Hilary Duff: Joy for pre-teens, not just Humbert Humbert

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from the Los Angeles Times


January 26, 2004


Duff: She's no pop tart


Thousands of preteens -- sugared up and waving glow-sticks -- were attending their first Hilary Duff concert. And accompanying, in one of the greatest rituals of modern times, were parents, embarrassedly reminiscing about their own first concerts.


"I threw up on my sneakers for Ten Years After in Long Beach in '71,"
said one father. "I drank so much Piels on the way to Black Sabbath/Slade at the Spectrum in '74, my buddy had to let me jump over the guard rail on the Schuylkill Expressway to take a wiz," yelled another.


It was easy to picture the kids of these parents in 20, 30, 40 years, taking their children to their first concerts, while embarrassedly reminiscing about this day. "I was so excited I wet myself," one might say. "I screamed so long I swallowed my chewing gum," another.


It could be an embarrassment party, but not too embarrassing, because -- after all -- nothing can top falling unconscious in a puddle of your own sick for AC/DC or carving "Slatannic Wehrmacht" in your forearm with a razor-knife while Slayer was onstage.


Sure, Duff's popularity -- her debut album has sold three million copies in the U.S. -- springs from her Disney work.


Sure, she's a cream puff who appeared to be faking ala Milli Vanilli through the entire show.


But she also seemed the perfect star for the pre-teen crowd, and why shouldn't they have their own pop stars? Do you want your little girl etching "Slatannic Wehrmacht" on her tit or piling into the tour bus after the show to be videotaped having sex with someone from Mudvayne?


Presenting herself as a straightforward power rocker in black tank top, skin-tight pants and white knee-high boots, she looked more like that bitch who fronted Hairy Clam in "Prey for Rock and Roll" than Britney, Christina or Justin.


Her songs were uniformly robust and catchy, with state-of-the-art hack playing and production.


Most noteworthy, while the now sixteen-year-old's image has been sexualized, it was still quite wholesome, not like the Humbert Humbert-bait, Spears.


A sense of even more wholesome girl power was reinforced by the fact that with the drummer -- in a sort of dominatrix outfit, three backup singers and an onstage video-deejay, all female, Duff and her gender-mates, outnumbered males in the act six to four!


It's a symbol for superior all-American goodness, one that should be fostered by parents who could insist that if junior is to be allowed to practice Misfits covers in the basement with his gender-mates, then at least a couple girls are to be included.


"There's a whole bunch of people who look like pop stars, and there's Duff who looks like a 16-year old who is a pop star. The audience thinks she looks like them, and they love that. They love the idea that her pathological warehouse-sized closet full of shoes could be their closet, if they had a couple million dollars," says Joe Levy, music editor of Rolling Stone.


George Smith, Monday, 26 January 2004 20:59 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

you know, i'm actually kinda glad we're moving back into an era when teen pop is just for pre-teens and rock critics reflexively bash it for this very fact. but this one doesn't know quite what it wants to say, does it?

strongo hulkington (dubplatestyle), Monday, 26 January 2004 21:06 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

ha ha I was thinking, what the fuck does Hubert Humphrey have to do with this? And then I was like, oh yeah. Gross.

Huck Hurts (Horace Mann), Monday, 26 January 2004 21:07 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

A few months ago, I went to a local open mic night most frequented by 40-something guys covering Neil Young or Dylan. This teenage girl comes up to the mic, the guy helps her set up a boombox or karoake machine, I'm not sure which. And she proceeds to 'sing' over recordings of at least five Hilary Duff songs, without stopping. It never seemed to end... I guess I give her props for initiative, though, since it took me 26 years to overcome my fear of singing in public.

Blood and sparkles (bloodandsparkles), Monday, 26 January 2004 21:25 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

When the Hilary Duff tour comes to my town I'm gonna down a handle of JD and go raise a ruckus.

nickalicious (nickalicious), Monday, 26 January 2004 21:40 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

At the concert that is.

nickalicious (nickalicious), Monday, 26 January 2004 21:40 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

'don't ask me, i'm just a girl'

stevem (blueski), Monday, 26 January 2004 21:45 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I love "Come Clean" - is there more Hillary I should investigate?

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Monday, 26 January 2004 22:42 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

yes, you might also like "statik", dillinja's remix of "me or the papes", and her contribution to gang starr's "i'm the man".

strongo hulkington (dubplatestyle), Monday, 26 January 2004 22:57 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

That's funny strongo but I hope you don't think I'm being faux-naif. I'm serious! I didn't like "So Yesterday" much though. Or her version on Lenky's Dreamweaver riddim either.

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Monday, 26 January 2004 23:27 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

"The Math".

edward o (edwardo), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 09:40 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I dunno, man. She looks quite scrumptious for a such a young starlet.

Fido Dido Wino (Francis Watlington), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 12:39 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Thanks Edward, I knew you'd come through with the goods!

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Wednesday, 28 January 2004 00:13 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

one year passes...
omg "Wake Up" is so pretty!

Sterling Clover (s_clover), Friday, 9 September 2005 20:34 (eleven years ago) Permalink

one year passes...
i think hilary at her best is maybe...the very best of the teenpop stars? there's something about her older material (pre-the new album, which is terrific but in a different way) which is tremendously emotionally resonant, and wonderfully crafted: her phrasing is exquisite, the production straddles rough and smooth in just the right way, even the lyrics are great!

this is all based on the brilliance of five tracks:

come clean
wake up
the math
fly
beat of my heart

what else of hilarity's older material is as great as this?

lex pretend, Monday, 14 May 2007 12:44 (nine years ago) Permalink

my kid has album you refer to -- possible the most moronic lyrics I've ever heard ;-)

m coleman, Monday, 14 May 2007 12:52 (nine years ago) Permalink

you know, i'm actually kinda glad we're moving back into an era when teen pop is just for pre-teens and rock critics reflexively bash it for this very fact. but this one doesn't know quite what it wants to say, does it?

-- strongo hulkington (dubplatestyle), Monday, 26 January 2004 21:06

oh, strongopaws, how wrong you were :(

Alex in Baltimore, Monday, 14 May 2007 12:58 (nine years ago) Permalink

i'm no crystal ball

strongohulkington, Monday, 14 May 2007 13:11 (nine years ago) Permalink

interesting, er, thread to choose, lex

Frogman Henry, Monday, 14 May 2007 13:11 (nine years ago) Permalink

the list of bands who i've drunkenly assured my friends "well that's the last we'll hear of THEM," who then went on to become international superstars, is quite long

strongohulkington, Monday, 14 May 2007 13:13 (nine years ago) Permalink

interesting, er, thread to choose, lex

there weren't too many specifically about hilary!

i feel that not everyone is treating this as seriously as they could

lex pretend, Monday, 14 May 2007 13:17 (nine years ago) Permalink

RIP Haylie Duff

Dom Passantino, Monday, 14 May 2007 13:17 (nine years ago) Permalink

jess i have a little moeny to invest in shares, any tips? i hear the housing market over there is good?

696, Monday, 14 May 2007 13:18 (nine years ago) Permalink

HOT: curmudgeonly old folks and free jazz
NOT: hilary duff and "fun"

strongohulkington, Monday, 14 May 2007 13:21 (nine years ago) Permalink

yeah, i was more weeping for the future than gloating over your error, strongo.

Duff's had a couple decent singles but she has the same kind of expressionless little child voice as Sanjaya Malakar. except she still sounds like that even now that she's like 20 years old and has no excuse.

Alex in Baltimore, Monday, 14 May 2007 13:22 (nine years ago) Permalink

hilary duff isn't particularly fun. but she is hot, cuz she's fly. you ain't cuz you not.

lex pretend, Monday, 14 May 2007 13:23 (nine years ago) Permalink

hilary's duff is probably the least "expressionless" of any teenpop singer!!! she really nails her lyrics, she sings them with the exact vague wistfulness/melancholy/yearning that they need. little-girlish yes, but she was a girl. i don't think that's something to castigate her over.

and she doesn't really sound like that any more.

lex pretend, Monday, 14 May 2007 13:25 (nine years ago) Permalink

I mean it's not like I expect every pop singer to be a powerhouse vocalist but honestly when critics talk about "the sharpness of Lindsay's phrasing or the force of Ashlee's personality" they just sound deluded.

(xpost dude i've heard her new singles, her voice sounds exactly the same as it did a few years ago)

Alex in Baltimore, Monday, 14 May 2007 13:26 (nine years ago) Permalink

jess i have a little moet on the shelf. should i drink it?

696, Monday, 14 May 2007 13:26 (nine years ago) Permalink

her voice is REALLY BAD. above and beyond the cartoonish, OTT platitudes, this is why i can never take lex's duff obsession seriously.

xpost, yes

strongohulkington, Monday, 14 May 2007 13:26 (nine years ago) Permalink

lex do you think hilary is not girl, not yet a woman?

696, Monday, 14 May 2007 13:27 (nine years ago) Permalink

honestly for people who claim to dislike hilary, jess and alex sure were all over her thread the minute i bumped it! i think they love the duff more than they care to admit

lex pretend, Monday, 14 May 2007 13:29 (nine years ago) Permalink

The only good Duff single is "Come Clean", which may as well have been sung by an Atari 2600 for all the human quality to her vocals.

Dom Passantino, Monday, 14 May 2007 13:29 (nine years ago) Permalink

well, like I said, she's had a couple good singles! and she used to be cute, before her facial features got all Skeletor in the last year or two. (xpost Dom OTM)

Alex in Baltimore, Monday, 14 May 2007 13:30 (nine years ago) Permalink

i admit it: i love the duff

Frogman Henry, Monday, 14 May 2007 13:33 (nine years ago) Permalink

this is what i do instead of reading the times with my coffee every morning while waking up

strongohulkington, Monday, 14 May 2007 13:34 (nine years ago) Permalink

well then would you care to talk about what you like about her then, or perhaps even engage with what i've said about her, rather than lazily dismissing entire swathes of opinion just because you can't get over yourself enough to admit you like it without a thousand qualifications to keep your distance from it? seriously being all curmudgeonly is not an appealing look no matter how hard you and jess try to cultivate it - it just makes you look old (ie irrelevant)

xp to alex

lex pretend, Monday, 14 May 2007 13:35 (nine years ago) Permalink

lol

Dom Passantino, Monday, 14 May 2007 13:38 (nine years ago) Permalink

my favourite moment of 'come clean' is that line "and going out is better than always staying in" - there's a fantastic chord change on the word "always", there's a sudden guitar peal, it lifts the song from moody introversion into something v positive and hopeful, and then of course the chorus comes crashing in rather wonderfully

lex pretend, Monday, 14 May 2007 13:38 (nine years ago) Permalink

okay let's go

"which is tremendously emotionally resonant,"

this means nothing without being fleshed out and backed up

"and wonderfully crafted"

ditto

"her phrasing is exquisite,"

ditto

"the production straddles rough and smooth in just the right way,"

getting there, but still tells me nothing

"even the lyrics are great!"

ditto

strongohulkington, Monday, 14 May 2007 13:38 (nine years ago) Permalink

I remember last time I had this argument on ILM I pointed out like two dozen 'teenpop' artists I've enjoyed recent singles by, it's not like I hate the stuff across the board. But you can praise it on its own terms, and not force a bunch of hyperbole about the quality of their vocal performances (i.e. "tremendously emotionally resonant, and wonderfully crafted: her phrasing is exquisite").

I don't mind looking old when the alternative is trying to trying to emulate the taste and writing style of a 12-year-old girl.

(haha xpost ok strongo said it better)

Alex in Baltimore, Monday, 14 May 2007 13:39 (nine years ago) Permalink

i could plug in "mary j. blige," "morton feldman," or "shellac" in there and it would mean the same thing, i.e. nothing.

strongohulkington, Monday, 14 May 2007 13:39 (nine years ago) Permalink

basically lex, this would be sent back for rewrites immediately and/or i'd just scrap the assignment, issue you a kill fee, and wish you well in whatever future non-writing career you'd like.

strongohulkington, Monday, 14 May 2007 13:40 (nine years ago) Permalink

i think Shellac at their best is maybe...the very best of the teenpop stars?

Alex in Baltimore, Monday, 14 May 2007 13:41 (nine years ago) Permalink

has lex seen logan's run. has this joke been made before.

Frogman Henry, Monday, 14 May 2007 13:41 (nine years ago) Permalink

Dom Passantino, Monday, 14 May 2007 13:41 (nine years ago) Permalink

jess this is ilm, i'm not going to put the same effort into it as into, you know, actual writing

lex pretend, Monday, 14 May 2007 13:41 (nine years ago) Permalink

unless you want to pay me of course

lex pretend, Monday, 14 May 2007 13:42 (nine years ago) Permalink

i dunno guys, i think shes at the age where a little drink driving could really help her profile

im not sure racism is a good look for hilary just yet, but in a couple of years, she could try see if she could pull that off?

696, Monday, 14 May 2007 13:42 (nine years ago) Permalink

xpost

of course! but don't expect me to "seriously engage" with the critical equivalent of text message mash notes in that case.

strongohulkington, Monday, 14 May 2007 13:43 (nine years ago) Permalink

i feel like the people i've watched waste precious minutes of their life trying to get Geir to make sense.

Alex in Baltimore, Monday, 14 May 2007 13:43 (nine years ago) Permalink

(the math and beat of my heart are great singles btw, not sure about the more recent stuff)

696, Monday, 14 May 2007 13:44 (nine years ago) Permalink

that's what ilm is kind of based on

xps

lex pretend, Monday, 14 May 2007 13:44 (nine years ago) Permalink

"i think Shellac at their best is maybe...the very best of the teenpop stars?"

Todd Trainer is foxy.

David R., Monday, 14 May 2007 13:54 (nine years ago) Permalink

hilary's startin to look a little like atomizer-era albini come to think of it

strongohulkington, Monday, 14 May 2007 13:55 (nine years ago) Permalink

I think I'll take songs from Dignity and Good Morning Revival and make an 11-13 song Rumours: The Next Generation. If only their labels did!

x-post sad but true

da croupier, Monday, 14 May 2007 13:59 (nine years ago) Permalink

the lyrics to "jordan, minnesota" could probably do with posting on the rolling teenpop thread

strongohulkington, Monday, 14 May 2007 14:02 (nine years ago) Permalink

Songs About Fucking: The Rolling 2007 Teenpop Thread

David R., Monday, 14 May 2007 14:32 (nine years ago) Permalink

[i]when critics talk about "the sharpness of Lindsay's phrasing or the force of Ashlee's personality" they just sound deluded.[i]

I can only think of one person who said that, actually. (It was me.) How is this "deluded"? (I dunno about the "sharpness of Lindsay's phrasing" bit anyway, this was compared to Kara DioGuardi, who co-writes a lot of Lindsay/Ashlee/Hilary's songs, and her phrasing is much sharper. So I was wrong there...but I do think there's something about Lindsay's delivery that's more interesting than Kara's.)

dabug, Monday, 14 May 2007 14:34 (nine years ago) Permalink

Yahoo! Answers - Is Aly and Aj's new song about fornication?

dabug, Monday, 14 May 2007 14:35 (nine years ago) Permalink

Yeah, I'm not gonna defend Platinum Weird, believe me. That bit I quoted just always struck me as odd. Someone like Lohan is, to me, the epitome of a merely adequate (or "adequite") vocalist, someone whose songs might be occasionally good or great (I guess? "Over" was OK), but usually in spite of, not because of, her performances. Of course everyone has their own taste and a right to defend it, but it just seems like such a stretch to praise her or Ashlee when you don't have to look far to find a much more skilled vocalist like, say, Kelly Clarkson or even Pink, doing similiar material. I read lines like that and just feel like someone's been drinking deep from the well of ILM teenpop Kool-Aid.

Alex in Baltimore, Monday, 14 May 2007 14:54 (nine years ago) Permalink

No way, you should listen to her performance on "I Live for the Day," which is pretty much hands-down her best song. I can imagine Kara singing that song and sounding...uh, "sharp," but not getting that sort of desperate (desperite) tone that Lindsay gets. (And Lindsay's more playful on her first album than Kara usually is, too, but I still wouldn't use the word sharp.)

Also, Kelly Clarkson and Pink are both more "skilled" than Ashlee if you mean divas/powerhouse voice, but the powerhouse failed Pink with, e.g., Dr. Luke where Paris (whose voice is the antithesis of powerhouse) succeeded, and Kelly and Ashlee are about on the same level of emotional resonance (not hyperbole/baiting-talk) but I prefer Ashlee, partly because she doesn't have a diva voice to fall back on. Although I do think that a lot of critics greatly underestimate how good her voice is because of the various fiascos and the underlying assumption that she was autotuned (or something), which isn't really a problem with Kelly.

(I was drinking deep from the well of teenpop Kool-Aid before it came to ILM. But that's interesting...is there a perception that "ILM teenpop" is a pass-the-Kool-Aid deal? I always assumed it was generally seen as Frank Kogan's blog + spillover genre thread shenanigans + lone loonies chiming in about the Radio Disney playlist + a million "cryptic" tangents about Issues in Pop)

dabug, Monday, 14 May 2007 15:04 (nine years ago) Permalink

I will say this, Lohan's phrasing is sharper when she's singing than when she's reading dialogue, but that's faint praise. I haven't heard any deep cuts, though, so I'll reserve judgement on all her music and the song you singled out. As I said before, "it's not like I expect every pop singer to be a powerhouse vocalist," and I love a lot of music by people who are not great singers in the traditional sense, some of it even vocal-centered pop. But this almost strikes me as a matter of how able (or willing) someone is to like a song without feeling the need to love or defend every single thing about it. I can love a song unreservedly while still acknowledging that it's mainly the bassline or the bridge or a vocal tic that does it for me, whereas I don't see someone like The Lex as capable of anything in between despising a song or loving it to bits and praising every little part of it as genius. "Nothing In This World" is a fine song, and Paris's vocal suits it well, any vocal limitations she has don't hinder it and she does exactly what the song needs, no more, no less. But I can say that without deciding she's absolutely brilliant, or giving all the credit to the songwriter/producer to cop out on liking a Paris Hilton song.

And again, it's all relative, but I wouldn't call "U + Ur Hand" a failure at all, even aside from its current chart triumph.

Alex in Baltimore, Monday, 14 May 2007 15:19 (nine years ago) Permalink

Also, you or Kogan or whoever may be a leader rather than a follower in the whole overanalyzing-teenpop-craze, or you might be lone iconoclasts who just happen to be writing/posting in the same places as likeminded individuals, but from the perspective of a fairly sympathetic outsider (despite my name, I am not going to go all Alex in NYC and denounce all of it as flaming pablum), yeah, it does look like a bunch of Kool-Aid drinking to me, a possibly worthwhile school of thought taken to completely hysterical extremes.

Alex in Baltimore, Monday, 14 May 2007 15:36 (nine years ago) Permalink

how able (or willing) someone is to like a song without feeling the need to love or defend every single thing about it

But a lot of these songs (and one thing that's great about them) is how you deal with warts-and-all baggage, or, maybe more importantly, start wondering why the "warts" should be warts in the first place (e.g., "copping out on liking a Paris Hilton song" -- but I won't go into that). With Lindsay, there's literal/figurative baggage in a song like "Confessions" (not one of her best songs, but not a bad song) like her tabloid history, her presumed audience, manipulative over-the-top video, etc. etc. that makes it more interesting to try to get a handle on as a whole (in terms of an instinctual like/dislike/is-it-any-good reaction) than, say, "Sweet Escape" (using a totally random example). Or compare what it means to like a Fergie song to liking a Gwen or P!nk song (both of whom Fergie out-did in her own way on her last album).

So one thing I like about the teenpop thread is that it's somewhere to go to challenge who/what's relevant/important and why -- not that there aren't biases and assumptions there, too, but that they tend to be unusual ones, and usually nothing's set in stone and could be uprooted or invalidated in the course of an argument (or not -- I still hate Avril pretty much instinctively, but I also know I'm right so that makes a difference).

dabug, Monday, 14 May 2007 15:40 (nine years ago) Permalink

Well...is this really a "craze"? You've mentioned me and Frank individually (and the Lex upthread)...but that only leaves a handful of people who even post there occasionally. A few of them are part of the poptimists community, which is probably what led them there in the first place, and most of the rest are already established posters on ILM. So who/what is hysterical, if it's not the people you've already mentioned (and if it is, how are we hysterical)? (And just to be clear, I don't mean to sound antagonistic and I'm not asking you to name names or anything, I'm just curious as to what constitutes "hysteria" or "Kool-Aid drinking.")

dabug, Monday, 14 May 2007 15:44 (nine years ago) Permalink

But a lot of these songs (and one thing that's great about them) is how you deal with warts-and-all baggage, or, maybe more importantly, start wondering why the "warts" should be warts in the first place (e.g., "copping out on liking a Paris Hilton song" -- but I won't go into that).

But see, this is where I get a condescending attitude about this stuff, not necessarily from you right here but in general -- a combination of "oh, you're just getting hung up on your superficial opinion of Paris/Lindsay/Ashlee's personal life, you're not really listening to the music," but with the added and possibly contradictory twist of "but the tabloid controversies actually add context and emotional resonance to their songs!" I get it, I do, with pop music the performer's whole life and persona are part of the package. Maybe it's just that I've never been a big fan of superstars whining about fame in song. With someone like Lohan, it's kind of worse, because she was famous well before she even released a single, so "Rumors" was the kind of whiny, self-serving meta that Britney didn't start doing until maybe her 3rd or 4th album. It's like her career started with all the self-consciousness and paranoia that Michael Jackson needed a couple decades in the spotlight to develop. It's all very interesting I guess, but I don't think it makes that kind of music inherently worthwhile.

(xpost - I think any thread that reaches posts in the quadruple digits qualifies as a craze/phenomenon, at least in ILM's little fishbowl, whether it's a thousand people posting once or five people posting 200 times)

Alex in Baltimore, Monday, 14 May 2007 16:11 (nine years ago) Permalink

I mean, the fact there is a "poptimists community" to speak of suggests that there is a craze, or at least a trend of some sort, going on.

Alex in Baltimore, Monday, 14 May 2007 16:14 (nine years ago) Permalink

The Poptimists community doesn't talk about teen pop as much Alex - I started it mostly as a way to consolidate a load of LJ talk about music into one place, and called it Poptimists so as to cross-sell the Poptimism club night.

Groke, Monday, 14 May 2007 16:24 (nine years ago) Permalink

whereas I don't see someone like The Lex as capable of anything in between despising a song or loving it to bits and praising every little part of it as genius

this kind of thing just makes me think you only read a tiny handful of the things i ever post on ilm, let alone write properly about

it does look like a bunch of Kool-Aid drinking to me, a possibly worthwhile school of thought taken to completely hysterical extremes

and this kind of thing makes me think you don't actually read the teenpop thread, where i've seen a good proportion of umm-ing, ahh-ing and flat-out dissing of various sub-par teenpop efforts (or even irrational hates like dave and avril). it doesn't seem any more hysterical than any other rolling genre thread, though obv there's a fair amount of boosterism when teenpop advocates post outside it, but for some reason it seems that more people have issues with the fact that it exists at all, in particular you.

With someone like Lohan, it's kind of worse, because she was famous well before she even released a single, so "Rumors" was the kind of whiny, self-serving meta that Britney didn't start doing until maybe her 3rd or 4th album

i love 'rumors' and yeah, maybe it is whiny, but the adjective i'd choose well before that is "immature": she doesn't sound justified, she does sound petulant, but i don't hold that against the song. liking 'rumors' doesn't mean that i think people should leave poor ickle lindsay alone - just that i think her petulance sells the song. the fact that it's more than a little tinged with paranoia is really effective (esp the lil' jon rmx!), it's like a really strung-out version of britney's 'overprotected'.

as for going overboard on paris, i think she made the second best album of last year! i think there's barely anything wrong with it, is it so hard for you to accept that i love it wholeheartedly? i mean it's what i have to accept every time i see hot chip or gnarls barkley in year-end lists, acts i like just fine but can't understand how people would love.

lex pretend, Monday, 14 May 2007 16:26 (nine years ago) Permalink

yeah, it's possible I'm misreading the origins or intentions of "poptimism," mainly because usually when I see that word I feel nauseous and read no further. (xpost)

Alex in Baltimore, Monday, 14 May 2007 16:28 (nine years ago) Permalink

It's not hard for me to accept you loving the Paris Hilton record -- I'd rather listen to it (or at least the one single I liked) than fucking Hot Chip too. I think it's harder for you to accept that I or other people can not flat-out love the Paris Hilton record for any reason other than 'rockism' or disliking her as a public figure.

Alex in Baltimore, Monday, 14 May 2007 16:32 (nine years ago) Permalink

when you say things like "when I see that word [poptimism] I feel nauseous and read no further" it really is quite hard for me not to assume there's a massive element of kneejerk prejudice against pop, though.

and maybe this doesn't apply to you but you can't really deny that there are loads of people who would never, ever admit to liking the paris hilton album because of who she is!

lex pretend, Monday, 14 May 2007 16:37 (nine years ago) Permalink

cmon the word poptimism is terrible

696, Monday, 14 May 2007 16:41 (nine years ago) Permalink

When I say poptimists community, I mean it literally, and I don't know if I'd draw a direct link btw Poptimists and 2007 Teenpop (there are lots of indirect links).

I understand your skepticism, but I think you're also to some extent misrepresenting what we've been saying about these artists (at least in your last post).

oh, you're just getting hung up on your superficial opinion of Paris/Lindsay/Ashlee's personal life, you're not really listening to the music

Often the opinions about the personal life etc. are superficial, but I'm not just saying that "you're not really listening to the music" (which is true sometimes). Usually the critics in question have technically listened to and then basically ignored critical judgment of the music (be it like or dislike, and with Paris it was about 50/50) in favor of arguing a larger point about the celeb -- and this is totally valid if it's what they want to argue. But they wind up arguing stupid points in a stupid way, saying things that reveal more about themselves and their social prejudices/hang-ups than they do about Paris or Ashlee or Lindsay -- as analysis of the celebs OR their music, it's completely unhelpful.

but the tabloid controversies actually add context and emotional resonance to their songs

I'm also not (necessarily) arguing this at all; sometimes tabloid context informs a song in how people hear it, but this doesn't always add emotional resonance. Ashlee's "Shadow" is more emotionally resonant when you know who she is (via tabloids) vs. who she wants to be...the line "don't feel sorry for me" is frustrating and kind of sad, because no one really does feel sorry for her, so you could say "don't worry, I won't feel sorry for you" or "what a pathetic thing to say" but probably not "wow, I guess I really shouldn't feel sorry for her, she's doing fine now." (And the rest of her songs are for the most part about how she's not fine, and sometimes I do feel sorry for her.) Here there's a real-life (as seen in tabloids) component that enriches it. But tabloid-baggage in and of itself isn't an enriching factor; "Rumors" is a good example of it essentially offering nothing (and it's a Lindsay song I don't particularly like). In Paris's "Jealousy" tabloid context is sort of moot -- knowing it's about Nicole Ritchie doesn't really add much to the song one way or another. Ditto knowing Kelly's "Never Again" is about the Evanescence guy.

Anyway, for the most part, teenpop is rarely celebrity-conscious (how could it be when so many of the artists are all but completely unknown) -- celebrity has usually been a fairly incidental aspect of the thread, actually, though it comes up occasionally. I think that celebrity-consciousness-pop was (1) never really that pervasisve, and limited to a very select handful of artists, almost all of whom are amazing btw (Britney, Ashlee, Lindsay, Paris tho rarely), (2) never itself that interesting, and always working in tandem with whatever was working within the song itself, and (3) never really that "whiny." And when it was a little whiny (like "Confessions," maybe), it was also pretty controversial and anomalous. (But anyone who thinks "Rumors" or Ashlee's "Boyfriend," for instance, took themselves that seriously is projecting something onto the songs -- they're fun!)

dabug, Monday, 14 May 2007 16:43 (nine years ago) Permalink

woops xposts

dabug, Monday, 14 May 2007 16:43 (nine years ago) Permalink

i mean, i dont really get the whole poptimist aesthetic either, and it might well be a kneejerk thing (for me), but i dont think its against pop music!

696, Monday, 14 May 2007 16:44 (nine years ago) Permalink

anyone who thinks "Rumors" or Ashlee's "Boyfriend," for instance, took themselves that seriously is projecting something onto the songs -- they're fun!



i'll give you "Boyfriend," but you're reaching with "Rumors". Using the word "fun" in a lyric does not in and of itself make it a fun song.

Alex in Baltimore, Monday, 14 May 2007 16:48 (nine years ago) Permalink

B-b-but you're supposed to dance to it! In a club, even! Or at least in front of your mirror using a hairbrush as a microph--er, in front of your computer at work.

dabug, Monday, 14 May 2007 16:50 (nine years ago) Permalink

And if you could clarify what you mean by "Kool-Aid-drinking" before it becomes a mini-meme, that'd be good.

dabug, Monday, 14 May 2007 16:51 (nine years ago) Permalink

696 is right -- that's like calling pizza "pizzity-poo" and then saying I hate pizza when I point out that it's a stupid name.

(xpost -- just because something is categorically a "club song" doesn't make it fun. otherwise pop and rap radio in general would be great all the time, which it isn't. i was more scared off from the Paris Hilton album by the presence of Scott Storch, master of the deathly dull club song, than by Paris herself)

(and Kool-Aid was a meme well before this thread or even ILM)

Alex in Baltimore, Monday, 14 May 2007 16:55 (nine years ago) Permalink

Well, yeah, I meant in respect to the teenpop thread specifically. I'm just trying to get at what you mean by this, because I think it's interesting. (I'm aware of the X-Files episode this idea originated from, one of the weakest of the series.)

dabug, Monday, 14 May 2007 16:59 (nine years ago) Permalink

not the X-Files

David R., Monday, 14 May 2007 17:03 (nine years ago) Permalink

(oh COME ON)

dabug, Monday, 14 May 2007 17:04 (nine years ago) Permalink

(I ain't assuming a damn thing on these threads)

David R., Monday, 14 May 2007 17:07 (nine years ago) Permalink

Yeah, it's just a euphemism for cultlike behavior (I think there are some connotations with Merry Pranksters/Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test there, too). The teenpop thing always seemed like a hivemind to me, not too different from a lot of other ILM hivemind behavior, with plenty of smart, free-thinking individuals involved but also toeing the line and promoting a certain ideology to some extent.

Alex in Baltimore, Monday, 14 May 2007 17:09 (nine years ago) Permalink

(</(FAILED)JOKE>, then)

dabug, Monday, 14 May 2007 17:09 (nine years ago) Permalink

Don't mean to keep prodding this along (oh wait, yes I do), but again, you've already mentioned by name about 40% of the people that even post there at all. There's no hive! If there are enough smart, free-thinking individuals to = "plenty," then it doesn't leave a lot of bees to choose from. (I don't know how the thread could even be coherent enough from day to day to even suggest an ideology, let alone actively promote one to anyone else.)

dabug, Monday, 14 May 2007 17:12 (nine years ago) Permalink

Yeah, maybe my choice of words is just poor here and I'm implying a larger number of people and smaller range of opinions than there really is on the Teenpop thread. But I'm seeing at least a couple dozen different screennames posting multiple times on there, so maybe you're only talking about the core handful of people that post every day and I'm not. But I was never making a big to-do about counting exactly how many people post there (what I said before: "I think any thread that reaches posts in the quadruple digits qualifies as a craze/phenomenon, at least in ILM's little fishbowl, whether it's a thousand people posting once or five people posting 200 times"). I'm not saying it's a calculated movement taking over the world. But I think it might represent the new school of bad pop writing, where instead of ironic "guilty pleasure" hand-wringing, I see a lot of pious, worshipful enthusiasm like, I don't know, calling Lindsay Lohan's music "amazing" like you just did.

Alex in Baltimore, Monday, 14 May 2007 17:22 (nine years ago) Permalink

Stuff that makes the Rolling Teenpop Thread different from other threads, aside from the music it covers (from the POV of a sympathetic non-poster):

- Focus on the nitty-gritty of sales, airplay, performance, how popular stuff is. This is a good thing, because i. the popularity of pop music is part of what makes it pop music, ii. since very few people keep teenpop acts under contract because of prestige, so the popularity materially affects whether the acts get to make more of it.

- Frank Kogan sets the stylistic tone for the thread - chatty, lots of questioning, interrogation, qualifiers. Quite a few posters follow this tone (it's not quite as simple as 'wanting to write like Frank' though).

- It's a very NICE thread: no image bombing, no snarking, not many one-liner dismissals - quite a lot of one-liner praise though. This is unusual on ILM these days. Even the complaints about unsuccessful teenpop tend not to be put-downs.

Also in common with the other Rolling threads it's positive and upbeat and doesn't waste time explaining who people are to the non-initiate.

All of this gives it the Hivemind/cultish aura to outsiders, though I agree there's nothing in it so strong as an 'ideology' (unless "thinking Teenpop is worth talking about" counts).

Groke, Monday, 14 May 2007 17:26 (nine years ago) Permalink

I mean, look at the rolling snap/rap thread - I'd say there's a pretty broad range of opinions and thought processes between me, ethan, deej, m@tt, etc., but I wouldn't be appalled if someone pointed out that there are certain pervasive biases and accepted wisdom that get reinforced there. that's how this shit works! (xpost)

Alex in Baltimore, Monday, 14 May 2007 17:27 (nine years ago) Permalink

But I call Lindsay Lohan's music amazing because I listen to her albums constantly and think they're amazing! (And have gone into more detail elsewhere about it, and don't feel like repeating myself every time I make a statement like "Lindsay Lohan's music is amazing," since this doesn't seem to be required for any other threads in the fishbowl.)

