Rolling Teenpop 2006 Thread

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The teens I know listen to Marilyn Manson and System of a Down, and lots of "teenpop" is actually for pre-teens, and lots of teenpop is also Adult Contemporary (and I'm waiting for Kelly to break on the country stations), so we can talk about whatever, but here's a good place for an ongoing discussion that include Jesse and Hilary and Lindsay and Avril and Ashlee and Hampton the Hampster and - yes - Hawthorn and Blink-185 and Weezer (!) and Akon (!) and Gwen (!) and I want Brits to post here so they can confuse us with all their Rachel Stevens and Girls Aloud and Sugababes and who knows who and who knows what.

The new era of teen was foreshadowed when a couple of Norwegian 15-year-olds (Marion Raven and Marit Larsen) sang "Don't say you love me/You don't even know me" and got it onto the Pokémon soundtrack. I wouldn't have put money on a shift from dance-pop to confessional rock being a good thing in the land of teenybop, but it has been, though if you look at the Disney airplay list I'm gonna post, you'll see that pop and rock may come and go, but ballads are forever. And so are novelty tunes.

One more thing. I HATE Bowling for Soup's "1985."

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 5 January 2006 19:14 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Frank: as an M2M fan, do you have any opinions on their spiritual heir, Amy Diamond?

Dom Passantino (Dom Passantino), Thursday, 5 January 2006 19:15 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Dom, I have not even heard Amy Diamond. I'm excited to know M2M has a spiritual heir (though Avril certainly counts as an artistic heir of theirs).

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 5 January 2006 19:20 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Here's the playlist for KDIS (the Radio Disney outlet in L.A.), week ending January 4, 2006. The recurrents ("Come Clean," Sk8er Boi," etc.) tend to bounce all over the place, and the list the Top 30 that Radio Disney posts on its Website is different from this (and full of a lot of crazy movement - Hilary's "Fly" was number 8 last week and off the list the week previous) and does tend to have old but not new Ashlee and Lindsay, which tends to confirm my suspicion that though they may be in the teenpop vanguard artistically, commercially they're falling between two stools.

1. CRAZY FROG - Axel F
2. HILARY DUFF - Wake Up
3. RIHANNA - Pon De Replay
4. ALY & A.J. - Rush
5. BLACK EYED PEAS - Let's Get It Started
6. BOWLING FOR SOUP - 1985
7. AKON - Lonely
8. CHEETAH GIRLS - Shake Your Tailfeather
9. JESSE MCCARTNEY - Beautiful Soul
10. B5 - Let's Groove Tonight
11. HILARY DUFF - Beat Of My Heart
12. HILARY DUFF - Come Clean
13. AVRIL LAVIGNE - Sk8er Boi
14. PUSSYCAT DOLLS - Stickwitu
15. JOJO - Leave (Get Out)
16. B5 - Dance For You
17. KELLY CLARKSON - Because Of You
18. USHER - Caught Up
19. WEEZER - Beverly Hills
20. CLICK FIVE - Just The Girl
21. GWEN STEFANI - Rich Girl
22. KELLY CLARKSON - Behind These Hazel Eyes
23. KELLY CLARKSON - Respect
24. SIMPLE PLAN - Shut Up
25. BARENAKED LADIES - One Little Slip
26. MADONNA - Hung Up
27. CLICK FIVE - Catch Your Wave
28. D.H.T. - Listen To Your Heart
29. LILLIX - What I Like About

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 5 January 2006 19:21 (twelve years ago) Permalink

http://www.amydiamond.se/

"What's In It For Me?" is the big single.

Dom Passantino (Dom Passantino), Thursday, 5 January 2006 19:24 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Is that a new Lillix record? (And is it any good?)

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Thursday, 5 January 2006 19:30 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Only if there's a new version of Sk8er boi.

Huk-L (Huk-L), Thursday, 5 January 2006 19:33 (twelve years ago) Permalink

the lillix singer
hasn't been the same since she
got her new contacts

Haikunym (Haikunym), Thursday, 5 January 2006 19:33 (twelve years ago) Permalink

What does Amy Diamond sound like, Dom? (I can't play those videos on my computer.)

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Thursday, 5 January 2006 19:37 (twelve years ago) Permalink

No, it's not a new Lillix, it's from the original alb and is a cover of the Romantics "What I Like About You," which itself was a near copy of Neil Diamond's "Cherry Cherry," which was a hit when I was 12 or 13, and now with Amy Diamond we've come full circle.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 5 January 2006 19:43 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Yeah, honestly, I remember thinking that was kind of crap. Hilary Duff's "Our Lips Are Sealed," too.

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Thursday, 5 January 2006 19:47 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Amy Diamond is 13 years old and sings like she's 11. It's totally European, there's no sexual undercurrent to her songs at all (unlike, say, Jojo for a Western equivalent) (although she has covered "Underneath My Clothes" live, I think there's an MP3 flying around somewhere but I've been too scared to download). She is kind of a... more ballsy M2M vocally, but she still has a very cloying, rag-doll come to life style of singing. The songs are based around the normal safe topics of teen-pop ("treat me right"/"let's party"), but she's just got... something, a weird intangible x-quality that probably comes from the fact she's half-teen pop and half Swede-pop...

Download. She's great.

Dom Passantino (Dom Passantino), Thursday, 5 January 2006 19:48 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Just as a kind of general impression, it seems to me that Europeans are way ahead of Americans in this genre. A lot of American teen pop just seems like "safer" versions of US chart pop, maybe? I think the success of some European stuff on Radio Disney and of novelty songs indicates that American kids who listen to this stuff want their own music.

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Thursday, 5 January 2006 19:52 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Unfortunately, on dialup it'll take me about 12 hours for the Amy video to load.

Tim, I'm not so hot on Hilary's "Alex the Seal." The greatest Hilary tracks are the two DioGuardi-Shanks numbers - "Come Clean" and "Fly," especially the latter, which is catchy of course but also sounds haunted, gorgeous, as if there is some distant snow-capped peak she's flying towards; her three new New-Waveish Go-Gos-like tracks are more enjoyable than "Our Lips" (well, two of 'em, anyway).

I recall "What I Like About You" as one of the better cuts on the Lillix album. I'll have to go re-listen, if I've still got it.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 5 January 2006 19:57 (twelve years ago) Permalink

xpost Hahaha, yes, as opposed to Europe where teenpop bears no resemblence to the music elsewhere on the charts?

Eppy (Eppy), Thursday, 5 January 2006 19:58 (twelve years ago) Permalink

American teenpop is pretty much its own genre, there's no ahead or behind, really.

Eppy (Eppy), Thursday, 5 January 2006 19:58 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Tim, I don't know the European teenpop well, but I definitely think that Pink-Avril-Lindsay-Hilary-Ashlee (which isn't just one style, of course, but a number of related ones) isn't just safe chart pop but something with its own identity(ies), which identity isn't necessarily all that "teen," either. And also, of course, the Swedes (and Germans) have their hand in the U.S. market bigtime: for instance, "Since U Been Gone" was written by Martin Sandberg and Luke Gottwald and produced by Gottwald and Max Martin; same with "Behind These Hazel Eyes," but with Kelly Clarkson as a co-writer.

xpost

Also, the word "safe," while not necessarily wrong, certainly is too simplistic. What's the dangerous chart pop that "Since U Been Gone" is making safe?

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 5 January 2006 20:11 (twelve years ago) Permalink

lots of teenpop is also Adult Contemporary

Jessica Simpson's "The Sweetest Sin" is still one of my favourite singles of the decade, though I imagine if anyone heard it and was turned off by it, they'd mostly be turned off by how "mature" it sounds. It's sort of an aching, grand piano-driven, bombastic elegance, a sound that, if it even exists in pop these days, I assume it would exist only in places like Josh Groban (places I assume I probably wouldn't care to visit)--much moreso anyway than in "teen" music. I can't think of a current pop song that less resembles Jessica's sister and Kelly Clarkson and Hilary Duff (or anyway, the little that I've heard by them). Not sure if this has anything to do with anything, but I agree with the point about teen-as-AC.

s woods, Thursday, 5 January 2006 20:19 (twelve years ago) Permalink

sorry, this is a direct quote from Frank (I'm not merely agreeing with myself here): "lots of teenpop is also Adult Contemporary"

s woods, Thursday, 5 January 2006 20:21 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Also, apropos of nothing, I've noticed that the tracks on Breakaway that credit Kelly Clarkson as a co-songwriter tend to have dark lyrics. "Because of you I am afraid." "I'm screaming for you to please hear me," etc. etc. Nothing about spreading her wings or getting what she wants.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 5 January 2006 20:21 (twelve years ago) Permalink

xp:
And what is the Euro/Brit teen chart pop that's more dangerous than the American stuff? I don't get that at all. Hope Partlow and Ashlee Simpson made more interesting albums than Annie to my ears. (And I *like* Annie. I still haven't heard Robyn or Rachel Stevens or Girls Aloud, though though I want to. What's so great about them again?) (And if Europeans can count Annie, can Americans count Fannypack?)

The teens I know listen primarily now to either (1) The Decemberists and Holy Modal Rounders and Nellie McKay and Baader-Meinhoff (2) Wu Tang Clan and Jedi Mind Tricks and Danger Doom and Kanye West.

Most slept-on teen-pop album of '05, by the way (unless Hope Partlow still counts): The *Darcy's Wild Life* soundtrack. Which goes like:

1 Take a Walk Sara Paxton 2:56
2 I Love Your Smile Tiffany Evans 4:17
3 Crazy Kinda Crush on You Nicholas Jonas 2:55
4 Bam Boogie Bent Fabric 3:15
5 We Need Some Money Brown, Chuck & The ... 4:28
Performed by: Brown, Chuck & The Soul Searchers
6 Hey Boy Fan-3 4:00
7 Walking the Dog Rufus Thomas 2:21
8 Monkey Man Specials 2:35
9 ABC American Juniors 3:22
10 Walking On Sunshine Nikki Cleary 3:41
11 Clothes Make the Girl Kristy Frank 2:42
12 There for You Sarah Paxton 2:07

xhuxk, Thursday, 5 January 2006 20:25 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Jessica's voice was mature (or "mature," anyway) from the get-go, or at least from her commercial breakthrough, "I Think I'm in Love With You," which was basically sung in Whitney, Mariah, Christina–style, though not quite as spectacular as Mariah (who was something like 19 herself when "Visions of Love" hit).

Actually, Jessica's a subject for further research. I've got two singles: "I Think I'm in Love With You" and "Irresistible."

Chuck, Robyn's in the mail.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 5 January 2006 20:27 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Where if are any where does the line between teen pop and real proper grown up indie rock lie? certainly stuff like the killers and the kaiser chiefs in britain at least in exist in an odd hinter world between the cd;uk grandstanders and real proper music for observer music monthly fans. nme editor saying that his target audience is 17 year old in doncaster, the older popjustice ilm type "pure" pop love seems to suggest to me a shift or not so much a shift but an openess to the field which may in itself be a shift. also factor in that britains biggest POP group is mcfly (not Girls Aloud lol contentious) who have rather a dad rock thing going on. Therfore in conclusion the big british teen pop sensation of the year is The Arctic Monkeys.

pscott (elwisty), Thursday, 5 January 2006 20:29 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Amy Diamond is launching in Europe as we speak. If she does well, the UK at least will probably get to hear the wonders of "What's In It For Me?" and ESPECIALLY, the bonkers-insane "Welcome To The City".

I won't even need the rest of ILM if this thread becomes successful.

edward o (edwardo), Thursday, 5 January 2006 20:35 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Ashlee's voice sounds mature (or "mature") too, but nothing like Jessica's, and not adult contemporary. I bet you if she were to do "Ballad of Lucy Jordan" it would cut Bobby Bare's and Marianne Faithfull's versions (not that this would be better than her own stuff).

xpost

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 5 January 2006 20:36 (twelve years ago) Permalink

(xx-post) Except "teen pop", like "teen magazines" aren't really aimed at teenagers, but rather the 13, 14 year old range.

Dom Passantino (Dom Passantino), Thursday, 5 January 2006 20:36 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Frank, I'll throw a couple of Amy Diamond YSIs your way if you want.

edward o (edwardo), Thursday, 5 January 2006 20:37 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Yes McFly is way more successful than Girls Aloud. (& here they are on Smash Hits Radio, which I turned on for research)

Girls Aloud are "pop" sure but "teenpop", I don't know - by origin they're a reality TV thing and would have been initially marketed to a wide-spectrum pop consumer, the latest album seems to be trying to crack a market I really do think is out there, a kind of pop equivalent of celebrity gossip-mag HEAT (which sells TONS here) - trashy, knowing, girl-about-town pop, aimed at a kind of just-post-student, first-job crowd (or that's what it makes me THINK of - being 23, not 13).

Their most teen thing recently was the song on their Xmas cash-in album about being "too old for Santa and too young for the sauce".

Heard on Smash Hits so far:

Brian McFadden - Irish Son - Catholic guilt confessional wimp-rock by ex-boyband guy.
Sugababes - Ugly - self-help R'n'B with strings
McFly - I'll Be OK - basically McFly are a powerpop outfit with a pop-punk accent. I don't like them. I loved some of their brother band Busted's stuff, though, who had no real 60s/70s influence.

Tom (Groke), Thursday, 5 January 2006 20:38 (twelve years ago) Permalink

My "safe" impression was more to do with Hilary Duff, Jesse McCartney, etc. than Pink or Ashlee Simpson, I guess.

Eppy, I don't know! I didn't know European teenpop was stylistically related to chart pop. Just commenting more from a U.S. perspective. I think there's a market for teenpop that's more like the A*Teens in the U.S. Not too hot on U.S. kids just getting "safer" blandness (just generalizing again! I'd like to hear those Hilary songs you mentioned, Frank - we don't have a Radio Disney station here anymore) or sexed up stuff that's kinda inappropriate for them IMO.

xp - Chuck, I don't know if you were referring to my comments, but no, as I say here, I think U.S. teenpop seems like a hodgepodge of "safer" chartpop (Hilary, Jesse) and sexy celebrities (Gwen Stefani, etc.) that young girls are supposed to like,

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Thursday, 5 January 2006 20:40 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I think teenpop explicitly implies early teens. By late teens it's assumed you're getting into that NME kinda music.

Any YSIs anyone wants to provide will be welcomes with open arms.

Eppy (Eppy), Thursday, 5 January 2006 20:42 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Click Five is another example of safer blandness. (Maybe Rooney can cross over with their next album. Rooney >>> Click Five.)

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Thursday, 5 January 2006 20:42 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I don't think Rooney really has the image to cross over, although I don't know who Click Five is.

Eppy (Eppy), Thursday, 5 January 2006 20:43 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Also, I like some of Gwen Stefani's stuff, a few things quite a bit, but her voice does sound as if she suffers from infantilism. Strange: I think Ashlee's "L.O.V.E." beats "Hollaback Girl" and "Rich Girl" soundly, but maybe the richness of Ashlee's throat is what undermines "L.O.V.E." commercially - though it may just be that she lacks Gwen Stefani's street cred.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 5 January 2006 20:43 (twelve years ago) Permalink

The whole reason for my previous post was so that I could use the phrase "Gwen Stefani's street cred."

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 5 January 2006 20:43 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Dude, if Weezer is on there, Rooney should have no problem. They don't have to wear dumb suits like the Click Five.

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Thursday, 5 January 2006 20:44 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Yeah, but none of them have the charisma of Rivers, and yes, I know what I just said, and yes, I am kind of embarassed.

Eppy (Eppy), Thursday, 5 January 2006 20:45 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Ashlee needs to release "Dancing Alone" as her next single, I think. "What's In It For Me" YSI coming up, it was the second biggest selling single of Sweden last year. The biggest was "Money For Nothing" by Darin, which was written by none other than Robyn (From Sweden) and would probably be up this thread's street also.

edward o (edwardo), Thursday, 5 January 2006 20:46 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Also, I really really like that Weezer song, but I know I'm an outlier. Way more interesting than Rooney FFS.

Eppy (Eppy), Thursday, 5 January 2006 20:46 (twelve years ago) Permalink

"in conclusion the big british teen pop sensation of the year is The Arctic Monkeys"

I find this pleasing.

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Thursday, 5 January 2006 20:48 (twelve years ago) Permalink

My contributions to this thread, I'll say now, are based in not knowing a single real actual teenager except my cousin Leila, who lives in Switzerland and who I've never had a conversation about music with. My wife tutors pre-teens but the cultural touchpoints for them at the moment seem to be films, football, videogames, not music really.

Anyway -

Seems to me that in the UK new teenpop acts are few and far between at the moment, the pendulum is perceived to have swung and launches are all solo acts from groups or proven winners from somewhere else.

Tom (Groke), Thursday, 5 January 2006 20:48 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I don't even know how YSI works, but my guess is that with my puny little dialup anything you send would take me out of commission for the six hours it takes to download, so probably it wouldn't work for me.

Would someone provide a URL for Smash Hits radio?

(I was once on the Smash Hits masthead, albeit the Australian one.)

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 5 January 2006 20:52 (twelve years ago) Permalink

www.smashhits.net and then click on "radio".

The "Smash Hits Chart" is weird, it may be a year-end or ringtone list, or it may be that Tony Christie and the Crazy Frog are still the favourites.

Tom (Groke), Thursday, 5 January 2006 20:53 (twelve years ago) Permalink

UK teenpop seems to me very eager to reach for the strings when it wants to do something more serious or meaningful.

(Maybe other teenpop does this too, I'm not saying it's just a UK thing, though I recognise the tradition in the UK)

Tom (Groke), Thursday, 5 January 2006 20:55 (twelve years ago) Permalink

in the safe-silly-novelty-nonconfessional-probably way-pre-teen category, i feel the need to point out emma roberts' "new shoes," which i discovered just last when i found her album in a throwaway pile on someone's desk at work. the rest of the album kinda went in one ear and out the other -- not quite catchy enough, i'm afraid -- but "new shoes," which has a jill sobule writing credit and which is about spotting a great pair of shoes in a store window and then going in and buying them, is more or less the audio equivalent of shania twain's pre-teen daughter in a ramones t-shirt, which i mean in the good way.

fact checking cuz (fcc), Thursday, 5 January 2006 20:58 (twelve years ago) Permalink

(Girls Aloud playing now on SHR, by the way.)

Tom (Groke), Thursday, 5 January 2006 20:59 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I think US teenpop now goes for the power ballad, which is almost indescribably awesome. Cf "Incomplete."

Eppy (Eppy), Thursday, 5 January 2006 21:02 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Frank, probably closer to half an hour unless your dial-in modem's still a 28.8k!

Amy Diamond - What's In It For Me?

edward o (edwardo), Thursday, 5 January 2006 21:11 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Not if U.S. teenpop is judged by the Disney Channel it doesn't. Nary a power ballad yet on there. But their new movie High School Musical is getting featured pretty prominently (and looks awesome).

Hillary Brown (Hillary Brown), Thursday, 5 January 2006 21:12 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Back around the time of "I'm Not A Girl (Not Yet A Woman)" I started to think that Britney was going to make the transition to actively courting adult listeners (not just adult men watching her videos) by becoming another Faith Hill - semicountry balladry. Anybody else think that's gonna be the move, when she comes back? After all, she's a mom now.

pdf (Phil Freeman), Thursday, 5 January 2006 21:12 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Also, I'm glad someone's still listening to JoJo. Yay for JoJo!

Hillary Brown (Hillary Brown), Thursday, 5 January 2006 21:23 (twelve years ago) Permalink

x postish to tom

interesting point about the supposed Girls Aloud target audience. post teen, Heat, T4 i see the drill. possibly the biggest consumers in repect to surplus cash and from my experience seems to be the audience you'd most associate with alot of the top 40 albums of the year thou not of course all http://www.coolclarity.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=58888 no girls aloud but interestingly no frank fergusons oh and
38 The War of the Worlds - Jeff Wayne 446,000

back to teen pop the stuff i really liked last year that was teen pop was the sort of attempts of find a girl Busted, the teleological grail of all that is good, The Faders, Kim Lian and Lovebites especially The Lovebites but the teens said no it seems, perhaps sixth forms (moshercore! nmindie!) and "life style" (what girls aloud portray but James Blunt is actually a part of?) are more appealing than songs about beating up boyfriends and so forth.

pscott (elwisty), Thursday, 5 January 2006 21:26 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Hillary, "Leave" is never going to leave (which makes me happy, and can compensate for those terrible Smashmouth songs that Disney also has on permanent play).

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 5 January 2006 21:50 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I'm kinda more partial to "Baby It's You" (which still absolutely slays me the way that clappy bubbly beat comes in at the beginning). But the "yay" is repeated.

I believe the kids still really like the pop punk, if I can judge by my 13-year-old half sister.

Hillary Brown (Hillary Brown), Thursday, 5 January 2006 21:54 (twelve years ago) Permalink

See, yeah, Smashmouth, Bowling for Soup - get 'em out of there. Oh, Rooney, where art thou?

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Thursday, 5 January 2006 21:58 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Thanks Edwardo! OK, instant reaction, Amy Diamond, "What's In It For Me?": First off, the voice is hard and crooked in a way that "hard and crooked" doesn't describe; maybe I need to go and listen to... Jill Scott?... and compare Amy's voice to hers. It's the singing in the verse that's hard-and-crooked r&b (though the accompaniment is reggaeish, with the kickdrum going 1-2-3-4 to straighten the beat), whereas the chorus is sweet and tuneful teenpop, so this is an interesting combination right there, crooked to sweet. In the chorus she pushes her voice high, and this is where she sounds 11 or 9. But the verse is something else. Not that it sounds adult, but it doesn't sound childlike either. (There's a guitar descent in the break that reminds me of "Wanted Dead or Alive," of all things.)

I've good feelings about this track, so far.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 5 January 2006 21:58 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Thanks Edwardo! OK, instant reaction, Amy Diamond, "What's In It For Me?": First off, the voice is hard and crooked in a way that "hard and crooked" doesn't describe; maybe I need to go and listen to... Jill Scott?... and compare Amy's voice to hers. It's the singing in the verse that's hard-and-crooked r&b (though the accompaniment is reggaeish, with the kickdrum going 1-2-3-4 to straighten the beat), whereas the chorus is sweet and tuneful teenpop, so this is an interesting combination right there, crooked to sweet. In the chorus she pushes her voice high, and this is where she sounds 11 or 9. But the verse is something else. Not that it sounds adult, but it doesn't sound childlike either. (There's a guitar descent in the break that reminds me of "Wanted Dead or Alive," of all things.)

I've good feelings about this track, so far.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 5 January 2006 22:01 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Oh, sorry about the double post. I was getting poxy fuled all over the place, and this is what happens.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 5 January 2006 22:02 (twelve years ago) Permalink

But the song is worth hearing twice.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 5 January 2006 22:03 (twelve years ago) Permalink

She's singing blue notes in the verses. Blues = more adult? I think she kinds of pulls it off as just being cute, though.

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Thursday, 5 January 2006 22:03 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Whatever it is, it's not something I'm hearing an equivalent to in U.S. teenpop, even the more r&bish

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 5 January 2006 22:06 (twelve years ago) Permalink

And it wasn't what I was expecting, which is cool.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 5 January 2006 22:07 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I mean it's cool that I wasn't expecting it.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 5 January 2006 22:07 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Hillary, by pop punk do you mean Green Day, Blink-182 (or whatever number it is), Hawthorn, and the like?

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 5 January 2006 22:09 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Really good song. The silly new wave reggae in the verses is awesome! US teenpop's cuteness is not convincing to me. It's like your role model choices are either being a celebrity who acts in Disney movies and bad WB sitcoms or being Paris Hilton or something!

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Thursday, 5 January 2006 22:11 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Speaking of Rooney, whatever happened to Damone? I still here a lot of Simple Plan, though. They're geologic in their stolidity.

George the Animal Steele, Thursday, 5 January 2006 22:17 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Hillary, by pop punk do you mean Green Day, Blink-182 (or whatever number it is), Hawthorn, and the like?

Yep. She had that Lustra song ("Scotty Doesn't Know") from Eurotrip up on her MySpace page for a while. (Sidebar: I think that song rocks.)

Also, they like the Yellowcard, I believe.

Some of that stuff is bad and boring, and some of it is foot-tappy and cute.

Hillary Brown (Hillary Brown), Thursday, 5 January 2006 22:21 (twelve years ago) Permalink

An ilm thread I have actual knowledge re:, whoop, etc.

Chuck "I still haven't heard Robyn or Rachel Stevens or Girls Aloud, though though I want to. What's so great about them again?" Eddy, man, I'm happily anticipating the joy that awaits you. Not so much with Rachel - her few singles are fantastic (plus of course, 'Crazy Boys') but the albums really haven't endured in the same way that GA's 'What Would the Neighbours Say?' and 'Chemistry' have. And Robyn's Robyn works.

One thing, is that the new younger Emma Roberts/ Aly and AJ (who I believed to be teenpop antichrists pre- Rush) are remarkable in how LESS/ emptier their sounds are; watered down, less commited to either rocking or popping or punking out at all.

Lilix, they haven't been dropped yet? Bad songs.

The new Hilary stuff - as I tried to discuss in a convaluted mess with cis and Lex (?) was how neatly she's shifted from the grrl-rock game, now Ashlee and Lindsay are there, and into the electro 80s synth sounds, appropriating the Killers elements rather than Avril. Which, if 'Beat of my heart' is to be judged, and 'wake up', seems a smart move. The earlier 'come clean' era was good, but I'm liking the new shift. Didn't the Maddens produce those Most Wanted bonus tracks?

McFly - Dadrock indeed, only their aesthetic is bemusing now too, looking at the '5 colours' era to their latest video which was very '2002 nu-metal alienation graphics' - not at all teenpop looking, more grey suits and flat hair.

Abby (abby mcdonald), Thursday, 5 January 2006 22:29 (twelve years ago) Permalink

>The new Hilary stuff - as I tried to discuss in a convaluted mess with cis and Lex (?) was how neatly she's shifted from the grrl-rock game, now Ashlee and Lindsay are there, and into the electro 80s synth sounds, appropriating the Killers elements rather than Avril<

Has she really shifted genres, though? Or is it just some '80s electro accoutrements on the same style songs? Listening to the clip of "Wake up" on iTunes makes me wonder.

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Thursday, 5 January 2006 22:37 (twelve years ago) Permalink

No, not a complete genre shift, but taking a different angle on her sound - trying to distinguish it with a new gloss. There is definite shift between her old 'Fly'/'Ashlees 'Boyfriend'/ Lindsay's 'A Little More Personal' sound and 'Beat of My Heart'/ Wake Up.

Abby (abby mcdonald), Thursday, 5 January 2006 22:42 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I'm not a Hilary completist, but what I've heard (mainly the recent quasi-best-of-whatever-it-is) falls into three distinct categories: (1) the two DioGuardi-Shanks numbers ("Come Clean" and "Fly"), which may be the most conventionally mainstream pop of the three categories, but which also are the best by far and for some reason the hardest for me to describe: there's a feeling of melancholy to the tunes that isn't reflected in their words, there's basic catchiness (but not going for cuteness), and there's heartbreaking beauty which took me by surprise in that it suddenly snuck up on me, and I realized that "Fly" is one of the most haunting songs I've heard in my life (again not reflected in the self-help uplift lyrics): I don't know yet if this means Top One Thousand Best Songs Ever or Top Ten Best Songs Ever. (2) '80s hairmetal, I kid you not: stuff like "The Girl Can Rock." This is pretty good but would be better if it were prettier. (3) Early '80s new wave rock much like Go-Gos and Bangles, provided with the aid of her boyfriend and brother-in-boyfriend-law, who play in a real-live charting pop band Good Charlotte, and their friend John who plays in "respected ska-punk band Goldfinger" (quote is from Jim DeRogatis). This most recent, being a throwback to a throwback of Sixties supposed oonful-toonfulness, is the only thing that seems really aiming for the cutes, but it's "cute" in quotation marks and it's likable anyway. Also, I must point out that Duff may have the single tiniest voice in the history of music, and no discernible musical personality (though maybe if I'd ever seen the TV show - I'm TV-less, which limits my understanding - everything would be clear). And somehow she's involved in consistently good music, though so far I don't find her remotely as interesting as Lindsay or Ashlee, even if "Fly" may be the best DioGuardi-Shanks track so far.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Friday, 6 January 2006 03:27 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Umm, I'm not really sure what this thread's all about. But I do want to say that my teenage sister has been dementing me with McFly coming through the wall for the past year, and more recently with some new bullshit called Son of Dork. I don't get it, she used to listen to Nirvana and Zeppelin...

DoG67, Friday, 6 January 2006 03:37 (twelve years ago) Permalink

The Smash Hits chart.

1 TONY CHRISTIE FT PETER KAY (IS THIS THE WAY TO) AMARILLO
2 CRAZY FROG AXEL F
3 JAMES BLUNT YOU'RE BEAUTIFUL
4 MCFLY ALL ABOUT YOU/YOU'VE GOT A FRIEND
5 SHANYE WARD THAT’S MY GOAL
6 AKON LONELY
7 PUSSYCAT DOLLS FT BUSTA RHYMES DON'T CHA
8 WESTLIFE YOU RAISE ME UP
9 2PAC FT ELTON JOHN GHETTO GOSPEL
10 MADONNA HUNG UP
11 DANIEL POWTER BAD DAY
12 SUGABABES PUSH THE BUTTON
13 MARIO LET ME LOVE YOU
14 NELLY FT TIM MCGRAW OVER AND OVER
15 SNOOP DOGG/WILSON/TIMBERLAKE SIGNS
16 NATALIE IMBRUGLIA SHIVER
17 GORILLAZ FEEL GOOD INC
18 MARIAH CAREY WE BELONG TOGETHER
19 BODYROCKERS I LIKE THE WAY
20 SCISSOR SISTERS FILTHY/GORGEOUS
21 BLACK EYED PEAS DON'T PHUNK WITH MY HEART
22 ROBBIE WILLIAMS TRIPPING
23 CHARLOTTE CHURCH CRAZY CHICK
24 COLDPLAY SPEED OF SOUND
25 WILL SMITH SWITCH
26 GWEN STEFANI FT EVE RICH GIRL
27 KEANE THIS IS THE LAST TIME
28 JENNIFER LOPEZ GET RIGHT
29 CORAL IN THE MORNING
30 UNITING NATIONS OUT OF TOUCH
31 LEMAR IF THERE'S ANY JUSTICE
32 OASIS THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING IDLE
33 GREEN DAY BOULEVARD OF BROKEN DREAMS
34 STEREOPHONICS DAKOTA
35 SUNSET STRIPPERS FALLING STARS
36 GORILLAZ DARE
37 GREEN DAY WAKE ME UP WHEN SEPTEMBER ENDS
38 OASIS LYLA
39 50 CENT CANDY SHOP
40 BLACK EYED PEAS DON'T LIE
41 KELLY CLARKSON SINCE U BEEN GONE
42 EMINEM LIKE TOY SOLDIERS
43 USHER CAUGHT UP
44 U2 SOMETIMES YOU CAN'T MAKE IT ON YOUR OWN
45 AMERIE 1 THING
46 ROB THOMAS LONELY NO MORE
47 SEAN PAUL WE BE BURNIN'
48 MVP ROC YA BODY (MIC CHECK 1 2)
49 RIHANNA PON DE REPLAY
50 GWEN STEFANI COOL

This is the Smash Hits Chart compiled

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Friday, 6 January 2006 03:44 (twelve years ago) Permalink

(Hilary also has some DioGuardi-Shanks-type tracks not by DioGuardi and Shanks that aren't as good, except there's one called "Metamorphosis" that is almost as good. Also, the non-DioGuardi-Shanks numbers that include the word "Duff" in the writing credits are usually better than those that don't.)

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Friday, 6 January 2006 03:48 (twelve years ago) Permalink

A whole bunch or relevant things from last years' rolling country thread:

Well, with nine shopping days left until Pazz & Jop, I'm in the midst of what's always equivalent to the Bataan death march an end-of-year delight, which is to reevaluate my favorite records of the year for possible poll ranking, and trying to catch up on the many records I've missed. To report on the latter endeavor:
Madonna - I love the single, hate the rest of it. Lindsay Lohan - I hate the single, love the rest of it. (Isn't this what fundamentalists urge us to do: hate the single but love the singer?) Kelly Clarkson - way better than Christgau says it is, of course, but I can hear how incipient Faithisms and Celinetudes could weigh it down for him (and even for me, to some extent). Tatu - finely flimsied Europop at its finest, which surprises me (not the flimsiness or the Europop, but the fineness, since the single they emerged with several years ago had struck me as finely diced dime-a-dozen Europop and I didn't believe the hype; maybe the difference is no Trevor Horn this time).

-- Frank Kogan (edcasua...), December 17th, 2005. (Frank Kogan)


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Let's see, in the previous post I should have deleted the comma after "ranking" and changed "and trying to" to "and try to"; and I should have changed "way better than" to "far better than," so that the sentence wouldn't have been weighed down by a surfeit of "ways" and "weighs."

But to relate these albums to the putative subject matter of this thread:

Madonna wore a cowboy hat on the cover of her previous CD, which has nothing to do with the new album, or with the previous either, as far as I could tell, but here she is and I'm talking about her. The new CD is even duller than the others she's put out in the last fifteen years, which shocks me though probably shouldn't have, but I had hopes for this thing because (1) I love the single, and (2) I'd liked chief collaborator Stuart Price's Les Rythmes Digitales album from 1999 enough to have put it on my Pazz & Jop ballot (after which I totally forgot about him and it until seeing some ILM discussion several weeks ago lauding his subsequent career remixing any and everything under pseudonyms such as Jacques La Cont, Thin White Duke, Zoot Woman, Pour Homme, Paper Faces, Man With Guitar).

So the single samples the riff from Abba's "Gimme Gimme a Man After Midnight," putting it in a beautiful setting and when the riff is absent giving a beautiful texture to the chords. And the rest of the album has equally beautiful textures, and wonderful troughs and swells whenever a song transitions from verse to chorus or chorus to verse or verse to break. What it doesn't have is a single melody worth transitioning too, anywhere, except for that one Abba riff on track one. So you end up with soggy high-class mood music, all the beautiful swells and stuff just weighing everything down - er, wait, I mean, hold on, I can't use "weigh" again, um, dragging everything down? drenching everything up? (Oh, I don't know.) Her voice makes the tracks draggy too, I don't know why; it's the sort that needs a melody, not an atmosphere, I guess. "Hate" is probably an exaggeration - no, it isn't, I really don't like the thing, but I'll admit there are musically worthy moments. The obnoxious "I Love New York" song is as stupid as Joan Morgan says in her Voice review (she loved the album except for this track) but is actually one of the few signs of life, probably because it cops the chord pattern to Iggy's "I Wanna Be Your Dog" (an odd riff for a Detroit chick to use in a tribute to New York, given that the Stooges' home base was Ann Arbor, but maybe she or Price didn't notice the resemblance to "Dog").

Maybe I'm listening wrong and can come to hear it differently.

-- Frank Kogan (edcasua...), December 17th, 2005. (Frank Kogan)


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Ah, Lindsay. Her voice is a loose blat in comparison to Ashlee's tough little battering ram, and so far she hasn't pulled her music together as powerfully as Ashlee has; but the loose blat and the woman's basic Lohanicity make everything feel playful no matter how devastated or introspective she thinks she's being. The band sounds like it's having a rollicking good time. This is probably inaccurate - my copy has no album credits, but I assume that rather than a band there's just some guy doing overdub upon overdub, which is how most of these things are made. Some spirit is in this. (Strange if the tenth spot on my P&J list comes down to who is more fun: Lindsay Lohan or the Hold Steady. Craig Finn of the Hold Steady clobbers her in the category throw-you-to-the-floor funny lyrics ("Tramps like us and we like tramps"!), not too mention basic goofiness of vocal delivery, but she scores high on general pizzazz and ongoing shamelessness. Speaking of which, remember when words like "pizzazz" and "shameless" pertained to Madonna?
But to get bring us back to this thread, the best song on the Lohan, "I Live for the Day," matches "Kerosene" in virulence if not in stompability: "I live for the day, I live for the night, that you will be desperate and dying inside." (Glad to see that Lindsay has found a purpose in life) (though this was one of the songs she didn't co-write [writer's credits are available at allmusic.com].) And there's a meta moment worthy of Big & Rich where at the start of a the title, "A Little More Personal," she and a producer (or someone) are arguing over whether songs should have spoken intros (Lindsay in favor of them because they make the record a little more personal). But I kinda don't think Big & Rich will ever begin a song by singing: "God won't talk to me. I guess she's pretty busy." Or if they do, it won't get on the radio.

(My rationalization for posting this here is that by exploring what noncountry can and can't do, this tells us something about what country can and can't do. My real reason is that this is a more congenial thread than most to post on. And more fun.)

-- Frank Kogan (edcasua...), December 17th, 2005. (Frank Kogan)


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Close parenthesis after "pertained to Madonna?" And "at the start of a the title" should be, "at the start of the title song."

Kelly Clarkson - She's someone who could conceivably jump to country if she wanted to, since several of her songs (esp. "Breakaway") aren't far from the basic land of pop-country crossover, if she were ever to choose it. I don't think she knows yet which genre she'll settle into. She's playing big on CHR pop and adult contemporary so she'll probably continue offering the loud-bright-rock-and-gentle-ballad combo special. As of now she wants wall of guitars on her wailing choruses, which is something country has yet to allow.

She's got a love-is-the-drug my-love-for-you-is-toxic song (called "Addicted," appropriately enough) that is more flat-out pained and less knowing than you'd get in the country equivalents (or in Sheryl's or Britney's, for that matter): "It's like you're a leech, sucking the life from me/It's like I can't breathe without you inside of me."

-- Frank Kogan (edcasua...), December 17th, 2005. (Frank Kogan)


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the first time i felt like i was invading, that i was engaging in something inapporite, that seemed too personal, too raw for public consumption in a v v long time, was the artless but heartbreaking video for lohan's too personal.
it was harder to consume than any of the confessional singer songwriter shit that i engaged in, and was liminal b/w public and private personae in a way that seemed genuinely transgressive/taboo breaking.

not in the sense of oh my god this is so shocking (ie the ultra conceptual madonna of like a prayer) but in the sense of leave the poor girl alone, hasnt she suffered enough...

its something i dont have the crtical vocab for--and it doesnt matter if its nto v. good musically (and it isnt)--strangely enough, that overshare personal detail stuff seems to come in two places, girl pop (and i hear it in the shangri las, in the crystals, in other places) and in country--and the only place i felt it this year was in my inital reaction to the awful mindy mccready situtaion. (ie:finally we have tammy back)

does that
a) make me a bad person
b) make sense

-- anthony easton (anthonyeasto...), December 18th, 2005. (anthony)

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Friday, 6 January 2006 04:12 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Anthony, I understand what you're saying about Lindsay, but one thing to realize is that she's very much the one who's exploiting her own misfortune, heaving it at us and collecting moolah in return. It isn't a matter of "leave the poor girl alone, hasnt she suffered enough..." She herself co-wrote the song, and she directed the video herself! And this fits with the basic blat of her vocals, the young woman spraying herself forth.

Another interesting topic might be the way that country utilizes the child-abuse trope. Child abuse has been the subject of songs (T. Graham Brown "Which Way to Pray": "A little girl down on her knees/Saying 'Now I lay me down to sleep/Lord bless us with a happy home/And please make daddy leave me alone'"). Hank Snow had been an abused child, and he spoke out about child abuse, but as far as I know (which isn't very) he didn't make it an integral part of his image. Whereas in modern teenpop - Pink, Ashlee, Lindsay - singing about their suffering (don't know if there was abuse or just the usual divorce and/or abandonment) is an integrity move, something that's supposed to give songs and singers depth. (Which doesn't mean that it isn't gutsy, especially Pink's Missundaztood!.
Ashlee's "Shadow" is a powerful song, but there are things in it that feel wrong to me.)

(This year on P&J's abandoned child front, M.I.A.'s said that she entitled her album "Arular" (which is her dad's political alias, just as "Lenin" was Vladimer Ilyich Ulyanov's poltical alias) in the hope that he'd see it and get in touch with her. That was one reason, anyway.)

-- Frank Kogan (edcasua...), December 19th, 2005. (Frank Kogan)


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Listening to Linsay Lohan now. Kinda thinking that way too much of it sounds like the single! The Cheap Trick cover is okay. I like the new wave synthesizers in "A Little More Personal." Beyond that, I dunno. I definitely I think I prefer Linsay more when she's LESS personal. (Oh wait, "If You Were Me" is on now. What a bouncy little bassline:) But she may have no more business doing ballads than Gretchen Wilson.

I really liked a disco song Hilary Duff did last year that Metal Mike sent me the video of, but I forget its name. Thought both of her actual albums were okay, but not okay enough to keep them. Never heard the greatest hits CD. May still have a soundtrack that's half songs by her and half songs by other people in the storage garage.


-- xhuxk (xedd...), December 19th, 2005.


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There could also be a goth influence on country via Stevie Nicks (he says as Lindsy Lohan's seemingly quite good "Edge of 17" cover plays) or via Metallica (as in, say, harmonies on the first Big&Rich album). (What as Kim Carnes's and Bonnie Tyler's connection to goth, anyway?)
-- xhuxk (xedd...), December 19th, 2005.


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but which teenager doesnt over share, the adults around her should say something about it no?
we keep forgetting with the tits, and the voice, that lohan is still basically a child.

-- anthony easton (anthonyeasto...), December 19th, 2005. (anthony)


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"Who Loves You" on Linsay's album bounces too! I just may need to take more time with all those big bloated confessional slow ones.
(I really know nothing about her life, so I'm staying out of that discussion. She was really entertaining in *Mean Girls,* however.)

(By the way, speaking of lives, Frank, you know Ashlee supposedly collapsed after a show in Asia late last week, right? Last I heard, on Saturday I think, she was still being hospitalized. Hope she's OK.)

-- xhuxk (xedd...), December 19th, 2005.


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Lindsay is old enough to join the Marines! Old enough to fight, old enough to direct your own video, I say. (I really don't know enough about the biz to know how such decisions are made.)
-- Frank Kogan (edcasua...), December 20th, 2005. (Frank Kogan)

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Friday, 6 January 2006 04:23 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Actually, "Black Hole" on the Lohan sounds worse than the "Confessions" song, but to mention this earlier would have conflicted with my hyperbole above. Everything else on the alb is listenable, including "Confessions," though usually I'll program out "Confessions," "My Innocence," "A Little More Personal," and "A Beautiful Life," the last of which - the Goddess one - is probably also worse than "Confessions." So, the ones I like a lot are, more or less in order of preference, "I Live for the Day," "Edge of Seventeen" (even though Lindsay does some of the lamest ooo ooo ooos in history), "Who Loves You," "If It's Alright" (a power ballad), "I Want You to Want Me," and "Fastlane.")

-- Frank Kogan (edcasua...), December 20th, 2005. (Frank Kogan)


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(Ashlee's back in the U.S. with her family. Official reason for the collapse is exhaustion.)
-- Frank Kogan (edcasua...), December 20th, 2005. (Frank Kogan)


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>I really liked a disco song Hilary Duff did last year that Metal Mike sent me the video of, but I forget its name.<

'Twas "Wake Up."

-- xhuxk (xedd...), December 21st, 2005.


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(By the way, if anybody's interested, Lindsay Lohan does "I Want You To Want Me" better than Cheap Trick ever did. It was never even close to one of their best songs, I've always thought, but then again, not until now did I ever notice what a great line "I'll get home early from work if you'll say that you want me" is. Getting home early from work is such an important thing in everyday life! Lindsay singing that line hit me the second time through. I've heard the Cheap Trick version thousands of times, probably, and the line never grabbed me.)
-- xhuxk (xedd...), December 23rd, 2005.


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Also, the bassline in "Fastlane" comes from "Roxanne" by the Police!
-- xhuxk (xedd...), December 23rd, 2005.


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Now I'm up to Hilary Duff. Never in the course of human events have so many melodies been lavished on such a tiny voice.

Well, for the Churchillian effect I wanted I should have said, "Never in the field of human artistry was so much melody lavished by so many on such a tiny voice."
-- Frank Kogan (edcasua...), December 24th, 2005. (Frank Kogan)

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Friday, 6 January 2006 04:35 (twelve years ago) Permalink

(OK, I'll stop cutting and pasting for a while, though at some point I'll bring bring in Hope Partlow stuff.)

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Friday, 6 January 2006 04:36 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Meh. I expected to be more excited about the Partlow than I was. It just didn't grab me.

Hillary Brown (Hillary Brown), Friday, 6 January 2006 13:35 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Frank are there any other Hillary songs like "Come Clean" and "Fly"? I love those so much. Actually I may have asked you this before.

In terms of Max Martin rock action, let us not forget The Veronicas' awesome "4 Eva".

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Friday, 6 January 2006 13:54 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Ha ha looks like I posted here a few times last night while I was *sleeping*. I don't know if that ever happened before.

Anyway. *Come Get It: The Very Best of Aaron Carter.* More fun than the Backstreet Boys's best of album? Maybe, I'm not sure. Best tracks: "Bounce," "A.C.'s Alien Nation," "To All the Girls," "Another Earthquake" (which was his pop-punk move, apparently; never knew he had one). Fun: "Aaron's Party (Come Get It)" (a "Parents Just Don't Understand" rip which I reviewed in a singles column in the voice several years ago), "My Internet Girl," "I Want Candy," "Oh Aaron."
Still pretty bad, though justifiable for its ridiculousness: "That's How I Beat Shaq." Missing: "Iko Iko"; he covered that right? Maybe people thought including it would be offensive in the wake of Katrina?

I heard the Veronicas album a couple months ago (listened to it to write a show preview of their New York show), and thought it was ok, not all that distinctive, and wound up trading it in. Should I not have? (I think I probably thought it wasn't teen-pop *enough.* Though I vaguely remember the singer vaguely reminding me of Joan Jett once.)

xhuxk, Friday, 6 January 2006 14:02 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Not sure about the album, but I loved the first single, especially with it's original er indier video clip.

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Friday, 6 January 2006 14:05 (twelve years ago) Permalink

It was like Max Martin paying homage to Veruca Salt!

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Friday, 6 January 2006 14:06 (twelve years ago) Permalink

MORE TEEN-POP STUFF FROM LAST YEAR'S COUNTRY THREAD:

holy shit, stop the presses, on the stereo right now: 1982 john cougar song of the year: "crazy summer nights" by hope paltrow. sorry, silvertide, you just got beat!! (has metal mike heard this yet? he will spit out his diet pepsi for sure!!)
(okay, that had nothing to do with country, i guess. but i had to say it.)

-- xhuxk (xedd...), July 25th, 2005.
Oh, you were asking about Anna Nalick: she's 21, did "Breathe(2 A.M.)"
-- don (dmxz...), September 28th, 2005.


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Is she considered country, pop, r&b, or what?
Also, who is Emma Roberts? Just got the CD in the mail; she appears Nickelodeon connected. (Also appears to have nothing to do with country music, but who cares.) It wouldn't play in my computer; gotta take it home I guess. But I really like these song titles: "Punch Rocker," "Say Goodbye to Jr. High," "94 Weeks (Metal Mouth Freak)," "Dummy," "Mexican Wrestler," "New Shoes"! I wonder if Shania has heard that last song. I already want her to be the next Skye Sweetnam or at least Hope Partlow, but she probably isn't, I dunno.

-- xhuxk (xedd...), September 28th, 2005.


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Anna's in September 26, 2205 issue of People.Yeah, I read it; gotta keep up, yknow. "Nalick has toured almost nonstop since her debut CD, Wreck of the Day, came out in April." College student. But also "kicks off a headlining tour Oct. 6 and opens for Rob Thomas starting on Nov. 6," so headlining tour's more a tourette. I've seen the "Breathe" vid on VH-1 and on CMT's aforementioned "Wide Open Country"(with Mellanin, Crow, Truckers, Hootie, etc.) "On Meeting Rob Thomas: I rewrote matchbox twenty's "Push" when I was younger. I told him about it. He was like, 'That's awesome. Wait. When you were 12, you thought you could write my songs better than I could?'" Somebody had to tell him.
-- don (dmxz...), September 28th, 2005.

On the other hand, I would definitely take the totally morally conflicted Hope Partlow song where she makes out with her friend's boyfriend ("Sick Inside") over the Big&Rich song where John Rich makes out with his friend's girfriend ("Never Mind Me") any day. (That'd be the second or third best song on the Partlow album, behind the great "Crazy Summer Nights", tied with "Everywhere But Here," slightly above "Cold" and the Disney hit "Who We Are", which has a cool blues riff by the way. Also, "Let Me Try" sounds like a cross between David Johansen's "Flamingo Road" and Lionel Richie's "Three Times a Lady," sort of. She has a really ace band, whoever they are. I forgot her album when listing top 10 candidates above; right now, I'd put it somewhere below Lambert/Carter but above MIA/Fannypack, I think, though logically I can see why others might totally disagree. Bottom line is, I'd rather *listen* to it than MIA or Fannypack.)
-- xhuxk (xedd...), October 3rd, 2005.


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(Actually there's a good chance "Sick Inside" > "Cold" > "Who We Are" > "Everywhere But Here" , now that I think of it. But why nitpick?)
-- xhuxk (xedd...), October 3rd, 2005.

And speaking of noncountry singers whom we can talk about on this thread because Chuck talked here about someone whom she reminds me of, "Life After You" on the Brie Larson album is better than anything on the Hope Partlow - it starts with great sexy electro-disco oohs and ahs, similar to Pauline Rubio, then shifts effortlessly into a just-as-danceable Ashlee-Avril-Kelly-Marion I'm-over-you/I-will-flourish/I-will-survive brat-voiced bubblerock monster. The track is produced by the great Ric Wake, the man who helped invent Taylor Dayne and is usually the fellow working the dials on Celine Dion's best moments. The disco on the Brie Larson tends to fade after the second track, unfortunately, and the melodies plummet from "great" to "not bad, though there's another pretty good Ric Wake production (and a couple not so good) and a funny smart song about Brie's not getting along with her gym teacher (guess she doesn't want the gym teacher's perfume on her pillowcase, though she would like a C so she doesn't have to take the damn class anymore). Generally smart lyrics, mostly Brie-written. Promising. Exec. producer Tommy Mottola.
-- Frank Kogan (edcasua...), October 18th, 2005.

Actually, "Life After You" eventually sounds kind of "Smells Like Teen Spirit"! But I like Hope's "Crazy Summer Nights," which sounds kind of like "Jack and Diane," about a hundred times as much. Brie sounds good, though.

-- xhuxk (xedd...), October 19th, 2005.


I like the "Finally Out of P.E." song on Brie Larsen's album more than the "Life After You" song; the former's just way more distinctive. There's something really generic about the former that I can't put my finger on (just like there's something really generic about Kelly Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone", which I like a lot but don't love, that I can't put my finger on; nothing generic to me about Ashlee's "La La" or Hope's "Crazy Summer Nights" at all). I mean, in "Life After You," I *guess* I hear the Rubio ooh-ahh beats Frank's talking about, *when I listen really really really close for them,* but even then they seem incidental; they're not nearly as in bubbliciously in-your-face and effervescent as they'd be in a great Rubio track. Honestly, I don't really even buy the comparison. Sounds more like pretty run-of-the-mill Hillary Duff gurgling to me. Which, again, is fine; I *like* Hillary Duff. And I like this song, but I think I like any number of other Brie songs just as much. (Right now it sounds to me like the album really picks up in the middle -- "Done With Like" which I keep hearing as "Done With Life," "She Shall Remain Nameless" which seems to have some really good high school cultural map specifics in it, "She Said," etc. That could change, though. Either way, a really good album. Better than any album Hillary or the Bratz have made. But not Partlow, I don't think. Yet.)
-- xhuxk (xedd...), October 20th, 2005.


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I meant "something really generic about the LATTER (i.e, "Life After You") that I can't put my finger on." "Finally Got Out of P.E.," in its own way, is unprecedented, just like "Crazy Summer Nights" in its own way is unprecendented. "Life After You," as the laundry list of teen I-will-survivers Frank likened it to suggests, is anything but. (But of course the thing about generic music is that it's great if you love the genre. I get the idea Frank has more use for that genre than I do. I also think John Cougar was better than Taylor Dayne!)
-- xhuxk (xedd...), October 20th, 2005.

Btw, Hope Partlow is a tremendously gifted singer who makes everything sound easy and natural rather than capital-S "Spectacular," while actually what she does with her voice is rather spectacular, if only she'd make a spectacle of herself - which maybe she should, this being art and not life. I'm sure she'd be a good country singer if that's what she were to choose. In fact, she'd probably be a good anything singer, even death metal. As a stylist she's got a lot more sense and smarts than either Faith Hill or Celine Dion has (Celine's somewhat rooted in countrypolitan when she isn't being rooted in disco). Definitely in the pop-country range if she wants to be (where the Faith and the LeAnn play, and Cougar-style rockers worm their way midstream these days, and the skies are not cloudy all day except whenever LeAnn cries rivers).
I haven't played the Partlow enough for it to really sink in. The things is, what Partlow would choose if she could, it seems, is to be Lisa Stansfield: stylized mastery and control and all that, with maybe an extra freshness in her smooth glides, and certainly more boom from the kick drums and more kick from the snare drums (I prefer Mellancamp riffs to Norman Cook beats, when it comes to backing one's stylishness); but veering Adult Contemporary nonetheless, which will be her destination unless the bucks lead her elsewhere. That could be a drawback, though not necessarily (AC is hardly devoid of passion and rock these days); but so far my other problem with the Partlow album is my failure to love any of the songs. This could change with more listenings; a stylist who makes things easy often sneaks her passion in on you. I certainly appreciate the girl, but I'm not aching for her yet.

-- Frank Kogan (edcasua...), October 20th, 2005.

>kelly clarkson on mtv, the video that looked like some lost melodrama, all blonde on black, with heart break and a sort of undersung sadness/meloncholy...i dont remember the song, but how it was sung was more country and less girl singer, more lambert and less lohan...[anthony easton]
Could be either "Breakaway" or "Because of You" (the blonder of the two) either or which could be country with (or without) a few tweaks, as could Hope Partlow's "Crazy Summer Nights," if you want to vote for any of them.

