March 19, 2013
I’m a rude bitch says Azealia Banks. Bow Down bitches says Beyonce. One big room, full of bad bitches self-praises Kreayshawn.
When i was a lost, shy, introspective teenage girl I don’t remember being particularly summoned by my pop culture idols to stand up, be rude, take what i want, make a scene, have power and be a Woman. I’m so very jealous. The girls of today are, though shocking to older generations (and a concern to them), strong, sassy, and knowledgeable beyond their years. I say don’t be too concerned. I say look at them- at what they can teach us. Their thirst for the constantly new is insatiable, which makes their art, well, relevant. More relevant than the 30 and 40 somethings’? Maybe. Actually probably, yes. To me, Grimes is waging greater cultural change than Feist did. Did she need Feist to pave the way? Probably. The point is that it doesn’t really matter. What matters is now, and every now that will happen after it.
Now you may be shocked by some of this new music, you may not get it. A lot of what I’m digging up is in the hip-hop and electronic genres, but I’m still looking. Here’s what i’ve found: these girls seem to have the imminent! right in their hearts, vibrating in their bodies; dancing futuristically, dressing with global street style, making beats from machines they play like cellos, spouting sex from their lips with the confidence of old souls, making art that is utterly confusing to most people over the age of 25. I said most, don’t get all upset if you’ve got your finger on that pulse.
I’m barely keeping up, but re-invigorated by what i can only call a movement. These girls are expressing themselves, hardcore. They’ve reinvented self possession, thrown in a dash of glittery narcissism, paid attention to music, fashion and language on every street corner and youtube video. They come to capture, to ravage, to make their life big. What they may not yet know is how inspiring that can be. I feel a message behind it, maybe that’s just me. Like, girls, disobey your mothers and shape your world; make it exciting, make it a place where you are free, make the world look at you and what you got, and feel good about it. There are many women in the world who probably won’t get that chance. Girls of the free world, be a badass bitch if you want to. Be inspired, make art, make life, make it count. I’m starting right now.
(i have a feeling this blog will be controversial?)
some badass bitches:
Azealia Banks, 212 : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3Jv9fNPjgk
Grimes, interview on art : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0LVTbltWLI
Kreayshawn’s big hit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WJFjXtHcy4
Iggy Azelia beat down : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6IAFUzmgSU
More Grimes rad music : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtH68PJIQLE
Beyonce gets brave : http://perezhilton.com/2013-03-17-beyonce-new-single-bow-down-i-been-on
Lana on the dark side : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bag1gUxuU0g
lil debbie :http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykwwz20RULg
October 16, 2012
A short blog today about the importance of beautiful in my life. A stealing glance at an image of a thousand paper lanterns floating in the Thailand sky posted by a friend, the sweetness I feel when I watch my friends smile, a campfire in my memory I can still watch as it burns a thousand yellows and reds, a song that paints history vividly, a wild garden of lush bluebells I noticed when walking by, a movie where I saw what my eyes could only dream of. Beauty, and the constant creation, re-organization of its endless shifting components to make it known.I capture it with my eyes and my spirit whenever I remember to, or when the world reminds me it is still there. Today, I was so simply entranced by two music videos, whose spellbinding directors make their dreams and visions known through textures and inspired movements. It is subjective, and I behold them in my eye, but I love these little movies and so I share them if you are in need of.
May 20, 2011
In a recent flash of nostalgia, I headed over to iTunes to re-purchase (10-15 years later) the albums of Fiona Apple, Tori Amos Liz Phair. Sure, I’ve moved on, I told myself, to becoming a elite fan of 60 &70’s rebel country, velvet underground Rock n Roll and Montreal indie superstars in the making. But that day I was feeling the need for a litlle female emotionalism, courtesy of my teen idols. And then I looked around. iTunes I mean. If I were an angsty smart teenage girl in need of an identity today, who would I cling to? Miley Cyrus the Disney rebel? Ingrid Michaelson the co-ed who cooed for a car commercial?Adele the imitative balladeer?Katy Perry and co?
My teen idols taught me, just like my parents did, that being smart is better. Those girls displayed their anger and hurt with real heart and expressive, poetic lyrics. They took care in crafting records that were thoughtful in their production. They had messages to share, they wanted you by their side because you could understand them, not because they wanted to sell you their walmart merchandise. Or it at least felt that way. They inspired me to be artistic, to develop my art on the side of brains, not beauty. And this even though their beauty was utmost, and their poise uplifting, even in their darker hours.
The intelligo-female singer songwriter up until the early 21st century was a super idol worth looking up to. Another coincidence well timed with the decline of the music industry, perhaps one the effect of the other and vice versa.