And I wouldn't call my calling her "amazing" "good or bad" pop writing. I think my analysis of "I Live for the Day" on the 2006 thread was good pop writing; that Platinum Weird review you cited was mediocre-not-terrible pop writing; but my good-to-mediocre ratio has improved since I started writing about Lindsay, and the music writing on the teenpop thread is better than the majority of what I read outside of the thread. And I wouldn't say that "pious" or "worshipful" enthusiasm even remotely describes the overall tone of the teenpop thread.

dabug, Monday, 14 May 2007 17:30 (nine years ago) Permalink

And I'm only appalled (not actually appalled) because I don't think you're really getting at what the biases and accepted wisdom really are. Here are a few: relatively little discussion about R&B, hip-hop, black artists in general, too much benefit of the doubt given to artists closest to the "core intended audience base" (i.e. Disneypop), not enough exploration of why Avril is so terrible and shouldn't be trusted (but that's MY personal bias). Oh, and not enough males being discussed, though the ratio has to be something like 10:1 as it is (the boys ain't bringin' it teenpopwise...Jonas Brothers get some consideration, I guess).

dabug, Monday, 14 May 2007 17:37 (nine years ago) Permalink

yeawh, sorry, i didn't mean to turn this into "you're a bad writer" stone-throwing, lord knows i'm in a glass house over here.

Alex in Baltimore, Monday, 14 May 2007 17:39 (nine years ago) Permalink

You can call me a bad writer all ya want (I'll give you a head start if you like), I'm more interested in where the bad pop writing from the teenpop thread is. What I'm arguing here is that the writing on the teenpop thread is BETTER than the majority of music writing I read anywhere else.

dabug, Monday, 14 May 2007 17:41 (nine years ago) Permalink

(Er, again, this is coming out very "name names"-ish, and I don't intend it to be. But the last sentence in that post^ is the important one.)

dabug, Monday, 14 May 2007 17:44 (nine years ago) Permalink

Saying that taking teenpop very seriously vs. ironic shits and giggled "might represent the new school of bad pop writing" was me worrying about a growing trend of critics adopting the authorial tone of a squealing 12-year-old girl, but that was a broader swipe; I don't blame the Teenpop thread for all Juli@nne Sh3ph3rd-type "omg omg!" raves. Besides, criticizing message board posts for being poorly written would be kind of harsh and unfair.

Alex in Baltimore, Monday, 14 May 2007 17:49 (nine years ago) Permalink

(I love JS's writing, turned me on to "Lip Gloss," too, so maybe we're just at odds on this point. I don't think there are enough squealing 12-year-old girls in music writing; there are too many 19 year old boys.)

dabug, Monday, 14 May 2007 18:06 (nine years ago) Permalink

(And 24 year old boys. And 32 year old boys. 18-45 M)

dabug, Monday, 14 May 2007 18:07 (nine years ago) Permalink

I see a lot of pious, worshipful enthusiasm like, I don't know, calling Lindsay Lohan's music "amazing"

Yeah, this is a really bizarre complaint -- As opposed to all the threads (rolling and otherwise) on ILM where nobody ever worships any music enthusiastically or calls it amazing? Where exactly are these threads?

I barely ever post on the rolling teenpop thread myself; as I've said there and elsewhere, I tend to lose the plot of the discussion going on there way too quickly, and there's a sense in which the discussion often strikes me as fairly insular. Though that might just mean that I don't have the energy to invest in thinking about that kind of music anymore, or even to listen to all that much of it these days. And unlike most other threads on ILM (and probably even more than the two rolling threads I do tend to post way more frequently on -- the country one and the metal one), the teen-pop thread is packed with thinking and discussion, dissecting really minute details of the music, in fact. So maybe that's what bugs people about it? That people actually stretch out and discuss the music? Maybe that's valid, maybe it isn't (personally I'd think discussion would be a good[/] thing, though yeah, maybe the teenpop balance can tip a little too heavily toward lyric interpretation for my own tastes, and I don't personally care about the personal lives of celebrities and probably never will), but as often as not complaints about the thread seem to take the form of questioning teenpop thread posters' integrity (e.g., they can't [i]really believe what they're saying about Lindsay or Paris or Ashlee or Avril, because I don't personally like that music, so they must be lying or brainwashed) or, worse, idiotic pedophilia accusations never grounded in anything anybody ever actually writes on the thread. Which is just pathetic. And somehow, ILM threads that are nowhere near as thoughtful (which is to say almost all of them) don't inspire nearly as much whining from outside. Weird.

xhuxk, Monday, 14 May 2007 18:09 (nine years ago) Permalink

I guess what it comes down to for me is that there seem to be some very fundamental differences between the kind of pop-happy crit-analysis that was omnipresent on ILM 5 years year ago, and the variation thereof that's taken on a life of its own in the Teenpop threads. And I have to admit I haven't tried very hard to hash out exactly what all of those differences are, other than that they leave a bad taste in my mouth. I mean, I love dissecting sales figures and hit songs in the Rolling US Charts threads, but endless Radio Disney stats? Yikes. Things weren't perfect back in ILM's early days, either, and I'm glad that there's less of a witch hunt for fun-hating rockists now, but those battles having been fought so many times seems to have crystallized people into camps like the Teenpop thread and its "lol paedophiles" detractors. It's just a weird state of affairs.

Alex in Baltimore, Monday, 14 May 2007 18:14 (nine years ago) Permalink

endless Radio Disney stats

I really am missing how this stuff actually connects to the teenpop thread though! This is closer to describing the sandbox parody thread (whose main premise was that the teenpop posters were at best misguided dorks and at worst pedophiles). If you're talking about teenpop, you have to talk (a lot) about Radio Disney, because Disney BOUGHT ALL THE TEENPOP. In fact, finding the stuff where it isn't Disney-branded (or at least Disney tie-in'd) is nearly impossible, and usually this music makes for the most interesting discussions on the thread. Lillix, Fefe Dobson, Hope Partlow -- people steamrolled by the conglomerate monster that is "approved teenpop for kiddie masses."

And this only describes a small part of what we're actually talking about on there. It's not just inside-baseball stat-talk -- it's about what these stats (and what this music) might mean, personally, media institutionally, anthropologically, whatever the hell else-ally.

dabug, Monday, 14 May 2007 18:19 (nine years ago) Permalink

Well ok I guess the 2006 thread was more heavy on playlist stats than the 2007 one but c'mon.

Alex in Baltimore, Monday, 14 May 2007 18:27 (nine years ago) Permalink

I actually preferred the 2006 thread (which was a lot easier to follow, I thought.) (It was also, as a whole, possibly the best music criticism I read anywhere last year.) Though maybe this year I am just more lazy.

xhuxk, Monday, 14 May 2007 18:36 (nine years ago) Permalink

i just don't like this music. the people producing this music need to stop mastering. this stuff is like a nightmare for people who care about quality sound recording

deej, Monday, 14 May 2007 18:45 (nine years ago) Permalink

...which is why shellac = my fav teen pop lol

deej, Monday, 14 May 2007 18:45 (nine years ago) Permalink

people steamrolled by the conglomerate monster that is "approved teenpop for kiddie masses." (<--an example of bad pop writing. Unless the conglomerate-monster is also a steamroller-monster, that's a painful mixed metaphor.)

dabug, Monday, 14 May 2007 18:47 (nine years ago) Permalink

The compression/mastering argument is hardly limited to teenpop, nor are teenpop artists even the most egregious offenders (so I've read, I can't really tell the difference myself, having basically fallen asleep to Scott Walker the two and half times I tried to listen to it). So "this music" still requires a non-audio-quality categorization in this case. I bet plenty of the MySpacers and CDBaby artists discussed on the threads don't use the same mastering techniques of the artists on majors; I also bet that there are teenpop artists on majors whose albums are better mastered than plenty of non-teenpop artists.

Unrelated, but since I don't have major issues with mastering as it relates to sound quality (I'll fall in love with a single if I hear it exclusively on YouTube all year, f'rinstance), I don't really understand what it is exactly about poorly mastered/overly compressed music that makes it so unlistenable to the audiophiles. I (think I) understand it, but I really can't hear it. But that's for a different thread, I guess.

dabug, Monday, 14 May 2007 18:57 (nine years ago) Permalink

*"it" in the last sentence being "compression," not "what makes it so unlistenable."

dabug, Monday, 14 May 2007 18:59 (nine years ago) Permalink

guitars sound distorted and compressed. it is a huge problem in lots of genres - the opening song to casino royale sounds like shit, and dr. dre's '2001' is one of the worst mastering jobs ever. But I've never heard a genre so consistently crappy-sounding. The guitars never hit like they're supposed to. i never feel it. it all feels very removed and clinical as a result.

deej, Monday, 14 May 2007 19:04 (nine years ago) Permalink

yeah i'd say with teenpop, especially after The Matrix and Dr. Luke brought in all the jangly guitars, the extreme compression and flat dynamics are pretty much part and parcel of the whole aesthetic now. I know what you mean, but I kind of accept it as what it is. I've spent so much of my life listening to music on tape, terrestrial radio, youtube, poor quality MP3s and television that my ears just kind of adjust to the format.

Alex in Baltimore, Monday, 14 May 2007 19:11 (nine years ago) Permalink

But for the most part, this is all older teenpop; there isn't a lot of guitar-based teenpop to speak of these days, and what is there I like (Ashlee, Kelly, maybe Aly and AJ). More of it's in a vaguely R&B/pop vein, where I don't think compression could matter as much, especially if the vocals are really processed (like in the new Aly and AJ song, actually, which has zero guitars and has plenty of vocodor).

dabug, Monday, 14 May 2007 19:14 (nine years ago) Permalink

unlike most other threads on ILM (and probably even more than the two rolling threads I do tend to post way more frequently on -- the country one and the metal one), the teen-pop thread is packed with thinking and discussion, dissecting really minute details of the music, in fact.

Oh, come on. There have always been a ton of crap threads on ilm, but the implication that the teenpop thread is some significant transcendent is ridiculous. There are plenty of good discussions.

Tim Ellison, Monday, 14 May 2007 19:54 (nine years ago) Permalink

I never said there weren't, Tim. But it's certainly one of the best I've seen lately.

xhuxk, Monday, 14 May 2007 19:59 (nine years ago) Permalink

I'm delighted a thread I started with a toss-off rewrite joke from the LA Times is getting so much mileage. Was there even a Rolling Teenpop thread in January 2004? Heck, I don't remember. I e-mailed Humbert Humbert and he can't recall, either.

Gorge, Monday, 14 May 2007 20:09 (nine years ago) Permalink

i told the gaffer and he agreed, it was a travesty

696, Monday, 14 May 2007 20:10 (nine years ago) Permalink

Here's my rant - Alex, I don't know if this will resonate with your opinion or not.

For me, the song itself - the composition - is really the bottom line. And whether you like the guitar tone, the production job, the voice, whatever, that bottom line is ultimately going to matter.

So, what's striking for me about the teenpop thread is that I'm puzzled by what I can't help but feel is a refusal to acknowledge the mediocrity of the songwriting in a lot of that music. Perhaps even all of it. (Even that Lillix record that I kind of liked from last year - the best song on it is really kind of average. That song is not an all time classic.)

Personally, I think the real hot action in pop-rock is where it's always been - in the underground. And I don't understand the idea that "4Ever" is the best song of the year when a group like of Montreal does whatever "4Ever" does plus so much more in every fucking song.

Tim Ellison, Monday, 14 May 2007 20:44 (nine years ago) Permalink

And it's just not possible that someone else might hear Of Montreal's music as mediocre, right, Tim? Or that they might hear something in "4Ever" that you don't? (And maybe even that they might think the real hot action in pop-rock hasn't been in the underground for a long, long time, assuming it ever was?)

xhuxk, Monday, 14 May 2007 21:00 (nine years ago) Permalink

More to the point...what Of Montreal songs sound like "4ever"? (I really like a lot of Of Montreal, too, but "4ever" isn't really comparable to anything I've ever heard by them. For one thing, there are no sassy twin girls.)

dabug, Monday, 14 May 2007 21:02 (nine years ago) Permalink

(I mean, isn't it possible that, in that example, the big difference is the voice? I DARE Kevin Barnes to hit that high Eb, which I believe I once referred to as having been "demolished" by one Origliasso twin, and you agreed with me IIRC.)

dabug, Monday, 14 May 2007 21:03 (nine years ago) Permalink

I don't think "4ever" was the best song of last year by any means, but I listened to the one Of Montreal track I have (the one that starts off about Norway and death metal bands), and it had lots of good noises (horrible voice but I tried to listen through that!) but the Veronicas beat it into the ground in terms of immediacy of hooks and emotional directness. So maybe it's the "so much more" they pack in that makes them worse!

Obviously you may not want immediacy of hooks and emotional directness - I'm just throwing them out as grounds for not preferring Of Montreal!

Groke, Monday, 14 May 2007 21:05 (nine years ago) Permalink

Well, I'd want to know why, Chuck - thinking of it in quantitative and qualitative terms. The minor pop transcendence that occurs in "4Ever" is, I think, very cliched. Of Montreal has far more pop transcendent moments in many, many songs and they are less cliched. So, I cannot help but wonder why people who I think are valuing the exact same things I'm valuing - these same senses of musical transcendence - are (it seems to me, anyway) settling for cliches and settling for music that ultimately doesn't really hit real moments of transcendence very much.

I think there's also an element in your response, though, that is telling me that I'm not supposed to question whether anyone's opinions are ever reactionary or not. I'm supposed to always accept that someone "hears it differently."

the Veronicas beat it into the ground in terms of immediacy of hooks and emotional directness. So maybe it's the "so much more" they pack in that makes them worse!

They have plenty of hooks that are just as immediate and their songs are not all that cluttered.

Tim Ellison, Monday, 14 May 2007 21:13 (nine years ago) Permalink

Of Montreal are actually one of my own teenage daughter's current favorite bands, for whatever that's worth. (Right up there with Xiu Xiu, lately. Though she's also been on a Donovan kick.) When I've listened to them, I thought they were tolerable, I guess. Nothing I'd ever listen to on my own, and nothing that stuck with me like "4Ever" (which I basically think is a pretty decent Donnas rip, nothing world-shattering, but I do like it.)

xhuxk, Monday, 14 May 2007 21:13 (nine years ago) Permalink

Of Montreal seem to have become fairly popular with TEENS.

Tim Ellison, Monday, 14 May 2007 21:16 (nine years ago) Permalink

Tim I think you may be getting the mistaken impression that people who like teenpop don't like other kinds of music. Of Montreal is better than 90% of the teenpop I've heard this year but that doesn't mean I'm going to stop talking about teenpop. I think it's also a more interesting field of inquiry than something like OM, which is great but strikes me as fairly closed-off. But when people have interesting things to say about them I'm always happy to read it, just like with H.Duff.

Eppy, Monday, 14 May 2007 21:18 (nine years ago) Permalink

That's just cuz of the Outback Steakhouse commercial. The V's aren't big sellouts like Of Montreal is all -- they hardly even SELL in America!

dabug, Monday, 14 May 2007 21:18 (nine years ago) Permalink

More to the point...what Of Montreal songs sound like "4ever"?

Oh, I don't know. But it's all a part of the same big postmodern pop-rock stew.

Tim Ellison, Monday, 14 May 2007 21:19 (nine years ago) Permalink

Personally, I've yet to ever hear Of Montreal transcend anything. But if they transcend something for you (or my daughter!), Tim, that's wonderful. I'm not going to claim that you "refuse to acknowledge" that "4Ever" is somehow, objectively, better music. Because it's not.

xhuxk, Monday, 14 May 2007 21:19 (nine years ago) Permalink

(And for what it's worth, I've only heard ONE good teenpop album this year -- Hilary's -- but several good albums closer to Of Montreal, at least audiencewise and maybe soundwise...including Of Montreal's new album. Haven't listened to Jordan Pruitt yet, tho. My album of the year so far might be Pantha du Prince = SLOW YEAR; that should be hovering somewhere around 30 by now!)

dabug, Monday, 14 May 2007 21:21 (nine years ago) Permalink

I apologize for my intemperate use of language. I'm just stating that the idea that teenpop championing might involve some sort of reactionary relationship with other musics has crossed my mind more than once.

Tim Ellison, Monday, 14 May 2007 21:22 (nine years ago) Permalink

Our intentions with your music are honorable, Tim.

Eppy, Monday, 14 May 2007 21:24 (nine years ago) Permalink

Yes, but your flaw in the extrapolation here is that "reactionary relationship to ____" --> "teenpop championing." Like the former must precede the latter: "I hate indie/alternative/underground ethos/audience/whatever, therefore instead I choose to love this cliched crap instead." Whereas the two things in quotes are really just a general part of <insert teenpop thread poster>'s make-up as a critic. (And as far as warts-and-all goes, you get it with the people posting there as much as you often do with the artists they're posting about. There's something very honest about the discussion, which is why I get frustrated with insinuations that there's something inherently dishonest about our relationship to the music itself.)

dabug, Monday, 14 May 2007 21:26 (nine years ago) Permalink

I kinda thought Of Montreal *were* teenpop (I'm pretty sure that's how they'd have been classified in the 60's anyway). Not sure I get the distinction. It just seems very odd that of all the things in the world to pit against each other, it's OM vs. all of teenpop.

Speaking for myself, I'd totally dispute the idea that production and guitar tone are secondary to songwriting. I'm personally sitting on the edge of my seat right now waiting for the promised 18th Dye reunion almost entirely on the basis of guitar tone and drum production.

dlp9001, Monday, 14 May 2007 21:30 (nine years ago) Permalink

It just occurred to me that I'd never really given "4Ever" a good close listen after it occurred to me that I liked "When It All Falls Apart" but had never really heard "4Ever" much and could only remember the chorus vaguely, and man, I honestly think it kind of sucks. I mean it's more or less identical to a couple songs I love, but even a side by side comparison of the sections (the best part of "U + Ur Hand" at the end of the chorus vs. "with you yeah yeah with you yeah yeah") is pretty unflattering.

I definitely wouldn't get into the whole teenpop vs. indie pop thing personally, but I do agree that it's all part of the same "postmodern pop-rock stew." I'd probably use a band with less fussy eccentricity than Of Montreal for basis of comparison, though -- a lot of indie-ish rock I listen to is pretty much straight-ahead power pop, and I get a much better anthemic pop-rock rush from Sloan or The Posies than most of this post-Avril guitar-driven teenpop. And even if I didn't want to hear old white dudes make the stuff, there's plenty of indie bands that do the girly pop-rock thing too (my personal favorite of the moment being a local band called Karmella's Game).

Alex in Baltimore, Monday, 14 May 2007 22:11 (nine years ago) Permalink

haha obviously a sloppy rewrite of that first sentence made it a redundant mess but you get the point.

Alex in Baltimore, Monday, 14 May 2007 22:12 (nine years ago) Permalink

your flaw in the extrapolation here is that "reactionary relationship to ____" --> "teenpop championing." Like the former must precede the latter


Well no, I said that the idea that teenpop championing MIGHT involve reactionary relationships to other musics was something that had crossed my mind more than once. So it's certainly not to say that every message or every poster on the teenpop thread is rooted in this. (I've posted on there myself more than once.)

Tim Ellison, Monday, 14 May 2007 22:16 (nine years ago) Permalink

Evidence of of Montreal as teenpop phenomenon here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdDnCucFHwg

Tim Ellison, Monday, 14 May 2007 22:18 (nine years ago) Permalink

But Tim, you're talking about a handful of people you could probably name off the top of your head. Most of the posters there are indie kids, former indie kids, or xhuxk or Frank Kogan, and most of them, I imagine, still keep up with, say, Of Montreal and any other band you want to go toe to toe w/ the Veronicas. I don't see anybody on there displaying what I'd call a "reactionary" relationship to any other kind of music; nobody's ignoring Of Montreal as a statement, it just doesn't seem pertinent/interesting to talk about them. Or maybe they have been the topic of a conversation -- plenty of indie pop type bands have been the subject of conversation.

dabug, Monday, 14 May 2007 22:25 (nine years ago) Permalink

Besides which, if you brought up Of Montreal yourself, I doubt anyone would strenuously object to it, though I don't know if anyone would really care, either.

dabug, Monday, 14 May 2007 22:27 (nine years ago) Permalink

My daughter and I actually got in a debate about whether "old Of Montreal" or "new Of Montreal" was better dance music. I was under the impression, from what little I've paid attention to them, that the band has become somewhat dancier over time, or at least seemed to try to. My daughter thought that was a ridiculous opinion to hold. (And since she's actually danced to them, and I haven't, and she's obviously spent way more time listening to them than I have, I should probably give her the benefit of the doubt.)

At any rate, I like WAY more rock albums on indie labels this year (Trigger Renegade, Gore Gore Girls, Sirens, George Brigman, Funny Money, Rich and Famous, Clorox Girls, Necrodemon, Les Hatepinks, etc.) than teenpop albums, for what it's worth. (Hilary Duff and Jordan Pruitt both seem pretty good.) Though probably not the indie rock albums that Tim likes. (And as I said, I hardly ever post on the teenpop thread anymore, anyway.)

xhuxk, Monday, 14 May 2007 22:42 (nine years ago) Permalink

hilary's music doesn't really thrill me. it's okay. i liked her t.v. show. she's cute. i like the stuff that has more of a euro-pop/dancepop edge to it as opposed to the acoustic weepers and secondhand avril tunes. i kinda miss the goofiness of teenpop past. or childishness. i miss daphne & celeste.

scott seward, Monday, 14 May 2007 22:47 (nine years ago) Permalink

"I'm just stating that the idea that teenpop championing might involve some sort of reactionary relationship with other musics has crossed my mind more than once."

I suspect that a cursory look at, like, the best of the year lists that the posters submit to P&J and whatever would probably dispel this notion.

I love teenpop and my favourite albums of 2007 are: The Studio, Panda Bear, DJ Dixon, Kalabrese, Lil Wayne (mixtape), Tori Amos, Battles... (haven't heard Hillary Duff's album, I'd probably like it I think... I liked her last one but even had I heard it at the time it wouldn't have ended up on a best-of list for whatever year it was).

This list isn't interesting to me as a list, except insofar as that with one exception (the DJ Dixon Body Language mix) it pretty much ignores the chunk of music I spend more time listening to than any other, which is not teenpop!

I think though there is something structurally inherent in rock crit (which most people who talk about popular music are infected by) which makes it tempting to assume that people who listen to teenpop must not and could not listen to Of Montreal (who I've read a bit about but never heard... would I like them?). And this is that "the underground" always defines itself against pop in the first place by definition. So much of the indiefication that a lot of people go through in their teenage years involves a ritualised rejection of commercial radio etc. almost as a rite of passage.

This is not a problem as far as I'm concerned, but i wonder if that sense you're getting re teenpop's oppositional stance has to do with the actual attitude displayed by the posters, or the broader context w/r/t how pop and non-pop define themselves (including against eachother).

Tim F, Monday, 14 May 2007 22:48 (nine years ago) Permalink

Scott, you might (sorta) like Shut Up Stella feat. fan_3, who are probably about the closest I've come to Daphne and Celeste in the past year or so (not like this comes close, but it's something...try "Country Lemonade" maybe?). There's always the odd tune by Girl Authority or Kidz Bop, I guess. (Most silly/awesome "teenpop" songs of the past two years are hip-hop songs: "Vans," "Lip Gloss," "Chicken Noodle Soup," maybe "Stewy" by the DBz h/t xhuxk. But there's always DaHv, whose "Mean Girls" just missed my top twenty of last year.)

dabug, Monday, 14 May 2007 22:55 (nine years ago) Permalink

(It says "Mean Girls" is from 2005, but it's her most recent song on her MySpace.)

dabug, Monday, 14 May 2007 22:56 (nine years ago) Permalink

I don't know. All I'm saying is that the teenpop thread is ostensibly about POP, mostly of a pop-rock nature. And given what I feel about its mediocrity, I'm puzzled by the enthusiasm for the genre, have felt that there was hyperbole in praising it, and wondered what the relationship of the posters is to transcendent indie/underground that I feel accomplishes so much more in essentially the same musical ballpark.

x-posts to Tim F. (Tim, try "So Begins Our Alabee," "The Party's Crashing Us," "Wrath Pinned to the Mist and Other Games," "Suffer for Fashion," and "A Sentence of Sorts in Kongsvinger" for intro to recent OM.)

Tim Ellison, Monday, 14 May 2007 23:04 (nine years ago) Permalink

OK so i think maybe my ideological problem with 'the teen pop thread' is less about the music itself, or people enjoying it, ANY of it, than the way its grouped ... like half that stuff probably got talked about by the rap fans, and when the teenpop fans start arguing for this all-genre inclusiveness ('where's the teenpop R&B?' etc) it makes 'sense' but it also becomes a question of what unites this 'genre' in the first place. isn't just its audience? Do none of you guys find that the least bit creepy? I have no problem in talking about 'chicken noodle soup' in the context of rap music, and saying you know 'this is the younger spectrum of rap music, a fun song,' but when you start discussing all this stuff in a context where the unifying feature is that the audience is kids that gets weird to me.

What is gained by looking at this music that way? Doesn't it make more sense to talk about 'teenpop' that sounds like rock in the context of rock, and teenpop that sounds like r&b in the context of r&b? i haven't paid a whole bunch of attention to these discussions but it seems like if the unifying factor is that its all liked by kids that just seems like a bizarre reason to lump a diverse range of music together.

deej, Monday, 14 May 2007 23:07 (nine years ago) Permalink

I mean I know xhuxk's thing is 'why don't we talk about R&B like rock and rock like hip-hop and dance like country' etc. etc. and thats fine - but that still doesn't explain the arbitrary-ness of 'teenpop' as a central context for discussion.

deej, Monday, 14 May 2007 23:08 (nine years ago) Permalink

Deej I think it's pretty clear that in a lot of ways Hillary Duff and Avril Lavigne are more similar to each other than Hillary Duff is to "adult" synth pop or Avril to "adult" rock - and it's not just the audience. There's a certain similarity in the shape and structure of the songs, the lyrics, the perspective, the concerns, the stylistic decisions above and beyond the choice between synth-pop and rock.

Tim F, Monday, 14 May 2007 23:11 (nine years ago) Permalink

I mean by your logic couldn't I say "it makes more sense to talk about Truth Hurts' "Addictive" on a bhangra thread than an R&B thread"?

Tim F, Monday, 14 May 2007 23:11 (nine years ago) Permalink

ok but then the flip of that is that i don't see what "chicken noodle soup" has to do with "Complicated" except for, again, age group?

deej, Monday, 14 May 2007 23:12 (nine years ago) Permalink

i donno i'm just thinking aloud about reasons why i don't find the kind of music in the teenpop thread interesting to discuss as a whole project - which i guess is my chief objection, because i like some of the songs discussed and dislike others (usually towards the rock end of the spectrum, for the compression/sound qual issues i mentioned upthread) and its not the frank/xhuxk method of discussion; its the music too, and i'm trying to articulate why

deej, Monday, 14 May 2007 23:16 (nine years ago) Permalink

"Chicken Noodle Soup" and "Vans" and "Lip Gloss" sound like bubblegum music. (More than most actual "teenpop" does these days, as far as I'm concerned. They've got a bubbliness and effervescence that Avril can't touch even when she tries.) Why would it be "creepy" to acknowledge that?

xhuxk, Monday, 14 May 2007 23:17 (nine years ago) Permalink

I don't know, is there that much talk about kiddie-rap on the teenpop threads? I never noticed. But above and beyond Chuck's point, I guess it's relevant insofar as this is a genre which is hyper-conscious to trends, so anything which has a big impact on kids has the potential to filter through to the stylistic decisions of teenpop artists next year. I doubt this is the case with "Chicken Noodle Soup", and it's not what I think of when I think of teenpop, but there are pretty clear reasons why, say, Good Charlotte are talked about on the teenpop thread when Of Montreal are not!

Tim F, Monday, 14 May 2007 23:19 (nine years ago) Permalink

xp: I mean, would you say "Jump" by Kris Kross wasn't bubblegum music? Or "Pass the Dutchie" or "ABC"? (But yeah, it's not like that stuff, or "Chicken Noodle Soup," figures that much on the teenpop thread anyway.)

xhuxk, Monday, 14 May 2007 23:21 (nine years ago) Permalink

xxp to xhuxk
it isn't! Those songs are all very similar. i think there's probably connections between those songs and ones that aren't considered 'hip-hop' that you could discuss like, i don't know, 'hollaback girl' or something. But still you're talking about a much larger spectrum of music than that - isn't this 'genre' just a catchall for a wide range of genre & emotional & stylistic & perspective & concerns etc. that happen to appeal to younger people? Its the equivalent of having a genre called 'adultpop' that talks about rap, R&B, country and rock

deej, Monday, 14 May 2007 23:22 (nine years ago) Permalink

Well actually deej don't the terms "MOR" or "AOR" cover a similarly wide and eclectic area of music?

Tim F, Monday, 14 May 2007 23:26 (nine years ago) Permalink

No, Deej is right, we should really stop talking about Stockhausen and Merzbow on the teenpop thread, its totally creepy. That one ten-year-old Dave supposedly knows who listens to nothing but noize and avant-classical is probably made up anyway.

Eppy, Monday, 14 May 2007 23:34 (nine years ago) Permalink

what unites this 'genre' in the first place

This is a major part of why it's so interesting in the first place. Important to note that "teenpop" was a genre before it was an ILM thread, so it's not like the posters created it from thin air; one point of the thread is to try to figure out what makes something "teenpop" in the first place (sometimes it's an aesthetic, sometimes it's an audience, sometimes it's...harder to say). If it is about the audience, it's not creepy unless we were, like, creepy about it. I'm really interested in how children and young teens actually listen to, use, purchase the music they do -- largely because no one else is paying attention to it. But I'm also interested in more ambiguous audiences of artists like Ashlee and Lindsay and P!nk, who don't really have much of a clear-cut shared audience...and if they did, it wouldn't be all (or maybe even primarily) kids.

Doesn't it make more sense to talk about 'teenpop' that sounds like rock in the context of rock, and teenpop that sounds like r&b in the context of r&b?

Short answer is no. Long answer is no, but...there are lots of reasons to talk about contexts, to classify this as this etc. etc. etc., and one thing the teenpop thread exists for is to catch a lot of music that falls through the cracks -- the stuff "aimed at kids" that isn't really aimed at kids, hence there's not a huge audience for it, or stuff that is presumed to be aimed at kids but is potentially deeper and more meaningful than more widely held to be "sophisticated" or "mature" genres. Ashlee vs. mainstream rock, Ashlee vs. indie rock, Skye Sweetnam or Hilary vs. Good Charlotte or the Killers, Fefe Dobson vs. the rest of the world. Not to say one wins and one loses, but to say, nobody ever talks (intelligently) about this stuff, and it's where some of the most interesting conversations could be happening.

dabug, Monday, 14 May 2007 23:38 (nine years ago) Permalink

xp Tim - they do, i suppose; not that i'm interested in starting anything like this, but i haven't seen many interesting critical discussions revolving around this concept, though, and probably for the same reason that teenpop as a central context for discussion seems kind of uninteresting to me.

deej, Monday, 14 May 2007 23:38 (nine years ago) Permalink

There's also the more practical issue that any non-rolling teenpop thread discussion of this stuff always goes back to "you can't really like this stuff as much as you say you do!" or some similar argument - see this thread! The actual teenpop thread is almost entirely free of this.

x-post Deej Tom wrote a great review once about Dexys Midnight Runners' "Come On Eileen". If I recall he was discussing how the usual critical impulse of music writers is to try to rescue DMR from all the drunk office workers dancing on tables to "Come On Eileen" at Christmas parties, and Tom was saying "no, their relationship with this music is interesting and worth thinking about as well."

I'm not volunteering to write about MOR though because I don't tend to like James Blunt or "Bad Day" or etc. etc. but I'm not a priori opposed to the idea that interesting writing on this topic is possible!

Tim F, Monday, 14 May 2007 23:44 (nine years ago) Permalink

i'm not dismissing discussion of it out of hand though, just saying why as a long-running thread i have minimal interest in it as a platform for discussion

deej, Monday, 14 May 2007 23:50 (nine years ago) Permalink

deej, ignoring the central context (since we can call it arbitrary for the sake of discussion), does something about the thread fundamentally bother you, or do you just not understand all the fuss or what? (I'm guessing it bothers you, since you're singling it out when there are probably thousands of threads I could care less about -- no general swipe at ILM, I just don't pay attention to or post on many of the threads.)