-- Frank Kogan (edcasua...), December 28th, 2005.

Hope Partlow's "Girlfriend" - fast ZZ fizzies on the guitars. Another reason to consider the album country, though my favorite track is "Everywhere But Here," which is the least country/most teenpop feisty wail of a sad-happy I'm gone 'n' you'll miss me lament-triumph Ashlee-Lindsay-Lohan thing.
-- Frank Kogan (edcasua...), December 29th, 2005.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I meant Ashlee-Kelly-Lohan thing. Otherwise, I'm being redundant.
-- Frank Kogan (edcasua...), December 29th, 2005.

xhuxk, Friday, 6 January 2006 14:32 (twelve years ago) Permalink

P.S.) For whatever it's worth, Hope Partlow did not make my Pazz and Jop top 10 albums list (though she did make three other people's I am not allowed to divulge yet), and MIA and Fannypack did, contrary to what I predict up above. I may wind up regretting this. I did vote for "Crazy Summer Nights" (which isn't a single) as a single, though.

P.S.S.) I also liked the Hope 7 album last year. Which means, if nothing else, that 2005 was a *hopeful* year for U.S. teen-pop.

P.S.S.S.) So hey, whatever happened to Skye Sweetnam??

xhuxk, Friday, 6 January 2006 14:37 (twelve years ago) Permalink

more:

more fun hope'n'ashlee facts!
1. hope does a song where she makes out with your boyfriend and pretends to feel sorry about it; ashlee does one where you accuse her of making out with your boyfriend, and she pretends she didn't and gets pissed off. (except i don't really know if either is pretending.)

2. ashlee opens her CD with a song that sounds like franz ferdinand; hope opens hers with a cool blues riff, just like frank says franz f. open theirs with, though i didn't personally notice it yet. (i think he compared it to a '60s garage punk doing "smokestack lightning.")

3. hope's "don't go" is a red light green light song (see also: ashlee kix reference), though not for the reason its title suggests.

4. ashlee does a song called "boyfriend"; hope does a song called "girlfriend." "girlfriend" is probably 2005's best abba song.

-- xhuxk (xedd...), October 20th, 2005.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yikes, the Abba song "Girlfriend" sounds like is "Does Your Mother Know," which could have been written by Vladimir Nabokov. Creepy! But it was also Abba's hardest rock song. Maybe this is an answer record?
Dullest track on Hope's album: Probably "Through It All."

-- xhuxk (xedd...), October 20th, 2005.

xhuxk, Friday, 6 January 2006 14:48 (twelve years ago) Permalink

i do expect this thread to be my source for the best single 2006.

my name is john. i reside in chicago. (frankE), Friday, 6 January 2006 16:12 (twelve years ago) Permalink

from an article in the Tacoma News-Tribune on most-anticipated albums of 2006:

"12. Skye Sweetnam, untitled (June 20): This is not necessarily an endorsement – just fair warning regarding which bubble-gum rocker the preteen at your house will likely be obsessed with this summer – you know, the shorty you already took to see Ashlee Simpson, Avril Lavigne and Hilary Duff."

Haikunym (Haikunym), Friday, 6 January 2006 16:16 (twelve years ago) Permalink

"There was this huge poster of a kid squeezing his bloody zit into a drink! We realized it was a new slushy called the 'Bloody Zit!' We had to try it! What's twisted is that you can sprinkle 'Oily Blackheads' and 'Scabs' into the drink! They're like sour candy! Mmmm but at the same time it's kind of gross!"
—Skye Sweetnam, from her myspace page, which you can find here.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Friday, 6 January 2006 16:52 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Skye's someone who would fit in easily posting on ILX.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Friday, 6 January 2006 16:53 (twelve years ago) Permalink

In terms of Max Martin rock action, let us not forget The Veronicas' awesome "4 Eva".

It would not have been possible for me to forget it, in that this is the first I'd ever heard of it.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Friday, 6 January 2006 16:57 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Taking sides: the Archies vs. the Veronicas.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Friday, 6 January 2006 16:57 (twelve years ago) Permalink

>Speaking of Rooney, whatever happened to Damone?<


Ha, this just came in the email:

>

DAMONE RE-EMERGES FROM BOSTON ’BURBS WITH ISLAND RECORDS DEBUT
6-WEEK TOUR WITH LESS THAN JAKE BEGINS JANUARY 18th IN ATLANTA
5-song EP, “Out Here All Night,” making waves in advance of 2006 summer release
(January 3, 2006 – New York, NY) Damone is coming! After a recent local Boston show, The Boston Globe hailed Damone as the band that was “born for arenas and is simply biding it's time until it gets to headline in them.,” In advance of their long-awaited second album and first for Island Records, with a 2006 summer release, Damone hits the road for six weeks of shows with Less Than Jake, opening January 18th at the Masquerade in Atlanta.

Damone – charismatic lead singer and guitarist Noelle, Dustin Hengst (drums, vocals), Vazquez (bass, vocals), and Mike Woods (lead guitars, vocals) – took their sweet time putting the pieces back together over the past couple years and the early results are catching the ears of savvy programmers and rock cognoscenti via the Out Here All Night EP. The 5-song sampler – “Out Here All Night,” “What We Came Here For,” “Get Up And Go,” “Never Getting Mine (demo),” and “Time and Time Again” – serves notice that Damone has not lost its flair for “unbelievably hook-laden rock songs,” as CMJ raved back in the day.

Instilled with a strong love of ’80s glam-metal, some Runaways/Joan Jett-size girl-rock (to see Noelle in action is to believe), big Marshall stack guitar solos and badass attitude, Damone is all about the joy and excess of rock.

With the help of legendary mixing engineers Tom Lord-Alge (U2, Weezer, Marilyn Manson) and Mike Shipley (Def Leppard, Green Day, Andrew WK) putting the finishing touches on their upcoming self produced album, Damone has created a timeless piece of rock’n’roll, ready to be sandwiched in a “rock block” of Guns ’N Roses, Queen and AC/DC. “For me,” says newest member Mike Woods, “the story should go this way: it looked like it was going to end, quite literally for some of us, but it didn’t, so we made a kick-ass record and took over the world.”

For further information on Damone go to www.DAMONE.net<

xhuxk, Friday, 6 January 2006 17:32 (twelve years ago) Permalink

more kick-ass news: THIS comes out february 6
http://images2.alloy.com/images/210x195/rate_it_fefe_dobson_sundaylove.jpg

Haikunym (Haikunym), Friday, 6 January 2006 17:38 (twelve years ago) Permalink

my daughter made a mix cd of her favorite tunes, and fefe's "stupid little love song" was the opening song. i'll post the full tracklist of her mix later, but it's by far the new most-played disc in the house, along with the hairspray soundtrack and b-52's first album.

Haikunym (Haikunym), Friday, 6 January 2006 17:40 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Skye Sweetnam's Influences: "Barbie Dolls, fairies and their tales. “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” Danny Elfman, Johnny Depp and Tim Burton… together! Candy, DIY kids. Harajuku girls, Queen Street rockers and my grandma’s closet. Tank Girl, Jet Girl, and Sub Girl, heavy machinery rocks! Comic books, graffiti, notebook scribbles and Pirates. I love Gaudi’s architecture, Gloomy by Mori Chack and pretending I’m going to be a princess when I grow up! I love almost every single kind of music out there... let me name some of my favorites! I want to have a career like Mrs. Gwen Stefani, you know she can do anything! I like Green Day, almost all Pantra, some Zeppelin and Nirvana. Some Tegan and Sara, Mars Volta, Max Martin Songs- Gotta love “Hit Me Baby One More Time…”. Weezer's Blue Album, "Back in the Mud" by Bubba Sparxxx, Outkast's hits, ALL NOFX, Lagwagon, Pennywise and Clutch songs. The Police yo! Coldplay- but I haven't met anyone who doesn't like them. Canadian bands Billy Talent, Death From Above 1979, Propagandhi, Metric. I like some Incubus, The Distillers, Rancid, QOTSA, Angel Dust by Faith No More, "When the Pawn..." by Fiona Apple and Esthero's Wikked Little Grrls. That’s just what I’m into right now.. The list goes on."


Who are "Pantra"? Does she mean "Pantera"? "Tantra"?? Also, I hope she covers "Back in the Mud" on her new album!

xhuxk, Friday, 6 January 2006 17:43 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I'm hoping for a "Cassandra Geminni/Bombs Over Baghdad" medley, myself. Skye and Fefe and Avril make me want to move to Canada for realz.

Haikunym (Haikunym), Friday, 6 January 2006 17:48 (twelve years ago) Permalink

That Fefe cover is kind of great.

jaymc (jaymc), Friday, 6 January 2006 17:52 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Damone in comeback! Well, I'll have to be around for that.

>>Instilled with a strong love of ’80s glam-metal, some Runaways/Joan >>Jett-size girl-rock (to see Damone's Noelle in action is to >>believe), big >>Marshall stack guitar solos and badass attitude, >>Damone is all >>about the joy and excess of rock.

Damone was so not Marshall stack and guitar solo on their debut. And if it had been more like Joan Jett, I would have actually liked it. And she was as badass as my housecats. Nothing wrong with that, but geeez.

>>With the help of legendary mixing engineers Tom Lord-Alge (U2, >>Weezer, Marilyn Manson) and Mike Shipley (Def Leppard, Green Day, >>Andrew WK) putting the finishing touches on their upcoming self >>produced album, Damone has created a timeless piece of rock’n’roll, >>ready to be sandwiched in a “rock block” of Guns ’N Roses, Queen >>and AC/DC.

Ha-ha. I don't get the reverse in adsmanship. Damone's never going to pass as a bunch of heavy rockers. What's wrong with being what they were and just improving it with, like, some passion in those songs?

This blurb reminds me of the blurb that was being peddled with Hanson's live album. "Guitar brutality!" it was said, excerpted from a review from USA Today or Entertainment Weekly. So I asked for a review copy. Big mistake.

George the Animal Steele, Friday, 6 January 2006 17:52 (twelve years ago) Permalink

on the new album
fefe works with matthew wilder
and joan jett RAWK

Haikunym (Haikunym), Friday, 6 January 2006 18:04 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Wow. Hey, wow. I am flipping over this Amy Diamond stuff.

Hillary Brown (Hillary Brown), Friday, 6 January 2006 18:07 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Frank are there any other Hillary songs like "Come Clean" and "Fly"? I love those so much.

I don't know. Nothing else on Most Wanted comes close. You should try Lindsay Lohan's "I Live for the Day," which is doing something very different (a vengeance rocker, basically, and joyous on its vengeful terms), and oddly enough is one of the few Lohan songs that Kara DioGuardi has no hand in, but it nonetheless has the same reverbed-mystery-lament feel. And then you should try Ashlee's "I Am Me," which is even more of a ferocious Dance Of The Woman Scorned and so is even farther in intent from "Fly"'s tremulous beauty ache - but buried in the song's melody (especially during the dancing-on-your-grave ending) the beauty is there, aching. Which isn't altogether surprising, given that Kara DioGuardi and John Shanks are among the song's writers, and John Shanks is its producer.

So, Tim F., if you're worried that by going for Lindsay and Ashlee you'll be diluting your love for Hilary, you should instead conceive this as expanding your love outward via Shanks and DioGuardi.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Friday, 6 January 2006 18:31 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I need to explore S&D further, but one thing I've noticed is that when song credits add the name "Simpson" to "Shanks" and "DioGuardi," the emotional complication of the lyrics increases 10x.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Friday, 6 January 2006 18:32 (twelve years ago) Permalink

The new Fefe doesn't bode well, 'Don't let it go to your head', which is unfortunately bland and nothing near the synth awesomeness of 'Don't Go (Boys and Girls). And Skye is pretty impressive - Hypocrite for one, which i poptexted a while back and people loved.

Abby (abby mcdonald), Friday, 6 January 2006 19:32 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I won't believe you
Abby till I hear the whole
Fefe for myself

Haikunym (Haikunym), Friday, 6 January 2006 20:01 (twelve years ago) Permalink

"Hypocrite" is the best track on Noise from the Basement! To get all Brooks & Warren on you guys, one of the great moments is when she uses a comic poetic device called "forced scansion" to make her funniest line even funnier:

Some will say that I'm counterfeit
But I will be who I want to
Some will look at me and vomit
But I will do what I want to

Which is extra funny because to make "vomit" fit the meter and rhyme you have to mispronounce it, which she does but without hamming up the mispronunciation. I think she lifted this comic device from that Billy S. guy she likes so much.

Also, in a behind-the-scenes making-of-the-video short for "Tangled Up in Me" she demonstrated to us how they prepared the instruments for the shoot, so she's showing us the muffles they put on the drums; then she turns to the camera and silently mouths "We're not really playing our instruments" to the camera, as if imparting a great but confidential secret.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Friday, 6 January 2006 20:42 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Er, "I will do what I want to" was "I will look how I want to."

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Friday, 6 January 2006 20:43 (twelve years ago) Permalink

>if anybody's interested, Lindsay Lohan does "I Want You To Want Me" better than Cheap Trick ever did<

I'm listening to clips of some of these on itunes. Sounds like a bigger production and she's got a good singing voice, but is it as ... believable or something? Does it not just kind of sound like some covers band doing a kind of average/blah assortment of songs, but dressed up in the studio?

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Friday, 6 January 2006 21:01 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Not believable because it's dressed up, or not believable because it's a covers band? (And why would neither of those be believable?)

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Friday, 6 January 2006 21:45 (twelve years ago) Permalink

No, not believable because I'm not convinced that she was really passionate about doing a cover of "I Want You to Want Me."

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Friday, 6 January 2006 21:49 (twelve years ago) Permalink

We went to Disneyland not too long ago and there was a cover band playing at the Buzz Light Year thing in Tomorrowland playing "Love Shack" and stuff. It reminds me of them. (OMG I just remembered that they played "I Want You to Want Me!")

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Friday, 6 January 2006 21:52 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Wait...so you don't really think she wants him to want her?

xhuxk, Friday, 6 January 2006 21:53 (twelve years ago) Permalink

(Listening to a 30-second clip (which is too short to tell me enough) of Ashlee Simpson's "L.O.V.E. (Missy Underground Mix)": Ashlee's sunniest song, so Missy gives it minor keys and power chords and doomy thumps on the tom and Asian carnival streamers dive-bombing in the rear.)

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Friday, 6 January 2006 21:56 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Doesn't it kind of seem like playacting? xp

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Friday, 6 January 2006 21:59 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I mean, part of my point in what Tim just quoted is that Cheap Trick's version was never all that great from the gitgo. I doubt LL could do a better version of "He's A Whore" or "Surrender" or "I Love You Honey But I Hate Your Friends" or "She's Tight" or "The House is Rockin' (With Domestic Problems)." But Cheap Trick's version of "I Want You To Want Me" always sounded perfunctory in the first place! She's more believable than they ever were, which isn't saying much.

xhuxk, Friday, 6 January 2006 22:00 (twelve years ago) Permalink

And maybe not so coincidental that a lot of these stars are actresses, too?

xp - I always thought of Cheap Trick's version as a kind of believable '50s nostalgia. believable because it was about '50s rock and roll as a very rocking music! I think it's quite dynamite.

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Friday, 6 January 2006 22:02 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Chuck and Tim, the question is whether you think she wants you to want her. I'm convinced that she wants everyone to want her.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Friday, 6 January 2006 22:03 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Guys, she wrote a song about being a drama queen!

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Friday, 6 January 2006 22:04 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Ha, I always thought Cheap Trick's '50s nostalgia ("All Shook Up," "Ain't That a Shame") sounded totally perfunctory too. So maybe that explains it. Lindsay also does more interesting covers than them. (Though they were pretty great covering Move songs, I guess.)

xhuxk, Friday, 6 January 2006 22:11 (twelve years ago) Permalink

OK, folks, in further attempts to define the "Fly" sound I will need your adjectival assistance: so far I've used "haunted," "haunting," "gorgeous," "melancholy," "catchy," "heartbreaking beauty," "reverbed-mystery-lament feel," and "aching." That pretty much leaves "ghostly," and then I'm all out of words. (Noun assistance in regard to "beauty" would also be appreciated.)

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Friday, 6 January 2006 22:14 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Also from the country thread (featuring the word "heartbreaking"):

Speaking of Cougar rocks - though this is off-topic - last week I listened to Jessica Simpson's "I Think I'm In Love With You" for the first time in four years. It's the one that samples the brief bass-guitar fillip from "Jack and Diane" and otherwise is a basic dance-r&b number where she shows off Mariah melismas. It's likable, since she's willing to make the notes fluffy (which isn't to say that she fluffs any of the notes). But what's amazing is the Peter Rauhofer Club Mix that's included on the single. No Cougar notes, just driving, ominous techno and Jessica's "I think I'm in love"s sounding icy but heartbreaking, darting up and down above the jagged synths. Might as well be a totally different song.

(In general, I'm not one of these guys who says, "No, you gotta hear the remix.")

-- Frank Kogan (edcasua...), December 28th, 2005. (Frank Kogan)

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Friday, 6 January 2006 22:19 (twelve years ago) Permalink

here are some words for frank and hilary: "saudade" (the portuguese/brazilian word for the happiness in sadness and vice versa), "wistful," "doomladen," "goth-blasted," "coked-up," "cynical"

Haikunym (Haikunym), Friday, 6 January 2006 22:19 (twelve years ago) Permalink

all the pop girls sound like holly & the italians these days but I think they're actually trying to sound more like "since u been gone"

Fritz Wollner (Fritz), Friday, 6 January 2006 22:23 (twelve years ago) Permalink

"Girlfriend" doesn't Cougar-rock at all, Frank; it Abba-rocks! And I just prefer "Jack and Diane" to "Does Your Mother Know," I guess. Though I love them both. And in the long run, I may regret not voting for Hope's album (which three P&J voters did, though I can't say who.)

And yeah, she's 17 (and I think the songwriting is often really good).

Mikael Wood's appraisal of her, Brie Larsen, etc, can be found here:

http://www.villagevoice.com/music/0552,wood,71326,22.html

And the fact that she picked peas on her family farm in Tennesse is pretty country, I guess! Perhaps country fans will eventually agree.


-- xhuxk (xedd...), December 28th, 2005.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hope Paltrow is far too pretty to remain in the peapatch, for sure.
-- edd s hurt (eddshur...), December 28th, 2005. (ddduncan)

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Friday, 6 January 2006 22:24 (twelve years ago) Permalink

And I've used "tremulous beauty ache" too.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Friday, 6 January 2006 22:27 (twelve years ago) Permalink

By the way, sorry to keep bringing this back to Cheap Trick (though
"Surrender" IS one of the best songs ever about being a teenager, so there), but Rick Neilson appears on the new Revolting Cocks CD, which is unlistenable, and his photo on the inner gatefold makes him look much younger than Gibby Hayes and Al Jourgensen and Jello Biafra, all of whom appear there also, and appear to be about 80 years old apiece.

xhuxk, Friday, 6 January 2006 22:29 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I didn't think Lindsay;s version (I want you to want me) was anywhere near as good/popjoyful as the Letters to Cleo version from a few years back!

Abby (abby mcdonald), Friday, 6 January 2006 22:45 (twelve years ago) Permalink

the only part of lindsay's version I can see as superior is the percussion. I like the clatter. I definitely prefer the Zander vocal.

'Twan (miccio), Friday, 6 January 2006 22:50 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Hey, frank, what do you think of Evanescence?

'Twan (miccio), Friday, 6 January 2006 22:51 (twelve years ago) Permalink

zander's vocal is probably less 'believable' but I can enjoy his vocal on a simple musical level in a way I don't dig Lohan's. But I think I'm looking for something different than Kogeddy are.

'Twan (miccio), Friday, 6 January 2006 23:00 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I've somehow avoided exposure to the Amy Diamond phenomenon completely (before this thread), which is a bit strange since that single was top 10 in Norway for 18 weeks!

Unfortunately, on first listen, it triggers loads of "naff" detectors in me – I think it's because being from "the rest of Europe" (ie not UK and probably Ireland), I've heard loads of terrible Euro stuff employing that not-actually-proper-reggae device, and associate it with Lame Continental Backwaterism. (Examples that have crossed over into UK/US(?) are "Live Is Life" by Opus and "Susanna" by "The Art Company".)

The Vintner's Lipogram (OleM), Friday, 6 January 2006 23:46 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Rick Neilson appears on the new Revolting Cocks CD, which is unlistenable, and his photo on the inner gatefold makes him look much younger than Gibby Hayes and Al Jourgensen and Jello Biafraa

He more than made up for it on that DVD I reviewed early last year, where he looked like someone's scary old grandmother. It's those sweaters. I never liked "I Want You to Want Me" on "In Color" and even less on the Japanese album. There Zander says this song is called "I --- Want -- You --- To ---- Want ---- Meee" like he's talking to retards and lots of small children. I could never get it out of my head. Irritating.

George the Animal Steele, Friday, 6 January 2006 23:57 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Yeah, both versions kinda reeked. They were a weird group, because they could be so great (and, uh, so weird), but sometimes I really felt they were knowingly pandering and condescending to some imaginary lowest common denominator audience--and I almost never say that about *anybody*, so they must have hit a nerve, somehow. I dunno, maybe the spoon-feedy stuff was aimed at their English as a second language fans. The way I felt about those '50s covers is probably close to how some folks feel about smashmouth now.

xhuxk, Saturday, 7 January 2006 00:41 (twelve years ago) Permalink

when did this "oooh grr smashmouth" thing happen

'Twan (miccio), Saturday, 7 January 2006 00:52 (twelve years ago) Permalink

ha ha you don't have teenage kids, 'twan

xhuxk, Saturday, 7 January 2006 00:59 (twelve years ago) Permalink

actually, though, smashmouth are some kind of unique case, since at some time they (or at least it seemed they) started doing *only* cover songs for little-kiddie movies, and every kiddie movie wound up having an obligatory smashmouth cover. i sort of respect their utter don't-give-a-shit lack of integrity myself; the singer's a big fat ugly guy, and it's nice to some big fat ugly guys can still make money in this biz, and it's kind of cool how they found their niche. and it seems like they'll basically cover *anything*, not just ? and the mysterians and war and the monkees -- i mean, you can't sink much lower than "ain't gettin nothin for christmas," I don't think. and for all i know, some of their covers are totally great. supposedly they did an all-christmas-covers album available only on the net, including the kinks' "father christmas" and something by the sonics and i forget what else. i'd be curious to hear if it's any good. not curious enough to seek it out myself, though.

xhuxk, Saturday, 7 January 2006 01:15 (twelve years ago) Permalink

yeah, i totally get why young people might hate them once they started dancing with shrek, but that doesn't seem like the kind of thing you guys would hold against them. i pretty much like all their big hits and I've heard some respectable album tracks too (though i'm tempted to say that the debut is OVERrated, since the only people who talk about it pretend they never did anything good after).

'Twan (miccio), Saturday, 7 January 2006 01:22 (twelve years ago) Permalink

last year was depressing in the sense that a bunch of fine 90s singles bands put out comps but they were all 19 track with b-sides monstrosities rather than the 11 song "platinum edition" things that would actually make them look good.

'Twan (miccio), Saturday, 7 January 2006 01:24 (twelve years ago) Permalink

The Sonics' Christmas song was "Santa Claus" - "I want a brand new car, a twangy guitar, a cute little honey, and lots of money." I wouldn't mind hearing Smashmouth do this (or "Father Christmas," for that matter).

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Saturday, 7 January 2006 01:30 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I'm listening to Duff's "Beat of My Heart" right now, and it seems to be a lot more succesful take on what Kelly Osbourne was attempting on her last album: it's more electro, it's slinkier, it's more pop, it's more accessible, and it rocks harder.

So Hillary Duff is better at being Kelly Osbourne than Kelly Osbourne is.

Dom Passantino (Dom Passantino), Saturday, 7 January 2006 01:51 (twelve years ago) Permalink

what the fuck are you on, "beat of my heart" sucks ass. how do humans sit through that awayawayawayawaaaaay shit

'Twan (miccio), Saturday, 7 January 2006 01:52 (twelve years ago) Permalink

"wake up" at least pulls some sort of chirpy new wave petual clark thing, but "beat of my heart" is just some shrillass nonsense, easily the worst of the three dead prez tracks on that thing.

'Twan (miccio), Saturday, 7 January 2006 01:53 (twelve years ago) Permalink

petula clark, rather.

i guess you could kelly's album does the new wave thing more sloppily than those new hilary tracks do, but i'm surprised courtney love fans would take offense at that.

'Twan (miccio), Saturday, 7 January 2006 01:55 (twelve years ago) Permalink

easily the worst of the three dead prez tracks on that thing

?????????

:-0

cancer prone fat guy (dubplatestyle), Saturday, 7 January 2006 01:55 (twelve years ago) Permalink

hee hee yeah benji and joel call their duo dead presidents

'Twan (miccio), Saturday, 7 January 2006 02:02 (twelve years ago) Permalink

oh wait dead executives SORRY FOR THE CONFUSION

'Twan (miccio), Saturday, 7 January 2006 02:03 (twelve years ago) Permalink

oh and from waaay up thread frank I will take you to the fucking mat over "1985." That song is probably the best pop-punk song post-Young & The Hopeless.

'Twan (miccio), Saturday, 7 January 2006 02:03 (twelve years ago) Permalink

yeah it is okay
unless you listen to the
lyrics which are ASSS

Haikunym (Haikunym), Saturday, 7 January 2006 02:28 (twelve years ago) Permalink

plus, it's "kokomo"

Haikunym (Haikunym), Saturday, 7 January 2006 02:30 (twelve years ago) Permalink

One of the central tenents of C.Love fandom is the realisation that you really only need one Courtney. Plus the only track with replay value on Kelly's album is the one that would have fit on the debut album, "Don't Touch Me When I'm Sleeping". Based on a genuine date rape experience, fact fans.

Dom Passantino (Dom Passantino), Saturday, 7 January 2006 02:37 (twelve years ago) Permalink

yeah it is okay
unless you listen to the
lyrics which are ASSS

only if you can't take the ribbing, ya old fart.

'Twan (miccio), Saturday, 7 January 2006 02:39 (twelve years ago) Permalink

and don't give me the 'oh but blondie didn't coexist with u2' horseshit, cuz old farts getting their facts wrong when waxing nostalgiac about the commerce of their youth is common enough to deserve the ridicule they give it. it's basically like "i'm the type of guy" where people hated ll cuz they identified with the dude he was cuckolding.

'Twan (miccio), Saturday, 7 January 2006 02:40 (twelve years ago) Permalink

though the 'kokomo' thing helps explain why i love the melody.

'Twan (miccio), Saturday, 7 January 2006 02:43 (twelve years ago) Permalink

haha ant if there is a song in a few years that messes up your teenaged icons and you get cranky about it...remember this moment.

Haikunym (Haikunym), Saturday, 7 January 2006 02:44 (twelve years ago) Permalink

and if bowling for soup's factual errors WEREN'T intentional that's even better, cuz who gives a shit. answer: old farts.

'Twan (miccio), Saturday, 7 January 2006 02:44 (twelve years ago) Permalink

actually i would love it if somebody mixed up lou barlow with rivers cuomo, my adolescence isn't something i look back on with pride.

'Twan (miccio), Saturday, 7 January 2006 02:45 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Plus the only track with replay value on Kelly's album is the one that would have fit on the debut album, "Don't Touch Me When I'm Sleeping".

I'd also throw in "Suurbia," "I Can't Wait," "Red Light," and "One Word" in the replay corner, with the rest still being more listenable than "Beat Of My Heart."

'Twan (miccio), Saturday, 7 January 2006 02:49 (twelve years ago) Permalink

and "Don't Touch Me" wouldn't fit in with Shut Up! (which kicks the ass of pretty much everything else being discussed here), its way more "Danger Zone" glossy guitarwise.

'Twan (miccio), Saturday, 7 January 2006 02:50 (twelve years ago) Permalink

also, as far as songs being irreverent about my adolescent treasures, my favorite offhand is Bloodhound Gang's "Foxtrot Uniform Charlie Kilo," which uses all the usual quiet-loud/ feedback squalls/Blue Album uplift and malkmus cryptography to do nothing but describe penis-in-vagina for 3.5. I love it.

Zwan (miccio), Saturday, 7 January 2006 02:57 (twelve years ago) Permalink

ant, I'm glad yr back
no one is a bigger pain
in a real fun way

Haikunym (Haikunym), Saturday, 7 January 2006 02:59 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Haha, it is "Kokomo!" Good call.

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Saturday, 7 January 2006 04:48 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I'm having trouble comparing Kelly Osbourne's dead monotone on "One Word" to Hilary Duff's irritating chirp on "Beat of My Heart." Wait, I'm having no trouble comparing them. The first is a dead monotone, the second's an irritating chirp! There!

Also, "One Word" is cartoon-doom synth goth that swells into massive disco voluptuousness in its chorus, whereas "Beat of My Heart," synth or no synth, is basically Go-Gos cheep-cheep wave. So I don't see how one outdoes the other, as they're doing different things. Also, I love "One Word," whereas "Beat of My Heart" has so far only reached the category "I Have To Admit That This Is Somewhat Catchy, Even If It Makes Me Grit My Teeth." But once I admit that something is catchy, I'm well on my way to describing it as "catchy."

(The rest of Kelly O's alb is more rock than dance, and her dead monotone is correspondingly deadening. Some of it I can tolerate for minutes at a time. The rest of Hilary D's album is... well some it's this, some it's that, and some of it is yet some other thing.)

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Saturday, 7 January 2006 05:41 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Anthony, my interest in Evanescence was evanescent, though I still own one of their albums, and I may give it another spin of these days.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Saturday, 7 January 2006 05:43 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I'm so glad glad to hear appreciation for Lohan.

If she doesn't self-implode, she'll be a great, great actress. Her sense of timing is impecable--she nearly blew Jamie Lee Curtis off the screen in Freaky Friday--no easy feat. And how many Disney queen-ettes jump from Herbie to Robert Altman or a David Chapman bio-pic?

Her voice has a fascinating timbre; she's singing from her throat which lends it that elastic-about-to-snap quality that makes it blend wonderfully with overdubbed Lohans.

And yeah--I always felt like Cheap Trick did their song like they were embaressed at having come up with such a confection. Lohan totally nails it.

Ian in Brooklyn, Saturday, 7 January 2006 05:49 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I don't know if you'll find this relevant, but Popular has now made it to where, as a twelve-year-old, I started once again listening to pop music. So as Rolling Teenpop 2006 Thread rolls along here on ILX, my own adolescence will be developing over at Freaky Trigger. (Currently topping the chart: Reg Presley's perky chirp.)

xpost

I barely remember the Cheap Trick original, to tell you the truth. I suppose it's possible to like the two versions easily, but apparently this is not likely.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Saturday, 7 January 2006 05:54 (twelve years ago) Permalink

In fact, it's probably easy to like the two versions easily, but I meant to say "equally."

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Saturday, 7 January 2006 05:55 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Evanescence is a little one-note for me overall, but "Bring Me To Life" blew down the doors so hard that its not easy for me to get excited about "Fly," which sounds like the lite version, and Hilary doesn't make that particularly worthwhile for me. I miss that kaBOOM. Both that and "My Immortal" pull emotion out of me in a way that Duff and Lohan never really achieve on their ballads.

Zwan (miccio), Saturday, 7 January 2006 06:14 (twelve years ago) Permalink

also is "Bring Me To Life" the hardest rocking song to make the adult contemporary top 10? It even has faux-rapping in it!

Zwan (miccio), Saturday, 7 January 2006 06:20 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I'm slightly tripping out here at the news of a Lohan cover of "I Want You to Want Me" -- at the same time, it's NOWHERE near my fave Cheap Trick song so by all means improve it if possible, Ms. L. (Who I have no particular feelings about otherwise.)

Smashmouth always sucked. I am filled with hate.

I admit I am dulled by the thematics/presentation of most mainstream pop as such these days, beyond what musical weirdness can be used to spike the punch. At the same time nothing could be duller than the NPR/KCRW/Pitchfork 'quality' cloud of horrors -- I will always hate the Arcade Fire more than 50 Cent (or for that matter Dylan, though not Springsteen). I don't need a recreation of a twenty-year-old 'entryism' in the charts because that would be mere nostalgic frippery designed to assuage my soul instead of intrigue it but I'll be damned if I can sense a flashpoint that works for me at present.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Saturday, 7 January 2006 06:26 (twelve years ago) Permalink

(btw, Lohan doesn't fade the song like CT do on the record; rather, she uses the same wind-up ending they use live. So she has, like, cred.)

I had to review both a Duff film (sheer horror, and Christian too) and Herbie. They sent writers to a test screenings. Median age: 10.

My GF's niece is 14. She likes new goth stuff. And that's all I know of (literal) kids today and their listening habits.

Ian in Brooklyn, Saturday, 7 January 2006 07:19 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I wd love to hear that Jessica Simpson remix Frank is talking about - "I Think I'm In Love With You" was a massive song for me when it came out, I;d never heard Jack And Diane which probably helped.

Tom (Groke), Saturday, 7 January 2006 13:12 (twelve years ago) Permalink

my nearly ten yr old son like a lot of this stuff. my bonafide teenage nieces and nephews wouldn't be caught dead listening to "teenpop" they like GrnDay/Sum41/Charlotte punk and/or Velvet Revolver-style vintage hardrock. It should really be called preteen pop or in Freudian terms a sountrack for the latency years. (Perhaps I should write something about this?) Anyway, just for the record.

m coleman (lovebug starski), Saturday, 7 January 2006 13:20 (twelve years ago) Permalink

For the record, I like both the Bowling For Soup song Anthony likes and the Bloodhound Gang song Anthony likes okay -- probably both more than anything by Blink 182, who I'm guessing he might like more, though I might be wrong. Bloodhound Gang are kind of interesting in that they have no qualms about using synths as catchy and bubblegum as the ones Depeche Mode used in "Just Can't Get Enough"; i.e., catchier ones than Depeche Mode ever used since. "Bad Touch"'s electropop hooks could almost pass for Italo-disco.

I like the *idea* of Evanescence, enjoyed seeing them at Webster Hall in '04 or so, but I will probably never get over them sounding to me like a thinner, clunkier, less beautiful, and therefore compromised version of my fave Dutch new age goth-metallers The Gathering. (For thin, clunky, less beautiful, and therefore compromised versions of The Gathering, I prefer Lacuna Coil. Or Lana Lane. Or Lullacry. The last couple of whom kind of suck, so I am obviously a sucker for the sound somewhat. Wish I liked the Top 40 version more.)

xhuxk, Saturday, 7 January 2006 16:21 (twelve years ago) Permalink

(Or, oh yeah, Nightwish, who are like the Evanescence of Europe apparently, or even bigger -- I think their album and singles went #1 all over that continent last year.)

xhuxk, Saturday, 7 January 2006 16:27 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Question re Kelly O's "One Word" to those who have it on cd: is there any reference to the obvious "Fade to Grey" ripoff in the credits, or is it different enough to sneak past any copyright issues?

The Vintner's Lipogram (OleM), Saturday, 7 January 2006 16:34 (twelve years ago) Permalink

For the record, I like both the Bowling For Soup song Anthony likes and the Bloodhound Gang song Anthony likes okay -- probably both more than anything by Blink 182, who I'm guessing he might like more, though I might be wrong.

I don't think there are any Blink-182 songs I like more than "1985" or "Foxtrot Uniform Charlie Kilo" except maybe "Dammit" and "Always," but if so its by a small degree.

Zwan (miccio), Saturday, 7 January 2006 18:19 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Smashmouth were a dumbed down Rocket from the Crypt.

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Saturday, 7 January 2006 18:46 (twelve years ago) Permalink

They were mentioned upthread but James ex-Busted Bourne's new band Son Of Dork sound better than McFly to me, with a bit more of the hint of rawkusness that Busted had (just a hint mind). Their "Ticket Outta Loserville" is worthy of Busted's second album.

Also Bonnie Pink, who i got from Edward's blog I think and I seem to remember is Japanese. Perhaps others can provide more info but I'm liking her at the moment.

Nick H (Nick H), Saturday, 7 January 2006 21:06 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Was "On A Rope" a hit in the US? It got to #12 over here, and RFTC are subsqeuently regarded as some sort of Andreas Johnson/New Radicals style one hit wonder.

Dom Passantino (Dom Passantino), Saturday, 7 January 2006 21:06 (twelve years ago) Permalink

RFTC hasn't had anything close to a hit in the US. I love RFTC but I have no idea how Smashmouth could be considered 'dumbed down' in comparison. Unless its because their singer enunciates.

Zwan (miccio), Saturday, 7 January 2006 21:08 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Son of Dork are probably more interesting in theory than they are in reality, because they're like Simple Plan on uppers really, but it's weird to hear how different they are to Fightstar, who couldn't qualify as teen-pop under any definition of the term, at the first single level there really wasn't that marked a difference between, say, Gary Barlow RObbie Williams and Mark Owen, was there?

I want to like our new power-pop overlords in the UK, but the majority of them are in hock to complete shit (Son of Dork and Simple Plan, Rooster and Aerosmith, Freefaller and whatever the fuck it is they're listening to in order to sound that bad). I was hoping that The Faders would have songs as good as "No Sleep Tonight" in their repoirtoire, but it looks like we're never going to hear them now considering how little that and "Jump" sold. Love Bites aren't gonna happen either.

Dom Passantino (Dom Passantino), Saturday, 7 January 2006 21:11 (twelve years ago) Permalink

A dumbed down aesthetic, anthony.

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Saturday, 7 January 2006 21:52 (twelve years ago) Permalink

The cartoonification of something that was already kind of cartoony. (Oh, the humanity.)

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Saturday, 7 January 2006 21:55 (twelve years ago) Permalink

the real question here
is which thread will be larger,
this one or country

Haikunym (Haikunym), Saturday, 7 January 2006 23:44 (twelve years ago) Permalink

By number of posts: This one
By column inches: That one

xhuxk, Sunday, 8 January 2006 00:40 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Country less taciturn than teenpop?

vs.

Country less snappy than teenpop?

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Sunday, 8 January 2006 03:10 (twelve years ago) Permalink

One Word

Writer: Linda Perry, Stuck in the Throat/Famous Music Corp. (ASCAP)
Produced and Engineered by: Linda Perry at Royaltone, North Hollywood, CA
Assisted by: Chris Wonzer and Andrew Chavez
Pro Tools Engineer: David Guerrero
All Instruments and Programming: Linda Perry
French Spoken Female Voice: Alephonsine de Chambure
Mixed by: Bernd Burgdorff for Empire7
Assisted by: Shawn Parker

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Sunday, 8 January 2006 03:17 (twelve years ago) Permalink

On the launch.yahoo.com pop video chart, Aqua's "Barbie Girl" is Number 20, sandwiched between "Since U Been Gone" and "Boyfriend." This I can't make much sense of, though I like the song fine. What's it doing so high NOW? Is it on a new Disney soundtrack or something? (I still way prefer "Lollipop (Candyman).")

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Sunday, 8 January 2006 06:43 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I am so glad this thread exists.

jaymc (jaymc), Sunday, 8 January 2006 07:50 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I think "Barbie Girl" is just a perennial video people must like to look at for some reason I'd rather not fathom. Linkin Park's "In The End" is always at the end of Yahoo's Top 100. It's probably a Dark Side Of The Moon thing.

Zwan (miccio), Sunday, 8 January 2006 08:15 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Oh, I can fathom it. Might have something to do with it being one of the funniest music videos ever made. I've got it on a VHS tape, and I definitely looked at perenially for years, usually when people were over who I wanted to show it to. But now it's in storage, along with all my other VHS tapes, for instance the Tox Box and Dr. Bombay and Los Fabulosos Cadillacs ones I also liked to look at perenially for reasons others might not fathom.

xhuxk, Sunday, 8 January 2006 16:23 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Talking of Aqua is there any news on anything new from Lene Nystrom? It's been a couple of years since her solo album and I still really like it.

Agreed "Jump" was nowhere near "No Sleep Tonight" in quality terms.

Nick H (Nick H), Sunday, 8 January 2006 17:02 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I think a while ago Launch had a "Look at these crappy videos! Which is the most hilariously crappy?" competition, something along those lines. Barbie Girl won and hasn't left the top 100 since.

William Bloody Swygart (mrswygart), Sunday, 8 January 2006 17:06 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Except it's not hilarously crappy at all. It's hilariously great. It is what all videos should aspire to. Or lots of them, anyway,

xhuxk, Sunday, 8 January 2006 18:31 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Oh, I know. Rene's growing irritation during the "Come on Barbie, Let's go party!" bit really is rather magnificent.

William Bloody Swygart (mrswygart), Sunday, 8 January 2006 21:09 (twelve years ago) Permalink

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 (twelve 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 (twelve 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 (twelve 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 (twelve 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 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Isn't one an ex-Wallflower?

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

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

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

Er, "stage."

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

its like saying Pete Yorn has 'buzz'

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

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

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

Rolling Teardrop 2005 Thread

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

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

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

After all, Loretta Lynn was once teenpop.

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

Quickly want to say that Anthony is on the money in regard to Evanescence's relation to teenpop (and note that lead singer Amy Lee was only 20 when Fallen was released). There are similarities between the ghostly opening to Evanescence's "Bring Me To Life" and the ghostly opening to Hilary Duff's "Fly," though the chorus to "Bring Me" has more in common (in tune and delivery) with some of the rocking stuff by Avril and Kelly. As for what generated what, Fallen comes after Michelle Branch's "Everywhere" (maybe the start of the modern teen confessional sound) and after the first Avril album, is the same year as Hilary's "Come Clean," precedes "Fly" and Breakaway, and no doubt has a lot of rock and goth sources that I know nothing about, but anyway chicken and egg here. I didn't give Fallen much attention when I first got it, so I'm only digging into it now and I reserve the right to subsequently fall in love with it. So far I'll echo Anthony's comment about it being too one-note, by which I assume he's referring to Amy Lee's beautiful but monolithic (and eventually monotonous) voice. "Bring Me to Life" and "Going Under" move me the most, and they're the most pop. Hard to say why I prefer "Fly" to "Bring Me to Life": I like the tune more, and I think the song and the performance have better pacing; Hilary's sketch of a voice serves her song well, while Amy's strong gorgeous wail eventually lays a burden on hers. But each song is good; "Fly" just happens to be my favorite of the last couple of years.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Tuesday, 17 January 2006 07:14 (twelve years ago) Permalink

As for what sounds powerfully Evanescent these days: go straight to "Addicted" and "Hear Me" on Kelly Clarkson's Breakaway, which are Fallen without hope of redemption, the same lost wail but deployed to better effect by Kelly.

Credits: Kelly Clarkson's "Addicted" written by Kelly Clarkson, Ben Moody, David Hodges; Evanescence's "Bring Me to Life" written by Amy Lee, Ben Moody, David Hodges; Moody was the guitarist in Evanescence, is the guitarist on "Addicted" and co-produced it with Hodges; "Hear Me" is written by Kelly Clarkson, Kara DioGuardi, Cliff Magness; produced by Magness who played most of the instruments; Magness produced and co-wrote the more melodramatically fraught-sounding songs on the first Avril album.

The song I hear echoed in a lot of these tracks: Stevie Nicks' "Edge of Seventeen" (not the rhythm accompaniment, but Stevie's melody and her way of singing it). And of course Lindsay Lohan covers "Edge of Seventeen" on her recent album.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Tuesday, 17 January 2006 07:41 (twelve years ago) Permalink

[Morningwood] 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).

Ha! So Frank, you're saying the Morningwood goyl can't sing at all 'cuz Wendy O. sure couldn't even though I liked her. It gets really obvious and desperate on her recordings after Dieter Dirks did Coup d'etat which was the Plasmatics' most metal and probaby their most likely to appeal to teens. Hey, now maybe I'd like Morningwood, although I still don't know if there's someone like Richie Stotts in the band. No one wore a nurse's uniform on the cover.

I bet you could play "Concrete Shoes" for tweeners and a some of them would like it. That song never aged.

George the Animal Steele, Tuesday, 17 January 2006 07:55 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Sing shming... yeah, Wendy O. wasn't really singing, the Morningdope probably is somewhat, but it's still like, I don't know, a poor man's Deborah Iyall or something. (I like "Never Say Never"; no one who's tried to copy it does that bored pained broad thing as well as Iyall did in the talking part of "Never Say Never." The Slunt version is the only alive thing on the generally boring Slunt album, but the Romeo Void original cuts it.) Launch.yahoo.com streams a couple of Morningwood vids, so you can hear for yourself. The only Plasmatics song I really know (have it on tape) is "Butcher Baby." I remember a round robin interview years ago either in the Voice or the Soho News with a bunch of female performers (including a couple I knew), and Wendy O. kept interrupting to say "My pussy's wet when I perform." She was really irritating, but I can see how someone like that might occasionally pull of some good music.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Tuesday, 17 January 2006 16:35 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Huh, that is impolite. I used to have quite a few of her records. "It's My Life" was a good song, written by a member of Kiss, on her first solo. It was generally propped up by the session men. There was raft of genuinely dreadful thrash metal albums, some horrible concept piece with Lemmy. She contributed some performances to "Reform School Girls," which fit the theme.

At one point she had points for being beaten by cops -- maybe in Scranton or Detroit -- who took exception to her being onstage with her bosoms covered only by whipped cream.

George the Animal Steele, Tuesday, 17 January 2006 16:44 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I've just got "Alla Flickor" by Linda Bengtzing, who I think might be Danish, off slsk and it's a stupidly upbeat cartoony tune. It goes very close to being too happy, but I think maintains form just about.

Nick H (Nick H), Tuesday, 17 January 2006 21:05 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Linda is Swedish, Nick. That was a contestant to represent Sweden in Eurovision last year. Very good. We should have a schlager thread.

edward o (edwardo), Tuesday, 17 January 2006 21:09 (twelve years ago) Permalink

"Nth Degree" by Woke Up With Wood, oops that's ZZ Top, I mean Morningwood is indeed cute, and more dance-oriented than I remember them being when I saw them live. I like when that little Axl shriek pops in a couple times (what's he saying?), and it's kind of funny (at least for now, could get totally annoying if I hear it enough) when the singer yells "harder!" before spelling out their naughty name, also, that line about the whole family only needing one bed is weird, though I guess Yeah Yeah Yeahs and White Stripes lyrics have made incest fashionable, and these guys gotta jump that bandwagon; not sure whether the fact that Radio Disney fans (assuming they ever hear this song, which is by no means guaranteed) won't understand all that creeps me out or reminds me of the Ohio Express's oral sex songs. Rest of the album, um, reminds me of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs (who I think are OK but don't love) and strikes me (so far) as deluded in re: rocking energy and sexiness as the show I saw. But my opinion may evolve/change over time. Right now I really hate the "take off your clothes/see how it grows" song. I can't decide whether I like her voice or not; I do get the idea I'd hate her less if she didn't try so damn hard. The most grating parts seem mostly to be when she gets loud. Which is a lot. And give or take the disco-skirting parts, I don't see anything particularly interesting about her band; Yeah Yeah Yeahs definitely have a better guitarist, near as I can tell. But these guys are competent, I guess. Which may or may not be enough.

xhuxk, Wednesday, 18 January 2006 14:39 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Listening to the Mama Shouldn't Let Me Babysit song now; realizing I don't particularly like when her voice gets soft, either. At either volume, there is something thin about her vocal timbre that makes it unsexy for me; she often sounds like she's forcing something. Also realizing that, for a band with such a sex schtick, these guys seem pretty humorless -- compare them to, say, Gravy Train!!!; Morningwood just seem way more serious and mercenary about it. Or compare them to Princess Superstar, who I don't like much, but whose bad babysitter song (exactly the same theme, right?) is a lot more fun. And catchier.

xhuxk, Wednesday, 18 January 2006 14:47 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Album seems best when backup chants come in; they should do that more. Also, they should spell out words in all their songs. I'm not even sure what they're spelling in "Everybody Rules," but it sounds good. And they should not try to be a Rock Band. They suck at that. The songs that sound the most like teenpop blow away everything else.

xhuxk, Wednesday, 18 January 2006 14:52 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I.e., her voice sounds way better when it's actually PRODUCED. She thinks she's raw in more ways than one, but she's not. When her voice is left raw, it's useless. When it's embellished, I kind of like it.

xhuxk, Wednesday, 18 January 2006 14:54 (twelve years ago) Permalink

(Which is to say that the last couple tracks are actually likeable.)

xhuxk, Wednesday, 18 January 2006 14:56 (twelve years ago) Permalink

(As is the track AFTER the last couple tracks, i.e., hidden track #11, which just appears to be some little kids babbling about how "everybody rules." Maybe not worth hearing more than twice though.)

xhuxk, Wednesday, 18 January 2006 15:01 (twelve years ago) Permalink

p.s.) Didn't Xgau say once that Wendy O. should sing with her "nether lips"?

p.s.s.) I still like the Slunt album fine.

xhuxk, Wednesday, 18 January 2006 15:19 (twelve years ago) Permalink

reminds me of the Ohio Express's oral sex songs

I STRONGLY FUCKING OBJECT TO THE IDEAS IMPLIED BY THIS STATEMENT

The Good Dr. Bill (The Good Dr. Bill), Wednesday, 18 January 2006 15:25 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I might like this more if I didn't have in mind all your negative comments about their live show.

Which I really enjoyed. I thought they (Morningwood) were a lot more fun than Gang of Four. I was all rocked out by the time the old fellas came on stage. They were loud, fast, and catchy. I really don't get all the hate at PF and Stylus and so on.

Hillary Brown (Hillary Brown), Wednesday, 18 January 2006 20:09 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Spice Girls' enduring influence being pondered over on Poptimists.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Friday, 20 January 2006 16:37 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Disney Channel just premiered the movie "High School Musical." Anyone serious about this thread should probably see it because:
1. It's directed by Kenny Ortega, so the dancing is pretty good.
2. The songs are adorable, even if the singers are a bit thin-of-voice.
3. It verges into self-parody A LOT, even faux-Broadway and faux-Latin songs by The Bad Guys (evil brother and sister team who want to ruin Our Protagonists' chances of being in the musical).
4. It will run approximately 100 times this year for free, and will therefore have a HUGE influence on all American pre-teens and jr. high school students.

Haikunym (Haikunym), Saturday, 21 January 2006 17:14 (twelve years ago) Permalink

That was a long-ass haiku...

Brian O'Neill (NYCNative), Saturday, 21 January 2006 17:50 (twelve years ago) Permalink

count my syllables
once again brian my son
you'll see what I did

Haikunym (Haikunym), Saturday, 21 January 2006 18:01 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Riff Raff interview with Morningwood.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Sunday, 22 January 2006 21:50 (twelve years ago) Permalink

When Nick made up both sides of interviews, it was funnier, less Stuttering Johnish.

Zwan (miccio), Sunday, 22 January 2006 21:56 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Though his questions are cuter than Stuttering John's.

Zwan (miccio), Sunday, 22 January 2006 21:57 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Xhuxk knows my Morninwood assesment. They're okay. Glad there's big guitars out there. They'll be compared to YYY because of the sexual squealing, but other than that, I hear no connections. Debating whether or not to go see Brandi Carlile live. Not exactly my cup of tea, but the girl can sing like a mofo and make it sound effortless, which, in my older age, I'm discovering I really appreciate.

Je4nn3 ƒur¥ (Je4nne Fury), Sunday, 22 January 2006 22:08 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Someone on the Popjustice message board brought up Berlin as a reference point for Morningwood, and it's angle I think could be explored more.

I love the album, but I'm not yet sure how much of that is because its a good album, and how much is me being a contrary bugger.

Dom Passantino (Dom Passantino), Sunday, 22 January 2006 22:26 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I went into BestBuy Sunday afternoon for my weekly trip. Was considering popping for Morningwood, recalled the cold shower of the thread and nixed it once again. They look rock but don't rock big much is what's is being said, right? Or, I'll just wait for Jeanne's opine, she served me right on Julie Lewis & the Licks.

Shit, I have the Karen Lawrence and 1994 reissue coming in the mail. There amps were bigger and they didn't even stick her on the cover of the first album.

George the Animal Steele, Monday, 23 January 2006 07:34 (twelve years ago) Permalink

The songs from High School Musical are ALL OVER the iTunes charts right now.

jaymc (jaymc), Monday, 23 January 2006 07:55 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Doesn't Best Buy let you listen to parts of the songs on most albums? I did that with the Rilo Kiley cd. Didn't buy it. Oh well.

Je4nn3 ƒur¥ (Je4nne Fury), Monday, 23 January 2006 15:01 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I lol'ed at the Suicide Girls Interview

Brian O'Neill (NYCNative), Monday, 23 January 2006 15:56 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Doesn't Best Buy let you listen to parts of the songs on most albums? I did that with the Rilo Kiley cd. Didn't buy it. Oh well.

That practice hasn't seemed to have made it to the Pasadena chapter. You can do it in Tower at their listening stations, but Morningwood wasn't on any of them.

George the Animal Steele, Monday, 23 January 2006 16:37 (twelve years ago) Permalink

just posted this on country thread:

>Samantha Jo, self-titled EP, available from cdbaby.com or samanthajomartin.com: Potential teen-pop country, but for the five songs *only* potential: the voice is there, and two songs ("He's Always There," about her Dad though maybe also about Jesus who knows, and "These Days") are actually about getting up for school despite not being a morning person and checking email and stopping by McDonald's in Dad's truck and doing homework, but the production isn't there, and the songs all seem too slow to pop. But then, BAM! track six, "time for summer," she makes her hope partlow "crazy summer nights" move, or maybe her undertones "here comes the summer" move (no kidding, that's what the chorus sounds like, totally kicking and bubblicious), or her hope partlow plus undertones equals skye sweetnam move, and the talking parts have a rap flow staight out of, I dunno, "we didn't start the fire" by billy joel maybe, and the band rocks, and it makes me want to go back and listen to the rest again to see what I may have missed, and I will, just not right this second.

