HUMP DAY GRAB BAG: Alternative Alternatives

August 25, 2010

By Max

NOT TO BE A HUGE JERK, but there’s This Pop Singer Who Is Really Famous Right Now and kind of bumming me out. I don’t want to shit-talk cause it’s a total waste of time, but it’s gotten to the point in my life where when people mention how much they love this singer, I feel deep pangs of personal guilt, because it means that the person I’m talking to and I are fundamentally disagreeing on some things. It’s like how in the early 00s (‘member?) sometimes you’d be at a soccer game or the supermarket or a PTA meeting and someone would say nonchalantly that they had voted for Bush, and it would just send up a red flag? It feels like that.

The thing that bugs me about This Pop Singer Who Is Really Famous Right Now is that she purports to be something of a Performance Artist. Now, I’m not going to say that Pop Music and Performance Art are mutually exclusive, but I will say that the kind of Pop Music this singer is making is absolutely antithetical to the goals of performance art. According not only to my, but in fact anybody’s definition of performance art. Performance Art necessarily means something that is expressed / transmitted via (you guessed it!) PERFORMANCE. This Singer’s work is almost always mediated through studio magick, the radio, MTV, YouTube, Fashion Photography, Twitter, etc. It’s deliberately a kind of Art that doesn’t need to be performed live, since it’s readily accessible. Just saying. So when I am getting bugged out about this I figure I can either rage against the dying of the light (incorrect use whatever) or I can offer some alternative to This Pop Singer Who Is Really Famous Right Now. So let’s do that.

So, first: ROISIN MURPHY.

Maybe you already know about her. The thing with This Pop Singer Who Is Really Famous Right Now is that she often claims that the biggest misconception about her is that she’s fake, that she’s artificial, and she wants you to know that she is Always Glamorous, Always In Drag, and very Real. OK I’ll bite: BULLSHIT. This video for the title track from Murphy’s second solo album Overpowered plays with a similar idea, in a much more interesting way (I think). The premise of the video is that Murphy’s stage persona never comes off, that she wears her ultra-bizarre high fashion outfit (Courtesy of Gareth Pugh– Murphy was wearing Pugh long before Kylie, Rihanna, Beyoncé, and the Pop Singer In Question) in cafes, on the bus, etc. as a way of juxtaposing the artificial with the real. It makes an interesting comment on the nature of celebrity culture and beauty. Oh also, this came out in 2007.

KYLIE.

HAD TO GO THERE. The thing about Kylie Minogue is that she’s world-famous everywhere except for the USA. In most of Europe, she’s more famous than Madonna. Madonna has, for those Europhiles (and American Fags) who have been keeping track, been ripping off Kylie for decades. SO while This Pop Singer Nowadays rips off Madonna, she’s actually not even citing the Minogue sources. The almost-Goth, sort of vaguely “dark” aesthetic that This Pop Singer employs was much better used, again in 2007, by Kylie in the video for “2 Hearts”. Other than the fact that this song and video are excellent, the fact that the shiny skull is a reference to Alexander McQueen, the skull itself was actually a symbol of triumph. When this video came out, it was the lead single from Kylie’s “comeback” album X. Comeback, I mean, from breast cancer. Kylie has an authentic right to glamorize the macabre because unlike the Pop Singer Nowadays, who’s whole shtick is utterly devoid of anything involving “the real world” or “obscurity”, when Kylie released this video, singing into a skull microphone, she has just beaten Death. Top that.

GRACE JONES. In your FACE BONES.

It’s no secret that I love Grace Jones. I listen her every single day and she is a totally guiding force in my life. It is with no small amount of disappointment that I continually see This Pop Singer referencing her work. Grace Jones’ eccentricity is best exemplified by the video above (total. personal. anthem.) Unlike the current Pop Singer, who equates randomness and embellishment with intellectual weight, this video shows Grace in what appears to be her natural habitat, running from Keith Haring’s studio to the wardrobe closet to the chiropractor. The message here is that even with this totally unsustainable, unreal level of glamour, she is able to look directly to the camera and sing a love song. The layers of artifice serve to create a distance which the song’s message ostensibly crosses, rather than simply mask the singer’s face. Grace wants you to know that you and her are meant to be.

ROBYN.

Look, one of the things that I don’t understand about This Pop Singer, is how she simultaneously seems to be singing about her “feelings” while denying any trace of actual human emotion. She is bloodless. Does pop music have to be this way? Not if Robyn has anything to say about it. The marriage of a human heart and a dance beat may sound strange on paper, but with Robyn it makes perfect sense.

DIAMOND RINGS

Thought it’d be nice to have a non-girl, non-superstar in the mix. Toronto’s Diamond Rings proves that you can do really cool interesting pop music without a multimillion dollar budget. Look, even Kathleen Hanna is a fan. That ought to be enough. This video is really cool and proves that really, real people can and do succeed at aspiring to glamour and art. Who needs a custom haute couture outfit? Just put a sexy kid in a Karl Lagerfeld t-shirt. Signify, baby. This is what postmodernism ACTUALLY looks like.

So whatever. These are some things you can listen to and watch instead. Check them out.