What does it matter how the music is grouped if the conversation's a good one about artists the people in the conversation want to talk about, and it's a conversation worth having? Or, why isn't it a conversation worth having, esp. to someone not engaging in it? (These aren't rhetorical questions.)

dabug, Monday, 14 May 2007 23:52 (nine years ago) Permalink

i don't find it to be a conversation worth having and i was trying to ascertain why, and my conclusion was because of how the music was grouped it didn't lead me to be open minded about it; a large portion of the music discussed i dislike because it isn't what i enjoy, so any discussion i would have in that context would be coming from that place, even if i was discussing music i did like (I like some Fergie songs for example) in the context of 'teenpop' as a whole.

i wouldn't say i'm 'bothered' by the thread but i do see a lot of intellectual energy being expended in an area in which i like some tracks yet which is organized so as to minimize my interest.

deej, Monday, 14 May 2007 23:55 (nine years ago) Permalink

Deej I think it's pretty clear that in a lot of ways Hillary Duff and Avril Lavigne are more similar to each other than Hillary Duff is to "adult" synth pop or Avril to "adult" rock - and it's not just the audience.

That's a false dichotomy, Duff's latest album is synth pop-ish but I don't think anyone would categorize her so unless she did several more albums like it, and her first hit was a carbon copy of "Complicated."

Important to note that "teenpop" was a genre before it was an ILM thread, so it's not like the posters created it from thin air;

This is only kinda sorta true: Google "teenpop" (as one word) and the first 10 results include both ILM threads, and stuff you wrote about the stuff on Pitchfork and Stylus. In the larger sense, yes "teen pop" (two words) is a genre or at least a market that people are aware of, but I think mostly non-music people think of it in terms of the "teen pop era" of early Britney and boy bands, or maybe going back to 80's mall pop like Tiffany, all really bright synthetic stuff, not a broad continuum of teen-oriented rock and teen-oriented rap like it's being treated here. Maybe no one person here made the decision to use "teenpop" as one word and sort of reinvent its parameters, but it definitely has turned out that way.

Alex in Baltimore, Monday, 14 May 2007 23:56 (nine years ago) Permalink

I'll also admit that the whole teenpop-as-one-word thing has always irritated the hell out of me and probably figures heavily into my criticism of these threads.

Alex in Baltimore, Monday, 14 May 2007 23:58 (nine years ago) Permalink

Fair enough. I still haven't really figured out why that thread in particular seems to draw such vocal skepticism and "creepy vibe" comments, except for the relationship to the audience. But I really don't think this is it exactly (despite the constant pedophile jokes)...I think it's something harder to define having more to do with what Tim F was talking about above, the "broader context w/r/t how pop and non-pop define themselves (including against eachother)."

I think more people are finding it harder and harder to distinguish btw pop and non-pop the way they conceive(d) of it (at some point, anyway), and there's a lot of latent hostility, or at least confusion, in this sort of incipient anarchy that seems to be hiding just under the surface -- an idea that there's no (one) meaningful way to think about or talk about music socially, institutionally, maybe economically. People read the teenpop thread and they see what amounts to them to be a kind of anarchy (from their structures of respectable rock-crit) and they write it off as irrelevant, or misguided, or reactionary, or (easiest pot shot) creepy. Which is bizarre to me because it's a very welcoming thread, ready to try to meet whoever posts there on his/her own terms. (And, importantly, this doesn't go hand in hand with "conscientious generalism" as Simon Reynolds put it, or "post-modern pop soup" (which is totally perplexing...what does this mean?), or with a "you can like whatever you want to and it's all great yaaay" vibe.)

dabug, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 00:07 (nine years ago) Permalink

(that was an xpost to deej)

dabug, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 00:07 (nine years ago) Permalink

Well if you're going to literally split hairs about it. "Teen pop" has been widely in use since at LEAST BSB/Britney, or further back to Hanson/Spice, and "teenybopper" has been around forever (in terms of pop music). The one-word thing maybe signals that "teenpop" as definable genre (c. 2000) has sort of come and gone, and now we're doing something of a salvaging act, trying to save the Hopes and Fefes and Skyes from oblivion, since no one else will pay attention to them.

This is a part of what the thread is doing. It's also asking harder questions of the audience that's listening to it and, maybe more commonly, of the audience that isn't listening to it. It's also figuring out what the artists' terms are; usually the artists aren't sure themselves (and plenty of them essentially disown whatever part of their body of work could be classified as "teenpop" on the teenpop thread -- but joke's on them because we'll still talk about them there anyway).

This relates to about a million different assumptions, issues, problems in rock-crit writ large, and it's convenient to have these issues resurface over the course of a long ongoing conversation, instead of playing leap-frog across a million different threads, esp. when it's so hard to find those threads around here in the first place. (And not because they don't exist, but because they're hard to find. Xhuxk can't keep up with the teenpop thread, but I can't keep up with anything other than the teenpop thread.)

dabug, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 00:14 (nine years ago) Permalink

"That's a false dichotomy, Duff's latest album is synth pop-ish but I don't think anyone would categorize her so unless she did several more albums like it, and her first hit was a carbon copy of "Complicated." "

Um, my point Alex was that it is a false dichotomy - the artists on the teenpop thread mostly sound a lot like eachother, regardless of the specific instruments/production styles used at any particular point.

Tim F, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 00:17 (nine years ago) Permalink

I'm pretty surprised that people can't see this as a fairly obvious sub-genre or style of music! It seems as self-evident to me as "britpop", say.

Tim F, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 00:18 (nine years ago) Permalink

(Ignore the first part of the first parag, you touched on this in yr post.) xpost to AiB

dabug, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 00:18 (nine years ago) Permalink

I know that was your point, I'm just saying it was a poor example.

Alex in Baltimore, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 00:20 (nine years ago) Permalink

I'll also admit that the whole teenpop-as-one-word thing has always irritated the hell out of me and probably figures heavily into my criticism of these threads

to be perfectly honest i'm not keen on the moniker either, probably because i care less than the others on the thread about how actual teenagers consume the music (this partly because the various sales stats which periodically get quoted show that mostly, they don't). but i'm not keen on terms like "crunk'n'b" or "blog house" or "freak-folk" or any number of silly genre names which float around but i use them b/c it's what gets used and my linguistic quibbles don't really matter compared to enabling people to understand what i'm talking about.

I'm just stating that the idea that teenpop championing might involve some sort of reactionary relationship with other musics has crossed my mind more than once.

this could be aimed at me? i'm the first to admit i have a totally reactionary relationship to ONE genre, indie rock (caveat for the gossip, yeah yeah yeahs, css, any number of indie rock bands i actually like); but given that the teenpop thread is my third most followed after the r&b and minimal house ones, it's not an accusation which really holds water. and there's no one else on the teenpop thread it could possibly apply to!

re: other types of music being discussed - as far as i can tell, given that frank sets the tone, it's often his playground to discuss anything he likes. you say it's creepy* if we talk about lil' mama - what about when we talk about USDA and young jeezy?

*i did a vague headcount a while back and fyi the teenpop thread probably has the most balanced gender ratio on ilm, plus some of the dudes on there are gay, so it's probably the only thread on ilm where straight men are in the minority.

lex pretend, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 00:22 (nine years ago) Permalink

i think the lil mama song rules fwiw

deej, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 00:23 (nine years ago) Permalink

well hopefully there's a point we can all agree on

lex pretend, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 00:26 (nine years ago) Permalink

"I'm pretty surprised that people can't see this as a fairly obvious sub-genre or style of music!"

might have just called it the rolling radio disney thread. i definitely consider radio disney to be a sub-genre! it's the only place you can even hear half that stuff.

scott seward, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 00:30 (nine years ago) Permalink

that would confuse the brits though!

also HANG ON, TIM, YOU LIKE PANDA BEAR????

:(

lex pretend, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 00:30 (nine years ago) Permalink

Well, there's a subthread of the mainthread of subgenre (er...) called "Rolling Radio Disney," updated whenever I feel like it. If that helps.

dabug, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 00:31 (nine years ago) Permalink

i guess if you guys find the teenpop genre useful as a jumpoff point for discussion, go for it. But seriously dude

I think more people are finding it harder and harder to distinguish btw pop and non-pop the way they conceive(d) of it (at some point, anyway), and there's a lot of latent hostility, or at least confusion, in this sort of incipient anarchy that seems to be hiding just under the surface -- an idea that there's no (one) meaningful way to think about or talk about music socially, institutionally, maybe economically. People read the teenpop thread and they see what amounts to them to be a kind of anarchy (from their structures of respectable rock-crit) and they write it off as irrelevant, or misguided, or reactionary, or (easiest pot shot) creepy

this is not it at all. i do not find this 'revolutionary' thinking; i have no problem with people upending the canon, or whatever. i've been through the thinking on anti-rockism and popism and all that, and now would like to look at music i like and discuss music i like in ways that i find interesting.

I don't fear anarchy; i think the reason a lot of people object to the Lex's tone in many threads is because he seems to see himself as consistently stepping across THE LINE of what is acceptable, but it isn't him crossing 'the line' that bothers people; its the idea that he sees this transgression AS a transgression any more, in 2007.

deej, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 00:35 (nine years ago) Permalink

x-posts - It's a great album Lex! Ned is right in that it's a lot like The Avalanches.

And, um, actually deej is on the money here.

Tim F, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 00:38 (nine years ago) Permalink

deej i don't see anything i post as crossing any line or transgressing anything - this is entirely what people who read it project on to it!

i didn't like the avalanches either...oh well.

lex pretend, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 00:40 (nine years ago) Permalink

i don't know your intentions, i'm just explaining how i see people perceive your posts

deej, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 00:40 (nine years ago) Permalink

also, lex surely you like the avalanches 'ray of zdarlight' thing right?

deej, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 00:41 (nine years ago) Permalink

if it had come out in '03 it would have been ilx canon material, i think

deej, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 00:41 (nine years ago) Permalink

the avalanches are ilx canon though aren't they? haven't heard 'ray of zdarlight', i like 'frontier sychiatrist' but their album irritated me

lex pretend, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 00:43 (nine years ago) Permalink

same here. and i'll listen to anything.

scott seward, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 00:44 (nine years ago) Permalink

if you google ray of zdarlight an mp3 is the first result

deej, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 00:46 (nine years ago) Permalink

Ned is right in that it's a lot like The Avalanches.


:-) (I mean, I stand by my 'it's middling' judgment, but even so!)

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 00:47 (nine years ago) Permalink

Yeah, I'm gonna go ahead and strike that parag quoted from the record, but hey why not try it and see if it flies (uh, it doesn't...come to think of it, this is the second time in a week I've failed to make a concept involving "anarchy" stick, maybe I've got anarchy issues).

(I don't really know why people get so bothered about the Lex in the first place, his Ciara interview was great.)

dabug, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 00:48 (nine years ago) Permalink

(Although come to think of it again, my point wasn't that we're anarchists, or upending a canon, but that we're perceived to be trying to do this for some reason. But usually Frank is trying to re-establish the regular ol' canon (Stones, Dylan, punk) on his own terms, using teenpop as a way to get people to think about it differently.)

dabug, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 00:50 (nine years ago) Permalink

No image bomb intended, just a quick promo spot for the teenpop thread:

dabug, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 00:55 (nine years ago) Permalink

x-post: Yes, everyone's regular and persistent misinterpretation of Frank on this score is pretty key i reckon.

Tim F, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 00:56 (nine years ago) Permalink

[i]this could be aimed at me?[/i[

No, not specifically, though I will admit to having Kogan's of Montreal review on paper thin walls in mind (which, for some reason, doesn't seem to be in their archive).

Tim Ellison, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 00:56 (nine years ago) Permalink

And Frank would probably say, "But I gave it a good review." But it's the lack of enthusiasm for what seems to me to be great accomplishments, again, in the same postmodern pop-rock stew that teenpop is involved with that puzzles me.

Tim Ellison, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 01:08 (nine years ago) Permalink

You're puzzled that Frank didn't like an album as much as you did?

Tim F, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 01:23 (nine years ago) Permalink

A track. It's not just "didn't like the track as much as I did" - I've found Frank to be puzzling for twenty years!

Tim Ellison, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 01:46 (nine years ago) Permalink

Well, I missed waayyyyy too much of this thread, but regarding the 'teenpop' label, I will say that most (and by 'most,' I'm pretty sure I mean 'all' (except myself)) teenagers don't listen to the music discussed on teenpop. Is that the point? I mean, I'm pretty sure I understand what's considered 'teenpop,' but is it considered that because people think teenagers listen to it, or is it because it's marketed to teens?

Maybe I'm just surrounded by weird teenagers, but they all seem to fit into one of several categories: metal-heads, 'mature' acoustic pop fans (e.g. Guster, O.A.R.), hip hop addicts and other (e.g. Indian music, no music). I'm not aware of a single Aly & AJ fan at my school (maybe a 13-year-old junior high kid?)

Tape Store, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 04:29 (nine years ago) Permalink

Definitely a predominate ethos on the Teenpop forum is: If you can make an argument for inclusion, it's worth discussing (which is probably in relationship to Chuck's Stairway to Heaven, if I were guessing the source). And part of it is definitely about figuring out how teenagers consume music - and part of that is trying to figure out how we consume music now, and consumed music when we were teenagers.

Personally, though, I'd like to think that discussing such a loosely-defined genre, that enjoys so little current mainstream interest, gives a lot of space for interesting discussion. You're held back by less assumptions, etc.

Not to mention the relationship between teenagers and dilettantes, and the question of whether the teenpop thread actually has anything to do with honest-to-god teenagers.

Mordechai Shinefield, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 08:10 (nine years ago) Permalink

But usually Frank is trying to re-establish the regular ol' canon (Stones, Dylan, punk) on his own terms, using teenpop as a way to get people to think about it differently.


Are you sure?

The problem here is that a) the "teenpop" (ugh!) thread is way more interesting than the "teenpop" music, unlike the hoary canon, which contains a lot of great music (even though I may be tired of hearing it -- and hearing about it -- any more after decades and decades of it); b) the dominance of Disney radio/TV synergy is distasteful as hell to me -- it's not far removed from payola, except it's perfectly legal for Disney's right hand to pass money to its left hand.

While this may be one way to "think about it differently", I only see it as tarnishing the canon and canonization to use teenpop product (emaciated music, bland similacrum of canonical memes) as the vehicle. The canon is the canon because it transcended its status as product; teenpop hasn't done this for me.

There's a difference between and 1) music purchased by teens; 2) old-school teenpop (i.e. Frankie Lyman, "ABC", "Candy Girl", Musical Youth, etc.; and 3) music (aggressively) marketed to teens/tweens. Capitalism has brought us the third in recent years, and as long as it works for Disney and its partners and emulators, we're stuck with it.

mark 0, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 08:20 (nine years ago) Permalink

...i.e. while old-school teenpop was part of a whole, and consumed by a wider demo than just teens/tweens, now we have, in a sense, a full-blown teenpop industry.

mark 0, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 08:24 (nine years ago) Permalink

I don't get that the industry is being analyzed so much as the content that the industry is producing.

Mordechai Shinefield, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 08:26 (nine years ago) Permalink

...which smacks more of greed/desperation than art.

xpost to myself

mark 0, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 08:28 (nine years ago) Permalink

Or not.

mark 0, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 08:30 (nine years ago) Permalink

I'd respond directly, Mark. But I'm not sure what you're saying. Corporate greed ruins artistic vision? Boohoo. Why can't branding be as interesting as - uh - anti-branding?

Mordechai Shinefield, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 08:31 (nine years ago) Permalink

Corporate greed doesn't concern itself with artistic vision. The bottom line is: what the fuck does branding (or anti-branding) have to do with music? I can't hear branding, no matter how interesting it may be.

mark 0, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 08:37 (nine years ago) Permalink

So... music has nothing to do with context? In that case, why does 'music aggressively marketed to tweens/teens' have anything to do with the music?

Mordechai Shinefield, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 08:40 (nine years ago) Permalink

Because music is still the a vehicle for sales.

The "smacks more of greed/desperation" refers to the creation of a distinct new revenue stream for Disney, et al.; there's little or no "artistic vision" involved -- it's a notch or two above ringtones-as-a-new-revenue-stream.

mark 0, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 08:44 (nine years ago) Permalink

I think if you asked Aly + AJ, or Hannah Montana, if they had artistic vision, they'd say yes. Are you saying that because their employer doesn't feel the same way Aly + AJ's artistic vision shouldn't be examined?

Mordechai Shinefield, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 08:46 (nine years ago) Permalink

I think if you asked Aly + AJ, or Hannah Montana, if they had artistic vision, they'd say yes.

But they'd be bullshitting you, whether they understand that or not. This is press-release language obscuring the fact that this is emaciated music, pure product.

I'm just saying you're scraping the bottom of the barrel if you insist on the importance of exploring Aly + AJ's "artistic vision", when there's a thousand years of music out there, much of it with more artistic vision than that of any t(w)eenpop star.

mark 0, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 08:53 (nine years ago) Permalink

But they'd be bullshitting you, whether they understand that or not. This is press-release language obscuring the fact that this is emaciated music, pure product.


I get that you believe this. I just don't get why.

Mordechai Shinefield, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 09:00 (nine years ago) Permalink

Aly and AJ's music doesn't sound remotely emaciated to me: if anything I find it too intense, too sincere, the overlap of their voices can be kind of suffocating.

They're a good example of an act I'd never have heard were it not for the Teenpop critics writing about them interestingly and pointing out stuff in their songs, actually.

Do I like them as much as Dylan or the Stones or the Beatles? No. But I like them more than 95% of the contemporary acts I see talked about here.

I think you're deluding yourself Mark if you think that aggressive marketing to teens and tweens is a modern phenomenon: the difference now isn't that its more sophisticated* - it's that new communications tech allows it to be much much more targeted. Which in turn is why people outside the target demo looking in and trying to relate to it seems "creepy" I think: targeted marketing is designed to exclude as much as include.

*(huge chunks of this stuff simply doesn't sell well, if judged by the standards required to launch most other consumer goods "pure products" the teenpop marketers are chumps and failures, with the exception of whoever came up with HSM)

Groke, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 09:02 (nine years ago) Permalink

how do you know/why do you assume aly & aj are bullshitting us? on what basis are you so certain that their music is emaciated pure product?

because all acts working within this umbrella of "pop music" are in the same position. the vast majority will claim they are artists. the vast majority are also, to their record companies, a vehicle for sales, and in every case their image and the way they're marketed can be as important as the actual music. you may as well dismiss beyoncé, or TI, or lcd soundsystem, or joanna newsom, or bjork, as emacaiated pure product for all the logical sense it makes.

lex pretend, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 09:06 (nine years ago) Permalink

Lex I don't think it's unfair to suggest there are different marketing strategies for the acts you mention and for most teenpop acts. I don't think Mark's denying that they're "product" on some level - he's suggesting that they have qualities that transcend product-ness.

I think however that he's bullshitting us, whether he understands this or not - the distinction he's actually making is between "product I like" and "product I don't", or maybe between "premium product" and "mass market product". (One of the interesting things about music as a market is that the standard differentiator of premium-ness - price - doesn't vary an awful lot, so other differentiators come into play.)

Groke, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 09:15 (nine years ago) Permalink

xpost

The aggressive marketing is nothing new (I was 3, 8, 9, 12, 13, and 16 years old, at various times in the past); that wasn't what I said. But having a whole (non-)genre of music, a whole category of marketing devoted to this -- that's the new wrinkle (definition #3 of the definitions mentioned above).

And I think it's genius, but from a business standpoint only.

That not all of it sells well is par for the course in popular music. But it's only en masse a failure if the Disney Channel and Radio Disney get out of the music biz.

mark 0, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 09:16 (nine years ago) Permalink

And, for the record, I'm not bullshitting you. I'm a grownup who has nothing to sell you. But I have to get ready for work now.

mark 0, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 09:18 (nine years ago) Permalink

This is the difficulty with these sorts of conversations: that so often even sophisticated arguments as to why "teenpop" isn't worth examining earnestly still ultimately rest on an a priori assumption that the music is "emaciated", or whatever other terms that amounts to this criticism.

It's kind of like how ultimately every legal system and attendant legal theory ultimately boils down to an originary tautological performative act of someone saying "this is the law because I say so".

Problem is, anyone who doesn't agree that Ashlee Simpson is "emaciated" vis a vis Bob Dylan (and I choose this example because Frank draws comparisons between the two) has nowhere to start in terms of trying to come to terms with mark 0's position, because his entire argument rests on accepting this as a given.

Tim F, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 12:23 (nine years ago) Permalink

"originary tautological performative act"

m coleman, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 12:34 (nine years ago) Permalink

What of it?

Groke, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 12:45 (nine years ago) Permalink

Surely most people's problem with the teenpop thread is the abject humourlessness of it?

Dom Passantino, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 12:46 (nine years ago) Permalink

xpost

I'm sorry, but is the emaciation my fault or Ashlee's fault? Or the fault of the passage of time -- lots of contemporary "acts" (I hate that term) are emaciated vis-a-vis, say, Highway 61 Revisited. It's hard to compete with the weight of a long-standing canon. And to switch media, you're asking me to spend time appreciating Diff'rent Strokes when I have Citizen Kane and Curb Your Enthusiasm stored on my TiVo.

I'm at the office now, and I have one last thing to say before I scoot and, like, work. I was wrong. I do have something I'd like to sell you: the idea of making music, of bonding with your kids/nieces/nephews by, say, playing bluegrass on the front porch (much as my elders gathered around the piano, playing gospel music), rather than via shared "enjoyment" of the song stylings of Billy Ray Cyrus's kid.

Hopefully they'll grow up to understand that music is more than just aural fashion, bought and sold at the mall, more than the soundtrack to your bachanalia, more than the soundtrack to your own little movie. Here we are now, entertain us.

I've learned that I really don't give two shits about what Frank (however charming and thought-provoking he may often be) or some other music critic thinks about Ashlee. It's music critics that have us wasting time contemplating Ashlee's place in the world.

mark 0, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 12:47 (nine years ago) Permalink

Mark: does singing count?

Groke, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 12:49 (nine years ago) Permalink

^^ correct about making music. but whats to stop bonding over playing/making music of any style, doesnt have to be bob dylan style

wrong about everything else. its easy to argue with a canon. id take dion and the belmonts or elsie carlise or or charlie fry or ambrose & his orchestra over bob dylan any day of the week

696, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 12:51 (nine years ago) Permalink

Surely most people's problem with the teenpop thread is the abject humourlessness of it?

-- Dom Passantino, Tuesday, May 15, 2007 8:46 AM

ding ding ding ding! we have a winner.

Alex in Baltimore, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 12:52 (nine years ago) Permalink

scott seward, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 12:53 (nine years ago) Permalink

The rest of ILM being a barrel of laughs, of course!

"Skye Sweetnam RIP"

Groke, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 12:54 (nine years ago) Permalink

i dont think thats fair at all, i think the recent paris thread was both thought provoking and humourous

696, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 12:55 (nine years ago) Permalink

FIIIIIITTTTTTEEEEE!!!!!!





-VS-


scott seward, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 12:55 (nine years ago) Permalink

does unintentional humor count?

m coleman, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 12:56 (nine years ago) Permalink

Humourlessness isn't the opposite of "funny", Tom.

Dom Passantino, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 12:56 (nine years ago) Permalink

xpost

Any style is OK. The important part is the making of music, rather than the consumption of (or, the highfalutin' consumption of excessive discourse about) it.

The canon is malleable -- I grabbed Highway 61 out of a hat, but I love Dion too. He's my homey.

(Uh oh, here comes the image flood!)

mark 0, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 12:56 (nine years ago) Permalink

^^^ in which case ashlee is no worse than bob, as both can be made and played

696, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 12:57 (nine years ago) Permalink

Put it this way Tom, would you like to see the indie kids on here talk about The Hold Steady, or the rap fans talk about Ghostface, in the same terms that the teenpop thread talks about Aly & AJ? Or does that sound like a definition of a living hell to you?

Dom Passantino, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 12:57 (nine years ago) Permalink

the teenpop crew act as boosters for their genre, more so than others do (perhaps because of implicit acceptance), whether that comes across well, i dunno

696, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 12:59 (nine years ago) Permalink

That's probably dead on the money, there's a kind of Blitz mentality about the teenpop threads.

Dom Passantino, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 13:00 (nine years ago) Permalink

I mean, rap threads can take 300 post detours into "Young Jeezy has a pointy head", it's hard to imagine the teenpop thread doing similar.

Dom Passantino, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 13:00 (nine years ago) Permalink

in which case ashlee is no worse than bob, as both can be made and played


Yes, but this may be the rare case where "ashlee is no worse than bob" is true.

mark 0, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 13:02 (nine years ago) Permalink

but your entire argument did appear to hang off that case?

696, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 13:03 (nine years ago) Permalink

it's a lot easier, i'd imagine, to busk a bob dylan tune well than an ashlee simpson once.

acrobat, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 13:05 (nine years ago) Permalink

I click on the teenpop threads more than the rap and indie ones, so maybe I would prefer it. But I agree there's a boosterism - I said upthread, it's a very nice thread, and quite earnest: I can see that's going to put some people off. The music that gets talked about also strikes me as pretty earnest, which is often part of why I don't like it that much.

xp to Dom

Groke, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 13:05 (nine years ago) Permalink

i think part of the reason i have completely disconnect with "teen pop" is that there's no r&b in any of it anymore. and most of the stuff i liked around the turn of the millennium was basically urban radio with training wheels.

strongohulkington, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 13:07 (nine years ago) Permalink

I just think the teenpop thread represents a lot of the critical style we've been trying to get away from in the past 20 or so years. It reads more like something from a guitar or drum tech magazine than anything recognisable as music writing at points.

Dom Passantino, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 13:07 (nine years ago) Permalink

Yeah, Dom hit the nail on the head. This unspoken agreement, to look past all the 'obvious' criticisms that mark brought up, because they're just too cliche'd or fraught with bad old biases about authenticity or whatever. It's really kind of condescending, thinking that the only way to discuss bouncy, youthful music is to write like an exciteable 12-year-old or try to be less cynical about it than even the actual kids listening it are (although David's Stylus columns have at least a kind of affectionate irreverence that's not too far from "Jeezy has a pointy head"-type humor).

(xpost to strongo - the irony is that R&B teenpop has kind of become its own, even more lucrative offshoot of the more overtly white Disneypop. but then, most of the acts on the Scream Tour kinda suck as far as R&B goes.)

Alex in Baltimore, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 13:10 (nine years ago) Permalink

pretty ricky have some pretty great songs xxp

deej, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 13:10 (nine years ago) Permalink

but your entire argument did appear to hang off that case?


Then you may be reading my argument wrong. Singing the songs of these individuals on the front porch has nothing to do with whether or not Ashlee's discography or talent approaches that of Dylan's.

This is the tarnishing of which I spake: of dragging the canon (or "canon", if you prefer) down to the level of Ashlee and her peers, whom I see as pure product in the age of flogging the long-dead horse of accessible pop/rock. It becomes, "well, it's all product, after all, jeez!", which is fine. Maybe it is. I'm not here to change anyone's mind.

mark 0, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 13:14 (nine years ago) Permalink

Man, music ain't nothing but three chords and a haircut.

Dom Passantino, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 13:15 (nine years ago) Permalink

Treat it that way and you'll do fine.

Dom Passantino, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 13:15 (nine years ago) Permalink

well thats what i kinda dont get. im not sure how bob is less 'product' than ashlee. im not sure how talent and product are being linked either (surely there are talented artists that are super marketed, and untalented artists that arent sold as product at all - i dont see the relationship)

696, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 13:16 (nine years ago) Permalink

xxxxxpost

well my problem with that stuff is that i kinda think that rnb sucks right now too

strongohulkington, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 13:16 (nine years ago) Permalink

and if we're coming down to 'talent' or whatever, then bob would lose out pretty heavy to someone like mingus

696, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 13:17 (nine years ago) Permalink

Mark: the reason I brought up singing is that it seems to me there's a lot MORE encouragement to sing - individually, collectively, as bonding or not - around, largely thanks to American Idol and karaoke. So we're in kind of a golden age for participatory music making! But I'm thinking maybe you're keener on something else.

Groke, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 13:18 (nine years ago) Permalink

the idea of making music, of bonding with your kids/nieces/nephews by, say, playing bluegrass on the front porch

as has been pointed out you can sing ashlee simpson songs on your front porch just as easily as bob dylan ones. but if you're getting at the communalism of music, the collective joy one can get out of it, i agree, that's a fine thing indeed! i get it mostly from dancing to techno lasers all night. and it's been pointed out as a flaw in commercial pop elsewhere, it's music without a scene or a community, without 'grassroots' - i disagree with this though, it may not have come from a community but it can be consumed in a communal way.

also if we're going to talk about whether things sound EMACIATED or not i wouldn't hesitate to call the bare dry bones of boring bob dylan emaciated in comparison with ashlee's full-blooded, slightly raucous take on celebrity skin-era courtney love.

Surely most people's problem with the teenpop thread is the abject humourlessness of it?

i'm not sure whether we should trust you on anything relating to jokes given that your idea of humour = wikipedia vandalism and shouting "ban louis jagger". lame!

i think part of the reason i have completely disconnect with "teen pop" is that there's no r&b in any of it anymore. and most of the stuff i liked around the turn of the millennium was basically urban radio with training wheels.

i've repeatedly said on the teenpop thread that this is a problem for me as well wrt current strains of the genre - i love bits here and there of the confessional, earnest style but i can't fully embrace it (which is why i've never heard an aly & aj song, don't care for the veronicas or lillix &c, had a barrier to loving ashlee for ages). and tbh i'd love it if it did pay attention to r&b more, but in the meantime i don't think the confessional rock version of teenpop is without its merits, and it's capable of producing some really fantastic stuff. (the reason i loved the paris album so much is because it took the lite-rock stuff, made it less earnest, and nodded towards club r&b at the same time - marrying both strains of teenpop.)

a gazillion xps

lex pretend, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 13:20 (nine years ago) Permalink

i'm not sure whether we should trust you on anything relating to jokes given that your idea of humour = wikipedia vandalism and shouting "ban louis jagger". lame!

We already did "humourlessness is not the opposite of funny". Please read a thread before responding.

Dom Passantino, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 13:21 (nine years ago) Permalink

my problem with teenpop obsession is the same problem i have with any obsession, i.e. i don't get obsessed with whole swathes of music. i couldn't be a rabid teenpop thread poster anymore than i could be ethan.

strongohulkington, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 13:22 (nine years ago) Permalink

Genre bandwagonnery is something we should have moved on by now. As a people, as a profession, as a fucking message board.

Dom Passantino, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 13:23 (nine years ago) Permalink

fwiw my music-obsessed tween-aged kid is waaay more critical -- not to mention less self-conscious -- than anybody on the teenpop thread, whose taste he roughtly shares. also he doesn't congratulate himself for liking contemporary pop nor condemn his peers who like classic rock.

m coleman, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 13:25 (nine years ago) Permalink

"the list of bands who i've drunkenly assured my friends "well that's the last we'll hear of THEM," who then went on to become international superstars, is quite long"

For me, that's compounded by an equally long list of bands that I've assured my friends will be huge in six months and are now broken up or still toiling in bars.

"hilary duff isn't particularly fun. but she is hot, cuz she's fly. you ain't cuz you not."

Rod and Mario, the two Tigers announcers, were bandying about the word "tautology" about a week ago, defining it as "something obvious." Were I giving a lecture using pop culture as example (a "lexture"), this would be my perfect tautology.

I eat cannibals, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 13:25 (nine years ago) Permalink

dont agree with that at all dom! the best music is genre-based and the best songs all sound exactly the same as each other

696, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 13:26 (nine years ago) Permalink

Mark: the reason I brought up singing is that it seems to me there's a lot MORE encouragement to sing - individually, collectively, as bonding or not - around, largely thanks to American Idol and karaoke. So we're in kind of a golden age for participatory music making! But I'm thinking maybe you're keener on something else.

The bluegrass/gospel angle is stronger to me personally, because it was something handed down from generation to generation, predating the mass marketing and mass consumption of recorded music. Karaoke is sort of celebrating the glut of mass-consumed music using canned music; it's a good start, but (again, to me) doesn't quite match un-canned music.

mark 0, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 13:26 (nine years ago) Permalink

which might be why i have a million western swing songs when *logically* i could probably do with about 8

696, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 13:27 (nine years ago) Permalink

i kind of agree with mark, re:karoake, but theres nothing to stop people playing ashlee songs, just the same as bob

696, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 13:28 (nine years ago) Permalink

Karaoke isn't a specifically "musical" endeavour though? I mean, when I do karaoke I'm not thinking "Wow, I am now in the same lineage of Dylan/Ashlee and I am MAKING ART", I think "Wow, it'd sure be fun to sing "The Impression That I Get" right now. Is it on the list?"

Dom Passantino, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 13:28 (nine years ago) Permalink

i mean with guitar and piano etc

696, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 13:28 (nine years ago) Permalink

and isn't amerikan idle as much about becoming a star as making music?

m coleman, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 13:29 (nine years ago) Permalink

Are genre bandwagonning and crate-digging the same thing though? Are teenpop thread regulars the new pasty-skinned DJs in Tokyo basement record stores?

Dom Passantino, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 13:30 (nine years ago) Permalink

i have no idea. i just think that 'genre' whatever it is, is a positive and cohesive thing

696, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 13:31 (nine years ago) Permalink

I mean, rap threads can take 300 post detours into "Young Jeezy has a pointy head", it's hard to imagine the teenpop thread doing similar.

uh wtf do you think the excitement and frothy delight most of the teenpop people take in tabloid bobbins like "omg hilary dissed lindsay and paris dissed nicole and lindsay ran over another photographer and did a ton of coke and paris might go to jail" are??

it's really kind of condescending, thinking that the only way to discuss bouncy, youthful music is to write like an exciteable 12-year-old

i'm sorry, one minute the teenpop thread is criticised for being earnest and humourless, and the next it's too exciteable and frothy?? make up your goddamn minds already.

lex pretend, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 13:31 (nine years ago) Permalink

wait a minute wait a minute...

does young jeezy really have a pointy head?

696, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 13:32 (nine years ago) Permalink

good question, Dom, but I think the whole Hollertronix-type hipster DJ slash subgenre expert/ambassador mold is blurring the line between genre bandwagonning and crate-digging that used to be more distinct. (xpost)

Alex in Baltimore, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 13:32 (nine years ago) Permalink

Well I was assuming that a lot of the impulse for bonding-via-music-making came from the 'fun' motive not the 'art' motive - the pub singalong, say, isn't making art but it's definitely bonding.

xpost

Groke, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 13:33 (nine years ago) Permalink

i agree with gareth on genre. i could never be a specialist - not in techno, not in r&b, not in teenpop (at this point i would like to point out that though i seem to be something of a teenpop-thread strawman, i barely post on the thing! because i can't keep up with it!) - because i like too many genres. but it is good when things within these genres adhere to them. i like formalism basically, and not so much fusion.

lex pretend, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 13:33 (nine years ago) Permalink

omg he does!!!

you wouldnt want to balance a valuable on that dome!

696, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 13:34 (nine years ago) Permalink

does young jeezy really have a pointy head?

Dom Passantino, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 13:34 (nine years ago) Permalink

"i'm sorry, one minute the teenpop thread is criticised for being earnest and humourless, and the next it's too exciteable and frothy??"

it is all things to all people. it is the alpha and the omega. it is your dream come true...and your darkest nightmare! apparently.

scott seward, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 13:34 (nine years ago) Permalink

my problem with teenpop obsession is the same problem i have with any obsession, i.e. i don't get obsessed with whole swathes of music. i couldn't be a rabid teenpop thread poster anymore than i could be ethan.

yes jess we get it you are a jaded curmudgeon, we know

you should smile more!

lex pretend, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 13:34 (nine years ago) Permalink

I thought this thread was making some progress, but we're back to a bunch of people completely misrepresenting what's actually being written on the teenpop thread.

Alex, if you think the column has an "affectionate irreverence," how come this doesn't translate to the thread itself, where I get most of my ideas for the column in the first place? When does Frank or xhuxk or Tom or Tim F or Mordy or Eppy or just about anyone sound like an "exciteable 12-year-old?

And final point, Frank saying that Ashlee is Bob Dylan's equal (or that Brie Larson's baiting her fans is reminiscent of his baiting the press) isn't mere contrarianism -- he's constantly making arguments as to why Ashlee isn't simply worth discussing (provocative), but BETTER than any other music he's listening to lately.

Aly and AJ are totally exasperating and piss me off constantly, and half their music is negligible, too sappy even for me (and I actually own the Ali Lohan Xmas album) -- but they make me think about my relationship to their music more than just about any band I can think of at the moment. No one's throwing these names out like wrenches in the gears or something -- there's serious (but not humorless) engagement happening.

jeeeez xxxposts

dabug, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 13:35 (nine years ago) Permalink

serious, you could have someones eye out with that guys head

696, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 13:36 (nine years ago) Permalink

i think a teenpop artist should make an album about saving the whales

696, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 13:37 (nine years ago) Permalink

not getting obsessed with some chimerical "genre" != not getting obsessed over music

strongohulkington, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 13:39 (nine years ago) Permalink

this is how the hitler youth started

strongohulkington, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 13:39 (nine years ago) Permalink

^^ oh god, those guys were OBSESSED!

696, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 13:40 (nine years ago) Permalink

not getting obsessed with some chimerical "genre" != not getting obsessed over music


^^^ this. The days when I heard a song I liked and then immediately had to download every record ever released on the same label = ghost.

Dom Passantino, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 13:40 (nine years ago) Permalink

i am only an expert on pre-teen pop. i know everything there is to know about dee dee doodle's keytar techniques and the techno stylings of lazytown.

scott seward, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 13:42 (nine years ago) Permalink

I dunno, though, dudes, are we arguing then that we should all be dilettante jack-of-all-trades, then? Because that's pretty problematic too.

Alex in Baltimore, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 13:43 (nine years ago) Permalink

i would rather my passions tend toward the deep and focused than broad and shallow

strongohulkington, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 13:43 (nine years ago) Permalink

that sounds like some high falutin penthouse forum shit

strongohulkington, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 13:43 (nine years ago) Permalink

I think we *need* the guys who throw themselves waist deep into all these new and overlooked genres, I'm just saying that I don't wanna invite any of them out drinking.

Dom Passantino, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 13:44 (nine years ago) Permalink

well im kinda busy that nite anyhow

696, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 13:46 (nine years ago) Permalink

in honor of this thread i have put radio disney on my t.v. they are now playing c&c music factory. see, if hilary sounded more like c&c music factory i would be first in line to buy her album. maybe.

scott seward, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 13:47 (nine years ago) Permalink

I dunno, though, dudes, are we arguing then that we should all be dilettante jack-of-all-trades, then? Because that's pretty problematic too.


on the one hand yes - we need specialists, i think knowing your field inside out is a really good thing, and certainly tremendously helpful to 'outsiders'

on the other hand - personally i could not go through life only listening to one type of music; time and finance and such dictate that if i choose to pay attention to three or more genres i'm going to feel somewhat dilettantish in each

i don't think castigating people for not being specialists is ever going to be helpful though - i'm a music geek, i spend a large proportion of time zealously keeping up with new music, and there's no way i could do it. most ordinary consumers of music are dilettantes - looking down on them would be rather small-minded and snobbish i think

lex pretend, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 13:47 (nine years ago) Permalink

this from Mr "i'm not a populist, i think i disapprove of it"

696, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 13:49 (nine years ago) Permalink

Specialists are a good thing, groupthink isn't. Or, in another way, the true evil lies with the followers not the dictator.

Dom Passantino, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 13:50 (nine years ago) Permalink

i forgot about the cheetah girls. i like them. even their cover of route 66 is pretty good.

scott seward, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 13:54 (nine years ago) Permalink

i resent the Cheetah Girls because they Disneyed up the hot one from 3LW and re-directed her career path away from slutting it up in mainstream R&B videos.

Alex in Baltimore, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 14:01 (nine years ago) Permalink

now who's creepy

lex pretend, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 14:03 (nine years ago) Permalink

(j/k i fully approve of girls (and boys) slutting it up in all videos)

lex pretend, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 14:04 (nine years ago) Permalink

fuck off, she's like a year younger than me. (xpost haha)

Alex in Baltimore, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 14:04 (nine years ago) Permalink

mc hammer into rascal flatts (doing a cover of life is a highway *ugh*) reminds me why i don't listen to radio disney that much.

scott seward, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 14:09 (nine years ago) Permalink

This thread reminded me of that "why is pop bad?" thread that pinefox started way back in 2001. The search engine is not revealing it to me, but if I remember correctly dave q reaching this almost mystical level of arguing where he could claim that either pop music was bad because it was always changing and was therefore flimsy and meaningless, or it was bad because it didn't change and was therefore boring and undynamic.

It appears that posters to the teenpop thread are to be convicted of something. All that remains is to work out what that is. Are they guilty of talking about too broad a range of music or too narrow? For acting as if this music is art, or denying the place of art in music? For being frivolous or for being overly earnest?

Let's all think of other ways in which the teenpop thread can lose whatever happens.

Tim F, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 14:14 (nine years ago) Permalink

jess, where is yer love for the new jack shwang of corbin bleu?

scott seward, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 14:15 (nine years ago) Permalink

like i said, tim, people read all kinds of things into that thread! it's majik.

scott seward, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 14:16 (nine years ago) Permalink

"Wow, it'd sure be fun to sing "The Impression That I Get" right now."

otm

deej, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 14:20 (nine years ago) Permalink

looks like the cheetah girls 2 soundtrack is the place to go for yer baby R&B.

scott seward, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 14:20 (nine years ago) Permalink

r.i.p. the "lil" in lil bow wow

strongohulkington, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 14:23 (nine years ago) Permalink

i think the criticism that poptimism is a bulwark on the path to social democracy is my favourite. i don't quite understand it but i like it.

acrobat, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 14:26 (nine years ago) Permalink

so wrong that he punched so far above his weight in dating ciara. even wronger that he dared to dump her!!!!! xp

lex pretend, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 14:27 (nine years ago) Permalink

BTW can someone who has the power find out which real post mark 0 is? I must say I like the way his michael franti pastiche has unfurled so artfully.

Tim F, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 14:29 (nine years ago) Permalink

surely it was his height he was punching above, not his weight.

Alex in Baltimore, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 14:29 (nine years ago) Permalink

ciara's a big-boned girl. only sleb who's way bigger in person than you expect.

lex pretend, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 14:33 (nine years ago) Permalink

I sometimes wonder if ciara means the lyrics to "like a boy" quite literally.

Tim F, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 14:36 (nine years ago) Permalink

have you seen the video tim?! cocking a snook at all those rumours i feel

lex pretend, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 14:36 (nine years ago) Permalink

BTW can someone who has the power find out which real post mark 0 is? I must say I like the way his michael franti pastiche has unfurled so artfully.

You've insulted me! I'm actually Stanley Crouch.

mark 0, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 14:52 (nine years ago) Permalink

At least you didn't drum for Gay Dad.

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 14:53 (nine years ago) Permalink

Don't be so sure.

Tim F, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 14:55 (nine years ago) Permalink

Gay Dad and David Murray!

mark 0, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 14:55 (nine years ago) Permalink

I don't think "frothy and exciteable" is necessarily at odds with "earnest and humorless." You can be earnestly frothy, which is what I think the accusation is all about.

This thread has been fantastic, btw, speaking as someone who likes some teenpop (Lindsay Lohan's "First" fucking rules, and Aly and AJ's "Rush" is pretty good, too) but is sort of put off by the teenpop thread for some reason I can't quite articulate (although Al and deej have done a pretty good job).

jaymc, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 15:54 (nine years ago) Permalink

I'm still totally unclear as to what's so off-putting about the teenpop thread. What is "earnest froth"? What are these accusations really all about -- surely this isn't really about specialization (or dilettantism), because (1) no one on the teenpop thread would ever claim to be an "expert" of the genre, and in fact the pervading tone is one of skepticism toward any sort of "expertise" or "specialization" (though focusing on a topic can help establish informal rules and boundaries of discussion, making discussion possible -- though really they're probably the most informal rules of any of the discussions, genre threads or otherwise) and, though maybe dilettantish (this is not inherently a bad thing; see Frank's Department of Dilettante Research), fundamentally open to grappling with a broad range of perspectives and ideas. I just don't see how there is anything off-putting about the thread whatsoever; in fact, I think it's (potentially) the best place to spark music discussions, along with a few of the other rolling threads, because there's an implied congeniality missing from a lot of other random threads, but the insights aren't limited, and consensus is never a given (there is actually very little consensus on the teenpop thread -- I think there are two or three people, e.g., who put "4ever" in their top singles of the year).

So it's particularly disheartening to hear claims of a "leader/follower" situation (not to say a lot of posters aren't influenced by the established critics posting there, but...why shouldn't we be?), and of a "tone" that should avoided, when the only thing about the teepop thread that doesn't shift or change is its multiplicity (in ideas, in what music in encompasses, in the social demographics, etc. etc.) and its openness to change any given idea on any given day, provided there's a reasonable (or hell, even unreasonable if it sparks a conversation) argument for it.

We still haven't gotten past the word way up at the beginning of the revive that started us (well, me, anyway) down this path in the first place: CREEPY. There is something unsettling about the teenpop thread to a lot of people posting here (some people who post on the thread) and I want to try to uncover what this really is. It's STUPID, and it prevents people from joining the conversation (if ya don't like the music, but you like the conversation, why not express an opinion, make an argument, for why it's bad, or cliched, or not worth talking about? "Inside" posters do this all the time; I spent several thousand words trying to articulate why I didn't want to focus on Avril's "Girlfriend.")

(Tim F generally OTM)

dabug, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:16 (nine years ago) Permalink

(Ignore the numbers, I guess it was all one big point.)

dabug, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:17 (nine years ago) Permalink

1. Teenpop commentators are both Communists and marrow-sucking Capitalist pigs.

2. OMGz. LOL. Teenpop commentators BELIEVE:: ALY + AJ R Better than Bobbie Dylan!!!


On a serious (or is it?) note: I'm very suspicious that "humorless" means - HOW COME WHEN I MAKE FUN OF TEENPOP, THEY ALWAYS EXPLAIN WHAT I'M MISSING AND MAKE ME LOOK LIKE AN ASS? DUDE! I JUST WANNA CALL PARIS A SLUT!

Cause far as I can tell - indie music and indie fans can be just as humorless - IF NOT MORESO - than teenpop fans. Cause Joanna Newsom is really full of humor, right? Or the fans who drool over her like excited 12-year-olds on this board really aren't humorless.

Mordechai Shinefield, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:19 (nine years ago) Permalink

its possible that the indie people dont feel the need/pressure to be boosterish, as its already a given that the rules of the game are 'accepted', and that this can lead to a general defensiveness-of-genre in teenpoppers because rules of game not accepted, so have to rep for the rules of the game as well as the players

696, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:22 (nine years ago) Permalink

+ general feeeling of 'ok i dont normally get to talk about this much so im kinda stoked that i can here'

696, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:23 (nine years ago) Permalink

Holy shit, 696. Are you serious? I've been sold TV on the Radio more than I've ever been sold Miley Cyrus. Maybe I haven't been sold indie as an idea, but I've definitely been sold indie bands. Even indie bands as ideas (ie: Joanna Newsom).

Mordechai Shinefield, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:24 (nine years ago) Permalink

eh, wait? i dont understand, im not saying indie bands arent sold/marketed. of course they are!

i...genuinely dont get what you've read me as saying, above

696, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:26 (nine years ago) Permalink

Can't be sold if you ain't buyin
Can't be told if you ain't tryin
Can't be sad if you ain't cryin
CAN'T WALK IF YOU'RE BUSY FLYIN

Dimension 5ive, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:27 (nine years ago) Permalink

I don't mean 'sold' in the marketing sense. Obviously. I mean having the band pushed onto me.

Mordechai Shinefield, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:28 (nine years ago) Permalink

Friends who come to ask her for their future
Friends who come to find they can't be friends
Because of signs and seasons that don't suit her
She'll prophesy your death, she won't say when
Won't say when, won't say when.

Mordechai Shinefield, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:29 (nine years ago) Permalink

im just saying that 'out there in the world' indie is accepted in a way teenpop isnt. this doesnt mean it doesnt need to be sold. of course it does. but some guy talking about, i dunno, tv on the radio, isnt going to get looks of derision that they might do if they were talking about hilaryduff

696, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:29 (nine years ago) Permalink

absolutely, the bands are pushed onto you, its already 'accepted/believed' you like the genre. whereas some straight dude over the age of 12, or ok a dude at all, its not going to be thought of that they like hilary

696, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:30 (nine years ago) Permalink

You think that because indie is more accepted that makes its fans less boosterish? Dude, how many Tool fans are there in the world? I'm gonna guess... a lot. Yet every single one has tried to push Tool on me. SO: Clearly legitimacy has nothing to do with boosterism.

Mordechai Shinefield, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:31 (nine years ago) Permalink

plus, half the thing with indie, is the whole individualism schtick, this artist stands alone, theyre not indie, they transcend that etc etc disingenousness

696, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:32 (nine years ago) Permalink

the fans push the band onto you

not the genre

696, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:33 (nine years ago) Permalink

Important point here: Hilary Duff is much better than TV on the Radio.

dabug, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:33 (nine years ago) Permalink

indie:boosterism of band, not genre (as is already accepted)

teenpop: boosterism of genre (as has to fight for legitimacy)

696, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:33 (nine years ago) Permalink

of course hilary duff is better than tv on the radio, i dont know what thats got to do with anything

696, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:34 (nine years ago) Permalink

"the world"

Eppy, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:34 (nine years ago) Permalink

I think what 696 is saying is that there's an initial stage of argument - "Why are we even talking about this stuff?" - that doesn't need to be gone through for indie* these days** but that discussion of teenpop (outside the thread) keeps coming back to.

*except when someone forces the issue, but even on ILM this is a rarity nowadays
**wasn't always so, definitely.

xpost yes, he was saying that.

Groke, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:34 (nine years ago) Permalink

(blah blah xpost) I think what 696 is saying is that when you're "sold" TV on the Radio or other indie bands so often, then you accept that it is a worthwhile thing to talk about, but when Miley Cyrus doesn't exist except for in a Radio Disney (and maybe MySpace) vacuum, there's a tendency to be more boosterish, to exaggerate what you get out of the music (which is not to say the enjoyment isn't genuine) and to be defensive about it.

jaymc, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:35 (nine years ago) Permalink

Before we get into an indie tangent or legitimacy or disingenuousness or whatever, I should mention that indie music is in no way in opposition to the non-indie stuff discussed on the teenpop thread.

xposts

dabug, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:35 (nine years ago) Permalink

Boosterism is Boosterism. Aren't we talking about humorlessness? Well, that's produced by boosterism, no matter what the fan is pushing for. And as pointed out above, teenpop is an amalgamation of genres. Meg & Dia are written about there, but they also get written about on absolutepunk.net.

Mordechai Shinefield, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:35 (nine years ago) Permalink

And I have no idea why TV on the Radio is worth talking about, or half as interesting as most of the subjects in the Teenpop thread. If anything, the consequence of indie's acceptance is that people don't care enough to ask.

Mordechai Shinefield, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:36 (nine years ago) Permalink

Also, very few people on the teenpop thread really like Miley Cyrus all that much! I thought she was fun when she came out, now couldn't care less. Frank and xhuxk never liked her much, IIRC, and I don't think anyone except me and Greg and Mordy even mention her. Dimension 5ive hates her!

dabug, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:36 (nine years ago) Permalink

c'mon guys, just admit that your tastes are illegitimate, it'll make everything a lot easier.

Eppy, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:37 (nine years ago) Permalink

i think the boosterism of genre is a form of defensiveness (fighting for legitimacy), and the defensiveness is a contributory factor to humourlessness

696, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:37 (nine years ago) Permalink

ive never heard miley cyrus or tv on the radio lol

696, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:37 (nine years ago) Permalink

"What is "earnest froth"?"


scott seward, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:37 (nine years ago) Permalink

I'm only defensive when people accuse me of being: dishonest, humorless, a pedophile (which has happened directly and indirectly in publications I write/wrote for), a misguided follower, a "specialist," a "generalist," etc. etc. etc. If you want to badmouth Hannah Montana, be my guest.

dabug, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:38 (nine years ago) Permalink

earnest froth, he used to be trombone player in sol campbell and his chiswick riverboat gamblers

696, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:38 (nine years ago) Permalink

Sigh. Alright. I'll give up the ghost. I don't really like any of the music I pretend to. I really just like Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin (and Tool AND Children of Bodom) but I'm contrarian. My bad.

Mordechai Shinefield, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:38 (nine years ago) Permalink

I'm only defensive when people accuse me of being: dishonest, humorless, a pedophile (which has happened directly and indirectly in publications I write/wrote for), a misguided follower, a "specialist," a "generalist," etc. etc. etc.

^^^ of course. but, if you are a teenpop fan, there is always the chance of this kind of attack, just round the corner, so defensiveness isnt surprising, even if its quite muted

696, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:39 (nine years ago) Permalink

Sigh. Alright. I'll give up the ghost. I don't really like any of the music I pretend to. I really just like Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin (and Tool AND Children of Bodom) but I'm contrarian. My bad.

-- Mordechai Shinefield, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:38 (47 secon


dude, defensive much;)

696, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:40 (nine years ago) Permalink

(I'm sorry, who is dabug? If you don't want to say, no worries, I was just curious.)

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:40 (nine years ago) Permalink

serious, i dont see anyone suggesting you dont like what you like

or

where have you read in what ive said, something along those lines?

696, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:40 (nine years ago) Permalink

I also think that "fighting for legitimacy" re: teenpop is sort of an outgrowth of a broader goal of mine to fight against idiocy in music writing, in part because I've contributed to this myself and still do occasionally. Teenpop is, almost without exception, where this idiocy is most pronounced, easiest to spot, and easiest to deflate. (But again, that's only when legitimacy is even an issue, which it isn't explicitly, or even implicitly, THAT often on the teenpop thread, and certainly isn't a "rule.")

dabug, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:41 (nine years ago) Permalink

You have emailed dabug, Ned! He is waiting to hear about you about some essay he is supposed to write...

dabug, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:41 (nine years ago) Permalink

xpost
exactly, you just shouldn't like what you like.

Eppy, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:42 (nine years ago) Permalink

well, there it is!

im not suggesting anything is unjustified or bad, just that all the reasons you have stated are surely a contributory factor to genre-boosterism, that wont be present in other genres for the simple fact that those barbs and attacks are not there?

696, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:42 (nine years ago) Permalink

696, I was just responding to Eppy's post. It was a joke. :-P

Mordechai Shinefield, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:42 (nine years ago) Permalink

if you are a teenpop fan, there is always the chance of this kind of attack, just round the corner, so defensiveness isnt surprising, even if its quite muted

I'm never surprised, but I'm often defensive. Especially when it happens here. What is this "outside world" of which you speak, anyhow?

dabug, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:43 (nine years ago) Permalink

Eppy, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:43 (nine years ago) Permalink

You have emailed dabug, Ned! He is waiting to hear about you about some essay he is supposed to write...


Astounding!

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:43 (nine years ago) Permalink

696, I was just responding to Eppy's post. It was a joke. :-P

-- Mordechai Shinefield,


ffs you guys, can you not keep it humourless, i cant keep up

696, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:44 (nine years ago) Permalink

I've got to go take a film final on [wait for it......] legitimacy and marginalization in Jewish film. Be back later.

Mordechai Shinefield, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:44 (nine years ago) Permalink

serious, i dont see anyone suggesting you dont like what you like

not you, but it's all over the place! people accusing the teenpop dudes of "frothing" or "fawning" or "exaggerating" or "going overboard" when they call albums by lindsay lohan or paris hilton amazing

lex pretend, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:45 (nine years ago) Permalink

You can't beat a good Aly and AJ tune for SHAME SHAME SHAME. Try "Not This Year"!

dabug, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:45 (nine years ago) Permalink

696 otm upthread btw

Eppy, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:45 (nine years ago) Permalink

OR IS HE

Eppy, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:45 (nine years ago) Permalink

no, he is.

Eppy, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:45 (nine years ago) Permalink

yes lex I KNOW.

i thought people were saying i was saying that, because...i was discussing with them

the reason people say that, is why i think there is genre-boosting!!

696, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:46 (nine years ago) Permalink

("Not This Year" is amazing, btw, my #4 single of the year. Last year's #4 was "First" by LiLo, just like jaymc!)

dabug, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:46 (nine years ago) Permalink

oh shit, i should quit while im ahead

696, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:46 (nine years ago) Permalink

to be honest i don't think calling the teenpop people "defensive" is at all helpful - if anything i'm impressed at how calm and level-headed they've mostly remained, i don't have anything like that patience to deal with stupid attacks. it's the stupidity of the attacks which is more the issue here

lex pretend, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:46 (nine years ago) Permalink

Important point here: Hilary Duff is much better than TV on the Radio.

See, this is precisely the sort of "look, controversial!" rhetoric that rubs me the wrong way. Not because I believe that TV on the Radio is inherently better. (I like them sometimes but also think they're very much overrated. I can't remember ever having heard a Hilary Duff song, although I probably have.) But there is this sense of gleeful canon upheaval that doesn't really engage with its motivations all the time. I mean, I understand how it's worthwhile to focus on music that ordinarily doesn't written about at all, but there is an element of "blah, indie rock!" beyond the Lex complaining about boys with guitars. There's Mordecai's immediate assumption that the posters on this thread that are complaining about teenpop and/or the teenpop thread are somber "indie kids" (not so much). And I seem to recall a Cure for Bedbugs blog post about the new Arcade Fire album, which amounted to not much more than "Ick! Dull, dull, dull!" -- which I guess is partially an attempt to distance himself from his own 9.7 Pitchfork review of the first one.

jaymc, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:47 (nine years ago) Permalink

AMAZINGNESS of lohan's 'first' seconded (also 'speak' and 'nobody til you' and i heart the ott melodrama of 'confessions')

lex pretend, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:47 (nine years ago) Permalink

Wait, did we decide genre-boosting is good or bad already? We can't even decide whether or not teenpop is actually a genre on the teenpop thread! I should be taking notes...

xpost, jaymc, that was clearly baiting intended for this thread. I think you'd be hard-pressed to find a statement like that (from me, anyway) on the teenpop thread. Maybe on my blog, though, because it makes me chuckle to myself to do that occasionally...especially on Mislabeled Monday. Wonder if I can still get to #1 on Hype Machine with that trick.

dabug, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:49 (nine years ago) Permalink

i dont mean actually overtly defensive lex. i mean that positive boosterism is a (necessary?) form of defensiveness, because its important for the framework/genre to be taken seriously, in order for the players to be taken seriously

696, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:49 (nine years ago) Permalink

"First" was 2005, btw. My #4 last year was "Crazy."

jaymc, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:50 (nine years ago) Permalink

No, I called the new Arcade Fire album DULL DULL DULL because it's fucking DULL DULL DULL and their last one was worth 9.7 Pitchfork Dollars.

dabug, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:50 (nine years ago) Permalink

its a bit like how football fans are fans of their team, but dont really boost for football itself

but fans of minor sports are fans of the sport, and rep for the sport itself

696, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:50 (nine years ago) Permalink

See, this is precisely the sort of "look, controversial!" rhetoric that rubs me the wrong way.

so why doesn't it rub you the wrong way when it's the other way round, which is far far more common, esp on ilm? the assumption that tv on the radio/bob dylan/whoever are not only "obviously" better than hilary duff, but also "obviously" more worthy of discussion?

and for all that you lot say that our "canon-upheaval" is oh so tired, i think the outraged response to it is indicative that...no matter how much you think you're over it, it's still v much ingrained in your attitudes

lex pretend, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:50 (nine years ago) Permalink

And f's sake, all you got out of that massive post was "ick dull dull dull"???? It was like three thousand words long or something! Plus comment threads!

dabug, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:51 (nine years ago) Permalink

"See, this is precisely the sort of "look, controversial!" rhetoric that rubs me the wrong way."

why is this "controversial"? or why would you think someone was being controversial just by saying it. lots of things are better than t.v. on the radio.

scott seward, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:51 (nine years ago) Permalink

i would never rep for football itself, i dont mind, whatever. i boost for my team though

but fans of sports thrown to the side by football boost for their sport also, in the face of footballs dominance

696, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:51 (nine years ago) Permalink

so why doesn't it rub you the wrong way when it's the other way round, which is far far more common, esp on ilm?

Who says it doesn't? I can't fucking stand Bob Dylan.

jaymc, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:52 (nine years ago) Permalink

but fans of minor sports are fans of the sport, and rep for the sport itself

haha when i'm talking to other tennis fans i'll rip into eg serena williams for all the cunty things she's done over the years but the moment i talk to a non-tennis fan i'll be like SERENA IS GREAT, she may be a cunt but she's OUR cunt

lex pretend, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:52 (nine years ago) Permalink

(And if I wanted to distance myself from the Arcade Fire, why would I choose to listen to a buncha kids' music??? Maybe AF was my gateway drug!)

dabug, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:53 (nine years ago) Permalink

re lex: DINGDINGDING

696, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:53 (nine years ago) Permalink

Who says it doesn't? I can't fucking stand Bob Dylan.

well it may do but for some reason there are no 300-answer threads questioning the legitimacy of bob dylan threads!

lex pretend, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:54 (nine years ago) Permalink

yes there are

deej, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:56 (nine years ago) Permalink

I said upthread that Bob Dylan AND The Beatles AND The Stones were better than Aly and AJ, Lex. I meant it, too. Sorry.

xpost Lex this is untrue! There are at least two or three "Hey wow that Bob Dylan doesn't his voice suck I think he's OVERRATED" threads.

Groke, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:56 (nine years ago) Permalink

why is this "controversial"? or why would you think someone was being controversial just by saying it. lots of things are better than t.v. on the radio.

Because Hilary Duff and TV on the Radio have nothing to do with each other except for the fact that one is teenpop and is generally maligned, and the other is indie rock and was #1 on the Idolator poll last year. There's no reason to ever compare the two, especially in such simple language (i.e., X is better than Y) except to make a point that bears little relation to the music itself and has more to do with the broader implications of the statement (i.e., "there's some teenpop that's better than some indie rock" -- well, no shit). I'd love to hear an argument of how Hilary Duff is actually better than TV on the Radio, though, that actually engages with what TV on the Radio sounds like and why whatever they're doing doesn't work as strongly or effectively as Hilary Duff.

jaymc, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:57 (nine years ago) Permalink

What do TV on the Radio sound like, incidentally?

Groke, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:58 (nine years ago) Permalink

But those threads are about Bob Dylan, not about the people who post about Bob Dylan.

dabug, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:58 (nine years ago) Permalink

"but there is an element of "blah, indie rock!" beyond the Lex complaining about boys with guitars."

"blah, indie rock!" is a perfectly valid reason to listen to stuff that isn't indie rock!

scott seward, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:58 (nine years ago) Permalink

someone brought up t.v. on the radio. i can't remember who. i think that's the only reason a comparison was made.

scott seward, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:59 (nine years ago) Permalink

but they aren't questioning the right of bob dylan boosters to exist - there's a diff between "this lindsay lohan song sucks" and "i find the very existence of a teenpop thread to be creepy and unbearable"

i've never heard aly & aj but i do think that any given song off the paris hilton album, maybe including the dodgy rod stewart cover, pisses all over everything i've ever heard by bob dylan/rolling stones/beatles

^^^the kind of thing which will get called "wilful contrarianism" or "annoying tired canon-upheaval" when it's actually just something i genuinely think

lex pretend, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:00 (nine years ago) Permalink

Play six degrees of separation here, jaymc...do the Killers have anything to do with TV on the Radio? At least in a way that Hilary Duff doesn't? So then how could "Beat of My Heart," which is better than any Killers song I've ever heard (before their last album), not have anything to do with TV on the Radio? Or would you make an argument that the Killers have as much "less to do with" TV on the Radio as Hilary Duff?

dabug, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:00 (nine years ago) Permalink

what would a thread about the people posting about bob dylan involve, i wonder.

Tim Ellison, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:00 (nine years ago) Permalink

(Also, what scott said...I was responding directly to the comparison that was made on this thread)

dabug, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:01 (nine years ago) Permalink

the right of bob dylan boosters to exist

No one questioned the right of anyone to exist!

Tim Ellison, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:02 (nine years ago) Permalink

What do TV on the Radio sound like, incidentally?

i only ever heard the first album but from what i recall the answer is "an unlistenable mess, all things thrown into the mix at the excat same pitch with little to no regard for how they sound together; a singer who sounds like he's being tortured; like muse but without any of the tunes"

lex pretend, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:02 (nine years ago) Permalink

"blah, indie rock!" is a perfectly valid reason to listen to stuff that isn't indie rock!

Of course it is! But it's not a very good criticism.

jaymc, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:02 (nine years ago) Permalink

*meaning Hilary sounded like pre-Sam's Town Killers. I didn't actually like Sam's Town very much.

dabug, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:02 (nine years ago) Permalink

weird no one's admitting this is all contextual to ilm.

Eppy, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:02 (nine years ago) Permalink

maybe that goes without saying.

Eppy, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:03 (nine years ago) Permalink

i think the non-teenpop people are the defensive ones. they are suspicious and don't like to be tricked! chuck eddy made them buy a big & rich album once and they have never gotten over it!

scott seward, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:03 (nine years ago) Permalink

I was sort of hoping a TV on the Radio fan would answer that Lex!

Groke, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:03 (nine years ago) Permalink

And, again, people on the teenpop thread don't WRITE things like "TV on the Radio is way worse than Hilary Duff"! I wrote it here because I'm all agitated by this thread (and specifically by you bringing up the AF review, which was kind of annoying AND misrepresented what I actually wrote about that -- off-topic -- subject, no offense) and bored at work.

dabug, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:04 (nine years ago) Permalink

tom they sound like ar kane X american indie rock essentially

strongohulkington, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:05 (nine years ago) Permalink

hilary duff is better than nas

Eppy, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:05 (nine years ago) Permalink

feedback melodies + looped mechnical drums (though more live drums on the newer stuff) + falsetto singing

strongohulkington, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:05 (nine years ago) Permalink

scott, that's reducing things, no? it's not at all about "i heard this ashlee simpson song and i just don't understand WHYYYYYY?"

Tim Ellison, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:06 (nine years ago) Permalink

i just thought people had gotten beyond the whole "you REALLY like that, seriously??? why???" attitude that normal people have. especially on ilm where frothy pop has never been a four letter word. but there seem to be many reasons why people have a problem with that thread.

scott seward, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:09 (nine years ago) Permalink

If Hilary sounds anything like the first Killers album (which had three pretty amazing singles), I'd love to hear more of her stuff.

