Rolling Teenpop 2006 Thread

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I know xhuxk has already chimed in on this, but any other thoughts on the veronicas. i really *listened* to "4ever" yesterday and it really is pretty f***ing transcendent. I put it on a mix with some Go4 Return the Gift tracks, and I spent the first five seconds trying to figure out which riff was. And then the vocals play out pretty much every possible variation in the melody line over the course of the song, what seems like every rock-pop vocal hook ever. I totally buy it everything they say, and when they're saying "come with me tonight we can make the night last forever," well, that's an impressive cliche to pull off.

What about the rest of the album? (Proving tough to find on s1sk this morning.)

Mitya (mitya), Wednesday, 11 January 2006 15:33 (8 years ago) Permalink

I've been seeing many copies of Morningwood at semi-discount in BestBuy and Tower. For an act that has a young girl as frontperson, this has to be of the most humiliating names, ever. Backing her up, guys who look like Simple Plan caught in mid-leap in front of colorful and sparkly amplifiers. Title of first song on LP: "Nu Rock." Stickers makes claim Morningwood is big on MTV. I would have been more impressed if there had been a title: "Broke my johnson on the bathroom door."

Anyway, xhuxk, get 'em to send me a copy! What's this sound like?!

George the Animal Steele, Sunday, 15 January 2006 21:17 (8 years ago) Permalink

Mitya, the Veronicas album's pretty damn good, except for an ill-advised cover of Tracy Bonham's "Mother Mother" at the end of it. If you liked "4 ever" and are generally down with Avril, Ashlee etc you'll love it to bits.

edward o (edwardo), Sunday, 15 January 2006 21:25 (8 years ago) Permalink

I saw Morningwood open for Gang Of Four. One of the most horrifying live music experiences of my life. I hate when singers demand crowd enthusiasm when they haven't earned it and the audience clearly would like them to get their damn set over with. This woman (who didn't look that young at all, I assumed they were all Meredith Brooks/sessions vet types) was going insane, screaming at individuals to take their clothes off and made me hide in the corner out of embarassment. I think she may genuinely have mental problems. Nothing on the album is as zippy as the single, which at least is exuberantly corny.

Zwan (miccio), Sunday, 15 January 2006 21:55 (8 years ago) Permalink

This is maybe the wrong thing to say at this point, but Morningwood seems to have at least some roots in the NYC indie community, by which I guess I mean that Bryan from Man in Grey seems to know them pretty well. I would say more but "Feeling on Your Booty (Rmx)" just came on.

Eppy (Eppy), Sunday, 15 January 2006 21:58 (8 years ago) Permalink

Isn't one an ex-Wallflower?

Zwan (miccio), Sunday, 15 January 2006 22:00 (8 years ago) Permalink

just checked elsewhere and another guy in the band is ex-spacehog too.

Zwan (miccio), Sunday, 15 January 2006 22:01 (8 years ago) Permalink

In case he's lurking, I just want to publicly shun Keith Harris for claiming the song "Take Off Your Clothes" 'regularly instigates audience strip-alongs' in his SPIN review. He was at the Go4 show and he KNOWS that shit ain't true.

Zwan (miccio), Sunday, 15 January 2006 22:09 (8 years ago) Permalink

I think it did actually happen at their non-opening-slot shows, though.

Anyway, are we actually saying they're teenpop? They seem more like a 90s nostalgia act to me. (Although a nice one.)

Eppy (Eppy), Sunday, 15 January 2006 22:10 (8 years ago) Permalink

Did you read the same promo sheet or something? I refuse to believe that song could inspire actual insanity.

Zwan (miccio), Sunday, 15 January 2006 22:11 (8 years ago) Permalink

Well, by "inspired audience stripping" read "the singer brought an audience member on state and took some of their clothes off."

Eppy (Eppy), Sunday, 15 January 2006 22:12 (8 years ago) Permalink

Er, "stage."

Eppy (Eppy), Sunday, 15 January 2006 22:12 (8 years ago) Permalink

yeah at the Go4 show she pulled two people from backstage and screamed 'STRIP! STRIP! STRIP!' at them, eventually getting a goddamn jacket off one but there's a long fucking road between that 'inspired audience stripping.'

