Meet 7 women who inspired CLAVVS' new single 'Like Daggers'

From Medusa to Maya Angelou, Amber Rene̩ shouts out the ladies who remind her of her own power

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Photo credit: Courtesy CLAVVS
NO PAPER TIGER: Amber Reneé (right), alongside proud Hufflepuff Graham Marsh, weighs in on the women who inspired CLAVVS latest single, 'Like Daggers.'

"Like Daggers" came to me as a response to my fascination with the phrase "paper tiger," this delicate, pseudo-ferocious image. It occurred to me that I have often been treated as a paper tiger as something that may appear somewhat fearsome but, in reality, is comically easy to destroy. I wanted to write a song to challenge that. I thought about every woman who has ever made me feel strong and complex and multidimensional, and I wrote a song to remind me of my own power. These are a few of the women (fictional and otherwise) who inspired me. Amber Renee


1. Arya Stark of "A Song of Ice and Fire" aka "Game of Thrones"

Spoiler alert It's like that moment when you realize it's Arya who has just poisoned the entire Frey family and you're giddy because she's finally gotten some revenge for the Red Wedding, but you're also kind of terrified of her now. And then she kicks Brienne's ass in one-on-one combat right before she teams up with Sansa to pull the metaphorical ladder out from Littlefinger's feet, and you're just completely overwhelmed by the badass that she's become.


2. Margaret Atwood

I just finished watching Margaret Atwood's "Alias Grace" on Netflix, and I couldn't have asked for a better analogy for what this song is about. Seriously, watch it (or read it!). "The Handmaid's Tale" is another stroke of Atwood's incomparable genius. She writes fiction that redistributes power back to women all while telling fascinating and honest human stories.

3. Nadezhda Andreyevna Tolokonnikova of Pussy Riot

All of Pussy Riot should be in this spot, but if I can only choose one, I'll talk about Nadya who is a fearsome, brave, kick-ass human being. She spent two years in prison for singing an anti-Putin protest song in a prominent Russian Orthodox church. The hook lyrics command Mother Mary to become a feminist, which is just totally subversive and rad. Pussy Riot continues to use its music to protest racism, misogyny, xenophobia, and fascism.


4. Maya Angelou

She famously said, "I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life's a bitch. You've got to go out and kick ass." This may be the best quote of all time. But she also wrote "Phenomenal Woman" and "Still I Rise," which are two of the best poems ever written. She wasn't just a writer though she was an activist, a journalist, an actor, a director, and a play producer, among other things.

5. Jenny Lewis

Jenny Lewis remains one of my biggest musical influences. As the frontwoman of Rilo Kiley, she was perhaps the first artist I heard being painfully honest about her experiences as a woman. She's absolutely brilliant, and her songs helped shape me into a rebellious, unapologetically vulnerable human being. Rilo Kiley's "A Better Son/Daughter" and "Spectacular Views" are must-listens, but her latest solo record, "The Voyager," is a masterstroke.


6. Medusa

I adore Greek mythology. If you listen to any of our lyrics, you'll soon find this out. Sirens are a recurring motif because they are undeniably dope. They lure dudes to their deaths using only their voices. Medusa is equally as awesome. She can turn people to stone with her eyes, and she legit has snakes for hair. I have to give props to Greek mythology for it's badass female figures, even if they're all portrayed as evil. Honorable mention goes to Eve, Lilith, and the Lorelei of German lore.


7. J.K. Rowling

She's queen of slaying all the fuckboys on Twitter, but she also invented Hermione Granger at a time when girls my age didn't often see smart, capable, heroic young women reflected back at us in our media. I can't imagine the person I would be without the Harry Potter books' impact on my life. In case you were wondering, I'm a Gryffindor and Graham's a *proud* Hufflepuff.

CLAVVS play Aisle 5 Sat., Dec. 2. $10-$15. 9 p.m. With Bells and Robes and Mr. Mind. 1123 Euclid Ave. N.E. www.aisle5atl.com.

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