Dave, I don't doubt that Hilary Duff and TV on the Radio may have certain things in common (I mean, they're both essentially making pop/rock music), but I hope you'll agree that that point is not obvious (if it were more obvious, I would think that their demographics would overlap more), and since that's the case, the statement "Hilary is better than TVOTR" on its own, without further explanation, seems intentionally provocative.

jaymc, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:10 (nine years ago) Permalink

Jay is the statement "TVOTR is better than Hilary Duff" also intentionally provocative? Obviously on ILM it is!

Groke, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:11 (nine years ago) Permalink

well, i mean, honestly, have you yourself gotten over it? why WOULD someone get over it? (or is it just a question of not vocalizing it out of a sense of decorum?) seems like a natural process of trying to understand other people.

2xp

Tim Ellison, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:11 (nine years ago) Permalink

(And also DM, I apologize for bringing up the Arcade Fire review. It's possible I'm completely misremembering, because what I recall is a paragraph-long post where you said "Ick, this is dull, why did I ever like them? All right, moving on...")

jaymc, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:12 (nine years ago) Permalink

If Hilary sounds anything like the first Killers album (which had three pretty amazing singles), I'd love to hear more of her stuff.

i don't actually hear too much of it myself but i know others, esp abby, argue that early hilary is basically modelled on the killers' sound

(i think early hilary is untethered and light and breezy where the killers plod)

lex pretend, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:12 (nine years ago) Permalink

Jay is the statement "TVOTR is better than Hilary Duff" also intentionally provocative? Obviously on ILM it is!

Yes, I said upthread that the reverse irritates me, too.

jaymc, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:13 (nine years ago) Permalink

we could go back to the question i asked at the start of this! jaymc check out 'beat of my heart', 'wake up', 'the math' and 'come clean' ASAP

lex pretend, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:13 (nine years ago) Permalink

OK, sorry, the thread was moving fast at that point!

Groke, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:14 (nine years ago) Permalink

hey why is there a separate hip-hop thread when everyone knows that's not real music anyway lolol. that's like creepy white negro shit huh?

Eppy, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:15 (nine years ago) Permalink

8,004,327 posts and I still don't know if I should get the new Hilary. But I want to thank the Miranda Lambert claque for boosting the album of the year.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:16 (nine years ago) Permalink

Is anyone on this thread trying to understand the teenpop thread posters? Like, I haven't seen the actual thread quoted once, most of the arguments coming from "what's wrong with the teenpop thread" are coming from knee-jerky comments in THIS discussion, e.g. "TVOTR is a million times suckier than Hilary Duff, who is a goddess and better than Bob Dylan."

xpost (ha, pedophilia's nuthin, if you really want me to get defensive, just mention AF...think I overreacted upthread tho so sorry bout that. FWIW, that post was about me remembering why I liked them in the first place -- and still do -- and comparing that reaction to what (I thought) they were doing on their new album. And I know I'm right, so there's no reason to argue further on this point.)

dabug, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:17 (nine years ago) Permalink

New Hilary's great! Two or three dull tracks (but not bad), try "Gypsy Woman" for wtfness, "Dignity" for dance-pop goodness, and "Happy" for freestyle-inflected dance-pop goodness, then go from there.

dabug, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:18 (nine years ago) Permalink

And "Outside of Me" for P!nk-penned half-dance half-confessional (Hilary gap-bridger) goodness.

dabug, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:19 (nine years ago) Permalink

every time I start to see someone's point, they rep for something like "Beat Of My Heart," which is one of the worst songs I've ever heard. although it's kind of fun to sing along with the horrible "AWAAY AWAAAAY" part.

Alex in Baltimore, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:20 (nine years ago) Permalink

i dig "with love". i haven't heard it on the dancey/top40 station here yet, but i could definitely hear it on there.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhgLoanz1b4

scott seward, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:21 (nine years ago) Permalink

even jess might like "with love"!

scott seward, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:21 (nine years ago) Permalink

ew Hilary's great! Two or three dull tracks (but not bad), try "Gypsy Woman" for wtfness,

not Crystal Waters...

thanks, dabug and scott!

"With Love" is ok, but it's got a Gwen Stefani "Crash" vibe to it.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:23 (nine years ago) Permalink

that song reminds me of the mall.

Tim Ellison, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:24 (nine years ago) Permalink

No, much more wtf than Crystal Waters (tho maybe she out-wtf's it in her own special way)...the gypsy is "bringing down the family name"!!! WTF cartoon racism!!

dabug, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:25 (nine years ago) Permalink

"She can swallow knives/ She can swallow lives/ Golden black stare/ But the night of your demise"!!!! Also, bookended with a totally out of context Churchill quote: "The battle of France is over" w/ Hilary comment.

dabug, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:26 (nine years ago) Permalink

I guess my issue is often that the songs/singers being talked about just sound really feeble to me, no "pop transcendence" or big hooks or much of anything. I understand why labels sign and market teenage singers, but unless they can sing better than "good for a 15-year-old" or whatever, I'm usually not interested. Same reason I'm happy that no under 18 contestants on American Idol go the distance, unless they've clearly got professional-level skills like Jordin Sparks.

Alex in Baltimore, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:26 (nine years ago) Permalink

which brings us back to Hilary Duff being Sanjaya Skeletor

Alex in Baltimore, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:27 (nine years ago) Permalink

Every time someone wants hooks, I refer them to that Lester Bangs essay...

Even better than a big hook, "Girlfriend"'s got personality. It's also the cleverest Stones rip I've heard in years.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:28 (nine years ago) Permalink

yeah, with the talk about good voices in this genre, i just think jeez, i REALLY saw a good singer when i saw lavender diamond play the other day. always comin' back to indie as the pwnage!

Tim Ellison, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:28 (nine years ago) Permalink

which bangs essay are you talking about alfred?

Tim Ellison, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:29 (nine years ago) Permalink

("Beat of My Heart" does what, say, "Mr. Brightside" wants but doesn't have the guts to do -- economically pares the lyrics down to four to six manageable words plus a smattering of simple verses, delivers the hook with a sledgehammer -- which Killers are doing, too, but they're like the people at the "ring the bell" carnival game who act like they don't REALLY care to hide the fact that THEY CAN'T RING THE BELL. Hilary doesn't worry so much about the narrative, though there's some strange conflict happening...if she's listening to her heartbeat, learning to dance, up from her down, etc., why is the same beat also "tearing them apart"? What the hell does "away away" mean? Is she doomed?)

dabug, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:30 (nine years ago) Permalink

unless they've clearly got professional-level skills like Jordin Sparks

I like Jordin too, but she could use some Autotune.

dabug, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:30 (nine years ago) Permalink

Alfred: much cleverer and maybe better (direct) Stones rip is Fefe Dobson's (unreleased) "Get You Off." "Hey! Hey! You! You! Get off of my baaaaaack..." preceded by "I'll do anything to get you off! To get you OFF MY BACK!"

dabug, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:32 (nine years ago) Permalink

which bangs essay are you talking about alfred?

The one about his ambivalence towards Kim Carnes' "Bette Davis Eyes."

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:32 (nine years ago) Permalink

Hilary doesn't worry so much about the narrative, though there's some strange conflict happening...if she's listening to her heartbeat, learning to dance, up from her down, etc., why is the same beat also "tearing them apart"? What the hell does "away away" mean? Is she doomed?

see, this is kind of what I've been talking about, these kinds of enthusiastic attempts to pin down the logic in a boring heart/start/apart rhyme scheme, painting the lack of narrative or any sense at all as an asset. I guess this is a good example of how the teenpop thread tends to exert a lot of evergy asking questions with very simple or at least not particularly interesting answers.

Alex in Baltimore, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:37 (nine years ago) Permalink

ugh, evergy=energy

Alex in Baltimore, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:38 (nine years ago) Permalink

yeah alex otm, i just feel like saying 'you know dudes, sometimes an apple is just an apple' about a lot of this stuff

deej, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:40 (nine years ago) Permalink

(I threw in "is she doomed" especially for this thread, it was like a cherry on top.)

dabug, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:41 (nine years ago) Permalink

(not an apple on top)

dabug, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:41 (nine years ago) Permalink

My point, though, is that "Beat of My Heart" (like "Gypsy Woman") is actually quite ILLOGICAL. There's no reason they had to rhyme "heart" with "apart." "The beat of my heart (etc.)/ We never will part"...so there IS conflict, legitimately, just as there's conflict in "Yer pushin' too hard on meeeeeee," which is a simple lyric. "Now I'm gonna be twenty-two/ I say oh my and boo hoo" = one of the best lyrics EVER WRITTEN. Try to pin the logic down in the boring rhyme scheme and you might be writing excellent music criticism (Lester Bangs, for instance).

dabug, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:43 (nine years ago) Permalink

"Beat of My Heart" does what, say, "Mr. Brightside" wants but doesn't have the guts to do

OK, funny, because I just listened to "Beat of My Heart" and I kept thinking "this sort of sounds like 'Mr. Brightside' but defanged." The song's not horrible, but I don't hear a whole lot of character in Hilary's voice. I mean, Brandon Flowers can sound kind of blank sometimes, too, but on "Mr. Brightside" I hear this self-loathing panic in his voice. Plus, there's the clever part where you think he's going to say "dick" but he doesn't. The best part in "Beat of My Heart" is that little guitar figure in the "awaaay awaaay" part, but I find the guitar on "Mr. Brightside" to be more interesting throughout, from the spidery arpeggios of the verse to the sharp, jutting lines in the chorus.

jaymc, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:44 (nine years ago) Permalink

he wasn't ambivalent, alfred. he said he hated it.

Tim Ellison, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:44 (nine years ago) Permalink

"Duff’s decision to focus on the ecstasy of dance-pop and pop-rock force you to deal with a rather queasy issue: her inability to sound ecstatic...The yearning and desire in her lyrics feel mandatory rather than inspired."

miccio wrote that two years ago, and i've yet to hear anything that makes me feel otherwise.

strongohulkington, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:45 (nine years ago) Permalink

thinking gives you wrinkles

Eppy, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:45 (nine years ago) Permalink

And how about when the lyrics are complex and heartbreaking? Ashlee: "Maybe you don't love me like I love you, baby, because the broken in you doesn't make me run." Also a source of excellent criticism (by Tim F last year).

dabug, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:46 (nine years ago) Permalink

the "mandatory" thing is what bangs is talking about in that column or whatever it was.

Tim Ellison, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:46 (nine years ago) Permalink

thinking gives you wrinkles

-- Eppy, Tuesday, May 15, 2007 12:45 PM (1 minute ago)

miccio used to say this a lot too

deej, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:47 (nine years ago) Permalink

See, but now we're actually arguing on the teenpop thread's terms. You're (implicitly) arguing for why the teenpop thread is a good thing, because Miccio could just has easily have argued that point (and dealt with people arguing something different) and it would have only enriched the conversation. (As far as taste goes, I really love androids, and Hilary's like the perfect android with a couple of weird glitches in it. Very endearing.)

dabug, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:48 (nine years ago) Permalink

we all love the simpsons, yes

strongohulkington, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:48 (nine years ago) Permalink

i think it's not so much "her inability to feel ecstatic" so much as the fact that that music simply makes no real efforts to actually approach genuine ecstasy.

Tim Ellison, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:49 (nine years ago) Permalink

(And the reason I love androids is because my insulin pump makes me feel PART MACHINE myself, so I can almost empathize with someone like Hilary. Or Nick Jonas, who is an android...with an insulin pump!!)

dabug, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:49 (nine years ago) Permalink

or i could say "it's a bunch of phony bullshit"

Tim Ellison, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:49 (nine years ago) Permalink

No, Ashlee's NOT an android. See Rolling Teenpop 2006 for about fifty thousand examples.

dabug, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:50 (nine years ago) Permalink

i have no problem with forced ecstasy either, i should point out. i just like it when it's constructed in such a way that it doesn't foreground the obligation aspect in either songwriting or production.

strongohulkington, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:50 (nine years ago) Permalink

nothing is more forced ecstatic than trance or happy hardcore, and yet neither of them feel like the producer and/or songwriter and/or singer would rather be playing xbox or doing their toenails.

strongohulkington, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:51 (nine years ago) Permalink

he wasn't ambivalent, alfred. he said he hated it.


He hated the song, was ambivalent about what it portended. Whatever.

see, this is kind of what I've been talking about, these kinds of enthusiastic attempts to pin down the logic in a boring heart/start/apart rhyme scheme, painting the lack of narrative or any sense at all as an asset. I guess this is a good example of how the teenpop thread tends to exert a lot of evergy asking questions with very simple or at least not particularly interesting answers

We're going 'round the mulberry bush here. Isn't this what critics do, like, ALL THE TIME? Like, I'm trying to figure out why this new Field record bores me while my peers think it's masterful.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:51 (nine years ago) Permalink

the best examples, i should say.

strongohulkington, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:51 (nine years ago) Permalink

"Beat of My Heart": great songwriting, great production! Dude from Good Charlotte at the knobs!

dabug, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:51 (nine years ago) Permalink

well you've certainly convinced me

strongohulkington, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:52 (nine years ago) Permalink

we're not gonna have to do another lex-ethering sessions as per upthread are we?

strongohulkington, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:52 (nine years ago) Permalink

nothing is more forced ecstatic than trance or happy hardcore, and yet neither of them feel like the producer and/or songwriter and/or singer would rather be playing xbox or doing their toenails.

But if I'm "forced" to do anything (even feel ecstasy), wouldn't I want to play xbox or paint my toenails anyway?

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:53 (nine years ago) Permalink

it's a good thing there are objective truths about music.

Eppy, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:53 (nine years ago) Permalink

I mean this would all be pretty ridiculous otherwise huh?

Eppy, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:53 (nine years ago) Permalink

"forced" in the sense that it's their only note

strongohulkington, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:54 (nine years ago) Permalink

assembly line, blah blah

strongohulkington, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:54 (nine years ago) Permalink

Treating teenpop the way old school crit-dorks treat Dylan-types (that earnest, benefit-of-the-doubt "what do they mean?" thing) is refreshing at first, but then you realize that some people treat teenpoppers the way old-school crit-dorks treat Dylan-types but seem to not do it for anyone else with the same passion. It's as if they don't want to give every artist under the sun this kind of enraptured attention, just young ladies. And being scalliwags ourselves, we assume the funniest and most logical reasons for this.

btw, I can't believe Jess still remembers my Duff review. Flattered!

da croupier, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:55 (nine years ago) Permalink

(or am I misinterpreting that...what is the "obligation aspect"?)

No, I don't really go in for "this is great, period." I can't really go that deep into what I like about "Beat of My Heart," except to say her voice suits its insistence and ambivalence (the song is actually NOT about ecstasy -- the "beat of my heart, it tears us apart!!!"), she doesn't overshoot the mark with chops, either (kind of how Lillix find a nice balance in "Sweet Temptation"; a "better" singer would have killed that song, though Hilary might have even been a better choice for it -- this is what Abby Poptext argued at the time on the teenpop trhead).

dabug, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:55 (nine years ago) Permalink

i'm not saying that trance or happy hardcore producers don't sit down to make music and draw on their HOPES AND DREAMS AND PAINS AND FEARS and whatnot, but they're working, by and large, within a template, and so yr not gonna get a lot of deviation based on "organic" songwriting, this one's from the heart blah blah blah

strongohulkington, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:55 (nine years ago) Permalink

some people treat teenpoppers the way old-school crit-dorks treat Dylan-types but seem to not do it for anyone else with the same passion

who?

Eppy, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:57 (nine years ago) Permalink

the lex

strongohulkington, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:57 (nine years ago) Permalink

throw some minimal techno in there too

strongohulkington, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:57 (nine years ago) Permalink

It's as if they don't want to give every artist under the sun this kind of enraptured attention, just young ladies. And being scalliwags ourselves, we assume the funniest and most logical reasons for this.

There is definitely a gender gap in the teenpop thread (there's an opposite gender gap on the hip-hop threads, indie threads, metal threads etc...gender balance is only close to perfect on the country thread!). However, we spend most of our time talking about ladies, but not nec. "young ladies"...Ashlee and Marit Larsen probably got more discussion last year (by a long shot) than, say, Miley Cyrus. Marit also put out the best album of last year without question, which explains better why we talked about her so much.

dabug, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:58 (nine years ago) Permalink

when yr over 25 they're all "young ladies" dude

strongohulkington, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:58 (nine years ago) Permalink

is r&b teenpop now? (xpost)

Eppy, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:58 (nine years ago) Permalink

and wait, I thought we didn't want people to be dilettantes, so sticking to one genre should be good right?

Eppy, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 17:59 (nine years ago) Permalink

could we form a blue-ribbon committee and get a report here?

Eppy, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 18:00 (nine years ago) Permalink

yr not gonna get a lot of deviation based on "organic" songwriting, this one's from the heart blah blah blah

You hardly ever get this with Hilary Duff (case in point: her dance remix to "Come Clean" wipes the floor with the original more rock-based one). Her only successful foray into angst-rock so to speak is "Fly," which is weirdly sterile. I like it for its sterility, though.

Ashlee and Aly and AJ, on the other hand, do "organic songwriting" better than a lot of singer-songwriters! "Not This Year" is the best serious/sad Christmas novelty of the decade (at least), "I Am One of Them" about child kidnapping scares/frustrates the shit outta me.

dabug, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 18:00 (nine years ago) Permalink

homey i'm not even sure if you can read at this point

strongohulkington, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 18:01 (nine years ago) Permalink

we all love the simpsons, yes

hah to clarify i meant this a compliment of miccio's arguing style + challenging people to think

deej, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 18:06 (nine years ago) Permalink

and an observation of his snark

deej, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 18:07 (nine years ago) Permalink

i think jess' point about forced ecstasy in techno had to do with the aesthetic of chemicals and robots. which is different than the ecstasy of the mall, which is more stepford wives and you're not even getting some real attempt at nouveau-futurism to go along with it!

Tim Ellison, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 18:13 (nine years ago) Permalink

>>some people treat teenpoppers the way old-school crit-dorks treat Dylan-types but seem to not do it for anyone else with the same passion

who?


To be honest, this seemed like a criticism of Kogan more than anyone else, who writes about Ashlee Simpson in the same way he writes about Dylan or the New York Dolls, probing their lyrics and their images/personalities. But it's true, I've often wondered why he focuses on Brie Larsen or Miranda Lambert and doesn't apply the same critical skills to Green Day or LCD Soundsystem, too. Not to say that Green Day or LCD Soundsystem are more deserving, of course. And it's possible he writes about that stuff elsewhere and I just haven't seen it (someone did mention an Of Montreal review he did for PTW).

jaymc, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 18:16 (nine years ago) Permalink

could we form a blue-ribbon committee and get a report here?

Don't forget graphs and charts. Those are always good for a laugh.

dabug, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 18:19 (nine years ago) Permalink

I dunno – Frank's book is pretty eclectic. But anyway, why does Scott Fitzgerald write about rich people and debutantes? Why does Greil Marcus write about Sleater Kinney? It's what they KNOW.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 18:20 (nine years ago) Permalink

But everyone knows about indie-rock, Alfred! The whole world knows about indie rock!

Eppy, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 18:21 (nine years ago) Permalink

"it's what they know"

but it's what they've chosen!

Tim Ellison, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 18:23 (nine years ago) Permalink

homey i'm not even sure if you can read at this point

(If this was at me, I thought yr point was that happy hardcore etc. was somehow similar to the Duffster in terms of "forced ecstasy.")

when yr over 25 they're all "young ladies" dude

Who's over 25?

dabug, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 18:23 (nine years ago) Permalink

Yeah, I guess I'm just curious what Frank is getting from teenpop that I'm only getting in small doses. I don't expect him to be passionate about other genres (and I'm really not just talking about indie rock here), just that if he was, then I wouldn't have cause to wonder.

Mike, no offense, but your sarcasm is getting tiresome.

jaymc, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 18:28 (nine years ago) Permalink

75-80% of the people on this thread

strongohulkington, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 18:28 (nine years ago) Permalink

haha xpost

strongohulkington, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 18:28 (nine years ago) Permalink

i'm over 25! i'm 38. and just try explaining to people why you are traveling 3000 miles to read a paper about wolves and vikings and blood! see, now if it had been about the mall...

scott seward, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 18:28 (nine years ago) Permalink

OK, funny, because I just listened to "Beat of My Heart" and I kept thinking "this sort of sounds like 'Mr. Brightside' but defanged." The song's not horrible, but I don't hear a whole lot of character in Hilary's voice

where 'defanged' = 'feminised'? 'beat of my heart' is a very airy, light song; it's not about meaning anything, but it does convey a certain endearing...casting around for meaning, all the lines are very solid cliches of determination and resolve - "i'm not gonna drown", "i'm taking a stance", "i'll finish the deal" - but in combination, and because hilary never elaborates on any of them in the slightest, they have this questing feel to them. it's about growing up basically: "maybe if i act on...this thing that i've heard! or maybe that thing, or maybe that thing".

lex pretend, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 18:29 (nine years ago) Permalink

also i think 'beat of my heart' is totally ecstatic! in that you feel blank as well as blissful on e

lex pretend, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 18:31 (nine years ago) Permalink

the amount of purposeful obtuseness in this thread is staggering. is it like this on teenpop too?

strongohulkington, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 18:31 (nine years ago) Permalink

haha oh right this is why I don't read ilm anymore.

Eppy, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 18:31 (nine years ago) Permalink

toodles!

strongohulkington, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 18:33 (nine years ago) Permalink

can I just mention how much I love the subject line this thread has happened underneath.

Alex in Baltimore, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 18:34 (nine years ago) Permalink

I guess my issue is often that the songs/singers being talked about just sound really feeble to me, no "pop transcendence" or big hooks or much of anything.

if you want proper vocal skillz and are annoyed when limited singers get kudos, go harsh on some indie thread's buzz! at least teenpop singers generally hit notes.

But it's true, I've often wondered why he focuses on Brie Larsen or Miranda Lambert and doesn't apply the same critical skills to Green Day or LCD Soundsystem, too. Not to say that Green Day or LCD Soundsystem are more deserving, of course.

well what are you saying then? why should frank write about green day or lcd soundsystem? (fwiw he's commented on lcds, on poptimists; i think his thoughts can be summed up as "meh")

lex pretend, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 18:35 (nine years ago) Permalink

the amount of purposeful obtuseness in this thread is staggering

most of it is yours (though not as much as alex in baltimore)

lex pretend, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 18:35 (nine years ago) Permalink

who's being obtuse? what's a thread?

dabug, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 18:36 (nine years ago) Permalink

at least teenpop singers generally hit notes. at least teenpop singers generally hit notes. at least teenpop singers generally hit notes. at least teenpop singers generally hit notes. at least teenpop singers generally hit notes. at least teenpop singers generally hit notes. at least teenpop singers generally hit notes. at least teenpop singers generally hit notes. at least teenpop singers generally hit notes.

deej, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 18:37 (nine years ago) Permalink

^^^^^^^^^^^OBTUSE

deej, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 18:37 (nine years ago) Permalink

i have now realized that everyone of lex's posts can be read as the internet equivalent of "why are you hitting yourself?"

strongohulkington, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 18:38 (nine years ago) Permalink

there isn't a missed note in peter, bjorn and john's "young folks," for what it's worth.

Tim Ellison, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 18:38 (nine years ago) Permalink

No, actually, I've been making a couple of jokes that people took literally ("who's 25?" = I AM NOT) and I misread something strongo wrote above. Otherwise I think I've been pretty much on point, except for the anarchy bit a while back.

dabug, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 18:38 (nine years ago) Permalink

Unless that was re: the lex (shoulda clarified cuz you pointed at me).

dabug, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 18:39 (nine years ago) Permalink

"pointed"

strongohulkington, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 18:40 (nine years ago) Permalink

xp "i would just like to point out that i have been otm on this thread"

deej, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 18:40 (nine years ago) Permalink

the comment was inspired by this btw

where 'defanged' = 'feminised'?

unless it was a legitimate question, but experience tells me otherwise

strongohulkington, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 18:40 (nine years ago) Permalink

haha

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 18:41 (nine years ago) Permalink

jess has ilm completely rotted your brain over the years or is this the deliberate obtuseness you were referring to right here?

lex pretend, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 18:42 (nine years ago) Permalink

well, you know, if only all singers were as macho and manly as Brandon Flowers

Alex in Baltimore, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 18:42 (nine years ago) Permalink

OTM is relative. I just mean I haven't been obtuse in my arguments, tho I feel kinda obtuse now. Isn't ^^^ pointing to the post above? I know not your language.

dabug, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 18:42 (nine years ago) Permalink

i read 'beat of my heart' as without-a-care, more than anything else. its *high school movie* music, like ruby & the romantics talking in your sleep.

actually, it also reminds me a bit of things like michael mcdonald sweet freedom, but a high school version of it. a sort of naivety, optimism, even ...self-helpy a bit! but not ecstatic, i dont think it does that

and i think it does sound like early killers, theyre highschool/mall movie music too

696, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 18:43 (nine years ago) Permalink

Jaymc: if you want to read Frank trying to engage with other stuff (or at least encountering other stuff), we've been playing a game on Poptimists in which people encounter music 'blind' (w/o knowing who it is etc.), and review it. Each player only had to do this with one comp the other players make for them, but Frank's been doing it for all of them, which has been interesting. He definitely seems willing to engage with all kinds of stuff - he focuses on teenpop cos not many others are, I guess, and because that's where he's finding whatever energy he looks for.

This thread seems to have hit the trenches, though.

Groke, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 18:44 (nine years ago) Permalink

it's certainly rotting my brain today

strongohulkington, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 18:44 (nine years ago) Permalink

I'm under 25. Also - I aced my final. Score!

Mordechai Shinefield, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 18:45 (nine years ago) Permalink

and, you know, most of my threads pan out like this

http://www.ilxor.com/ILX/ThreadSelectedControllerServlet?boardid=41&threadid=2955

so, its good that its discussed at all, right?

696, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 18:46 (nine years ago) Permalink

where 'defanged' = 'feminised'?

No, "defanged" in that "Mr. Brightside" has a sense of tension and dynamics that "Beat of My Heart" lacks. Aly and AJ's "Rush" has it, too, for matter. I've only heard the song twice now, though, so this is just first impressions.

jaymc, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 18:46 (nine years ago) Permalink

this thread has inspired me download the entire hilary duff album. perhaps i will do a real time review.

strongohulkington, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 18:47 (nine years ago) Permalink

which one?

696, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 18:48 (nine years ago) Permalink

oh they're all good

strongohulkington, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 18:48 (nine years ago) Permalink

my secret shame is that the real reason i don't like hilary duff because my ex-girlfriend did

strongohulkington, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 18:49 (nine years ago) Permalink

DINGDINGDING part two

696, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 18:51 (nine years ago) Permalink

way to play the sympathy card about 500 posts too late!

David R., Tuesday, 15 May 2007 18:51 (nine years ago) Permalink

That Poptimists discussion sounds interesting, Tom. I haven't really looked at that group before. And I admit that I'm being somewhat unfair to Frank, who I do see (having read his book) as someone who's constantly probing all kinds of music in search of something that captures his interest. I just don't always understand why he's moved by what he's moved by.

jaymc, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 18:51 (nine years ago) Permalink

she was a total "poptimist" actually.

strongohulkington, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 18:52 (nine years ago) Permalink

jess, did she look like...this?

Alex in Baltimore, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 18:55 (nine years ago) Permalink

u_u

strongohulkington, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 18:56 (nine years ago) Permalink

SASSY

David R., Tuesday, 15 May 2007 18:56 (nine years ago) Permalink

r.i.p. mathweena perpetua, our loved died too soon

strongohulkington, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 18:56 (nine years ago) Permalink

what did people do before message boards at work, guys?

strongohulkington, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 18:59 (nine years ago) Permalink

He's being cremated next Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and the rest of him they're just going to bury.

xp

Dom Passantino, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 19:00 (nine years ago) Permalink

"I wish they had never invented fried cheese."

strongohulkington, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 19:01 (nine years ago) Permalink

Write War & Peace?

I'm trying to GIS for a machine gun floral arrangement (like from The Wire), but I'm coming up blank.

David R., Tuesday, 15 May 2007 19:01 (nine years ago) Permalink

i can run up the street and buy one and take a picture of it, if you like

strongohulkington, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 19:01 (nine years ago) Permalink

If you're not doing anything, sure!

David R., Tuesday, 15 May 2007 19:03 (nine years ago) Permalink

i'm giving a lecture to my community college students on tropicalia and krautrock today.

Tim Ellison, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 19:04 (nine years ago) Permalink

DUDE STAY ON TOPIC

David R., Tuesday, 15 May 2007 19:05 (nine years ago) Permalink

dont be too frothy!

696, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 19:05 (nine years ago) Permalink

hilberto duff

strongohulkington, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 19:08 (nine years ago) Permalink

humberto humbertington

Alex in Baltimore, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 19:14 (nine years ago) Permalink

(Ah, I can peacefully fade back into semi-anonymity. It's been fun, though, see ya on the teenpop thread.)

dabug, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 19:27 (nine years ago) Permalink

"see, this is kind of what I've been talking about, these kinds of enthusiastic attempts to pin down the logic in a boring heart/start/apart rhyme scheme, painting the lack of narrative or any sense at all as an asset. I guess this is a good example of how the teenpop thread tends to exert a lot of evergy asking questions with very simple or at least not particularly interesting answers"

Coming to this late but it probably makes more sense to pretend that a lot of the teenpop thread posters are gay (and quite a few are) rather than paedophiles - the combination of ambition and incoherence in something like "Beat of my Heart" is ripe for gay fanboyism. The earnestness is a bit of a pose: it's almost a game being played with the music where the listener takes seriously/literally the musical choices that the creator probably doesn't care about. So Jess is kinda OTM about Hillary wanting to do her nails instead - hyperbolic, but the point is true that there is an over-investment by certain listeners above and beyond what the creator could really have envisioned or perhaps even wants.

Gay people have been doing this for years of course! I used to really resent it when I was younger - not the act itself but the way it was applied to musical choices I thought were creatively bankrupt. I remember being appalled that every gay guy I knew loved Kylie's "Spinning Around". Coming to accept and enjoy this critical reaction over the course of seven years or so (story of my life 18-25) was part of my reconciliation with the notion of being "gay" in the strong, cutural sense.

But I accept it might still annoy the hell out of a lot of people.

Note that this doesn't explain everyone on the teenpop thread - for example I don't think Frank is like this at all.

Tim F, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 21:54 (nine years ago) Permalink

The earnestness is a bit of a pose: it's almost a game being played with the music where the listener takes seriously/literally the musical choices that the creator probably doesn't care about. So Jess is kinda OTM about Hillary wanting to do her nails instead - hyperbolic, but the point is true that there is an over-investment by certain listeners above and beyond what the creator could really have envisioned or perhaps even wants.

Is this "over-identification" a gay phenomenon? I thought most critics (esp those who've been in bands) understood that serendipity is responsible for most moments of genius anyway.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 22:04 (nine years ago) Permalink

What I'm saying is slightly different I think - there's a self-awareness to gay men's appreciation of stuff that other people would dismiss as being lightweight, hopeless kitsch etc. It's not just an accidental inspiration thing.

Having said that, this is just a really overt and noticeable version of a process that happens with all music - it's not just about gays and teenpop. When I respond to emotionally to, say, Daft Punk's "Digital Love", I can't honestly say "this song has articulately captured something essential and true about my life man!" There is a partial choice involved whereby I'm deciding to let certain things affect me (the whine of the vocoder, the cheesy lyrics, the enormous groove, the Supertramp keyboard breakdown) which someone else might find hopelessly tenuous or meaningless in terms of conveying much of anything.

I think a standard manoeuvre in rock crit is to set up a standard for justification of emotional responses - e.g the literary expressiveness of the lyrics - and I can sympathise with this, but it's clearly not what most listeners actually want or need. Hence people getting choked up over James Blunt's "You're Beautiful". I hate Blunt, but I can't pretend that his inability to make a coherent point is what stops me from liking him - it annoys me because I already hate him, and his whole "style" is not one I'm inclined to make exceptions for, whereas with "Beat of my Heart", because I'm sympathetic to a lot of the stylistic choices in Hillary's song, i'm more inclined to invest anyway.

Tim F, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 22:17 (nine years ago) Permalink

Umm...since this thread still has a last breath or two, I just want to try to save face for totally missing the point re: obtuseness up there by not reading most of the words. Don't think Lex was being obtuse, though.

Hilary wants to do her nails (maybe) and winds up "accidentally" good, Avril puts her blood sweat and tears into having fun (maybe) and sounds like she's trying too hard. So whatever. I bet the latter is closer to the truth in the recording studio than the former, but it's not really relevant whether or not the creator "cared," is it? I mean, how would you even judge this?

dabug, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 22:20 (nine years ago) Permalink

What I'm saying is slightly different I think - there's a self-awareness to gay men's appreciation of stuff that other people would dismiss as being lightweight, hopeless kitsch etc. It's not just an accidental inspiration thing.

As a gay man, I agree, but I'm saying that this sensibility is no longer endemic to homosexuals, as this thread's existence attests. In its bowdlerized form it's the smirking awareness of VH-1 countdowns (e.g. "Ooh! Vicki Lawrence!").