Zwan (miccio), Sunday, 15 January 2006 22:13 (8 years ago) Permalink

its like saying Pete Yorn has 'buzz'

Zwan (miccio), Sunday, 15 January 2006 22:14 (8 years ago) Permalink

They were probably afraid Go4 would make look at them dismissively.

Eppy (Eppy), Sunday, 15 January 2006 22:15 (8 years ago) Permalink

haha dude Jon King was dancing like a goddamn Space Invader and thrusting his hips while wearing in a jacket with no shirt underneath. And people were dancing. I think they would have been happy if Morningwood actually inspired anything other than boredom and horror.

Zwan (miccio), Sunday, 15 January 2006 22:16 (8 years ago) Permalink

Actually, I couldn't find this at the Voice, although their press kit reprints it. They were in anecdotal mention viz. Siren and a Howard Stern radio show but that don't count.

"Morningwood are an energetic and impressive bunch that have certainly speant lots of time with their Buffalo Daughter, Le Tigre and Breeders records, but not so much as to let in infringe on their own innovative sound and style."
Village Voice

But the Morningwood album also includes more than a few songs that are unnecessarily, even perversely, awful. The next record executive to complain about slumping CD sales should be forced to spend the day playing "Babysitter" on repeat, listening to Ms. Claret moan, "Your mama, mama, mama shouldn't let me baby-sit." At the Bowery Ballroom, she worked overtime to entertain: she brandished a baton; she climbed up to the balcony; during "Take Off Your Clothes," she invited a suspiciously well-prepared woman from the audience to strip onstage. When Ms. Claret sang she often rolled her eyes, and she wasn't the only one.

-- The New York Times, yestiddy

This energetic combination of glam, garage, and new wave has been cooked up by something approximating an all-star lineup of musicians. Morningwood bassist Pedro Yanowitz used to rock it with (Jake) Dylan in the Wallflowers, and guitarist Richard Steel was in Spacehog. The ringmistress of this motley crew is singer/frontwoman Chantal Claret, who has a sexy voice that can go from raspy and husky to over-the-top cooing, and an alluring look, if the album's cover is to be believed. All the assembled players seem to be giving it their all on every track here, and their unbridled enthusiasm is contagious.

What's more impressive, however, is the way Morningwood trips from style to style over the course of the eleven assembled tracks. "Nu Rock" kicks things off with a totally thrashing garage rock sound that wouldn't have sounded out of place coming out of Sweden a couple of years ago. Two tracks later, "To the Nth Degree" borders on disco, or at least dance-pop, ratcheting up the glam factor...um, to the nth degree, I guess. "Jetsetter," meanwhile, is reminiscent of Weezer's "Hash Pipe"-era stuff, and "Everybody Rules" has a jazzy swing that makes me, honestly, think of Gary Glitter.

-- ugo.com

New York Magazine called them "one of the hottest bands changing the New York soundscape," while the Village Voice and Entertainment Weekly offer similar praise.

-- Some college wrapper, seeing New York Mag praise something vaguely rock and roll would generally be a warning to steer clear, much like being recommended through, say, NPR. Maybe worse.

Morningwood, "Morningwood" (Capitol) You can't stop the unflinching rock 'n' roll of Morningwood. You can't even hope to contain it. It's bursting with sexual energy and so much testosterone that you have to hand it to singer Chantal Claret, who can rock out under the moniker Morningwood with the unbridled enthusiasm of Andrew W.K. and unhinged eroticism of Peaches

-- Denver Post

It's amusing that the reviews, including stuff I didn't excerpt from Lex-Nex are all over the place. Business-wise that tells me the label is spending a lot of money on promotion and artificial priming that's not even close to being recoupable.

In any case, that the NY Times basically hates Morningwood is like Rolling Stone "red book" rating. Quite possibly I'd like it.
Impossible to tell really from most of the press which is standard garishly-painted boilerplace.

xpost

And that album cover definitely screamed "teenpop."