Looks like the summer song (along with the get up in the morning and do homework and check email one "These Days") were produced by Karl Demer in Minneapolis, whereas the other four tracks were produced by Jim Kimball in Nashville. Odd how they save the great one for the end; maybe they're afraid it would scare away Nashville record labels?

xhuxk, Monday, 23 January 2006 20:12 (twelve years ago) Permalink

The rest of the Samantha Jo EP, before the summer song, is better than I thought. There's subtly swaying rhythmic stuff going on, for one thing -- waltz in "That's My Way," smooth jazz in the slightly creepy love-song-to-Dad "He's Always There," a slight Latin lilt at the start of "These Days." And one of the two truly slow songs, "Look What Love Has Done To Me," has Samantha's voice picking up in a way that's as much adult contemporary as pop-country; actually, its opening kind of reminds me of "Foolish Beat" by Debbie Gibson. But Samantha is clearly way more enthusiastic singing about teenage life than grown-up romance, and "Time For Summer" is the ultimate proof: "I Wanna Be 21/On the run/having fun/in the sun/lookin for someone/just like me/who oughta be/feelin free/come with me/cause baby it's time for summer." "Let's go Romeo/All the way to Mexico." "When I feel your embrace the sparks turn to fireworks." "White sand/Rayban/finally got a great tan." "We're young and strong and baby we can do no wrong." Wow.

xhuxk, Tuesday, 24 January 2006 16:45 (twelve years ago) Permalink

> waltz in "That's My Way," <

Oops, the waltz is "Heart Over Head Over Heels." "That's the Way" is more like a zigzag (at leat that's what Samantha says: "gotta zig gotta zag gotta travel my jagged road." To Mexico with Romeo, maybe. But she also says she changes direction like a pendulum, and this song doesn't, and nor does it swing like England and a pendulum do.)

I did get Robyn, Frank, thanks! I like it, especially "Konichiwa Bitches," though I doubt I like that anywhere near as much as "Jam On It" or "Attack of the Name Game." Enjoy the rest; not sure yet how much. (CD-Rs are always hard for to motivate myself to listen to!)

xhuxk, Tuesday, 24 January 2006 19:23 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Cutting and pasting from the Real Punks thread:

hey Frank, is any of that Ashlee Simpson stuff in the book?

-- JD from CDepot (kicksjoydarknes...), January 23rd, 2006.


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In Real Punks, where I tell my story I'm not doing so just for its own sake but because there are resemblances between my story and some other people's, so by analyzing and probing my own predicament I'm analyzing and probing a lot more, too. I make this clear right on the first page of the preface, where I say that my sentences don't just come from my pen, they're a social product; and I ask, therefore, not just what do I gain by producing such sentences, but what does a society gain by producing people like me who write such sentences. So I'm saying that my story is relevant even for people whose experience doesn't match up with mine, since I'm still playing a role in the society of which they're a part. Of course, one can dispute this claim, but whether I'm being "subjective" or not doesn't touch the claim one way or another. Rather, what's at issue is whether or not my experience resembles other people's; and whether the principles I'm illustrating in telling my story can be applied to other people; and whether my social roles relate to the social roles of poeple whose story doesn't resemble mine.

-- Frank Kogan (edcasua...), January 23rd, 2006. (Frank Kogan)


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No, Ashlee Simpson's not in the book, since I wasn't paying much attention to her until about a year ago (and the book was finished by then, except for the copy editing and printing and stuff). But Ashlee and I have a lot in common, so maybe in a way we speak for each other. The first song on her first album is called "Autobiography," and (if you don't count the prefaces) the first word in the title of the first piece of my book is "Autobiography." So there we are. And no I'm not kidding. I recognize myself in her.

-- Frank Kogan (edcasua...), January 23rd, 2006. (Frank Kogan)


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And if that surprises you, then either you don't know me as well as you think, or you don't know her.

You think you know me?

-- Frank Kogan (edcasua...), January 23rd, 2006. (Frank Kogan)


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Autobiography

You think you know me
Word on the street is that you do
You want my history
What others tell you won't be true

I walked a thousand miles while everyone was asleep
Nobody's really seen my million subtleties

Got stains on my t-shirt and I'm the biggest flirt
Right now I'm solo, but that will be changing eventually, oh
Got bruises on my heart and sometimes I get dark
If you want my auto, want my autobiography
Baby, just ask me

I hear you talking
Well, it's my turn now
I'm talking back
Look in my eyes
So you can see just where I'm at

I walked a thousand miles to find one river of peace
I walked a million more to find out what this shit means

Got stains on my t-shirt and I'm the biggest flirt
Right now I'm solo, but that will be changing eventually, oh
Got bruises on my heart and sometimes I get dark
If you want my auto, want my autobiography
Baby, just ask me

I'm a bad ass girl in this messed up world
I'm the sexy girl in this crazy world
I'm a simple girl in a complex world
A nasty girl, you wanna get with me?
You wanna mess with me?

Got stains on my t-shirt and I'm the biggest flirt
Right now I'm solo, but that will be changing eventually, oh
I laugh more than I cry
You piss me off, good-bye
Got bruises on my heart and sometimes I get dark
If you want my auto, want my autobiography
Baby, just ask me

-- JD from CDepot (kicksjoydarknes...), January 23rd, 2006.


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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)


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(Of course, it's possible that Shanks or DioGuardi wrote that line for her, but I can't find anything in their work with other people that has lyrics that come close to the ones on Ashlee's albums, which is why I surmise that Ashlee's the one in charge of the words. Or maybe she brings something out in those two. But there's not a song of hers where she's not listed as a co-writer. And Ashlee, like me, like everything, is a collaborative product.)

-- Frank Kogan (edcasua...), January 23rd, 2006. (Frank Kogan)


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And (speaking of Eminem) I do wish that Ashlee would sing a lyric along the lines of:

When I go out I'm a go out shooting
I don't mean when I die
I mean when I go out to the club, stupid

-- Frank Kogan (edcasua...), January 23rd, 2006. (Frank Kogan)


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I walked a million more to find out what this shit means

It's actually "And I'll walk a million more to find out what this shit means."

See what I mean about her making promises? I admire her for making them.

-- Frank Kogan (edcasua...), January 23rd, 2006. (Frank Kogan)


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Chapter 1
The Autobiography of Bob Dylan

When I first listened to Bob Dylan's mid-'60s stuff I thought it was especially honest. It was honest to me because the vocals weren't pretty and didn't sound like singers were supposed to sound, and mistakes were left in. The lyrics to "Visions of Johanna," "Memphis Blues Again," etc. were honest because they were self-destructive. The earlier protest stuff, attacking power, prestige, and everyday commonplaces, fit into a genre of "folk" music; the electric stuff seemed more individual and true. Dylan got to be "honest" not by attacking power, prestige, and everyday commonplaces, but by attacking Dylan.

I thought if you were going to get to see Ashlee's come-on, you should see mine as well, so that's the first paragraph. Ashlee's has a better lilt. I should work on my flirting technique.

I wrote the piece 22 years ago, and it's not about any actual Dylan autobio. "The true autobiography of Bob Dylan isn't an account of his life, or how he got to be that way; but of how it got to be that way, how we got to be that way." In other words, I'm saying we get to complete Dylan's "autobiography" in our own lives and our own stories.

Harold Bloom to thread.

-- Frank Kogan (edcasua...), January 23rd, 2006. (Frank Kogan)


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I walked a thousand miles to find one river of peace
And I'll walk a million more to find out what this shit means

I like these lines, but I don't think I'd like them as much if I didn't know about her family background (ie., ex-pastor father).
-- o. nate (syne_wav...), January 23rd, 2006. (onate)


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I should try harder to write something I'm actually going to get paid for, so I need to disappear in midthought.

First, to put some perspective on Ashlee, in one of her songs on I Am Me she says that the fact that her boyfriend is so sensitive ("You finish all my sentences before they begin") means that he must have been hers in a previous life; this is a really boring and unimaginative metaphor, far duller than anything you'll find in the early work of Eminem or Dylan or Johansen et al. Stuff like this is why I won't be altogether shocked if she doesn't follow through on the potential of "Autobiography."

Second, I've revived the Death of Pop thread; not only is it one of the all-time great ILM threads, it's the one that pulled me onto the board in the first place.

-- Frank Kogan (edcasua...), January 23rd, 2006. (Frank Kogan) (tracklink)


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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)

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Tuesday, 24 January 2006 19:46 (twelve years ago) Permalink

The various reshapings/recombinings are slow and not as ear catching.

What I mean is that the reshapings and recombinations are unfolding over years in the genre as a whole rather than happening - blam! - all on one record.

But of course there are lots of teenpop songs that are fast and/or ear catching.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Tuesday, 24 January 2006 19:59 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Anybody heard this six-kid teeny-rock band the Creation? Leaning toward thinking they really stink (and get even worse after the first couple songs on their CD), but wondering if anybody thinks otherwise.

(their website is creationband.org if you're feeling ambitious.)

xhuxk, Tuesday, 24 January 2006 23:20 (twelve years ago) Permalink

(oops, just CREATION, no the. The "the Creation" ones were old '60s punks, right? Anyway, Clarence Clemons plays sax on the new ones' CD. And I'm wondering whether they're Creation as in, you know, CreationISTS. Probably not. But if you buy their CD, "funds will be used to build much needed schools in Africa and to support programs that inspire and educate children to live in peace in harmony.")

xhuxk, Tuesday, 24 January 2006 23:24 (twelve years ago) Permalink

hey guys, learn how to link. stop spamming threads.

Zwan (miccio), Wednesday, 25 January 2006 08:29 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Don't be a hall monitor, Anthony. We all know how to link. Linking is sometimes less convenient for the *reader*; if a post works on two different threads, there's no reason not to put it in both places. And if a post seems familiar to you, feel free to skip it; that's what I do, and it's no skin off my back whatsoever. Therefore I plan to continue doing exactly what I've been doing, thank you very much.

xhuxk, Wednesday, 25 January 2006 14:23 (twelve years ago) Permalink

And hell, Frank STARTED the thread. It's good to have all the teenpop or country or metal stuff in one place. There's no "spam" about it.

xhuxk, Wednesday, 25 January 2006 14:25 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Yeah, Anthony, stop calling us on stuff that's perfectly legit. This thread's more likely than the Real Punks to attract people who want to talk about Ashlee, and they're likely to want to see the words in front of them, even if you don't want to. (FWIW, the Big & Rich thread in 2004 got going because of a long cut-and-paste from a Toby Keith thread.)

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Wednesday, 25 January 2006 14:55 (twelve years ago) Permalink

(As a matter of fact, the "Ashlee Emo Or Oh No" thread didn't catch fire until Chuck pasted in his Ashlee stuff from the country thread.)

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Wednesday, 25 January 2006 15:03 (twelve years ago) Permalink

haha 'caught fire'

Zwan (miccio), Wednesday, 25 January 2006 17:17 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Dudes, the Veronicas are playing Avalon!

Je4nn3 ƒur¥ (Je4nne Fury), Wednesday, 25 January 2006 22:06 (twelve years ago) Permalink

OMG, Girls aloud are coming to Paris next week to shoot a promo. And who will be there, hanging with the girls in the green screen studio?
Me, lucky me, if my friend doesn't let me down. And now I start to pray.

snowballing (snowballing), Thursday, 26 January 2006 14:08 (twelve years ago) Permalink

by the way here is the tracklist for my 10 yr old daughter's mix CD entitled "The Best Album Ever"

Fefe Dobson, "Stupid Little Love Song"
Hilary Duff, "Fly"
Skye Sweetnam, "Billy S."
Skye Sweetnam, "Tangled Up in Me"
Joss Stone, "The Choking Kind"
Joss Stone, "Super Duper Love"
Avril Lavigne, "My Happy Ending"
Avril Lavigne, "Together"
The Beatles, "Yellow Submarine"
Jojo, "Leave (Get Out)"
Alicia Keys, "Karma"
Michelle Branch, "Are You Happy Now?"
Kelly Clarkson, "Miss Independent"
Kelly Clarkson, "The Trouble With Love Is"
Kelly Clarkson w/ Tamyra Gray, "You Thought Wrong"
Avril Lavigne, "Sk8ter Boi"
Avril Lavigne, "Complicated"
Loretta Lynn, "Family Tree"
Kelly Clarkson, "Behind These Hazel Eyes"
Kelly Clarkson, "Breakaway"
Kelly Clarkson, "Since U Been Gone"

Haikunym (Haikunym), Thursday, 26 January 2006 14:44 (twelve years ago) Permalink

If you get rid of the crappy Beatles one, this is indeed the Best Album Ever.

snowballing (snowballing), Thursday, 26 January 2006 16:50 (twelve years ago) Permalink

She claimed that she put it in there because "it's the worst song ever," but I think she secretly likes it and doesn't want us to know.

Haikunym (Haikunym), Thursday, 26 January 2006 16:52 (twelve years ago) Permalink

When I was ten, it would have been on my Best Album ever. Also, "Disco Duck." Even though that one came out when I was seven, even at an early age, I appreciated the classics...

Brian O'Neill (NYCNative), Thursday, 26 January 2006 16:56 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Ha! Further proof that Loretta Lynn is teenpop!

(But I'd only claimed she was upthread so that someone could challange me and I could respond with, "Oops, I misunderstood. It turns out she was merely a teenmom." But no one took my bait.)

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 26 January 2006 18:00 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Back in 1999, my girlfriend Naomi's daughters' (ages 4, 6, and 8 then) favorite song on Yellow Submarine was "Hey Bulldog," which by far is the best song on Yellow Submarine. Naomi and I are no longer dating, but she and I and the kids sometimes go to concerts together. When Michaela had her bat mitvah several years ago she'd included Eminem and 50 Cent on her list of artists she wanted the DJ to play. Naomi told me, "I can't believe he'd play 'In Da Club' at a Bat Mitzvah." Of course he did play "In Da Club." I told Naomi not to worry, that her parents wouldn't notice the lyrics. So there her parents are, boogieing away on the dance floor as Fiddy goes "I'm into havin' sex I ain't into makin' love" and they're having a grand old time. Naomi says, "This is the most surreal moment in my life."

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 26 January 2006 18:24 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Thanks, Frank. I love shit like that...

Brian O'Neill (NYCNative), Thursday, 26 January 2006 18:26 (twelve years ago) Permalink

The negative comments on this thread inspired me to actually listen to some of the Morningwood album last night. "Nth Degree" really is ridiculously catchy (I even caught myself jumping around the room, waving my arms, this morning), but I didn't hear anything else on the album that caught me that way. (Which has, for the most part, proven the case for the Veronicas, as well.) I also have to wonder how blithely Chantal Claret should be dissociating herself from "the person who was in Spacehog," given how important the guitar is to what they do. But maybe she's right: "overweight, unattractive girl shouts lustily about sex" probably is enough to build a music career on in 2005...

Mitya (mitya), Saturday, 28 January 2006 14:31 (twelve years ago) Permalink

You are my favrotte band in the hole intiar univerce allong with simple plan and i no that hillary is your girlfriend but u r a BOY band and imagen hillary duff in a band like good charlotte it would tottly rouen it and and good charlotte would go a-walk with here in the band hillary is just not a goth, im not jokeing u would regretit. 4 life. anny way non of the kids how like good charlotte like hillary, TRUST me,PLESE dont hillary and a punk rock cind of band like good charlotte just dont mix!

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Monday, 30 January 2006 03:06 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Xhuxk told me he was playing Hilary Duff's "Fly," and his friend Lalena said, unprompted, "This sounds like Evanescence."

I don't really know what in Evanescence other than the opening to "Bring Me to Life" sounds like "Fly," which generally flies to undark regions.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Monday, 30 January 2006 06:16 (twelve years ago) Permalink

The fragile, wispy "Fly" is suitably celestial for a song about flying; whereas Hilary's other great fragile, wispy masterpiece, "Come Clean," wins this week's Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep Award for cognitive dissonance between words and music, since the lyrics call for a fiercesome tumult that the sound blissfully ignores:

Let the rain fall down and wake my dreams
Let it wash away my sanity
'Cause I wanna feel the thunder, I wanna scream
Let the rain fall down, I'm coming clean

However, the remix of "Come Clean" on Most Wanted does have a short break that vocodorizes the vocal and moves into a techno pound-pound-pound that could propel you into the dark romantic sublime if that's what you are absolutely set on. It functions similarly to ye olde Yardbirds rave-up or a James Brown gospel vamp. (This, in fact, is what a lot of techno is shooting for.)

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Monday, 30 January 2006 06:29 (twelve years ago) Permalink

But there's no way I'm going to count "Come Clean" or "Fly" as goth! They just don't feel goth. (This isn't to say that circumstances won't arise in which it might make sense to count "Come Clean" and "Fly" as goth.) But Avril's "Losing Grip" and "Unwanted" and to a lesser extent "Naked" do feel goth, as do Kelly Clarkson's "Hear Me" and "Addicted" and to a lesser extent "Because of You." I probably wouldn't have felt any gothicism in that last track if I hadn't read the song credits, but once I did, I started to hear the goth.

So, anyway, for the time being (until someone thinks of a better term), I'm thinking of calling "Hear Me" and ilk "secular goth," the word "secular" not just meaning without religion but also without all the mists and shadows and bright-side/dark-side salvation angst. Or, more accurately, the shadows and bright-vs-dark salvation angst is appropriated by pop romance for its s/he-loves-me, s/he-loves-me-not, I-am-free, I-am-trapped stories. Musically the "dark" chord intervals and progressions are less prominent but still there.

(Avril's "Naked," by the way, is another song in which the music isn't quite willing to listen to the lyrics, which are about finally getting someone to love and trust. The sound won't altogether let go of its menace.)

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Tuesday, 31 January 2006 19:22 (twelve years ago) Permalink

But the term "secular goth" could be superseded by something better, if any of you have suggestions. "Soul," for instance, is superior to "secular gospel." But an advantage of "secular goth" is that it highlights the goth connection. I'm not so sure that "soul" was comfortable highlighting its gospelness (the discomfort due probably to a combination of wanting to escape the church and not feeling the right to claim affinity with the church).

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Tuesday, 31 January 2006 19:27 (twelve years ago) Permalink

...if any of you has...

(Jeez, I'm just losing it as a proofreader.)

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Tuesday, 31 January 2006 19:38 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Remember a few posts ago when I was talking about "High School Musical?" Well, you all better check THIS shit out right now.

Haikunym (Haikunym), Thursday, 2 February 2006 22:46 (twelve years ago) Permalink

just posted this on metal thread:

>Lots of catchy tough glammy post-Runaways girl rock songs on the *Rollergirls* soundtrack (apparently there's a TV show, though I never heard of it since I never watch TV except *Everybody Hates Chris* these days) - the obvious Donnas, but also gals I never heard of called Angie Heaton ("Rollerskate," copyright 1988), The Addictions ("Rollergirl," copyright 2004) and the Sweethearts ("Never Give Up," copyright 2004.) Also some good country and disco stuff.

xhuxk, Friday, 3 February 2006 19:13 (twelve years ago) Permalink

(oops, addiction is actually copyright 2005, and their singer *might* be male, though i'm guessing not. songwriters are "beth richard, jason richard")

(george explains the TV show on the metal thread, if you're interested)

xhuxk, Friday, 3 February 2006 19:36 (twelve years ago) Permalink

so....*Truly Madly Completely: The Best of Savage Garden*. Some of the bonus tracks seem okay, but I'm still not sure how much time is worth expending on this given the fact that I still own their excellent debut album. After which I totally lost track of them -- does anybody know if they did any tracks later halfway as good as "To The Moon And Back" or "I Want You" or "Break Me Shake Me"? If so, can you direct me to said tracks immediately?

xhuxk, Saturday, 4 February 2006 23:17 (twelve years ago) Permalink

No, they sadly didn't, although '1980 me' on Darren's solo (or was it second solo?) record was pretty decent.

And 'Break Me Shake Me' was the underrated gem of that album!

Abby (abby mcdonald), Sunday, 5 February 2006 03:06 (twelve years ago) Permalink

wow, Enrique Iglesias has a great song called "Break Me Shake Me" on his Seven album. And it's not the same song!

I might buy a Savage Garden comp!

Zwan (miccio), Sunday, 5 February 2006 03:08 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Long discussion of amazing Latin American teen dance-pop phenomenon (who probably have my favorite album of 2006 so far) here:

Rolling World Music 2006 Thread

xhuxk, Sunday, 5 February 2006 18:24 (twelve years ago) Permalink

oops, I should say their name, duh! Search "Axe Bahia"

xhuxk, Sunday, 5 February 2006 18:25 (twelve years ago) Permalink

>sadly didn't, although '1980 me' on Darren's solo (or was it second solo?) record was pretty decent.<

I dunno. I am kind of liking "Animal Song" (especially its Diddley/glitter drum rumble start) and "Love Can Move You" (fast beautiful high-register electro disco building momentum toward rock and at least partially about New York) and maybe "Affirmation" (long list of stuff they say they believe in though they're probably lying about a lot of them) and "Hold Me"s boy-band prettiness and the funk and Jesus references and Calvin Klein Obsession references and train rhythms on some of the other B-sides on this new best of. Seems like a smartly chosen selection, and in general I'd forgotten how weird these guys' words could be. I'll always have a sentimental attachment to the debut, but if Anthony's gotta buy one or the other, I can't swear that the best-of wouldn't be the better long-term investment. (Debut's more *manageable* at 11 songs not 17, though, and it's got their best ones.)

xhuxk, Sunday, 5 February 2006 20:45 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Also, the debut STARTS with "To the Moon and Back," so you don't have to wait for it. "Break Me Shake Me" track #8 on debut, #7 on best-of, so that's pretty much a tie.)

xhuxk, Sunday, 5 February 2006 20:53 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I'll probably just dl the hits I can find and if I don't really like the non-debut tracks I'll just pick that up if I ever see it in a clearance rack.

Zwan (miccio), Sunday, 5 February 2006 20:56 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I hated Savage Garden in high school except for "Truly, Madly, Deeply" which I secretly loved. I remember this big poster of the Affirmation cover at a local store and wishing that the guys were holding puppies like Captain & Tennille.

Zwan (miccio), Sunday, 5 February 2006 20:57 (twelve years ago) Permalink

xp: Wow, I can imagine a puppy who looked like Tenille, but the Captain? That's just crazy! Anyway, speaking of animals, I just realized that "Animal Song" actually kind of reminds me of "Primitive Love" on the first Suzi Quatro album -- or at least I could totally imagine following up "Primitive Love" with it in a DJ set. (That's a very high compliment by the way.)

xhuxk, Sunday, 5 February 2006 21:01 (twelve years ago) Permalink

ha, i was just going to say that the obvious analogy is roxette (whose "the look" "i want you" always sounded like), where the debut album stays on the living room shelf but I still keep the best-of in storage for posterity, but then i checked my living room shelf, and whoops, it's the best-of (*Dont Bore Us - Get To the Chorus,* Edel, 2000) that's there, not the debut album after all! So how this battle will pan out historically only time will tell.

xhuxk, Sunday, 5 February 2006 21:09 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I'm listening to some tracks now and jesus this "Animal Song" is insane.

Zwan (miccio), Sunday, 5 February 2006 21:38 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I've heard four Aly & AJ songs, three of which you can forget about (at least in their versions)(provided that Radio Disney stops playing them ever), the fourth one, "Rush," I adore, starts with slow-strummed brooding folk-rock drone not unlike Fairport Convention, then launching into a wailing chorus that seems to split the difference between Shanks & DioGuardi and the Matrix. I guess this follows the pattern set up by Shanks & Branch with "Everywhere": sensitive strum followed by loud catchy-whiny chorus. Anyway, songwriting credits are different depending on the source, but some of the sources give you get the two Michalka sisters and Dan James and Leah Haywood, with James and Haywood doing the production.

So...

With a name as common as Dan James googling didn't get me anywhere immediately, though I may try again when I have more time. Googling Leah Haywood, however, I got a young Australian singer who hit in 2001 in the Antipodes with a dance pop album, some of which had input from the Cheiron Swedes, some of which was recorded in Los Angeles, little of which sold in the States. I don't know if this is the same woman as the Aly & AJ Haywood, and I never heard the Haywood album. Any info?

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Monday, 6 February 2006 05:14 (twelve years ago) Permalink

When I reviewed Savage Garden's Affirmation I said that "You Can Still Be Free" was in shooting distance of greatness and that there were maybe another four tracks that were worth listening to more than once, none of which were "Affirmation" or "The Animal Song," I don't think, though that might be wrong. I either tossed the alb or stuck into an disorganized pile in my closet, so I can't test this theory at the moment. I wrote that "The Animal Song" deserved some kind of award for packing the most stupidity into four-and-a-half minutes, citing this particular gem: "Animals and children tell the truth, they never lie."

"Truly Madly Deeply" was maybe my second or third least favorite on the first album, though I haven't listened this century. I think I've got a promo cassette of it somewhere. Hayes has an amazing voice.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Monday, 6 February 2006 05:33 (twelve years ago) Permalink

So I really need to see High School Musical:

Last week 'Breaking Free' by Zac Efron & Vanessa Anne Hudgens debuted at number 84 on the Hot 100. This week, when it moved to number 4 it rewrote the history books as no single has ever jumped from such a low number to the top in one week. Also, last week Zac Efron was the first artist to ever have two singles debut simultaneously. This week that record was tied by Ashley Tisdale and Lucas Gabreel with 'What I've Been Looking For' and 'Bop To The Top.'


Billboard Hot 100

4. Zac Efron & Vanessa Anne Hudgens - Breaking Free
23. Zac Efron - Get'cha Head In The Game
28. Zac Efron & Vanessa Anne Hudgens - Start Of Something New
34. High School Musical Cast - We're All In This Together
35. Ashley Tisdale & Lucas Gabreel - What I've Been Looking For
43. High School Musical Cast - Stick To The Status Quo
62. Ashley Tisdale & Lucas Gabreel - Bop To The Top

Abby (abby mcdonald), Monday, 6 February 2006 10:22 (twelve years ago) Permalink

the two Michalka sisters

There's also the input of "C. Michalka," who as far as I can tell is their mother. She (co-)wrote the one about kidnapping that, not surprisingly, hasn't made it to RD yet.

According to Allmusic, it's the same Leah Haywood (worked with Jorgen Elofsson and Andreas Carlsson...interesting). Dan James did random production work in "world" music (again AMG's words, not mine).

nameom (nameom), Monday, 6 February 2006 16:16 (twelve years ago) Permalink

abby you forgot the two other songs from 'high school musical' in the top 100

Haikunym (Haikunym), Monday, 6 February 2006 17:17 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Two of my three favorite songs from the Stylus jukebox seem to be latin-teen-dance-pop: Miranda's "Don" and Kapanga's "Rock."

I was actually asked to pitch a version of the rollergirls soundtrack. Looks like the one that made it was better than mine in that it had actual rollerskating content.

Eppy (Eppy), Monday, 6 February 2006 17:28 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Have all seen the video to "Don" yet?

Dom Passantino (Dom Passantino), Monday, 6 February 2006 17:31 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Have we*, I mean.

Dom Passantino (Dom Passantino), Monday, 6 February 2006 17:32 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I haven't!

Eppy (Eppy), Monday, 6 February 2006 17:35 (twelve years ago) Permalink

How is the full Miranda album, anyway?

Eppy (Eppy), Monday, 6 February 2006 17:35 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Brace yourselves. This is an... experience.

http://youtube.com/w/don?v=ISBzaPPURvI&search=miranda%20don

Dom Passantino (Dom Passantino), Monday, 6 February 2006 17:36 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Actually, I'm interested in the full Miranda album as well. When did it come out, how big is it in Argentina, etc etc.

Dom Passantino (Dom Passantino), Monday, 6 February 2006 17:39 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Yeah, I liked the "Don" video. Wrote about it on some other thread (either the world or the charts one). It's streamed at Launch Yahoo, if Dom's link doesn't work for you. The singer looks not unlike a young David Byrne. Definitely a skittery fear to him.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Tuesday, 7 February 2006 23:03 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Miranda are Argentine and (according to Billboard's Leila Colo,

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Tuesday, 7 February 2006 23:08 (twelve years ago) Permalink

...their "feel-good mix of pop and electronica is making inroads at U.S. radio."

[Oops, clicked submit too soon]

nameom, you seem to know your way around allmusic better than I. I tried Dan James and all I got was his name. (They really did make that site difficult to navigate, even if it does contain a lot of info.)

So, has anyone here heard the Leah Haywood album? Tim F.?

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Tuesday, 7 February 2006 23:13 (twelve years ago) Permalink

(Of course, Miranda is licking their wounds after placing last in its group in the Poptimist World Cup. But perhaps a place on the U.S. charts will make them feel a little better.)

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Tuesday, 7 February 2006 23:14 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Holy shit, best video ever.

Eppy (Eppy), Tuesday, 7 February 2006 23:19 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Jeanne's Morningwood review.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Wednesday, 8 February 2006 00:48 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Actually, the singer from Miranda looks, rather than a young Byrne, like British reality TV hunk/f-list celebrity Anthony Hutton:

http://img.epochtimes.com/i6/5082342541470.jpg

Dom Passantino (Dom Passantino), Wednesday, 8 February 2006 00:54 (twelve years ago) Permalink

In the video he kinda looks like Mr. Bean or Noel Gallagher.

I'm halfway through the album and it's disappointing. Not enough guitar or drums, bleeps too laid-back. Ah well.

Eppy (Eppy), Wednesday, 8 February 2006 18:12 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Although "Otra vez" actually picks up a bit and gets quite good.

Eppy (Eppy), Wednesday, 8 February 2006 18:14 (twelve years ago) Permalink

This guy found me because of my Uncle Sam & the JDAMs page.

"Checks & Balances" US Secret Service-ready teenpop, sung by guy who looks like a homeless person. Simple Plan/Yellowcard, if they were protest bands. Amusing, catchy. If he were famous he'd be a demon on Fox or wiretapped, both probably.

http://myspace.com/jaikwillis

George the Animal Steele, Wednesday, 8 February 2006 21:03 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Added to friends.

Dom Passantino (Dom Passantino), Wednesday, 8 February 2006 21:08 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I listened to Smash Hits Radio for the first time last night. A strange thing was that most of the hip-hop/r&b (Chris Brown et al.) tended to be played in one segment. But I noticed that Robbie Williams could strike at any time without warning. I'd never appreciated how truly godawful he could be, like a combination of Neil Diamond and Bruce Springsteen at their absolute worst, woodenly dramatic and entangled in his own muscles.

I also noticed that Ashlee's "Boyfriend" sounded way muddier than it does on CD or on Launch Yahoo, which may indicate that Smash Hits have a defective track, or may indicate that you can't trust the fidelity on anything they play.

In any event, here are my notes:

Anastacia "Sick and Tired" - My Anastacia album from a few years back is strong-voiced disco-soul with almost all boring songs. This track, though, is sweet-tuned pop, Anastacia's voice giving the music a bright-rough "character" (not unlike Alanis) without sabotaging the sweetness. Not totally great on first listen, but a nice surprise.

Friday Hill "One Night Alone" - Blah '90s harmonies. [What did I mean by "blah '90s harmonies"? Not sure, since the track didn't stay in my mind. Similar to the harmonies in "Hey Jealousy" if "Hey Jealousy" had been blah instead of nonblah?]

The Cribs "The Modern Way" - Affected Brit sadboy voices: I don't always hate 'em, but I never love 'em.

Sugababes "Ugly" - No, not ugly, just plain, and really disappointing compared to "Freak Like Me" and "Blue" and "Round and Round." My one Sugababes album is unique in being the only one I've heard that goes from great on the first few tracks to not-so-great on the next few and continues on a perfect gradual decline through mediocre, tepid, barely tolerable, and, by the last track, terrible. On that album they get worse the closer they get to "real" r&b. "Ugly" isn't r&b but still lands in "tepid." I don't remember why I think so, actually; something about the harmonies having been through the wash once too often.

[Track order on U.S. alb may not match up with that on the British.]

McFly "Ultraviolet" - Band already denounced on this thread, but I enjoy this. '60sish Yardbirds or Hollies–type harmonies but with no '60s zing, which can be a drawback if you insist on zing in you sing, but likable nonetheless.

Shayne Ward "That's My Goal" - Agh! Gawd! Horrible! I'll go for ten of Robbie Williams to avoid one of these. Amazing that human beings choose to listen to this. It's a ballad, but it's not even "safe" and "gentle" and "comfy" in its zinglessness. It's loud and slow and pelts and pummels you with feeling.

Rachel Stevens "Sweet Dreams of My LA Ex" - Damn, maybe she's as good as the Poptimists say. [But I was so busy tracking down the performer name and song title - the Smash Hits site doesn't show the title of the song being played so I have to do a quick google on the lyrics while a song runs - that I didn't attend to what it sounded like or why I loved it so much. Maybe love it 'cause an ex of mine is from L.A.]

Girls Aloud "Biology" - My first Girls Aloud song! And it's... tuneful... and OK, I suppose. It's a fuller-sounding Robyn-type number, strong beat, but not a melody in the class of "Be Mine!" You think maybe Robyn knows what she's doing in her slightness?

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 9 February 2006 02:07 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Hah, Frank: "That's My Goal" is already one of the 90 biggest selling songs in UK chart history, and its only been out two months.

Dom Passantino (Dom Passantino), Thursday, 9 February 2006 02:49 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Leah Haywood - I remember two songs from about 00/01:

"We Think It's Love" - I hated this at the time, it represented everything I disliked about Australian pop at that point, very much in the mould of Bachelor Girl (who were themselves like Savage Garden with all of the manic energy, the oddness and the expansive production removed, replaced by unthreatening mushy guitar backdrops derived from 90s Tina Arena), but even more straightforward and anonymous in feel. Quite memorable chorus though, but maybe it's just that I used to send it up a bit.

"Taking Back What's Mine" - this definitely sounded like Cheiron, a sort of hard juddering plastic pop groove in the vein of N'Sync's "It's Gonna Be Me" or Britney's "Stronger" or (perhaps closest) Britney's "Don't Go Knocking On My Door". But - and maybe this was just my biases at work - it seemed unconvincing, a really awkward chorus and a general tinge of desperation obscuring the pop dynamics. Soon after this local boyband Human Nature also went down this route with similarly lacklustre results.

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Thursday, 9 February 2006 03:13 (twelve years ago) Permalink

To go back to Frank's assertion regarding Curve's goth cred--"Chinese Burns" is not only goth. it's a goth girl's defining anthem, it was the theme song for Faith on Buffy, fercryinoutloud!

But otherwise, yes to what you said.

News to me: Lacuna Coil covered Dubstar's plum trip-hoppy confection "Stars." before my hyphen key wears out--trip-hop-secular-teen-goth?

(LC is playing with Rod Zombie. I'm sorely tempted to go, for the Coil, I mean. Has anyone seen them?)

Ian in Brooklyn, Thursday, 9 February 2006 07:12 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I loved "Chinese Burn" so much more once it had been on Buffy!

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Thursday, 9 February 2006 07:25 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Frank have you heard any other Sugababes albums? I think Three is a stronger album than Angels With Dirty Faces, though I've yet to hear the new one.

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Thursday, 9 February 2006 07:37 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I am now trying to think of ways to work Apoptygma Berzerk's 'Shine On' into this thread. Cos it needs to be...

William Bloody Swygart (mrswygart), Thursday, 9 February 2006 11:19 (twelve years ago) Permalink

>I'm sorely tempted to go, for the Coil, I mean. Has anyone seen them?)<

Yep! Saw them open for Moonspell at late lamented L'Amours in Brooklyn maybe four or so years ago. Four monkish looking guys, banging heads in unsion, with a beautiful Italian girl up front. Much more fun live than Evanescence (whose US audience I still hope Lacuna Coil get, but I'd be surprised if they do.) By the way, Ian, if you like Lacuna Coil, you should really check out the Gathering sometime as well. They're still the genre template as far as I'm concerned. I list a bunch of other such bands upthread, but my latest obsessions in the genre are unsigned bands Persepone's Dream from Pittshburg and Twelfth of Never from Massechusetts, both of whom I discovered via cbbaby and I discuss on the metal thread.

xhuxk, Thursday, 9 February 2006 19:37 (twelve years ago) Permalink

No, "monkish" was wrong. More like "wizardish." In long matching robes and everything.

xhuxk, Thursday, 9 February 2006 19:38 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Also more like "Persophone's Dream," "Pittsburgh," "cdbaby," and, um, however you spell the state with Boston in it.

xhuxk, Thursday, 9 February 2006 19:41 (twelve years ago) Permalink

> Frank's assertion regarding Curve's goth cred<

Where did Frank make this assertion? I missed it. (Weren't they a shoegaze band, though?)

xhuxk, Thursday, 9 February 2006 19:43 (twelve years ago) Permalink

'Taking Back What's Mine' - used on the legally blonde soundtrack and thus IN MY HEAD for the past couple of days.

Abby (abby mcdonald), Thursday, 9 February 2006 19:45 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I was annoyed that Kelly Clarkson sang "Because of You" on the Garmmys and not "Behind These Hazel Eyes."

Oh and the new Pink single will most likely grow on me. Saw the video for it. Girl power, bitches.

Je4nne ƒur¥ (Je4nne Fury), Thursday, 9 February 2006 19:47 (twelve years ago) Permalink

To go back to Frank's assertion regarding Curve's goth cred--"Chinese Burns" is not only goth. it's a goth girl's defining anthem, it was the theme song for Faith on Buffy, fercryinoutloud!

I had to go to google to figure out this joke (assuming that it was intended as a joke).

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 9 February 2006 19:56 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I was annoyed that Kelly Clarkson sang "Because of You" on the Garmmys and not "Behind These Hazel Eyes."

It was to assert her goth cred.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 9 February 2006 20:00 (twelve years ago) Permalink

A teen friend of mine is going to the Rob Zombie show in a couple of weeks.

(One of my favorite Xgau reviews ever is his pan of White Zombie's Soul-Crusher: "People consent to fascism because they think fascism will be more fun than this. They could be right. D+")

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 9 February 2006 20:06 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Have we developed any views on PANIC! At The Disco yet?

Dom Passantino (Dom Passantino), Thursday, 9 February 2006 20:13 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I wrote they were like Vegas Vaudeville circa 2025. Cute enough. But I haven't listened to them enough to say one way or another whether they're my thing.

Je4nn3 ƒur¥ (Je4nne Fury), Thursday, 9 February 2006 20:41 (twelve years ago) Permalink

But I like the fact that they look a bit like Sleater-Kinney!

Je4nn3 ƒur¥ (Je4nne Fury), Thursday, 9 February 2006 20:44 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I think considering "Buddy Holly" came out at roughly the same time as "Country House", it wouldn't be totally unfair to call them the American Kaiser Chiefs.

Dom Passantino (Dom Passantino), Thursday, 9 February 2006 21:22 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Tits of Death!

(My guess is that they're better to look at than to hear - aggressively "fun" and "satirical" bands that are "taking the piss" almost always bore me, unless they're the Sex Pistols - and I won't spend precious dialup time downloading until someone else does first, but the bandname is excellent, as are the...)

[Eligibility for this thread is vague association in my mind between what they and Morningwood do. Also, twelve-year-old boys will love them on principle.]

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Friday, 10 February 2006 14:21 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Link doesn't work for some reason, but if you go here and search "Tits of Death" you should be rewarded.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Friday, 10 February 2006 14:26 (twelve years ago) Permalink

frank -- i fixed tha link for you.

Sterling Clover (s_clover), Friday, 10 February 2006 16:31 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Thanx! You a hot mod!

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Friday, 10 February 2006 16:36 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Skye Sweetnam says:

"I'm the singing voice for the new Barbie movie 'the Barbie Diaries'... totally rad right? Who doesn't love Barbie? C'mon she's my hero!"

(Song's kinds disappointing, though; sorta halfway betw. "Billy S." rehash and Lohan-Duff imitation, which isn't bad in principle except "Billy S" is her worst song and there are better Lohan and Duff tracks and anyway we've already got Lohans and Duffs.)

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Friday, 10 February 2006 17:09 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Skye Sweetnam says

Proper album pushed back to mid July, but word on the street is she's recording some songs with the Matrix (possibly just a rumor). I imagine she didnt have much say in the writing/production of the Barbie tracks, but she wrote and recorded everything on the new one (not sure about the re-recorded version). Billy S her worst song? I don't really hear it in the Barbie track.

nameom (nameom), Friday, 10 February 2006 20:41 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I just posted this on the country thread:

you were right about the kelly clarkson song, but i think that the best proof of its country tendencies is its obsessive seeking of solution wrt domestic melodrama

We're talking about "Because of You" (most of the discussion was on last year's thread), which I'm now trying to make sense of since it's only been on the charts for half a year and gone double platinum as a single (not to mention the 5 million the album has sold). When I first heard it I pretty much dismissed it as an OK adult-contemporary heartbreak song, suitably quiet and sad but not up to the Kelly's previous three singles. Now, having paid attention to the lyrics and thought hard about where its music is coming from and so forth (and finally doing what I can to study the video on the postage-stamp screen that Launch Yahoo gives you in dialup), I'm hearing a completely different song, something of intensity, something that feels loud even with the quiet accompaniment and the controlled singing. And I think it is out of bounds for country. Which is to say that though I can imagine Faith singing in this style she probably wouldn't go for this melody or these words; and though I can imagine LeAnn going for both the melody and these words and totally nailing it in performance, she'd probably decide that it would be bad for her career at this point to release it.

First the words: it isn't just that they're unremittingly despairing, since you could say the same about country classics like "He Stopped Loving Her Today" and "The End of the World." But those don't feel like despair, or they take a different approach to despair, or something. (I've always considered "End of the World" a beautiful, sweet delight.) In general, country's "life falls apart" story belongs to its standard romance cycle: "My heart is broken, now I'm drunk, now I'm going to fuck up again and again," is mined for a lot of rue and a lot of comedy. It's something country is comfortable with. Whereas "the relationship was fundamentally pathological and has left me unfit to live" is not standard for country, even if it's fine on Oprah and adult contemporary and Radio Disney.

Also - and this is interesting - I'd never thought of it as a domestic drama until last night when I started examining the video: house in the suburban night, we're looking in through the window at a couple arguing, then we're in with them in the fight, a child watches glumly, a man upends a table in anger; then a different scene, the little girl shows daddy something she's made, daddy burns it on the stove; a woman leaves, a little girl leaves.

Before studying the video, I'd just naturally assumed this was a romance-and-dysfunction song like most of the ones that precede and follow it on the album, that the narrator was addressing a former boyfriend who'd left her devastated. In fact, that's a perfectly good way to read the song; the "you" is never identified. But if we factor in the video, the narrator has to be the little girl grown up, and she's addressing her parents: "I heard you cry every night in your sleep/I was so young/You should have known better than to lean on me/You never thought of anyone else/You just saw your pain/And now I cry in the middle of the night/For the same damn thing/Because of you/Because of you/Because of you I am afraid/Because of you I never stray too far from the sidewalk/Because of you I learned to play on the safe side so I don't get hurt/Because of you/I try my hardest just to forget everything/Because of you/I don't know how to let anyone else in/Because of you/I'm ashamed of my life because it's empty/Because of you I am afraid/Because of you."

Anyway, I don't know of anything like this in country, though that may not be because it's not there but just because I don't know the genre well enough. Haggard's "Hungry Eyes" suggests something difficult (like, maybe sometime mommas are too hurt to try); maybe there's more. (Subject for further research: Hank Snow.) But "Because of You" is more in the territory of Faster Pussycat's "House of Pain" and Everclear's "Father of Mine" and Pink's "Family Portrait" and Lindsay Lohan's "Confessions of a Broken Heart" and Ashlee Simpson's "Shadow." The country equivalent? Maybe LeAnn Rimes' album track "No Way Out" if you decide she's talking about her relationship to her dad. (But didn't the country audience make clear that they didn't consider that album country?)

I'll continue this thought later, but there's something going on - though subtly - in the sound of "Because of You" that also isn't yet a part of country, and that's goth. [Which I have talked about on this teenpop thread but still haven't worked out.]

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Sunday, 12 February 2006 14:01 (twelve years ago) Permalink

is it wrong to feel deeply flattered, at the word count, thnx frank

Anthony Easton, Sunday, 12 February 2006 22:23 (twelve years ago) Permalink

What I find most interesting about the lyrics in "Because Of You" is that they appear to be accusations against the singer's abused/neglected mother rather than against her abusing/neglecting father - in sum, "you put up with living a fragile wounded existence so now I think that's the status quo".

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Monday, 13 February 2006 03:05 (twelve years ago) Permalink

But the narrator might be making a self-critique as well (if I'd been the narrator it would be a self-critique, at any rate). The song starts: "I will not make/The same mistakes that you did." So in order not to make the mistakes that Mom (or whoever) did, in order not to break, in order not to fall hard, the narrator is choosing instead to live in fear and not let anyone else in, etc. It doesn't have to be an accusation; it might just be a diagnosis, or an analysis: "Because you went through that, I am like this" (rather than "You did this to me"). (But the phrase "Because of you" is usually accusatory.)

Also, the way the song is, the way it's sung, it was easy for me to not pay much notice to the words the first 20 or so times I heard the song, and for a while after that not to take much more away from them than "Because of you I am afraid." Whereas "Addicted" nails its point in the second you hear it: "It's like you're a drug/It's like you're a demon I can't face down/It's like I'm stuck/It's like I'm running from you all the time/And I know I let/You have all the power/It's like the only company I seek/Is misery all around."

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Monday, 13 February 2006 03:49 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Thoughts on the new Kelly single - 'Walk Away'?

Departure from her 'heavy' pop-rock sound, and the ballad, towards more blues-pop-based sounds; the initial strong chords get buried under the synth beaths. First impressions say not at all as strong as 'Since U Been Gone' or 'Behind These Hazel Eyes'

The verse is pretty much identical to the verse sections of 'Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen' by La Lohan - cadence, rythm etc. even though her enunciation is very pronounced.

Chorus is very familiar to me, I'm sure someone can identify what it's reminding me of...

Aparently written by Raine Maida of Our Lady Peace

Abby (abby mcdonald), Monday, 13 February 2006 11:27 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Songwriters on "Walk Away" are Chantal Kreviazuk, Raine Maida, Kara DioGuardi, Kelly Clarkson. Prod. Maida, DioGuardi, Kreviazuk. I've never heard Our Lady Peace (except for what I'm hearing right now on their Website, which sounds like sensitivity singer-songwriter prettiness with doom sludge underneath), but I enjoy "Walk Away" a lot; punchy, almost r&b-type sassiness in her vocal attack, good use of a sheer rise and drop when she sings "just walk A-way." The song seems to be lagging commercially; after four singles and five million sold albums, perhaps the market has worn out for this album.

(My favorite of the remaining nonsingles is "Hear Me," which has probably the greatest wailing quasi-goth torment on the album: the emotions of "Because of You" and "Addicted" amped up to 10.)

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Monday, 13 February 2006 21:58 (twelve years ago) Permalink

They're fucking Canadians!

Eppy (Eppy), Monday, 13 February 2006 22:40 (twelve years ago) Permalink

(Which is to say that they were kind of the modern rock Arcade Fire.)

Eppy (Eppy), Tuesday, 14 February 2006 00:22 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Boyband goth from Holland (which I maybe shd have had the nerve to put as my Pop World Cup entry), also featuring a classical pianist for added chiaroscura. Does that "Winner Takes It All" thing where the slight infelicities in pronunciation and grammar nicely map on to the song's seesaw between bravado/bluster and vulnerability.

http://s64.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=1Q5R4YXR74O661AVSK830JDQUH

Tom (Groke), Wednesday, 15 February 2006 10:25 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Any thoughts about Natasha Bedingfield? I don't know how "teenpop" she's considered, but she did get 20 plays on Radio Disney last week. I've only heard "Unwritten" and "These Words." There's a playfulness in her singing that could turn into boring jazziness in the future but she's young and fresh and it hasn't yet, and maybe the thinness of her voice will protect her from the urge to ever go legit. Like Pink (and even Alanis, I suppose), she's in an area that lets her be pop and singer-songwriter and r&b. And there's something interesting going on in the harmony, a sudden-pleasingness in the middle of "Unwritten" that I don't have the music theory to explain.

But for all that, the sound is way more tepid than it ought to be. Or that's how it seems right now, with my not yet having swamped myself in her songs.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Wednesday, 15 February 2006 22:41 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Tash Bedders is sort of the antithesis of teenpop, surely? Like... early 20s career anxiety sufferer pop.

Anyway, this is the Sugababes covering "I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor":

http://www.popjustice.com/downloads/sugamonkeys.mp3

Dom Passantino (Dom Passantino), Wednesday, 15 February 2006 22:52 (twelve years ago) Permalink

My initial reaction to Pink's "Stupid Girls" video is pretty conflicted, as is the video itself. Calling bulimics stupid doesn't show much insight into bulimia, for instance, and in general if you're going to call someone stupid you'd better try to understand her first. Also, dishing your rivals is a cheap way to restart a stalled career. And there's nothing particularly feminist in sneering at other people's social choices. For those who haven't seen the video, she's lampooning Hilton and her poodles and Jessica's "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" and I'm sure a bunch of other things I'd recognize if I owned a TV (and my not owning a TV makes me not in a perfect position myself to understand this video myself). But she's not merely sneering - she's the main actress in the video, subjecting her own body to the pretty-girl disfigurements, so her own body is what's at stake. And I can certainly imagine her sitting in front of the TV and watching the never-ending chicky sex sell and saying to herself, "I've had enough!"

The song, by the way, sounds good but not great. Nice to hear Pink's voice.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Wednesday, 15 February 2006 23:02 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Dom, I wouldn't necessarily say that career anxiety is the antithesis of teenpop, which is sure immersed in social anxiety. And if the teens and tweens are listening to Tash in tandem with Hilary and Aly & AJ and Kelly, then she's part of the teenpop world.

One of the themes of this thread is that teenpop is hardly just play play play joy joy joy kids kids kids fun fun fun.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Wednesday, 15 February 2006 23:09 (twelve years ago) Permalink

This is true, I think I should extend my thoughts into something cogent.

Tash Bed launched her solo career with a track called "Single", which was a kinda P!nk-esque "I am a WOMAN and will take no shit from you MEN" track with a few catchy bits and an awful video. I always got the feeling that the reason for "These Words" as the second single was so people wouldn't assume she was a lesbian.

I think my problem with calling her teenpop is that she always has been, and always has been marketed as, the dance-wing of Dido.

Dom Passantino (Dom Passantino), Wednesday, 15 February 2006 23:13 (twelve years ago) Permalink

But this thread shouldn't be about drawing lines in the sand where teenpop is and isn't.

It's about the Sugababes covering "I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor"

Dom Passantino (Dom Passantino), Wednesday, 15 February 2006 23:14 (twelve years ago) Permalink

does this belong more on the teenpop thread than the metal thread??:

So, I sort of want to like this mohawked and punkabillified (where, um, "billy" means "ska" I guess) Horrorpops album *Bring It On!* on Hellcat. Bang Sugar Bang made my top ten last year after all. I guess the idea is making the Dance Hall Crashers or early No Doubt rock as hard as the Distillers or something. And I don't *not* like it; it's not *not* catchy; it all sounds perfectly pleasant, but also nothing on it is reaching out and grabbing me. I'm thinking the problem might mostly be the singer (whose hairdo makes it look like she has devil's horns); her voice is probably too thin, but then again the rhythm section is probably too thin too. But at the same time, I'd say both the vocals and rhythm are COMPETENT. Shrug. Jeanne, have you heard this? I have a feeling I'd trust your Horrorpops judgement implicitly. Also possible that they just don't have songs (where Bang Sugar Bang have NON-STOP songs). And if they DO have songs, which they might, the Horrorpops singer just can't put them over, for whatever reason.
-- xhuxk (xedd...), February 15th, 2006.

xhuxk, Wednesday, 15 February 2006 23:14 (twelve years ago) Permalink

xpost xpost xpost

Back to the Pink vid, and to repeat something I said over on the rolling country thread: I may not know much about videos these days, but I know from stupid, and whatever you think about Jessica Simpson's cocktease routine in "These Boots Are Made For Walkin'," it's not stupid: Get out of car, swing your hips, prance into rowdy redneck club, get guys to beat themselves up over you, flirt with Willie, sashay out, leaving the joint in shambles. You may not like that version or that vision of girl power, since it's not the one that the enlightened We-who-know-better embrace and doesn't prefigure Our hoped-for social transformation, but it's not stupid.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Wednesday, 15 February 2006 23:21 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I remember Xhuxk last year complaining about Jessica making her voice small for "Boots," but it effectively gets under my skin. Cute being a jujitsu move.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Wednesday, 15 February 2006 23:22 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Having so far only heard a 30-second clip of "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor" - and having heard 0 seconds of any actual Erctic Minkeys track, I have this to say: Sugababes rough gruff sassy r&b tingles me when it's run into tracks that are both pop and weird and technoid, whereas doesn't when it's run into tracks that are actually close to r&b. Well, this isn't r&b but it's a new one for un-Suga-expert me: rock. Results? Better than r&b, worse than "Freak Like Me," "Blue," and "Round and Round." (Unless I totally change my mind.)

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Wednesday, 15 February 2006 23:30 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Ah, that's the same Sugaclip I already heard. Its r&b burr is a good burr, actually sounds more Pink (and a lot stronger) than Stashy does. I'm leaning towards "good" on this one, for the chorus, though (ssshhh) there can be something a bit wooden about the Sugababes.

I'm not sure that the U.S. has a Dido equivalent: Sheryl and Alanis would be occupying that social spot, but neither is hitting big at the moment. Maybe the spot is currently occupied by Kelly Clarkson heaving her voice and guts at us. (She seems to be occupying twenty or so spots.) Hooray for us!