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 22:24 (nine years ago) Permalink

i don't know if i've heard "beat of my heart". none of the hilary songs i have heard make me swoon. not like xtina's "beautiful" does. or even debbie gibson's "lost in your eyes". (old teenybopper example of a song that kinda chokes me up)

scott seward, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 22:27 (nine years ago) Permalink

tim, you should go to the pop conference in seattle next year. both mark s. and simon r. agreed with me that you and frank (and chuck) need to be there next year. you would have a great time.

scott seward, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 22:29 (nine years ago) Permalink

x-post to da bug:
Yeah you can't - I mean more an assessment of the music as it is heard. Perhaps Hillary's lyrics aren't written while she's doing her nails, maybe she spent ages poring over them - lord knows Blunt sounds like he means what he sings and his are worse.

But it would be disingenuous not to acknowledge that as a listener we can pass judgment on these sorts of things. It goes without saying that not all (or even most) judgments are "correct"!

But even pro-teenpop listeners aren't listening in some vaccuum uaware of the general public perception that this music is "manufactured", that the lyrics are just put in there to fill out the song and placate sheep-like listeners rather than to express something true. So that public perception affects us even if only in reverse.

Of course the duff vs blunt comparison reveals the meaningless of this public perception (although I fear the point of my comparison will be lost on ILM who as a whole already hate blunt) - the performance of personal investment can be quite divorced from the "quality" of the lyrics (however you wish to judge this), and people will accept incoherence from someone they've decided is an authentic voice of emotional truths where they won't from someone about whom they feel otherwise.

A more ILM-friendly example might be lyrics in indie/R&B/hip hop - it doesn't really matter, you see the same tendency of people to make differing judgments about the success of the lyrics in conveying something based on whether they've chosen to invest in the music as a form already. I mean, this is a truism surely, I hope I'm boring people with this point!

Tim F, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 22:32 (nine years ago) Permalink

Alfred, I'm not talking so much about smirking appreciation though - unless you think this is a derivation from the gay man's appreciation of kitsch - most of my gay friends (myself to a lesser extent) really do honest to goodness love even the worst kylie singles, there's not really anything ironic about their appreciation, even thought there's a level of deliberation and self-awareness. They've chosen to invest wholeheartedly in something they know that the rest of society thinks is creatively bankrupt.

You could read all sorts of things into this.

Tim F, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 22:34 (nine years ago) Permalink

Late to the party but…
Teenpop is the only ILM thread I actually read because of it's assorted earnestness/frothiness/focus etc. 696 has it nailed I think about legitimacy, in that the teenpop thread - by virtue of the pool of posters - has created a 'safe' environment where the songs can be explored without having to fight the first battle of 'why do you think this is worth discussing?'. And since such critical space, (esp in an ILM context) is rare, there is a certain amount of defensiveness when the activities of that 'safe space' get questioned/attacked outside the thread. After all, without the teenpop thread, where will any of us get to talk about these things? (aside from dabug's blog comments, etc). Is there even anywhere else?

And as for the marketing/consumption elements, I love having a place to read about the corporate context of the product, but maybe that's just because I come at this from a position where 1. I see nothing wrong with music output = product, 2. This carries no value judgement in my assessment of the music, and 3. I find it all incredibly interesting!

For example, Aly & AJ’s new ‘potential break-up song’ is vocoder-heavy and relatively guitar-free (plus is has a bridge straight from ‘Spice Up Your Life’). With Hilary long since having abandoned her pop-rock style, Ashlee lined up to more in more a synth direction (plus emo if Pete has anything to do with it) and Lindsay out of the game, is the 2005-2006 heyday of Max Martin’s chord refrain over? What does Avril's brat-pop sound 'mean' in terms of the teenpop trend - both in terms of commercial success, the core audience that I would have expected to have graduated from her sound by now, radio airplay or lack thereof. Does it 'mean' anything?

Etc, etc. Indie-ists may not appreciate that I genuinely want to debate these shifts in sound, marketing and cultural context just because of the artists involved, but I do. Hence teenpop thread.

Poptext, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 22:35 (nine years ago) Permalink

BTW thank you scott, would love to come, work/study/finances permitting (that's the rub). It's a long way from melbourne to seattle.

Tim F, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 22:37 (nine years ago) Permalink

I'm not talking so much about smirking appreciation though - unless you think this is a derivation from the gay man's appreciation of kitsch - most of my gay friends (myself to a lesser extent) really do honest to goodness love even the worst kylie singles, there's not really anything ironic about their appreciation, even thought there's a level of deliberation and self-awareness

Oh, I know: I was imprecise. I meant that as these ideas disseminate into culture at large they become debased, and at their most debased they assume the oh-so-hip distance I described. I would never suggest that you (or I, for that matter) love Kylie "ironically," whatever that means.

(My moment of pop transfiguration occurred over "Careless Whisper" and Debbie Gibson's "Out of the Blue)

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 22:41 (nine years ago) Permalink

i was lucky enough to have gay best friends in high school. no need to hide my bananarama love.

scott seward, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 22:44 (nine years ago) Permalink

my best friend lance was the only person on earth i could talk to about various forms of pop until i met chuck! it was hard to find wide boy awake fans before the internet.

scott seward, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 22:46 (nine years ago) Permalink

'you're beautiful' is a good tune man

why hate

r|t|c, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 23:02 (nine years ago) Permalink

Late to the party but…
Teenpop is the only ILM thread I actually read because of it's assorted earnestness/frothiness/focus etc. 696 has it nailed I think about legitimacy, in that the teenpop thread - by virtue of the pool of posters - has created a 'safe' environment where the songs can be explored without having to fight the first battle of 'why do you think this is worth discussing?'. And since such critical space, (esp in an ILM context) is rare, there is a certain amount of defensiveness when the activities of that 'safe space' get questioned/attacked outside the thread. After all, without the teenpop thread, where will any of us get to talk about these things? (aside from dabug's blog comments, etc). Is there even anywhere else?


i dont think this is true really. Esp. not the part i bolded. I think we just write about it differently in other parts of ILM. There's a tendency for folks in the rap thread to say things like "[x] is actually pretty good!" with might have a degree of faux-surprise in it, like who is really surprised by good things coming from random places after having been thru the whole anti-rockism thing before? People in the rolling hip-hop threads talk about snap and backpacker shit in the same thread, and generally seem to have an openmindedness about different kinds of music being taken seriously.

deej, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 23:15 (nine years ago) Permalink

"WHICH might have a degree of RESTRAINED faux-surprise," i should say

deej, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 23:16 (nine years ago) Permalink

deej what on earth do you think the last 300 posts have been about if not whether teenpop is worth discussing or not? if that's not the issue and we've all been there and done that w/ the rockism argument (which is patently not true, you and i may have but ilm 2007 seems more behind than ever on it, some of the evidence being on this very thread) then why are people so bothered by the teenpop thread's existence?

lex pretend, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 23:23 (nine years ago) Permalink

also i am going to go to sleep now.

lex pretend, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 23:23 (nine years ago) Permalink

there were problematic parts of a couple people's arguments but i don't think myself, or Al, or jess, or Dom, or whoever else were being rockist when we were explaining why we aren't engaged by the teenpop thread. Of course the music is 'legitimate' to enjoy - in fact, most of us said that we enjoy a fair amount of it. our issues were with the tone of the thread, the tone of the criticism, the amount of focus and the style of writing that seemed over the top.

deej, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 23:25 (nine years ago) Permalink

Now there is earnestness in the teenpop thread that you don't get elsewhere, that i agree about. but ilm is largely open to people saying shit like 'this paris hilton song is pretty good,' or they were until paris hilton became a running joke for lexbot

deej, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 23:27 (nine years ago) Permalink

no offense

deej, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 23:33 (nine years ago) Permalink

xpost

Pleasant dreams, Lex.

Teenpop is very much worth discussing, and I (partially) said way, way upthread that my handful of occasions wading through the 2006/2007 teenpop threads have been, on the whole, more enjoyable than actually wading through the music.

I just turned 44 recently; I've been aware of listening to music for 41 years; I've been passionately listening since around the time of the first Ramones LP. Anything new that I hear in the pop/rock space has to compete with my personal elephant-in-the-room: that last 30+ years of passionate, omnivorous listening; my own subjective canon. (The young target-audience doesn't have to deal with such an elephant, I'd imagine.) The artists discussed in the teenpop thread fail my tests, so far. But please keep discussing.

(And, yes, Mingus wipes the floor with everybody discussed in this thread.)

mark 0, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 23:37 (nine years ago) Permalink

Of course the music is 'legitimate' to enjoy - in fact, most of us said that we enjoy a fair amount of it. our issues were with the tone of the thread, the tone of the criticism, the amount of focus and the style of writing that seemed over the top.

So you're saying that teenpop music is legitimate, but the teenpop thread discussion is illegitimate, ie, not what you consider to be 'proper' in tone, focus and style?

Poptext, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 23:52 (nine years ago) Permalink

i dont think folks consider it 'illegitimate,' more 'corny,' 'creepy,' 'humorless,' etc etc etc

deej, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 00:06 (nine years ago) Permalink

I dunno Deej, I don't mean to single out Alex but even a fairly innocuous and tossed off statement like:

"every time I start to see someone's point, they rep for something like "Beat Of My Heart," which is one of the worst songs I've ever heard."

... implies to me that the basis for determining whether what people say in (or in defence of) the teenpop thread is legitimate depends on his decision of the worth of the music involved.

The equivalent would be me saying "you know, I could almost appreciate why people might take hip hop seriously and discuss it in a thread, until I hear someone rep for "Laffy Taffy", which is one of the worst songs I've ever heard."

As if someone liking a particular song could crucially undermine the legitimacy of an entire discourse around a genre.

Tim F, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 00:19 (nine years ago) Permalink

In sum, why do I, as someone who likes some teenpop, have to answer for every sceptic's non-enjoyment of a given example of the genre?

Tim F, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 00:21 (nine years ago) Permalink

i don't know if that equivalency holds up, because i don't think al was questioning people taking teen pop seriously or discussing it in a thread - it wasn't the concept that bothers people, its the execution.

deej, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 00:34 (nine years ago) Permalink

but i'll let him defend himself

deej, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 00:35 (nine years ago) Permalink

I don't think the "point" Al almost was getting was "taking the genre seriously and discussing it in a thread."

da croupier, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 01:06 (nine years ago) Permalink

Now it's been like 400 posts without getting past "creepy." I'm really getting exasperated about this! No one has made an argument actually originating from the thread for humorlessness, creepiness, frothiness...and I didn't even think corny had come up until now, but no examples of that, either. (Unless the music itself is what's corny, in which case, I'll just echo what Tim said.)

dabug, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 01:09 (nine years ago) Permalink

(sorry, 500.)

dabug, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 01:09 (nine years ago) Permalink

really, the problem is that some ILX yuksters are unsurprisingly making fun of some rather earnest people, who are unsurprisingly taking it rather seriously.

da croupier, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 01:20 (nine years ago) Permalink

Not exactly. I can sort of brush off pedophilia accusations that I know are idiotic (though, again, I've also run across some fairly serious accusations of this, though not necessarily by anyone on this thread). But there really does seem to be a genuine, pervasive sense among a lot of non-posters that there's something inherently creepy about what we're doing over there! Like just under the surface, something disturbing is happening. I think I have every right to take this seriously, because (1) it's being charged (fairly) seriously and "felt out" (fairly) seriously ("hm, let me try to more eloquently articulate why I think these guys [and gals] creep me out..."), and (2) the underlying point -- that, even if there's not something wrong with what we're talking about, there's something wrong with how we're talking about it -- is completely the opposite goal (as I see it) of the thread existing in the first place. I.e., it's a place where we can try out ideas (about a wide range of music) without an accusatory or arms-crossed skeptical or uncomfortable tone mucking up the flow of conversation or personally offending anyone. (And yes, I do get personally offended when people even jokingly refer to me as a pedophile, or when they indirectly call me "creepy" without making any kind of legitimate argument for creepiness; I don't think this is just how "rather earnest" people tend to react.)

dabug, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 01:29 (nine years ago) Permalink

Damn I thought I was done with this, obviously not, but what the hell...I also take the charge of humorlessness seriously! (I'm very serious about humor.) Like, I can't even make an X-FILES joke around here without a handy link to Wikipedia to explain the joke I was trying to make. (Confusion, maybe, fine, but that Skye pic is GOLD.) We were imagining a Takashi Miike/Kelly Clarkson collab the other day over there. That's funny!

dabug, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 01:38 (nine years ago) Permalink

it's a place where we can try out ideas (about a wide range of music) without an accusatory or arms-crossed skeptical or uncomfortable tone mucking up the flow of conversation or personally offending anyone.

yeah, good luck with that.

da croupier, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 02:00 (nine years ago) Permalink

yeah I wasn't using "Beat Of My Heart" as an example of why all teenpop's crap/not worth discussing, just saying that every time someone seemed to be talking some sense, the example they'd hold up in a positive light would be the last possible song I'd think of as a credit to the subgenre.

Alex in Baltimore, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 02:30 (nine years ago) Permalink

(We've been having pretty good luck with it! I've never heard complaints like this within the thread itself, despite the fact that some of the people voicing their concerns here post there occasionally. But then I don't think you'd get too far with most of these arguments on the teenpop thread.)

dabug, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 02:37 (nine years ago) Permalink

I wouldn't post negative stuff there because it would spoil the sanctity of the thread.

mark 0, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 02:39 (nine years ago) Permalink

yeah, fwiw, i don't want to seem chickenshit for only voicing these opinions outside the actual teenpop thread, but it does feel at least slightly less rude than coming in and fucking shit up in there with this kind of long debate. contrary to the impression i might've given the lex or whoever, i have no problem with the thread existing and don't wish to shut it down. (xpost)

Alex in Baltimore, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 02:42 (nine years ago) Permalink

sanctity of the thread

Oh c'mon, it's not like I'm talking about it like an island paradise here (maybe comparatively). I don't think there's anything wrong with a place where there's very little unpleasant skepticism (not to say there isn't plenty of skepticism, just that posters are trying to understand each other's terms rather than immediately trying to figure out what's WRONG with what the other person is saying without reading carefully, or at all) or snark or accusations being flung around all over the place.

If you post something negative about an ARTIST there, you're just part of the conversation. This happens all the time. If you post something negative about a poster, or about something the poster has said, you'd better have an argument to back it up, or at least be engaging with said argument and not just a vague (and probably uninformed) idea that there's something wrong with the person.

dabug, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 02:47 (nine years ago) Permalink

And I know I'm clogging this thing up with plenty of my own posts about this when I could have just gone back to the teenpop thread already, which otherwise is pretty much the only place I post around here (to avoid wasting people's time who honestly don't care so much; this thread is obviously an exception). Anyway, Alex, I appreciate you having this conversation, because this is as close to an "outside world" as the teenpop thread tends to get, and if there's animosity or incredulity or a general feeling of "creepy" here, I really want to know why.

What I don't want to happen is for some people to say "fine, whatever" and go back to what they were doing, and other people say, "post where you wanna post, free country" and have the central issues that have come up over the course of this thread just go back to being unspoken and implied, coming out occasionally in jokes.

I'd LOVE for more negative things to happen on the thread (there are plenty of negative opinions already) -- but on the thread's terms, which means you have to really justify "creepy" or "humorless," preferably by quoting an example of it at least once. One reason it's so insular lately is because of this weird sense of trepidation people get to entering it at all. Or not wanting to post something there "on principle," though they might like some of the music discussed there, when there really isn't much of a principle involved.

dabug, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 02:54 (nine years ago) Permalink

the creepy accusations don't actually bother me - look who is making them! inadequates like dom and personality vacuums like bobby bedelia. though maybe this is because they're probably not aimed at me (unless accusers are really thick) (so i guess they might be after all).

but ilm is largely open to people saying shit like 'this paris hilton song is pretty good,' or they were until paris hilton became a running joke for lexbot

explain how paris hilton is a running joke for me? i think the album is amazing - i've seen much worse crap get gushed about far more on ilm. it's hardly the only album i've raved about excitably!

also is anyone actually going to respond to what tim f said?

lex pretend, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 05:45 (nine years ago) Permalink

its a running joke because any thread with paris on immediately becomes a lex thread. she should hire you!

696, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 05:52 (nine years ago) Permalink

So... music has nothing to do with context?

I would think that music has one context: silence. All other notions of context are tied to things that are tangential to the actual music.

My concern is far more with all those pitched and non-pitched notes (some of which themselves may spawn internal contexts -- e.g. chords, rhythms -- for other notes) than with those things that are tangential.

(To belatedly answer your question.)

Lex: Tim F said a lot of things. I've already denied being Michael Franti; can you be more specific?

mark 0, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 05:52 (nine years ago) Permalink

^^^ umm context is tangential, or at least not central. thats why its called context!

696, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 05:54 (nine years ago) Permalink

Tangents to tangents, then.

mark 0, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 05:55 (nine years ago) Permalink

i like my dinner, the fish and rice is the main thing. to be honest i really like tilapia with rice and thats what im most concerned with. much more so than tangential things like the onions and the mushrooms

696, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 05:55 (nine years ago) Permalink

perhaps i will eat a piece of fish by itself tomorrow

696, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 05:56 (nine years ago) Permalink

i heard a song on the radio the other day, i felt sad all of a sudden. ambushed by unexpected emotion

it was the song that was playing the day i met her:(

696, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 05:57 (nine years ago) Permalink

We've strayed far from the actual notes.

mark 0, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 05:58 (nine years ago) Permalink

i think it must have been the diminished fourth that got me though. i hated that bitch

696, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 05:58 (nine years ago) Permalink

yea exactly, i realised soon after it was ridiculuous!

696, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 05:58 (nine years ago) Permalink

Diminished fourths don't get 600 posts.

mark 0, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 06:00 (nine years ago) Permalink

no but what i mean is. i thought i felt sad because a song reminded me of something (this nebuluous 'context', or personal identification/resonance or some bullshit), when, really, that had nothing to do with it. it was simply the notes, as i was telling geir the other day

696, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 06:02 (nine years ago) Permalink

and she wasnt even that pretty, if im being totally truthful

696, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 06:03 (nine years ago) Permalink

My notion of "context", admittedly, comes more from software than from whatever it was they slipped into your meal.

mark 0, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 06:05 (nine years ago) Permalink

But hopefully it explains the disconnect betwixt me and Mordecai, and betwixt me and you.

mark 0, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 06:06 (nine years ago) Permalink

ok, sorry, missed that bit:)

696, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 06:06 (nine years ago) Permalink

no not necessarily. can you explain what it is you are thinking is tangential then?

696, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 06:07 (nine years ago) Permalink

That which is not the notes -- it may be a severe definition. Lyrics are tangential (that's literature, not music); image is tangential (that's visuals); production is tangential (that's technology -- the engineering of space); marketing is tangential (that's biz), etc.

mark 0, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 06:10 (nine years ago) Permalink

oh, weird!

i dunno i guess that makes emotion or resonance tangential as well. id never thought of it like that!

696, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 06:12 (nine years ago) Permalink

wow thats really austere

696, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 06:13 (nine years ago) Permalink

i think music can be more than that, sometimes

696, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 06:14 (nine years ago) Permalink

what about music that doesnt have notes?

696, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 06:14 (nine years ago) Permalink

i guess you dont like richie hawtin much!

696, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 06:15 (nine years ago) Permalink

I've only heard one Plastikman EP, and I liked it.

mark 0, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 06:17 (nine years ago) Permalink

aye, i know the one, did you like the note?

696, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 06:17 (nine years ago) Permalink

its a good old note on that, i think its an F, im not sure though

696, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 06:19 (nine years ago) Permalink

It had many notes, as I recall :)

mark 0, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 06:19 (nine years ago) Permalink

oh, that one? maybe you wouldnt like this other one then, its kind of tangential

696, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 06:20 (nine years ago) Permalink

But there you go, we can't agree on what "is" is, and hilarity ensues, and sure enough, we're at 1000 posts.

mark 0, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 06:23 (nine years ago) Permalink

well thats what happens when you are disingeneous!

i dont believe for a second that you view music purely as notes and have no emotional connectionl. i dont believe for a second that you dont think music can be transcendant. i dont believe for a second that you dont think that the songs people *really* love are connected to times and instances in their own personal lives

because otherwise you would be geir hongro or autistic or both. hmm, though this is ilx, i concede that

696, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 06:28 (nine years ago) Permalink

I have an emotional connection to this or that piece of music or performance, but it comes, ultimately, from the notes, and rarely from a performer's stock attempts at emoting. (Someone OTT like Janis Joplin I like.)

Charlie Parker was, to judge by the little footage I've seen, deadpan and (e)motionless on stage, but I have a deep emotional connection to the music that came out of him.

mark 0, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 06:32 (nine years ago) Permalink

but here you are talking about performativity, or more specifically overt emoting (or overemoting). i didnt really bring that up at all.

696, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 06:41 (nine years ago) Permalink

im saying a lot of our (the publics) connection to music is external. the number of tracks that people say meant something to them, or have been huge hits, and then you'll read some article where the artist was like, yea, tossed that off in 5 minutes, or 'ugh never liked that song, record company wanted it released though'

696, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 06:43 (nine years ago) Permalink

i mean i agree with you, ive never really been into 'stock' emoting, though you know that does turn you against a lot of great music (gospel!)

696, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 06:44 (nine years ago) Permalink

and then we come to a (white/straight/male/indieish) type of perspective about vocals which is that they shouldnt do certain things (witness the arguments about melisma on this forum)...but that are kind of central to a lot of vocal traditions (again gospel is an obvious example)

696, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 06:47 (nine years ago) Permalink

and maybe thats a difference between a kind of modern european type stereotype of distance/art/formalism/writtenmusic and an american/folk/gospel/blues tradition which maybe pays less heed to that but to one of vocal adaptation/change/improv

696, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 06:50 (nine years ago) Permalink

meant to use archetype rather than stereotype and tradition there, these are hardly set in stone

696, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 06:50 (nine years ago) Permalink

It's all in the ear of the behearer, and on a case-by-case basis. Gospel isn't uniformly about stock emoting -- you're supposed to be "in the spirit" and spontaneous to the point that there's no definite, decided-upon end to the performance. (xpost)

mark 0, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 06:57 (nine years ago) Permalink

But my, uh, tangent was a roundabout way of saying there are ways of making and experiencing music that may be perceived as alien to someone who's a hardcore defender of teenpop.

I've cured my insomnia now, I hope. Thank you, and good night.

mark 0, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 07:00 (nine years ago) Permalink

it might be, yes!

but your taking it as a given that it is. and not accepting that there is no reason teenpop songs cant be made and experienced in that way.

if you were talking about minimal techno, then yes we're not going to play and sing it sat on the stoop!

we'll just take the laptop and the midi controller out onto the stoop like everyone else

696, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 07:11 (nine years ago) Permalink

^ lol. expertly executed. well done team

696, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 07:19 (nine years ago) Permalink

high fives all round.

freedom fries

696, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 07:20 (nine years ago) Permalink

xpost

I endorse MIDI controllers as well, though mine are gathering dust in favor of acoustic instruments these days. I'm in favor of more music-making and less music-consuming.

but here you are talking about performativity, or more specifically overt emoting (or overemoting). i didnt really bring that up at all.

I know, but I count emoting (almost always stock) as a given in a pop song nowadays, in terms of the aforementioned severe/austere definition of music.

(Logged back in because I missed this post earlier. Take it from here, draw a moustache and Groucho-glasses on my visage, and I want to see 1000 posts by nightfall. Thank you.)

mark 0, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 07:21 (nine years ago) Permalink

i really dont have a problem with the idea of more music making, and less consuming at all. i think thats a good thing

but that means less dylan consuming too!

696, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 07:22 (nine years ago) Permalink

ie to consume dylan is no more worthy than to consume duff

*opportunity for bedalia to make amusing post*

696, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 07:23 (nine years ago) Permalink

"i don't know if that equivalency holds up, because i don't think al was questioning people taking teen pop seriously or discussing it in a thread - it wasn't the concept that bothers people, its the execution."

Can we separate concept from execution though (and this goes to Al's response to me too, I'm not ignoring him)?

I mean, can we meaningfully describe a critical reaction as "earnest" without a consideration of the worth of what is being reacted to? How do we know that earnestness is bad unless what it is in response to makes that reaction seem unwarranted or distasteful?

So even if Al's saying that he doesn't mean anything by raising his dislike for "Beat of my Heart", he kind of does anyway: I don't know how to read such a comment except as code for "earnest appreciation is okay, but earnest appreciation about this????"

Again, not to focus on Al, who has been pretty reasonable, and in fact that reaction is itself reasonable, but it's very reasonabilty undercuts it a bit, b/c it implies that at root the only thing that makes the teenpop thread creepy/corny/whatever is that sceptics don't like some/most/all of the songs being discussed.

Which is fine, but a less controversial and more accurate statement of this beef would simply be:

"I simply can't hear in [x song] the value and worth which is being ascribed to it; it astonishes me that these posters can, especially when they appear to be so earnest about it."

Earnestness is everywhere on ILM and in music-crit-land. And it can be very annoying. A lot of the times that I see someone earnestly praising something which I don't see much value in, I feel a bit annoyed. But this doesn't make that earnestness creepy.

If anything, what makes that earnestness annoying is not its earnestness per se, but the fact that it typically goes hand in hand with a certain blitheness and naivety w/r/t the critical manoeuvres being performed. The strawman extreme of this is "[x artist] really means it...." - which irritates precisely because it performs as heartfelt and novel a critical reaction which is in fact such a culturally embedded, long-sedimented layer in the rock-crit landscape that it cannot be said without tumbling headlong into vacuous cliche.

So the criticism which i could imagine someone half-persuasively making w/r/t the teenpop thread is that its contributors repeat some of these manoeuvres, either unaware of or oblivious to (or perhaps even gleefully but shallowly cognizant of) the fact that they are using such cliches, despite or perhaps because of the fact that these cliched criticial manouevres are being applied to material that they would normally never be applied to - the paradigmatic example being Frank's Dylanesque reading of Ashlee Simpson. Thus the earnestness of the discussions annoy precisely because they are hyper-extreme examples of a certain (bear with me) rockism-about-pop.

But the proof is in the pudding here surely: if Frank's take on Ashlee really were as shallow and naive as that it wouldn't stand up to even the most cursory critical examination. I'd like to think i'd not find it interesting and worth thinking about (i'll stop short of saying "convincing" - it doesn't convince me, but only because I don't know enough about Dylan to judge).

But if people are prepared to go to the thread and actually find examples of the naive superficiality that would make any apparent earnest truly objectionable, and then come back and post them to this thread as examples of why they are right and I am wrong, I'd be most interested.

Tim F, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 07:45 (nine years ago) Permalink

I guess I should ask this question to Frank, but others might know: is there anywhere the Ashlee/Dylan thing is explored or expanded on more - a particular stretch of conversation, or a review or article or anything?

Groke, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 07:52 (nine years ago) Permalink

Tom, here's some from the teenpop 2006 thread:


If you want my auto, want my autobiography
Baby, just ask me.

Except the lyrics on the page don't convey how sexy it is when she says it. It's a come-on. The song is like the world's most brilliant personal ad.

And I never in my life wrote a line as great as "I walked a thousand miles while everyone was asleep." I don't know if Jay-Z or Eminem ever did either. Or Dylan. It's like she's saying, "Here I am, stealth genius, and you didn't know." Of course, she's making promises in that song that she probably won't be able to keep, just as Dylan and Jagger and Iggy and Lennon and Johnny and Johansen never lived up to their promise.

-- Frank Kogan (edcasua...), January 23rd, 2006. (Frank Kogan)

Tim F, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 09:36 (nine years ago) Permalink

And then:

(and then later)

A couple more things about Ashlee and Dylan: Her second album was released a couple weeks after her 21st birthday. Dylan's first album was released a few days before his 21st birthday. Dylan only puts a couple of his own songs on that album, and their lyrics aren't all that interesting (nothing close to "Autobiography," which came out when Ashlee was 19); and nothing in those lyrics foretells what he's going to unleash a year later in "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall," going out into that storm he'd called forth on us. But actually, the first Dylan album is my favorite of his four early acoustic records; on that one you can hear him twisting and stretching and distorting the musical forms to make them do what he wants them to. He finds all sorts of different ways to sound intense. In "House of the Rising Sun" and "In My Time of Dying" his voice calls down the storm even though the words don't. Nothing on Ashlee's albums has her imposing her musical will like that, and I'm not sure if there is a way for anyone to drastically twist and distort and reshape her style of music. Which isn't to say that there's nothing special going on in her music or that of people like her. The various reshapings/recombinings are slow and not as ear catching. (And maybe they need to be the subject of another post.) Basically in today's teenpop you're getting admixtures of goth, '80s arena rock, singer-songwriter confessional, various retro dancepop styles, funny novelties, sugar-sweet melodies, hard dark melodies, and blissful r&b, and what's most interesting is the tendency to do them all at once. What's immediately striking about Ashlee is her voice, which sits somewhere between Pink's and Courtney's except that she doesn't sit with it but lets it play around, especially on I Am Me. I Am Me is lighter on its feet than Autobiography; she's found a way to ease up on her bruised intensity without losing it, so she keeps its power while not burying the music under it, which sometimes happens on Autobiography. On the first album she's declaring her identity, on the second she's romping from style to style saying "Look what I can do," so she's the disco slut, then she's the ingenue, then she's the wrathful woman scorned.
But you know what? My heart's with the first album. That's the one where more feels at stake, in words and in sound. Stephen Thomas Erlewine at allmusic.com complains about the second album (he liked the first much more): "The problem is this album is presented with utter seriousness, as if her garden-variety changes in emotions and fashion were great revelations instead of being just what happens in adolescence." That's obviously not how I hear it. Is it possible to listen to "L.O.V.E." and "Burning Up," for example, and not get into the goofing around? I guess it is for Erlewine, who's always worth reading anyway. He's right that her changes in emotions and fashion are garden variety. That doesn't mean they can't be revelations. The situations and emotions in Dylan's "Outlaw Blues" and "Visions of Johanna" and "Sooner Or Later" are just as garden variety. What is amazing is what he makes of them. Any 23 year old can say that even though he sometimes looks and acts like a weasel, he still feels like there's a hero somewhere in him (you hope that a 23 year old hasn't yet lost a sense of his heroic potential). But most won't then come up with anything like "Well, I might look like Robert Ford, but I feel just like Jesse James" to call forth the legends of weasels and heroes past, not to mention calling forth the fear that he'll get shot in the back for it (and the subtext that says, "Look, I can make my little blues song go anywhere, try and stop me"). The risk with Ashlee is that she'll put everything into perspective - that she already has - that she'll decide that a weasel is just a weasel and a breakup is just a breakup and they have no resonance with any larger perfidy or heroism. Maybe "Autobiography" and "Shadow" and "I Am Me" and "La La" are just the pop machine making a couple of lucky shots, and maybe this garden-variety celeb (Dylan: "I know there're some people terrified of the bomb. But there are other people terrified to be seen carrying a Modern Screen magazine") won't make much more that's extraordinary out of her ordinariness. If a Sophie or Alanis or Lucinda had come up with a clumsy line like "Does the weight of consequence drag you down until it pulls you under?" (in the title song of I Am Me), I'd mutter, "Go take a walk in the park, or a nap, or something," but in Ashlee it gives me hope. If she's still got pretensions, maybe she'll push herself to make her mind worthy of those pretensions. You know, like she's got a million miles to go before she sleeps. Or not. In the meantime, at least she gets to speak to my inner 19 year old. Important not to lose that guy.

-- Frank Kogan (edcasua...), January 24th, 2006. (Frank Kogan)

Tim F, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 09:36 (nine years ago) Permalink

This is great writing, BTW. If people think this is creepy it's totally their loss.

Tim F, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 09:37 (nine years ago) Permalink

Isn't this the same point raised in that P&J poll though? By deliberate rating and valuing all of this stuff against the canon all you're saying is "Hey, this music is as good as that dead white guy music". All you're doing is reinforcing a hierarchy by building new idols in its style.

Dom Passantino, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 09:42 (nine years ago) Permalink

Well in FK's case destroying the hierarchy of dead white guy music has never been part of his project as far as I can tell, and he's the only person who's pushing a Dylan comparison.

Groke, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 09:44 (nine years ago) Permalink

I know, but it kinda follows that anyone writing in that style, or even following in that style, is forcing a renewal of a status quo, yes?

Dom Passantino, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 09:45 (nine years ago) Permalink

Or, to put it another way, traditionally pop writing was more "subversive" than any other genre-crit, which is why it irks to see pop writing about in some 73 Cream style.

Dom Passantino, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 09:46 (nine years ago) Permalink

i don't think frank compares ashlee to dylan because dylan is canon - it's because he loves dylan (regardless of canon status) and also hears actual specific points of comparison in the music (honestly just READ WHAT HE HAS WRITTEN ffs). it's not as if dylan's the sole comparator for ashlee either, pink's in there too and she's hardly canon.

lex pretend, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 09:46 (nine years ago) Permalink

Those aren't really "specific points of comparison" though, unless you think there's a massive dearth of musicians under the age of 23 who don't write all their songs and sometimes write lyrics that take place in banal situations.

Dom Passantino, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 09:48 (nine years ago) Permalink

I mean, we may as well compare Ashlee to The View if we do that.

Dom Passantino, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 09:48 (nine years ago) Permalink

most traditional pop writing is the least "subversive" (what do you mean by this overused word anyway) thing ever, anyway

xp well engage with frank about it, i'm not the one making the comparison, though frank's detailed and cogently explained argument is way more convincing than your superficial soundbite reading of it

lex pretend, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 09:50 (nine years ago) Permalink

There was this thing called Smash Hits Lex. It was popular in the 80s.