George the Animal Steele, Sunday, 15 January 2006 22:18 (8 years ago) Permalink

you might like it, George. They sound kind of like those new wave bands with names like Lucy & The Gerbils or Pamela & The Wingdings. If Pylon tried to be Scandal.

Zwan (miccio), Sunday, 15 January 2006 22:21 (8 years ago) Permalink

has a jazzy swing that makes me, honestly, think of Gary Glitter.

He Phoned It In Yeah, Gary G. was the most jazzy of cats when it came to laying down the pitter-patterin' beat. But he's really really really the apotheosis of teenpop (with two meaning of "pop") now.

If Pylon tried to be Scandal.

This does not sound good. That would ruin Scandal. "Goodbye to You" to a G04 beat. Ouch, I'd hurt myself.

George the Animal Steele, Sunday, 15 January 2006 22:23 (8 years ago) Permalink

The "4Ever" video is streamed at the Veronicas Website and also at launch.yahoo.com. My first reaction is that it's very likable: starts with Franz Ferdinand guitar-boing then in the verse the Veronicas sound bratpunk like Skye Sweetnam and the music goes up a menacing Transylvanian half-step; then the chorus comes in as if disregarding the verse, sounds like Max Martin producing a Kara DioGuardi track, though Web sources say that Martin wrote it. (I don't think DioGuardi has anything to do with the Veronicas.) It has the sheen of "Since U Been Gone"/"Behind These Hazel Eyes" but melodically it's "Fly"-ish. I find this disconcerting, actually, the way the chorus emblazons "teenpop" on our eardrums without delivering any kind of personality. But that doesn't mean it sounds impersonal or cold; it's high thrilling emotion, just not linked yet in my mind with any particular personality (unlike Ashlee or Lindsay, whose respective voices you can recognize within two seconds after they open their mouths). [Or the personality it's linked to is Max's and Kara's, not the Verries'.] This may change as I know the song better (but it doesn't have to change for me to like it). The alb's out in the U.S. on Valentine's Day, single probably started its push here in Nov. or Dec. but'll be eligible for my 2006 Pazz & Jop ballot.

Two facts I like: The performers in the group all look the same, and they co-wrote t.A.T.u.'s "All About Us" (maybe the sixth best song on Dangerous and Moving, which is not a problem with the song but rather due to the excellence of the t.A.T.u. album, which Stephen Thomas Erlewine at allmusic described in this way: "As Dangerous and Moving wears on — hell, by the second track — the icy digital sheen of the production starts to grate nearly as bad as the flat, bored vocals of the girls." (I like Erlewine a lot, actually, since his descriptions of why he hates something often give me insight into why I like it; not that I always disagree with his judgments.)

None of the other songs excerpted in the Veronicas' electronic press kit sounded nearly as good (on brief listen) as "4Ever," though there was one that was pleasingly similar to Kelly Clarkson's "Behind These Hazel Eyes."

I did enjoy the Verry sisses' electronic-press-kit clowning, especially Lisa-unless-it's-Jess saying that what she likes about a guy is when he's in bed.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Monday, 16 January 2006 00:34 (8 years ago) Permalink

I couldn't find this [Morningwood blurb] at the Voice:

It was in a promo blurb for the Voice's Siren Music Festival 2005, so it's from promo copy, not from a piece of criticism. (This isn't to say that promo copy can't ever be right, or good analysis, for that matter.)

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Monday, 16 January 2006 00:49 (8 years ago) Permalink

Rolling Teardrop 2005 Thread

reo, Monday, 16 January 2006 01:31 (8 years ago) Permalink

Frank, which six songs on D&M are better than "All About Us"? I'm thinking the title track definitely - close to the best thing they've done (bleak, like a death march covered in Euro-torch style), maybe "Gomenasai" (though I've gone off that a bit since Flipsyde's awful "Happy Birthday" that samples it) and "Friend Or Foe" are more song-y and "Loves Me Not" has better punch, but five songs better? Sheesh, I love the record and I'm not agreeing with you here.

edward o (edwardo), Monday, 16 January 2006 01:39 (8 years ago) Permalink

The outer space song is the best track on the new taTu album! It totally reminds me of all those Boney M songs about Exoduses 10 million light years away, which I hadn't given much thought to in the past couple years. It's beautiful.