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Wednesday, 15 February 2006 23:40 (twelve years ago) Permalink

speaking of teen-pop (a la dido) for british grownups, the album i talk about below (initially on the country thread) comes out the US finally this week, apparently. i'm not sure what kind of audience they're going to reach for here, but the teen-introspection audience wouldn't be far off. who are her british fans? didn't she have, like, five hit singles over there last year or something like that? (By the way, the black horse song is the one where she refuses the marriage proposal of a horse that is black. It'd be weirder if she said yes):

I would also like to ask our English friends for thoughts about Mercury Prize nominee KT Tunstall, whose imminent (here) *Eyes to the Telescope* (especially "Suddenly I See" and maybe "Miniature Disasters" and "Heal Over" so far; "Universe & U" kinda stinks) I have been enjoying this weekend in a sort of vaguely jazz-folky post-Laura Nyro/Rickie Lee Jones stewardess-pop (stole that idea from an old Xgau Quarterflash review!) sort of way, which is to say approx. 15 percent country maybe, though I could see her appealing to an '06 US country audience if they heard her. Have no idea how she's heard or thought of in England. If I pay closer attention to the words will I hate her? I am sort of scared of that.
-- xhuxk (xedd...), January 1st, 2006.

The KT Tunstall tracks I don't like are probably more Natalie Merchant than to Nyro/Rickie Lee. Second most energetic and therefore likeable song after "Suddenly I See" (which is a real good dance track) might be "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree," with its sort of Diddley beat.

-- xhuxk (xedd...), January 2nd, 2006.

xhuxk, Thursday, 16 February 2006 14:18 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Teenpop died because it was taken over by the media whores and music industry nazis.

ESTEBAN BUTTEZ~!!! (ESTEBAN BUTTEZ~!!!), Thursday, 16 February 2006 14:27 (twelve years ago) Permalink

oops left this out:

Joseph, is "Black Horse and Cherry Tree" really about a horse asking KT to marry him, and she says no? That's what she seems to be singing about. Wacky! Though it would be even wackier if she said yes! Also, tracks # 2,3, and 8 have good power-ballad buldups, I have decided.
-- xhuxk (xedd...), January 3rd, 2006.

is "Black Horse and Cherry Tree" really about a horse asking KT to marry him, and she says no?
Yup: Her black horse is Joni Mitchell's Coyote, I figure.
-- Joseph McCombs (jmccomb...), January 4th, 2006.

xhuxk, Thursday, 16 February 2006 14:34 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Xhuxk, KT is Scottish. Frank, my kneejerk reaction to the Pink video was a sick little thrill. True, all you say about how calling bullimics "stupid" isn't exactly the best way to approach the situation, but I'd say Pink is mocking not the disease itself, but the gross desire to be a size 2 and I think that comes across pretty clearly in context with the rest of the video. I'd wager to say that most outcast young women get a thrill from seeing the status quo being made fools of. The outcasts don't have the power to metaphorically flush the Barbies down the shitter -- I mean, they *do* but most are too fearful to attempt it. Pink's kind of like Eminem -- she's saying/doing what we secretly wish we had the balls to do. Who's gonna step to her? Jessica? Paris? Hells no. And it's about time their kind got called out for being little more than vapid dingbats. (I just wish I liked the actual *song* more.)

Je4nn3 ƒur¥ (Je4nne Fury), Thursday, 16 February 2006 15:53 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Oh and the more I listen to Panic At the Disco, the more I really like the album. The vocals are very very much like Fall Out Boy but way more cohesive and the songs are much stronger.

Je4nn3 ƒur¥ (Je4nne Fury), Thursday, 16 February 2006 15:56 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Jeanne, did you see my Horrorpops question for you up above?

(Also, Scottish IS British, isn't it?) (Or are you saying that, for Scottish women, being propositioned by a horse is perfectly normal?)

xhuxk, Thursday, 16 February 2006 16:06 (twelve years ago) Permalink

(Is Scottish British? I never knew that.) And I feel the same about the Horrorpops as you do. I remember feeling the same way about their first album, too. It's one of the dudes from Necromantix, I believe. They're definitely listenable and I'd probably have fun at their live show, but the songs don't stick. They need to be more tantalizing or something. There's just nothing pulling me in.

Je4nn3 ƒur¥ (Je4nne Fury), Thursday, 16 February 2006 16:19 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Yeah, but Scottish isn't English (even if both Scots and English are variations on ye olde Anglo-Saxon).

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 16 February 2006 16:55 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Yeah, I know, but I figured that since KT was Mercury Prize nominated, "our English friends" might know about her. (Does the MP cover all of Great Britain, then, not just England? I guess it must.)

xhuxk, Thursday, 16 February 2006 16:59 (twelve years ago) Permalink

The Kelly Clarkson album has been getting me back into the Hold Steady's Separation Sunday. Not that Kelly and Craig don't have a lot not in common, but there's stuff they share, too, each telling the other's story backwards. When Kelly arrived she was flying high, but when she left she was defeated and depressed. Separation Sunday is about a girl called Holly who goes down into drugs and addiction but in the end achieves a resurrection*; Breakaway is about a girl called Kelly who claims a resurrection right off and then goes down into codependency and dysfunction, ends either with her crying out in despair (if you count "Hear Me" as the real conclusion and the live "Beautiful Disaster" as an add-on) or with her declaring her love for the thing that's been fucking her up all along. (Well, there's strings attached to every single lover.)** But you wonder where Craig is in all of this; like isn't the subtext that Holly is his beautiful disaster? Where's Craig's story, Craig's resurrection? (The old joke about the codependent is that when an addict is drowning, her life flashes in front of her eyes, whereas when her codependent lover is drowning, it's the addict's life that flashes in front of his eyes, not his own.)

*some ambiguity, though, as to whether Holly's resurrection is a living one or occurs after death, e.g., she stopped loving dope today, they placed a wreath upon her door, perhaps.

**I assume that Breakaway is basically a collection of songs rather than a concept album, and the song order has as much to do with sound and mood as anything; so the story that gets inadvertently told is just the way the songs happened to fall. But even on random play you get the basic story, the anguish is so prevalent. And being good pop music, there's always another story anyway, 'cause there's usually a dance and an enticing come-on no matter what the words are saying, and there's always a voluptuousness of sound, even in despair. Especially in despair.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 16 February 2006 17:40 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Funny, the recurring girl-character in the new Yellowcard album is also named Holly. Actually, if I'm not mistaken... it's Holly Wood.

Je4nn3 ƒur¥ (Je4nne Fury), Thursday, 16 February 2006 17:59 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Better "Holly" than "Morning"

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 16 February 2006 18:04 (twelve years ago) Permalink

KT's lesbian following

KT Tunstall says she has a big lesbian following after 'accidentally' wearing rainbow braces on the cover of her album.

"I have a massive lesbian following," she told the Mirror. "There's always a gay crowd up the front at my gigs. It's a huge compliment. No one thinks Katie Melua is gay.

"I think it's because I'm a singer-songwriter with a personality - balls and some sassiness."

KT believes she unintentionally sent out mixed messages about her sexuality when she wore a pair of rainbow-patterned braces - a gay symbol - on her record cover.

She says she only realised the implications when a friend in the U.S. sent her a text saying: "The girls in San Francisco are loving your braces."

KT adds: "I was onstage in Dublin when I heard a girl in the crowd shout: 'KT, you're a lesbian!' What the hell do you say to that? I didn't want to upset the lesbians but I didn't want to make out I was one.

"I said: 'You can't say that!' Then I realised that none of the other 1,500 people there had heard her. So I said: 'That girl just called me a lesbian.'

"At the end of the gig, a roadie handed me a note from the woman. It said: 'KT, I was saying 'legend'."

Copyright © 2006 Ananova Ltd

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 16 February 2006 18:04 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Everyone should refer to John Legend as John Lesbian. Except that would make him interesting.

Je4nn3 ƒur¥ (Je4nne Fury), Thursday, 16 February 2006 18:09 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Don't worry, there's a band in the Czech Republic called Support Lesbiens, and they're not even remotely interesting.

As a side note - Delays - Valentine. What we r reckon to this, then?

William Bloody Swygart (mrswygart), Thursday, 16 February 2006 18:14 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Hang on, when I was in Best Buy the other day, I looked at the cover of the KT Tunstall album and it was in black and white. WHY CAN'T WE GET THE LESBIAN COVER? Amazon lists it as the "import" version. Here's the regular one:

http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B000DN5VJY.01._AA240_SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpg

Je4nn3 ƒur¥ (Je4nne Fury), Thursday, 16 February 2006 18:16 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I'd wager to say that most outcast young women get a thrill from seeing the status quo being made fools of.

Well, making fun of dumb blondes seems pretty status quo to me. (As opposed to raping and killing your mom, which is Eminem's idea of the forbidden.)

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 16 February 2006 18:16 (twelve years ago) Permalink

You tell those outcast young women, Frank!

Zwan (miccio), Thursday, 16 February 2006 18:18 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Okay, now I'm fixated on this. Here's the lesbian import KT Tunstall cover.

http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B0007A0GD4.01._AA240_SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpg

Je4nn3 ƒur¥ (Je4nne Fury), Thursday, 16 February 2006 18:20 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I think it'd be cool if Pink didn't spend the majority of her video lampooning half-naked female icons half-naked, and fleshed out her basic platitudes (though that's ALWAYS been a problem with her), but I'm glad she's asking for something that's pretty reasonable rather than talking about raping and killing her dad or something. "My Vietnam" was more than enough "forbidden."

Zwan (miccio), Thursday, 16 February 2006 18:27 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Really, the only thing that makes her not Britney Spears is that she says she's not Britney Spears. Weird clothes, weird collaborators, genre futzing, claims of empowerment and pain, all B.S. territory.

Zwan (miccio), Thursday, 16 February 2006 18:31 (twelve years ago) Permalink

That said, Britney didn't really highlight these qualities until after Pink's big album.

Zwan (miccio), Thursday, 16 February 2006 18:40 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Are you for real?? Little Miss NYLA is a poster child for naivete. She's a *kid*. Pink's got much more know-how about her. Plus balls, a sense of humor, and sure-fire ability to rock.

Je4nn3 ƒur¥ (Je4nne Fury), Thursday, 16 February 2006 18:42 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Wm Bl Swygart: That Website wants me to do something I don'y do for no Website: download software. So could you give a description of the vid?

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 16 February 2006 18:56 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Pink's got much more know-how about her.

That's gotta be a pretty relative scale. And Pink sure acts like a *kid* with her license plate reading No. 1 Superstar and her comparing her life to Vietnam because her mom's going to change her last name and her family won't pretend they're all really happy. I didn't hear Try This, though.

Zwan (miccio), Thursday, 16 February 2006 19:02 (twelve years ago) Permalink

She's a *14-year-old*.

Fr Kog: links at the bottom of this page should prove more amenable.

William Bloody Swygart (mrswygart), Thursday, 16 February 2006 19:12 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Delays "Valentine": I like it. A guitar band that's playing what basically sounds like Hi-NRG Eurodancepop. The bass player is doing a subdued Moroder. The chorus kind of loses the feel, though: too arty in the chord selection, making the sound diffuse.

How is this sort of thing perceived in Britain? As just more indie poprock, or is the Hi-NRG dance sound recognized?

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 16 February 2006 20:58 (twelve years ago) Permalink

My neighborhood branch of the public library just started carrying CDs; mainly country and pop, some Latino, no hip-hop. I checked out recent ones by Jo Dee Messina, Bobby Pinson, Ryan Cabrera, Kaiser Chiefs, expecting to like them in about that order, instead liking 'em in about the reverse. Messina: strong-voice country broad from Boston; two great singles, then a bunch of what would otherwise be blah if her voice weren't grating ("grating" becomes "caustic" and "powerful" when the songs are good). Pinson: a guitar growling deep in the rhythm, husky voice in with the guitar growl but doesn't surmount it; what might be interesting lyrics about being shaped by hardship and failure, but I'm skeptical as to whether I'll really find the words interesting when I give them a chance, and I might not give them a good chance before the due date. Actually, I feel that they're trying to bully me into a view of what makes up life. But maybe the fact that they're bugging me means there's something to them. Ryan Cabrera: See below. Kaiser Chiefs: first few lines of the first track immediately cracked me up; I'll say why below. Remind me of the Buzzcocks, humor mixed with rue, harmonies buzzing pleasingly, the most "poppy" (if not officially pop) melodies of the bunch. Most of the good songs come right at the start, and these guys, like the Buzzcocks, start to sound samey if you hear more than a few in a row. And they're not as good as the Buzzcocks, and they're emotionally timid, but certainly fun.

(Yeah, I know

Now, I won't pretend that Messina or Pinson are teenpop, but I bet lots o' Brit teens and teeny-weenies go for the Kaiser Chiefs. My impression is that their official category is "indie" (though they're major label).

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 16 February 2006 21:20 (twelve years ago) Permalink

The "Yeah, I know" line was meant to go: "Yeah, I know that the album is probably about timidity, but that's no excuse."

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 16 February 2006 21:22 (twelve years ago) Permalink

My London penpal Sarah Manvel emailed me a strong opinion about the Kaiser Chiefs, but I forget if she loved them or hated them.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 16 February 2006 21:26 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Oh, I guess her opinion isn't that strong. She "likes" them. (But this is in comparison to a whole lot of other equally huge bands whom she considered just awful.)

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 16 February 2006 21:36 (twelve years ago) Permalink

"Stupid Girl" sounds more like something from Pink's first album than anything since "Get The Party Started", and perhaps even more than that in terms of the vocal. I wonder to what extent she's happy with that and to what extent it's a forced manoeuvre (and I say that as someone who loved Can't Take Me Home).

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Thursday, 16 February 2006 22:04 (twelve years ago) Permalink

The "Valentine" song struck me as one of those songs where it sounds like it's going somewhere exciting and then doesn't. They're definitely using guitars in interesting ways but the song seemed too unfocused. Maybe I need to listen to it again.

Eppy (Eppy), Thursday, 16 February 2006 22:07 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Yeah, I wish they'd stuck with the verse and not even had a chorus, seen if they could have pushed somewhere through maniacal sweetness and repetition. But it's something interesting.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 16 February 2006 22:11 (twelve years ago) Permalink

> Remind me of the Buzzcocks<

Interestingly, I was just listening to the NEW Buzzcocks album *flat pack philosophy* today, and what's clear to me is that Pete Shelley's voice just doesn't hold up; he seemingly can't get it high or nasal or swishy enough to convey his old sweetness and manic excitement anymore. which might not be that big a surprise, except that i actually liked the buzzcocks's *modern* album in 1999 (or at least i did at the time; maybe if i pulled it out now, i wouldn't be so impressed.) band still sounds like they might be fairly tuneful, if not nearly as energetic as they once were. without shelley's voice, though, it just doesn't matter. i gave up after five or six songs.

xhuxk, Thursday, 16 February 2006 23:24 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Ryan Cabrera You Stand Watching: He's got a beautiful voice, would have done the soft-soul heartbreak of "Gone" better than Justin, would have done the mournfully chilly "To the Moon and Back" almost as well as Darren. I wish he would do songs like that, since there's nothing on here like those, and teen wail might not be his strong suit. "Sensitivity" is, but since the sensitivity is there in his voice anyway, the material is better off not playing it up. This album sounds somewhat anonymous, which I don't consider a flaw necessarily, but only four tracks have reached me so far ("From the Start," "Last Night," "Fall Baby Fall," and especially "Hit Me With Your Light"); since he's not blasting you or nailing you, I may get to feel more here after further listens. The lyrics are vague and generic romance stuff ("Love is it enough/I'll be your shelter when the weather is rough... It's not a fantasy, you can have everything, you can be loved"), which doesn't cripple the music but doesn't draw you in, either. He's not nearly as articulate about what it is to offer love than his ex–better half is at what it feels like to receive it; but then, that's hard to match, since "Pieces of Me" is maybe the sweetest, most charming song ever about what it feels like to be truly and thoroughly loved: "I am moody, messy, I get restless/And it's senseless/How you never seem to care/When I'm angry you listen/Make me happy it's your mission/And you won't stop till I'm there." That has meter and rhyme without losing the sense of someone just conversing; if you think something like that is easy to write, you try it. Of course, I don't know how many of those words are Simpson's and how many are Shanks' or DioGuardi's, and since I don't keep tabs on the teen tabs I don't know if she and Cabrera were yet an item when that song was written; even if they were, the song doesn't have to be referring to him or to anyone, it's a song after all. But I might as well imagine that it does, and that the guy's a sweetheart. Notice how this post ends up about Ashlee; you really didn't imagine it wouldn't, did you? (But a final thought about Ryan's music. He plays acoustic guitar, inserts Spanish touches, and this inspires me to think that maybe he should go to Mexico or Spain and find some swoony extravagant melodies to hang his handsome voice on.)

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 16 February 2006 23:36 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Do you think if he changed his production style to be more soul-inflected it might go a long way? (Or is he already kinda soul-inflected? It's been a while since I heard any Cabrera.)

Eppy (Eppy), Thursday, 16 February 2006 23:45 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Oh yeah, and what made me laugh out loud when I started the Kaiser Chiefs album:

I've got to get this message to the press
That every day I love you less and less

It was refreshing after all that country be-a-tough-babe/this-is what-makes-a-man bullshit, and all that earnest romance.

xpost

Well, he's basically using a rock beat on this album, in keeping with contemporary teenpop, though he's not particularly trying to rock out. But that I heard Justin and Darren when I heard him might indicate that MJ-type soul could work.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 16 February 2006 23:51 (twelve years ago) Permalink

i dont know how i feel about jack johnson, can we talk about him--he has a great smooth voice, and he has a sweet, gentle, genorus subtlety, and i kind of like his kids stuff for the curious george soundtrack, (way pre teen) but has anyone heard anything else, does his connections to john mayer make anyone nervous

anthony easton (anthony), Friday, 17 February 2006 00:30 (twelve years ago) Permalink

*Aquamarine* soundtrack (not sure what the music's about), on first listen anyway, starts slow and way too mellow, with too many David Gray Jack Johnson Jason Mraz John Mayer type boys we never heard of before (well, two of em anyway) getting sensitive and too many girls doing the same (including Sara Paxton, which is disappointing after she was so boppy on last year's geat *Darcy's Wild Life* soundtrack), but things start to pick up a little for Emma Roberts's version of Weezer's "Island in the Sun" (not bad, though her "hip hip"s sound totally limp) and pick up for real for a three song stretch that starts with Courtney Jaye whoever she is misbehaving and ends with Mandy Moore who is almost an oldtimer by now covering Blondie and peaks, in great Hope Partlow Samantha Jo tradition with another GREAT summer song, "Summertime Guys" by longtime Disney pop C-lister Nikki Cleary, which has a killer rumbling bounce of a beat I can't put my finger on - not quite Bow Wow Wow, not quite Bo Diddley, but pretty close taxonomincally: early Sweet, maybe? I dunno, something like that. Album ends with the Stellastarr* dimwit doing his dumb but (very slightly) endearing imitation of Bowie after Bowie couldn't sing in his high register anymore (i,e, after Bowie started to suck), and he's no Andrew Eldritch let me tell you, then with a slimy piece of industrial bubblegum leachery called "I Like The Way" by the Bodyrockers which I predict some silly teenage girls will find sexy.

xhuxk, Friday, 17 February 2006 14:42 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Chuck is totally OTM about that new Buzzcocks album. I had to check the liner notes to see if Shelley was still in the band!

Matthew C Perpetua (inca), Friday, 17 February 2006 14:44 (twelve years ago) Permalink

>(not sure what the music's about), <

actually this might be true but I meant I'm not sure what the MOVIE'S about (though I'm guessing it might concern going to the beach. Matter of fact, one of the 3 girls on the CD cover is a mermaid.) xp

xhuxk, Friday, 17 February 2006 14:45 (twelve years ago) Permalink

"Summertime Guys" written by Jeffrey W Coplan (who also produced it), Nikki Cleary, and Robert Ellis Orrall, the last of whom sort of existed on the commercial country/late-Creem powerpop cusp once upon a time and had a #32 Carlene Carter duet pop hit in 1983 with "I Couldn't Say No," and bigger country hits later than that I believe.

xhuxk, Friday, 17 February 2006 14:49 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Aquamarine trailer up via Apple - starring Emma Roberts and JoJo and someone else as a mermaid.

Abby (abby mcdonald), Friday, 17 February 2006 16:44 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I am not the kind of person to say this, but the mermaid is creepily sexualized. Buh.

Eppy (Eppy), Friday, 17 February 2006 16:56 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I have been listening to the new Goldfrapp album and comparing it in my head to Madonna and Kylie and current British girlpop and it strikes me as actually trying to be teenpop for grownups, which is maybe why it's not that appealing to me. Ditto for the Madonna album. Maybe I should take this to the dance being too gay for American thread or something.

Eppy (Eppy), Friday, 17 February 2006 16:58 (twelve years ago) Permalink

One more thing on Cabrera (alb due back at the library tomorrow): Erlewine at allmusic thinks Cabrera was aiming this album as much at the Matchbox 20/Third Eye Blind crowd as at the teens, which makes sense - I mean, makes sense as an analysis, not as an artistic strategy. The singles from the album - "Photo" and "Shine On" - are far worse than the ones from his last; "Shine On" has some merit as a song but he overdoes the "passion" in his voice and it's irritating. I really wish he'd follow Michael Jackson (or even Timberlake) rather than the white AC balladeers, since they seem to know how to let the music deliver the passion without their having to push anguish forward out of the throat.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Saturday, 18 February 2006 06:48 (twelve years ago) Permalink

"They" being Jackson and Timberlake, not the white balladeers.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Saturday, 18 February 2006 06:51 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Pop World Cup team talk by USA manager Alex M:

Smoosh - "Rad": It is a well-known scientific FACT that a key ingredient of Great Pop is YOUTH. Smoosh back this up nicely. They are sisters Asya, 13, and Chloe, 11, and on 'Rad' Asya raps charmingly about how you should be a little happier and if you want to play then GO PLAY over insanely melodic electric piano. I am sure all Poptimists will take Smoosh to their hearts with no further prompting, but should you need further convincing here are some TEAM ANECDOTES: 1) While recording their album, relations between Chloe and the band's producer got so fractious that she had to be locked out of the studio, whereupon she scrawled "DO U WANT A FIGHT!" on a piece of paper and pressed it to the window; 2) They were once told by an over-excitable interviewer that they could be "as big as Led Zeppelin", to which they replied, "Is that big?"; 3) When I went to see them at Cargo a couple of months ago I got to the venue early to find them playing tag amidst all the bemused punters. CUTE!

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Saturday, 18 February 2006 07:08 (twelve years ago) Permalink

>getting sensitive and too many girls doing the same (including Sara Paxton, which is disappointing after she was so boppy on last year's geat *Darcy's Wild Life* soundtrack)<

actually her Aquamarine song "Connected" is not bad, and not really all that sensitive, and even slightly boppy, though I'm not sure what I think of its self-help lyrics about soulmates.

My fave song so far (and by far) on the *High School Musical* OST is "Bop To The Top," which reminds me of early Conga/Dr Beat-era Miami Sound Machine almost. (Or really, I guess, of MSM a little later, when Gloria was doing that 1-2-3 song.) More on this soon I'm sure.

xhuxk, Saturday, 18 February 2006 14:32 (twelve years ago) Permalink

"I Can't Take My Eyes Off of You" is another good MSM-style bubblesalsa track. (That one's performed by Troy, Gabrielle, Ryan, and Sharpay; "Bop to the Top" by just Ryan and Sharpay.)

xhuxk, Saturday, 18 February 2006 14:55 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Lindsay Lohan, wafer or waif?... Is that Courtney Love on the cover of Seventeen?... Angelina of the morning sickness... Us Weekly reports that someone said something in the January Vanity Fair.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Sunday, 19 February 2006 04:48 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Today's haul from the library:

Chip Taylor and Carrie Rodriguez Red Dog Tracks, Brad Paisley Time Well Wasted, Sara Evans Real Fine Place, Aly & AJ Into the Rush. I'm looking forward to listening to them - I'm especially eager to hear Red Dog Tracks, since I've never heard Uncle Chip's actual singing voice.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Sunday, 19 February 2006 05:00 (twelve years ago) Permalink

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.)

My favorite Mariah is the early Mariah, "Somebody," "Can't Let Go," "Make It Happen" era. After that she helped pioneer a bury-your-voice-in-the-r&b-mix style, which I'm not against in principle (is one of the things that helped her also to pioneer the thug'n'hug mating of hip-hop guys and r&b chicks, which I usually don't love but have nothing against in principle), but it knocked down her exuberance, and "We Belong Together" is far more conversational and less melismatic in its approach - again, I've got nothing against the principle, but all of these things toned down her natural exuberance, which may be the conditions of her staying acceptable to r&b but is too bad.

Anyway, I just heard "Stay the Night," one of the album tracks from Mimi. Reminds me a LOT of Teena Marie, which from me is a high compliment: the rhythm has more or a '00s push and counterfunk than Teena's had back in her prime, and Mariah works the voice well against the rhythm. I'll wait to say more when I listen more. It isn't in what's necessarily my favorite of Teena's various styles - kind of jazzy, Riperton fly the breeze - but the voice does move.

("We Belong Together" isn't bad; it never really sticks for me, though, despite its having living atop the charts for months and months in mid '05.)

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Sunday, 19 February 2006 13:56 (twelve years ago) Permalink

"having lived," that is.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Sunday, 19 February 2006 13:58 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I think I've said before that I reckon the absolute apotheosis of that bury-your-voice-in-the-r&b-mix style of Mariah's is the "Funkin' 4 Jamaica" "cover" she did with Mystikal. In the video clip they had three Mariahs singing her bits into a microphone, and the visual seemed really apt - it was like an ode to backing singer perfection.

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Sunday, 19 February 2006 14:01 (twelve years ago) Permalink

from country thread:

--at least one song from the *high school musical* OST, "breaking free", sounds as much like a pop-country power ballad to me as a teen-pop power ballad (isn't that one of the big download hits? i think so, since it's one of two tracks with a "karaoke instrumental" version at the end of the CD. and come to think of it, the instumental - which i I kind of like; when I first heard it, it was in my random CD changer, and I guessed it was by either tea leaf green or the tossers! -- sounds somewhat rural or pastoral or whatever as well.) the non-karaoke rendition is said to be sung by leading man troy + leading lady gabrielle.

xhuxk, Monday, 20 February 2006 14:58 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Frank, yes-exactly-totally-110% on the Mariah r&b muddled-voice conundrum. Woman needs to *sing*, go for the 90s stuff, etc.

Je4nn3 ƒur¥ (Je4nne Fury), Monday, 20 February 2006 15:26 (twelve years ago) Permalink

yeah, people who think mariah has improved over the years are nuts. (i assume her recent respectability in hip-hop circles has as much to do with her biography as her music -- i.e, people were rooting for a comeback. to my ears she's become duller in direct proportion to getting more hip-hop. i'd like to hear the song frank compares to teena marie, though.)

despite tracks i mentioned above, i should note that i'm pretty sure *high school musical* isn't a very good CD. most of it, i'd classify as "lame show tunes." i'm guessing the music is closer to *rent* (which i've never heard) than to *fame* or *grease.* and i'd rather hear almost any Radio Disney star than the singers on this thing. A couple okay tracks, though.

xhuxk, Monday, 20 February 2006 16:22 (twelve years ago) Permalink

(there is also some little-bow-wow (maybe aaron carter)-level grab-and-go kiddie-hop b-ball r&b on it, too, which tracks are okay I guess. and the tracks i do like -- the two latin-ish ones and maybe the one country-ish one, which is probably not all that country -- suggest that the singers might actually be okay if given palatable material. (the most and maybe only country thing about "breaking free" might be gabrielle aka vanessa anne hudgens's vocal inflections as her intensity picks up. i'm guessing if anybody on here has a future, it's her.) (another not-bad track, i just decided, is "we're all in this together," which starts off as a show-tuney mess of sap but winds up with cool chant-a-long sections ["wildcats! everywhere! wave your hands up in the air"] then a cool pep-rally whistle break [to do step routines or drum line bits too] that have some real energy in them. actually, i'm realizing who that song reminds me of is long-lost early '90s teen-poppers The Party, of "In My Dreams" fame, and as a matter of fact the *High School Musical* cast, crossing all racial and gender boundaries known to affluent exurbia, also kinda LOOKS like The Party.)

xhuxk, Monday, 20 February 2006 16:48 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Cheyenne Kimball, "One Original Thing," opening *Aquamarine*: Better than I suggested above. "1 Thing" by way of Kelly C. pop-rock, with a drum break in the middle blatantly swiped from *Dookie* ("Longview," I think?) overlaid with a nifty synth line. Followed by Nikki Flores in "Strike" imitating Aaliyah oops I mean Beyonce over quasi-middle eastern undulations and quasi-Timbaland (or somebody) incidental whoops and geegaws. Cool.

xhuxk, Monday, 20 February 2006 17:48 (twelve years ago) Permalink

i'd rather hear almost any Radio Disney star than the singers on this thing

Might be why B5's version of "Getcha Head in the Game" seems to be more popular than Troy and whoever's version (as well as "Breaking Free") on Radio Disney. I thought this might be an interesting phenomenon in the Disney to Top 40 tradition, but it seems to be a downloading fluke.

nameom (nameom), Monday, 20 February 2006 18:02 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Track 7 on *Aquamarine*, "Time For Me To Fly" by the Jonas Brothers, takes its beat from Katrina and the Waves. And its title from REO Speedwagon, even more blatantly than Toby Keith did in "Time For Me To Ride". Also, the Jonas Brothers (apparently named Nicholas Jonas, Joseph Jonas, Kevin Jonas II, and maybe Kevin Jonas Sr and PJ Bianco, or at least that's who all wrote it) sing like girls, and I kind of like it, way more than boy wimps Teddy Geiger and Teitur earlier on the album. (The latter. whoever he is, tells some girl that she is either going to be his friend and his lover, or neither. Nikki Cleary should kick his butt.)

xhuxk, Monday, 20 February 2006 18:24 (twelve years ago) Permalink

And Courtney Jaye "Can't Behave" sounds like classic early '70s bubblegum, White Plains or Vanity Fare or Flying Machine or Edison Lighthouse or somebody, but with a girl singing.

xhuxk, Monday, 20 February 2006 18:31 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I am now listening to the Delays album. It's rather good in an over-reaching 80's-synth hopeless romantic poetry (with a bit of a dash of the Modern British Boys With Guitars) kind of way. The singer's not Morten Harket, which is points away, and it's not exactly The Definite Article, but they've rather defied the odds and appear to have blossomed into something really interesting.

Whether that fits on this thread or not I don't really know, but I just thought I'd let you know. 'Valentine' is one of the best things on the album, but its ambition is definitely matched elsewhere.

William Bloody Swygart (mrswygart), Monday, 20 February 2006 18:43 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I need to correct something I wrote above: It was in the February Vanity Fair that somebody said something, not the January. I'm sorry for the inconvenience I may have caused.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Monday, 20 February 2006 20:52 (twelve years ago) Permalink

So I bought The Secret Life of the Veronicas and on first listen, I don't quite understand the giant orgasm people are having over them. The pop hooks are there in spades, the production is excellent, and they can sing. But I couldn't remember any of the songs after I was done listening (which, to me, usually means there's some forced activity going on and/or I need to enjoy the silence for a while, so to speak). I'll give it a day and go back to it. But it didn't have the same instantaneous "omg" effect as say, "Since U Been Gone" (I'm worried that that kicked the bar too high) or even "You Oughta Know" (which isn't exactly pop, I know).

Je4nn3 ƒur¥ (Je4nne Fury), Monday, 20 February 2006 23:13 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Very strange Simon Reynolds piece here. (It's probably been talked to death on the Simon Reynolds c or d thread already, but I gave up on that one several years ago.) He's focusing on the UK, which may be a reason for his claim that there's almost no conversation between black and white, but the U.S. music that charted in the U.K. was inundated in conversation between black and white: How is Mariah Carey not a conversation between black and white (gospel and r&b so intermixed with show and opera that there's no way to distentangle them)? Not to mention all grime and most Southern hip-hop, which have adopted the musical vocabulary of central and eastern European romanticism. Not to mention "Hollaback Girl" (or was that not a U.K. hit?). Not to mention Kelly Clarkson, who's applying the Mariah intermixture to goth (speaking of the musical vocabulary of central and eastern European romanticism), and if you listen to "Addicted" (one of her gothier tracks), there're some fascinating skitter beats that are dance- and club-derived. Oh yeah, and 2005 was the year that Lil Wayne rapped to an Iron Maiden song. I think with Reynolds you have to take what he says and say to yourself, "OK, what was really on his mind?" Perhaps that groups like Coldplay and Kaiser Chiefs aren't taking in what is going on in grime and hip-hop, and grime and hip-hop aren't incorporating Coldplay and the Kaiser Chiefs? (Actually, I've barely heard Coldplay, so maybe this isn't so.) The generalization he might be shooter for could be, "There don't seem to be any new styles of conversation between black and white that aren't mere extensions of the ongoing conversation between black and white." But even then, what Kelly Clarkson is doing seems new. Some of you with a more thorough knowledge of goth might want to weigh in on this, but Kelly Clarkson's melisma and call-and-response stylizations seem more from black gospel and r&b than are the vocal styles you get from Amy Lee (Evanescence), Annette van Giersbergen (The Gathering), or Cristina Scabbia (Lacuna Coil).

(I don't suppose this is the thread to discuss it, but I can't fathom why Reynolds would say, "Because its internal socio-cultural dynamics force it to keep on generating freshness, black music has never really needed to borrow from white music." History of 20th century to thread? (But not this thread.))

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Monday, 20 February 2006 23:42 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Jeanne, I think the orgasm is over "4Ever" rather than the Veronicas alb as a whole, which most of us haven't heard yet. And I don't think the feeling is that "4Ever" is doing something new (though notice the Transylvanian half-step I refer to upthread), just that it's good.

By the way, the rush I'm getting from Aly & AJ's "Rush" beats the rush I'm getting from "4Ever" - in fact, probably beats the rush I get from "Everywhere" and "Complicated," its obvious progenitors. Its not getting airplay beyond Radio Disney, however. Can we all get together and do something about that?

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Monday, 20 February 2006 23:52 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I'm fine with calling "You Oughta Know" pop; or if it's not pop, then Ashlee's "Shadow" and Pink's "Don't Let Me Get Me" and Avril's "Losing Grip" and Kelly Clarkson's "Because of You" - all singles - aren't pop either. Something's being "pop" doesn't exclude its being something else. For about two weeks "You Oughta Know" was alternative, until it broke Top 40.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 00:00 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Jeanne, have you heard Marion Raven's "Break You"? I've actually not heard the studio version in full (just 1-minute clips from the Marion Raven Website), but I've heard the live acoustic version that MTV Asia posted on its site, and it feels to me as if it's halfway between "You Oughta Know" and "Since U Been Gone." Even better, I think, is "End of Me," also with a live version on MTV Asia, seems to be drawing on Alanis and Joni.

I don't understand why her album isn't getting a U.S. release. What is there to lose? Maybe we can do something about this, too.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 00:35 (twelve years ago) Permalink

while you're at it, how about knocking off Barry Manilow?

m coleman (lovebug starski), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 00:38 (twelve years ago) Permalink

The generalization he might be shooter for

Shooting for, that is. (I don't think of Simon Reynolds and Shooter Jennings as being all that similar. Shooter, by the way, is conducting a conversation between country and L.A. sleaze metal.)

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 00:39 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I probably missed it somewhere upthread, but I'm curious about what the goth elements in Kelly C. are. (BTW, Frank, there's a lot about "the Transylvanian half-step" in the hopeful book project on psychedelic music that I finished not too long ago - though I don't call it tha, of course. There's a whole chapter on psychedelia as gothic music.)

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 00:46 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Marion Raven Website

Marion Raven acoustic tracks

Clip from Break You video

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 00:53 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Tim, search "goth" and "Kelly" and "Clarkson" and "Evanescence" on this thread and that's where you'll find the discussion, though I hope to pick it up again soon (maybe even tonight, if I have the time).

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 01:01 (twelve years ago) Permalink

The majority of that Veronicas album is pretty disappointing (I think I still have a full YSI zip of it here, but I'm pretty sure the link expires tomorrow).

Frank, have you listened to all of Into the Rush yet? "Rush" was good enough to kind of blind me to a few other songs (which for the most part sound more like "Rush" than "No One" or the covers) with some strange, even frightening content. Not in the vein of previously discussed "Because of You" or "Confessions of a Broken Heart," either...there's something even darker happening in a few Aly & AJ tracks (particularly "I Am One of Them" and to a lesser extent "Sticks and Stones").

nameom (nameom), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 01:40 (twelve years ago) Permalink

>he most striking thing about Pop in 2005 is how little conversation there is between black music and white music<

apparently he never heard kanye west! (a minor 2005 footnote, but still.)

xhuxk, Tuesday, 21 February 2006 01:59 (twelve years ago) Permalink

as for brit-pop, i really don't see how blur or oasis or the smiths conversed any more with black music than coldplay or the kaiser chiefs do (and those old guys were quite possibly LESS conversant with black music than bloc party and maybe franz ferdinand are.) and brit-pop is only a tiny tip of the iceberg, obviously. so yeah, i really don't get simon's point at all. if this is a problem with indie rock or british pop-rock, which maybe it is compared to say the early '80s, it's been pretty much the same problem for the past couple decades!

xhuxk, Tuesday, 21 February 2006 02:06 (twelve years ago) Permalink

(though i suppose the smiths took a bassline from the supremes once, if that counts.)

xhuxk, Tuesday, 21 February 2006 02:08 (twelve years ago) Permalink

>The generalization he might be shooter for<

"Shooter" by Lil Wayne may well be Southern hip-hop conversing with Shooter Jennings too.

xhuxk, Tuesday, 21 February 2006 02:11 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Hmm, I can't get the Marion clips to play. I'll try tomorrow at work. I do like the 4Ever song, but I'm curious as to how the album and the Veronicas themselves will fare in the U.S. (Oh, and fwiw, I certainly don't need pop music to do anything new in order for me to love it.)

Random musings: There seems to be a lot more rock in contemporary pop songs (Duff, Lohan, Clarkson kinda) than there was just a few years back when R&B and dancey hip-hop seemed to be the favored angle (Britney, Xtina). Then there was the teen version of songstresses (Michelle Branch, Vanessa Carlton). I dunno, pop sounds *younger* now than it did. Granted, I don't think the Duffs/Lohans have the voices to carry R&B songs, so that could explain it.

Je4nn3 ƒur¥ (Je4nne Fury), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 02:12 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Probably also worth noting is that people like Maroon 5, John Mayer, Jason Mraz, and Linkin Park (and Dave Matthews and Jack Johnson? maybe, I dunno) are carrying on a conversation with black music even if I (we?) don't like it (which might be our problem, not theirs. Kanye West & Jay-Z seem not to have a problem with said conversation, it seems.)

xhuxk, Tuesday, 21 February 2006 02:21 (twelve years ago) Permalink

And where the heck does he classify M.I.A. and Lady Sovereign, and reggaeton for that matter?

xhuxk, Tuesday, 21 February 2006 02:25 (twelve years ago) Permalink

>the true post-Punk spirit manifested today would involve miscegenating Indie-Rock with Grime or Crunk.<

I mean, I suppose THIS is Simon's real point. But honestly, anybody who believes indie rock (and maybe grime or crunk) is the cutting edge of innovation anymore (anybody who believes indie rock has been the cutting edge of white popular music in. like, the past 20 years) hasn't been paying attention. (And that said, I'm not at all sure that indie-rock *hasn't* somehow miscegenated with grime or crunk. And I'm even less sure that I'd give a shit about it if it did.) (And what do "cutting edge"s have to do with good music anyway?)

xhuxk, Tuesday, 21 February 2006 02:38 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I have heard two Jack Johnson songs that I kind of like now.

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 03:03 (twelve years ago) Permalink

(And that's not listening to albums and only being able to pick out a couple of tracks. I have not listened to Jack Johnson albums. These are two songs on the radio that I kind of liked. The only enthusiastic respondent on my "Good People" thread was Steve Shasta.)

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 03:15 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Jeanne, the clips on Marion's Website are playing fine, but they take several minutes to download if you're on dialup (like me). Actually, her site takes a while to load too. Anyway, once you're in, click on "Media Player" and you'll see a list of songs, many of which have music clips and a few of which have video clips as well; the music clips are generally around a minute so they're long enough to give you a pretty good idea. The video clips are full-length. (So you can ignore the third link I posted, which doesn't get you to a full-length version.) In the "Break You" video she tries to go "Since U Been Gone" (but not "Kerosene" or that Dwight Yoakam song) one better by taking a chainsaw to her ex's possessions and then setting them afire. I actually think that both song and production try too hard; so in some ways I prefer the live acoustic version, where she's not menacing me with a chainsaw, though the singing on that one somehow feels too proper.

I like "End of Me" more, despite the thing being more pretentious. (Despite?) The music to that one sounds like a doomy version of "Theme from a Summer Place" (at least in the part where she sings, "If I'm caught in the middle I know it will be the end of me"); her voice climbs cliffs and takes sharp turns.

By the way, she lives in NYC these days, so maybe you could drop by and ask her what's up with the U.S. release. (I suspect the record company just doesn't think she'll sell big here. M2M really didn't get much play in the U.S. after "Don't Say You Love Me.")

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 03:35 (twelve years ago) Permalink

By the way, Tim, I think you're on the money in regard to the connection between psychedelia and goth.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 03:37 (twelve years ago) Permalink

(Obviously I now have heard the non-live versions of "Break You" and "End of Me" in full (assuming that the video length and the album length are the same); and in the next few days I'll hear the title song in full, for which there is also a video.)

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 04:12 (twelve years ago) Permalink

And... ta da!... the first single from the forthcoming MARIT LARSEN album is now out in Norway, and the video is streamed on her Website. And I don't immediately have the words to describe it, really. It's cute and fun, probably more cute than anything we've talked about yet on this thread. But it's not teenpop. It's... I don't know... pop carnival young woman cabaret? Jingle? The song is called "Don't Save Me" and the words seem to be about ending a relationship, but the mood isn't "I'll break you" but rather "I'll wash that relationship right out of my hair." I like it. Maybe a lot.

Marit was the self-effacing one, would sometimes trade leads with Marion but often seemed willing to stay back and do the harmonies. Her voice was matter-of-fact whereas Marion's was emotive. I really didn't know what to expect. In the four years since The Big Room, in occasional postings on her Website, she'd mention her admiration for Paul Simon, Conor Oboerst. This doesn't sound like either of them. The rest of the album may still be a surprise. I like it, that I don't know what to expect.

I hate to say it, but she does sound refreshingly grown-up (she's probably 20 or 21) compared to all the angst-kids of approximately her age we've been talking about on this thread. This doesn't necessarily make her better. Or even more genuinely grown-up. But it's attractive, playful.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 05:13 (twelve years ago) Permalink

(I do want to say on behalf of my girl Ashlee, that she's got her playfully grown-up goofball tendencies, which is one reason I have hopes for her. And Skye, too.)

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 05:19 (twelve years ago) Permalink

More black-white conversation: Robyn.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 05:48 (twelve years ago) Permalink

The Veronicas' "Everything I'm Not" really grew on me, I think I like it as much as "4 Ever" now (and its US video clip is better than the US video clip for "4 Ever"). I do have a feeling though that the album would be v. patchy.

I think Simon is talking about music made within the UK in his comments quoted upthread, rather than simply that which charts there.

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 06:23 (twelve years ago) Permalink

(Aside to Chuck--thanks for tip about The Gathering.)

Ian in Brooklyn, Tuesday, 21 February 2006 07:16 (twelve years ago) Permalink

>Some of you with a more thorough knowledge of goth might want to weigh in on this, but Kelly Clarkson's melisma and call-and-response stylizations seem more from black gospel and r&b than are the vocal styles you get from Amy Lee (Evanescence), Annette van Giersbergen (The Gathering), or Cristina Scabbia (Lacuna Coil).<

Probably true, though I swear I read an interview in a metal zine once where Cristina Scabbia said one of her favorite bands is Destiny's Child! Not sure if or how that ever manifested in her music, however. And it's possible that certain of Amy's, Annete's, and Cristina's goth forebears (Kate Bush? Siouxsie?) mixed up soul and goth in ways that they don't. If you go back to the '80s, certain gothy singers definitely did, I think: Jeanne Mas, Mylene Farmer, Laura Branigan, maybe Pat Benatar. And beyond women, the obvious king of soul-goth pop will always be Michael Jackson! But where is Michael Freedberg when we need him? This is totally his territory. Yet I still agree Kelly might be doing something new.

xhuxk, Tuesday, 21 February 2006 12:32 (twelve years ago) Permalink

>By the way, Tim, I think you're on the money in regard to the connection between psychedelia and goth. <

Psychedelic meaning, like, the Yardbirds? Uriah Heep? "Manic Depression" by Jimi Hendrix? Or what? (I probably agree too though.)

xhuxk, Tuesday, 21 February 2006 14:26 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Other big goth-soul-lady progenitors, neither of whom I really have much use for myself, might include Fiona Apple (who many r&b critics and maybe even r&b fans seem to have use for) and Sinead O'Connor (who lucratively covered Prince and has worked with reggae guys.)

xhuxk, Tuesday, 21 February 2006 14:28 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Tim, Simon talks about crunk and Three 6 Mafia and stuff, so while the column is deliberately Britcentric (my guess is that Frieze is a Brit zine), it certainly counts some music that crossed to Britain, and Kelly Clarkson crossed a lot more than crunk did. And not considering, say, Beyoncé part of the British pop scene would be as insane as not counting the Rolling Stones as part of the American scene in 1965.

Am I misreading the piece in thinking that there's a tilt that says that the Kaiser Chiefs and Coldplay and Arctic Monkeys are amiss for not taking in crunk and grime, whereas crunk and grime aren't amiss for overlooking Kaisers et al.? (Not that such a tilt - if it's there - is necessarily wrong, but it shouldn't be a habitual tilt.)

Anyway, one of my long-time (over)generalizations is that most r&b-soul-hip-hop is still pre–Rolling Stones, and most rock is pre–James Brown (which implies something that probably isn't true: that somehow Brown and Stones represent everybody's future). Anyway, by "pre" I don't mean that James Brown's children don't draw fruitfully on the work of the Rolling Stones children and vice versa, but that they draw on it without understanding it (or the understanding is in the mind but not in the heart or the social practice). So they use what they draw on for their own purposes. But then, while I do think that most subsequent r&b etc. does understand James Brown, I wouldn't say that most rock gets the Rolling Stones either. (And maybe it doesn't have to, but anyway...). And "most" doesn't mean "all," of course.

Maybe the Rolling Stones don't get the Rolling Stones either.

Anyway, thinking about the white-black convo means thinking about the miscommunication and noncommunication.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 16:27 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Dear Frank,

You have work to do offline. Please logout.

A friend

Last night I heard "Our Truth," the new Lacuna Coil single, and I was disappointed. Starts with eerie plinks, ominous bass, a distant female wail, none of which is surprising and all of which I'm used to (whether the genre be goth or crunk), then metal guitar and the woman enters the near frame singing but not wailing. All of which is fine, except they've crunched me and moved me far more in the past. You basically have to wait to 1:10 for the harmonies to kick in, and that's where I start liking it: a jump from gloom to glorious consonance, which is usually what I like most about Lacuna Coil and the Gathering anyway. Which is to say, their tracks rarely hit me overall (the way the great Evanescence singles do), but the interplay between gloom and pretty harmonies provides a lot of good moments.

Video's up on Launch Yahoo, if you're interested.

Also heard Reggaeton Ninos' version of "Oye Mi Canto": "The remix with kids on it!" Great song anyway, and I love the kid chants.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 16:37 (twelve years ago) Permalink

c'wincidentally, the Norwegian charts are a bit golden this week, in terms of new entries - two rather marvellous songs by Maria Mena and Marit Carlsen (the other one from M2M?); a song by Mew which seems to basically consist of them being incredibly high-pitched and features the line "It's like a giraffe, you have to climb to see its face"; a new single by Wigwam, Norway's Eurovision entry from last year that could be kinda summarised as novelty glam dunn rite (it's a lot better when you don't have to see them doing it); and Johnny Cash's version of 'Hurt', for some reason.

Also - RBD. Latino Electro-pop of vaguely indeterminate origin that's all over the South American charts like a quite good rash. Any ideas?

William Bloody Swygart (mrswygart), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 16:59 (twelve years ago) Permalink

New Nelly Furtado album should be out any second if it isn't already; supposed to be mostly she and Timbaland, but also some Pharrell and some Coldplay. Her "Like a Bird" got lots of Radio Disney play in 2001, because it was like a bird. One of the tracks that helped clear the way for Missundaztood and Let Go, I'd say.

She had a second album somewhere along the way that came and went without my even learning of its existence.

Mr. Swygart, move your eyes up a few posts for info in regard to Marit Larsen.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 17:03 (twelve years ago) Permalink

By the way people, listen to those Marion Raven and Marit Larsen songs I linked to and tell me what you think.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 17:07 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Ah...

The Larsen's pretty quality, yes. Very much liking the handclaps.

In return You Hurt Me is the new Hooverphonic single, and the video can be found on this page. Like Marit, this may not be teenpop, but it's damn close - closer than, say, Goldfrapp, for instance. It has a piano bit.

William Bloody Swygart (mrswygart), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 17:35 (twelve years ago) Permalink

The beginning of the Larsen sounds like (sorry) Elvis Costello to me--something about that piano reminds me of, I dunno, "High Fidelity" maybe? Or "King Horse"? Something around "Get Happy!" The little dips in the chorus, too, "house of cards" and whatever the last word is. It's great. But sunnier and sharper than Costello, of course.

Eppy (Eppy), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 22:32 (twelve years ago) Permalink

In the Stylus jukebox I referred to the chorus of Kelly C's "Walk Away" as having a "heavy country vibe" by which I guess I mean Big & Rich, but I really just meant country but heavy. I hear the gospel in the verses but the chorus seems pure Texas.

Eppy (Eppy), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 22:35 (twelve years ago) Permalink

And that break in the Larsen sounds kinda like Avril in a giddy mood, or even maybe mid-period REM.

Eppy (Eppy), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 22:36 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I was thinking it's a sort of Abba-fication of, I don't know, *acoustic chick rock* (sorry if that's an offensive term!). At least arrangement-wise - there's some other bubblegum element I can't put my finger on in the chorus. I like the song.

(Chuck, I worry about getting scooped by talking too much about unpublished writings on the internet, but yeah, there's Yardbirds in there in my psych/goth thing and tons of other stuff!)

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 22:51 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Where the fuck did this Delays single come from? If it wasn't for how bad the video is (pitch: LSD... ON DRUGS!!!!), I could grow to love this. Didn't they sound like the fucking Coral on their last album?

They're no El Presidente, admittedly, but El Presidente are only for a certain kind of teen.

Dom Passantino (Dom Passantino), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 22:52 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Fan_3, "Broken Home": Just found the CD single on the free table here. Geffen, 2005. Never heard of it. Teenybop classical goth rap based (I think) on whatever classical theme Streisand's "The Way We Were" was based on (if not, it's an even more famous classical theme I'm blanking out on right now), seemingly inept but actually self-assured rapping from girl (apparently the blonde teen on the cover) who sounds like, I dunno, early Princess Superstar or somebody, but thinks she's Eminem, and the rap is all about her parents' divorce, how her mom is boozing and using so "she wants more than anything to live with her dad" who "is generous on only 24 grand a year." Actually though the parental strife mood is carried more by the orchestrations than her rapping or words; where her voice (and the song) kick in is when she stops rapping and starts singing along to the the classical melody, at which point it's almost a 1990 Latin freestyle song for the last minute or so. Weird. ("Original version appears on the forthcoming Fan_3 album Let Me Clear My Throat.")

xhuxk, Wednesday, 22 February 2006 20:33 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Which reminds me that that new goth movement in teen-pop might conceivably have as much to do with recent Eminem or with Justin's "Cry Me a River" as Evanescence (or then again it might not).

xhuxk, Wednesday, 22 February 2006 20:39 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Inner sleeve note: "fan_3 (fan'thre)n. 16-year-old teen; consummate Valley Girl from Sherman Oaks-California; artist, poet with a gift of rhyme; 100% all-out fan of great musical trios such as Destiny's Child, Dixie Chicks, blink-182, TLC, & Green Day."

(sorry, my computer doesn't have long or short vowel marks.)

xhuxk, Wednesday, 22 February 2006 20:47 (twelve years ago) Permalink

chuck - Fan 3 is somewhat from left-field. Her 'Boom' and 'Hey Boy' are slightly crazed, hyper-something-unpredictable pop while 'Geek Love' is just plain adorable.

Abby (abby mcdonald), Wednesday, 22 February 2006 21:14 (twelve years ago) Permalink

From the Veronicas' press kit:

"They opened a string of high-profile dates for Ryan Cabrera."

Shouldn't it be "They had a string of high-profile dates WITH Ryan Cabrera"?

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 23 February 2006 01:02 (twelve years ago) Permalink

There's also some country in that Marit Larsen song, though perhaps it's just in her voice?

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Thursday, 23 February 2006 01:22 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Re J Cash in Norwegian charts: prob related to Walk the Line in the cinemas.

BTW for those who might be interested: chart is here, complete with soundclips (5 seconds on mouseover, 30 seconds when clicking og loudspeaker symbol).

The Vintner's Lipogram (OleM), Thursday, 23 February 2006 17:34 (twelve years ago) Permalink

So, any of youse got opinion on Marion Raven songs?

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 23 February 2006 18:26 (twelve years ago) Permalink

You can now vote on recently "picked" Reggaeton Ninos' "Oye Mi Canto" on Radio Disney -- see if it cracks the Top 30 (vote early, vote often). Does anyone know anything more about this project? I only know it's distributed by EMI (distribution connections to Hollywood Records through their Christian music group, probably irrelevant in this case). Maybe "Gasolina" will make it into the rotation next.

nameom (nameom), Thursday, 23 February 2006 22:40 (twelve years ago) Permalink

This is the Swedish chart, resplendent with Realplayer links for every song in the top 40. #12, to be quite frank, is the ticket.

Fr Kog - I will give ver Raven a spin a little later on.