Dom Passantino, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 09:51 (nine years ago) Permalink

ok learn some conversational skills before addressing me again, i don't have the time to parse yr trite and rude non sequiturs

lex pretend, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 09:52 (nine years ago) Permalink

Dom Passantino, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 09:53 (nine years ago) Permalink

How can something be traditionally subversive? (and still be any good?) And what pop writing are we talking about anyway?

(This is a bit of a tangent but it's an interesting point - this idea that there's a way of writing about pop that works (and is still subverting something) and by moving away from it the Teenpop people are putting it at risk...?)

xpost I wuv Smash Hits too but that approach took us straight to Q!

Groke, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 09:54 (nine years ago) Permalink

i think we should move away from focusing on "ways of writing" - all of which can be good if done well - and more on to "what is actually written". content not form.

lex pretend, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 09:55 (nine years ago) Permalink

[/writingrockist]

lex pretend, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 09:56 (nine years ago) Permalink

Tom, any revolution eventually leads to evil, it's just enjoying the moment at the start of it before it all goes wrong. Surely that's true with pretty much all junctures of music/the arts?

Dom Passantino, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 09:56 (nine years ago) Permalink

Yes, but then can you/should you go back again?

Groke, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 09:58 (nine years ago) Permalink

Difference between the dilettante and the obsessive.

Dom Passantino, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 09:59 (nine years ago) Permalink

I don't think so - is it even possible still to 'do' Smash Hits, whether you're a dilettante or obsessive or both? Doesn't it just become a pastiche?

Groke, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 10:04 (nine years ago) Permalink

Well, surely that ties into the canon, the idea that you should return back to these "great" ideas and reference points over and over again, as if they're the base camp for music, rather than finding new areas to operate within.

Dom Passantino, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 10:05 (nine years ago) Permalink

I mean, when you get older do you become less inclined to tear down the cathedrals, as it were?

Dom Passantino, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 10:09 (nine years ago) Permalink

I don't think that's quite what FK's doing though - he's talking more about effects than techniques. "We need something to have the effects Smash Hits had" rather than "We need something that's like Smash Hits".

(I don't think the teenpop thread writing could have the effect SH had, by the way!)

Groke, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 10:10 (nine years ago) Permalink

Do you think earnestness, on the whole, is a good thing?

Dom Passantino, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 10:13 (nine years ago) Permalink

It's a good option to have!

Groke, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 10:14 (nine years ago) Permalink

It always ends up a bit "we mean it, maaaaan" when put into practice, though.

Dom Passantino, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 10:15 (nine years ago) Permalink

(Is the Teenpop thread the ILM equivalent of the TITTWIS threads I wonder?)

Groke, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 10:16 (nine years ago) Permalink

i don't think the teenpop thread is particularly earnest. it can get earnest (like the music) and it's often very...precise and involved, but it's no more earnest than any other rolling thread which takes its particular genre seriously.

it IS earnest about the process of thinking about the music though, whereas some of the other genre threads are more "list songs you've been feeling recently" and little more

lex pretend, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 10:26 (nine years ago) Permalink

does anyone on ilx *make* teenpop?

if not, why not?

696, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 10:27 (nine years ago) Permalink

Is there any point whatsoever in me bothing to read any of the 600+ posts over the last three days?

Scik Mouthy, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 10:43 (nine years ago) Permalink

There's a picture of Talk Talk about 370 posts in.

Dom Passantino, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 10:46 (nine years ago) Permalink

i tried, i failed.

That one guy that quit, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 10:46 (nine years ago) Permalink

Nick: no. Read the last 50 and if there's anything that engages you join in with that.

Groke, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 10:47 (nine years ago) Permalink

whatever happened to post busted british teenpop? is mcfly the only survivor? cos the lovebites and the faders where great!

acrobat, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 10:50 (nine years ago) Permalink

not so much the noise next door.

acrobat, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 10:50 (nine years ago) Permalink

Dom Passantino, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 10:53 (nine years ago) Permalink

Post Busted British teenpop is alive and well and called The View and The Fratellis, etcetera. It's grubbed up and pretended not to care about Kids TV, is all.

Scik Mouthy, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 10:54 (nine years ago) Permalink

hmmm. not sure i buy that. different business model, different marketing or a slightly differnt audience?

acrobat, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 10:56 (nine years ago) Permalink

666 NEW ANSWERS

Groke, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 10:56 (nine years ago) Permalink

Slightly different on all fronts; if we're getting picky it really is politics of small differences. It's about choice of stylist. The Kooks have more in common with McFly then with... Led Zeppelin...

Scik Mouthy, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 10:57 (nine years ago) Permalink

"Earnestness" and "Humorlessness" and "corniness" on the teenpop thread (in relation to much of the rest of ilx), until somebody explains otherwise, seem to mean (1) People consistently write about music in actual full sentences and sometimes even paragraphs and try to spell words right and (2) No stupid overloading with photographic non-sequiturs in an inept attempt to be "funny." I don't buy it. There's as much humor there as anywhere else here.

Anyway, here is Metal Mike Saunders, certainly one teenpop-crit's patron saints for his 4000-word Voice examinations of Britney, Radio Disney, etc, a few years back, last week on (now relevant!)Dylan. "Humorless" my ass (and neither were Vom):

there's a loooong Dylan piece up on rocksbackpages that's pretty new and it must be by Ian MacDonald. if i pull it up to read it (meaing, whenever i have time since i dig through the weekly additions in sequence formthe e-mail lists, don't skip around) i'll try to remember to cut/paste it. he has some pretty new/interesting theories spanning "entire career" about mr Bob's modum operandi.

i have a theory no one else is insane enoguh to even imagine.

The Turtles rocked the fuck out of "It Ain't Me Babe" and bobby never got over it. the fuckin' Turtles man! stupid former surf band (the Crossfires) from the terminally unhip South
Bay! trumped johnny cash, trumped the Byrds' covers, jeeesus. to this day Bob goes meltdown if anyone even intimates they're goiong to say the forbidden "T" word -- Turtles. yeah, and their version really IS that good.

history eventually revealed that they had another Dylan song on the table to cover for the followup, but they decided to do P.F. Sloan (two straight two, ie Let It Be and You Baby) instead. oooh.

my theory is at least consistent with my preferences re recorded Bob-output. by a mile i'd rather hear the 1962-63-64 recordings (pre electric) than the 1965-66 crap (no band is >>> to horrible nashville rednecks dozing zzzzzz along cluelessly), and the 1964 band (Bringing It All Back Home), well, huh, that's not even really a band is it? just a ragtag bunch of pickup mooks. dylan's best electric vocals/tunes might be on that one, but that band is a real tough listen.

not to be confused with the most boring band ever, the BAND. man that bob knew how to pick his backing musicians. seriously, if the guy'd had any balls after the fake motorbike accident ( = a metaphor for his dopey marriage i guess) left him clueless and shoeless --

he'd have bought full on Marshall amps/stacks, worked up some old Stanley Brothers brothers songs for the "new sound, man" and played the Fillmore East doing same. power trio, bob and maybe the Vanilla Fudge rhythm section. hell yeah, i'd pay to hear the 18 minute version of "Man Of Constant Sorrow" with fuzz guitar sorrows. fuck this Visions of Johanna shit and songs about joan baez. stomp some fuzzbox onto some old Bill Monroe jams!

xhuxk, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 10:58 (nine years ago) Permalink

does anyone on ilx *make* teenpop?

if not, why not?

The answer is likely "not". Because this is I Love (Rumination That's Been Triggered By Pop) Music; glorified couchpotatoland. Kogan pulled out a plum by coming up with parallels between a boomer icon and a contemporary youth-market celebrity; it's not far removed from those spooooky parallels between Abe Lincoln and JFK. (Well, maybe it is.) It's potentially commercial gold (relatively speaking) in rock-crit land, since both Dylan and Ashlee are recognizable to the lay audience.

Even rock-crits have to worry about commercial viability. Right?

mark 0, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 11:06 (nine years ago) Permalink

Mark why do you come here?

Groke, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 11:09 (nine years ago) Permalink

To watch shuffleboard on the Titanic?

mark 0, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 11:10 (nine years ago) Permalink

when you knowww it makes things harrrd for meee

Mark G, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 11:13 (nine years ago) Permalink

I mean, if your basic position is "music criticism is worthless", which it seems to reduce to, then hanging out on a board full of people who like to do it seems an odd choice.

Groke, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 11:13 (nine years ago) Permalink

That's not my basic position. I started posting around the time of Xgau's axing from the Voice, for instance; part of what makes something like the teenpop thread interesting is the issue of commercial viability for this class of writer that sprang up When Rock Was Fresh And New in a time when we've saturated the culture with pop music and "rock" represents a set of memes that are no longer fresh and new.

mark 0, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 11:17 (nine years ago) Permalink

y know what bugs me. i'm jealous of the teenpop thread. i occasionally look at it, like i do the rolling dance and hip hop thread and it's very interesting but i have little interest in the actual music so i can't exactly get "excited". yet everytime a thread is going on about something i have some knowledge / interest in it gets derailed in snark or geir; see that stone roses / 60s cannon thing that was just running. i think there is room for another rolling thread where one can talk about well european rock, indie and pop without it getting constantly derailed, also it would hopefully cut down all the two answers threads about aerogramme or whoever. in some ways it would be a very postive thing, just admit indie/rock whatever is just a genre amongst others and has no priviledge.

acrobat, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 11:20 (nine years ago) Permalink

it might be interesting to try make a teenpop style record

im not that comfortable with blanket criticism of a genre, by someone who hasnt tried it out for themselves

its not really a direction id thought about, but it might be interesting to try it out

696, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 11:22 (nine years ago) Permalink

I often think about making pop records.

Tim F, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 11:24 (nine years ago) Permalink

ie it kind of weirds me out, people talking about inauthenticity, unmusicality, music-as-produce, if they havent had a try at a genre themselves

im not saying people shouldnt be able to judge or criticize artists. artists need criticism, because criticism means people are noticing and profile is upped. but an entire genre, dismissing the rules of the game as *wrong*?

696, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 11:25 (nine years ago) Permalink

have a go tim!

696, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 11:26 (nine years ago) Permalink

teenpop artists don't need criticism, or they don't receive it anyway -- this isn't even white noise, it simply doesn't exist for them. the profile of hilary duff is not raised by ilm or poptimism. this is just people talking, on a messageboard.

That one guy that quit, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 11:28 (nine years ago) Permalink

i dont really think its talking as such. im at work, my mouth is closed

696, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 11:34 (nine years ago) Permalink

Honestly, fuck, let me open a big old can of worms here, the other rolling threads could afford to be a lot more like the teenpop thread, in a lot of ways. People on most of them just seem fucking lazy to me: Constant "XXX rekkid is awesome," or "[NAME OF SONG] [NAME OF ARTIST] LOL" and that's it, with almot no attempt to explain why. (Have the snap or punk or drone ones gotten any less boring lately? I haven't checked in a while. Last time I checked out the snap one I was trying to figure out why nobody seemed to like the Rich Boy album, which sounds pretty good to me, and my hands wound up empty. (Last year's hip-hop thread was better because there were actually people arguing about how this is a really shitty time for hip-hop, though some posters thought such arguments should be off limits. Interestingly, when the same questions were raised on last year's teenpop thread -- that this is actually a really shitty time for teenpop, compared with past eras -- the response seemed a lot more reasoned. Those sort of discussions should be part of all the threads, really.) And last year I actually quit the metal thread for a while because it never seemed like a conversation, just a list. It's gotten somewhat better this year I guess, but it's still missing something that the teen-pop one has.) (I still love the country one, though; sue me.)

xhuxk, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 11:37 (nine years ago) Permalink

people find it hard to believe the people on teenpop threads are for real; or, if they are real, what their deal is.

That one guy that quit, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 11:39 (nine years ago) Permalink

ie gershy otm

That one guy that quit, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 11:39 (nine years ago) Permalink

Do you honestly believe that Enrique?

Groke, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 11:40 (nine years ago) Permalink

though um maybe different people approach music in different ways. some will suit you some won't? my favourite rolling thread is the pick of the pops one. that was great for a while.

acrobat, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 11:41 (nine years ago) Permalink

the other two rolling threads i frequent are both great and full of good people, but the minimal house one really is

poster 1: name of record
poster 2: name of diff record
poster 3: name of diff record

sometimes. the r&b one is brill because it's actually dormant most of the time, it works in flurries, there are recommendations but not an overwhelming number of them, there's interesting and funny thought but not as dense or involved as on teenpop, and there's never any sense that you're working overtime just to keep up.

people find it hard to believe the people on teenpop threads are for real; or, if they are real, what their deal is.

1) why 2) surely the problem is with the people who can't grasp a fairly simple fact rather than with the teenpop people?

lex pretend, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 11:43 (nine years ago) Permalink

I think that there have been so many naval gazing debates on minimal that simple record recommendations is about all anyone can manage now.

Tim F, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 12:40 (nine years ago) Permalink

does anyone on ilx *make* teenpop?

FWIW, I have several songs written and ready to go just as soon as I can find some teenage diabetics to do 'em up like Lillix (is anyone in Lillix diabetic? No response yet from Nick Jonas).

dabug, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 12:53 (nine years ago) Permalink

craigslist?

696, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 12:57 (nine years ago) Permalink

I'm probably going to go through the ADA or something.

dabug, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 12:59 (nine years ago) Permalink

Or a diabetic summer camp (that's where Skye Sweetnam got started...pop star camp, not diabetes camp, obv.), which is where the now-defunct (apparently since their website disappeared) Pump Girls got their start.

dabug, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 13:00 (nine years ago) Permalink

Not to beat a dead horse, but since the conversation's still going and there are some people that feel like I haven't illustrated or backed up any of my points about the teenpop thread, I'll use this as an example:

What teens (and younger) among my MySpace friends have playing on their profile pages:
Kill Hannah "I Love You to Death"
Cartoons (?) "Witch Doctor"
Turtles "Happy Together"
Simple Minds "Don't You Forget About Me"
Cascada "Everytime We Touch"
Melody Club "Baby"
Richard Hell & The Voidoids "Blank Generation"
Paula DeAndra "Walk Away"
One had her song deleted by artist, but has McFly pics as her wallpaper (she's from Denver)
One just posted the lyrics to Evanescence's "Immortal" in a MySpace bulletin
One just posted how unhappy she was to be too young to go to the Fall Out Boys show.

-- Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 4 January 2007 20:06


I don't honestly think that Frank or anyone else on the thread is a paedophile, but you have to admit that at the very least, something like this is ripe for ridicule. And it's not just creepy because of the age thing, it's this weird quasi-anthropological study of the 'target audience'. If one of us white kids on the rolling rap thread went on MySpace looking to find out what black people are listening to and returned to the thread with our findings, wouldn't that be creepy, too?

This brings me to my other big issue with the "teenpop" thing; Frank and others take pains to point out that a lot of teens don't listen to teenpop at all, but that maybe anything teens listen to belongs under the teenpop umbrella, or that singers who began their careers as teenagers but are now 23 or 27 or whatever may be forever teenpop. If that's the case, then what the hell's the point of calling it that? I like pop writing that acknowledges that pop music is one big messy soup that we're all free to take part in, young and old. And it's kind of a given that most pop stars are pretty young, and that the audience is largely young too. I like the Rolling US Charts thread where we can talk about all the pop on the radio with the implicit agreement that if it's popular it's pop. On the teenpop thread it seems like there's constant questions of "is Akon teenpop?" or whoever when it's kind of an irrelevent distinction. I think I'd respect the thread more if it was more narrowly about the Disney-type stuff that is clearly not being made or listened to by many people over the age of 16.

Alex in Baltimore, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 13:46 (nine years ago) Permalink

yeeesh, sorry i do find that weird.

That one guy that quit, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 13:49 (nine years ago) Permalink

1. I don't want to respond for Frank, but I'm pretty sure (being one of his MySpace friends and all) that the "teens he knows" are basically considers family, or close to that -- he has a personal relationship with them. Your misgivings about "anthropology" (setting aside the fact that I'm very interested in using good anthropological approaches to figure out my own relationship to music, since avoiding any anthropology is impossible; I recently wrote a column on this topic for Stylus) in this specific example are misplaced: in your analogy, it would be like rap thread posters putting info from their cousins that listen to rap, or (shock) people they're friends with on MySpace for whatever reason (uh, maybe the musical interests). This is not off-limits!

2. Your second parag doesn't even remotely get at what's "creepy" or "wrong" with the teenpop thread. The teenpop umbrella is ambiguous because music that is considered "for teens" or "for children" or more simply "teenpop" (in places other than the teenpop thread) is fairly ambiguous. Would you deny Ashlee Simpson is "teenpop"? Would you also deny that it's possible to listen to her as "rock" or "punk" <--not trying to go there, but the arguments have been made or "pop"? Why not use any of those distinctions instead? Who cares (or, who can make a reasonable argument that there's something wrong with picking one over the other)? If it's a quibble, fine, but you're linking this idea to a parag with the qualifier "now I'm not calling anyone a pedophile but..."

dabug, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 13:55 (nine years ago) Permalink

Also, not to be a dick but way to assume that "black kids on MySpace" have like zero in common with "white kids on ILM" and never should the twain meet.

dabug, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 13:57 (nine years ago) Permalink

I.e., I think what you just said was a little problematic (not necessarily "creepy"), but no, it wouldn't necessarily be creepy if I posted what a black person was currently listening to on his or her MySpace page.

dabug, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 14:00 (nine years ago) Permalink

I'm not even sure what you mean by that last part. That wasn't my implication, it was kind of a taking the piss comparison. And no, it wouldn't necessarily be creepy, but if I said it like "What black people (and other nonwhite minorities) among my MySpace friends have playing on their profile pages," yeah I think that would be creepy.

My 2nd paragraph wasn't really meant to be about what's "creepy," it was more of a tangent that I probably should've saved for a seperate post. It was more "while I'm on the subject, that reminds me..." than a supporting argument of the previous paragraph. Sorry if that was unclear.

Alex in Baltimore, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 14:02 (nine years ago) Permalink

Again, this is about good vs. bad anthropology here. Your premise is, we're not the "real" audience for rap. The "real" audience is the black listeners, we white listeners are more distanced from rap, therefore not as "legitimately" engaged. Therefore, I will go find a black person on MySpace, post what he or she thinks about rap, and call it a day.

Frank is interested in figuring out what teenagers listen to (sort of). Really, he has a few friends who happen to be teenagers, and whatever they happen to listen to become "what teenagers listen to." He's not doing a blind survey ("I better go google for some teenagers!"); he's also not using one of his MySpace friends as a representative example of ALL teenagers. In fact, his point is that it's hard to tell what "teenagers" listen to, because their tastes vary. Just as it's hard to tell what "adults" listen to, so "adultpop" would probably be a pretty weird (and interesting) genre to discuss, too. Or hey, "DADROCK," that'd be a fun way to talk about music I usually don't give a shit about!

dabug, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 14:05 (nine years ago) Permalink

Given that the popular media is very fixated on "what teenagers are into", and also on the notion that adolescent taste is so ephemeral/inscrutable, I find random lists of what individual teenagers are actually into pretty much de facto interesting for this reason. I'm always talking to my little sister about what she and her friends are into. I mean, part of the whole point of "teenpop" as a concept being interesting is that the music industry is partly structured around notions of adolescent experience of music, so music that is so explicitly targeted towards teenagers (whether it succeeds or fails, sometimes because it fails) is always at least mildly interesting to me. Also I think a large amount of people, myself included, have mixed emotions about adolescence. I view adolescence in general with a fair amount of romanticism although my own adolescence was relatively non-descript. I connect strongly with a lot of films that try to articulate something about the teenage experience even if they fall wide of the mark of my own.

I don't think that the media fixates on "what black people are into" in the same way - by which I mean that although i don't deny that this happens too, the logic is very different. Probably because it's not a temporal thing: the experience of being black is not something you gain and lose over time, whereas "we" were all teenagers but now we are not. There's a reason that "I don't understand kids today" is a trope whereas "I don't understand black people today" is not.

Does all this make me weird/creepy/paedophilic?

Tim F, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 14:06 (nine years ago) Permalink

Strike that -- it's not your premise (and NOW I'm being a dick). Let's call it a possible premise.

dabug, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 14:06 (nine years ago) Permalink

how old are you dabug?

i find myspace creepy enough already among adults tbh

he's also not using one of his MySpace friends as a representative example of ALL teenagers.

i thought you said he *was* doing that? "he has a few friends who happen to be teenagers, and whatever they happen to listen to become "what teenagers listen to.""

but anyway i don't care what teenagers like; it fascinates the media because teenagers are as ever the primary consumers of recorded music. but why should that interest me? (or frank?)

That one guy that quit, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 14:11 (nine years ago) Permalink

And, just to elaborate once more before I go to work, the problem with the example of "black people" is that it assumes that "black people" are the audience for rap. Whereas Frank (and Tim and people on the thread) assume that "teenagers" are NOT the audience for teenpop, and are interested in what they're actually listening to, see if it has any relationship to the teenpop that's for adults (Kelly Clarkson) and children (Hannah Montana) and British people (Crazy Frog).

xpost I'm 23, what's yr point? And "what teenagers listen to" in your quote is a lighthearted half-joke -- it would be impossible to compile an actual list of what all teenagers listen to!

dabug, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 14:13 (nine years ago) Permalink

barry zito is dating hillary duff - crepe or non-crepe?

Steve Shasta, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 14:14 (nine years ago) Permalink

Just as I wonder what the relationship is between Phoenix (#7 of last year) and the Veronicas (#4 of last year) and Paris Hilton (#3 of last year) and Marit Larsen (#1 of last year).

dabug, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 14:14 (nine years ago) Permalink

I think it's hugely interesting Enrique! All that cod-anthropological stuff interests me! Not just "what teenagers think" obviously - what my friends think, what office workers think, my parents' generation, little kids, posh kids, whatever. And collecting primary evidence to help discussion is part of that, or at least it was when I did my creepy history degree and when I go to work in the creepy market research industry. (Actually the MR industry can be quite creepy though not in a paedo way).

When I'm in the queue at the supermarket I *always* peek into other people's baskets and try to work out what they're buying. Surely I can't be alone in that? (ulp).

xpost

Groke, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 14:17 (nine years ago) Permalink

(And, maybe esp., MCR -- listned to by many real genuine teens -- who shoulda been #11 but I think they were on my list)

dabug, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 14:17 (nine years ago) Permalink

I don't think that the media fixates on "what black people are into" in the same way - by which I mean that although i don't deny that this happens too, the logic is very different.

I think they focus on it when it serves a certain angle or goal, like it mattered a lot a few years ago that black people liked Paul Wall, but as soon as white people liked him too, it no longer mattered.

mulla atari, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 14:19 (nine years ago) Permalink

And, just to elaborate once more before I go to work, the problem with the example of "black people" is that it assumes that "black people" are the audience for rap. Whereas Frank (and Tim and people on the thread) assume that "teenagers" are NOT the audience for teenpop, and are interested in what they're actually listening to, see if it has any relationship to the teenpop that's for adults (Kelly Clarkson) and children (Hannah Montana) and British people (Crazy Frog).

Yeah, I wasn't implying some straight line parallel with the comparison, of course the correlation between teenagers and teenpop is completely different from the correlation between black people and hip hop. I just think either scenario is a little loopy. My point was that none of the people on the rap thread would do that because we're all opinionated and knowledgeable, and trust the opinions of other knowledgeable rap fans but wouldn't go off looking for tips from random people on MySpace who are superficially more "in the target demographic" of the music (this was before you pointed out that Frank's MySpace friends are apparently people he knows IRL, which would be very difficult to infer from him calling them "my MySpace friends").

Alex in Baltimore, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 14:20 (nine years ago) Permalink

I view adolescence in general with a fair amount of romanticism although my own adolescence was relatively non-descript

i've often wondered whether the stereotype of the gays loving the teenpop possibly stems from the way in which teenpop approaches things like love, relationships, crushes, finding personal identity, growing up - sometimes clichéd, sometimes romanticised, sometimes confused. i think to a lot of gay people it might not be as...banal, as it's sometimes accused of being, because obv few gay people (of our age and above, certainly) could have actually had a typical adolescence.

lex pretend, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 14:20 (nine years ago) Permalink

i don't think wanting to know in general is creepy, just social networking websites. if frank knows them irl then alright (i hope!).

That one guy that quit, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 14:23 (nine years ago) Permalink

i think to a lot of gay people it might not be as...banal, as it's sometimes accused of being, because obv few gay people (of our age and above, certainly) could have actually had a typical adolescence.

now thats beginning to get somewhere

696, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 14:23 (nine years ago) Permalink

tom and tim massively otm about finding out what other people like, too! finding out why people like what they like is one of the reasons we're all here, surely? and i'm always really interested in why 'normal' people (ie people who aren't music geeks and not on the internet) like what they link, since they're the silent majority in all of this.

lex pretend, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 14:24 (nine years ago) Permalink

Also, Alex, the whole "what does The Other listen to in the Real World?" question completely animates 1000 ILM threads - all the MIA ones, the Stelfox ones, the equivalent of "what are [x] listening to on their MySpaces?" seems to be the guiding principle of the Dissensus approach to music too.

That doesn't have anything to do with whether caring about teenpop is creepy or not, but I'm just saying it's hardly unknown as a critical method.

xpost OK some of this covered in Alex' reply.

Groke, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 14:24 (nine years ago) Permalink

In Frank's book he has the essay where his girlfriend's daughters are talking about Xtina, and it's interesting to see how much they've either absorbed or rejected the image the media is aiming at them.

mulla atari, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 14:25 (nine years ago) Permalink

"but anyway i don't care what teenagers like; it fascinates the media because teenagers are as ever the primary consumers of recorded music. but why should that interest me? (or frank?)"

I don't think it's just that. I think there's a widespread notion that teenagers care more about such things - held not just among the media or big labels but also a surprisingly large amount of pro-authenticity, anti-pop keepers of the true flame.

I mean, isn't the standard story of music fandom the tracing of the decline and fall from the white-hot stridency and passion of teenage musical obsessions to a sort of complacent 12 cds per year dilettante-conformism?

"i've often wondered whether the stereotype of the gays loving the teenpop possibly stems from the way in which teenpop approaches things like love, relationships, crushes, finding personal identity, growing up - sometimes clichéd, sometimes romanticised, sometimes confused. i think to a lot of gay people it might not be as...banal, as it's sometimes accused of being, because obv few gay people (of our age and above, certainly) could have actually had a typical adolescence."

It's a double pincer movement I think: most pop culture representations of adolescence are obsessed with the difference between essences and appearances, so in a funny way most pop culture representations of adolescence tell the story of gay adolescence at one level of remove.

At the same time, the specific content of those representations is not just something we didn't happen to experience, it's stuff we were structurally unable to experience (or, to get the emotional sense of it more accurately, it's stuff we were denied) even if we were in the right time and place for it.

Massive generalisations though obv.

Tim F, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 14:27 (nine years ago) Permalink

My point was that none of the people on the rap thread would do that because we're all opinionated and knowledgeable, and trust the opinions of other knowledgeable rap fans but wouldn't go off looking for tips from random people on MySpace who are superficially more "in the target demographic"

wanting to know what people i trust are listening to so i can pick up hot new stuff myself, and wanting to know what less "knowledgeable" (ugh, snobbishness, but i know what you mean) people in the target demographic are listening to so that i can think about what aspects of the music have mainstream or widespread appeal, which in turn is helpful with talking about future trends, are both equally valid things to pursue

lex pretend, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 14:28 (nine years ago) Permalink

"It's a double pincer movement I think: most pop culture representations of adolescence are obsessed with the difference between essences and appearances"

By this I mean that adolescent films in particular almost always at least involve one character whose social position and representation is at odds with their "true" self - High School Musical is paradigmatic, as is Buffy, but it's difficult to think of teen romantic comedies, say, where the central relationship isn't made difficult by the constraints of one or both participants having to perform a social role.

Alex i think it's misinterpreting Frank to assume he was genuinely looking for tips! If anything when he does this sort of thing it's a kind of humility-gesture, like, "hey, I'm talking about "teenpop" like I know what I'm talking about, but actually who knows what the hell it is".

Tim F, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 14:31 (nine years ago) Permalink

Yeah, Tim, you're right, it was kind of a willful misinterpretation to compare it to "looking for tips" when he clearly wasn't doing that. Again, for me it mostly comes down to the fact that you're almost never going to be the same age or race or whatever as the artist or the target audience of the music you're listening to, so pointing out those disparities isn't really that interesting to me.

All this stuff about gay culture's embrace of camp and cheesy pop as it relates to the teenpop thread is interesting, although I never thought to bring it up since I have no idea about the sexual orientation of most of the people on that thread.

Alex in Baltimore, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 14:38 (nine years ago) Permalink

It's a double pincer movement I think: most pop culture representations of adolescence are obsessed with the difference between essences and appearances

totally agree: i'd say that the obsession is based on the tension between the absolute certainty adolescents have regarding appearances (ie what they "should" be, what is socially acceptable) and the total uncertainty they have over "essences" (ie who they really are - the process of adolescence is after all trying to find this out, and for gays this is magnified) (this pins down something i was clumsily trying to express right at the top of this thread because it's this fumbling attempt at self-discovery which those hilary duff tracks best express, and with which i identify most easily)

lex pretend, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 14:39 (nine years ago) Permalink

I mean, isn't the standard story of music fandom the tracing of the decline and fall from the white-hot stridency and passion of teenage musical obsessions to a sort of complacent 12 cds per year dilettante-conformism?

well yeah. this is certainly my narrative. still not caring what teenagers like though -- interesting that the poptimists here do. isn't this some kind of displaced authenticity kick, a la stelfox?

That one guy that quit, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 14:41 (nine years ago) Permalink

nrq you don't seem to care about what anyone likes though, or indeed very much about anything at all

lex pretend, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 14:41 (nine years ago) Permalink

i mean, feel free to correct me with examples

lex pretend, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 14:41 (nine years ago) Permalink

Yes, probably! I think in my case it's more likely to be a displacement of authenticity onto the 'mass', the marketplace (cf Popular as a project, the centrality of group opinion to Poptimists), rather than adolescence: a class-related yearning rather than an age-related one, rooted in my ambivalence over my private education. Since you asked.

Groke, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 14:44 (nine years ago) Permalink

Another point, why, not, since I took a breath and will not be a jerk again, is that I would love to see teenage MySpacers post on the teenpop thread (in particular I would REALLY love to see Aly and AJ fans -- all of whom HATE ME -- post on the thread, since they always post on my blog and say really interesting and often intelligent and provocative things!). Googlers and "outsiders" (and "target audience members," as vague as all these categories are) can bring some of the most interesting and unexpected arguments and perspectives to the table, especially when things get insular (simply because there are only six people posting with any regularity. And if you hadn't noticed yet I'm basically just doing a membership drive for the teenpop thread on this one).

dabug, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 14:47 (nine years ago) Permalink

nrq likes loads of stuff! comedy stufff mainly. he loves nathan barley, the big mad man.

acrobat, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 14:50 (nine years ago) Permalink

I like the whole random googler thing in theory but in practise I've never seen them actually integrate into a thread or community.

For instance, it'd be interesting to do a comparison of the rolling hip-hop threads with the Nas/Jay-Z Throwdowns. Someone's point at the time - might even have been Frank's! - was that the hip-hop fans on ILM almost never used to post on those (they're still one of the strangest phenomena I've seen on a message board).

Groke, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 14:51 (nine years ago) Permalink

i love poetry, and a glass of scotch, and, of course, my friend baxter here.

That one guy that quit, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 14:51 (nine years ago) Permalink

"well yeah. this is certainly my narrative. still not caring what teenagers like though -- interesting that the poptimists here do. isn't this some kind of displaced authenticity kick, a la stelfox?"

Sort of, except that teenpop is a category shaped by social (mis)perceptions and marketing strategies - there's no unified/authentic/meaningful/social practice at its core (as distinct from the standard dissensus/stelfox argument) so there's no single higher authority to appeal to - I mean we've already established countless times that teenagers and teen-pop usually don't coincide! Posting random lists of old and new songs that teenagers play is just a demonstration of this point, nothing more.

Tim F, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 14:53 (nine years ago) Permalink

ah, i hate comedy, so never the twain shall my enthusiasms and nrq's enthusiasms meet.

i also love poetry and scotch though

lex pretend, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 14:54 (nine years ago) Permalink

The throwdowns -- they were a law unto themselves. Loved 'em.

When I'm in the queue at the supermarket I *always* peek into other people's baskets and try to work out what they're buying. Surely I can't be alone in that? (ulp).


I have no idea whether you're alone but I just realized why you do the work you do.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 14:54 (nine years ago) Permalink

Let me revise what I'd like a bit: I would like to see BRIE LARSON post on the thread, and bring some of her MySpace friends with her.

dabug, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 14:57 (nine years ago) Permalink

Yeah wasn't it Blount that kept trying to son Ethan and whoever for not trying to engage the Jay-Z/Nas googlers in a dialogue? I dunno, there's a billion message board threads about rap beef and they're all pretty worthless, the fact that we ended up with one here kind of by accident isn't really very surprising or interesting if you've seen any of the other ones out there. (xpost to groke)

"target audience members," as vague as all these categories are

I don't think it's vague at all to imply that there's a target demographic for teenpop, and that it's tweens and teenagers.

