Posts tagged "pop"

Annie – I Don’t Like Your Band
Like Girls Aloud with their appallingly self-conscious mainfesto, Annie strokes the egos of some nerds on the Internet by repeating their prejudices, instructing the object of this song that he needs to ditch the guitars and cop some sequencers and Giorgio Moroder sounds, as if a petulant renunciation of the common discourse on authenticity makes for music that is smart or interesting or even enjoyable. If the fella with the boring band follows Annie’s advice, by the sound of this, he’ll end up with a musical backdrop truly worthy of the “tinnitus-inducing” description Ed Okulicz gave to Britney Spears’s “3″, and a melody recycled from “Chewing Gum.” Annie thinks this song is chocolate, but oh no…[3]
Jukebox says [6.60]. I seem to be causing a minor stir in the comment box…

Annie – I Don’t Like Your Band

Like Girls Aloud with their appallingly self-conscious mainfesto, Annie strokes the egos of some nerds on the Internet by repeating their prejudices, instructing the object of this song that he needs to ditch the guitars and cop some sequencers and Giorgio Moroder sounds, as if a petulant renunciation of the common discourse on authenticity makes for music that is smart or interesting or even enjoyable. If the fella with the boring band follows Annie’s advice, by the sound of this, he’ll end up with a musical backdrop truly worthy of the “tinnitus-inducing” description Ed Okulicz gave to Britney Spears’s “3″, and a melody recycled from “Chewing Gum.” Annie thinks this song is chocolate, but oh no…
[3]

Jukebox says [6.60]. I seem to be causing a minor stir in the comment box…


rachelhills is being interesting on Britney:

Britney Spears and why it’s painful to be beautiful
[…]
But five-song lulls mean time for thinking, and I spent most of it thinking about just how much the success of Britney Spears - and even her mental health - is measured and predicated on the way she looks. As I’ve written before: Britney with fat on her body is read as ”off the rails”; skinny, toned Britney means “she’s baaaaack” - as much so as the quality of her albums or songs.

Could a non-lithe Britney have turned Blackout into a success, or would it now be one of the decade’s great underrated records. (Yeah, probably the latter.)
However, this:

And that even if you naturally possess all the qualities that make a woman considered beautiful by the majority of people, it’s still something you can turn up and down, even on and off, at will - through clothing, hairstyle, make up, high heels, etc. So much of what we think of as beautiful is really about performing femininity, regardless of your body shape or bone structure.

Disagree. I must defer to my man Drake on this one.*
Read the full thing here.
*Though reading through it again, Hills seems to be talking about women being beautiful for other women, not women being beautiful as perceived by men. So, whatever.

rachelhills is being interesting on Britney:

Britney Spears and why it’s painful to be beautiful

[…]

But five-song lulls mean time for thinking, and I spent most of it thinking about just how much the success of Britney Spears - and even her mental health - is measured and predicated on the way she looks. As I’ve written before: Britney with fat on her body is read as ”off the rails”; skinny, toned Britney means “she’s baaaaack” - as much so as the quality of her albums or songs.

Could a non-lithe Britney have turned Blackout into a success, or would it now be one of the decade’s great underrated records. (Yeah, probably the latter.)

However, this:

And that even if you naturally possess all the qualities that make a woman considered beautiful by the majority of people, it’s still something you can turn up and down, even on and off, at will - through clothing, hairstyle, make up, high heels, etc. So much of what we think of as beautiful is really about performing femininity, regardless of your body shape or bone structure.

Disagree. I must defer to my man Drake on this one.*

Read the full thing here.

*Though reading through it again, Hills seems to be talking about women being beautiful for other women, not women being beautiful as perceived by men. So, whatever.


song of the year nominees

maura:

lady gaga, poker face

maxwell, pretty wings (!!)

beyoncé, single ladies

kings of leon, use somebody

taylor swift, you belong with me

a kinda decent list! GO MAXWELL and yay no black eyed peas

The answer to this is so mind-blowingly obvious that I dread when the Grammy will inevitably go to Beyoncé because then we won’t get Taylor Swift stunned that she won a Grammy and she never expected to even be nominated, and gosh-darn it she’s so cute.

Don’t worry Taylor, you’ll get your Grammy in six years time when you’ve released an album full of mature country pop you wrote yourselfmade a song with John Mayer … recorded a boring folk album with Alison Krauss and Herbie Hancock.


Once more on Animal Collective

I like Mike Barthel's description of something “pandering to him badly” (Hi Zooey!), but, as good as it is, I just can’t agree with the fundamental premise of his Animal Collective post:

So, to apply this to the present case, Animal Collective is being presented (by who? ah, just in general) as an inventive and poppy indie band, and I like inventive and poppy indie bands.  But they seem hippie and etc. to me, which conflicts with how I understand my taste in inventive and poppy indie bands to be, so I reject them.

Animal Collective is indie, sure, you can tell that by the subculture of people who listens to them and likes them and argues about them. But “poppy”? People do actually call Merriweather Post Pavillion a pop album, and though I’m not the type to police pop to the extent of insisting that anything that deviates from the Kelly Clarkson/Beyonce/Britney model isn’t pop, I can’t even slot Animal Collective into the indie pop realm of The Shins, of Big Star, or The Pixies’ “Here Comes Your Man,” or whatever. Save for a handful of tracks with actual melody (“My Girls” — and its the thinnest of tunes, that one — “Grass,” “Who Could Win a Rabbit”), everything I’ve heard from that band has been long, droning, meandering and inchoate. Is “Peacebone” the song where they dribble noises for six minutes, before culminating with a dead-eyed cry of “bouncy!” that is probably actually “bonefish!”? I can understand people liking this for the texture, or the mood it builds (as I proposed here), but for the “pop”?