Haven't gone back and read all the Morningwood posts, but I'm confused -- are they being marketed as a teen pop act now, and if so, why? Or are they just on this thread tangentially? They've been bumming around NYC for a couple years, basically Yeah Yeah Yeahs bandwagon jumpers near as I could tell (which is to say, less intereresting than either Scandal *or* Pylon); the one show I saw, while I was DJ-ing between sets at Southpaw in Brooklyn a couple years ago, was completely awful, and very much as Anthony described it, and I said so in a gig-preview blurb I wrote for the Voice's listings section next time they came around: Unrocking garage rock fronted by an embarrassing loud woman who kept trying to hammer into our heads that they were all about SEX and they must be making us REALLY HOT even though, at least to my eyes and ears, there was nothing remotely sexy about either she or their music. They had a vinyl EP out locally at the time with a big pink tit drawn on the cover, furthuring rubbing in their dumb essence before existence we're-sexy-because-we-say-so baloney. Still, they weren't the worst band in town, I guess. Some people seemed to like them okay. I'd say most of the listings blurbs they got in the Voice were neither love em or hate em. Never saw the one quoted above, but yeah, it sounds like an advertisey Siren Festival supplement preview done by the promotions department, not something from the listings section. If they are indeed starting to take off nationally in some even meager way, I gotta say I'm kinda surprised. Jeanne Fury's review of their album (which I haven''t heard) should run in the Voice in the next few weeks....but anyway, back to my original question: What's teenpop about them?

xhuxk, Monday, 16 January 2006 14:22 (8 years ago) Permalink

"Cosmos", that was one of the ones that caught my ear on the first listen too, but I didn't imagine it would have got much love aside. Apparently there's a demo where the lyrics are "Together we are gay.. in outer space" that was leaked to the net by the producer! I haven't heard it though.

edward o (edwardo), Monday, 16 January 2006 14:37 (8 years ago) Permalink

What's teenpop about them?

If "Boyfriend" is teenpop, then "Nth Degree" - the single - is.

Zwan (miccio), Monday, 16 January 2006 16:34 (8 years ago) Permalink

In the top post Frank mentions Weezer and Akon, so I think any act that pimps themselves to the teen audience or sounds like they plausibly could gets discussion here.

Zwan (miccio), Monday, 16 January 2006 16:38 (8 years ago) Permalink

Yeah, that's fine with me, Anthony, though I haven't heard the single, and wasn't aware of the pimping to teens, and can't imagine Morningwood will get any Radio Disney play like I assume Frank was saying Akon and Weezer do. But hey, I'm obviously the last person to complain abot elastic genre boundaries. I was just curious what the logic was, is all.

xhuxk, Monday, 16 January 2006 16:45 (8 years ago) Permalink

if you heard the single you could imagine it playing on Radio Disney.

Zwan (miccio), Monday, 16 January 2006 16:46 (8 years ago) Permalink

Disco beat, compressed guitars, girl spelling out the name of her band AND spelling out the word "awesome." So candyass that I was surprised to find they were being sold as some credibly underground phenomenon rather than the authors of the theme song to Jessica Wylie, Teen Detective or something.

Zwan (miccio), Monday, 16 January 2006 16:51 (8 years ago) Permalink

actually i double-checked and she doesn't spell out 'awesome.' but here's the chorus. Maybe I read that in a promo blurb or something. Phoned it in, sorry.

Zwan (miccio), Monday, 16 January 2006 16:54 (8 years ago) Permalink

Uh oh, here we go
Turn up the radio
Come on everybody
To the Nth degree
If you're rock and roll, disco, heavy metal angel
Come on everybody, to the Nth degree
M-O
M-O-R
M-O-R-N-I-N-G-W-O-O-D
To the Nth degree

Zwan (miccio), Monday, 16 January 2006 16:55 (8 years ago) Permalink

They're not being sold as an underground phenomenon.

If they're getting marketed as teenpop, that's because they're on a major label and they don't know how else to promote them.