William Bloody Swygart (mrswygart), Friday, 24 February 2006 13:09 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Frank, I love the Marion album lots, but, in keeping with your thread's initial post, really, Marit Larsen's solo single is like a slow-burning blinder of awesome proportions. "Don't Save Me", it's called, get it, it's fantastic, even if the intro does sound a bit like "Listen To Your Heartbeat" by Friends (a Swedish Eurovision entrant from a few years back).

Best Marion Raven songs: "Crawl" and "End Of Me".

edward o (edwardo), Tuesday, 28 February 2006 02:26 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Ah, didn't see the discussion above, as have lost touch with this thread.

The Marie Sernholt single is tidy too.

edward o (edwardo), Tuesday, 28 February 2006 02:27 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I alluded to this cryptically upthread: Ashlee Simpson on the cover of the March Seventeen makes herself up to look exactly like Courtney Love. You should take a look while it's still on the stands (probably for a few more days). Also, Jimmy Draper heard her cover "Celebrity Skin" in concert a couple of years ago.

She's got a very different look on the cover of Elle, which I can't describe, not because it's indescribable but because I was never taught how to analyze fashion. Her eyes are made up to look wide-eyed but not quite innocent. Her clothes if I recall correctly are a half-glitz, made to look snazzy but expendable (or at least removable). Not blatant like glam or freestyle, but akin to their spirit. There's a definite restlessness to her various looks.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 2 March 2006 06:54 (eleven years ago) Permalink

ive always thot that courtney was the kind of woman we would always realis was ovalour ten years after her death

anthony easton (anthony), Thursday, 2 March 2006 06:56 (eleven years ago) Permalink

From her Cosmopolitan interview late last year:

Cosmo: You and Jessica have such distinct styles. How would you describe yours?

Ashlee: It's a little more feminine now but still has an edge. I love vintage, and I like things to be a little off. I wear things Ashlee-style. I don't care if I'm on the worst dressed [list] because it means I tried something.

xpost

Anthony, what is "ovalour"?

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 2 March 2006 07:08 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I dunno, pop sounds *younger* now than it did.

Je4nn3, I wish you would elaborate on this. (I have an idea of why one might think it's younger, though "younger" might not be the right word. But I'd like to hear your ideas.)

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 2 March 2006 07:26 (eleven years ago) Permalink

OK, today's booty from the library consists of Lizzie McGuire, DVD, episodes 12 through 22; Talk to Her, a film by Pedro Almodóvar; The Dukes of Hazzard (CD not DVD); Buddy Jewell Times Like These. I suspect that the Jewell and the Almodóvar won't qualify as teenpop, though I haven't listened or watched yet, and you never know. I'll report back on Lizzie McGuire (so far Hilary Duff is a complete cipher to me, even though I love "Come Clean" and "Fly"). Which leaves The Dukes of Hazzard, which I've had on continuous play all afternoon and is chock full of greatness, including as its leadoff (speaking of booty) a very strange and spooky version of "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" by Jessica Simpson. What it is (speaking of the conversation between black and white that Simon Reynolds doesn't think exists right now) is a Jam & Lewis dance track, almost all of it treble percussion and handclap, Jessica making her voice uncharacteristically thin, sketching in the melody, with banjo and harmonica occasionally inserted, a bit of guitar from Willie Nelson, almost no bottom. And it leads into maybe the most searing Allman Brothers song ever, "One Way Out," and for the rest of the album (with the exception of a negligible Willie cut at the end) you've got blistering '70s Southern rock by the likes of Skynyrd and Hatchett and Vaughan and Daniels (speaking of black-white conversations from the past), and blistering recent faux Southern rock by the Blueskins and the Blues Explosion that matches the Allmans song in quality and actually outdoes the Skynyrd, Hatchett, Vaughn, Daniels stuff. And - speaking of bubblegum as Southern rock or vice versa (producers Kasenetz & Katz, the fellows who'd brought us "Yummy Yummy Yummy" and "Chewy Chewy" and "1, 2, 3 Red Light") - there's Ram Jam's "Black Betty," which is 120 years of American stomp condensed into three minutes. The Blueskins and Blues Explosion tracks totally floor me. The only thing I know about the Blueskins is they're Yorkshire Brits on the same label as the Arctic Monkeys. Their song - "Change My Mind - starts with an acoustic slide, but in its heart it's scrappy slimy vinyl-pants L.A. sleaze metal (which was the teenpop of the late '80s). The Blues Explosion's "Burn It Off" reminds me of the Johnny Thunders Heartbreakers, a great Stonesy groove but with a girl-groupish call-and-response type poppiness. I don't know if Jon Spencer quite has the voice for what he's trying to do, but Thunders didn't either, yet it worked often enough and so does this. I've got one Blues Explosion album that I played a couple of times and set aside for its being too distant and mannered, but maybe I need to go back and rethink it. I'd liked Spencer's sense of humor back in Pussy Galore.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Sunday, 5 March 2006 03:28 (eleven years ago) Permalink


What makes Kelly only surface level goth--and may at the same time make her seem to signify in a 'gospel' range--is simply her incredible pipes. I mean, an easy three octaves here, whihc she uses fairly atheletically, but *any* real atheletcism seems to be anti-goth.

Amy Lee, Annette van Giersbergen and Cristina Scabbia will hit those melodramatic high notes--and that girl from Leaves Eyes who duets brilliantly on the new Cradle of Filth song--but systematic emoting negates the required goth, er, deadpan aesthetic, doncha think?

Ian in Brooklyn, Sunday, 5 March 2006 06:41 (eleven years ago) Permalink

(My bible for all things goth and my face title evuh: "Gothic: Four Hundred Years of Excess, Horror, Evil and Ruin" by Richard Davenport-Hines

Ian in Brooklyn, Sunday, 5 March 2006 06:56 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Ian, if you're saying that the goth-metal chicks don't make a point of really putting the songs over (which I don't mean as an insult -- I LOVE the Gathering, especially) where Kelly makes more of a point of emphasizing individual words rather than the sound as a whole, I think I agree with you. (Do you?) (But the lovely Ms. Van Gierbergen is ANNEKE, not Annette! Which I've been repeatedly told is pronoucned "Anne-uh-kuh," not "A Neck.")

from rolling world music thread:

>Lucas Prata *Let's Get It On* on my probably favorite dance label Ultra is excellent outer borough guido-disco (see also: Razor & Guido a few years ago) from I think Queens since that's what it says on his t-shirt in some photos on the inner sleeve unlike the front cover where he's wearing a superhero costume, plus I bet he weighs 200 pounds easy, probably more. Also he covers "The Ma Ya Hi Song" as he calls it by Romanians (I think) O-Zone which I voted for as one of my top ten singles last year. Plus his ballads split the difference between boy band pop & early '80s power ballad rock. Even more interestingly, tracks like "Never Be Alone" sound quite Italo-disco, which makes me wonder what the connection is between Italo-disco from Italy and guido-disco from Queens and Brooklyn Hmmm....
I doubt HE (or his fans) call(s) his music "guido disco," of course. I'm not sure *what* they would call it -- I'm guessing just the annoyingly all-purpose "club music," maybe? If anybody knows, I'm interested. Also he defintely connects to the tradition of "tough-looking New Yawk Italian American guys singing in angelic falsettos," a tradition that harks back at least to Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. (How often did Dion falsetto? Or Frank Sinatra? Assuming Hoboken counts as an outer borough. Um...Vito and the Salutations??)
-- xhuxk (xedd...), March 5th, 2006.

xhuxk, Sunday, 5 March 2006 18:41 (eleven years ago) Permalink

(Also I spelled Anneke's last name wrong.)

xhuxk, Sunday, 5 March 2006 18:42 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I recently did a post on the "Naked Mole Rap" song from Kim Possible and pegged it as fake-rap in the vein of "Lazy Sunday" but Hillary called me out on it, and she's right, it's not fake-rap, it's kid-rap, which is a whole different thing--there's no awareness of racial issues and the whole thing is just much, much more excited than rap itself almost ever is. Thoughts? Other examples of kid-rap? What do the rap songs off the Kidz Bop CDs sound like?

Eppy (Eppy), Sunday, 5 March 2006 19:03 (eleven years ago) Permalink

>Other examples of kid-rap? <

Aaron Carter!

xp: (Also I guess I'm assuming Prata IS Italian American, which i suppose it's possible he might not be. But most of the evidence does seem to lean in that direction, as far as I can tell.)

Watched *High School Muiscal* last night (I was sent a DVD.) "Stick to the Status Quo" is definitely more fun on the DVD than on the CD. Most likeable charcter is the girl who plays piano, partially since she dresses thrift-store wacky-but-snazzy like my daughter Coco (whose fashion sense was I think influenced *very* early on by the title character of the TV show *Blossom*) , though it annoys me when they make said piano girl "let her hair down" librarian-coming-out-of-her-shell-style at the end. Most hilarious and over-the-top character is Sharpay, which is interesting since at first you expect her to be a *Heathers*-type snob. Dullest characters, naturally, are leading man and lady Troy and Gabrielle, just because they're so goody-goody innocuous. (The Gabrielle character's only previous singing experience, we learn, was, of course, in her church choir: bad omen from a culture war perspective at the start, but the rest of the movie is gay enough to make up for it.)

xhuxk, Sunday, 5 March 2006 20:35 (eleven years ago) Permalink

And oh yeah, do Hard-Fi and Arctic Monkeys count as teen-pop, in England at least? (Arctic Monkeys are teenagers, right?) Anyway, I'm gonna assume they do, and therefore state here that HARD-FI ARE MUCH BETTER THAN ARCTIC MONKEYS. Hard-Fi (my favorite songs of whom so far are "Cash Macine" and "Living for the Weekend") sound like a missing link between, the Clash of "Ivan Meets G.I. Joe" (or some similar *Sandinista!* cut) and um the Clash of "Rock the Casbash," except with no Joe Strummer or Mick Jones, so not ROCK enough, but I like them anyway. Arctic Monkeys's songs, at least on the advance I have, generally seem to get lost in the mix. Not even sure if that makes sense; maybe I just mean their vocals are mixed too low or something? Or their arrangements aren't as catchy as Hard-Fi's? I dunno, something like that. But I don't mind them, especially the song where they tell Roxanne to put out the red light and the way the one about how it all changes when the sun goes down (so when the light's out it's less dangerous?) picks up momentum, and the fastish quasi-punky one about "what you do you know? you don't know nothing. but I'll take you home." My advance CD doesn't have song titles, though. And I kinda don't see what the big deal is supposed to be about the song about how I bet you look good on the dancefloor. Anyway, the album starts out sounding kinda like Franz Ferdinand and winds up sounding kinda like the new Donald Fagen solo album, except with music nowhere near as compellng and vocals that are worse because they're stiffer than Fagen's but better because they seem more invested in putting the lyrics over than Fagen does. I'm not sure if their lyrics are more clever than Fagen's or not. (And he's NOT teenpop, I don't think, and never was, but I like how I worked him into this thread anyway.)

xhuxk, Sunday, 5 March 2006 21:11 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Can't make sense of the idea that Amy Lee is deadpan and isn't trying to put the songs over (though she's also said that she prefers her music to be described more as "dark" than "goth"). I'll have to think more about Anneke and Cristina.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Sunday, 5 March 2006 21:12 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I actually suspect that's more true of Anneke and Cristina than Amy Lee (who strikes me as more pop than goth myself), Frank. And I have no idea if Anneke and Cristina are *trying* to put the songs over; I'm just saying that, if they are, it doesn't particularly work -- i.e., Gathering and Lacuna Coil albums, even their very best ones, rarely hit me as collections of individual songs. (I guess my favorite Gathering song is whichever one to *How To Measure a Planet?* Anneke sings about "I am sitting in a chair." I forget what it's title is.)

xhuxk, Sunday, 5 March 2006 21:23 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I think Orson should be discussed about here. It seems like we're finally onto the ROCK YOUFF backlash to haircut indie (I remember reading a Kerrang press release that talked about something to the extent of how "You can listen to your Franz Ferdinands and Bloc Parties, we'll listen to PROPER MUSIC". And Orson have got to #5 with their new single, which most indie bands would, even in this climate, cut their right nut off for. Trivium are likely to follow. So please discuss non-emo non-indie rock music that the teens are listening to these days here.

Dom Passantino (Dom Passantino), Monday, 6 March 2006 00:59 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Never heard Orson, but as I said, System of a Down seem to be the youff choice in these climes, though SOAD's audience also consists of many nonyouffs.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Monday, 6 March 2006 01:46 (eleven years ago) Permalink

It's kind of hard for me to figure precisely how to define and place in critical row the newer goth (and goth metal) chicks.

I mean, I look at the goth label from a traditionalist POV, in the sense that, in order to be 'goth', one also needs to be willfully or intrinsically perverse in some way--whether that manifests as lyric content, artifice or just plain weirdness doesn't much matter. Just the impulse alone is goth.

So in that light, Amy Lee saying her stuff is 'dark' is accurate and maybe even self aware. And Kelly C, no matter how much she may mess up her life, will never be gothic--she'll always be a lively suspect enduring a bad streak. It's a big, crucial difference, sort of like how, in an opposing way, Nick Cave could sincerely sing Bar Mitzvah songs for his glow-cheeked daughter and still be gothic.

I can't get a read on Anneke--I love the heck out of The Gathering, but I--perhaps assuming--her difficulty with English that results in the lyrics I've listened to as sort of pouty, or conventionally melancholic--which would put them, sensibility-wise, in the same camp with Lee (but with way more interesting music.)

The fact that Scabbia is *named* Scabbia and/or didn't change it to something else renders her sensibility goth from the git-go. Plus, she has that deadpan, enjoying-the-wrechedness verse approach and overwrought chorus delivery that pins her to traditional gothic.

Point is, I don't think it has so much to do with technique or even chosen delivery style, as much as a sense of something at the core being fundamentally askew and the artist being either in conversation with that aberration, enjoying or getting lost in it.

Ian in Brooklyn, Monday, 6 March 2006 05:56 (eleven years ago) Permalink

(Sorry about some of that sorry syntax. Still recovering from Crash winning anything besides a drive-by.)

Ian in Brooklyn, Monday, 6 March 2006 05:59 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Well, what you're saying makes a lot of sense and seems clear to me, and I'm not heartset on classifying Kelly Clarkson as goth, but then I have no particular stake in who does or doesn't get called goth anyway. And it's not like I'm ever going to have any influence on goth usage. Really, what I'm more concerned with is people hearing Kelly with new ears, as I've come to. But - to make an analogy to one of my pet themes - it does seem that the guys who are out there and deliberately "punk" (the hardcore punks, for instance) are pretty much the opposite of what I want punk to be, no matter what they think of themselves, and to my ears some of the people who end up there by accident and who don't define themselves as punk are much closer. That is, countercultural intent shouldn't be the determining fact in who gets called goth or punk or metal or anything (though it can play a role). I still like my idea of "secular goth," for the goths who don't goth themselves up or don't even know they're goth. And I always like to give subcults a hard time for not recognizing their continuity with the mainstream square culture. In any event (this is addressed more to Chuck), looting goth for pop songs seems like a great thing, and if people are going to loot the sounds, I feel that I can loot the term on their behalf.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Monday, 6 March 2006 06:16 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Speaking of youth music, I was listening to the recent Rolling Stones album the other day, and I was saying to myself, "Imagine. Mick Jagger used to be the most important lyricist in my life. And now he's writing words I'm utterly indifferent to, while I'm completely taken by Kelly Clarkson's." And then, being comfortable in my indifference, and barely paying attention, I suddenly heard a Stones lyric that had me rolling on the floor, that I thought was brilliant. Maybe there are more too; I've yet to give the words much attention, except for agreeing with "Sweet Neocon" but thinking there was nothing interesting about the way it was said, and gritting my teeth during the rain-fell-down-but-we-made-sweet-love song, and gritting them harder during "Too many roads lead to nowhere," and deciding that Mick deserved some kind of punishment for "I walked the streets of love drenched in tears." (Keep the man off the streets! They're leading him nowhere!) So, the line that cracked me up? Well, you kind of had to be there; it's in "It Won't Take Long," a nice knock-it-out, kick-it-in little rock song - my favorite on the album, but it's not trying to be anything super-significant and super-intense. The words are an old Jagger shtick, guy pretending he'll get over her easy, "It won't take long to forget you/You know I'm never wrong/It'll all be over in a minute/It won't take long." But then the last time through, he switches a couple of words: "It'll all be over by Christmas/No, it won't take long." And this is what had me breaking into laughter but also saying to myself, yup, this is the guy who wrote "Gimme Shelter" and "Brown Sugar" and "High and Dry" and "Under My Thumb," war is just a shot away and all that. You had to be in my moment, I guess, suddenly flashing on all those WWI assurances that the troops'll be home by Christmas, and knowing that Mick's Iraq war protest is on the album too. Anyway, I laughed with the line but I didn't shiver, the way I'd shivered to its equivalents in the 1960s. And this isn't just because now I'm used to these lines, while in the the '60s they were new for me and meant more. I think the way the lines are placed in "It Won't Take Long," and the way the song is a grind-it-out groove, sets the lyrics' place in a different way, makes it good songwriting, wry commentary, but not... well, not "Heart of Stone," which came out when I was 10 but I didn't hear until I was 15, and it was Jagger walking a cold stalk*, and the lyrics and the beautiful backup singing pointed to something warm and hurt inside, but Jagger didn't sing the warmth, he sang the cold walk. And it scared me.

My point isn't that "Heart of Stone" is better than "It Won't Take Long" (though it is), but that it's different in kind, even if you could summarize the lyrics in the same way: "lovesick man pretends he's indifferent" (which by the way is a songwriting staple, in country even more than in pop). And the difference is that in sound and feel and in its mind as well as its guts, "Heart of Stone" is a young man's song. So it's not just about a man faking his feelings, pretending he's indifferent. It's about Pretence, about Fakery, about False Identity and Who The Fuck Am I? And on from there through "Under My Thumb" and "Back Street Girl" and "Lady Jane" and "High and Dry" and "My Obsession" and "Street Fighting Man" and "Brown Sugar." (And after that he wasn't a young man anymore, and to my ears didn't find a middle adulthood nearly as interesting as his youth. Which doesn't mean there's nothing new of interest. For instance, "It Won't Take Long" has the lines "Time it passes quickly" and "Life is short," implying that what won't take long is life (and maybe it's life that'll be all over by Christmas, and only then will he be over her; or maybe I'm making that up). I'd say I like about half the tracks on A Bigger Bang, which is more than I'd anticipated liking, and there are two or three I like quite a lot.)

So, my point for this teenpop thread? Well once back in the early '60s Andrew Loog Oldham, manager of the Rolling Stones, a rock band that played mostly covers of American soul, rock 'n' roll, and blues songs but which had burgeoning teen and youth appeal in Britain, basically ordered the lead singer and lead guitarist to start writing songs themselves, his reasoning being that, because of who Jagger and Richards were, they'd be able to write songs that the youngsters would care about way more than those youngsters would care about someone else's soul and blues.

Interesting (and extremely well-written) CG review by Christgau back in 2001 starts like this:

Michelle Branch The Spirit Room [Maverick, 2001]
Only in a biz discombobulated by teenpop could an 18-year-old with an acoustic guitar be plausibly promoted as "the anti-Britney." Don't you remember? Writing Your Own Songs means zip, zilch, nada. By now, literally millions of human beings WTOS, and while Branch may be among the top 5000 (and may not), note that her hit, like most of the front-loaded material, was co-composed by her producer.

Christgau's right, of course, that in itself writing your own songs means zip, zilch, nada. But if you're in a different social category from the people who would be writing them otherwise (e.g., you're youth and they're not), and if this difference affects the character of the songs you write - or co-write - then writing your own songs makes a huge difference. Doesn't necessarily make your songs better, but it means they're different songs.

As of right now, I can't think of any major American teenpop performers except Crazy Frog and B5 who don't co-write at least some of their songs. (JoJo only did three on her album, but Ashlee, Lindsay, Kelly, Avril, Aly & AJ, and Jesse all do, as do Click Five, if they count as major, and of course Pink does, if she still counts as teenpop (not sure how much Kelly does, either, but she gets major teen airplay).)

*A piece of celery, perhaps

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Monday, 6 March 2006 06:24 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I mean, how much Kelly counts as teenpop. She wrote co-wrote half the songs on Breakaway.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Monday, 6 March 2006 06:29 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Well, I just wanted to create a strating point for what goth might actually mean in a fairly literal sense. I agree with you that it's terrific for source-poaching, in whatever way one would want to crib from it that's useful.

Lyrics have seldom meant much to me aside from indicators of intent and essense, which is what everything is about for me. I love The Cardigans, I mean, a LOT, but the it was only after listening to their last two, highly dour CDs that I noted how glum the lyrics were. And sometimes even clever.

But all I need of the lyrics of "I Need Some Fine Wine (and you need to be nicer)" is right there. The intent--that I gotta get fucked up not to notice what a prick you are and even then, I'm gonna domme your ass because of my own self-loathing--it's in that sentence, the music, the delivery, the inter-related associations between all of it. Now that's elegant!

(Unsurprisingly, I love Cocteau Twins because the infinity mood is never ruined by language making sense, and RAMMS+EIN because I don't speak German and so all the terror, ruin, sorrow and sex remain intact.)

I'm not sure what 'teenpop' means at this juncture. I never much bought into authenticity, what with a goodly portion of my life spent making or watching other musicians systemacticcally de-authenticize their work via record production. It seems that what teenpop implies--aside from the age stuff which is either irrelevant to me or a disconnect interest-wise--is the idea of an intended artiface--a perfect form of plastic 'real' punks are too blindered by possibly impossible notions of authenticity to get.

Mainly, I enjoy proudly 'artificial' pop with high voices. Older Sparks, Kelly, Amy Lee or Low (when they're not trying to prove their realness by being noisy), don't much matter to me. Except what's branded 'teenpop' lately seems more in sync with what I like. Like, if ELO had a girl singer, and were ProTooled, I'd be way happy.

Ian in Brooklyn, Monday, 6 March 2006 06:57 (eleven years ago) Permalink

(There's this devastating, half-acoustic version of "Goodbye to You" that Michelle Branch plays with her band at the Bronze on Buffy during a montage wherein Willow and Tara tearfully break up. It's to wondrously pure melodrama what Faith's dance to Curve's "Chinese Burns" is to self-immolating abandon, and golly, I'd love to find that version.)

Ian in Brooklyn, Monday, 6 March 2006 07:09 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Here you go Ian - http://homepage.mac.com/abbymcdonald/.Public/MichelleBranch-GoodbyeToYou.mp3

Abby (abby mcdonald), Monday, 6 March 2006 08:31 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Frank, your account of how Jagger and Richards got pushed into writing songs is very appealing, the youth idea, but I had always heard before that the impetus came from people noticing that the Beatles were writing their own material, and that becoming a kind of impetus to the Stones to match the upped ante. Obviously this doesn't change the fact that this meant the Stones then had songwriters of their own age and sensibility rather than some old pros who knew nothing of what they were about, but the reasons are interesting too.

Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Monday, 6 March 2006 11:03 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Abigail,

OMG!

Ian

Ian in Brooklyn, Monday, 6 March 2006 23:53 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Martin, I'm going by Oldham's account, which might overestimate his own input into the process. Also, it wasn't only the youth thing, but which youth - I mean, the Stones were covering and swiping riffs from soul people who probably weren't much older than the Stones themselves. And Oldham had a sense of what Jagger and Richards could do based not just on their age but on their personalities. At least that's what I remember; I haven't seen the book in a couple of years.

Of course then there were the Animals, who managed to connect well to the young'uns in a Stones-y way and whose best material (at least early on) was a cover song and three songs composed by Brill-Colgem types (who probably weren't much older than the Animals themselves, and who also provided music for the Monkees that even younger young-uns liked, but who probably weren't all that in touch with the Animals primary audience; that's a guess).

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Tuesday, 7 March 2006 05:05 (eleven years ago) Permalink

from metal thread, for whatever it's worth:

Got the new Gathering album; supposedly a return to "rock," though I don't think I buy that. I'm hearing a lot of Kate Bush and Cocteau Twins in it myself. BETTER than most Kate Bush or Cocteau Twins, probably, and the guitars do pick up now and then, but this is still more new age than metal in my book. Not sure how much I like it yet.

xhuxk, Tuesday, 7 March 2006 14:19 (eleven years ago) Permalink

great posts frank. but take it back to the spector produced and written stuff and lots of the old pop and say i mean what did it mean to people that the ronettes didn't write their songs, or sinatra, and did it mean that they couldn't say the same things, or that they just said them more with how they sang instead of what they sang?

people always forget with pink that she was punk even when she was in r&b like say with "you make me sick" or "split personality" and she didn't write her songs then at all.

Sterling Clover (s_clover), Tuesday, 7 March 2006 15:24 (eleven years ago) Permalink

My "You Make Me Sick" review (along with lots of other '01 teenpop):

http://www.villagevoice.com/music/0111,eddy,23025,22.html

I finally heard "Stupid Girls" last week, by the way. I give it, I dunno, maybe a 6.5 (on the Radio On scale).

xhuxk, Tuesday, 7 March 2006 15:33 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Any thoughts on The Like? I r reviewed their album for student paper. Not exactly bowled over.

William Bloody Swygart (mrswygart), Tuesday, 7 March 2006 15:49 (eleven years ago) Permalink

By the way, before this thread goes any further, I want to say, IF YOU HAVEN'T HEARD (OR HEARD ABOUT) ASHLEE SIMPSON'S "SHADOW," GO DO SO AS SOON AS YOU CAN. This is because I know that in not too long I'm going to post here about it, and I always regret the fact that I had heard about it before hearing it, rather than its catching me by surprise. Almost like someone gave away the plot to Psycho in advance. (I regularly curse the person who gave away the plot to Blow Up! in a film-society blurb back in 1971.)

launch.yahoo.com streams the "Shadow" video (and Launch has high-quality sound, unlike some of the other video streamers), though they may block people without North American IP addresses from seeing it. (Nowadays they block me from watching the vids on their Brit-Irish site, though they didn't used to.) You have to register on Yahoo, but that's a cinch.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Tuesday, 7 March 2006 16:25 (eleven years ago) Permalink

William, I as yet have no Like in my life.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Tuesday, 7 March 2006 16:26 (eleven years ago) Permalink

got chuck's article makes me nostalgic. dream, janet's "doesn't really matter" and shaggy and pink and backstreet and r&b etherial fantasy and bubbly synths and big aching vocals.

i miss dream.

Sterling Clover (s_clover), Tuesday, 7 March 2006 16:47 (eleven years ago) Permalink

xpost

Sterling, I'm not sure I can guess what the difference would be if Ronnie Spector and Darlene Love and the Weiss sisters (Shangri-Las) had been co-writing the songs. Young Smokey Robinson was writing and producing his own stuff over at Motown (and writing/producing for the Temptations as well); come to think of it, maybe his stuff has more identity angst than the Holland-Dozier-Holland and Barrett-Whitfield material. (That's a comment off the top of my head without my pondering the matter.)

I don't think Spector, Greenwich, Barry, Goffin, King, Pitney (he wrote "He's A Rebel"), Mann, and Weil were that much older than the performers. There was a social difference between the girl groups and the young Brits, in that the Beatles, Stones, Animals, Kinks, and Who were art-school punks (even the ones who weren't art school per se were of that type and milieu, and there were bohemian music scenes to support them). And so there was an implied social defiance in something like the Who's "Substitute" that you're not going to get in Smokey's "Tears of a Clown." In "Substitute," it's not just the narrator and his girl who are putting up a front; everything around them is implicated too, it's all a front, life is a front, the Universe is a fake. Just as Jagger singing "Hurt my eyes open, that's no lie" has him seeing through a lot more than the fact that some girl was two-timing a guy. And the young Brits, being bohos, didn't necessarily want to reconcile with what they were seeing through - or, to be more accurate, they were ambivalent about how much they wanted to reconcile and how much they wanted to push away. Which I suppose any kid is, but the Brit kids dance of push vs. reconcile was a social drama - a new bohemia under construction - while my bet is that if Ronnie et al. over in America had been in as co-writers, the pushing-away vs. reconciliation would have been a strictly personal or familial drama, as it was in the songs written for them, with some class and gender thrown in but in ways that had already been mapped out: good girls in love with bad boys and all, but not the impetus to create a new Strange or a sense that alienation can be an achievement as well as a disaster.

So, hmmm, I'm claiming a significance in the fact that modern-day teenpoppers are in on the songwriting, and there's an obvious difference between teenpop now and teenpop in the non-self-writing days of 1999, but I'm speculating that in the Brill-building days there wouldn't have been much of a difference. Hmmm. And today's teenpop girls are sticking with the personal and family dramas or push vs. reconcile, yet still they do seem part of the legacy of Stones, Dylan, et al. (and Joni and Alanis), and it's no coincidence that the change in lyrics is accompanied by more and louder guitars.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Tuesday, 7 March 2006 17:19 (eleven years ago) Permalink

"Hurt my eyes open, that's no lie"

That was a cover song, of course (the Valentinos' version goes "Hurt my nose open"); but given a different meaning with the Stones delivery in the Stones world.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Tuesday, 7 March 2006 17:23 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Sterling, Pink co-wrote "Split Personality" and a good half of the other tracks on Can't Take Me Home, including the title track and "There You Go" and - most significantly - "Is It Love," where she introduces the family drama that's all over Missundaztood. But not "You Make Me Sick" or "Most Girls." And her way of delivering/highlighting the lyrics certainly changes on Missundaztood, becomes more "confessional" in sound not just in content.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Tuesday, 7 March 2006 17:32 (eleven years ago) Permalink

This is a piece I've always wanted to write, about how "confessional" songs sound confessional. Michelle Branch's "Everywhere" would be the prime example, because the second I heard it - and without my paying the least attention to the lyrics - I decided that it was in confessional singer-songwriter mode. So I decided this entirely on the basis of its sound. And, in fact, its lyrics don't particularly reveal or confess anything. But that makes no difference. It's still singer-songwriter confessional; I first heard it on an Adult Contemporary station, and was surprised to hear it a few days later on Radio Disney. Of course, since then, the wail in the chorus has become almost a template for teenpop. And as I noted when talking about Aly & AJ, "Rush" pretty much follows the "Everywhere" model in chorus and verse (and is even better than "Everywhere").

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Tuesday, 7 March 2006 17:39 (eleven years ago) Permalink

britney wrote some of my fav songs by her -- "Everytime" and "Brave New Girl" and also "Anticipating." They're more fluffy in some ways and less bombastic, or more frothy maybe.

she couldn't have written "not a girl" on the other hand or "one more time." though she did write "dear diary" (though she didn't have to, and it is bad anyway, but she was younger then).

Sterling Clover (s_clover), Tuesday, 7 March 2006 17:49 (eleven years ago) Permalink

sticking with the personal and family dramas of push vs. reconcile, that is.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Tuesday, 7 March 2006 17:56 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Sound confessional in the sense that it sounds like there's something being confessed, regardless of whether or not there is (i.e. there's an I don't know halting but then gushing quality to it) or that it actually sounds like whispery girl-with-acoustic-guitar stuff?

Eppy (Eppy), Tuesday, 7 March 2006 17:57 (eleven years ago) Permalink

britney's own songs are more inside a character and less universal too, like dear diary and early morning, except that brave new girl feels like it's about a specific DIFFERENT person, which is one sort of less universal and also that it HAS to be about someone else because the distancing is part of what makes it personal.

anticipating feels the opposite like it's about one specific person trying to be another specific person who's really a universal archetype.

Sterling Clover (s_clover), Tuesday, 7 March 2006 17:58 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I haven't heard any of those Britney songs, unfortunately. When did she start writing some of her own stuff? (The only album I have of hers is the first, on which none of the songs are written by her.)

I really don't want to overdraw my point. Teens can write adult-like pop songs, and I'll bet if someone asked me to write a teen-angst song I could do it convincingly. And also, individual personalities can be playing a role here: there aren't actually that many people involved in writing and producing the teenpop hits, and it might be a peculiarity of Martin and Rami that they weren't writing adolescent family drama songs back in 1999; whereas maybe Shanks and DioGuardi were saying to themselves five years ago, "We've got to find us some teenagers, since we've got all these great ideas for family-drama and identity-angst songs, but Keith Urban and Sheryl Crow and Celine Dion just aren't the right people to sing them."

Eppy, it's both: sounds like something being confessed in part because it starts off whispery and acoustic.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Tuesday, 7 March 2006 18:06 (eleven years ago) Permalink

most are from "in the zone" but anticipating is from "britney" and "dear diary" is from her first.

also my fav. k. osbourne song is the one she didn't write, which is papa don't preach, but then that's a great song so i don't know what it says.

madonna could have written it but does that mean kelly could have?

who meant it more when they were singing it?

Sterling Clover (s_clover), Tuesday, 7 March 2006 18:12 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Actually, "Dear Diary" is on her second, in 2000; but it does predate the Michelle-Pink-Avril rock confessional onslaught (but not M2M).

A quick run-through at Wikipedia gives these dates of birth:

Current producers/songwriters: Ben Moody 1981, Kara DioGuardi 1970, Greg Wells 1968, Max Martin 1971, Dallas Austin 1972, Raine Maida 1970, Chantal Kraviazuk 1974.

(Of course Moody and Maida and Kraviazuk are better known as performers, and Avril can get on this list for co-writing "Breakaway"; there were a number I couldn't find, but I'm guessing late '60s for John Shanks. I have no idea how old Clif Magness is - well, I surmise he's over 20 and under 60 - and he's interesting to me because he can be at least as metal as Moody is. Also, he's real good.)

Current performers: Hilary Duff 1987, Lindsay Lohan 1986, Marion Raven 1984, Marit Larsen 1983, Ashlee Simpson 1984, Britney Spears 1981, Pink 1979, Kelly Clarkson 1982, Avril Lavigne 1984.

So, Ben Moody is basically a contemporary of those he's writing with and producing (well he's five years older than Lindsay), and so is David Hodges I'm sure though I couldn't find his date of birth. But most of the rest are 15 to 25 years older, whereas...

Early and mid '60s producers/songwriters: Gerry Goffin 1939, Carole King 1942, Phil Spector 1940, Jeff Barry 1938, Ellie Greenwich 1940, Cynthia Weil 1940, Barry Mann 1939.

Early and mid '60s performers: Ronnie Spector 1943, Darlene Love 1938, Mary Weiss 1949. Wikipedia didn't have dates of birth for the Dixie Cups. For perspective here, Eric Burdon is 1941. (I'm choosing Burdon because the Animals had hits with Mann and Weil's "We Gotta Get Outta This Place" and Goffin and King's "Don't Bring Me Down." He's their age, but he still represents a new era that cut into these people's business until King reinvented herself as a singer-songwriter.)

So basically, the people who were writing and producing the Ronettes and the Crystals were the same age as the performers themselves; whereas the Shangri-Las were significantly younger. Mary Weiss would have been 15-16 when she sang their hits, while Barry and Greenwich were in their mid 20s by then. In any event, the producers and writers were all in their early and mid twenties when they were creating this music (I think Carole King was 18 when she wrote "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?").

Greg Wells, by the way, is Gerry Goffin and Carole King's son-in-law.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Tuesday, 7 March 2006 19:55 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Re: 'Brave New Girl', it's a pretty near identical rip of Imani Coppola's 'Legend of a Cowgirl' - maybe 1997/8? - music-wise at least for the verse.

Abby (abby mcdonald), Tuesday, 7 March 2006 20:45 (eleven years ago) Permalink

xpost

I found a Japanese site that has a 1957 birthdate for Clif Magness. A quick glance at his credits doesn't seem to find any heavy metal, but that might be owing to the ignorance of my glance, not an actual lack of metal.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Tuesday, 7 March 2006 21:13 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Is it too much to hope for that the new Pink album will be in the vein of "Is It Love?"???

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Tuesday, 7 March 2006 23:18 (eleven years ago) Permalink

most of the rest are 15 to 25 years older

Proof that I can't do elementary arithmetic: 10 to 20 years older is more like it, not counting Magness (and I don't necessarily trust the date I got on him). Of course from my point of view they're all wet behind the ears.

But the point is that there's a significant age gap now whereas there hadn't been between the Brillers and their performers.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Wednesday, 8 March 2006 15:10 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Beyoncé (b. 1981) co-wrote a lot of the songs back on The Writing's on the Wall in 1999. And there's nothing about that album, in sound or words, that strikes me as "young people's concerns and sensibility" in the way that "Substitute" etc. in the '60s and a whole bunch of teenpop does now. It did sell a lot among teens and younger, and I was surprised that the eight year olds flocked to it. (The song that's still getting play on Radio Disney is "Jumpin Jumpin," probably because it's so playful.) When I'd heard the album I'd pegged it as upmarket sophisticated r&b, with lyrics drawing on themes that go back to Louis Jordan and Bessie Smith and probably a lot further, received wisdom about romance and finance, and a sound that flaunts its ambition and complexity, Manhattan Transfer–type jazzisms. (Actually, I don't really remember what the Manhattan Transfer sounded like; I'm just using them as a generic marker for "flaunts its use of jazz vocals.") Of course, producers She'kspere and Jerkins had something to do with this, but Beyoncé produced as well ("Jumpin Jumpin" is hers, and it's the one that makes me think "Louis Jordan"), so she's completely on-board with the concept.

I liked the Destiny's Child hits from 1999, but I never really felt them. The one Destiny's Child song I love is "Survivor," from 2001, and in that one Beyoncé's a passionate, immature bitch, and I feel I'm hearing the person not the persona. I don't mean to imply a general rule that persons are better than personas, or that persons can't be part of personas and vice versa; but in this case the person was warmer and more alive for me than was the persona.

It was "Survivor" that jumped to mind when Je4nn3 wrote upthread about pop sounding younger than it once did. (This makes sense for me if you compare the 1999 of TLC–Destiny's Child–Pink to current teenpop, but not if you compare the 1999 of Backstreet Boys–*NSync–Britney. I'm still not sure how much I agree with Je4nn3's point, but I good one to think about).

The original Pink sound was modeled after the Destiny Child, even if Pink's persona was edgier. On another thread I told Tom that I didn't consider Pink's subsequent shift to confessional rock an attempt to move from teenpop to adult (rock) cred, since she already had adult r&b cred. She had cred with everybody but herself. The shift allowed her to be as messed-up on CD as she was in life.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Wednesday, 8 March 2006 16:18 (eleven years ago) Permalink

(But I good one to think about = but it's a good one to think about.)

My favorite song of that 1999 r&b style is Blaque's "808," which is a lot sweeter and warmer than "Bills Bills Bills" and "No Scrubs," though maybe not as interesting.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Wednesday, 8 March 2006 16:22 (eleven years ago) Permalink

What is the role of celebrity self-consciousness in confessional teen pop? I'm thinking of Ashlee Simpson specifically here (and maybe Pink and Lindsay Lohan's new album), but it seems somewhat unique, as a definable genre or trend, anyway, that many teen pop stars seem to be blurring or making no distinction between their real-life experiences and their songwriting/performing persona.

Not to say that this can't be seen in countless pop stars to some degree, but in Ashlee's case, real public trauma is a kind of shortcut to perceivable confessional honesty. (Strange that so many use those same embarrassments/experiences that have informed many of the songs to essentially dismiss the album, when that's the lens through which it should be engaged.)

Re: the "know confessional when I hear it" idea, it's also interesting that many artists like the Veronicas (and maybe Hilary or Aly and AJ to a lesser extent) have found ways to use the "sound" of confessional rock to create straight-up bubblegum music, no "legit" backing persona necessary -- although if more Veronicas sounded like the one DioGuardi track, they may sound less like bubblegum. Is confessional bubblegum an oxymoron?

Saw yesterday that Radio Disney is now streaming to the internet, meaning you can get yer B5 fix in the middle of nowhere, too.

nameom (nameom), Thursday, 9 March 2006 16:41 (eleven years ago) Permalink

frank do you mean the 808 remix? it's way better than the orig.

both feel horribly precocious.

also we should talk about the holdouts, ppl like ashlee's older sis who haven't gone the confessional mode, and if now confessional is the opposite -- something you grow out of intsead of grow into.

Sterling Clover (s_clover), Thursday, 9 March 2006 17:20 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Wasn't Jessica's "With You" a somewhat failed attempt to edge towards the confessional? I mentally group it with "Pieces of Me" actually, they're quite similar. It makes me like "Pieces of Me" less than I would otherwise perhaps, the taint of association etc.

I Am Me really is great though. Not only is Ashlee looking a lot like Courtney Love, this album reminds me a lot of Celebrity Skin. Although in a funny way it almost doesn't quite work as well as a pop album - one of the great things about Celebrity Skin is how burnished and perfected so many of the songs sound; I Am Me sounds a lot looser and less fussy.

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Thursday, 9 March 2006 21:39 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Well yeah, Courtney was working with basically a teenpop team for that album which was a big part of why it's so fun. (Note to self: use this logic on girlfriend when trying to get her to listen to Ashlee et al.)

Eppy (Eppy), Thursday, 9 March 2006 21:52 (eleven years ago) Permalink

>Is confessional bubblegum an oxymoron?<

Janis Ian says NO!

xhuxk, Thursday, 9 March 2006 21:52 (eleven years ago) Permalink

It's interesting that Courtney wanted to record her new album in a women's prison, which strikes me as a sort of dark joke about 60s teenpop somehow.

It's also interesting that what you guys are calling confessional rock other people hear as a gloss on metal.

Eppy (Eppy), Thursday, 9 March 2006 21:57 (eleven years ago) Permalink

(Albeit pop-metal, but still.)

Eppy (Eppy), Thursday, 9 March 2006 21:58 (eleven years ago) Permalink

already posted this on the US charts thread:

Nothing here on how the top three albums in the country this week (or last week*? I can never keep weeks straight; I always get Billboard a week behind I think) were all for little kiddies? (i.e. High School Musical, Kidz Bop, Curious George soundtrack.) Well, now there is.

* - 'cuz now Ne-Yo passed them all on the right, right?

xhuxk, Thursday, 9 March 2006 23:32 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Marit Larsen Gets Highest Score Ever In Stylus Poll

The Singles Jukebox

Good analysis too, from Eppy, Martin, Edward, and others. (I love the song but I'm still basically inarticulate about what it's doing.)

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 9 March 2006 23:57 (eleven years ago) Permalink

It seems like a classic packed-full-of-hooks kinda thing--my instinct would be to compare it to the New Pornographers (and then ask why it's so much more successful, in almost all senses, than their stuff--probably the lyrics, but it's more than that I think), but you could also probably put it up against Madonna's "Hung Up" given all the ABBA comparisons. It skips really quickly between chords for this type of pop song. I also get kind of a mid-90s, almost twee kind of feeling. In terms of teenpop, maybe like "Steal My Sunshine" with a different retro reference point?

Eppy (Eppy), Friday, 10 March 2006 00:14 (eleven years ago) Permalink

(And thanks, Frank.)

Eppy (Eppy), Friday, 10 March 2006 00:15 (eleven years ago) Permalink

The question is, is "Don't Save Me" better than "Negotiate With Love", which got 9.2 on the UK 'box last year. (It's in the ballpark, but not _quite_ as good, I think.). Annoyingly, the various live acoustic-y MP3s of Marit Larsen performances from 2004 don't give any clear indication on where she might go next, but hopefully whoever arranged and produced "Don't Save Me" is on board, because boy, did they do a blinder on this. I think it's definitely a rhythm thing - as Eppy says, the quickly skipping chords, but definitely the two distinct kinds of bounce - the ABBA-esque intro, and the waving your body out of a car window carefree stroll of the verses.

edward o (edwardo), Friday, 10 March 2006 00:19 (eleven years ago) Permalink

xpost

OK. Let's invent a retrospective subgenre called Confessional Metal that can serve as a precedent for current teenpop. Songs in this subgenre would be...

Well, there's Nazareth's great cover of Joni Mitchell's "This Flight Tonight." And I'd say a lot of Guns N' Roses tracks share a family resemblance to "confessional." (I count GN'R as metal when I feel like it.)

From the sound of it, Clif Magness listened to a lot of Zeppelin and Sabbath; and I think John Shanks listened to Def Leppard. (Has anyone seen the credits on the recent Bon Jovi? Does Shanks play on it, or is he just there as a producer and sometimes songwriter?)

But I've been using the term "confessional" as a fairly loose catchall. In fact, I think that what Ashlee's doing with her personal lyrics is a bit different from what Pink and Lindsay are doing with theirs. But for the reason I gave upthread in capital letters, I'm going to hold off a few days before saying more about that aspect of her work and about her probing of her use of her own celebrity.

But here's a question I posted back on the Ashlee Emo or Oh No thread that no one responded to:

What would you people (if you've seen it) say about the album photos? She entitles the record I Am Me and then gives us a whole bunch of very different looks: the Nico Ashlee, the Marlene Ashlee, the Debutante Ashlee, the Forlorn Runner-Up Prom Queen Ashlee, the Burlesque Ashlee, and - I don't know, the one in the brown two-piece, and her hair a dishmop - Frazzled Riverboat Harlot Ashlee. Pieces of her. Or pieces of her playing dressup.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Friday, 10 March 2006 00:32 (eleven years ago) Permalink

And the track on Autobiography where she sings "I feel safe with you/I can be myself tonight" is the one that's about playing a whole bunch of different fantasy roles during sex.

Also, the "I feel safe with you" part comes in the break, which has a sound - a slow and serious climbing up the notes - very different from the rest of the song. It's brief, but suggests something at stake (sex being about acceptance, self-acceptance), then the song goes back to the exuberant lala fuckaraound.

And then on I Am Me she's trying on a bunch of musical roles.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Friday, 10 March 2006 00:46 (eleven years ago) Permalink

(As of course are Shanks & DioGuardi.)

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Friday, 10 March 2006 00:48 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I often feel like I'm giving the New Pornographers unduly short shrift, but I loved Mass Romantic whereas The Electric Version just gave me no real feeling of anything at all beyond a) "It's Only Divine Right" = kicking; b) ENOUGH WITH THE WORDS ALREADY YOU PLAID BASTARD. So I've not ventured into Twin Cinema yet. I also find Dan Bejar's voice really irksome.

But anyway, that's not what we're here to talk about, really, because "Don't Save Me" is awesome and I'd put it all on Marit's shoulders. The way she sings it, phrases it - I'm willing to contemplate the possibility that "Don't turn the truth around/It reads the same way upside down" isn't the greatest lyric ever, but the way she sort of... there's not a word for it, but if there was it'd be in between snarl and smirk and snigger and sneer - the way she does that anyway, her voice gets redoubled for the punchline - fuckin' awesome. "House! Of! Cards!" And the way she lets "Don't you dare" out of her mouth, the last little "r" sound, I swear that when I sing along to that it makes the taste buds on the tongue ripple apart like velcro hooks gently unlacing themselves... it's rather bloody remarkable, really.

William Bloody Swygart (mrswygart), Friday, 10 March 2006 01:06 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I don't have Autobiography so the alleged diversity and "dress ups" quality of I Am Me is kinda passing me by. Is this based on the fact that 2 tracks have a reggae vibe, 2 tracks have piano and one track is 80s synthish? It actually feels less varied to me than, say, Celebrity Skin or Missundaztood... But more varied than Avril Lavigne?

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Friday, 10 March 2006 01:17 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Back to Marit. Her album is now out in Norway, and on her Web page she's got fairly substantial clips of five of the album tracks (and, if you haven't seen or heard it, a full-length stream of the "Don't Save Me" video). The track clips aren't streamed, and since I'm on dialup this means it takes me a while for them to load; but the one I've listened to so far, "Under the Surface," has the same bright surface as "Don't Save Me." The accompaniment is like a sweet 1950s movie soundtrack, she's strolling in the meadow, or she's going shopping with her friends, or she's riding the merry-go-round. And meanwhile, while the music gurgles playfully, the lyrics have her slowly, matter-of-factly, dissecting her feelings and her fears about the relationship she's in; she's happy, unexpectedly happy, but maybe there's something else going on too, "Suddenly I'm back at the core/Thinking of her who had you before," and she wonders if there are traces of her under the surface.

So, the words might belong to the category "Young Woman's Relationships Singer-Songwriter Pop" - I'll call it Tashpop for short, though I've actually so far paid no attention to the Tashbed's lyrics - but the sound isn't Tashpop at all. Anyway, I have no idea if her sound is new or if people in the know would be able to say, "Oh, her arranger is Blibbidy Blibsen, and this is what he always does." Or, "Yeah, that's the gatticky-glip-glip genre that's so popular in Denmark and Iceland these days." The Jukebox crew noticed all sorts of ABBA touches in "Don't Save Me" that passed me by (I've actually only heard a smattering of ABBA's biggest songs). To my ears, her musical elements aren't new, but she's fashioned them into something unique. So she's neither teenpop nor Tashpop, and on two songs at least she's found a way to sidestep a problem (a problem for me, anyway, if not for the performers) that Natasha and Alanis and KT Tunstall and Dido etc. have, which is that they do the "bright young woman with something to say" thing by flaunting a pseudosmart hard edge and vocal mastery and control, all of which tends to subdue the music. (Doesn't subdue it altogether, by a long shot, and I realize that these people sing this way because they like the way it sounds. But...)

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Friday, 10 March 2006 01:33 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Actually, the one Avril album I have, the first one, is varied too, since Magness often goes for a dark, dense metal guitar (I could swear that "Unwanted" draws on Zep's "Kashmir," though without the strange time signature), while the Matrix are more, um, Matrixy... not sure, bright "70s-'80s on their rockers, like Cheap Trick?...

Autobiography has variety too, in fact the song on it that I'm going to talk about later is a tour de force, drastically different styles of melody in the verse and chorus, Ashlee using two or three different types of vocal attack but holding the song so well together with her timbre that you hear it as a unity (I didn't notice its variety until I sat down and analyzed the thing). I'd say the difference on I Am Me - not on all the tracks, just a few of them - is that she's shifting timbre. I'll have to give this more thought. It isn't the variety per se but that she makes a few things feel like dressup: The hot disco-slut break in "Burnin' Up" is what I'm thinking of most, but also the sugar-pop chorus of "L.O.V.E." "Eyes Wide Open" feels like a mood piece - albeit hard rock. Being dark rather than a hoot, it doesn't have the feel of dressup, but it's still a change, her slow singing.

I agree that Missundaztood has a lot of variety, but once again the mood isn't dressup. Not that I'd call the overall mood of I Am Me dressup, either, but it has that element. I think. Autobiography probably has as much melodic variety - Shanks & DioGuardi are versatile - but the guitar sound and vocal timbre are more consistent.

(I've only heard a couple of tracks from Celebrity Skin. The styles on America's Sweetheart are all over the place.)

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Friday, 10 March 2006 02:17 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I'm willing to contemplate the possibility that "Don't turn the truth around/It reads the same way upside down" isn't the greatest lyric ever

On the other hand, maybe it is. It's damn good. I hadn't even noticed it, as I was so amused, bemused, and fascinated by the sound.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Friday, 10 March 2006 02:28 (eleven years ago) Permalink

By the way, Marion Raven's "End of Me" has just been released as a single in Norway, so it's now officially eligible for my 2006 Pazz & Jop ballot (though it'll no doubt have to compete with another 60 or so equally strong contenders).

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Friday, 10 March 2006 02:31 (eleven years ago) Permalink

End Of Me also has a wonderfully angstastic video which opens with Marion playing the piano intro to "13 Days", then her singing the song trapped in fractal cube things, and then falling during the "Hey! STay with me" bit.

edward o (edwardo), Friday, 10 March 2006 02:39 (eleven years ago) Permalink

frank do you mean the 808 remix? it's way better than the orig.

No, never heard it.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Friday, 10 March 2006 02:53 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Frank get Celebrity Skin! One because it's an awesome album, and two because it's totally the godmother of all this stuff.

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Friday, 10 March 2006 04:58 (eleven years ago) Permalink

OK, I will. But you've got to get Autobiography.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Friday, 10 March 2006 05:09 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Holy goddamn shit! I'm now on the third Marit Larsen track, "Only a Fool," and this one is the country song of the year so far. It'd be too "quirky" or something to ever get country airplay even if country programmers in the U.S. heard it, and I doubt that Marit's trying to get country play, but it's got a banjo or a mandolin or both, a wonderfully catchy rhythm that dominates the start, great hand-clapping; the song drives forward but wiggles sideways at the same time with little twinkletoe steps. And, true to form, the words make it yet another I'm-not-going-back-to-you song, sung in the same happy sly chirp as always: "Well, I say I found the letters you wrote/Mine was the smile and the life that you broke/Mine was the story that you told your friends/Yours were the demons you couldn't defend." Then she goes, "Understand me as of lately I've learned a thing or two," and the twist she puts on "two" could be Miranda Lambert or Natalie Maines. Her voice is a lot smaller than theirs, and I wouldn't say it has a lot of emotional juice - she's not a wailer - but she has a superb instinct for knowing when to insert an extra syllable into a word, when to let another word fall nonchalantly, when to add a momentary, wispy cry.

I'll tell you, the other songs on here will have to be complete dogs for this album not to make my Pazz & Jop ballot. (Assuming I get to hear the album. Amazon doesn't yet know of it, at least in the U.S. Not that I could afford an import album.)

The album's title is Under the Surface.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Friday, 10 March 2006 05:10 (eleven years ago) Permalink

now i gotta get my hands on that thing too.

anyway, another countertrend indicator could be (tho again, this was earlier than the current wave and also, sorta flopped maybe?) jewel's 0304.

what you heard as dress-up on the ashlee frank i more cynically heard as "trying lots of styles for singles to see what sticks" but then that's what we all do when we're growing up is see what styles stick with others and then that makes us as much as we made the styles to begin with.

the style question is less look and sound and more in song construction i feel, not that i'm going to listen to the whole album right now again and give a close reading, but the sense was just that the sorts of songs drew from lots of places, not that ashlee herself was going lots of places, or even singing about different identitiees so much as just borrowing lots of constructions along the way.

