It was co-written by Gonzales and Celine Sciamma (who directed/wrote "Water Lilies"), was directed by Adam Traynor and produced by Nicolas Kazarnia. "Ivory Tower" is expected to be in theatres this fall.
Gender identity is one theme of Peaches' music, often playing with traditional notions of gender roles representation. Her lyrics and live shows consciously blur the distinction between male and female; for example, she appears on the cover of her album Fatherfucker with a full beard. When asked if she had chosen the title for shock value, she commented:
- Fancypants Hoodlum (1995, as Merrill Nisker)
- The Teaches of Peaches (2000)
- Fatherfucker (2003)
- Impeach My Bush (2006) #168 US, #98 CAN
- I Feel Cream (2009) #160 US
|Year||Title||Peak chart positions||Album|
|UK Dance Chart
|2000||"Lovertitsâ€||—||—||—||—||—||The Teaches of Peaches|
|2001/2002||"Set It Off"||36||—||—||—||—|
|"Shake Yer Dix"||97||1||27||—||—|
(Peaches featuring Iggy Pop)
|2006||"Downtown"||50||—||—||—||—||Impeach My Bush|
|"Boys Wanna Be Her"||—||—||—||—||—|
(Tone Loc featuring Peaches)
|2009||"Talk to Me" / "More"||—||—||—||99||51||I Feel Cream|
|"I Feel Cream"||—||—||—||—||—|
- Luis Jacob ("Without Persons-The Pathfinder")
- Daft Punk ("Technologic")
- Le Tigre ("TKO")
- Basement Jaxx ("Get Me Off")
- The Bird and the Bee ("Fucking Boyfriend")
- The B-52's ("Funplex")
- Tone Loc ("Wild Thing")
- Queens of the Stone Age ("Broken Box")
- Yeah Yeah Yeahs ("Cheated Hearts")
- Bonde Do Role ("Marina Gasolina")
- Gibby Haynes ("Red Neck Sex")
- Yoko Ono ("Kiss Kiss Kiss")
- Pink Grease ("Peaches")
- Ladyhawke ("Paris Is Burning")
- Contributed to the UNICEF benefit song "Do They Know It's Hallowe'en?" in 2005.
- Duet with Gonzales called "Red Leather".
- Duet with Gonzales called "The Joy of Thinking".
- Duet with Mignon called "Casanova"
- Contributed vocals to "Boys and Girls" and "Everybody Party" on Taylor Savvy's 2002 album Ladies and Gentleman. Frequent Peaches collaborators Gonzales and Mignon also contributed vocals to the album.
- Duet with Pink called "Oh My God".
- Played guitar and sang on the Chicks on Speed song "We Don't Play Guitars".
- Contributed lyrics and vocals for "Drugs and Glamour", for Removal's single "9 of 10"
- Collaborated with Karen O on a song titled "Backass" on the Jackass Number Two soundtrack.
- Collaborated with Louie Austen on his song titled "Grab My Shaft."
- Collaborated with Iggy Pop and her side project Feedom on the track ("Motor Inn") on his 2003 album Skull Ring
- Collaborated with fellow Canadian Mocky.
- Duet with Snax, a cover of the Prince-penned Apollonia 6 track "Oo She She Wa Wa" on his album From the Rocking Chair to the Stage.
- Collaborated with Garbage at 2005's AmsterJam for a mash up of "Fuck the Pain Away" with Garbage's "Push It" as well as collaborated on "I Don't Give a.."
- Toured with Marilyn Manson in 2003 and sang the song "Rock N Roll Nigger" with him.
- Collaborated with Tommie Sunshine on his single "Dance Among the Ruins".
- Performed vocals on Bloc Party remix of ("Helicopter") (remix by Weird Science).
- Iggy Pop covered her song ("Rock Show") on his album Skull Ring.
- Collaborated with Stink Mitt on a song called "Fan Etiquette" for the bonus EP for the Japanese release of Impeach My Bush
- Collaborated on "Fine As Fuck" by Scream Club, off their 2006 album, "Life of a Heartbreaker". This song also appears as a collaboration track with French artist Electrosexual, on the 12-inch vinyl picture disc "Fine As Fuck" EP.
- Contributed vocals to The Flaming Lips cover album of The Dark Side of the Moon (The Flaming Lips album).
- Shunda K (Yo Majesty) and Peaches collaborated on the track "Billionaire" which features on Peaches latest album "I Feel Cream".
- Christina Aguilera and Peaches work together on a song called "My Girls" off of Aguilera's album Bionic.
- The song "Fuck the Pain Away" was used in a scene in the film Lost in Translation in which Bob and Charlotte, the two main characters, find themselves in a strip club. The song does not appear on the soundtrack CD. It was also featured in Jackass Number Two, in the Old Man Balls scene, a "South Park" episode called "Butters' Bottom Bitch" and in the horror film My Little Eye. It is also Liz Lemon's Ringtone on the Future Husband Episode of 30 Rock.
- "Operate" is played during the Halloween house party scene in the film Mean Girls. It also appears in Waiting...and during a wet t-shirt contest in the episode "Nevada State" of Las Vegas.
- She performed the song "I U She" on season two of The L Word, in the episode titled "L'Chaim". The same song appeared on the show's season two soundtrack when she performed live in an episode.