Intelligent music used to sell. Now we are dumbing it down further every minute. It has NEVER been this bad.This is across the board to be sure- but for the purpose of this discourse, consider the effects only on the new generations of women from their peers. Music has always and continues to be an impacting force on how our young chose to grow old. In those formative years of confusion and tough new decisions, I just don’t see the point for parents, and all members of society to keep supporting “art” that will churn out dumb girls. Cultural education today is so important in shaping of our future citizen humans (yes pop music can educate), and if they all start to intellectually resemble Kesha, I guess I’ll just be ….embarrassed to be a girl. That should be Miley’s next album title.
December 25, 2010
So i just watched the facebook bio pic “The Social Network”. It just made me want to have a cool idea like that. When you watch a heist movie, you wanna rob a bank wth a crew of 12 experts and a mile-long devilish master plan. When you watch Goodfellas, well, you get the point. So now i wanna be a internet rebel mogul? I can barely string together a code to change the background on a myspace page. But I do wish someone, preferably me, could find a way to inject the genius of the web reactionaries magic juice into the dried-up music business. And not just because i wish i could make a buck, but because something as powerful as good art deserves a friend. Or a billion friends.
Napster fucked us. Pro-pirates can claim otherwise, but in the end, they are fucking us, and good. Those who know me know of my involvement in the protection of intellectual property. But that’s boring right now, that’s not what i’m itching for. Facebook was invented to help people connect; to help horny college boys get laid, to make nerds aspire to coolness, to turn everything that was enjoyable or pined for about socializing into a full-blown digital addiction.
People used to get addicted to bands. Screaming Beatles fans, stoned out 70’s kids tripping out to the latest greatest LP, Hip hop messiahs leading masses- me in the record store trying to get the next thing into my discman before anyone else could. Obsessing over bands, their music, their stories, their celebrity, their legacy.Why can’t that be exploded into some out of control internet version of its former self? Don’t us fans deserve it? Doesn’t everyone secretly want it?
I’m not likely the one who’s going to brainstorm this brainchild. I know the record companies are trying hard, but they aren’t on the ground floor enough to get it, the trade-off of being so powerful in their penthouse office.
What amazes me is that no one else, no kid in his basement has seeded, grown and bloomed some great platform for giving people what i’m pretty sure they don’t yet know they really really want. A way to connect to cool again….with music. Or music and something else together. And not something ad-based, or check out my mediocre local band page(uh myspace?). Something that is for YOU, makes you feel connected, cool and obsessed with the religion of ROCK and ROLL, the way of life, the attitude, the feeling. Maybe video really did kill the radio star? Maybe the internet has made us too short-sighted and stupid in its infinite too easy to access knowledge. Maybe this culture of digital existence is uninterested in the soul-defining capacities of modern music?
Forget about how the music and advertising biz’s screwed you. The Bands never did, at least the good ones. They’re doing it for you cause someone did it for them, and it’s a legacy worth passing on in my most entitled opinion. I am throwing my plea out into this vast universe of code and text and over stimulation. Here’s to hoping there’s still some inspired youth out there, I am waiting on your so-called powers.
April 25, 2010
“Under Great White Northern Lights” is your average black and white, or overexposed, not too telling tell-all band docu, following The White Stripes on their first Cross-Canada tour. From the Yukon to St John’s NewFoundland, from soft seaters to quirky free shows at the local flour mill, this DVD release is on the surface just as calculated and pre fab as some accuse the Stripes being themselves. Red T shirts, a live show that’s just messy enough for cred, a lead singer adept in making rumours his legend making best tool.
But if you watch a little closer, you may see…well, Jack.
A phenomenal guitar player and supremely skilled all around musician and arranger. No I don’t believe him when he claims, soapbox style in an interview the filmmaker puts on, that their live show is as free and un-mathematical as he claims. But have you watched this show? I mean the music aside from showmanship. It’s fucking loud, flawless and intricate- Drum perfect planned out parts for non-drummer Meg use her flaws as an advantage (and a good foil to his flame), changes in meter and tempo grip and wow you, guitar parts fusing Blind Willie with Jimmy Page stay with you in your dreams- Plainly, this guy is just awesome.
Jack’s talent is impressive BECAUSE it amazingly melds two sides of artistry-
Raw odd shaped inspiring ideas that make him oh so unique- but it is his creative calculations, his master of his instruments, his laboratory approach to mixing potions of sound and performance that make him, well, a star in the same way as, a David Bowie I believe.
Bowie was an extremely calculated artist, which is something many fans aren’t aware of. He was a master of orchestrating his own fame, his talent, his musical legacy. Read up a bit on him, it’s quite the journey.
And White throws in for good measure an excellent grasp of what music came before him, one so apparent in his great and profound writing.
So yes, Jack White may be arrogantly deliberate, but I commend him for 1- having the balls to do it without too much regard for the critic and 2- for having more playing and writing and visionary chops that most musicians out there today.