Stay dry, America. Stay motherfucking dry.


Two Girls, One Twilight. Cont’d.

August 11, 2009

By Michelle and Tatyana and StephEnie Meyer

seriously this is the whole movie. them staring at each other and not kissing.

This is part two of our Twilight talk. I don’t think we covered anything new, but hey whats birdsong without 16 yr old boner jokes? Exactly. We last left off with me wondering why vampires are always so rich. And Tatyana wondering why they always wear blouses.  It’s cuz they’re Italian, doi.

Tatyana: DUDE, the Cullens’ richness is explained in the first book which you did not read (ahem, poser, ahem). Yes, it does have to do with Alice’s abilities to predict the stock market. How fucking boring is that?! I can’t help but picture a vampire on the floor of the NYSE all “Buy! Sell! Buy!” and like fumbling around with her Blackberry cause she doesn’t know how to use it cause she was born in, oh I don’t know, 1807. Seriously my boss who was born in the 1950s still can’t figure out how to load a stapler.

Anywayyyy, I agree with you 100 percent about these dullards who call themselves vampires in the Twilight SAGA. Is that what they think a teen girl’s deepest fantasies look like? Dude, gimme the True Blood vampire ANY DAY. He’s so… TROUBLED.

Michelle: Ugh. I’m so busted. Ok fine, I didn’t read the first book, I bought the second one while drunk! But I did watch the movie. And if New Moon was any indication of whats to be expected in Twilight then I dodged a fucking sad face teen sob god this girl can mope for like 27 chapters bullet. So good to know I was right about that stock market thing.  I can only imagine Carlisle at home in his jammies on E*Trade tho. “Esme, honey, do you want stock in Goldman Sachs or not?!”

Also anyone watch the teen choice awards last night?! Ladies? (My roommate had it on, I swear. I only caught glimpses while walking to the kitchen for my second Coors) First of all, who are all these asshole 12 yr old LA kids dressed up like adults? Second of all, when will Miley get a DUI already? Thirdly, holy god Jacob Black Lautner Taylor Thomas, fuck me in the eyeballs. Yr vest was sooooo tight fitting over yr werewolf muscles.

All this vampire talk Tya, I kinda feel like two teenage Corey’s in that movie you haven’t seen yet.  How many Lost Boys references can I make before the world implodes? Lets go for gold.

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Dear Michelle

May 19, 2009

By deer michelle.

Dear michelle,
What exactly is rageaholism?  I think I get angry too much about things that are inconsequential.  Like yesterday I wanted to punch someone to death because they were standing too close to me on the subway.  What do I do?  Quietly counting to ten doesn’t work.  I’m afraid I’m going to have a rage-related heart attack and die young.
Sincerely,
Angry Anna.

Dear Psycho,
I think you have some unresolved issues that are making you angry at strangers and other annoying douchebags. It’s easier to think you are angry at that lady standing too close to you than to acknowledge that you are just really upset about personal shit that you can’t control.  However, I am the same way.  People should really stand further away on the train, this isn’t fucking China.  I suggest you start drinking more.  It’ll relax you, and then you can always blame yr rage on the a-a-a-a-a-alcohol.

Feelin' on yr butt - what?

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Really Jezebel?

April 16, 2009

By Laurenesss
What’s wrong with this picture?
really-jez6
First, notice the post at the top of the screen-cap titled “Is The History Of Women A History Of Hate?” Then, look just below it at the sponsored ad for the book “Why He Didn’t Call You Back.”

Here’s an excerpt from this gem of an advice book published by the same author who also wrote “Find a Husband After 35 Using What I Learned at Harvard Business School.”

“It’s the riddle of the Sphinx: “Why didn’t he call me back?” You have a great date with a promising guy. You think it went well and expect to see him again…but then poof! He vanishes inexplicably.”

I’m going to save you the time of reading through the 1st chapter by summarizing it all too briefly below:

IT’S BECAUSE HE HATES YOU.

I know advertising isn’t as easy to come by in this recession, but really Jezebel? Are you that desperate?


Stop Breaking My Hearttt: Rock of Love Bus

April 10, 2009

by Tommy

Ahhh Rock of Love Bus, do you remember the time?

Rock of Love Bus 2008

It was all so simple then. A bunch of pvc puffy-lipped clown-tit chicks and one white 47-year-old has-been. Rock of Love Bus is one of my– well I was going to say “guilty” pleasures but I don’t have any of those (except maybe hot dogs). It’s one of my not-so-guilty pleasures. Its one of my… olestra pleasures I guess? Errrrr n/m I just think its not-boring and really thats my only criteria for anything ever. Surprise me! So last Sunday night I was curled up at Jess’s place with some tamales from the new taco shop by her apartment and as we watched Rock of Herpes I realized something terrible. At first I thought it was just an affect of spending the day drinking Jameson and eating Peeps at Jiddy’s spring fling tea party, but horribly no. I realized that I’ve just been going through the motions over the past few weeks. I was fantasizing about other shows, arguing with RLB a lot more, laughing less and less and had just generally checked out. The only redeeming parts of the whole episode were the flashbacks to previous episodes. I realized I longed for RLB when I was watching RLB.

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