Sterling Clover (s_clover), Friday, 10 March 2006 06:44 (eleven years ago) Permalink

On the other hand, maybe it is

It may well be, or maybe it's "You said you were just kidding/And I say, this is no joke", though that might just be the incredible frigging popping noise she makes when she sings 'joke' - she does that with almost all those last words, and it never ever sounds forced or meta or whatever, just... wow. I'm trying to think of other modern popular singers who could do this, and struggling. Sophie Ellis-Bextor's the nearest one I could come up with, though it's hard to tell since her lyrics are almost always stunningly awful...

Need this album. Dammit.

Another name to throw out there - Hello Saferide, from Sweden. I am currently very much digging their "If I Don't Write This Song, Someone I Love Will Die" - not quite in Marit's league, but still very chirpy Scandipop with guitars and such.

(also presuming the Eurovision thread is the place to be discussing Kate Ryan's "Je T'Adore"?)

William Bloody Swygart (mrswygart), Friday, 10 March 2006 10:57 (eleven years ago) Permalink

William, you know what would improve the Stylus jukebox most? You writing lots more in it.

Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Friday, 10 March 2006 13:29 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Celebrity Skin as the godmother--interesting, I never really considered that but maybe you're right. I remember someone pegging that album as being very "Lauren Canyon," which would certainly fit with Frank's whole confessional thing, I think. What do the teenpoppers cite as influences? Is that Mandy Moore covers album maybe relevent here?

It took me a few weeks to adjust to all the New Pornographers records after the first one. Agreed about the words, but when he uses 'em well in the chorus it really kills, like on "Sing Me Spanish Techno" on the new one. Who knows what that's about, but. And on the second album, Bejar's "Ballad of the Comeback Kid" had one of the pop moments of the year for me when he yells "Like a bat out of hell..."

Obviously they're not particularly teenpop, because of the words and all (which arguably makes 'em not even very pop) but they did cover a power-pop song, here, and it's interesting to see how the style fits with the song.

Eppy (Eppy), Friday, 10 March 2006 14:22 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I guess you meant "Laurel Canyon", but what does that mean?

Le Baaderonixx de Clignancourt (baaderonixx), Friday, 10 March 2006 14:26 (eleven years ago) Permalink

from country thread:

Bizarre, my neanderthal downloadaphobia is starting to make me feel months behind on TEEN-POP, of all things. (Though it's not really phobia; it's just that I have so many CDs piled up I can hold in my hands that I don't get *around* to downloading, and anyway, I don't trust my judgement when I listen to music that way. It's too sterile, too much like going to a listening session where I'm not allowed to hold the record, too fucking transitory, sorry. Music is meant to be lived with, and that's just not how I live. So who knows, maybe I'll try to BUY the Marit Larsen and Aly & AJ albums someday, just like the last Toby Keith album and the Akon album and Ha-Ash and Reggaeton Ninos other stuff I still haven't gotten around to. Or maybe I won't.)

not from country thread:

Speaking of Reggaeton Ninos, I noticed in Billboard this week that there is one other album (*La Pluma Negra* by El Chichiuilte -- sounds Mexican, right?) that is both on the "Top Kid Audio Albums" chart and the "Top Latin Albums" chart, always a good sign. Anybody know anything about it or them? (Also in Billboard: "Love of My Life," a duet with Reina off the Louis Prata guido-disco album I mention above, is at #16 on the "Dance Airplay" chart. Good for him!)

xhuxk, Friday, 10 March 2006 14:54 (eleven years ago) Permalink

(I will probably make an exception for Marit, actually. This is one of the only times* anybody has really convinced me that I'd be MISSING something if I didn't put aside by admittedly irrational anti-technology prejudices. So I will listen to her. Just not right now.)

* -- I DID download the Kidz Bop version of "Axel F," however. If it was a single, it'd have an outside shot at my 2006 singles ballot.

xhuxk, Friday, 10 March 2006 15:27 (eleven years ago) Permalink

i'm a bit lost as to how yr daddy don't know is a teen-pop rather than a power-pop song.

is it because it has the word daddy?

Sterling Clover (s_clover), Friday, 10 March 2006 15:49 (eleven years ago) Permalink

dirtie blonde, "walk over me" (ultra/jive cd single). cover shows blonde girl in tight jeans and four guys, one with a knit ski hat, one with a mustache. "are you for real? are you yessing me today. you get my yoooooo-mor. and baby i'm amazed." alanis vibrato, especially how she stretches out 'humor'. "i look a little bit like hell, i'm a little over time, i'm a little underwhelmed...and i'm a little bit too great for somebody like you" -- this is a blatant rip of some '90s alanis hit, but damned if i remember what. i'm not "cerrrrr-tain." i kinda hate her singing. what did frank call alanis's voice once, "spinach on sandpaper"? yeah, this definitely feels like that. the masochistic title line (unless she's Bentley on *The Jeffersons*) doesn't come in til after the halfway point. and then she's saying she wants to take him home, but she doesn't have much luck at making these things last: finally, it really sorta kicks in in the last 40 seconds or so. "and i will never lie to you and your secrets i will keep...so please don't break my heart." "walk over me walk over me walk over me" 7.5 for the ending, 5.0 for the rest, average about 6.0.

xhuxk, Friday, 10 March 2006 18:28 (eleven years ago) Permalink

mixed by tom lord-alge in miami, i just noticed; producer is "machropsycho for stealth entertainment" & executive producer billy mann, whoever they are. singer aime mirello; all instruments are played by either robin lynch or niklas olovson, so i assume those are ringers on the CD cover. full album, which i probably won't listen to, out may 2. i *assume* they'll be marketed more as teen-pop than as rock, though i could be wrong. (i actually think "dirtie blonde" is an okay name for a pop-rock band, which is why i listened.)

xhuxk, Friday, 10 March 2006 18:44 (eleven years ago) Permalink

(and it does occur to me that if this track had just suddenly materialized, say, halfway through an otherwise likeable country album, i might've given it a much higher grade. but it didn't.)

xhuxk, Friday, 10 March 2006 18:45 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I also think that the first 2 Garbage albums are a big reference point for a lot of this rocky bubblegum teen-pop - see the last track on I Am Me for example, also I think "Black Hole" on the new Lindsay Lohan album sounded Garbage-ish when I listened to it in-store.

I wouldn't be surprised if some of this stuff ends up drifitng towards the hyper-production approach of the second Garbage album.

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Friday, 10 March 2006 23:03 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Okay, a quick flick through the Marit album reveals absolutely nothing else with the same breezy thump of "Don't Save Me", but! There's not just one, but TWO pretty-much country numbers (and "Only A Fool" _is_ great).

First-spin favourite apart from DSM is "This Time Tomorrow", which is a quirky, strangely-structured song that keeps shifting dynamics and has a lovely chorus.

Wonderfuly, the wholet hign sounds expensive and glossy. Hurrah.

edward o (edwardo), Friday, 10 March 2006 23:06 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Frank, why didn't you mention how "Only A Fool", the rhythm of the intro sounds exactly like "A Change (Would Do You Good)" by Sheryl Crow?

edward o (edwardo), Saturday, 11 March 2006 12:25 (eleven years ago) Permalink

discussion about the excellent one-woman/four-guy san francisco glam-rock band Nagg, whose album came out in late 2004 but I'm only now just hearing, from metal thread:

Let me guess, "Endless Sleep" on the Nagg album is the one you thought was most Quatro-like. Digital copies don't come with credits or lyrics, so I'm guessing.

-- George 'the Animal' Steele (georg...), March 11th, 2006.

Nope -- Well, maybe, but the one I meant was "She's in Love With You," which is an actual Suzi Quatro cover. (Liner Notes to Suzi's Razor & Tie *The Wild One* comp say she took it #41 in the US and #11 in the UK in 1979 -- I'm assuming as the followup to "Stumblin' In.")
-- xhuxk (xedd...), March 11th, 2006.

Didn't realize that. But the one you mention really has zing, too. "Sleep" is a thumping pop boogie, like you'd find on the first two SQ LPs. Maybe. Anyway, it's a good Nagg song and that album shoulda went further than local.
-- George 'the Animal' Steele (georg...), March 11th, 2006.

They've apparently got no qualms (in the great tradition of Girlschool, Joan Jett, and the Sirens) of doing loud shouting glam rock cover versions. Not sure who if anybody did all of these first, but these songs on the Nagg CD do not get Ward and/or Turner writing credits:
Beauty of the Bitch (Craig/Kinsley/Coates/Cashin)
Endless Sleep (Nance/Reynolds)
She's in Love With You (Chin/Chapman)
So What If I Am? (Murray/Callander)
We're Really Gonna Raise the Roof (Holder/Lea -- so Slade, obviously)
Little Boy Sad (Walker)
All I Need (Herrewig/Paliselli/Cooper/Cox)

And it is now back in my CD changer (replacing Juvenille, who I'll get around to eventually.)

-- xhuxk (xedd...), March 11th, 2006.

(And interestingly, one of my favorite Joan Jett songs has always been the one CALLED "Nag," originally apparently done I believe by a group called the Halos, who judging from her version -- I've never heard theirs -- sure must have sounded an awful lot like the Coasters.)
-- xhuxk (xedd...), March 11th, 2006.

All I Need is Artful Dodger, a Virginia or Maryland glam rock band I saw open for Kiss and others in Pennsy a lot. They had a few albums on Columbia, the two best being the first s/t and Honor Among Thieves. I don't remember this song. Naggs are reminding me of The Sirens.
Endless Sleep was some kind of rockabilly hit in the late Fifties. "So What If I Am" is a song by Paper Lace I never heard, PL being the "Billy Don't Be A Hero" single act.

-- George 'the Animal' Steele (georg...), March 11th, 2006.

Wow. Those guys are record collectors! (Paper Lace actually hit in the States with "The Night Chicago Died," the opening of which -- "daddy was a cop/on the east side of Chicago/back in the USA/back in the bad old days" -- might be the first example of gansta rap ever to top US charts. Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods, who also covered "Teenage Rampage" by the Sweet, had the US hit with their cover of Paper Lace's apparent Brit hit "Billy Don't Be a Hero." Which makes me wonder what connection, if any, Paper Lace and Bo Donaldson may have had to glam rock in England. Though I guess in the early Sweet/Bolan years, "glam rock" and "Top 40 teenybop singles pop" may have been one and the same there? Limeys please explain.)
-- xhuxk (xedd...), March 11th, 2006.

xhuxk, Saturday, 11 March 2006 18:53 (eleven years ago) Permalink

They weren't glam at all, not in the slightest, as I recall. They always looked more a cabaret act, a band you'd expect to see in clubs rather than playing gigs. They didn't have a glam style at all, and there wasn't any sense that what they were doing was rock or rock 'n' roll, or the bubblegum that some glam was close to. Also, they came just after glam's heyday, which I guess for me ended in 1973, when T. Rex, Slade and Sweet all had their last #1 hits. Black Lace's first hit ws in 1974.

Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Sunday, 12 March 2006 02:38 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Stephen Thomas Erlewine says A Little More Personal is a much better album than I Am Me. On the other hand, he dislikes I Am Me so maybe this isn't saying much.

I love I Am Me and want to know if I should invest in Lindsay. Help me ILX!

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Sunday, 12 March 2006 06:53 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I Am Me >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> A Little More Personal

edward o (edwardo), Sunday, 12 March 2006 07:13 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Tell me more edward!

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Sunday, 12 March 2006 14:05 (eleven years ago) Permalink

A Little More Personal (Raw) is very much worth the investment but not ahead of Autobiography or Breakaway. I wrote about it upthread. Suffice it to say that Lindsay's splashing her self-centered personality over anything and everything and I find it a blast (or at least a splash); doesn't have the emotion or thoughtfulness you get from Ashlee, but there is a kid-in-a-wading-pool energy; I don't have producer credits on it, but I think Greg Wells is doing a lot, and he rocks. And "I Live for the Day" is the eerie beauty of Hilary's "Fly" with flat-out hate vengeance lyrics and a got-you delivery.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Monday, 13 March 2006 18:02 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Today the Marion, tomorrow the Marit? Kelefa Sanneh on Marion Raven.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Monday, 13 March 2006 18:05 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Radio Disney Music Awards winners announced...Hilary/Jesse/Aly/AJ Hollywood Records dream team victorious! Crazy Frog robbed by inferior critter! Jessica Simpson "would win" against Ashlee (yeah right...in a fight? Pie-eating contest? This is also a nice reminder of the "Shadow" video mentioned upthread...I had to watch it here, couldn't load it in the other player)!

nameom (nameom), Monday, 13 March 2006 18:24 (eleven years ago) Permalink

"spinach on sandpaper" - that could have been me, but could have just as easily been Dellio or Sheffield or the Riegel The Younger - except if it was me it might have been a compliment, because I lean more pro than anti when it comes to Alanis, though both voice and words bring out my ambivalence. The only album I've got is Under Rug Swept, which doesn't soar but isn't dead plastic either, and as Dellio pointed out in his great Voice review, on that album she deliberately makes her lyrics sound like prose.

I doubt that there's a particular album that can be cited as "this is what the teenpoppers take after," but note that most of the teenpop songwriters and producers are also regular pop songwriters and producers, Magness having worked with Ballard who worked with Alanis, Shanks having worked a lot with Sheryl Crow and some with Morissette (not to mention SheDaisy, Urban, Bon Jovi, Celine, etc.) DioGuardi with Celine and Gwen, Wells with Celine, etc. etc. etc. etc.

When I first heard Garbage, I thought that Shirley was taking after Courtney (and thought this was a good thing). When I first heard Alanis I thought that she was more or less in Sheryl's genre (and that this was a good thing).

My guess from the sound and words of "Break You" and "End of Me" is that Marion's listened to Alanis. M2M once opened for Jewel, for what that's worth. Over on Poptimists Martin said that Marit's cited Alanis and Oasis as faves. Ashlee told Elle that "Let It Be" was her favorite song and that Alanis's "You Learn" was crucial to her when she was a ten year old, implying that it's still crucial to her - this makes sense given her attempts to wrench moral and intellectual insights from her problems.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Monday, 13 March 2006 18:51 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Dear Ashlee Simpson,

You've already done scads of songs that are better than "Let It Be" and "You Learn."

Sincerely,

A Fan

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Monday, 13 March 2006 18:52 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Jessica Simpson "would win" against Ashlee (yeah right...in a fight?

Ashlee does seem to shove that cereal bowl awfully hard.

William Bloody Swygart (mrswygart), Monday, 13 March 2006 20:42 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I'm not sure where else to discuss Daniel Cirera, a Spanish/Swedish dude who appears to be in his 30s but sings weird hushed folk songs with teen-pop concerns (getting laid, getting dumped) and shiny emo chord changes. It's not just that he shows all the "irony"/"angst" of teen-powerpoppers like Blink 182 (songs like "Motherfucker Fake Vegetarian Ex-Girlfriend" and an album titled Honestly; I Love You *Cough*) or that his song "1992" is basically Smashing Pumpkins' "1979" crossed with Bowling for Soup's "1985" except with killer hooks; it's more that he absolutely nails the arrogance and shyness and cluelessness of being a teenager, except that most teenagers couldn't produce chord changes this gorgeous. But only someone who was still a teen at heart could write choruses that go "You're just a shit-talkin' motherfucker / You're the worst cocksucker / Said that you'd be true to me / Yeah, in my dreams / In my dreams". Best song: "She Rules the School," which is also about sex.

Haikunym (Haikunym), Tuesday, 14 March 2006 15:14 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Teen-rock (I guess) bands on the Billboad charts this week that I never heard or heard of before, and that I'm vaguely curious about:

THE FRAY - Who have a song with the intriguing title "Over My Head (Cable Car)" at #64 on the singles chart, so maybe they're from San Francisco? Also their album is at #110.

PLUMB -- "One woman rock act Tiffany Arbuckle," #177 on album chart.

FLYLEAF - #140 on album chart, and, judging from a photo elsehwere in the issue, they have a female singer.

Has anybody out there heard any of these bands? What sound they like?

xhuxk, Tuesday, 14 March 2006 15:52 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Yes, I've actually been intending to send you a review of Flyleaf, except I haven't listened to them in four months; but I'm listening right now, and I like them even more now than then. So let's make that a query ('cept I owe you two other pieces first). (Girlie Action is doing the PR for them, so if you no longer have a copy, call up Heidi.) Flyleaf seem to be triangulating goth, metal-growl, and pretty girl pop/pop-punk, and at this point they fit right into the content of this thread. Lacey Mosley (sp?) has star power, she's doing the Amy Lee agony thing but has an attractive demanding neediness in her voice, not altogether unlike Avril. And the harmonies go to the piercing high pitch that Kelly Clarkson added in backing herself up on "Behind These Hazel Eyes" (and it's the same high harmonies that the Veronicas and Aly & AJ use). Lyrics tend to be metaphoric despair, much like Evanescence, but there's one song extolling the Columbine girl Cassie, who legend says, when the gun was pointed at her head and she was asked "Do you believe in God?" answered "Yes" and took the bullet. Album is on the Christian charts too; from what I can tell so far of the lyrics, there's mostly pain, resurrection is only a hint, and their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ isn't mentioned by name; but unlike Evanescence they haven't publicly repudiated the Christian interpretation.

Not as consistently beautiful as Lacuna Coil, not as consistently tuneful as Kelly, but definitely worth listening to.

From a miniscule town in Texas.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Tuesday, 14 March 2006 18:30 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Thought I'd heard about The Fray through my jamband friends but on the basis of that song I feel like I was wrong--maybe they poppified their sound when they signed to Epic or something and took the noodling out. At any rate, Blender compared 'em to Train or Five For Fighting, sorta the US version of dadrock is what they seem like to me, but I dunno. The single doesn't really touch its comparisons as far as I can tell.

Eppy (Eppy), Tuesday, 14 March 2006 18:41 (eleven years ago) Permalink

How many of the performers we've mentioned on this thread were born in Texas? Ashlee, Jessica, Hilary, Kelly, Flyleaf. Any more?

And Britney's from neighboring Louisiana.

(Lindsay's from Long Island! I mention that because my general name for the "attractive demanding needy vocal style" is "Long Island bar-bitch vocals," by which I'm imagining a '70s Long Island bar band that comes to CBGB to display its original material, the lead singer always being a rock chick putting on tough sassy vocals. Chantal Claret of Morningwood sounds like this, the Slunt singer sounds like this, and Debora Iyall of Romeo Void singing "I might like you better if we slept together" is what they all wish they sounded like. Probably none of these people are from Long Island [and in the little contact I had in real life with Debora she seemed to be real sweetheart]. But anyway, Lindsay doesn't sound like this at all. She's more like the four-year-old with her little plastic shovel and bucket at the beach, romping around and splattering all over.)(And I wouldn't say that Lacey really sounds like the Long Island bar bitch - Jess and Lisa of the Veronicas sometimes do, however. Lacey's got more of the neediness and less of the demand in her voice.)

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Tuesday, 14 March 2006 18:53 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I cited the Cassie thing as a "legend" because there have been conflicting stories and I'm never going to check it out. One story is that the event really happened, a girl said "Yes" and was shot, but it wasn't Cassie. The girl survived but never made a big deal out of the fact that it was she not Cassie who'd been asked the question.

Legends can be true; what makes them legends is that they fit a story that cultures like to tell themselves. The Legend of Cassie is that she descended into drugs and despair and pulled herself out through Christianity, and when her life was on the line she stood by her belief. (The song has it, "The question asked in order/To save her life or take it/The answer no to avoid death/The answer yes would make it," but I don't believe that during the massacre it was clear what would save you and what wouldn't. I'm not going to research that issue, either.)

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Tuesday, 14 March 2006 19:11 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Not to interrupt the discourse, but for your consideration (and as boosted by Popjustice, I am absolutely LOVING Lily Allen. I'm sure someone will poo-poo her as some kind of ska genre exercise, or myspace hype. This is fun stuff!

(And no I don't worked for her label, or anyone else's.)

Mitya (mitya), Tuesday, 14 March 2006 20:09 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Cheyenne Kimball (from Aquamarine, mentioned earlier) is from Texas, so is Miranda Lambert if that counts toward teen pop. Also a few from Nashville like Rose Falcon and recently Disney-"incubated" Jessie Daniels, who is friends with Jesus on her Myspace page. Hope Partlow's from Memphis.

Aren't the Veronicas from Australia (which isn't to say they aren't trying to sound like they're from Long Island, except the speak/sing track where the accent slips out)? How about New Jersey brats...Daphne and Celeste, more recently the Jonas Brothers...

nameom (nameom), Tuesday, 14 March 2006 20:50 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Speaking of romping around and splattering all over, I'm now up to "The Sinking Game" on the Marit Larsen Website. "Dive in with me/I've got mud to my knees." Silent movie saloon style piano with jazz touches. She's diving into her mudpool like diving into a relationship or diving into herself, though perhaps the pool she's diving into is supposed to wash not splatter ("I'm coming clean of jealousy and pain"). Whichever, she's having a grand old time.

"Come Closer" - Now this for sure has a banjo, but it isn't country, or if it is, a little bit, the voice is a noncountry sprite, it hops aboard the harmonica keys and jumps about. If you slowed this track to half-speed and gave it a violin section instead of a banjo, it'd be 1950s "sophisticated" lounge music, but here it's another tour of the monkey bars. In the lyrics she's inviting a guy to come closer, but what he wants is not coming in clear.

(xpost - Yes, Veronicas are from Brisbane, which is why Finney had a line on them before the rest of us upthread)

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Tuesday, 14 March 2006 20:55 (eleven years ago) Permalink

OK, last of the Marit snippets, unfortunately. "Solid Ground." A soft one with piano, not carnivalesque, but she's still got a skip and a lilt in her voice, quick three-note descents, little stars occasionally winking on and off in the upper register of the accompaniment, and then she almost makes her little voice swell up in the chorus. In all its wanderings, her voice maintains dignity, steadiness, though I can't explain why I think so. The lyrics are words of advice or encouragement to a friend (or to herself): "They will always pull you down/Before you know it/They will take your smile and push you around." And from the way she sings, you know she'll nimbly sidestep them.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Tuesday, 14 March 2006 21:25 (eleven years ago) Permalink

(woop Jessie just recorded in Nashville, actually from NYC...also forgot Texas natives Bowling for Soup and I guess Radio Disney itself, based in Dallas)

nameom (nameom), Tuesday, 14 March 2006 21:38 (eleven years ago) Permalink

One more thing about Marit Larsen; here are the opening lyrics, sung and probably written by 16-year-old Marit (co-writers Marion Raven and Matt Rowe), of M2M's "Give a Little Love" (2000):

Every time I think I've had enough of you
I take you back again
Not just because I need a friend
Just because I can't pretend
Like the others do

You think you're really serious
Clever and mysterious
Talking like you're dangerous
Talking like a fool

It's possible that Avril and the various Matrices never heard that song (it was an album track, not a single), but not only does it foreshadow "Complicated," it's a hell of a lot more complicated besides, and completely assured in both its flow and its sanity.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Tuesday, 14 March 2006 22:19 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Well, if I'm going to praise its flow, I should quote it right (an extra "just" had inserted itself into the lyrics):

Every time I think I've had enough of you
I take you back again
Not because I need a friend
Just because I can't pretend
Like the others do

You think you're really serious
Clever and mysterious
Talking like you're dangerous
Talking like a fool

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Tuesday, 14 March 2006 22:45 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I am absolutely LOVING Lily Allen.

Oh I'm with you. I am completely bowled over by her, especially the song "LDN", which is just the best thing I've heard in a good long while. Lily is the sound of the year. I mean this Marit person is cutsey and winsome and everything, but not really IT.

David Orton (scarlet), Tuesday, 14 March 2006 22:48 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I'm going to be reviewing the Marit Larsen for Stylus next week, and I have absorbed most of it and my reaction is very favourable - favourites are the very Dawsons-pop "This Time Tomorrow" and the dramatic "Poison Passion" which is the kind of ghostly closer Natalie Imbruglia has tried - and failed - write twice now. The title song is ornate and gorgeous, too.

Tim, I'll write a bit about "I Am Me" vs The Lohan when I get home in a few hours.

edward o (edwardo), Wednesday, 15 March 2006 01:32 (eleven years ago) Permalink

What teens are REALLY listening to right now, I think (at least the ones at my kid's high school in New York):


>>For Immediate Release
March 15, 2006


MATISYAHU DEBUTS AT #4 ON BILLBOARD 200
WITH NEW ALBUM ‘YOUTH'

With Sales Of 119,000, ‘Youth,' Finds Matisyahu The Only Artist With Two Albums Currently In The Billboard Top 40

‘Youth' Captures #1 Spots On Top Internet Albums Chart, Digital Albums Chart And Reggae Chart As ‘Live At Stubb's' Lands at #3 On Reggae Chart<



xhuxk, Wednesday, 15 March 2006 18:20 (eleven years ago) Permalink

You are joking, yes?

William Bloody Swygart (mrswygart), Wednesday, 15 March 2006 19:06 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Joking, how? That teenagers are listening to him, and he's that big? No, not at all. He's huge; I was just talking to a guy I know who runs a record store in Philly, and he said not only is the new album the biggest record there in ages, but the LIVE album was his store's #3 album last year. (One caveat, though, confirmed by Kelefa's live Times review last week - - Matisyahu's audience seems to be overwhelmingly white; my record store friend said the same thing. Not a single sale yet to a black customer. Could he eventually cross over to the r&b chart, though? Who knows?) And how long it all will last is another question. (I tried listening to the album, and didn't get very far, myself.)

xhuxk, Wednesday, 15 March 2006 19:13 (eleven years ago) Permalink

my son (who is totally excited about being jewish) got the live album as a present, but hasn't listened to it yet. he prefers the four tops, the klezmatics, p.funk, and the hairspray soundtrack.

Haikunym (Haikunym), Wednesday, 15 March 2006 19:17 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Goodness. Over to the hot topic 'Yahu thread with this info.

Tiki Theater Xymposium (Bent Over at the Arclight), Wednesday, 15 March 2006 19:24 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Joking, how?

Kind of a hope springing eternal type thing.

Oh yes, and the Lily Allen raving is by and large a bit bang on. That link's for her Myspace, where there are four songs, the three of which I've heard could definitely be classified as 'dead good'. Kind of like 'Why Do I Do?' by Tyler James from a couple years ago, except Lily appears to have been blessed with more than one good song, a slightly less irritating voice, and the chorus to 'LDN', which is rather immense.

One worrying sign - she appears to be on Regal, the label which did roughly nothing for Cathy Davey's career a couple of years ago.

William Bloody Swygart (mrswygart), Wednesday, 15 March 2006 22:30 (eleven years ago) Permalink

For Americans - imagine if Imani Coppola was less of a bloody hippy.

William Bloody Swygart (mrswygart), Wednesday, 15 March 2006 23:33 (eleven years ago) Permalink

That doesn't help me at all, WBS

Mitya (mitya), Thursday, 16 March 2006 00:31 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Hey my bubbly brainiacs!

I'm working on everything for my new record it's going great... but I'm in the middle of writing my new BIO/press release to send out to people that may not know me like you do... so if any of you have any cool words or phrases to describe me or my sound... post it!

Just so you know... if you post, I can't give you writing credit on the BIO... but I will give you all the credit on the board and my website! Deal? Sweet deal! Thanx for your help! ox

Skye

Ha, she'll probably draft it herself...

nameom (nameom), Thursday, 16 March 2006 02:34 (eleven years ago) Permalink

As promised, Tim...

"I Am Me" has been discussed a lot on here, but part of the reason I like it so much is that it sounds like the kind of "rock" record I would love to have written if I were a songwriter. Lots of the chords and riffs in it sound like songs I love that are maybe a bit obscure (as I said on the country thread, "In Another Life" is a dead sound-alike for Artificial Joy Club's lost-classic single "Skywriting"). "Beautifully Broken" sounds like a Belgian trance act's ballad done as a rock song (might be Sylver's "Shallow Water" but I'd have to find the song I'm thinking about), and for all the blather that people say about "HAHA THE ALBUM IS CALLED I AM ME AND SHE IS DOING LOTS OF DIFFERENT STYLES", well, I don't necessarily agree with it. It sounds like a mostly rock record to me, and I'll wager if you look into the archives of a lot of reviewers who have been lukewarm on "I Am Me", you'll find them praising OTHER artists for being eclectic and such. The "too many different styles" thing is often used as a criticism where no genuine one is available - reviewers seem to praise eclecticism and similarity between tracks on an album as it suits them, and partially it must be the "Oh, rock music is serious business for guys who LOVE music and trainspot obscure punk influences, we can't have teenage girls singing or enjoying it and generally taking it back to what it was in the 50s, can we" mentality, but there are lots of straw-men and there's not enough time to tackle them. FWIW, the first 8 songs on "I Am Me" are so ridiculously strong that whenever the next single is announced, I'm going to go "Oh, no, I was really hoping for xxxx". ("Dancing Alone", please, Ashlee's people, please, which is the alternative-dimension "Cool" where it goes horribly wrong). I'm guessing 30-something or beyond critics don't know the magic of a tiny bit of dress-up, slightly different outfits that are only surface changes, and that's really all that Ashlee does - the stylistic differences are pretty minor, in much the same way that Shania Twain puts in Timbaland-esque string stabs, cascading synths, fake Oriental sounds but still sings pop-country songs, Ashlee basically does Shanks' songs in the same way, and if that occasionally takes her into Courtney territory, well and good, if it makes her into a disco-dancing fag hag ("L.O.V.E.") then that's grand too, and those who criticise, well, they should consider whether they wear the same clothes at work or at a club or on a date and then realise that they're stupid.

I guess i go on about it a lot, but it's in the strengths of "I Am Me" that the weaknesses in the Lindsay Lohan album become clear. The Lohan album, has a more consistent, superficially FITTING sheen, of the kind that Stephen Thomas Erlewine (whose taste is dubious) can probably approve for a popette - a little piano and some plonked heavy guitars, but it doesn't hit at any point, and even when the tempo changes it's got this horrible awful saminess about it. The problem is, even though it's a superficially more dramatic pallette, the songs themselves don't have anywhere near as much entertaining self-loathing or self-aggrandizement as Ashlee's. I keep expecting "My Innocence" to turn into Radiohead's "You And Whose Army", honestly. The title track's a keeper, even if only for its cheeky spoken word intro. "Who Loves You" is a deliciously sleazy kind of thing - maybe halfway between "Red Dress" and Kelly Osbourne's last album, but there's no tune. The two covers don't work at all, either. Lindsay sounds blanker, the songwriting's not as good, it's just not as strong an album.

Will say more in a bit, going to listen to the Lohan album again. I didn't end up doing the Marit, Todd Burns wrote it up and gave it an A-. I agree.

edward o (edwardo), Thursday, 16 March 2006 08:18 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I'm listening to the lily stuff on myspace (thanks Mitya and WBS for a heads-up) and it sounds great -- streets crossed with fighting cocks crossed with daphne and celeste?

alext (alext), Thursday, 16 March 2006 12:29 (eleven years ago) Permalink

On Myspace tunes my dialup can't go more than several seconds before buffering, unfortunately, but I like Lily's print verbalisms.

(We should keep a running list of best-written teenpop (or whatever) CDBaby and Myspace pages. Skye's the winner so far, but I haven't really looked around.)

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 16 March 2006 16:42 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Did anyone other than Erlewine criticize I Am Me for its versatility? (I didn't read a lot of the reviews, so maybe they did, though of course they wouldn't have used the word "versatility.") But to be fair to Erlewine, from whom I learn a lot, every one of us runs into what I called The Boney Joan Rule over on the Theory and Its Discontents thread. It goes like this:

"Any reason I give for liking something can and will be given as a reason of mine for disliking something else."

In other words, I love Liz Mitchell's clear and empty singing; I hate Joan Baez's clear and empty singing.

Of course I can elaborate, say that Joan's singing is soggy, whereas Liz's is as clear as a running brook. Oops, that doesn't work, as brooks are kind of wet themselves. And anyway, I'm sure to find someone I love whose vocals are absolutely drenched. Amy Lee, perhaps, but not until she learns better when to turn her faucet on full and when to moderate the flow. You see, my problem is that the drenchings lose impact through overrepetition.

I really like the consistency of Liz Mitchell's vocals.

(Liz Mitchell sang lead on most Boney M tracks.)

Anyhow, I love the eclecticism of the early Beatles albums, whereas I hate the eclecticism of The White Album.

So here's my Veronicas conundrum: for all the power of their singing, they don't really establish an identity for their music. Given that I've loved thousands upon thousands of anonymous freestyle and Europop songs - including the hit that the Veronicas co-wrote for t.A.T.u., and including the Veronicas' own "Leave Me Alone," which is basically t.A.T.u.-style Europop with a rock beat - I can't say that a lack of identity in itself is a problem at all (and the Veronicas aren't particularly eclectic, either). I guess my trouble with the Veronicas is that when they go to their sensitive "I am moved by love" or "I am moved by sadness" vocals, I don't give a shit - whereas when they go to their piercingly high harmonic "I am moved by love" or "I am moved by sadness" vocals, I am delighted. (None of this explains the times when I get moved by wooden phonetic rendering of English on some Dutch or Italian dance record. Probably has to do with the beautiful sixth-generation imitation Miami riff that was filched for the accompaniment.)

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 16 March 2006 17:35 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Lily Allen LDN ripped and YSI'd for Frank et al:

http://s45.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=0UNDRV2CB5U651GOP3JOVMRCX2

The fourth track, "Knock "Em Out" is a bit cliched but otherwise the other stuff is great. Abby Poptext has taken over Fluxblog today and posted Skye and something else of this general ilk -- I guess I'll check them out, given the raves.

Mitya (mitya), Thursday, 16 March 2006 17:41 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Lilly Allen = good.

Dom Passantino (Dom Passantino), Thursday, 16 March 2006 17:45 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Joanna Martino, *My World,* its first song "Energy" at least, makes me wonder how much of Evanesence's and (judging for Frank's description; I've yet to hear them myself) Flyleaf's goth influence may have emerged out of Christian rock (which I know very little about.) Joanna definitely looks like a teen-pop singer on the cover, and "Energy" has a very souped-up goth-pop sound to my ears, from bombastic opening orchestrations on down, leading into lyrics about Jesus that, I assume uninentionally but who knows, read like double entendres: "I can feel your energy/you are my life/the current runnin' through my veins/you're the power inside of me when I'm weak/ fill me with our energy." Shoot me Jesus with your white-hot love through the field goal posts of life. Not hearing much of anything on the rest of the CD, at least not yet, though I suspect the Hi-NRG gay metal-disco forward-motion pulsating beneath "God is Never Gone" would have done quite well throughout Continental Europe in 1982.

xhuxk, Thursday, 16 March 2006 18:01 (eleven years ago) Permalink

(on the back of the CD, Joanna looks like a TOUGH teen-pop singer, very tomboyish, in blue jeans and black cap and a black T-shirt with the word "forgiven" written on it in a heavy metal worthy font.)

xhuxk, Thursday, 16 March 2006 18:04 (eleven years ago) Permalink

(Of course, it's just as possible that Martino's "Energy" sound could have been influenced BY Evanescence, et. al., as being a sound that's been in Xtn rock for years, duh. Album is "produced by Drew Cline," whoever he is, for whatever that's worth. "Energy" was written by Dan Muckula and Chad Cates, who wrote no other songs on the thing.)

xhuxkx, Thursday, 16 March 2006 18:14 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Getting back to Flyleaf (the title of whose album is Flyleaf, I think, unless it's Album Advance), their high harmonies are if anything more deleriously ecstatic than the Veronicas' or Aly & AJ's. It may be that rocking hard - real throbbing dance from their bass, and a guitar that kicks - raises the intensity of everything else. They've got no flat-out great I-love-it songs on the order of "4ever" or "Rush" (or "Bring Me to Life" or "Hear Me") but they've got a whole shitload of great moments.

xpost

Xhuxk's raising a question that I was about to ask: I said a couple of days ago that Lacey Mosley's a live wire on the order of Avril Lavigne and that a lot of harmonies could come right off of pop/teenpop tracks such as "Behind these Hazel Eyes," and Evanescence is an obvious source. But I'm wondering where else this music draws from. That is, I don't really listen to much nu-metal. I know there are a whole bunch of bratrock bands, male mostly, whose harmonies are pretty much the only redeeming elements in their music, and the harmonies tend to get undercut by the wanky dorkboy singing. But those harmonies may well be a source for Flyleaf, and those nu-metal dorkboys (and there could be a lot of nondork boys, I just haven't heard them) may well be a source for Evanescence too. Are there other women singers who set the stage for Amy and Lacey (I mean, more recent than Grace Slick and Stevie Nicks and Siouxsie Sioux; you know, nowadays singers)? I'm agreeing mostly with what Xhuxk and Ian said above about the difference between Anneke and Cristina on the one hand and Kelly on the other (and I'd add Amy and Lacey to "the other"); the former have a deliberate aloofness, the latter have very much the opposite of aloofness. I can see how a Christian rocker might go "goth" (or whatever) for goth's critique of normality and its ambivalent embrace of the not normal - and such a person's Christianity wouldn't be "let's live a happy wholesome life and never go to a city" but rather "Christ, take me beyond the bullshit, including or especially my own" - but the singing style that would go with it wouldn't be aloof, I don't think. Rather, it'd try more to sound like an unresolved problem.

Ben Moody and Amy Lee met each other as teenagers in a Christian youth camp (or that's what I read, anyway), and Fallen was high on the Christian charts as well as the Top 200 until they emphatically told Entertainment Weekly that they were a secular band (Moody: "We're actually high on the Christian charts, and I'm like, What the fuck are we even doing there?" Lee: "I guarantee that if the Christian bookstore owners listened to some of those songs, they wouldn't sell the CD.")

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 16 March 2006 18:51 (eleven years ago) Permalink

xp:Okay, after another listen...Joanna's album is more interesting than I thought (maybe even good enough to hang onto, I haven't decided yet), with plenty of dark but loudly belted early '80s branigan style flashdance goth-pop dance-rock (now and then mixed with melodies recalling early '90s amy grant, especially in "renegade") coursing through. At its most rocking -- tracks like "God Is Never Gone," "You Love Me," "This Is My World" - the music has a real CRASH to it. My favorite verse so far is this one from "You Love Me": "TV tries to tell me/That my beauty's skin deep/And it's to my advantage/To pretty up the package/If I want to succeed," but of course God loves you whatever your sense of style is. A teen-pop diary-confession cliche, obviously, what's inside is what matters, but well written. "This is My World" has another double entendre, about "the wonder that your hands display...promising to satisfy." And there are some other songs, like track 2 "Right Where You Want Me" for instance, where the sound strikes me as probably closer to what Kelly and Avril are doing these days (though I haven't listened to Avril's or Kelly's stuff as much as some of you on this thread, so maybe you'll disagree). The sappiest stuff seems to be saved for album's end, though now I'm thinking "Road Less Traveled" might be a sort of country attempt. But I'm also, mainly, thinking that the goth impulse in Christian teen-pop/teen-rock might be because '80s pop music never really died there.

xhuxk, Thursday, 16 March 2006 19:03 (eleven years ago) Permalink

from cdbaby (i didn't even know joanna was on there, until i checked just now):

"With an explosive passion for music, and a humble maturity that surpasses her years, this 19- year -old is a dose of fresh fire discovered as she advanced through over four rounds of auditions for the second season of Fox's hit series "American Idol." At the age of 16, Joanna was one of the youngest competing, yet continually making the cut for judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson in Los Angeles. "I was mixed in with people who had actually gone to school to study music, and there I was, just receiving my driver's license!" With thousands auditioning, Joanna made it to the final 80 contestants. With the confidence of industry veterans under her belt, her career in music was imminent.

Coming from a long line of pastors, Joanna grew up on a farm in Michigan as one of five children in a close-knit Italian family. "My family has always encouraged me to pursue my dreams; they have supported me and prayed for me through this entire journey." Graduating fifth in her class, Joanna knows first hand the pressures that teens face today in a culture of empty promises. "Your peers are changing so much at that age, you have to start making your own decisions to determine who you really want to be, what you want to stand for," says Joanna. "I came to a point where I said 'Here's my life Lord, I don't know what you're going to do with it, but here I am.' " With a reverent surrender and a love for music, Joanna moved to Music City after high school and headed straight into the studio."

xhuxk, Thursday, 16 March 2006 19:11 (eleven years ago) Permalink

>Are there other women singers who set the stage for Amy and Lacey (I mean, more recent than Grace Slick and Stevie Nicks and Siouxsie Sioux; you know, nowadays singers)?<

Kittie (who definitely had occasional Lacuna Coilish moments).

xhuxk, Thursday, 16 March 2006 19:23 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Thanks Mitya. LDN is fine, as advertised, though seems at least as calypso as it does ska.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 16 March 2006 19:26 (eleven years ago) Permalink

best-written teenpop (or whatever) CDBaby and Myspace pages

I recently started an ongoing project with this...Skye beats most of them hands down, but Brie Larson's page is pretty great (semi-underrated album, too).

I have the same problem with the Veronicas album...I was using the phrase "confessional bubblegum" but it's more like "anonymous confessional," a total killer in this case when at least half the songs are ballads.

nameom (nameom), Thursday, 16 March 2006 20:43 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Re: Lily Allen. I was just in the Co-Op and I heard Amy Winehouse, and I had this horrid premonition...

William Bloody Swygart (mrswygart), Thursday, 16 March 2006 21:32 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I agree with Edward o's discussion of I Am Me. I've just gotten Autobiography and I can see how I Am Me touches a few more places stylistically (although not that much - the second half of Autobiography strikes me as pretty diverse), but I think her personality comes across as much more consistent... probably due to the vocals, which have that low, full edge to them the whole way through, even the two ballads sound a bit like Courtney Love doing pop ballads.

Whereas on Autobiography there are number of tracks (I think "Undiscovered" is one of them maybe?) where Ashlee sings very sweetly, quite a distance from "Autobiography" or "Lala". In the context of the album I like that, it works by virtue of being on the same album as those harder tracks and thus showing up a different side of her (although I might not find Ashlee interesting if she did a whole album like that).

Still getting to used to Autobiography so I'm not sure yet how much I like it in relation to I Am Me, but I know that I love every single song on the latter, which is quite an achievement!

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Thursday, 16 March 2006 21:35 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Thanks for showing me lily allen - sounds interesting - anyone know if she's releasing an album? If so, when? Thanks.

ana78ng (ana78ng), Thursday, 16 March 2006 21:36 (eleven years ago) Permalink

This is off the teenpop topic but relevant to "LDN": a friend of mine made me an indie/undie hip-hop tape several years ago, and the best thing on it by far was El da Sensei's "Summer Time Blues," which had a loose jazz-funk rhythm with something of an island feel, and very much a summer feel, and like "LDN", sadness and unhappiness in the lyrics - though unlike "LDN" the words go both ways, the lazy party of summer ghetto streets mixing with the danger of summer ghetto streets. "LDN" is more like words trying to refute the sound. But the sound is irrefutable, and if Lily can produce tracks as good with any consistency, she's a star.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Saturday, 18 March 2006 02:50 (eleven years ago) Permalink

One more thing about the Lohan: yeah, sure, it isn't as good as I Am Me, but neither is Arular or Robyn. And More of the Monkees isn't as good as Aftermath. I think I said pretty well upthread where I found my joy in A Little More Personal (Raw). Just to reiterate: "I Live for the Day" is simultaneously an ache of sweetness and a spitfire of hate, and Lindsay's up to both moods.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Saturday, 18 March 2006 03:12 (eleven years ago) Permalink

From the World Music thread (but I changed a couple words):

>Do Perspehone's Bees count as teenpop? I know I saw their name in Billboard, but can't remember whether it was on one of the European charts or on the dance chart. Music is Eurodancepop from, uh, somewhere; I don't have the press release handy. Album out on Columbia next month. Girl singer, though she sounds like new wave era Geddy Lee or maybe the guy from Sparks on the first song, and the second one has her saying you're on the bottom and she's on the top climbing, and "Nice Day" is totally pretty and summery, and "Muzika Dlya Fil'ma" has a title in some world language or other, and closer "Home" brings it back home with an extended Link Wray twang rumble. Cool, but what the heck?

xhuxk, Saturday, 18 March 2006 20:54 (eleven years ago) Permalink

PERSEPHONE'S Bees (Not to be confused with Persephone's Dream, Lacuna Gathering types who I may well have mentioned upthread somewhere or maybe just on the metal thread.)

xhuxk, Saturday, 18 March 2006 21:05 (eleven years ago) Permalink

A swift google and they're from... San Francisco (singer's Russian, tho).

William Bloody Swygart (mrswygart), Saturday, 18 March 2006 21:18 (eleven years ago) Permalink

What song are Persephone's Bees ripping off with that "Na na na" part on "Nice Day?" It's escaping me. Some disco song?

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Saturday, 18 March 2006 21:32 (eleven years ago) Permalink

(OK, it's not exactly the same, but it's reminiscent of a melody in Annie's "Helpless Fool for Love." I have the feeling that Annie might have swiped the melody from somewhere else, though.)

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Sunday, 19 March 2006 00:03 (eleven years ago) Permalink

So disregard whatever I said about the last two songs on the Joanna Martin Xtn teen-goth CD being country moves; they're pure sap, and completely unstomachable. Turns out "Fall" is as goth as most of the cuts I mentioned above though. So overall, goth wins over sap easy (which still doesn't mean I necessarily love the CD. Non-secular words can be a real barrier, and even despite the would-be double entrendres about laying down for Jesus and giving him her all, Joanna doesn't camouflage hers like Evanescence do or Amy Grant can.)

xhuxk, Sunday, 19 March 2006 01:31 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Oops, I meant Joanna Martino. Myspace fans can judge her page too, I guess:

http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=24911247

xhuxk, Sunday, 19 March 2006 01:36 (eleven years ago) Permalink

At least Hope Partlow has a blog on hers:

http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=16743376

But yeah, they both seriously need to take lessons from Skye Sweetnam.

Incidentally, both Joanna and Hope are apparently over 100 years old (at least if you google their myspace pages they are).

xhuxk, Sunday, 19 March 2006 02:19 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Oops, I was wrong, Joanna DOES have a blog (it was hidden under her tour schedule, and she seems to be much more dilligent about keeping it up-to-date than Hope does hers):

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

NO more FREE donuts when the light is on!!!!!!!
We drove to South Carolina tonight.
On our way to stop to eat dinner, we see a Krispy Kreme across the street.
The Light was on!
So I told the guys that you get free donuts when the light is on, because we always used to do that!
They didn't believe me.
So I told them to pull over and I will prove it to them.
We all walk in.
They lady looks at me like I'm crazy when I ask her to tell them that we get FREE donuts because the light is on.
GEEEEZZ!
They definitely think I'm a loser.
AND I'm sad to say that this Krispy Kreme is no longer giving away free donuts when they are fresh and hot! Hopefully other Krispy Kremes have not conformed to this absurd craziness.

xhuxk, Sunday, 19 March 2006 02:26 (eleven years ago) Permalink

By the way, Hope Partlow fans HATE POSERS:

http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=23896606&blogID=57756512&MyToken=378e44d1-a8d4-464e-979f-9ca0f8f204ba

And they also have the best taste in music ever:

Influences Jump5, Reo speed wagon, Pussycat Dolls,gwen stefani, green day, click 5, Mcfly, Ludacris, DHT, The all American Rejects, Martina Mcbride, Rebecca Lynn Howard, Carrie Underwood, Meredith Edwards, Brittany Hargest, Deanna Carter,Christina Aguilera, Gretchen Wilson, Big and Rich, Kenny Chesney, Leann Rimes, Janet Jackson, Britney Spears,gunz n roses, Hanson, Charlotte Church, Josh Groban, Zoegirl, Kimberly Perry, Skillet, Pillar, casting crowns,TheNcrowd, OUT OF KILTER, Korn, Manson,Kenny Chesney, Tim Mcgraw, Faith Hill, Trisha Yearwood, Garth brooks, Emma Bunton, spice girls, ashlee simpson, aly and aj, Jesse McCartney, Evanescense, Skye Sweetnam, Usher, Raven, Metillica, NIN, The Donna's, Aaliyah, fat joe, Ciara, OZZY, Janet Jackson, Cher, Hilary Duff, Rascal Flatts, Jodee Messina, Billy Gilman, lil Kim, Victoria Beckham, 80's music, Cinderella, Tesla, Twizted sister, whitesnake, JOURNEY, Steve Perry, ICP, Kelly Clarkson, Jackson5, Mariah Carey, Pillar, Lita Ford, Leann Rimes,BEN FOLDS (Thanks Cali), Todd Agnew, THE RIDE HOME, FATTY HAZE, Punk music, Goth, Rave,techno, BLUEGRASS, The Starting line, My chemical Romance, Ac/dc, Good Charlotte, Cold Play, Dashboard Confessionals, Yellowcard, Death Cab, MegaDeath, Rob Zombie, Whitesnake, Posion, ALICE COOPER, Charlie Daniels Band, Daniel and Jonna's band (name tba), Michael Gungor, Kirk Franklin, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Cheetah Girls, Josh Gracin, Tiffany, Kelly Osbourne, Haylie Duff, Leann Womack, Dolly Parton, Allison Krauss, and the Union station, Prime Suspect, Elysium, Jim Parrinello (my adopted Dad), Toby Keith, Keith Anderson, Loretta Lynn, Switch foot, Mandy Moore, Rachael Lampa, Meredith Edwards, Sister Hazel, hoobastank,Katy Rose,Hanson,brooks and dunn, Cowboy Troy,Howie Day, Max a million C, Red hot Chili peppers, Looking glass, Reba,Gavin Degraw, Hope Partlow, Kaci Brown, John Mayer, (Plenty more)
Go

She has music on her site, too:

http://www.myspace.com/bnicole

xhuxk, Sunday, 19 March 2006 02:56 (eleven years ago) Permalink

(Excuse the left-field-y-ness, but does anyone have the deep love of the tusedays' one CD that I have? And where does this teen pop with Beatles gloss fit into the discource?)

(And I suck because I forgot to say thanks, but thank Chuck--before I'd just sorta liked The Gathering from afar but now am turning downright fannish.)

Grey, Ian (IanBrooklyn), Sunday, 19 March 2006 07:45 (eleven years ago) Permalink

"Daughter to Father" on teh Lohan album sounds like it's halfway between vanessa carleton and new metal.

Sterling Clover (s_clover), Sunday, 19 March 2006 15:11 (eleven years ago) Permalink

"Rumors" off the first Lohan album on the other hand is extremely first Pink album.

Sterling Clover (s_clover), Sunday, 19 March 2006 15:18 (eleven years ago) Permalink

... But not as good, I don't think. I can never remember anything about "Rumours" except for the somewhat insipid chorus (apologies for describing a pop song as "insipid" - arch-cliche yes), "i'm tired of rumours starting/I'm tired of being followed/something something something/hataz saying what they wanna" - is that even the lyric? Usually I'm pretty good at picking up lyrics but it was so boring!

I remembered liking the second, emo-ier song from the first Lohan album more but now I can't remember anything about it at all. I think it had a cute guy in the video clip, hence my approval. Maybe he looked like Ian Somerholder? He was having a fight with his dad or something?

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Monday, 20 March 2006 02:11 (eleven years ago) Permalink

The song is called "Over." The chorus gets so wonderful as it's winding down. I had difficulty understanding the storyline of the music video as well though. I guess the next door neighbor love interest for Lohan was being abused by his father, in effect adding an extra layer of narrative to the song which by itself is just a straght forward break up angst number.

My favorite Lohan track right now is "Black Hole" from A Little More Personal. Really nice rolling piano line. The verse melody is strong in a Max Martin going for Abba grandness. Unfortunately, the chorus then shifts to a kind of lite nu-metal sludgey whine but the verse parts are worth putting up with this.

theodore (herbert hebert), Monday, 20 March 2006 08:39 (eleven years ago) Permalink

So, final appraisal on Joanna Martino CD (available on cdbaby): Definitely worth seeking out and keeping; just play the first eight tracks and skip the last two. The first three, especially, are really good; "Right Where You Want Me," the most blatant Avril/Kelly-style teen-popper on the album, really grew on me. Five out of ten tracks (Energy, God is Never Gone, Fall, You Love Me, This is My World once it picks up halfway in) have an audible goth element. And more words can be read as secular teen-making-sense-of-life predicaments ("This is my world, it's all I've ever known/This is my world, it's mine alone/To figure out where I fit") than I at first thought. Though, for those who care about such things, Joanna only gets one partial writing credit, and it's for "Lay it Down," one of the lesser songs.

xhuxk, Monday, 20 March 2006 14:23 (eleven years ago) Permalink

New Fall Out Boy single *completely* steals the opening riff of "Sk8r Boi." I think the video is supposed to be the nu-Thriller, except it's kinda dorky, but good for them keeping up the dorkiness. You can tell those guys are living their dream and will milk this ride for all it's worth.

Je4nne ƒur¥ (Je4nne Fury), Tuesday, 21 March 2006 16:18 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Also, the Teddy Geiger song will be a definite contender for Prom Song 06 *and* the Lose Your Virginity Tune of 06.

Je4nne ƒur¥ (Je4nne Fury), Tuesday, 21 March 2006 16:21 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Are we OK with talking about emo-pop as teenpop now? Because seeing the Dresden Dolls convinced me that they're teenpop, at least in the context of the weird cultural moment we're in right now. I'm sure they have crossover fans with MCR et al, but they're also much more explicitly goth and even metal than I think those bands are. Pretty interesting how they're triangulating, consciously or not, and I think spiritually related in a lot of ways to Lohan.