Jack, I wish I could commit so fully to both sides of artistry, to both Heart and Will. I have tried and keep backing out: is it too hard to study and bear down or too easy to just let go? I dont know. I will however continue my strive, so thanks for being what you are, I needed a rock star I could look up to and grow from.
April 21, 2010
Many years ago, in the age of the “birth of myspace”, I swiftly took advantage of this new media outlet to vent the wild meanderings of my mind on the subject of…Bubble!
Complete with cartoon slide shows, pictures and stories mocking all the cheesiness and disingenuous qualities I associated with the Canadian crooner, www.myspace.com/itsbubbletime was a credit to my youthful and bold cleverness for sure, but also, in hindsight, to my plain ole ignorance. My page was removed by myspace for unauthorized content.
In a strange twist of fate, I found myself sitting two rows behind “Mike” as we later inebriatedly decided to name him, at this year’s JUNO award celebration.
Swooping in on a private jet, MB opened the ceremony with a glowing, joyful rendition of his big radio smooth pop hit “haven’t met you yet”, a
superbly crafted and light hearted catchy tune about holding out hope for “the one”.
Never mind the respect of thousands of screaming fans, the utterly perfect and colorful playing of the band, the stunning designer Dean Martin style suit or the winning smile and dance moves of this so-good-looking-in-person man. This guy can SING!! In an age of false musicians and showy, very lucky under-achievers, we are face to face finally with a REAL singer. Note perfect, inspired phrasing, a technically flawless performance. Not to mention enough beaming energy to light up the whole arena.
And just to prove my early twenty something self even more wrong, what a nice guy! Smiling, polite, attentive and very publicly loving of his GORGEOUS fiancée. Oh, and hilarious. Must be tough to be Michael B.
Michael, you deserve all the praise and award sweeping feat you pulled off on Sunday Night in ST John’s NFLD. My only regret is that the volcano ash flying conditions swept you off to your European tour before I had a chance to shake your hand.
Maybe next time.
P.S. Dear Justin Bieber: this is a performer you could learn a thing or two from, a lesson in talent and humility. Perhaps Usher isn’t the best role model…? though your hoards of screaming tweeny girl fans that nearly knocked me over in the hotel lobby dont seem to notice what you lack. There are two kinds of man you can grow up to be, but I guess young girls don’t yet know the difference.
I am starting to know, thanks to some friendly faces I have met this year, and though I just haven’t met you yet Mr Bubble, I find you inspiring and lovely. And your impression of Bieber at the non televised gala was awesome, too bad the Biebs missed it.
Thanks for the good times!
March 11, 2010
If the guy next to you in your 10th grade math class, the guy with the creepy sticky mop of hair and bad vacation spot t shirt with his desk inexplicably at a crooked angle next to you, told you one day in an uncalled for confidence…. This:
“I’m gonna build a jazz band machine of cymbals, xylophones and prepared pianos all trigered by my chorus pedal infused guitar soloing…and it’s going to change everything”
a) move to the next available desk
b) ask him where he buys his weed
c) secretly steal his plan if only you had basic knowledge machinery
d) a little from all the above
Well? That geeky kid went on to find a life altering passion while you were studying half heartedly your life-approved major, and somewhere along the way, after an impacting career of ground breaking improvisational music that reached millions, he became…Pat Metheny. And he built a machine this year. Wait for it …. The ORCHESTRION.
A devilish and incompressible to the average mind technological wonder. A full orchestra machine that plays and responds to his every whim. And it plays a whole record ! And whole tour!
Seems like the perfect connundrum; the chemistry a musician strives for and feels at moments with others is only a mirror of what he/she feels in a dream symbiosis with one’s self, and self’s musicals impulses and meanderings. The perfect perfection. But is it narcissism gone too far? Is it inhuman of this music to be so solitaire, to cheat its way to the ideal band chemistry? For who has played in a band and not been terrified of never being able to cultivate that feeling between members? That sounded dirty haha…so why not only entertain relationships in that case with…yourself?
Here is a demo of his genius/madness: ORCHESTRION VIDEO
On the other hand, last night I saw a band play evoking just the opposite feeling amongst themselves, and roping in every audience member into their cool California family glee. A now very sought after secret in the industry, Family of the Year broke out the best psychadelic Dylan modern pop I have heard since The Brian Jonestown Massacre. With beach-style harmonies that make you fall in love (every band member looks like a model, so take your pick)They knew they were good ,yes. They knew they looked good, yes. But most of all, they liked each other. Or at least on stage. They radiated great songs and arrangements by virtue of their imperfect connection. They delivered unbridled stunning fucking up. They played like devils and angels in bed together forever and never let it stop, probably cause they don’t know how. A little pretentious? Maybe. Unbelievably consuming? Definitely. Check out this next big band of troubadours, they seem to put family, music, business and love all first, a rather crowded frontline.