They've been on late night shows and such. Has anyone gotten a promo copy? Could you tell what market they were leaning toward? I know the song's getting played on the radio somewhere or other, I just don't know what kind of stations.

Eppy (Eppy), Monday, 16 January 2006 17:03 (8 years ago) Permalink

They're not being sold as an underground phenomenon.

They're a group with roots in the NY scene that inspires audience stripping, dude!

Zwan (miccio), Monday, 16 January 2006 17:05 (8 years ago) Permalink

I think Morningwood will be aimed square at the Scissor Sisters market - in the UK at least.

Jerry the Nipper (Jerrynipper), Monday, 16 January 2006 17:06 (8 years ago) Permalink

They're a group with roots in the NY scene that inspires audience stripping, dude!

Conveying information != repeating marketing strategy

Eppy (Eppy), Monday, 16 January 2006 17:07 (8 years ago) Permalink

right.

I'd be a little more impressed if they actually claimed to be influenced by Ashlee Simpson.

Zwan (miccio), Monday, 16 January 2006 17:08 (8 years ago) Permalink

Anyway, I have been successfully chastened for conveying information. If anyone wants to present evidence that Morningwood is being marketed as a teenpop phenom, we can continue discussing them, otherwise we can leave them behind all happy and stuff.

Eppy (Eppy), Monday, 16 January 2006 17:09 (8 years ago) Permalink

xhuxk, I started the Morningwood thing. Almost sorry I did. The CD is en masse at BestBuy and Tower, front of store rackspace, indicating major label pay to position grease. The cover photo screams teenpop, apparently makes the singer look much younger and less brassy than she actually is, the backing band look like Simple Plan. I was curious but didn't feel like buying it. Good thing because since Jeanne's doing, there'd be no way for me to write it off.

If anyone wants to present evidence that Morningwood is being marketed as a teenpop phenom, we can continue discussing them, otherwise we can leave them behind all happy and stuff.

This is pop music, not stem cell research. I had a question, the reasoning which led to I've gone into -- twice. The band appeared to me to be marketed as teenpop instore. Nothing more. I was curious so I asked a question this thread. Da, verstehen Sie?

George the Animal Steele, Monday, 16 January 2006 17:18 (8 years ago) Permalink

No problem with bringing them up George. Not everybody on the metal or country threads is "marketed as metal" or "marketed as country" either. If somebody thinks some band or song belongs, they or it belong. (I will perhaps say more once I actually hear their album.)

xhuxk, Monday, 16 January 2006 17:29 (8 years ago) Permalink

Re Veronicas - I wish they'd stuck with the original video clip. Their brazen "let's pick up at the pool, it's okay if we both go home with the one guy" mission for sex conveyed so much more personality than the boring US video clip.

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Monday, 16 January 2006 20:47 (8 years ago) Permalink

I don't know if Morningwood is teen-pop. I do know that there's a huge push even at the indie level - the label is doing a Listening Post with my taste-making store and gave us free vinyl 7" with purchase (how many teen-pop fans have turntables?).

It seems to have worked - the disc came in at #6 on our weekly sales chart, 2nd highest chart debut for the week (behind Bleeding Through).

I'm listening now and... Well gosh, I think I love the band so damn much I don't much care if they're contrived or not. But I'm a sucker for female-led fuzzy-guitar power-pop bands (The Sounds are another one).

Brian O'Neill (NYCNative), Monday, 16 January 2006 21:10 (8 years ago) Permalink

Elaborating on what Chuck said, you don't have to be marketed as teenpop to become teenpop, what with Fatboy Slim and 2 Unlimited with tracks on Radio Disney permanent play (and you don't have to be teenpop to be relevant to a teenpop thread). Destiny's Child wasn't particularly marketed as teenpop, they just got that audience among others.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Tuesday, 17 January 2006 01:31 (8 years ago) Permalink

Top five tracks on t.A.T.u.'s Dangerous and Moving: "Cosmos (Outer Space)," "Loves Me Not," "Perfect Enemy," "Friend or Foe," and "Sacrifice" (though I do like "All About Us" about as much as "Sacrifice").