Eppy (Eppy), Tuesday, 21 March 2006 17:03 (eleven years ago) Permalink

goth i see but not metal.

also the first lohan album is awful. the "drama queen" single from that movie is a good song trapped in lohan's voice.

the success of anything off the second album is totally contingent on how well the producers can hide her voice or scare up something decent for her to cover, especially drowned by backup singers.

still, "who loves you" is fantastic punked up moroder until it turns terribly cloying at the end.

i don't even see the dolls as emo particularly.

they're terribly teen however, or actually more for 20 somethings who are still living out their teens, in terms of the fanbase -- but also they're a good band, so don't take that as an insult.

and yeah, i did see them do a very good cover of war pigs i guess. which is old metal but not new metal at all (and by that token more nu goth)

Sterling Clover (s_clover), Tuesday, 21 March 2006 17:40 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Ha. I just got the first Lohan album from the library. Not awful by a long shot, probably has more good songs than the second (reason: John Shanks; he owned teenpop in 2004 as much as Lil Jon owned hip-hop). "Rumors" is maybe the eighth best on it (and one of only two that are entirely Shanksless); it's actually a good track, not like Pink but like Michael Jackson in his new-jack-goth mode, ominous "orchestral" chords clipped short in the way that Michael and Teddy would clip them. And obviously I'm a fan of the Lohan personality as it sprays forth through her voice and I don't get where the voice is hidden at all on the second album. It's all over the thing. But on "Rumors" I would say that her voice doesn't spray forth and is probably the wrong voice for that kind of song anyway; she can't insert little knife points of emotion in the way that Michael could, and for some reason she doesn't throw herself into the chorus. The song is forgettable. (Lyrics aren't so bad, but they're not special either: "I'm tired of rumors starting/I'm sick of being followed/I'm tired of people lying/Saying what they want about me." This is another thing Michael did way better, the leave-me-alone song.)

(Notice that none of us has the same take on Lohan. This in itself makes her valuable.)

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Tuesday, 21 March 2006 20:25 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Best track on the first Lohan isn't "First," though it's a good one, but "Nobody 'Til You." I don't have anything to say about it this second 'cept that it's another Shanks & DioGuardi.

"Symptoms of You" - The music is so-what (Shanks & DioGuardi producers but not writers), but the lyrics qualify it for the multi-volumed Rough Guide to Codependent Relationships: "Baby all I do is suffer from symptoms of you." This is supposed to show how much she's in love, the old love-is-a-fever-or-flu routine, but the song unintentionally makes the condition seem really pathological.

[We could make The Rough Guide to Codependent Relationships an ongoing series, one or two a year, like the Now compilations.]

"First": Not her very best, but a good test case. If you're drawn in by this blaring self-centeredness, as I am, then you'll like Lohan. If you can't stomach it, then you should stay away. (From her music, that is. As an actress she's far more versatile.)

By the way, the music at the end of each verse, the part that leads into the chorus, seems a pure example of why Shanks & DioGuardi are great (and Kara DioGuardi gives herself the answering vocal part, making her voice affectless so as to highlight Lohan, but sounding beautiful nonetheless, filling in the sound). I don't have the music theory to explain what makes it typical Shanks & DioGuardi, but something about it deepens the song, gives it what I've been calling "the ache of beauty," the unexplainable feeling that love and pain are genuinely at issue here, even if the words are claiming self-confidence: "'Cause you're mine/And tonight/You don't revolve around her/You're mine and this time/I'm gonna scream a little louder."

And the Shanks guitar riff that starts this track is as exuberant as Lohan is. It's one of Miccio's favorites.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Tuesday, 21 March 2006 21:08 (eleven years ago) Permalink

The drummer seemed very metal, I dunno.

Eppy (Eppy), Tuesday, 21 March 2006 21:10 (eleven years ago) Permalink

http://cdbaby.com/cd/dajmusic

So, Daj. *I Know You Want Me*, 2006, Purple Buddha Records, Albanian-American, from Florida. One of the first things you'll notice when you look at her cdbaby link above is "imagine the Veronicas on acid." Unfortunately, I have still barely heard the Veronicas at all (hope to soon), so I have no idea if that's true or not. What I do know: (1) The first song on the album is somewhere in the '80s Prince/Teena Marie/Sheila E neighborhood, and where her voice gets loud is also when the powerchords get loud, and it *isn't* Teena, I know, but it still makes me *think* of Teena, which counts for something since almost nobody ever does anymore. (2) The second song, a totally kicking cover of "I've Done Everything for You" with totally chirpy high-pitched backup vocals, supposedly written by Sammy Hagar but I know it as a Rick Springfield hit, is even better. (3) The third song might be even better: "Pretty in Punk," over-the-top silly-at-least-partly-by-accident-I-think new wave bubble-punk pop about a dad being concerned because his daughter is dating guys with piercings and she's wearing fishnets and getting kicked out of Catholic school for flashing the priest and listening to the Sex Pistols on her iPod because her favorite word is anarchy. (4) Fourth song "When You Put Your #@!! on My !#@" to quite sexy effect leaves the blanks for naughty bits blank a la George Jones's "Her Name Is..." or the Beastie Boys's "Cookie Puss" or Boney M's "Bang Bang Lulu" or something though I forget why those last two belong on the list. (5) Fifth song "Just Rock N Roll" to me is BLATANTLY Billy Joel's "Still Rock and Roll to Me" as redone by a more hard-rocking C&C Music Factory, with Daj stretching out words with extra vowels James Brown style near the end. (6) Sixth song "Forbidden Fruit" starts with a hushed fluffy spoken-word part that reminds me of Seduction or Bardeux or one of those groups, and from there on lets the music drop out into open space in a sort of dub or psychedelic pop way. (8) Ninth song "Photogenic Memory" is also apparently a cover (originally written by Jerry Knight and Davitt Sigerson!) though I don't think I ever heard the original before but this version is super catchy with freakazoid '80s robot-funk backup vocals. (Just checked AMG; turns out it was the first song on the Philip Bailey album with "Easy Lover"!) Anyway, minus the acid, is this what Veronicas sound like?

xhuxk, Wednesday, 22 March 2006 18:41 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Yeah, "I've Done Everything" was written by Sammy Hagar, probably a co-write by his producer at Capitol, Carter, too. It showed up on his first parcel of solo albums. Now it's on the omnibus import "Best Of" addressing the Capitol records. He had it on a live record, too. Capitol tried hard to make a hit out of it for him but it never took. But they were committed and gave it to Rick Springfield who did make a hit out of it.

I like Rick's better but it's not very different from Hagar's, which was also very good. "Rock 'n' Roll Weekend," "Plane Jane," Sam did a lot of hard teen pop on his Capitol LPs.

George 'the Animal' Steele, Wednesday, 22 March 2006 18:51 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I've been listening to the Flyleaf album this morning. There IS some Bjork in Lacey's voice (in her sort of hiccups, which she seems to do a lot), I think; maybe some Tori Amos too, though I rarely remember what Tori sounds like when I'm not hearing her and I could be wrong about that. (Fiona Apple? I have no fucking idea.) And her growls sound a lot like Kittie. The "nu"-metal band that keeps springing to mind, though I'm not sure I can explain why though it's kind of obvious, is P.O.D., who are Christians, and who have enough of a sense of rhythm that I put their "Youth of the Nation" on my top 10 singles list a few years ago. (Sasha Frere-Jones has compared their drumming to Killing Joke's, I believe.) That "Cassie" song is intense; I like the rest, just not sure how much yet..(actually, not sure how much I like the intense one, either.)

xhuxk, Thursday, 23 March 2006 16:41 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Interesting how in "Cassie" (did I hear this right?) Lacey winds up saying CASSIE pulled the trigger (by telling the Columbine shooters she believed in God I guess). And then, later in the song, I think LACEY pulls the trigger. Only listened once so far, though; maybe I misheard.

xhuxk, Thursday, 23 March 2006 16:45 (eleven years ago) Permalink

from country thread:

lindsey & kathy, 4-song teen-pop country bubblegum rock EP by two teen florida sisters said on their cdbaby page to also be former child actors on a PBS kids' show called "the huggabug club" not to mention daughters of a pro baseball player i never heard of: first song is yet another "walmart parking lot" song, different than chris cagle's and probably closer spiritually to shannon brown's "cornfed"; in this one, you get things-frank-would-(probably accurately)-call-lies like "no one's complaining about nothing changing here" and stuff about how the local paper only has a page or two which is enough for the news in such a small town and there's only one button on the radio dial which of course plays country so it's "kinda like livin' in the past," okay, the usual myth, but who the hell said songs were supposed to be honest anyway? sound is like a fast early tom petty tune or something, though maybe somebody can figure out a more accurate '80s pop-rock referent for the guitar parts. second song is about a breakup the singer wishes didn't happen, very nice, and helped out what i believe to be a bassline from the doobie brothers' "listen to the music." third song is more bluegrass/folk trad, and the place the sisters' sibling harmonies most shine. and the last song is maybe the most interesting -- not country at all, way more like lisa lisa losing herself in emotion or deniece williams hearing it for the boy in the mid '80s. updated '60s girl group, in other words; in fact, the updating might be accidental. and it works; people who've listened to that *one kiss leads to another* box more than me should figure out what REAL girl group singer it sounds like.

xhuxk, Thursday, 23 March 2006 19:35 (eleven years ago) Permalink

oops, lindsey & KRISTY, not Kathy:

http://cdbaby.com/cd/lindseykristy

And it's a picture disc!

xhuxk, Thursday, 23 March 2006 19:37 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Yeah, Lacey's suggesting (or more than suggesting) that in saying "Yes" Cassie in effect pulled the trigger on herself. But when she sings "I will pull the trigger," at the end, she could simply be mouthing the words of Cassie's murderer (don't know if it was Klebold or Harris). Or she could be speaking for Cassie herself. But no matter what she's doing, she's putting the emphasis more on the fact that Cassie chose death rather than that Cassie chose God in the face of death. I don't know if Lacey realizes that that's how the song comes across. Her way is certainly dramatic.

My favorites right now are "Perfect," "Breathe Today," and "I'm So Sick." The latter two have been the two singles so far.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 23 March 2006 20:37 (eleven years ago) Permalink

it still makes me *think* of Teena, which counts for something since almost nobody ever does anymore

Did you know that John Shanks played in Teena Marie's band when he was still in high school!

Your description of Daj makes her sound better than the Veronicas. I love "4ever" and "Leave Me Alone" [which is the Veronicas imitating the song they wrote for t.A.T.u.]), and the majority of the Veronicas' other stuff sounds good but leaves me feeling a bit hammered by high-pitched so-what normality, the joy of breaking up and telling guys to fuck off, I guess, but coming across not all that joyous, you know?

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 23 March 2006 20:46 (eleven years ago) Permalink

OK, just heard the CDBaby excerpt from the first Daz track (title song, I think) "I Know You Want Me." Sounds like... um, '80s pop rock, the pop, yes, OK leaning towards pop r&b, maybe like Teena, and has the Veronicas' high pitch but actually reminds me more of the Cover Girls - except not as good as the Cover Girls, or Teena, or the Veronicas, I'm afraid; her voice isn't nearly as flexible and skyflying as the Veronicas. The tune is merely OK, that's the problem. But not bad, and maybe greatness will appear on later tracks. (But I have to sign off now.)

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 23 March 2006 21:13 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Yeah Frank, even despite the Teena comparison above (which, again, I mainly meant as a comparison to the type of genre synthesis Teena created, not so much to her voice or songs), the Daj album didn't really kick in for me til track 2. The first song is actually one of the *lesser* songs on her album. So you (and others) should definitely not stop there.

xhuxk, Friday, 24 March 2006 00:23 (eleven years ago) Permalink

(on the other hand, toward the end of that first track, when the guitars kick in, i DO hear daj's voice reaching toward someplace teena used to go, whether daj ever heard teena or not. of *course* she doesn't get there; neither does anybody else! but she's trying. and it's not entirely accurate, i don't think, to say the song isn't as good as teena or the cover girls, since it's definitely better than plenty of teena's *slow* songs, and it's definitely better than plenty of songs the cover girls did *after* their first album. i do remember they had one single i really loved after [i think] angel left, though i forget its name; most other stuff after their debut was even more forgettable, right? but even on their first LP, i don't think they did any dance music as rock/guitar oriented as that daj track, which is why it reminded me more of teena instead probably. oddly, that fourth track on that lindsey & kristy EP-the one i compared to lisa lisa-more than anything on that daj album, DID make me think "cover girls" for a couple seconds. though joe mccombs on the country thread says it reminds him less of lisa lisa than of amazulu, who i've never heard. i'm sure the singing there resembles SOME '80s girl act updating the '60s girl group sound, which both lisa lisa and the cover girls [and deniece williams] did, but maybe i'm missing the boat on which one. as i told joe though, i thought "'60s girl group" BEFORE i thought "80s update.")

xhuxk, Friday, 24 March 2006 11:50 (eleven years ago) Permalink

> they had one single i really loved after [i think] angel left<

'twas "funk boutique," 1991. AMG sez angel [sabater] was there for the second album in '89 but not for the third one in '92, and my CD single is storage; not positive whether angel's still on there on not.

i guess part of what gets me excited about these two cdbaby CDs is that i can't think of many acts, teen-pop or r&b otherwise, who picked up where either teena *or* lisa lisa *or* the cover girls left off. am i forgetting somebody? probably i am. but to what extent is '60s girl-group sound an element in late '90s/early '00s teen-pop at all? not nearly as much as it was in '80s pop r&b and latin freestyle, i'm sure. i didn't even hear it in the spice girls much (though of course i've yet to define what i mean by "'60s girl group sound," and i'm not sure i can. unschooled voices might be part of it, though. which obviously means lisa lisa more than it does teena. though maybe i should throw stacy lattisaw in there. {or shanice maybe?} i do know that i seem to be having a much harder time getting excited about kelly/lindsay/avril/etc than lots of people on this thread, and i'm not sure i know why. i like all of them fine, and hilary and robyn too, but they're missing SOMETHING. a sense of adventure or weirdness or surprise, maybe? though quite likely that stuff is there, and i'm just not hearing it.) (i also wish "konichiwa bitches" WAS as surprising or funky as "attack of the name game.")

(disclaimner: i'll decide a lot of that rant is utter bullshit mere minutes after i press "submit," but i'm gonna go ahead and press.)

xhuxk, Friday, 24 March 2006 13:59 (eleven years ago) Permalink

(or maybe i just wish contemporary teen-pop had more r&b in it, just like i wish contemporary r&b had more teen-pop in it. sigh.) (i'd almost define "konichiwa bitches" as "electroclash." is that mean of me?) (and speaking of contemporary teen r&b, what's better, ne-yo's "so sick" or flyleaf's "i'm so sick"? so far, for me, it't a tossup. though flyleaf are definitely striking me as more tuneful and rocking than bjork, tori, fiona, kittie, or evanescence ever were.)

xhuxk, Friday, 24 March 2006 14:24 (eleven years ago) Permalink

>maybe i just wish contemporary teen-pop had more r&b in it<

then how come i don't like pink or gwen (or even lindsay) more? so maybe that's not it, either. (i do like all of them fine. but still.)

xhuxk, Friday, 24 March 2006 14:26 (eleven years ago) Permalink

(and pussycat dolls and probably lots of those brit post-spice-girls mashup groups whose names i can never remember probably have plenty of r&b too. so maybe i just mean not enough of the right KIND of r&b. whatever that is.) (and some bubblesalsa beats would be nice, too.)

xhuxk, Friday, 24 March 2006 14:32 (eleven years ago) Permalink

>Do Perspehone's Bees count as teenpop? I know I saw their name in Billboard, but can't remember whether it was on one of the European charts or on the dance chart.<

'Twas the Dance Club Play chart, where their single "Nice Day" is now at #3. Not sure who their album (again, coming out this month on an actual major label) would be marketed to -- I guess their audience now would be clubgoers (and specificially gay adults? Or maybe Eurotrash adults? I'm not sure), though they're songful enough that they easily *could* be marketed to teens. They'd fit in on Radio Disney. Anyway, I like this verse from "Home": "She takes her daddy's money/She spends it all on junk/She goes out with different girls."

xhuxk, Saturday, 25 March 2006 15:02 (eleven years ago) Permalink

(and oh yeah, Frank totally dealt with the r&b/pop black/white genre-mixing question up when he was answering Simon Reynolds's blog post. So maybe I'm as clueless as Simon is!)

xhuxk, Saturday, 25 March 2006 15:05 (eleven years ago) Permalink

just saw this three-kiddie-plus-mom-and=dad family band in the 42nd street subway; i think i've seen them before a couple times but didn't catch their name. i haven't read their website yet, but they always sound funky, far and away the catchiest and most interesting subway musicians i've ever seen here. i wonder if this is how musical youth started out:

http://thecaglefamily.com/

finally got the veronica's CD yesterday, and "4 ever" is indeed pretty awesome, but what it mainly sounds like to me, except for the chorus parts where the high harmonies kick in, is just a really good donnas song. (it must have been the song i compared to joan jett above, when recalling perfunctorily having listened to parts of an advance of their CD a few months before, when i didn't know who they were.) other tracks? i'm not hearing much yet. not bad, just shoulder-shrugworthy. unlike many of the non-single cuts on the e-40 CD ("muscle cars"! "yay area"! "white gurl"! "they might be taping"!), which i actually think i might like more than its single. (and e-40 belongs on the teen-pop thread, since he mentions lindsay lohan in "white gurl," which isn't about lindsay lohan but about cocaine.)

finally bought the akon CD today at princeton record exchange, after procrastinating for like 2 1/2 years. (he belongs on the teen-pop thread because frank said he does, in the first post.) "locked up" and "ghetto" are even better than i remembered. who i'm realizing he sometimes reminds me of is shinehead. (he also belongs on the world music thread! and if there was an industrial thread, the percussion of "locked up" would belong there!)

"paper plane" by persephone's bees may well take its melody from "green tambourine."

xhuxk, Saturday, 25 March 2006 22:36 (eleven years ago) Permalink

yikes, did i kill this thread?? i suddently start posting here and everybody else stops!

anyway, more akon thoughts: (1) i think i like the version of "locked up" without styles p better than the version with him since i prefer the jail-guitar-door slamming effects to his rapping; (2) when "lonley" was played on radio disney, did they just bleep the "bullshit," or what?; (3) "ghetto" is the song that reminds me of shinehead -- when akon's not as good, he reminds me more of shaggy, which is still okay; (4) best non-hit maybe: "journey."

so far my favorite non-hit on the veronicas' CD is "revolution." lalena says their version of "mother mother" sounds exactly like tracy bonham's (though didn't tracy just have one mother?). lalena also says the flyleaf singer sounds way more like the cranberries' singer or even sinead than bjork (who she's listened to way more than i have), but that the flyleaf vocals seem more multitracked than any of those. also, as a precedent for high female harmonies in a goth/metal context, she says Drain STH did that all the time in the late '90s.

xhuxk, Sunday, 26 March 2006 16:35 (eleven years ago) Permalink

(Nope, I was wrong - Tracy had two mothers, too.)

(Drain STH apparently Swedish, all female, Ozzfesters, and often rumored to be a producer concoction not a "real band" during the high Swedish teen-pop era. Which might be relevant.)

xhuxk, Sunday, 26 March 2006 16:44 (eleven years ago) Permalink

"mother mother" sounds exactly like tracy bonham's

For some reason I think of "Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh" when I hear their version. One of the pitfalls of having no discernible personality, maybe.

nameom (nameom), Sunday, 26 March 2006 18:54 (eleven years ago) Permalink

from country thread (another cheap saturday purchase from princeton):

>. kaci brown *instigator* 2005 $1.99 (who is she? she looks young. and i'm assuming she's country because that's where three copies of her CD were filed, and i think i heard of her before, possibly either in billboard or on one of these rolling country threads.)<

well, album definitely seems more like "r&b-leaning teenpop" (pretty ignorable so far, though that may change) than c&w. AMG's explanation:

>Kaci Brown grew up in Sulphur Springs, TX, and was singing at a very early age. Throughout her youth, she performed across her home state, appearing just about anyplace that would have her. To further her career, her family moved to Nashville in 2001 — remarkably, before attaining a record contract, she had a publishing deal and was writing for country artists. Though she intended to be a country artist, she was repeatedly told that she'd fare better with pop. By the end of 2005, she had summer touring dates with the Backstreet Boys, in addition to her Interscope-released debut album, under her belt. All of this happened before she passed her teenage years. A few of the things she adores, as noted on her website, include "love," "purple anything," "boys with guitars," and "boys in general."<

xhuxk, Monday, 27 March 2006 21:35 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I Went Home & Was Seriously Like, "Mom! We Have To Move To Nashville!!" Needless To Say, I'm Extremely Persuasive! (lol j/k) By Thirteen We Were Living In Nashville, I Had A Publishing Deal, & I Was Working On A Country Album. When We Pitched To The Country Labels, I Thought My Life Was Coming To A Halt. They Told Me I Wasn't Country!! "I Wasn't Country?"

Incubated over at Radio Disney a while ago and kept a strange blog.

nameom (nameom), Tuesday, 28 March 2006 01:58 (eleven years ago) Permalink

It's official: out - Hilary Duff. In - Hannah Montana. (Miley Cyrus, Billy Ray's daughter)

nameom (nameom), Tuesday, 28 March 2006 02:24 (eleven years ago) Permalink

To further her career, her family moved to Nashville in 2001 — remarkably, before attaining a record contract, she had a publishing deal and was writing for country artists. Though she intended to be a country artist, she was repeatedly told that she'd fare better with pop. By the end of 2005, she had summer touring dates with the Backstreet Boys, in addition to her Interscope-released debut album, under her belt. All of this happened before she passed her teenage years

Infrastructural inspiration, as -remarkable- as hearing 20,000 people applied for Nashville Star or the thousands that line up for various casting calls reported on by Entertainment Tonight from 7 to 7:30, everyday. Giver a Nobel or a Pulitzer or a Booker or a Mcarthur, but how many people are so blown away by the talent, that as session hacks, they'll work for free for a chance to be on the recording?

Entertainment and talent as spectroscopically combed during observation of populations of ideal gas cloud volumes of molecules. Statistically, there's always one to fit every requirement of wonder in every cloud.

George 'the Animal' Steele, Tuesday, 28 March 2006 06:41 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I forget - is this the thread where people were discussing Blog 27? They've landed in the German charts this week with their version of 'Uh La La La'... and it's quite peculiarly awful, like all the energy and vitality has been succubussed right out of it.

Yet somehow, nothing like as bad as Karmah's version of 'Just Be Good To Me'. I'm not describing that, though... quiversome. Brrr.

William Bloody Swygart (mrswygart), Tuesday, 28 March 2006 07:01 (eleven years ago) Permalink

My friend Sarah says "I really hate Evanesncepofshkd or however you spell it. They combined the whole Rage Against the Machine sound with a stupid girl vocal, and it maddens me. I reckon it wouldn't if I wasn't so bloody cynical."

My response: "Combining Rage Against the Machine with stupid girl vocals is way better than combining Rage Against the Machine with Rage Against the Machine vocal. Sexless, juiceless dork, the guy was.

"Are there any sexy male rock singers under the age of forty?

"Flyleaf sound like Rage Against the Machine with Evanescence-type girl vocals except that Lacey the girl is a live wire on the order of Avril Lavigne rather than poor Amy Lee being stretched on the rack. (But I like Evanescence when they've got hooks; Amy's agony can be quite fetching when it's melodic.)

"I just listened to a band called Stutterfly who are like Flyleaf but even more harmonized and poppified, which would be fine with me if the guy singing hadn't removed all the sex and liquid from his vocals, sounding like another sun-deprived indie boy, basically."

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Tuesday, 28 March 2006 17:30 (eleven years ago) Permalink

The verse vocals on "4ever" definitely like the Donnas. I don't remember the Donnas ever doing harmonies remotely as ecstatic as the "4ever" chorus, however.

So, anyway, back to Flyleaf: you get sexy female vocals, lotso high female harmonies. Now, where else in Officially Gets Played On "Rock" Stations rock do you get those sexy live wire high female harmonies? I've barely listened to the "rock" stations in the last five years, though I'm now wishing I had. You do get boy harmonies, usually sexless and dorky (in my unlearned opinion).

Xhuxk: Maybe what you're trying to say is that you wish some of the Lindsays, Avrils, Ashlees (and Shankses and Martins) hadn't thrown over the DISCO during the transition to "confessional rock" (or whatever you want to call it). And by "DISCO" of course you can really mean "freestyle w/ girlgroup leanings." Although freestyle is pretty much a dead genre, some of its DNA has wormed into Europop. Ive been telling Edward O. that some of the pretty Swedish pop needs the sort of personality-oomph that a Lindsay would give it; but I can turn this around and wish that the Ameriteens would incorporate some Eurofizz.

(By the way, "r&b" is strong on the Radio Disney palette, B5 and Jo Jo not to mention Black-Eyed Peas, Chris Brown, Pussycat Dolls, Usher, Ne-Yo, and Rihanna. Akon's finally fallen out of the Top 30, but I'll bet that "Lonely" will be a Disney perennial, like "Blue Da Bee" and "The Rockefeller Skank" and "Get Ready for This.")

Wouldn't "L.O.V.E." count as r&b, albeit more Gwen than Teena?

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Tuesday, 28 March 2006 17:53 (eleven years ago) Permalink

>"Are there any sexy male rock singers under the age of forty?<


come back, shifty shellshock, all is forgiven.

Come my lady
Come come my lady
you're my stutterfly
Sugar.baby

Such a sexy,sexy pretty little thing
Fierce nipple pierce you got me sprung with your tongue ring
and I ain't gonna lie cause your loving gets me high
So to keep you by my side there's nothing that I won't try
Stutterflies in her eyes and looks to kill
Time is passing I'm asking could this be real
Cause I can't sleep I can't hold still
The only thing I really know is she got sex appeal

xhuxk, Tuesday, 28 March 2006 17:53 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Further thoughts on Lindsay:

Lindsay Lohan gives you something that singers with stronger voices often don't. I want to say "personality," even though that's a cliché and even though many of the world's songs are fine or even better with anonymous singers: those thousands upon thousands of freestyle and Europop songs I've loved. But even in those, the virtue may not be the anonymity of the singer so much as that the wrong singer isn't getting in the way of the song. Whereas when the singer is right, the personality can add something. (This is all abstract. Which personality, added to which song?)

One thing I noticed this time around when watching the video for "Confessions of a Broken Heart" is that, halfway through, the camera pulls back and you see that the house is all picture windows, as if it were storefront on all sides, the family dysfunction on display and onlookers crowding outside, to gawk.

Herbie: Fully Loaded: How come I was so moved by this film? The Herbie concept (a car with a personality, can intuit moods and intentions, takes rudimentary action on its own but still needs symbiosis with the right driver) is dutifully brought up every now and then, since it's the official reason for the picture, but basically the movie sidesteps it. The story is about the driver, not the car. Any (nonpsychic) stock car would do. The Herbie concept's only usefulness is that it gives Matt Dillon the opportunity to be hilarious as the conceited, handsome creep of a driver who's continually blowing his gasket whenever the VW bug beats him. Dillon and the bug relate on one level, the rest of the movie is on another. This strategy - one set of characters operating in different zones from other sets - can work in a story. Dickens did it all the time. I would just say that in watching Herbie: Fully Loaded you just bracket the boring "Herbie" ideas and forget them when they're not needed.

Lohan was 17 or 18, playing a woman in her early twenties. She plays her as someone forthright, energetic, but watchful. I could imagine Lindsay doing the Jodie Foster role in Silence of the Lambs, a fundamental directness but with the need to keep a formal reserve in the bureaucratic FBI environment and, when dealing with mindfucking madman Hannibal, a care in weighing just how much of her vulnerability to dole out to him in exchange for the information she needs.

Screenwriters provide words and a lot of social subtext, which is also provided by costumes and sets. The actors provide bodies, postures, movement, tones of voice, expressions that make lines plausible, ways of standing in this particular kitchen or that particular porch or in a particular garage, next to a particular guy. Herbie: Fully Loaded has a between-the-lines subtext about the dad's class anxiety and his wanting his daughter to surpass him and enter a world he would never feel right in. Michael Keaton playing the dad moves as if he's no longer comfortable in himself, whereas Lohan walks in a direct line, except then she'll waver, not quite allowing herself to claim her true calling, which is actually back among the stock cars with her dad.

When Lindsay's "First" plays under the closing credits, the effect is totally jarring, since the posturing, demanding, voluptuous adolescent voice of the song has nothing to do with the clear sleek line of the character I'd been seeing for the last two hours.

("First" sounds better and better every time I hear it.)

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Tuesday, 28 March 2006 18:08 (eleven years ago) Permalink

(Matt Dillon's the guy who drives Herbie's main rival.)

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Tuesday, 28 March 2006 18:10 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Got Bon Jovi's Have a Nice Day from the library. Nine of the thirteen tracks are co-produced by John Shanks, Jon Bon Jovi, and Richie Sambora; four of them with Shanks in on the songwriting. One of these, the first track, "Have a Nice Day," starts with a rich bell-like guitar, maybe it's a 12-string like on old Byrds records. Sounds nice, and the song's a good pop song. But as the album continues, all the ringing guitars and soaring voices get really wearing. The non-Shanks productions are boring but come as something of a relief anyway. After several listens I've found only one other good song, "Complicated," Shanks helping to produce and it's a great Shanks & DioGuardiÓtype composition except it's actually by Bon Jovi, Billy Falcon, and Max Martin. And listening to Jon Bon Jovi laying down Jon Bon JoviÓstyle vocals on it, I'm thinking how much better it would be with Lohan singing. It doesn't need a Jersey everykid, it needs hunger and exuberance. Lindsay'd be perfect.

Some of Have a Nice Day's lyrics convey what would be an interesting dissatisfaction if they weren't so evasively abstract, though here's one that's kind of engaging (and intrigued rather than dissatisfied): "She wakes up when I sleep to talk to ghosts like in the movies/If you don't follow what I mean, I sure don't mean to be confusing/They say when she laughs she wants to cry/She'll draw a crowd then try to hide."

For what it's worth, one of the tracks, "Who Says You Can't Go Home," is Top Twenty on the country charts: a Cougar-wannabe number that's neither terrible nor good.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Tuesday, 28 March 2006 18:16 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Actually, the Bon Jovi single is top 5 country.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Tuesday, 28 March 2006 18:24 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Ó = –

(I wonder why that happened.)

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Tuesday, 28 March 2006 18:34 (eleven years ago) Permalink

so, stop the presses, this album from australia is what avril and kelly (and uh, maybe even ashlee and skye and hope) *should* sound like. which is to say, like the first-album divinyls except less arty and more consistently catchy and funny and sexy, often (in "you stink" and the great and hilarious and furious cheated-on-revenge single "holding your gun" for instance) doing a fast mott the hoople (or angel city?) boogie-woogie hard rock under thick guitar buzz. the *gun* EP threw me at first because it opens with leanne kingwell (that's her name, remember it) doing two power ballads (one of them apparently a cover, since it's credited to john watts and the lyrics aren't in the lyric booklet of the album) with prim and proper aussie pronunciation like for instance pronouncing "france" "frontz", but in the course of the album (now called *show ya what,* which seems to be mostly a reissue of the 2005 album that's up on cdbaby, with "holding your gun" replacing "back to me" and the track order shuffled) the ballads make way more sense, partially by being less plentiful...and okay, i also just noticed that the track "be with you" is credited to brewster/brewster/neeson, which means i was RIGHT about the angel city comparison. "blind" is credited to one james stewart; the rest are kingwell herself. "drop your pants" starts out like "hey little girl" by the syndicate of sound (which the divinyls covered), then gets tougher and thicker, like the sonics, but the effect isn't '60s garage rock nostalgia at all, probably because leann's vocals (basically, she sings a lot like christina amphlett at her most rocking) are the most powerful element in the mix. and also maybe as a tribute to christina, in "my hero" she touches herself. with her vibrator. which is better than you. predicton (probably premature, but who cares, what else is new with me): *show ya what* could wind up being one of the best albums of 2006; "holding your gun" might be one of the best singles.

http://cdbaby.com/cd/kingwell

xhuxk, Tuesday, 28 March 2006 19:03 (eleven years ago) Permalink

"holding your gun" (now on the album) was first on this EP:

http://cdbaby.com/cd/kingwell2

xhuxk, Tuesday, 28 March 2006 19:06 (eleven years ago) Permalink

okay, didn't notice these; she's even cooler than i thought:

>"I saw The Angels gig at the Palace in 2000 and it absolutely knocked me out. I was one of a dozen girls in a room of about 1500 guys who just went off and knew the words to every song. That gig got me thinking about how to create some kick arse rock n' roll that girls would dig as much as guys."<

>A four track EP featuring a cover of Fischer Z's 1980 smash "So Long" plus 2 originals.<

and yeah (as reviews on those pages say) i definitely hear the easybeats and suzi quatro in there, too.

xhuxk, Tuesday, 28 March 2006 19:19 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Lindsay Lohan gives you something that singers with stronger voices often don't.

(paraphrased from a long rant:) I think the "personality" is related more to the teen pop star system, connected to film/TV cross-platforming. There's nothing actually "new" about it except for the genre of music it's being applied to. Stephen Thomas Erlewine discussed this in his AMG review of I Am Me (but as a weakness of the album). Confessional rock creates a kind of personal narrative that a lot of other pop formats don't, and in this sense the star -- Lindsay, Ashlee, occasionally Hilary maybe -- lets audiences into a seemingly personal story in a way an anonymous (Veronicas) or unknown (maybe Avril or Michelle Branch when they first became popular?) can't necessarily. Maybe whatever qualities make Lindsay compelling as a movie star also make her compelling as a singer, even if its not the singing that stands out.

I guess my problem with Erlewine's criticism is that it relates to celebrity gossip culture, which I Am Me is certainly in conversation with, but not dependent on for resonance. It's Ashlee that sells the songs, not just the idea or celebrity of Ashlee (one reason why Lindsay's confessional album doesn't hit as hard...despite a few good songs, I just don't get the feeling that she's in control of the material she's singing, particularly the covers, maybe because so much of the material itself is weak).

nameom (nameom), Tuesday, 28 March 2006 20:04 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I think you can know fuck-all about Lindsay Lohan and Ashlee Simpson and still hear a strong personality in their singing. In fact, their singing was pretty much the first exposure I had to them, same as my first exposure to Mick Jagger, David Johansen, Mary Weiss, Grace Slick, et al. Which of course isn't to say that I heard them in a cultural vacuum, or that someone from Mars would have gotten what I got out of them. But my cultural references weren't "This is what I know about Lindsay Lohan and Ashlee Simpson in particular" - though obviously I knew they were young women, but I didn't know much more, other than that Ashlee was Jessica's kid sister - but more like "This is what their words and singing feel like given my experience as a human being." Meaning my experience having heard scads of people talk and sing in my life. E.g., comparing Lindsay to a kid in the wading pool obviously draws on my experience of having seen kids in wading pools, and of the use of the kid-in-wading-pool metaphors in literature and criticism, etc.

Anyway, Lindsay's musical personality in "First" was strong enough to jar me in its difference from the character she played in Herbie: Fully Loaded. Not that personality is everything. I don't think Kelly Clarkson's musical personality is anywhere near as strong as Lindsay's, but I think she made an (even) better album. (Didn't think so at first, by the way.)

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 30 March 2006 01:49 (eleven years ago) Permalink

So far I'm liking but not loving Leanne Kingwell. For some reason the name that pops into my head when listening to her isn't any of the teenpoppers or the Divinyls or Suzi Quatro etc. (though I'm not saying the latter too aren't relevant) but Shooter Jennings; the same almost-nothing of a vocal-cord digging into itself and managing to scoop out a voice for itself.

Not that a cross between Shooter and Lindsay wouldn't be worth something...

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 30 March 2006 02:12 (eleven years ago) Permalink

M.I.A. has posted as one of the friends on Skye Sweetnam's myspace page.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 30 March 2006 02:41 (eleven years ago) Permalink

From Brie Larson's myspace blog:

"1.) superstition is not a religion.

"2.) one time I saw a guy getting a BJ in the car next to me on the freeway. and I was with my parents.

"3.) my electric blanket is on.

"4.) In This Hole by Cat Power makes me cry everytime.

"5.) I took 7 tylenols once. it was a really bad headache.

"6.) a boy needs to come home"

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 30 March 2006 02:45 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Of course, if you know something about the ongoing Lindsay or Ashlee narratives, that can help, though it depends what you "know." You have to pick and choose from all the noise surrounding them.

Btw, I wish that someone here with better fashion sense than I (and that would be almost anyone who posts here) would say something about Ashlee's various magazine-cover appearances over the last few months: Cosmopolitan, Seventeen, Elle, and Jane. She's endeavored not to look remotely similar on any of them.

Also would like to know what you make of the various photos in the I Am Me CD booklet.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 30 March 2006 02:52 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Brie reads Henry Miller and Bukowski (in one week!). Miller quoted at length in a recent post. She listens to: Daft Punk, the Cramps, the Walkmen, Cat Power, David Bowie, Big Star, Pulp, Elvis Costello...and she had the new YYY's album two weeks before it came out (and made sure to flaunt the actual release date). Just noticed M.I.A. the other day. Skye is also a big DFA79 fan.

nameom (nameom), Thursday, 30 March 2006 02:57 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I always read the photo shoot as a simple undermining of "I Am Me" as a unified statement.

Ashlee seems to have a pretty sharp sense of humor about her music (the "LIKE YOU" bit in "I Am Me" is gold!), I imagine she gets a kick out of those ultra-posed pics. Skye is maybe more transparent about which songs she's "in" on.

Can't comment on fashion, as I have none.

nameom (nameom), Thursday, 30 March 2006 03:12 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Yeah, although I wouldn't necessarily say "undermining" - or perhaps the issue is that we assume "I Am Me" should be a straightforwardly unified statement.

Whereas I think it's a bit of a truism about adolescence that we don't necessarily feel like there is some stable concept of ourselves that we can point to and say "that is what I am". "I am me" in this sense doesn't necessarily mean "I am this singular thing". Rather, it can mean "I am not prepared to a conform to a singular thing outside of myself; I refuse to play by other people's rules". The "me" in "I Am Me" stands in for the inadequacy of any other word to "cover the field" in describing what "i am..."

The incongruent (as in, compared to one another) setpiece shots in the CD booklet might in this sense be a tongue-in-cheek elucidation of the album title rather than an attempt to undermine it; their incommensurability bearing witness to Ashlee's sense of internal fracturedness.

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Thursday, 30 March 2006 04:20 (eleven years ago) Permalink

tongue-in-cheek elucidation of the album title rather

That seems more reasonable. I wonder how the cover (and maybe album) might be received simply as I Am... "I am me" is definitely a statement worthy of further analysis...the "to be or not to be" of teen pop?

nameom (nameom), Thursday, 30 March 2006 04:53 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Well, Frank I am reserving my own liking-not-loving for Marrit Larsen, the Veronicas, and Flyleaf this week. (It occurs to me, though not necessarily about these records, that the problem with teen-pop these days is that, unlike say "Barbie Girl" by Aqua, it is usually just not BUBBLEGUM enough. The singer-songwriter thing too much enables teens or at least heroines-of-teens to act like little grownups or something. Though then again, I thought the same thing about the Backstreet Boys and *NSync when they first came out, in comparison to say "Mmmmbop," and wrote words to that effect in *Request* way back then. Somehow I think today's teenpoppers -- not Skye or Hope, maybe, but most of them -- are afraid to be *too* catchy. Which makes them often sound timid to me, and a little amorphous, no matter what their vocal prowess might be, if it indeed implies in their particular case. Plus also I am remembering lately that I also like Joan Jett more than Courtney Love, oh well.) Anyway, Marit Larsen. Frank burned me the CD, and it's real good, though not nearly as much fun as all the poptimist world-cup-of-pop hits that take up the second half of the CD-R. (Which hits I'll get to later if not sooner, I'm sure.) As Frank says, Marit's album is very consistent, give or take the truly unbearable male-wuss vocal dueting with Marit in "To The End." What Frank doesn't say, possibly because he's never heard Nellie McKay, is that frequently what the CD sounds like is "Nellie McKay but less annoying." And I don't hate Nellie, and Marit isn't quite as precious as her, but she's still pretty precious. Her voice is basically a little girl voice not a woman voice, which puts her in the neighborhood of much '90s female-sung indie rock, but also, yeah, in the neighborhood of some country; I guess (predictably enough with me) it's the '90s indie thing that leaves me a little uneasy -- I hear it in Annie and Robyn too, and it makes me skeptical. Yet much of Marit's record sounds likeably spare and sweet, something like Skeeter Davis doing "The End of the World" (a seminal Frank fanhood song), and the carnivalesque cabaret swirl of a lot of it (connections to the parts of Jessi Colter's new album that remind me of Dusty Springfield's "Windmills of Your Mind" maybe?) isn't bad. The Middle Eastern pyschedelic lilt or whatever that "This Time Tomorrow" goes into is really cool, and I also definitely approve of "In Came The Light," "Only a Fool" (yeah, maybe the best song, as Frank says), and "The Sinking Game." Seems much of the album is Marit mulling over her current boyfriend's ex-girlfriend who he's made the decision not to talk to, fine. But even then, I can't say she's really grabbing me on an emotional level. I'd call the album *crafty.* In a good way. But also, and especially compared to say Leanne Kingwell, a bit humorless. Which is another problem with much current teen-pop (Veronicas and Flyleaf included, probably -- well, more Flyleaf than the Veronicas, maybe, I'm not sure. And I'm not saying that all music has to be funny. But it sure can help. And as for Leanne Kingwell, it also helps that she rocks hard enough to stomp the Veronicas and Flyleaf and Kelly et. al. to smithereens.)

xhuxk, Thursday, 30 March 2006 13:09 (eleven years ago) Permalink

And so, to at least partially contradict a lot of what i just wrote, here's how i'd rank the recent teenpop/worldpop hits that frank burned for me (at least today; these rankings could easily change tomorrow):

1. lily allan (u.k. i guess?) "LDN"
2. wir sind helden (germany) "von hier an blind"
3. aly & aj (u.s.a. i guess?) "rush" (this reminds of joshua clover i think it was calling beth orton's song with the chemical brothers i think it was a cross between fairport convention and silver convention, except this blows anything by beth orton out of the water)
4. mahsar (iran) "vase chi"
5. tinchy stryder f. wiley (u.k.?) "uptown girl"
6. cansei de ser sexy (brazil) "let's make love and listen death from above" (a reference to how skye likes death from above 1979 these days?)
7. light beat (tunisia) "nhary liel"
8. amy diamond (sweden) "what's in it for me"
9. saian supa crew (france) "la patte"
10. dx7 (spain) "el plan semanal"

(and even that #10 one is pretty good, i admit)

xhuxk, Thursday, 30 March 2006 14:20 (eleven years ago) Permalink

More Veronicas thoughts: (1) At their most Abba (a/k/a "Shut Up," which I have decided I like) they are definitely more Agnetha than Frida. (2) The fast parts of the song about the boy who tries to hold their hand after they thought he was gay are more fun than the slow parts, but the whole song is actually kinda fun, especially when they take their clothes off in front of him. (3) "Revolution" is more fun than that, and I have no idea what the words are about. (4) "When It All Falls Apart" is good, since you can't go wrong with "I'm having a day from hell" as your first line and "I should have kicked your ass instead" a few lines later, and lines about drinking too much and forgetting where you parked your car are real life, man. (5) Frank is right about the album turning into generic mush toward the end, but "Heavily Broken" always jumps out of the proceedings at me to an extent regardless. (6) If I cared as much as Frank about high swooping harmonies, I might love their Donnas imitation as much as he does. (7) "Could Get Used to This" could be a breakfast breakup song (and hence good by definition) but unfortunately nobody breaks up in it. B+

xhuxk, Thursday, 30 March 2006 14:48 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Oops I mean "Mouth Shut," not "Shut Up." And it's "*I* Could Get Used to This." Also the one on the right wears pretty cool plaid purple pants.

xhuxk, Thursday, 30 March 2006 14:51 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Another driveby kvetch I wanna make is that these teen-poppers sure do make a point (in general) of avoiding concrete nouns and place names, don't they? What the hell's with that? (If you're not sure what I mean, play pretty much any of them back to back, with, I dunno, the Carrie Underwood album or something, and my point should be abundantly clear.) (I mean, I'm not saying that country is always better than teenpop these days, I wouldn't go that far. But it does have something teenpop lacks.) (And I swear country's often more bubblegum now than teenpop is, too.)

xhuxk, Thursday, 30 March 2006 15:05 (eleven years ago) Permalink

(that does not apply to the lily allan song, though, I suppose, not to mention whatever other exceptions I or you think of later on today.)

xhuxk, Thursday, 30 March 2006 15:10 (eleven years ago) Permalink

>Xhuxk: Maybe what you're trying to say is that you wish some of the Lindsays, Avrils, Ashlees (and Shankses and Martins) hadn't thrown over the DISCO during the transition to "confessional rock"<

Yeah, this is part of it. Though what was that Hilary Duff song I mentioned way upthread? "Wake Up"? Is that more disco in my memory (or my memory of its video, anyway) than in its actual sound? I forget.

>wouldn't "L.O.V.E." count as r&b, albeit more Gwen than Teena?<

Yeah, I'll buy that. And also more Led Zeppelin than Teena, right?

xhuxk, Thursday, 30 March 2006 15:24 (eleven years ago) Permalink

and okay, here's a former nelly furtado backup singer who gets compared to an "edgier" ashlee and to skye and evanescence (among others) on her cdbaby page. not sure i'm buying any of that, but maybe somebody else will -- listening to the cd now, which seems okay but not nearly great:

http://cdbaby.com/cd/mckee

xhuxk, Thursday, 30 March 2006 15:43 (eleven years ago) Permalink

these Pennsylvanians ("crosses No Doubt with Evanescence and little Disturbed...sometimes referred to as Dance Rock") sound more promising to me, though the girl singing has a pretty rough voice (which could wind up waking in their favor more than against them):

http://cdbaby.com/cd/hollistunes

xhuxk, Thursday, 30 March 2006 16:15 (eleven years ago) Permalink

(Anyway, I'm still undecided about how much I like them. Their lyrics quote "Shake Your Booty" and "Into the Groove," I'm just not sure yet how clumsily. So far I prefer the synth parts to the funk basslines. And so far my favorite tracks are probably "Waiting" and "Better Day," two of their poppiest and least disco-metal and least rough-voiced.)

xhuxk, Thursday, 30 March 2006 16:27 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Somehow I think today's teenpoppers -- not Skye or Hope, maybe, but most of them -- are afraid to be *too* catchy. Which makes them often sound timid to me, and a little amorphous, no matter what their vocal prowess might be, if it indeed implies in their particular case.

Well, if the story's true, Kelly C. told Max Martin to redo "Since U Been Gone" with more drums and more guitars, which in the abstract could easily equate to "afraid to be too catchy," even if it actually amounted to an insanely catchy song, and that could very well have been why Kelly did it. But it's more likely that catchy didn't enter into it. I see what chuck's saying, but my suspicion is that the textures they're going with are just more appealing to their ears--they're not as dense, not as showy. Certainly in the case of Robyn the road to indie leads not away from pop but through Neptunes-y / Prince-y (hip-hop-y?) minimalism. But someone should probably interview Ashlee or someone and ask, if they haven't already (I don't keep up enough).

Eppy (Eppy), Thursday, 30 March 2006 16:39 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Hannah Montana is shaping up to be an interesting phenomenon. This may be a Monkees set-up, with a new song every week. The show's premise: regular student doubles as a teen pop star by night, keeps it from her friends. Very bubblegum oriented, definite pop country influence.

The songs are solid, and more significantly there are three of them even though the show's only aired once. The show's theme is already climbing up the RD Top 30.

Soon she'll probably be credited under her real name. I'm pretty sure that Miley Cyrus has a deal with Hollywood Records in addition to "Hannah's" soundtrack on Disney.

From YouTube: Best of Both Worlds, Who Said, and This Is the Life

nameom (nameom), Thursday, 30 March 2006 16:51 (eleven years ago) Permalink

xp:

I guess part of what I'm saying is that I wish teen-pop now had a little more "Pour Some Sugar on Me" or "Talk Dirty to Me," a little less "Love Bites" and "Every Rose Has Its Thorn." Does that make sense to anybody? Is it my imagination, or are most teen-pop hits *power ballads*?

xhuxk, Thursday, 30 March 2006 16:57 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Oh, OK. Yeah, that's fair. But it's been that way for a while, no? Maybe it's just the American Idol influence?

Eppy (Eppy), Thursday, 30 March 2006 16:58 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Re Hillary's "Wake Up", it's def. very disco (so is "Beat Of My Heart") but in more of a "Manic Monday" or Belinda Carlisle kind of way than a freestyle kind of way. Alongside stuff like "Cool" or Ashlee's "Dancing Alone" it suggests that today's teenpop can only engage with disco by using New Wave as a mediation point. You can imagine each and every one of the teen-pop starlets saying "Oh, I just love 'The Love Cats'". Also which pop-punk band covered "The Boys of Summer" a few years back?

I think that using new wave as the mediation point can make even the sillier material (like "Wake Up") seem oddly serious or earnest, in the sense of "this could be on one of the The O.C. soundtracks." It's that implied "soundtrack to adolescent life" vibe that comes off this stuff in waves. Something about "Wake Up", for example, announces, "Yes, I am a silly, fluffy, inconsequential song, but in the right time and place I could change your life."

Whereas with freestyle-pop, for example, it certainly can change your life, but it does so without necessarily announcing that possibility in advance.

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Thursday, 30 March 2006 20:56 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Also which pop-punk band covered "The Boys of Summer" a few years back?

The Ataris.

Zwan (miccio), Friday, 31 March 2006 01:47 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Humorless: Marion Raven, Kelly Clarkson, Flyleaf, Evanescence (the one joke on Breakaway is "There's no light at the end of the tunnel tonight/Just a bridge that I gotta burn," which was penned by either Shanks or DioGuardi)

Humorful: Lindsay Lohan, Ashlee Simpson, Skye Sweetnam, Brie Larson, Marit Larsen, Robyn

I can't tell if she's being funny or not: Hilary Duff, Hope Partlow

Funny in her remake of "These Boots Are Made for Walkin": Jessica Simpson

I forget if they're funny: Aly & AJ

They probably think they're funnier than I do: Veronicas, Bon Jovi, Morningwood, Crazy Frog, Pink

Person who would do an amazingly great version of "Pour Some Sugar On Me": Ashlee Simpson (remember Xhuxk, I'm the one who says that there is a lot of Mutt Lange in John Shanks); "La La" seems very Joan Jett (but better); Ashlee's Deborah Allan disco-slut imitation during the "You make me feel like fire/Is this love, or just desire" break in "Burnin Up" is (1) an approach to disco by way of disco, (2) an extravagant bit of scenery chewing, (3) brilliant, (4) hilarious. It's exhibit 1 in my case for Ashlee playing dressup on I Am Me (of course every dance* song that contains a line such as "You make me feel like fire" is scenery chewing).

Although "Burnin Up" has a dub reggae arrangement, its main vocal melody is a sexy itchy vocal descent that sounds not at all like reggae but rather like "Habañera" from Carmen. It too is fun(ny).

*Not to mention nondance songs like Courtney Love's Robert Plant imitation on her (great) "Life Despite God": "Run away, your head's on fire/Can't tell the difference between hate and desire"; this too is a great bit of scenery chewing, even if it isn't disco.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Friday, 31 March 2006 04:59 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Brie Larson posted the lyrics to Simon & Garfunkel's "I Am a Rock" on her myspace page. She's 16 years old.

I once gave a teacher the lyrics to "I Am a Rock" as an example of great song lyrics. But I was only 14 or 15. Since girls mature faster than boys, you'd think Brie's "I Am a Rock" phase would have ended a couple of years ago.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Friday, 31 March 2006 05:05 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I forget if they're funny: Aly & AJ

NOT FUNNY. "I Am One of Them" to thread!

Brie's "I Am a Rock" phase would have ended a couple of years ago.

True, but I still haven't read any Henry Miller. Something to be said for a girl who claims to spend $60 on books in one go (w/ no mention of CDs, DVDs, etc). Also, is any of the new Lindsay humorous at all? Dahv has been mentioned before...

nameom (nameom), Friday, 31 March 2006 05:40 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Oddly, I agree with pretty much everything that Frank said in that post (in fact I think I'm the first person to have compared Ashlee with Deborah Allan, and I'll agree that, while I'm not sure I'd call Marit "funny" seeing how she never actually makes me laugh, calling her "humorless" seems a bit of a stretch as well) (For that matter, calling Nellie McKay humorless would just be a lie.) Frank left out, however, that "La La" is actually quite bubblegum-sounding, too, though I easily could come up with a bunch of Joan Jett songs I prefer to it. (I also think Crazy Frog is funnier than Frank does.)

However....

>there is a lot of Mutt Lange in John Shanks<

...reminds me that Mutt produced Def Lep's power ballads, as well. So I still stand by my claim that too much teenpop is just way too slow (and also too "emotional," which is often not better than being fun.)

xhuxk, Friday, 31 March 2006 15:02 (eleven years ago) Permalink

marit has lots of funny songs. only a fool is totally silly.

Sterling Clover (s_clover), Friday, 31 March 2006 15:39 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Evidence that Hope Partlow has a sense of humor:

What a DORK! That guy in the church band -- the drummer to be exact. He is way into me. I know it!! But all he does is look. Well I got sick of waiting for him to say something.

So right before the Youth Group tonight, I just walked up to him. I said -- Hey. We should hang out. You're in a band -- I need a band. (Plus I heard that some guys like girls that can approach them...guess he didn't.) He said, "I have to go pray now." ...all I could say was Amen!

I'll just take that one as a compliment. TOO BAD!!! Nobody can figure that guy out!

nameom (nameom), Friday, 31 March 2006 20:34 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Kelly Clarkson totally has a sense of humor, she was in "From Justin to Kelly" for godsakes. (And she's been very funny bagging on herself for being in it too.) "Miss Independent" is slyly ironic, but yeah it's not rofflicious.

Haikunym (Haikunym), Friday, 31 March 2006 20:45 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Oh and the funniest teenpopper in the world is Fefe Dobson and you all just totally ignore her. "You're on the road / to Harvard Law / I'm on a bus / to ARKANSAS"

Haikunym (Haikunym), Friday, 31 March 2006 20:46 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I think I'm gonna put some Cathy Davey up as YSI's later on tonight. She's from 2004-2005 or thereabouts, but it's not like anyone paid any attention to her then. She's not exactly teenpop either, but she is very good.