- "Boys Wanna Be Her" was played at the end of the fourth episode of season 4 of The L Word, when Katherine Moennig's character, Shane McCutcheon, modelled underwear for Hugo Boss. It also was played in the Ugly Betty episode "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", advertisements for the FX series Dirt and the soundtrack for the 2009 film Whip It!. A remix version of the song is also in the EA game Need for Speed Pro Street.(The remix is called Tommie Sunshine's Brooklyn Fire Retouch)
- The Gap used the song "Do Ya" in their Fall 2006 TV ad campaign titled "Jeans Take Shape".
- On The Mighty Boosh Live DVD, Bollo is singing "Fuck the Pain Away" in the tribute song to Naboo.
- "You Love It" was played at the ending of the CSI: New York season 3 episode "Oedipus Hex".
- Peaches' "Kick It" with Iggy Pop is on the soundtrack for Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition.
- "Set It Off" is heard in the movie Cashback. This is the second time a Peaches song appears in a strip club scene, the other being Lost in Translation. "Set It Off" is also used in "The Cut" (episode title: Rewind Me).
- "Kick it " is featured on the commercial in Australia for the 2008 Subaru impreza.
- The song "The Inch" was used in the film Itty Bitty Titty Committee in the scene where Shulie and Calvin are hooking up in the car while Anna and Sadie are doing the same in the motel room.
- The song "Mud" was used in the second episode of The Vampire Diaries (episode title: The Night of the Comet) when Elena confronts Jeremy about his behavior.
- "Show Stopper" was featured on an episode of Gossip Girl in 2009.
- The song â€œFuck the Pain Awayâ€ was used as Liz Lemonâ€™s cell phone ringtone during the episode of 30 Rock entitled "Future Husband". The lyrics â€œHuh, What, Right, Uhhâ€ can be heard. "Operate" is played during the Halloween house party scene in the film Mean Girls, a film scripted by Fey, creator, writer, producer and star of 30 Rock.
- The song "Take You On" was used in promos for Kell on Earth.
Covers and samples
- Peaches covered Berlin's "Sex (I'm A)" as an extra track on the Teaches of Peaches bonus disc
- Peaches and the band Electric Six are friends, and have each covered one of the other's songs; Peaches covered "Gay Bar" and Electric Six covered "Rock Show".
- Peaches sampled Joan Jett's "Bad Reputation" for the song "I Don't Give a..."
- Peaches did a parody of Alanis Morissette's version of the Black Eyed Peas' My Humps called "My Humps, My Dumps" Yo Majesty and Inara George also appear in the video.
- Peaches covered the Stooges' song "Search and Destroy" for the War Child: Heroes benefit album.
- Peaches covered Prince's "Irresistible Bitch".
|2001||Chromezone XXX||Herself||Super-8 bike porn that Peaches directed and starred in|
|2002||Hideous Man||Beat poet||Part of ensemble for short film collaboration with John Malkovich and Bella Freud|
|2010||Ivory Tower||Marsha||Plays performance artist in collaboration with Gonzales, Feist and Tiga|
Awards and nominations
|2004||Outstanding Music Artist||Music & Theater||Fatherfucker||Template:award-nom|
|2007||Outstanding Music Artist||Music & Theater||Impeach My Bush||Template:award-nom|
|2007||Best Make-up||Music Video||Boys Wanna Be Her||Template:award-nom|
|UK Music Video Awards|
|2009||Best Styling||Music Video||Talk to Me||Template:award-nom|
|The Independent Music Awards|
|2010||Electronic Artist of the Year||Dance/Electronica||â€”||Template:award-won|
- Taylor, Ken (2003). Peaches Biography Musician Guide. Retrieved 2010-04-15.
- (2008-01-31). Mermaid Cafe The Canadian Music Forum. Retrieved 2010-04-16.
- "All mouth, no trousers". The Age. 2006. http://www.theage.com.au/news/music/working-blue/2006/06/29/1151174330818.html. Retrieved 2008-01-13.
- Meter, William V. (2003-06-23). Peaches: She's a Very Kinky Girl SPIN Retrieved 2010-05-26.
- I Feel Cream release date
- Shunda K
- Harper, Kate (2010-04-07). Peaches, Feist, Gonzales, Tiga In Indie Flick Chartattack. Retrieved 2010-05-27.
- (2010-04-24). Christina Aguilera Interview Saturday Night Online Retrieved 2010-04-03.
- http://www.chartattack.com/news/81284/peaches-worked-on-christina-aguileras-new-album Retrieved 2010-04-03.
- christinaaguilera.com Retrieved 2010-05-10.
- "She tells interviewers she has hermaphrodite envy, not penis envy." Jessica Suarez, Review: "Peaches - Impeach My Bush (XL)," Rhino Review.
- Chart Log UK : Rodney P.;Pussycat Dolls. zobbel.de. URL accessed on 2010-04-15.
- "Peaches". chartstats.com. http://www.chartstats.com/artistinfo.php?id=9916. Retrieved 2010-04-15. </li>
- Peaches - Lose You Ultratop Retrieved 2010-04-15.
- Peaches-Shake Yer Dix Ultratop Retrieved 2010-04-15.
- http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1545432/soundtrack Retrieved 2010-05-13.
- How to Succeed in Bassness gossipgirlshow.org Retrieved 2010-04-2.
- Lee, Albert (2001-03-21). Peachy Keen Retrieved 2010-05-27.
- http://www.residentadvisor.net/event.aspx?158167 Retrieved 2010-05-26.
- (2009-09-28). UK Music Video Awards 2009 â€“ here are the nominations! PromoNews. Retrieved 2010-05-26.
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