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Tuesday, 17 January 2006 01:34 (8 years ago) Permalink

After all, Loretta Lynn was once teenpop.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Tuesday, 17 January 2006 01:58 (8 years ago) Permalink

"Sacrifice" better than "Dangerous and Moving" = you is mental, Kogan.

I think it's odd that the Veronicas are launching in the UK with "Everything I'm Not", which I guess IS kinda halfway between "Since U Been Gone" and "My Happy Ending", but with a lot less kick than either.

edward o (edwardo), Tuesday, 17 January 2006 02:04 (8 years ago) Permalink

Just saw the video for "To the Nth Degree." Yes, it's got Radio Disney potential, also hit potential (though I merely like it rather than adore it). First, it's new wave in the late '70s sense, meaning loud rockers allowing themselves to riff loud and simple, goofy vocals on top, which are goofy and vocodered enough to appeal to kids, as will all that chanting/spelling that Anthony described. And the video is catchy itself, the group being a collection of different album covers coming to life one after another, so they get to pose as all different kinds of band: a '60s Partridge Family cleancut flower-power-y, an '80s hairmetal, Richard Simmons aerobics ad, and so on.

(And now Launch Yahoo is playing "All About Us," which is quite gorgeous. The video has the girls walking around wan and expressionless, as if they were forced to appear in a Depeche Mode video instead.)

OK, I'm watching Morningwood again, and I don't see how this doesn't dominate MTV. They're posing as Queen, then they're posing as Santana, then they're Kraftwerk, then they're Hole. And the song is more disco-wavy than I'd indicated (but DOR disco rather than British new-romantic disco).

And now Launch is playing Mariah's "All I Want for Christmas Is You"; the song achieves something I didn't think Mariah could pull off: a Ronettes-Crystals sound while Mariah still gets to be her vocal-trapeze-artist self. (I miss that Mariah. The new Mariah seems chastened and subdued in comparison.)

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Tuesday, 17 January 2006 03:48 (8 years ago) Permalink

And now they're playing real teenybopper pop - that is, System of a Down's "B.Y.O.B." a song I find very witty and catchy with its hammy la la la-la la-la-la-la ooooooo, and then an actually compelling r&b-ish party break, followed thrash spinach about fascist nations and sending the poor to war. "Still you feed us lies from the tablecloth." I saw this band at the Pepsi Center; I was one of the two adults accompanying a couple of 11-year-olds and a couple of 14-year-olds. Naomi (my ex gf Naomi, mother of two of them) that I found this song very funny, and she said, "Funny? Frank, the words are very serious." In a serious tone of voice.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Tuesday, 17 January 2006 03:55 (8 years ago) Permalink

OK, now I'm watching/hearing Morningwood's "Jetsetter": little-girl gooey voice on a gooey melody that I like, followed by loud guitars and rather mediocre in-your-face (or your-ear) loud-bitch singing which'd work better if this part were catchier but reminds me too much of the Plasmatics (who are probably these guys' idols). Then the gooey melody returns but this time with loud guitar accompaniment, and that works OK but not as well as when it was soft and gooey. I might like this more if I didn't have in mind all your negative comments about their live show. But it's mediocre on its own merits. Nowhere as engaging as "To the Nth Degree."

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Tuesday, 17 January 2006 04:05 (8 years ago) Permalink

Repeat of my earlier post, this time with errors corrected:

And now they're playing real teenybopper pop - that is, System of a Down's "B.Y.O.B." a song I find witty and catchy with its hammy la la la-la la-la-la-la ooooooo leading into a compelling r&b-ish party break, followed by thrash spinach concerning fascist nations and sending the poor to war. "Still you feed us lies from the tablecloth." I saw this band at the Pepsi Center; I was one of the two adults accompanying a couple of 12-year-olds and a couple of 15-year-olds. I told Naomi (my ex gf, mother of two of them) that I found this song very funny, and she said, "Funny? Frank, the words are very serious." In a serious tone of voice.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Tuesday, 17 January 2006 04:43 (8 years ago) Permalink


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