Just Being Miley

What I like best about Robyn is the fact that she seems very much like a DIY kind of pop star. There’s something oddly democratic about her whole persona; she gives the impression that anybody could do it, if they were determined enough.

Robyn is dancing on her own | Beatportal (via desnoise)

This seems related to Theon Weber's comment on “Fembot”:

and in fact robyn’s personality/delivery/engagement all seem to me to be so very flat and average and dull that i can’t help but think all those boring us-v-them thoughts: is this stuff regarded as Serious Music (over, say, ke$ha, who has worse songs delivered better; or the now-probably-a-cliche-to-even-mention ashlee, who has better songs delivered better) because of its flatness and averageness and dullness? like is the half-assed disconnection robyn has from all the ironies and contradictions and hiccups of emotion that even low-level pop stars learn early on to inhabit and play with somehow the very quality that clues people otherwise disinterested in pop music (which disinterest is, per se, totally fine) into the conviction that this stuff is deserving of their special attention?

Which is related to my beef with the majority of Robyn songs, being that I really don’t see how doing something badly to make your audience feel better about itself is worthy of applause.

Hey, why don’t I throw something really dumb out there that I probably don’t actually believe and hope there’s some sense in it: Democracy’s all very well for politics, but maybe pop music is better populated by Randian ubermenschen.


Katy Perry's 'California Gurls' Is For Boys

All these links left undiscovered.

One of the saddest quirks of rock criticism is that the hopes, dreams, and fears of teen girls are frequently considered frolicsome fluff while the rage and defiance of teen boys is miscast as the articulation of free thinkers.

Pitchfork: Album Reviews: Various Artists: One Kiss Can Lead to Another (via desnoise)

rachaelmaddux:

Get more former teen girls writing rock criticism and this will be less of a problem!

koganbot:

I don’t know, Rachael. Not that there shouldn’t be more former teen girls writing music criticism, but the ones who self-select or get selected to do so are likely to be even more defensively dismissive of the supposed frolicsome fluff than the former teen boys are. It was the guys who did most of the heavy lifting on Rolling Teenpop until Erika came along in 2007 (there was input from Abby, Hillary, et al., but none of them stuck with it). As far as I know, it was only guys making the case in print for Mariah in the early ’90s, and most of that was relegated to the fanzines anyway. And it’s been mostly guys who’ve made the case for Britney, Marit, Avril, Hilary, JoJo, Ashlee, Lindsay, Aly & AJ, and Taylor. Of course Erika Villani and Kat Stevens and Hazel Robinson (among others) have been terrific when they’ve written - I’d go to Erika before anyone else for insight on Lily and Demi. Hazel’s been great when she occasionally blogs on the latter-day r&b girl groups, but it’s Alex Macpherson who’s been championing them where you actually get some readers.

I’ll ignore the ILXhegemony, and endorse what Frank’s saying as basically correct. I see too many ex-teen girl critics (as well as ex-teen boys) viciously endorsing masculinity as the primary trait women in rock should pursue, and lord forgive any woman who isn’t even interested in pursuing rock. The problem is though that the teen girls interested in Spears, Larsen, Lavigne, Duff, JoJo, Simpson, Lohan, Aly & AJ, and Swift have been told that they, and the music they’re interested in is not serious and should not be talked about in a serious context. I’ve talked to too many girls who tell me they have “bad taste,” and so will never even get to the stage of considering their own opinions as being something worth understanding. If they can’t believe their tastes are legitimate, they’ll never believe they should be talking to others authoritatively about what they think is good.


Top Ten Things About Katy Perry’s Video for “California Gurls”

01. I’ve already said I love “California Gurls” for the way it engages with popular mythological representations of California, so I’m disappointed the video ignores all that and does some weird shit in the Land of Chocolate.

02. Perry touches some snakes and then all of a sudden she’s naked. I wish I were thirteen so I’d have a chance to reveal to someone what this really means.

03. Having just a brother, I’d only received second hand information about where girls come from. I’d been told they were birthed from women, or possibly delivered by storks, but I’m thankful to ”California Gurls” for informing me that girls actually are produced fully formed in hermetically sealed packaging, waiting for a savior to release them into their proper state of vibrant innocent vitality.

04. Girl Scouts are sexy and will eat you alive.

05. Snoop “Murder Was the Case” Dogg is threatening because he leads an army of Gummi Bears characterized by a fondness for rude gestures.

06. Katy Perry’s breasts have a bizarre anatomical idiosyncrasy that allow them to be connected to whipped cream dispensers. This renders Perry’s breast milk, in whipped form, lethal to Gummi Bears and incapacitating to Snoop Doggs.

07. I’d never been attracted to Perry before this video, but um.

08. As Sean Fennessey pointed out:

[Producer Dr.] Luke seems to be attracted to strong women who are also self-effacing goofballs … When she emerged, Perry seemed to embody the body-as-weapon ideology, acting pouty and dressing scandalously (if still goofily) while singing about kissing girls. But with Luke’s guidance, Perry’s sexiness began to play as mostly a ruse, as plastic as the inflatable fruit that checkered the stage during her live performances. Her biggest hits are post-sex. She’s since emerged as the goofiest of the bunch—the truest product of a svengali who prizes personality over provocation— a fact confirmed by her recent choice of beau, the self-involved British comedian Russell Brand. 

Look at the way Perry lolls coquettishly across the cloud, a determined performer of poised female sexuality except, oh, oops, the cloud turned out to be made of cotton candy and she just had to eat some of it. Oops. How silly of her.

09. When Snoop’s incapacitated, his captors bury him up to his neck in sherbet or something and turn him into David Lee Roth. This is different to Snoop’s prior state because he’s now buried up to his neck in sherbet.

10. This is probably better than whatever wins the Best Picture Oscar next year.



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