Alex in Baltimore, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 14:57 (nine years ago) Permalink

the fact that we ended up with one here kind of by accident isn't really very surprising or interesting if you've seen any of the other ones out there


Doubtless. But that therefore makes it the pop equivalent to the underground. Er.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 14:58 (nine years ago) Permalink

Alex: It wasn't the content of the thread that I thought was bizarre but the way it turned up and kept going and was a law unto itself for ages. It's because there are loads of beef threads all over the web that one going on here for 2 years and building a completely separate community was so strange! Not seen that happen for anything else.

Groke, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 15:00 (nine years ago) Permalink

i.e. they weren't googlers - they started as googlers but by the time we moved off Greenspun (which killed the threads) there was a community: leaders, followers, regulars knowing one anothers names and foibles, etc. I suppose the DMB thread could have done that too, I stopped reading after a bit.

Groke, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 15:03 (nine years ago) Permalink

Make an Aly and AJ thread googlable enough and see what happens! (Teenpop is kind of impenetrable to googlers, I imagine.)

dabug, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 15:04 (nine years ago) Permalink

*teenpop THREAD I mean

dabug, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 15:04 (nine years ago) Permalink

yeah it was definitely impressive how much it took on a life of its own and kept going and going, i'll give you that. i was never clear on whether any of those guys knew each other from some other board that the ILM thread was linked to on, or if they did become a community on that thread. (xpost)

Alex in Baltimore, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 15:04 (nine years ago) Permalink

"aly and aj" is in itself kind of googleproof anyway

Alex in Baltimore, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 15:05 (nine years ago) Permalink

Some good stuff in the last 18 hours.

1. I also find Tim F's posts about gay critical approaches to be interesting. I'd be curious to know why other posters think that teenpop appeals to them personally.

2. With respect to Frank's teenage MySpace friends, I appreciate the kind of anthropology that Frank sometimes does, since music criticism is often filled with half-baked assumptions about target audiences and subcultures, but I almost always find it lacking in rigor or comprehensiveness. In Real Punks, for example, he leans so hard on the letter from the girls in the Australian Smash Hits: it crops up in several different reviews or essays, all proving some point about the relationship between fans and the bands they follow. This sort of examination is great, but it's one of the only examples he uses, and I find myself wishing that he'd undertaken a larger survey. (I'm hoping that Michaelangelo Matos eventually puts up the paper he gave at the EMP Conference on college students who own Bob Marley posters.)

3. I share some of acrobat's jealousy about the teenpop thread. I do think it's one of the only places on ILM where intelligent conversation is happening in 2007, I just wish that conversation was about music I was familiar with and felt passionate about. (One solution would be to delve into teenpop more to see if I do like more than the few token songs that have captured my interest so far.)

jaymc, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 15:41 (nine years ago) Permalink

Yeah some of my discontent is admittedly some form of jealousy; I wish the rolling R&B thread was as consistently active as the teenpop thread!

Alex in Baltimore, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 15:51 (nine years ago) Permalink

or rolling snap 2007, which hasnt even been mentioned here

and what, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 15:51 (nine years ago) Permalink

it's been mentioned.

da croupier, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 15:53 (nine years ago) Permalink

well, i don't really feel like complaining about the relative dearth of rap threads activity, since i feel like that's a direct product of guys like us becoming bored and malevolent about discussing rap in earnest on ILM or going off and focusing on blogs.

Alex in Baltimore, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 15:55 (nine years ago) Permalink

i'm kind of disillusioned with the vast majority of rap discussion anyway. reading xxl comments will do that to you

deej, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 15:58 (nine years ago) Permalink

rap discussion on the internets, i mean

deej, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 15:58 (nine years ago) Permalink

xpost Ha, Matos said in his paper that he couldn't actually get too many people to respond, so his sample size wasn't really sufficient. I do hope he posts it though, it was great.

I like teenpop in large part because of the reasons people were bashing it for upthread--because it's insistently mainstream, because it has a specific target demographic, because it's primarily commercial. It eliminates a lot of the bullshit you have to deal with when you talk about music, and I think that surrounding context makes the music itself much richer and more interesting. I also like that it's working the kind of pop-rock sound I love, which doesn't really seem to exist much anymore outside of teenpop and (increasingly, weirdly) emo.

I also think it's not accidental that the subject provokes such good discussions. It's the music itself, not just something about the people involved or the format or anything. I think it's genuinely one of the richest, most meaningful kinds of music being made right now. Not necessarily the best, but certainly one of the most unpackable. Ditto hip-hop and R&B, fwiw.

I have no idea how this relates to my background, but there you go.

Eppy, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 15:58 (nine years ago) Permalink

who in 2007 is neglecting rap discussion on ilm to focus on blogs?

and what, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 15:59 (nine years ago) Permalink

(One solution would be to delve into teenpop more to see if I do like more than the few token songs that have captured my interest so far.)

you know you want to

lex pretend, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 16:00 (nine years ago) Permalink

Start with Aly and AJ's new one, "Potential Break Up Song." It's fun!

dabug, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 16:01 (nine years ago) Permalink

yeah abby commanded me to check that one out (i have never heard aly & aj ever!)

lex pretend, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 16:03 (nine years ago) Permalink

OK I realize this means admitting that i look at the 'eye candy' section of xxl but this comment both epitomizes my apprehension about the majority of internet rap discussion + was amusing:

#
G'dep Says:

February 26th, 2007 at 6:23 pm

girl has beauty brains and a good taste in music stillmatic! , my kind of girl coz after some wild sex we can talk about rewind. nah mean

deej, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 16:03 (nine years ago) Permalink

who in 2007 is neglecting rap discussion on ilm to focus on blogs?

-- and what, Wednesday, May 16, 2007 11:59 AM

I meant more the current state of rap discussion on ILM is kind of a result of that 04-05 period when dudes like you and me and deej and dk started blogs and kinda stopped starting threads or writing at length on ILM, which kinda continued even after some of us stopped blogging.

Alex in Baltimore, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 16:04 (nine years ago) Permalink

or actually, the straight answer to that question is that I personally write about rap way more on blogs than on ILM these days.

Alex in Baltimore, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 16:05 (nine years ago) Permalink

I'd be curious to know why other posters think that teenpop appeals to them personally.

During Maura Johnston's freestyle panel at EMP Matos asked me how we in South Florida regarded the genre. "It was OUR MUSIC," I said, ineptly, which is to say: I don't think in terms of genres. I like artists and songs. Regarding teenpop, I'll turn on the radio, hear Ashee Simpson or Kelly Clarkson, and say, "Hey, this sounds pretty good" and either download it or forget about it – as I'd do with any other artist.

I also told Maura and Matos that the sometimes hysterical nature of adolescent experience dovetailed with the scenarios drawn by Stevie B, Company B, and "Diamond Girl." As I age and life gets duller, the memorable experiences are actually MORE melodramatic in context, so "Girlfriend," "Wake Up," and "Since U Been Gone" really do become the soundtrack to my life. Call it hyperrealism. Jody Rosen was right when he posited in his Slate essay last week that the "defining feature of post-Lavigne teenpop is its adult pretensions," but I'd also remark that "the defining feature of adulthood is pretension." Thirtysomethings are pretty smug, generally, and so are the artists we tend to admire; thus, there's something to be said about teens striving for adulthood using the language and manners of eighteen-year-olds.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 16:05 (nine years ago) Permalink

A reason I like teenpop - which seems to be quite opposed to the way it's discussed on the thread, and may be part of why I don't post there much - is that the manufacture of it is like high-stakes music criticism. It seems to be so much about combining and reviving elements of the past - ideas, images, whole sounds - which is pretty similar to what critics do, except the people producing teenpop have a lot of money at stake and it's fascinating to see what works and what doesn't. So Girls Aloud suddenly doing a Stray-Cat style rockabilly-skiffle track, and it becoming one of their best loved songs, is really interesting! There's a "what's next? what's the next thing to draw on?" element to it.

This way of enjoying it has next to nothing to do with real teenagers or even the performers whose name goes on the tracks - it's quite a cold approach. But my own reaction to the tracks themselves doesn't often go much beyond "Yeah! Catchy!" or "Wow, beautiful", or whatever. It is a surface pleasure for me in a way it's not for Frank or dabug or Poptext.

Groke, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 16:06 (nine years ago) Permalink

That should be "whole songs" not "whole sounds".

Groke, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 16:07 (nine years ago) Permalink

well al maybe you should be starting threads here instead of posting 800 word comments on breihans weekly diplo interview or whatever

and what, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 16:11 (nine years ago) Permalink

& obviously teenpop isn't the only genre where this happens! But it's the one where I like the resulting sounds most.

Groke, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 16:11 (nine years ago) Permalink

As I age and life gets duller


It does?

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 16:13 (nine years ago) Permalink

i tried to start a big mike thread a week or two ago and it got like three posts :-(

deej, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 16:13 (nine years ago) Permalink

I doubt the snap thread will ever be "a place where we can try out ideas (about a wide range of music) without an accusatory or arms-crossed skeptical or uncomfortable tone mucking up the flow of conversation or personally offending anyone."

da croupier, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 16:15 (nine years ago) Permalink

x-post to and what: oh great, we're going to turn this thread into another forum for your repetitive 'zings'.

to review, I said I wished the R&B thread was more active, you said "what about the rap thread", I said I'm not gonna complain about it because I'm personally guilty of not saying much of substance on that thread because I have other outlets right now, and then you tried to son me with a hollertronix reference. omg stfu etc.

Alex in Baltimore, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 16:17 (nine years ago) Permalink

you know you want to

-- lex pretend, Wednesday, May 16, 2007 11:00 AM (15 minutes ago)


You say this all coy, but I actually do want to.

Start with Aly and AJ's new one, "Potential Break Up Song." It's fun!

-- dabug, Wednesday, May 16, 2007 11:01 AM (14 minutes ago)


Yeah, I've been meaning to.

The real way to get me to listen to more teenpop, though, would be for Swygart to start putting it up on the Stylus Singles Jukebox more often. That's how I heard "First" and "Rush," which I've never actually encountered anywhere else (i.e., not on the radio), except I once sang the former in a karaoke bar in Minneapolis last year.

jaymc, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 16:19 (nine years ago) Permalink

Like Eppy, I'm into teenpop for the music. Right now it seems that the major pop songwriters are working in the genre, in fact, it seems like the only genre where you're getting a really focussed team-produced 'sound' that happens to be the one I love: the pop-rock with hooks and tight structures and cheerleader hand-claps etc. Maybe it was always that way genre-wise with songwriting squads, but I was too young to pay attention. I listen to way more material that isn't teenpop (right now I'm repeat-playing Peter Bjorn & John, the Blow, Miranda Lambert and Camera Obscura) but the teenpop stuff is where I get my concentrated pop fix and can find producers doing new and innovative stuff every cycle. Like, hearing 'potential break-up song' was interesting in a way that 'young folks' wasn't because it engaged me in a 'what are the influences/direction/consequences of this branding shift?' way as well as surface appreciation.

Poptext, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 16:20 (nine years ago) Permalink

I doubt the snap thread will ever be "a place where we can try out ideas (about a wide range of music) without an accusatory or arms-crossed skeptical or uncomfortable tone mucking up the flow of conversation or personally offending anyone."

Can't tell if I'm being mocked here (don't read the snap thread either). Should I assume yes? If so, why?

Anyway here's some of Frank's thougtful negative commentary on Hilary Duff's new album on the teenpop thread; this is pretty typical of his (and others') posts there (since the only thing posted from the thread itself so far has been that MySpace list):

Lex, I'd love it if you'd say more about the Hilary, since I'm just having a lot of trouble feeling it. ("Danger," my second favorite song on it, is a Paris sound-alike that isn't as good as Paris would do it, and even so it would only be the 10th best thing on the Paris album.) There's certainly stuff I'm liking, and maybe if you told me the process of how it grew on you it would grow on me two. Hilary doesn't have a high-impact voice, and John Shanks back on "Come Clean" and "Fly" knew how to use her slightness for enormous feeling (as if the feeling were in the melody and the voice just let it come through in a beautiful sketch - I still can't figure out how he made it work), while Kara DioGuardi on Dignity seems to be working a middle ground that doesn't always work. (Strangely, I prefer DioGuardi's Tisdale tune; strange, given that Tisdale's voice gives even less to a song than Duff's does.)

dabug, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 16:25 (nine years ago) Permalink

(or if the joke's on the ability for anyone to have such a conversation, why? I guess I just don't get what you're getting at.)

dabug, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 16:26 (nine years ago) Permalink

Can't tell if I'm being mocked here (don't read the snap thread either). Should I assume yes? If so, why?


I'm not mocking you, don't worry.

da croupier, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 16:27 (nine years ago) Permalink

al i wasnt tryna zing you with a hollertronix ref i just saw longer posts on toms diplo interview than youve made on a rap thread in years

and what, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 16:27 (nine years ago) Permalink

a zing would be to complain about your 4 paragraph reviews of dane cook cds

and what, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 16:28 (nine years ago) Permalink

Poptext, have you heard Lucky Soul yet? Just heard them over the weekend and I like their 60ish girl groupish pop throwbacks without it seeming too forced/fetishistic. No idea how big they are in the UK, never heard of them in the US.

dabug, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 16:30 (nine years ago) Permalink

(Maybe I'm being paranoid, da croupier, wouldn't be the first time. Just wondering what you're getting at by quoting that bit twice.)

dabug, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 16:30 (nine years ago) Permalink

he's talking about ppl who contribute to the snap thread

deej, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 16:37 (nine years ago) Permalink

(Oh, thanks.)

dabug, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 16:39 (nine years ago) Permalink

Thanks dabug, but honestly, this whole retro girl group thing bemuses me a little. I can enjoy it, sure, but none of them seem to do for me what 'Leader of the Pack' or the original stuff ever did, and I'm trying to figure out why - is it the songwriting, the new-indieish hues or the thinner sound, etc?

Anyway, while we're tipping, The Blow esp 'Hey Boy' are rather great. I'm seeing them support Electrelane tonight in Cambridge MA (oh yeah, I'm over here for the summer).

Poptext, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 16:39 (nine years ago) Permalink

Correcting myself (not that anyone was replying to me): "performers whose name goes on the tracks" is a wretched phrase. What I'm meaning is that I'm not hugely bothered as to who produces or writes songs in teenpop, or even who performs them, more in each new song as a gambit in a wider conversation with the market.

(So the airplay and sales figures should be the most interesting part of Teenpop 2007 for me, I suppose)

Groke, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 16:42 (nine years ago) Permalink

I dislike the sound a lot too (probably for similar reasons -- also because I believe there are modern girl groups, making music in similar models but with a bit more co-authorship, e.g. the Veronicas, who aren't getting their due). I was surprised to like this group. (I think I called the last thing like this I heard "fetishistic and sterile." Something for Singles Jukebox, don't remember who it was, Marit Bergman I think?)

dabug, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 16:42 (nine years ago) Permalink

Tom, one thing I like about the teenpop thread is how it explores authorship...Frank trying to figure out "who I'm falling in love with" re: Ashlee, what I just said above about the girl group thing, etc.

dabug, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 16:43 (nine years ago) Permalink

(Haha, this is starting to sound like an infomercial.)

dabug, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 16:43 (nine years ago) Permalink

yeah that Frank quote is pretty good, no Ashlee-Dylan crazy juice in that post and I give him credit for dealing with the fact that "Hilary doesn't have a high-impact voice" and that some songs use it better than others, which is the kind of fairly obvious truth that sometimes folks like The Lex seem very stubborn not to acknowledge.

ethan, referring to a 200-word comment as 800 words comment made me kind of assume that you were exaggerating things for zing effect.

Alex in Baltimore, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 16:44 (nine years ago) Permalink

The Blow's great, although I bailed on them last night because I was exhausted. Are you seeing them in a small place? She's a great performer.

Eppy, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 16:46 (nine years ago) Permalink

I think it's great that it explores authorship - just the kind of thing an evangelical teenpop thread ought to be doing, and a way into some fascinating analysis. But it doesn't interest *me* that much as something to do - fundamentally I am VERY LAZY and tend not to research authorship. And I have a bad memory for names.

Groke, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 16:48 (nine years ago) Permalink

Paradise in Boston? Not been to that venue yet, only got into town a couple fo weeks ago.

Poptext, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 16:49 (nine years ago) Permalink

so basically youre saying the rap threads arent good anymore because you dont post as much

and what, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 16:55 (nine years ago) Permalink

it's hard for other threads to be more like teenpop when teenpop requires that much more involvement for it to even exist.

uhh that sounds pointier than i meant it to, no offence

i'm kind of disillusioned with the vast majority of rap discussion anyway. reading xxl comments will do that to you

yeah see, snap thread's just more like the 2nd person watercooler for the obvious ubiqitous 9-5 work of rap listening. it's not like yr gonna see something new on there with 'omg omg wow' cos everyone's pretty much heard everything already. if it happens to come up then it'll get discussed but it's not the regulars who feel the need to start it. meanwhile the world keeps spinning.

the other thing a successful rolling thread (well, and whole board) requires is a sense of um, community. failing that, a koganesque moderator (whether he actually contributes or not, but he's still the reference point.) if youre not really bothered what ilm, or even just the particular thread people think anyway then what's the impetus. i know i can sympathize with that.

r|t|c, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 16:57 (nine years ago) Permalink

Non-high impact doesn't = not emotionally resonant, though. See: Cassie, Paris Hilton, uh...Carole King?

dabug, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 16:57 (nine years ago) Permalink

so basically youre saying the rap threads arent good anymore because you dont post as much

-- and what, Wednesday, May 16, 2007 12:55 PM

no, i'm saying i'm not gonna complain about the quality of the rap threads because i enjoy the in-jokey half-assed vibe they have these days. you're the one who brought it up.

Alex in Baltimore, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 17:02 (nine years ago) Permalink

Koganesque looms large over the teenpop thread (and maybe over this one too) but the guy himself isn't a requirement for anything (see: no actual Kogan on this thread)...he's interested in a mode of thought and analysis, and as long as this is thought and carried through (as lots of people on this thread, teenpop posters and non-, are doing) it doesn't really matter what you're talking about. He's a ref. point here, but he doesn't need to be; his way of digging into his own and other people's ideas does need to be. Sometimes people just need to be stirred or cajoled or shoved into discussion in the right ways.

dabug, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 17:02 (nine years ago) Permalink

yeah yeah yeah i guess im just jealous of all this intense speculation & analysis of the teenpop thread and rolling snap gets like a couple 5 word posts a week now

and what, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 17:11 (nine years ago) Permalink

Koganesque looms large over the teenpop thread (and maybe over this one too) but the guy himself isn't a requirement for anything (see: no actual Kogan on this thread)...he's interested in a mode of thought and analysis, and as long as this is thought and carried through (as lots of people on this thread, teenpop posters and non-, are doing) it doesn't really matter what you're talking about. He's a ref. point here, but he doesn't need to be; his way of digging into his own and other people's ideas does need to be. Sometimes people just need to be stirred or cajoled or shoved into discussion in the right ways.

this is how the scientologists speak of L. Ron

Just got offed, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 17:12 (nine years ago) Permalink

hahaha, i was totally gonna post YOU ARE ALL JUST JEALOUS! yesterday, but i knew everyone would just deny it. now the truth is setting everyone free.

scott seward, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 17:13 (nine years ago) Permalink

frank is a total guru! he has a crazy brain. people are attracted to crazy brains. i know i am.

scott seward, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 17:14 (nine years ago) Permalink

well combined with the fact that unlike everybody else i think teenpop is a really worthless unlistenable genre

and what, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 17:14 (nine years ago) Permalink

except that lillix joint and come clean

and what, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 17:15 (nine years ago) Permalink

Sometimes people just need to be stirred or cajoled or shoved into discussion in the right ways.

Ugh, this pedanticism bugs me.

Tim Ellison, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 17:15 (nine years ago) Permalink

Ethan, somewhere way upthread Chuck expressed some unhappiness with the snap thread.

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 17:18 (nine years ago) Permalink

Well, I don't think it was pedantic at all, having been stirred and cajoled into the discussion myself.

dabug, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 17:22 (nine years ago) Permalink

Non-high impact doesn't = not emotionally resonant, though. See: Cassie, Paris Hilton, uh...Carole King?

-- dabug, Wednesday, May 16, 2007 7:57 PM (30 minutes ago)


that's you saying paris hilton = emotionally resonant, isn't it? yikes.

That one guy that quit, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 17:29 (nine years ago) Permalink

And Frank needs to be stirred and cajoled into conversation, too! And the people on threads who think the music is being insufficiently analyzed or discussed have it in their power to change the way they talk about it, or evangelize/market it even.

dabug, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 17:29 (nine years ago) Permalink

Frank has gone on to great lengths about this need for people to be PUSHED and CAJOLED and MADE TO THINK and how he's the guy to do it!

Tim Ellison, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 17:35 (nine years ago) Permalink

He's right! Other posters not interested in teenpop are saying as much, I'm responding to them fairly directly, not just making broad generalizations.

dabug, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 17:37 (nine years ago) Permalink

And my point isn't that he's the guy to do it (though around here he often is), just that it needs to get done.

dabug, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 17:38 (nine years ago) Permalink

Well, maybe you can join him in preaching to people about how they need to broaden their intellectual scope, then. (x-post)

Tim Ellison, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 17:39 (nine years ago) Permalink

REPENT, TIM!

dabug, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 17:45 (nine years ago) Permalink

frank can spark discussion REALLY easily on ilm. check any one of a hundred threads. same with mark s. same with other people. threads that were lame or dying brought back to life by a deft nabisco paragraph or four.

scott seward, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 17:46 (nine years ago) Permalink

yeah that Frank quote is pretty good, no Ashlee-Dylan crazy juice in that post and I give him credit for dealing with the fact that "Hilary doesn't have a high-impact voice" and that some songs use it better than others, which is the kind of fairly obvious truth that sometimes folks like The Lex seem very stubborn not to acknowledge.

it's not "stubborn not to acknowledge" because it's not actually a fact - it's "active disagreement". i don't doubt there are songs on which hilary's voice doesn't work*, but it works really well on most of what i have heard. it's a lot like rachel stevens' or kylie minogue's voice in that she hits all the notes fine but it's kind of blank and cipherish on first listen; it doesn't go out of its way to stamp its personality on the song, but this is good because this a) allows the song to breathe and b) allows the listener to make the song theirs, it's a really good way into the song.

but then - like stevens and minogue - you start imagining other (better, stronger, more charismatic) singers singing those songs, and it just plain wouldn't work.

i will pay no heed to nrq's snarks here; for one, as far as i can tell he finds close to nothing emotionally resonant in any case; and for two he likes the STONE ROSES so really should quit talking shit about paris's voice which, yes, i find emotionally resonant.

I think it's great that it explores authorship - just the kind of thing an evangelical teenpop thread ought to be doing, and a way into some fascinating analysis.

this is a v interesting point - rationally i agree with tom, authorship should be irrelevant to teenpop; i mean there's evidence of this every day, when a previously-shit teenpop vehicle suddenly becomes awesome with some magical producer/songwriter beans (eg omarion). trying to unpack why performers like hilary duff, paris hilton and so on appeal as performers rather than vehicles is one of the things i find most fascinating about the genre, because what they bring isn't so immediately apparent, but in terms of how i find myself responding to their work, it's undeniable that they do bring it.

i'm surprised alex is disappointed by the r&b thread, i think it's the perfect midpoint between the involved denseness and hard work of teenpop and the kind of dull laziness of snap (no offence like) and the endless lists of minimal.

lex pretend, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 18:16 (nine years ago) Permalink

no, not disappointed by the r&b thread at all, it's pretty consistently good, i was just saying that I'd be happier if it was as consistenly active as the teenpop thread.

Alex in Baltimore, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 18:19 (nine years ago) Permalink

its periods of dormancy allow me to keep my job though

lex pretend, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 18:22 (nine years ago) Permalink

one of the reasons i dont post to rolling snap as much lately is cuz i only post at work where i cant usually listen to rap

and what, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 18:55 (nine years ago) Permalink

yeah same here, posting from work most of the time for the past 6 months has definitely changed the way i post.

Alex in Baltimore, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 18:57 (nine years ago) Permalink

the trade-off is that you get me reviving unkle threads

and what, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 18:59 (nine years ago) Permalink

i can listen to anything but it has to be real, real quiet

deej, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 19:02 (nine years ago) Permalink

muzak-rap

deej, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 19:02 (nine years ago) Permalink

can't say i get that much out of the rnb thread - it's okay but only the best one on ilm by default. certainly an old ppls home compared to the old dancehall and grime rollaz, dudes were hungry then.

r|t|c, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 19:02 (nine years ago) Permalink

yeah there's a definite sense that the hunger is gone in some current threads, kind of what i was getting at when i said that some people started putting more work into blogging and freelancing at the expense of their ILM contributions.

Alex in Baltimore, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 19:06 (nine years ago) Permalink

whats finney's thing now anyway, i only ever see him on retro threads, housey threads, stuff pitchfork sent him threads and dialectical conundrums to exercise himself on threads? not being bad or nothing but he was kinda the kogan-brand glue of his day.

mitch as well, what happened there

r|t|c, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 19:09 (nine years ago) Permalink

mitch posts as jermainetwo

and what, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 19:09 (nine years ago) Permalink

yeah i know but... what happened there

r|t|c, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 19:11 (nine years ago) Permalink

maybe we all cynicalized him out of listening to stuff with lyrics

r|t|c, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 19:13 (nine years ago) Permalink

dialectical conundrums to exercise himself on threads

haha

deej, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 19:15 (nine years ago) Permalink

the tori amos thread rtc

lex pretend, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 19:15 (nine years ago) Permalink

unless van helden's on the remix again i'll pass

r|t|c, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 19:19 (nine years ago) Permalink

erm btw did everyone know there's a rmx of duff's single with slim thug and play&skillz?

kinda hott too!

r|t|c, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 19:33 (nine years ago) Permalink

good song, but its just r&b!

deej, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 19:35 (nine years ago) Permalink

brace yrself deej

r|t|c, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 19:39 (nine years ago) Permalink

unless... the teenpoppers were to agree with you?

that wd be interesting

r|t|c, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 19:48 (nine years ago) Permalink

haha! i like

lex pretend, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 19:55 (nine years ago) Permalink

Are some folks over at dissensus instead? I think Stelfox posts over there about dancehall and Finney is there a bit.

curmudgeon, Thursday, 17 May 2007 03:17 (nine years ago) Permalink

i heard qoolout and hillis 3000 were posting on dissensus now too

and what, Thursday, 17 May 2007 14:32 (nine years ago) Permalink

Are they still posting battle raps?

Dom Passantino, Thursday, 17 May 2007 14:32 (nine years ago) Permalink

did people used to 'keystyle' on ilm?

other than chromski a.k. gattlington i mean

deej, Thursday, 17 May 2007 14:34 (nine years ago) Permalink

Yeah, it was awesome. They even did the "punctuation so you can see where I'd be empathising these words IRL" thing.

Dom Passantino, Thursday, 17 May 2007 14:35 (nine years ago) Permalink

blount was right

and what, Thursday, 17 May 2007 14:40 (nine years ago) Permalink

RIP

Dom Passantino, Thursday, 17 May 2007 14:45 (nine years ago) Permalink

seven months pass...

Dom Passantino, Friday, 28 December 2007 14:47 (nine years ago) Permalink

This thread has my favorite Tim F responses.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Friday, 28 December 2007 14:51 (nine years ago) Permalink

And I seem to recall a Cure for Bedbugs blog post about the new Arcade Fire album, which amounted to not much more than "Ick! Dull, dull, dull!" -- which I guess is partially an attempt to distance himself from his own 9.7 Pitchfork review of the first one.

-- jaymc, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:47 (7 months ago) Bookmark Link

Heart of truth at centre of thread.

Dom Passantino, Friday, 28 December 2007 14:58 (nine years ago) Permalink

Rosebud...

dabug, Friday, 28 December 2007 15:41 (nine years ago) Permalink

being all curmudgeonly . . . just makes you look old (ie irrelevant)

-- lex pretend

Old = Irrelevant. LOL.

Daniel, Esq., Friday, 28 December 2007 15:43 (nine years ago) Permalink

welcome to lexworld, man.

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Friday, 28 December 2007 16:48 (nine years ago) Permalink

it's all part of his hilarious ideology and you should subscribe to his newsletter.

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Friday, 28 December 2007 16:49 (nine years ago) Permalink

Yeah. Like I said on another thread, he seems smart, just dogmatic. And since I'm old(-ish) (39), his comment struck me as funny and perhaps revealing about his enthusiasm for teenpop (my invisible psych degree sits framed on my wall next to my invisible music degree).

Daniel, Esq., Friday, 28 December 2007 16:57 (nine years ago) Permalink

and perhaps revealing about his enthusiasm for teenpop

and perhaps his own youth as well.

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Friday, 28 December 2007 17:13 (nine years ago) Permalink

Is he young? I assumed -- perhaps wrongly -- that he was an adult music writer/critic. I thought I saw a picture of him on these boards at one point (awkwardly holding a guitar, maybe?).

Daniel, Esq., Friday, 28 December 2007 17:14 (nine years ago) Permalink

He's a few years older than me iirc (I'm 21), but I meant "youth" in the broad sense.

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Friday, 28 December 2007 17:23 (nine years ago) Permalink

He doesn't seem that young when he's emulating the taste, writing style and enthusiasm level of someone half his age.

Alex in Baltimore, Friday, 28 December 2007 17:25 (nine years ago) Permalink

This thread has my favorite Tim F responses.

Yeah, they're good. This thread has my favorite Dom Passantino responses.

Daniel, Esq., Saturday, 29 December 2007 03:22 (nine years ago) Permalink

i feel that not everyone is treating this as seriously as they could
-- lex pretend

epitaph

gershy, Saturday, 29 December 2007 03:51 (nine years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

Greta (Hilary Duff) is a trip, but she’s not a vacation. She’s seventeen, bright, beautiful and seriously rebellious, full of sarcastic wit that barely disguises the hurt inside. Pushed aside by her mother, Karen, who is on her third marriage and counting, Greta is shipped off to her grandparents for the summer, and she’s not happy about it. In fact, she tells them that she fully intends to kill herself before the summer is over and is currently compiling a notebook of suicide methods. Acerbic, yet winningly impulsive, Greta is a stunning force of nature, disrupting her grandparents’ staid and settled lives and the Jersey Shore community they live in as well. Greta falls for a harismatic, young short-order cook (Evan Ross), only to find out he’s been in and out of a juvenile correctional facility for stealing cars. Now he’s determined to do something with his life, but as their romance heats up, Greta has to overcome the concerns of her grandparents (Ellen Burstyn, Michael Murphy) about her boyfriend’s criminal past. But soon a near catastrophe gives Greta a wake-up call and demonstrates how deeply her own actions impact those around her. Greta’s growing love for her elderly grandparents, along with the excitement of her first summer romance, gradually strips away her defenses, revealing the promising, charismatic young woman underneath her shell.

Dom Passantino, Saturday, 2 February 2008 21:31 (nine years ago) Permalink

this was kinda the last hurrah for the poptimist crew in many ways, most of them don't post much anymore or at all.

gershy, Saturday, 2 February 2008 21:54 (nine years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

which might be why i have a million western swing songs when *logically* i could probably do with about 8

-- 696, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 14:27 (11 months ago) Bookmark Link

This is the wrongest thing on the thread, just because Bob Willis made a living as a Spade Cooley impressionist, doesn't mean Western Swing was a generic genre.

Dom Passantino, Thursday, 24 April 2008 10:51 (eight years ago) Permalink

Oh where, oh where did the nerd pedophiles go; oh where oh where can they be...

Gorge, Thursday, 24 April 2008 16:45 (eight years ago) Permalink

livejournal? no really, I think that's the serious answer.

Alex in Baltimore, Thursday, 24 April 2008 16:47 (eight years ago) Permalink

anyway kinda surprised to see Duff on the top 10 of FHM 100 Sexiest Women In The World 2008 considering that she's looked pretty awful with horse teeth veneers for at least a couple years now.

Alex in Baltimore, Thursday, 24 April 2008 16:49 (eight years ago) Permalink

BILL O'REILLY CALLS FOR CONFERENCE TO DISCUSS MILEY CYRUS LINGERIE PICS! EXTRA EXTRA!

(maybe all the nerds are at the conference.)

scott seward, Thursday, 24 April 2008 19:00 (eight years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

did people used to 'keystyle' on ilm?

-- deej, Thursday, 17 May 2007 15:34 (1 year ago) Bookmark Link

deej be all "Damn, I should have gotten here earlier"

The stickman from the hilarious "xkcd" comics, Tuesday, 10 June 2008 15:09 (eight years ago) Permalink

you've revived this thread four times

and what, Tuesday, 10 June 2008 15:11 (eight years ago) Permalink

I know, great innit?

The stickman from the hilarious "xkcd" comics, Tuesday, 10 June 2008 15:15 (eight years ago) Permalink

Nah. It's kind of sad. Let go, man.

Pashmina, Tuesday, 10 June 2008 15:24 (eight years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

soon to be an honorary edmonton oilerette !

Daniel, Esq., Saturday, 20 February 2010 16:48 (seven years ago) Permalink


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