JD Samson

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JD Samson
Birth name Jocelyn Samson
Born (1978-08-04) 4 August 1978 (age 36)
Cleveland, Ohio, United States
Occupation(s) Musician
Labels Universal (Strummer), IAMSOUND
Associated acts Le Tigre
The New England Roses
Peaches
MEN
Sia Furler

Jocelyn Rachel "JD" Samson (born August 4, 1978) is an American musician, producer, songwriter and DJ best known as a member of the bands Le Tigre and MEN.

Background[edit]

Samson grew up in the Cleveland suburb of Pepper Pike, Ohio and attended Orange High School. She came out as a lesbian at age 15 and is well known for her outspoken support of both LGBT and feminist causes. Samson graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 2000 with a degree in film.[1]

In 2010, Samson served as a judge at the 9th annual Independent Music Awards.[2]

Career[edit]

Le Tigre[edit]

Samson joined Le Tigre in 2000 when co-founder Sadie Benning left the band before the album Feminist Sweepstakes was recorded.[3] Samson had previously worked as the band’s projectionist and operator of the band's slide show during live performances in support of their first record, Le Tigre. The self-proclaimed "underground electro-feminist performance artists" combined visuals, music and dance in their performances. Samson's contributions to Le Tigre include the song "Viz", which deals with her experiences as a member of a sexuality minority,[4] and “New Kicks” which contains excerpts of a protest that Samson recorded.

Feminist Sweepstakes (2001) came out on Chicks on Speed's record label.[5] Le Tigre’s final album, This Island (2004), was Le Tigre's first on a major label (Universal Records). Ric Ocasek of the Cars produced one track, "Tell You Now".[6] Samson and her Le Tigre bandmates Kathleen Hanna and Johanna Fateman also produced the Christina Aguilera song “My Girls ft. Peaches”, for Aguilera's album Bionic.[7] In the second half of 2006 the band decided to take an extended break.

JD Samson & MEN[edit]

In 2007 Samson and Fateman formed a new project, MEN, as a DJ, production, and remix team. After initial songwriting and outside remix work, Fateman took time off to have a child, and Samson recruited the members of her side band Hirsute, including Ladybug Transistor’s Michael O’Neill and Ginger Brooks Takahashi, to perform live as MEN. Samson has said that their music speaks of “issues such as wartime economies, sexual compromise, and the demand for liberties through lyrical content and an inventive, high-energy stage show”.[8]

In 2009 MEN self-released an EP called MEN that sold out following US tours with Peaches and Gossip. MEN also toured in the UK and Europe during this time. Their debut album Talk About Body was released on February 1, 2011 via IAMSOUND in the US and through Sony/Columbia in Europe. The album included singles for the songs “Who Am I To Feel So Free”, “Off Our Backs”, and “Credit Card Babies”.

In the spring of 2012 MEN changed their name to JD Samson & MEN and released an EP Next in April followed in September by the song “Let Me Out Or Let Me In” in support of the Russian feminist punk-rock collective Pussy Riot. JD Samson & MEN have recorded their second full-length album, to be titled Labor, and continue to tour.[9]

Other bands[edit]

Samson also has performed as a member of the band The New England Roses and as keyboard player of electro-punk artist Peaches' live band, The Herms, with Radio Sloan and Samantha Maloney.[1]

Songwriting[edit]

Samson has a songwriting and publishing deal through Universal Music Publishing Group. She has written songs for Christina Aguilera (“My Girls ft. Peaches”), Junior Senior (“Can I Get Get Get”), Cobra Starship (“Shwick”), French Horn Rebellion (“Girls ft. JD Samson and Fat Tony”), The Aikiu, Bitch the Ferron and Pelifics (“Spray Painted Knuckles”),[10] among others.

Performance art[edit]

Samson is a co-founder of the performance art group "Dykes Can Dance". In 2003, she released 'JD's Lesbian Calendar', a collaboration with photographer Cass Bird, which was followed up in 2006 with 'JD's Lesbian Utopia', a calendar documenting Samson's travels around the U.S. in an RV.[1]

Film[edit]

Samson also appeared in John Cameron Mitchell's 2006 film Shortbus as "Jid", a patron of the Shortbus club.[11]

Commentary[edit]

Samson wrote a widely-quoted piece on the economics of being an artist for the Huffington Post[12] in 2011. Titled “I Love My Job But It Made Me Poorer” the article examines the financial realities of a long-term career in music. In 2013 she began writing occasionally for The Talkhouse including a review of Bat for Lashes album The Haunted Man.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "JD Samson - Feminist Electropunk Artist - Biography". The European Graduate School. 1978-08-04. Retrieved 2014-08-08. 
  2. ^ "9th Annual IMA Artist Judges". The Independent Music Awards. Retrieved 2014-08-08. 
  3. ^ "Le Tigre Bio | Le Tigre Career". MTV. Retrieved 2014-08-08. 
  4. ^ Liebetseder, Doris (2013). Queer Tracks: Subversive Strategies in Rock and Pop Music: Subversive Strategies in Rock and Pop Music. Ashgate. p. 235. ISBN 9781409472032. 
  5. ^ "Le Tigre - Feminist Sweepstakes (CD, Album)". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2014-08-08. 
  6. ^ Vincentelli, Elisabeth (October 17, 2004). "Just What They Needed?". The New York Times. 
  7. ^ Nicholson, Rebecca (2009-06-10). "Le Tigre and Christina Aguilera is a brilliantly odd pairing". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014-08-08. 
  8. ^ "Talk About Body". Iamsoundrecords.com. 2014-04-23. Retrieved 2014-08-08. 
  9. ^ Mirk, Sarah (2013-09-30), JD Samson Talks About Her New Album and Being an Activist Artist, Bitch Magazine 
  10. ^ "JD Samson Discography". Discogs.com. 1978-08-04. Retrieved 2014-08-08. 
  11. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0367027
  12. ^ Samson, JD (October 5, 2011). "I Love My Job, But It Made Me Poorer". Huffington Post. 
  13. ^ "JD Samson (Le Tigre, MEN) Talks Bat For Lashes’ The Haunted Man". The Talkhouse. 2013-04-03. Retrieved 2014-08-08. 

External links[edit]