'LDN' is getting its official release as a 7"-only single on April 24th. Also, for excitable New Yorkers, Lily will be DJ'ing on
http://www.eastvillageradio.com between 8-10 tonight, your time.

Popjustice has been getting in a lather this week about the respective returns of Siobhan Wot Used To Be In Sugababes and Alesha Wot Used To Be In Mis-Teeq. In both cases, they have a point.

William Bloody Swygart (mrswygart), Friday, 31 March 2006 21:18 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Cathy Davey - Clean & Neat

From Ireland, was on Regal, may still be. Myspace heeee-yah.

William Bloody Swygart (mrswygart), Friday, 31 March 2006 22:31 (eleven years ago) Permalink

from the metal thread:

Liking those Pennsy cdbaby new wave-synthed teen-rock disco-metallers Hollis more than I expected, especially ("Chemical," "Waiting," "Better Day," "Fade," "Automatic") when they can the gnu-metal shtick and let their girl Holly get her Patty Smythe and maybe Benatar on. "Fade" has '80s Bryan Adams riffs, and I can actually imagine people moving their thing to "Move That Thing," the song that quotes "Into the Groove". "Torn & Broken" and "Keep Me Down", where they try to act tougher, aren't quite so fun. But thumbs up regardless.

xhuxk, Saturday, 1 April 2006 19:36 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Kelly's one of those people who have a sense of humor in real life but it doesn't really translate to their music much. John Meyer is also like this. I can relate.

Eppy (Eppy), Saturday, 1 April 2006 20:02 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Has there been any discussion of High School Musical yet? Tracks from the soundtrack are number one and number two on the Radio Disney Top 30 right now.

Also curious if Devo 2.0 are being played on Radio Disney given that the album was released by Disney. They're not in the Top 30.

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Sunday, 2 April 2006 06:09 (eleven years ago) Permalink

There's one Devo 2.0 song eligible in RD Top 30 voting ("And That's Good"), but I've never actually heard it played. HSM has a lock on the top 5...Hannah Montana's moving up in the daily voting, though.

I suspect Disney labels get special treatment in being added to the general playlist (ex. "Hannah" was never actually voted into rotation), but Devo 2.0 seems to live or die by the two-step voting process like everyone else. The kidz still get their new wave from Hilary Duff.

nameom (nameom), Sunday, 2 April 2006 06:48 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I actually like the seriousness of much of I Am Me. My two favourite songs are probably "Dancing Alone" and "Eyes Wide Open", which are probably the two most, er, i dunno, polished emotive songs on there? They're melodramatic but not Courtney-esque.

But I love every song on the album. If I'd heard it last year it probably would have been my third favourite of the year (I like it much more than Autobiography actually, though maybe that's because I heard it first so it hit me harder). I even love the powerballad "Say Goodbye", which has some awesome lyrics:

"Maybe/you don't/love me/like I/love you/baby/'cos the broken in you doesn't make me run"

Something about that line is so ace, maybe it's that it drags out the simple first part so much, then all the meaning is actually so tightly compressed in the second half.

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Monday, 3 April 2006 06:08 (eleven years ago) Permalink

>Has there been any discussion of High School Musical yet? <

Yep, there's been some, Tim; search above!

xhuxk, Monday, 3 April 2006 12:03 (eleven years ago) Permalink

'Don't Save Me' isn't Norwegian #1 any more. This is.

William Bloody Swygart (mrswygart), Monday, 3 April 2006 12:12 (eleven years ago) Permalink

He said, "I have to go pray now." ...all I could say was Amen!

that's so awesome.

Sterling Clover (s_clover), Monday, 3 April 2006 14:23 (eleven years ago) Permalink

So I figured out that the most Bjork moment on the Flyleaf album (which I really wound up liking a lot, by the way) is Lacey's spiel in "I'm Sorry" (I think it is) about "I'm only nine years old" -- sounds like it comes directly from the first Sugarcubes single, "Birthday." (Then again, since "Birthday" is the best and catchiest Bjork song I've ever heard, and I stopped paying close attention to her not long after, there may well be references to later Bjorkisms by Flyleaf I'm just not getting.) (Bjork's second best and catchiest song, as far as I'm concerned: the Sugarcubes' *second* single, "Motorcrash." That was back when they sounded like a cross between Altered Images and Savage Rose, and their polka rhythms were dancier than the alleged "dance music" rhythms Bjork would attempt later in her life. But I am a crank, what the hell do I know?) Anyway, in general I totally love the staccato way that that Lacey pronounces several of her vowels. She is fly-yi-yi-yi-yi till she dye-yi-yi-yi-yis, as far as I'm concerned.

xhuxk, Wednesday, 5 April 2006 16:09 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Questions that I just sent to Xhuxk and that I'm now sharing with the masses: (1) Is there ever going to be a Paris Hilton album? and (2) are Kara DioGuardi and Scott Storch still involved? This may surprise you, but I've been negligent on keeping track of this story.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Wednesday, 5 April 2006 16:43 (eleven years ago) Permalink

There's this project that Kara DioGuardi and Dave Stewart are doing called Platinum Weird, an album supposedly due out sometime this spring on Interscope, produced by John Shanks. I don't know if it's intended to be a viable act or a Rutles-type spoof (the Platinum Weird Website portrays Platinum Weird as a band that existed in 1974 f. Stewart and his mysterious and flighty soulmate Erin Grace, who disappeared for good mid 1974, having had an astonishing impact on anyone who met her...). The Interscope Website links you to the Platinum Weird site, which just propagates the spoof.

They're streaming a couple of Platinum Weird songs on their myspace page; I've been patient enough to get beyond the rebuffering (sometimes this works, sometimes not). "Avalanche" sounds great. Stewart's putting a bit more Keith Richards in the guitar than Shanks would have, but basically this could have come right off the first Lohan album. But I dont think Kara holds the stage as well as Lohan (nor close to as well as Ashlee). Tell me what you think.

The words here support my belief that there's no way this woman is writing Ashlee's lyrics for her. Not that the lyrics are bad. They're good, just as "First" and "Come Clean" are good. "And I breathe, and I sleep, and I wait for a _____/And I lie, and I learn how to live in the hurt/And I'm on the run/Look what I've become/So many nights I've heard you talking to light (?) about the promise land(?)/Oh your promises/So many times you never walked towards the light into your promises/Oh your promise land (?) doesn't stand, can't hold back the avalanche/So I laugh 'cause I dream, and to dream is for fools/When I'm up high it all looks up because I can't see the clouds above me and I can't hear the cries below me/We go around, I'm fading out/And I'm on the run, look what I've become/There's no turning back, I'm giving up everything I've had/So many nights I've heard you talking to light..." Sorry, this is no match for "I was stuck inside someone else's life and always second best" - doesn't speak to the broken in me nearly as well.

(Of course, maybe Stewart wrote these lyrics. And maybe Shanks plays guitar.)

Anyway, it's not remotely trying to sound like 1974, that I can tell.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Wednesday, 5 April 2006 18:01 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Still never heard Dobson.

I can imagine that in real life Kelly Clarkson has a sense of humor. In fact, she does a swell job in the "Since U Been Gone" video, putting a sly look on her face as she's disassembling her ex's love nest. And her voice certainly has a nice lift in "Since U Been Gone" and "Walk Away." Still, after listening several hours nonstop to Kelly and Avril's "Unwanted" and Evanescence's everything, as I was often doing several months ago (to check out the similarities and because I was obsessed), it was hard not to run screaming to my Lohan and Simpson records afterwards, saying to myself, "At last, someone whose told a joke in her life."

Marion Raven had some great lines in M2M that I'd describe as "intentionally funny" - esp. "Jennifer" about the guy's girlfriend (whom she's immensely jealous of) having skin like porcelain and shame on him if he should hurt her, but you know, wouldn't it be nice if someone would drop her (for all I know Marit wrote that, but Marion is ace the way she delivers the line); also, Marion's lines in "Give a Little Love" - I quoted some of Marit's above - include her hilarious part instructions to the guy to "get down on your knees/I'm the one you have to please." So as I listen more to Here I Am maybe some such lines will emerge as well. But the sound of Here I Am is so heavy; there are some great pop melodies but - I never thought I'd say this - the songs rock too hard a lot of the time, and there's so much orchestration and passion that they come drenched in the weight of several oceans. This isn't really a criticism, just an explanation of why, when the album's done playing, I'm not replaying it incessantly but rather diving for my Hampton the Hamster records (of which I have none, hence I usually bonk my head on the wall).

The three singles from the Marion Raven album are great (if over-orchestrated). Strangely, the only album track I really dislike is her duet with the generally likable Art Alexakis.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Wednesday, 5 April 2006 18:36 (eleven years ago) Permalink

i was totally thinking about the raven album on the laptop mastering/compression thread. there's so much dynamic range stripped out of the songs that there's a nu-metal heaviness to them. marit, by contrast, is produced and mastered with lots of energy and space.

Sterling Clover (s_clover), Wednesday, 5 April 2006 18:43 (eleven years ago) Permalink

which might be what mainly constitutes "personality" on an album anyway?

Sterling Clover (s_clover), Wednesday, 5 April 2006 18:45 (eleven years ago) Permalink

On that Platinum Weird song Kara must be singing "about the promised land." Obviously. Sometimes it seems as if I'm missing my brain.

By the way, the band is letting you download the song ("Avalanche")from their myspace page. Free Mp3s!

So, aren't any of you curious? I mean, if Richard Rodgers had sung lead in a band, or Ellie Greenwich had, wouldn't you want to hear it? Come on, this is KARA DIOGUARDI, folks.

(Actually, Ellie Greenwich did put out records with her singing lead: the group was the Raindrops. "The Kind of Boy You Can't Forget" made it to #17 in 1963. I've never heard it, but I have heard a couple of other Raindrops tracks (one of 'em, "What a Guy," I've got on an old, beat-up cassette) which are nice but don't have the zing of the Ronettes, the Shangri-Las, the Crystals, the Jelly Beans, or Darlene Love. The Raindrops recorded the first version of "Hanky Panky." I'd love to hear that.)

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 6 April 2006 00:41 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Dahv's "Shirley Temple" - Nameom linked to her myspace page above - is one track that the myspace player won't let me hear for more than seven seconds at a time (I think the tracks have to be available for download for it to do any better), but I like the specificity of the lyrics. First stanza:

Here I am at the family function
once again I tend to bite my nails and sit alone
While the folks are getting tipsy with their Absolut and mixed drinks.
Oh my god, this always happens every year
My aunt runs off with a waiter serving caviar
imported from Beluga
and I think that he was too.
There's only 1 thing left to do

Pass the Shirley Temple...

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 6 April 2006 00:58 (eleven years ago) Permalink

"I actually like the seriousness of much of I Am Me."

I agree. Ashlee's fundamentally earnest, which doesn't mean that there isn't a lot that's really witty.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 6 April 2006 01:02 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Also, is any of the new Lindsay humorous at all?

Yes. See my previous 50 posts on the subject. She spends most of "Fastlane" winking at the sound man. On "I Want You to Want Me" she does the vocal equivalent of playing air guitar. On "Who Loves You?" she's plastering the room in so much ham that pigs are picketing outside the studio.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 6 April 2006 01:14 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Kara just doesn't have the bounce in her voice that "Avalanche" needs. There's nothing wrong with the voice, and her harmonies have added beauty and excitement to Lohan and Simpson, but...

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 6 April 2006 01:27 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Fefe Dobson could also be discussed for her seriousness (which isn't to say she's not funny when she wants to be). She pre-dates Kelly and Lindsay's therapy/confessional rock by at least a year. Clearest example is "Unforgiven," which opens with this verse:

"Daddy daddy/ Why'd you break your promises to me?/ ...I’m not the little girl you left waiting at home/ All the hurt and pain you left with mom and me/ Why can’t I be angry?"

Going into a chorus that's less paranoid than "Because of You" and more poetic than most of Lindsay's angst stuff -- maybe a mid point between Kelly and Ashlee's earnest I Am Me ballads, or at least worthy of being compared to those two:

"And I want you to know that I didn’t need you anyway/ And this rope that we walk on is swaying/ And the ties that bind us/ They will never ever fray/ But I want for you to know/ You are/ You are/ Unforgiven" (x-post)

nameom (nameom), Thursday, 6 April 2006 01:29 (eleven years ago) Permalink

so much ham that pigs are picketing outside the studio

(OK, I need to listen to this one again...) Forgot to mention that the Dobson track is also very aggressive -- "UNFORGIVEN" is like a group chant.

nameom (nameom), Thursday, 6 April 2006 01:32 (eleven years ago) Permalink

The Cathy Davey Website says that it all comes down to her rejection of the label singer-songwriter. It keeps saying that she's spiky. She sounds spiky. Her lyrics are spiky. It quotes her saying that she's spiteful. "I'm not interested in being analytical or fey because it makes me feel like a knob. Yes, I write my own songs, but I write bitter, nasty, ballsy songs. I want them to come across as sinister because any of my songs that seem nice are usually about something nasty."

She seems like the anti-Marit, right?

So what does "Clean and Neat" sound like? Like Marit, without the '50s carny cabaret. Like Marit but spikier.

Well, anyway, a high cheery playful voice, going into fake primitive power pop. The drums seem to be doing the drum equivalent of oompah. The guitar strum goes strum strum strum strum. Quite likable. Quite. I can hear how someone might think she's doing pop year zero, like the first two Modern Lovers albums. Prob'ly too old (25) to claim to be teenpop, but I'd like someone to try and sneak this onto Radio Disney. RD is playing the shit out of the Tashbed, after all, so they could like this, though I don't know if they'd find the primitiveness too primitive to fit their sound.

Oh yeah, the sound is bright and pushy, whereas the lyrics are [to tell you the truth, I didn't pay attention to the lyrics].

(Damn, I'm going to have to listen to some Bjork, so that I won't be a complete ignoramus.)

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 6 April 2006 03:02 (eleven years ago) Permalink

(Also, I don't mean to imply that Radio Disney gets totally to define what's teenpop. They're still aiming younger even than some of the 8 to 14 tweens. Midday on a schoolday, and the programming is aimed at 4 and 5 year olds. MTV also plays a role in teenpop. Top 40 and even some adult contemporary plays a role in teenpop.)

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 6 April 2006 03:05 (eleven years ago) Permalink

"More" is not nearly one of Leanne Kingwell's best or most rocking tracks, but I find this interesting, especially since she basically seems to be a self-released Aussie artist up on cdbaby (how often do artists like that get commercial US radio play? Seems unheard of, but maybe it happens way more often than I assume it would): The AC stations it's getting played on are in Oregon (FOUR of them there), Arkansas, Iowa, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Tennessee (two), Massechusetts, and Wisconsin (two); Country stations in Oklahoma and Wyoming; Top 40s in Auburn, MA and Eugene, OR. (I was gonna cut and paste all the specific figures, but it just looked like a bunch of random numbers, so I'll spare you).

xhuxk, Thursday, 6 April 2006 12:22 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Another driveby kvetch I wanna make is that these teen-poppers sure do make a point (in general) of avoiding concrete nouns and place names, don't they? What the hell's with that? (If you're not sure what I mean, play pretty much any of them back to back, with, I dunno, the Carrie Underwood album or something, and my point should be abundantly clear.)

You might find the same thing true in comparing country lyrics to pretty much any noncountry genre (except maybe to calypso or to rappers who make a big deal of place names and of course to this or that particular performer who casts himself as a storyteller: Craig Finn or Bruce Springsteen): country will give you place names, car brands, and a whole bunch of other social markers, will specify that a love note is written on a luncheonette napkin. I talked about this a bit in my Rodney Atkins/Lee Greenwood review. This doesn't necessarily make country lyrics better, or even more detailed. Just differently detailed. Marit and Ashlee give you plenty of psychological details in their songs. Marit has one where the woman wears makeup to bed, but she doesn't tell you anything about the house or furnishings.

"She Loves You" and "Be My Baby" don't have place locations and the like, but it isn't as if they're missing something.

(And of course Ashlee goes "Hollywood sucks you in but it won't spit me out" in "Boyfriend.")

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 6 April 2006 19:25 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Speaking of "Boyfriend," I just read an interview with DioGuardi where she recounts talking Lindsay out of writing an answer song to "Boyfriend" - which DioGuardi helped write!

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 6 April 2006 19:28 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Also, "Boyfriend" has a line that really bugs me, when Ashlee goes "Can't believe all the lies that you told just to ease your own soul/But I'm bigger than that no you don't have my back, no." Well, her saying "I'm bigger than that" means, in context, "I won't tell equivalent lies about you." But bitching someone out in a massively public way doesn't seem any better. Not that I mind it at all, but if you're gonna bitch then do a pure bitch, don't claim that you're being especially moral in doing it. Feels hypocritical.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 6 April 2006 19:38 (eleven years ago) Permalink

The words here support my belief that there's no way this woman is writing Ashlee's lyrics for her.

Well, this isn't fair to DioGuardi. Just because she vagues out in one song doesn't mean that she can't do songs where she doesn't vague out. But there's just such a difference between the lyrics you're getting on Ashlee Simpson albums and those you're getting from anything else DioGuardi's involved in. I guess it's just that I'm greatly disappointed in "Avalanche" even though I think it's a very good song. Here's my first sight and sound of Kara DioGuardi unfettered, a great talent, speaking through herself and for herself, and what I'm hearing is a first-rate melody but vague words about cries and clouds and broken promises, and a voice that's got volume and sings well but doesn't come across with a character.

Maybe it is Kara who came up with "Maybe/you don't/love me/like I/love you/baby/'cos the broken in you doesn't make me run." Maybe it was Ashlee who drew it out of her. Maybe Kara drew it out of Ashlee.

The reason I said the song could have come off the first Lohan album is that the vocal "phrasing" in "Avalanche" - by which I don't mean words but hesitations, wails, and such, the basic stuff of vocalizing - reminds me a lot more of Lindsay's than of Ashlee's (or of Gwen's or Celine's or Hilary's). My guess here is that Lindsay copies her phrasing from Kara's demos. But Lindsay gives the phrasing more life than Kara is able to give to "Avalanche."

Again, I'd like to know what you guys think.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 6 April 2006 20:17 (eleven years ago) Permalink

The reason I said the song could have come off the first Lohan album

The song being Platinum Weird's "Avalanche," not Ashlee's "Say Goodbye," though it was the latter that I had just quoted. Sorry to be so confusing.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 6 April 2006 20:21 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I need to devote more time to reading up on this thread when my sinuses aren't about to break through my corneas, BUT I will say that I really like whatever video Aly & AJ have on MTV right now -- it's closer to "Since You Been Gone" (in terms of the joy it makes me feel when I hear it) than anything I've heard from the Veronicas who I think -- and I know this is a cliche but it's fitting because teens are all about saying this phrase -- try too hard. The hooks sound too forced and that's something that bothers the shit out of me in a pop song. I don't care how sweet/sassy you sing your lines, if the actual melody has to bend over backwards, I don't like it. Early Go-Go's had a habit of doing this. (I swear, if I wasn't such a sinus mess right now, I'd explain myself much better.)
I'm really really looking forward to the next Lillix album. I dig those girls, plus they recruited Kelly Osbourne's old drummer.

Je4nn3 ƒur¥ (Je4nne Fury), Thursday, 6 April 2006 20:57 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Sort of agree with you about the Donnas - I mean the Veronicas - but "4ever" just totally creams me every time, even when I'm attempting to be annoyed by it. But then, so does "Rush," without any of the annoyance (if "Rush" is the Aly & AJ track to which you refer).

Anyway, Je4nn3, now that I've got you here, I've been meaning to post this quote from Ashlee's Elle interview (and I'm desperate for more insights into her various photo transformations as well):

Elle: Growing up in the Dallas suburbs with Jessica, was there ever any sibling rivalry; times when you hated her?

Ashlee: We never, ever really fought. I used to wear her clothes, and they would stink and have holes. Little things. There were times when I was insecure, but not because of my sister. I was a weird-looking little kid for a while. And her world of high school and stuff I did not want to be part of. I was a ballerina with ballerina friends, and we thought cheerleaders were stupid. I was Miss Artsy Fartsy.

(And maybe it's time for me to finally post about "Shadow," but probably not today.)

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 6 April 2006 21:50 (eleven years ago) Permalink

One more thing, the four tracks on Lily Allen's myspace page have had 4,326 plays today. (I don't know how they define today. Today London time, which still has an hour to go, I think? New York time, which has five hours to go? Denver time? Rupert Murdoch time?) Isn't 4,326, like, a lot? I mean, we're talking about someone who's not yet got a for-sale product, or a national tour, or anything like that.

Lily's "LDN" is definitely in competition with "Rush" and "4ever" as my single of the year so far.

(And yes, Matt, I realize that if I'd been 11 and with it, "Rush" would have made my ballot last year; but it's video only came out this year, so it counts this year on my P&J ballot, yes it does.)

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 6 April 2006 22:00 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I'd like to read the rest of the interview, but I think the interviewer asked the wrong question. I think the question should have inquired if she and Jess fight/quarrel/feel competitive towards each other now that they've both made it big. Their family dynamic is hella different -- and their father creeps me right out of my skin. Joe Simpson is going to set his sights on which ever daughter is in the spotlight at any given moment. That's what a manager does with their clients. But aside from parental attention issues, I wonder how much time the sisters get to spend together away from the spotlights. When they were growing up, they were in a completely different world than they are now. But if in fact Ashlee was adamant about differentiating herself from her sister back then (ballerina vs. cheerleader), she's still at it now (punky dark angel vs. lily-white pin-up). That in and of itself is evidence (to me, at least) of some sort of competitive feelings from Ashlee towards Jessica. Maybe "competitive" is the wrong word. But there's a resistence there. Her album titles says it all: "Autobiography" and "I Am Me." She's not hiding it.

Je4nn3 ƒur¥ (Je4nne Fury), Friday, 7 April 2006 13:43 (eleven years ago) Permalink

From the country thread:

It's really you but no one ever discovers

Those of so foolish as not to haunt the teenpop thread may be unaware that Miley and her dad Billy Ray have a TV show, in which - I gather from the theme song, which is all TV-less me knows of it - by day she's a regular middle-schooler, but at night she twirls around like Sailor Moon and takes on a SECRET IDENTITY as a... as a... well, you'll just have to look for yourself.

The theme song's OK, likable enough, not grebt.

-- Frank Kogan, April 9th, 2006.

Agreed, I like one of the other ones ("Who Said") better. I tried watching one of the episodes on YouTube with limited success (surprise, it's cute), but what IS significant about this is that "Hannah Montana" is the highest rated show in Disney Channel history (I'd be interested to see how it compares to High School Musical; Hannah got something like 5.4 mil viewers last week, though.)

They seem to show clips of songs, but not full songs, at the beginning or end of each show, previewing one new track per show with the goal of putting out an "official soundtrack" by the summer.

Last thing: Brie Larson just wrote what I'm pretty sure is her first indie rock song. Available for download at her Myspace page.

nameom (nameom), Sunday, 9 April 2006 00:01 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Well, if it's indie style, it's the sort of indie style that can find its way onto Avril and Aly & AJ and Veronicas albums. "Avril in a pensive moment, contemplating the demo to her new single, 'A Pensive Moment.'" There is a dreaminess to it, but it's too lacking in affectlessness to be truly indie.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Sunday, 9 April 2006 03:44 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I have finally been Fefe'd. Reporting from the Fefe front:

"Don't Go" - Bratcutepunk sort of halfway between Gwen and Jo Jo(maybe even some Lene Lovich), though with a tough cuteness, or a cute toughness. A toughness that'll punch you pink.

"Unforgiven" - Hey, here we are, splits the difference between Lindsay Lohan and Stacey Mosley - neither of whom had made a record when this came out. So let's say it's Evanescence (or whatever ur-pop-teengoth Rosetta Stone I've yet to find) backing and arranging Avril, adding gangshouts. Also, occasionally, a real pretty plinky-dink that could come from disco or from Lee Van Cleef's sister's locket in For a Few Dollars More. Kicks butt.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Sunday, 9 April 2006 04:08 (eleven years ago) Permalink

"Don't Let It Get to Your Head" - Now this is Fefe with her vocal cords thickened by a couple of years. Has a good harmonic change just when I thought it was going to be hopeless. As Je4nn3 said about the Veronicas, this track tries too hard. I like it overall, but it's an amalgam of contemporary pop sounds that doesn't pull together, or when it does I still feel like there's a mismatch, like Skye forced to sing with the Veronicas.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Sunday, 9 April 2006 04:14 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I got a couple of Björk CDs from the library: Vespertine and Drawing Restraint 9. Haven't had the chance to listen yet, so I'll have to report back as to whether she sounds more like Lacey or more like Marit.

Also got B.G. Tha Heart of tha Streetz Vol. 1. As with the other two CDs, I'll report on whether the vocalist on this one most resembles Lacey or Marit.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Sunday, 9 April 2006 04:19 (eleven years ago) Permalink

xxxzt I hate that Evanescence Greatest Hit. One shot far too many. If the album's good that's good (and the Mona Lisa was a man, but then again why not?) I recently posted about Ashley Monroe on Rolling Country: she's the neediest waif in Ghostown, but probably if I were a counseler of the young (and/or a female), she's probably like many young girls, but it comes out the same; teenagers are not to be taken for granted, of course. That's on the first half of the album; then she tries to grow up, and the album's problems of adjustment fit plausibly with what first-half-survivor's problems would be, except a lot of tracks could use some editing, or some more verses, or speeding up, or all of that. H'mm, maybe I should complain to the label? Release date is June 27, so they've got plenty of time to listen to meeee ("Satisfied" is grim NeilY verses, as she tracks a married man with a grown wife, then an affectingly forlorn, airborne chorus, and you can already hear it here and there).(I listed Hope Partlow as one of the Best New Acts on my 05 Nashville Scene ballot; she's country enough to deserve to be on Toby Keith's new label[if I could only get the CD to his teenage daughter], and deserves be on somebody's label again)

don, Sunday, 9 April 2006 05:12 (eleven years ago) Permalink

People, April 10:"(Ashley)Tisdale is the only female artist in history to have two songs---both from High School Musical's soundtrack--debut simultaneously on the Billboard Hot 100. "It's weird to see my name up there with people like Beyonce,' she says."I just bought a condo and I'm moving in with my best friend," says Tisdale, whose Maltese poodle Blondie will go with her. The granddaughter of Ginsu Knives personality Arnold Morris and the cousin of Ron Popeil, she's well-stocked with kitchen gadgets."(That's why she's got so much pop appeal.)"Still, don't count on her throwing any gourmet meals. 'My parents are just down the block,' she says. 'So we'll be eating at their house!" But in the same issue, Drake Bell is returning to the set of Nickelodeon's comedy series, Drake & Josh, after recovering from a really bad auto accident: "I had to do jaw exercises. I would try to pry open my mouth with my hands, and it wouldn't even budge. After I worked on it, my whole body would be exhausted. The Nickelodeon producers told me to come back March 8 (to shoot 10 more episodes of the show). I'm thinking, 'That's impossible!' But I wanted to be back at work. Now they're having me do physical comedy--it's terrible! I'm reading the script, and it says, 'Drake gets stunned, shakes uncontrollably and then drops to the ground.' I'm like, 'Hi! Broken neck over here!' But you don't want to stop the machine. The accident showed me how much I love what I'm doing and that I can taken away in a split second." He also has his own studio, and a still from the show has him wearing an Iron Butterfly T, so pertains to this thread, I think. Plus he's got the Pop Life calling (and calling).

don, Sunday, 9 April 2006 05:36 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Oops, it also says he already put out a CD last year, Telegraph. Anybody heard it?

don, Sunday, 9 April 2006 05:40 (eleven years ago) Permalink

OK, so am I nuts for thinking "Pump It" by Black Eyed Peas might be a great single, as good as any single from Juvenile or Lil Wayne or E-40 or Young Jeezy (all of whom have put out good ones) this year? Thing is, as far as I know, I've only actually heard "Pump It" twice - once in a car, and once in a bodega. And I know for a fact that both times I heard it, it sure *sounded* great. What about its non-greatness am I missing? (In related news, now that I think of it, I'm still not positive that I've ever heard "My Humps," though I *probably* have.)

xhuxk, Sunday, 9 April 2006 17:57 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Best to avoid My Humps I'd say - jaw-dropping, but not in a good way. Pump It is a terrific use of a sample, but I didn't think the rest of the single amounted to very much. Hearing it out in circumstances like that probably gets it at its best, when you get the sound and drive borrowed from Dick Dale but not the added detailing so much.

Or it might be that your judgement is better than mine, which is hardly unlikely. (Have I mentioned recently that I love these threads? They're almost all I read on ILM.)

Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Sunday, 9 April 2006 18:31 (eleven years ago) Permalink

There's an article in today's NY Times Long Island section about Aliana Lohan, Lindsay's 12-year-old sister. But no web link, darn it, so I'll have to do some typing:

"Asked how she would describe herself, Aliana rolled her eyes and replied, 'Funny.'

"'People laugh at me -- like my jokes, not personally at me,' she said.

"Her sister is known for her on-screen wit, Aliana said. But watch out. 'Lindsay's not as funny as me,' Aliana added with a smirk."

. . .

"Diana Lohan, who studied with the American Ballet Theater under Mikhail Baryshnikov, has apparently mastered the art of stage mother. She said she had been positioning Aliana to follow Lindsay's 'it' girl trajectory.

"'She's on the track, basically,' Ms. Lohan said, discounting the pitfalls of fame that have dogged Lindsay. . ."

. . .

"Recently Aliana was at Tainted Blue studios in Manhattan finishing up her debut solo album with Chris Christian, chief executive of World Digital Media Group and a producer, singer and songwriter who has worked with Elvis Presley, Olivia Newton-John and Sheena Easton."

Sang Freud (jeff_s), Sunday, 9 April 2006 18:50 (eleven years ago) Permalink

The Times pop-teen piece I was wondering about today was about kevin covais, this 16-year-old junior at eddie money's alma mater island trees high school in levittown, NY, who apparently survived several rounds on *american idol,* singing marvin gaye and brian mcknight songs, despite looking like (and therefore being nicknamed) "chicken little," since all the grandmas kept voting for him. also, he apparently sort of dissed simon cowell back when simon dissed him. i never heard of him before. is he destined for stardom?

xhuxk, Sunday, 9 April 2006 19:21 (eleven years ago) Permalink

(also, I didn't even realize that "Pump It" *had* a Dick Dale sample. I'm pretty sure the sample wasn't the only thing that was sounding great to me there. But it probably helped.)

xhuxk, Sunday, 9 April 2006 19:56 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Or I might be misremembering which record I am talking about.

Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Sunday, 9 April 2006 20:32 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Nope, a quick google search reveals you are... correct! "Pump It" *does* sample Dick Dale.

xhuxk, Sunday, 9 April 2006 20:44 (eleven years ago) Permalink

So, anybody heard this new Bananarama album, *Drama*? Apparently there are only two Bananas left, a blonde one and a reddish haired one, though I'm not sure when the other Banana split, hardy har har. Anyway, I like the over-the-top post-Hi-NRG Eurotechnodisco production of a lot it (the beats from Korpi & BlackCell, whoever they are, seem to stand out), but I'm definitely starting to agree with Phil Freeman below about the thing's ultimate joylessness - the melodies just aren't there, and the singing lacks heart, somehow. So far it seems the best things on the disc seem to be the remixes of "Venus" and "Really Saying Something" at the end. But if another track blows away anybody, please report so here.

from the rolling metal (!?) thread:

This new Bananarama album is weirdly joyless. Their old stuff always sounded like they were having fun, on the brink of cracking each other up. This new one is all cyborg-y, like Kylie Minogue's last one (but not nearly as good as that).
-- pdf (newyorkisno...), March 9th, 2006.
i hate to say it, phil, but the last really good bananarama album was pop life. the disco album after that with the cover of more, more, more wasn't that hot, and the album with every shade of blue wasn't that great either.
-- scott seward (skotro...), March 9th, 2006.
pop life even had some metallic moments and was produced by youth of killing joke. and of course it had that ace doobie brothers cover of long train runnin'.
-- scott seward (skotro...), March 9th, 2006.
Well, I haven't paid attention to them in years - I never even heard them after Siobhan Fahey left. So this direction (which appears, after a quick visit to AMG, to be one they've been pursuing for some years now) is new to me, and thus more disappointing than it probably should be.
-- pdf (newyorkisno...), March 9th, 2006.

xhuxk, Sunday, 9 April 2006 22:33 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Oh xhuxk, those puns were awful.

Jimmy Mod: My theme is DEATH (The Famous Jimmy Mod), Sunday, 9 April 2006 23:29 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Somebody in Creem (Mitch Cohen?) described Bananarama, ca. "Cruel Summer," as ambient pop, which was a new term at that moment, and meant as a compliment. Speaking of Idol, the latest Bama Ham, after Ruben, Bo, Diane, is of course Taylor Hicks, whose flamboyant perspiration is said not to've made to his initial release. Anybody heard it? And he's got me wondering: whatever happened (incl on his Motown recordings) to Taylor's buggin'-blue-eyed-soul ancestor, Sam Harris, who won Star Search? I liked him, on Soul Train, anyway, which is the only place I heard him.(And goodnight, Mr. Pitney, wherever you are).

don, Monday, 10 April 2006 02:43 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Re "Pump It", I think it's probably the only track I've heard which is obviously post-"Hey Ya". I like the fact that most people who I know who love "Hey Ya" would hate to admit that. I think it's pretty good, the Fergie bit is really ace especially.

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Monday, 10 April 2006 05:37 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Checking in:

(1) I love "My Humps," which perhaps says more about me than about the song. (Well, actually, I love "My Humps" when teenagers play the ringtone in order to annoy nearby adults, even or especially when I'm one of the adults.)

(2) I have played Fefe Dobson's "Unforgiven" 30 times in the last 36 hours. (I think I was asleep the other six.)

(3) Je4nn3 (and the rest of you), I posted Ashlee's Elle quote not so much because it pertains to Ashlee and Jess but because it pertains to Pink's "Stupid Girls." That is, it's Pink who's the arsy-fartsy still trying to differentiate herself from Ashlee's sister and types like that, and doing it by calling them stupid. (Of course, Pink's being a little more complex than that, but still...) Also posted the Ashlee quote because it pertains to social categories, and because it's smart.

(4) Sang Freud, nice to see you back.

(5) I don't have the interview in front of me, but Dina Lohan told Seventeen that when Aliana, who's naturally thin, goes to school, kids will come up to her and say, "You're anorexic like your sister." Not fun. Also said that when Lindsay tries for a part she finds she has to spend several hours with the producer and director convincing them that she's not a drug addict and doesn't have eating disorders.

(6) The Björk soundtrack for Drawing Restraint 9 probably is out of judging range for me, since my guess is that the music makes more sense accompanied by visuals. Slow moving sounds, repeated with slight variations. I think to listen to it most profitably I'd have to do it like meditating, concentrating on sounds, returning to the sound. Rather than daydreaming, which of course is what I did. Anyway, the parts that had her voice didn't remind me much of either Marit or Lacey, but the voice is a lot closer to Marit's than to Lacey's. Oh yeah, and unlike Marit or Lacey, the soundtrack bored me silly, but as I said, maybe there's a way to use it well.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Monday, 10 April 2006 14:04 (eleven years ago) Permalink

What If You Had No Legs?

Back in my New York days I had a good friend who'd grown up in horrific family circumstances. She told me that when she was a little girl, age five or so, and would complain about something, her mother would turn to her and say, "What if you had no legs?"

So, this is from Pink's Seventeen interview:

17: Have you ever been a stupid girl?

Pink: I've always been. I'm a stupid girl every other day. I'm still a stupid girl. I made that song because I don't want to be in that struggle anymore. I gotta break the chain.

17: How do you do that?

Pink I visit children's hospitals and see 6-year-olds with cancer. I see girls who say "I wish I had legs at all." Let alone [worry about] fat legs...

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Monday, 10 April 2006 14:15 (eleven years ago) Permalink

You know, I *wondered* why you wanted me to weigh in on an Ashlee quote. Heh. And yes, I see the "Stupid Girls" connection. But I don't think Pink's playing the "artsy-fartsy" card. More like the tomboy-jock card. And fwiw, I don't think you need to toss Pink the credit for being "a little more complex" because er, I don't even think *she* would.

Je4nn3 ƒur¥ (Je4nne Fury), Monday, 10 April 2006 14:20 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I think there's a pretty strong vein of love for "Pump It" out there. I really really like it, although I am trying not to overexpose myself. The Fergie part is really, really good, and comes out of nowhere--you expect the song to just ride the sample until it falls over and dies, but right before that point, it throws in this amazing breakdown, and then when the song charges back in again, it's all shiny and new.

Covais, from the one or two times I saw him on the show, is utterly loathesome, one of those "old songs are better than new songs!" kinda guys. His contrariness comes off less punk-rock and more conservative, and his fans have a similar creepiness to Clay Aiken's "Vanilla Revolution" partisans. If he acheives stardom I can only assume it will involve Branson, MO prominently.

Eppy (Eppy), Monday, 10 April 2006 14:22 (eleven years ago) Permalink

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y95/nameom/alianalohan.jpg
Aliana Lohan: ProTools all the way!

nameom (nameom), Monday, 10 April 2006 18:30 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I wish I could just say "Whoa you guys need to get into this Mexican band RBD [pronounce it "air-ay bay day" pleeeze], three boys three girls all sexy, they have a soapy Spanish language show where they play fictional versions of themselves but they are also a band and Mex-Am 5yearolds I know go around with their picture and the new album Live in Hollywood is hella dope and is funky and is obviously probably NOT-very-live and you should all really get into it because it's great music", but you'd probably ignore me unless I dropped this bomb, which is:

KARA DIGUARDIO WRITES A COUPLE OF THEIR SONGS OMG

Haikunym (Haikunym), Friday, 14 April 2006 12:37 (eleven years ago) Permalink

RBD's formula is to go from mildly emotional verses to group-sing choruses that sap the songs of what little feeling they'd had. I've never been able to care about RBD, esp. in comparison to the Xuxa and freestyle hysteria they have in their ancestry. They do look energetic while prancing in their vids, however. And maybe there are some exciting album cuts I know nothing about. The DioGuardi track is a Spanish-language version of the DioGuardi-Shanks composition "Gone," which in RBD's version - at least in the 30-second clip streamed on Allmusic - is as bland and blank as the other RBD tracks I've heard, and the song was done about 50 times better by Kelly Clarkson on Breakaway (on which it's about the 8th- or 9th-best song). I don't know, maybe if I knew Spanish and had seen the soap something about the sound would click in for me.

(Interestingly Launch Yahoo just played "I Don't Care" by ex-boyband idol Ricky Martin; it was a Latin hit last year that deserved to have crossed over big in U.S. pop but didn't; strong Latin wail 'n' moan with some late '80s r&b girlsex interspersed as percussion and condiment.)

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Friday, 14 April 2006 14:24 (eleven years ago) Permalink

But have you heard the live album, Frank?

Haikunym (Haikunym), Friday, 14 April 2006 14:26 (eleven years ago) Permalink

"I Don't Care" was great!

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Friday, 14 April 2006 14:52 (eleven years ago) Permalink

The first time I heard KC's "Gone" I was bench pressing 170 lbs at the gym and almost droped the bar and crushed my chest, so gobsmacked was I at the sheer brilliance if it.

Grey, Ian (IanBrooklyn), Friday, 14 April 2006 21:11 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I'll never catch up with all this, partly a matter of time, and mostly that I haven't heard enough current, other than what Frank's burned for me, and a few promos. But just now caught yr March mention of the Legend Of Cassie. I checked on this when I was writing about Charlie Daniels' good song, speaking of xtian Southern Gothic country power ballads. (Maybe a bit goth too, re lingering on/hovering over the very gradually dispersing waves of smoke and aftershock). News accounts seemed to verify, but I don't remember where I found them, and, as Frank would say, what the Legend means to some is the point of the song. The website looked like a shrine then; now it links to ther first chapter of her Mom's biography,and to the foundation named after her: http://www.cassiebernall.com/ And here's what I wrote (in the midst of other songs, albums, artists): http://www.villagevoice.com/music/0344,tracker_writer.inc,39494,.html/

don, Friday, 14 April 2006 22:16 (eleven years ago) Permalink

http://www.savingjaneonline.com/

im not sure if this counts as teenpop really, but i have no idea where to place it. 30 something woman who cant get over high school?

mts (theoreticalgirl), Saturday, 15 April 2006 18:37 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I'd love to see someone give answers like this in a magazine interview.

Q: why are you so spectacular? A: i took classes from lindsay lohan. but they involved drugs and drinking, so I failed.

Q: Are you excited about turning 17 this year? A: i'm more excited about not turning 16.

Q: Where do you get the inspiration to be a song-writer and by being an artist (design)? A: i dont get inspiration. I dont really know why I write about certain things, or why I dont write about certain things. I dont really "write" about anything. its all pish posh.

nameom (nameom), Monday, 17 April 2006 18:41 (eleven years ago) Permalink

(Brie Larson, answering all questions as they're asked on her blog)

nameom (nameom), Monday, 17 April 2006 18:42 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Saving Jane is on the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Vol. 2, so she definitely qualifies for this thread, though I'm not sure how one actually gets chosen for Kids' Choice, other than not being on Hollywood Records. Franz Ferdinand's "Do You Want To" is included. Far be it from me to criticize anyone for not getting over high school, but I thought "Girl Next Door" was too pat in its portrayal of cheerleaders (though Saving Jane admits to jealousy rather than superiority: "She is the prom queen/I'm in the marching band/She's the cheerleader/I'm sitting in the stands"). The song is girlpop rock guitar, but the vocals go straight for Alanis, no bones about it. Not great, but someone to continue to listen for.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Monday, 17 April 2006 19:26 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Kids' Choice Vol. 2 is also strange in that it starts off with "Hollaback Girl," which is a good, energetic startoff, and then goes to "Because of You," which is a great song, I probably like it more than "Hollaback," but to segue from "Hollaback Girl" to "Because of You" makes absolutely no sense either musically or thematically. Because you were a hollaback girl I am afraid? Not that you should never go from bounce-clap to slow despair, but this was like, I don't know, running your toboggan into a swamp.

The tracklist goes 1. Gwen Stefani "Hollaback Girl" 2. Kelly Clarkson "Because of You" 3. Ciara f. Missy Elliott "1,2 Step" 4. Mario "Let Me Love You" 5. Natasha Bedingfield "These Words (I Love You, I Love You)" 6. Weezer "Perfect Situation" 7. Simple Plan "Shut Up" (live) 8. Relient K "Be My Escape" 9. Saving Jane "Girl Next Door" 10. Emma Roberts "I Wanna Be" 11. Howie Day "Collide" 12. Gavin DeGraw "Follow Through" 13. Backstreet Boys "Incomplete" 14. Carrie Underwood "Inside Your Heaven" 15. Frankie J "Don't Wanna Try" 16. Ryan Cabrera "Shine On" 17. Switchfoot "Stars" 18. Franz Ferdinand "Do You Want To."

Anyway, one-third of the way in, we run suddenly into a batch of songs that I'd previously heard rarely or not at all. These are my thoughts:

Simple Plan "Shut Up" (live) - Good hard-rocking adenoidal bratboy bubblepunk. The harmonies thrill me to my teeth, the adenoid voices make me grit my teeth. Nice roar, and when they're sensitive they're better than when they're adenoidal. They've got a nice lift, may be nicer than Green Day's, but Green Day doesn't irritate me nearly as much.

Relient K "Be My Escape" - Good strong rock riff at the start, which the track then flees, clearing out the space for sensitive boy vocals and nice harmonies. Likable, I suppose, but still, I'm trying to figure out what is it with boys these days, why they don't sing nearly as well as girls. Why are boys either defensively whiny or stupidly sappy?

Saving Jane "Girl Next Door" - See above.

Emma Roberts "I Wanna Be" - Nice bubblepunk start, 8 fast beats per measure on the guitar. The voice is really young, which seems to be its main characteristic. "I want my life to be more than a journey into nowhere." Needs a better song. And a more interesting voice. Maybe she'll grow one.

Howie Day "Collide" - This is terrible. Boy sensitive. The voice... Is he a Ryan Cabrera imitator? But Ryan has a beautiful voice, whereas... wait, this guy just sang "I somehow found you and I." Aagh! Make it stop. (Oh, yeah, this is a CD so I can make it stop.)

Gavin DeGraw "Follow Through" - I think I've heard this before. The melody is not so bad; the voice is inflexible, but its inflexibility may give this a bit of dignity. And maybe ths melody is so bad. It's not fair that this stuff corners the market on sensitivity. Not horrible, I suppose.

Switchfoot "Stars" - The name Switchfoot seems so familiar, as if they're a majorly popular band that I've just never managed to hear. (However, if I were novelist needing to invent a name for a fictional Majorly Popular Mainstream Rock Band, "Switchfoot" would be the sort of name I'd choose.) The singer manages to be strained yet blah. The harmony is not altogether terrible. "Everyone feels so lonely, everyone feels so empty, but when I look at the stars I feel like myself." Um. The melody has its pleasing moments, but the lyrics achieve a sublimity of badness that I, were I to be a novelist, would be proud to place in any fictional bands' mouth. How come nobody ever told me about this? "Stars looking at a planet/Watchin' entropy and pain/And maybe start to wonder how the chaos in our lives/Can pass as sane/I've been thinking of the meaning of resistance/Of a world beyond my own/And suddenly the infinite and the penitent/Begin to look like home."

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Monday, 17 April 2006 20:30 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Here's one for ya: Tokio Hotel, teenage nu-metal types from Germany, rather massive in their home land, went straight to number one the other week. Worth pointing out that the singer is a boy.

William Bloody Swygart (mrswygart), Monday, 17 April 2006 21:04 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I like the Tokio Hotel clips, and nothing they do would sound weird on a Lohan album, but most wouldn't sound weird on a Flyleaf album either. Honestly, if you hadn't told me, and I hadn't seen the pic, I'd have thought the singer was a girl.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 20 April 2006 18:14 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Why are boys either defensively whiny or stupidly sappy?

It has an inexplicable tendency to get them laid.

Je4nn3 ƒur¥ (Je4nne Fury), Thursday, 20 April 2006 19:59 (eleven years ago) Permalink

A tendency, but not a certainty ( for inst, please god: David Gilmour featuring David Crosby and Graham Nash, on The Tonight Show this very

don, Friday, 21 April 2006 03:34 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Switchfoot and Relient K are jesus bands, and if I have to choose I'd rather hear Switchfoot. They 'dare you to move' and remind you that 'we were meant to live for so much more' while Relient K come off like co-dependent types.

Keith Harris REALLY likes "Stars." I've seen him sing it in his car on the way to a Beck concert.

Zwan (miccio), Friday, 21 April 2006 04:29 (eleven years ago) Permalink

do they fade out the "i blew him before ya" line on the Franz track?

Zwan (miccio), Friday, 21 April 2006 04:32 (eleven years ago) Permalink

No, the blew was blanked.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Friday, 21 April 2006 19:28 (eleven years ago) Permalink

OK, further ruminations. Here's the Platinum Weird line (from "Avalanche"):

"Oh your promised land doesn't stand/Can't hold back the avalanche."

And the Ashlee line (from "Say Goodbye"):

"Maybe you don't/Love me/Like I love you baby/'Cause the broken in you doesn't make me run."

The Platinum Weird line is just far too vague, whereas the Ashlee line is utterly wonderful. Yet when I look at them, I realize that the Ashlee line is at least as abstract as the Platinum Weird. So why does the Ashlee line work so much better?

(Btw, for those of you just tuning in, Platinum Weird is Dave Stewart and Kara DioGuardi, and the forthcoming album is produced by John Shanks; and Shanks and DioGuardi are listed as co-writers (along w/ Ashlee Simpson) of "Say Goodbye" and everything else on Ashlee's I Am Me, and many of the songs on Ashlee's Autobiography.)

I do like "Your promised land doesn't stand/Can't hold back the avalanche," the idea of a fantasy or a promise or a dream being knocked down and swept away by an avalanche (the avalanche being reality I suppose, life, or Kara's anger, or something). It's an ambitious image. But it needs something else in the song, some story for the metaphor to hook onto - promise of what? which dreamland? for the metaphor to sum up. Whereas "Maybe you don't/Love me/Like I love you/'Cause the broken in you doesn't make me run" is a story in itself. It feels archetypal, like "The King died, the Queen died of grief." For all its abstractness, "the broken in you" is an image that I can immediately attach my experience to. Or maybe not my experience, just the image of Ashlee willing to wrap her arms around a man in his brokenness. As for promises and dreams not holding back the avalanche of events - my mind gets it but doesn't bring any feelings or experience to add to it.

I realize that my explanation here doesn't explain...

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Friday, 21 April 2006 20:32 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Tim F.: I actually like the seriousness of much of I Am Me. My two favourite songs are probably "Dancing Alone" and "Eyes Wide Open", which are probably the two most, er, i dunno, polished emotive songs on there? They're melodramatic but not Courtney-esque.

But I love every song on the album. If I'd heard it last year it probably would have been my third favourite of the year (I like it much more than Autobiography actually, though maybe that's because I heard it first so it hit me harder). I even love the powerballad "Say Goodbye", which has some awesome lyrics:

"Maybe/you don't/love me/like I/love you/baby/'cos the broken in you doesn't make me run"

Something about that line is so ace, maybe it's that it drags out the simple first part so much, then all the meaning is actually so tightly compressed in the second half.

Tim, interestingly enough, a couple of days before you posted that I was listening to "Say Goodbye," a song I'd tended to pass over, and the "broken in you" line hit me hard; and what I said to myself was, "Here's a line from the second album that feels like a lot of the first album."

I'd heard the second album first too, didn't buy Autobiography until I was basically done with my review of I Am Me. I'd heard the three singles from the first, only really concentrated on "La La." When I finally did hear Autobiography, my jaw dropped at the title song, the two singles I'd ignored ("Pieces of Me" and "Shadow") suddenly hit me as really powerful - in fact tracks one through four were a knockout, "Autobiography" followed by the three singles - and a few tracks farther I found another song to adore, "Love Me For Me." But I did feel that, overall, I Am Me had a stronger sound, despite Autobiography having a rougher, rawer guitar. In fact, I decided that on "La La" - which I still think is her best song - both she and Shanks are pushing too hard, trying to be too rough and tough. Whereas on I Am Me - e.g., rockers such as the title track and "Coming Back For More" - the sound was a lot cleaner and the singing more at ease without losing an iota of force. And back on Autobiography the rawer guitar sound was also applied to the ballads at the backend. And the combo - guitar roar and ballads - seemed wearying.

Anyhow, at some point something shifted in the way I heard it. And this isn't because my analysis above is wrong; maybe just my ears remixed the songs in my head. I'd played my five favorites from Autobiography into the ground and was now going on to the others, and I was hearing through the roar to the melodies and the words, or the roar now had rearranged itself and didn't seem like a roar. Hard to say why you like one thing more than another, but Autobiography ends up - at least for now - having more tunes that grab me and more words that make me feel.

This is relative. I love both albums. The difference is really this: Listening to I Am Me, I fell in love with the music. Listening to Autobiography, I fell in love with her.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Friday, 21 April 2006 21:03 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Just to point out to UK Peeps: 'Under The Surface', i.e. The Marit Larsen Album, is now available to buy on iTunes in the UK, and possibly elsewhere.

William Bloody Swygart (mrswygart), Friday, 21 April 2006 22:41 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Johanna Stahley looks like she might be pushing the big Two-Six, in cover pix of I'm Not Perfect. But seems perfectly at home over teenpop-associated beats. Her multitracked vocals eventually get just a bit rackety, humdrum and blurry, but they're exuberant; no vocal anorexia, as Frank detected in some Sheryl Crow tracks, over on Rolling Country. (Seems like an sporadic problem from her first album on, I'd say.) And Johanna's conclusions about life so far are problematic only insofar as my (gradual) tiring of the vocals lets me notice that they are conclusions, stick a fork in they done. Would like just a bit more of story (could be just traces), of how she got to her findings. But it's okay, and can see how she might be great in cited gigs at Arlene's Grocery, if that's a good-sounding room. But the real story here might be the backing tracks, by Eitan Graff & Assaf Spector of Yellopop. They prove you don't need a Major Label budget-vs.-royalties to get this sound. H'mm, Yellopop?

don, Friday, 21 April 2006 23:21 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Frank I'm gonna keep listening to Autobiography. Your story above makes a lot of sense.

Thinking of that line in "Say Goodbye", I think one of the things that makes it work so well is that, yeah, at first glance it sounds pretty straightforward, but actually it's almost encoded. A straightforward line would be something like: "You can't handle me 'cos I'm complicated" or "You only like me when I make you look good." But instead she says:

"Maybe you don't love me like I love you, baby, cos the broken in you doesn't make me run. There is beauty in the darkness. I'm not frightened - without it I could never feel the sun."

It's a lot less judgmental and, I guess, more reflective, this way: like she's just coming to understand the difference in the way that she and her (soon to be?) ex approach questions of love and relationships. And she's not sure which is right or wrong (if right and wrong there is) but she's not sorry for being the way she is. And then on another level she's telling him that it's okay to be damaged.

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Friday, 21 April 2006 23:46 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Also, the connection of something like a container, when I get to "broken": if she believed she really was in his heart then when it was broken, she would run--her doubt about his doubt/limit (which comes from preception that *something's* damn well broken) comes out judgemental, to me. (Of me, to a degree.)I think I could feel the sun even if I didn't feel the beauty in the night, seems like self-justtification, but maybe cause I'm inclined to identify with him, at this point.

don, Saturday, 22 April 2006 00:13 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I just came here to post how much that "Had A Bad Day" song makes me want to smack Daniel Powter/Powder around. God help me, that song needs to go the hell away.

Je4nn3 ƒur¥ (Je4nne Fury), Saturday, 22 April 2006 00:18 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Cause you had a bad day
You're taking one down
You sing a sad song just to turn it around
You say you don't know
You tell me don't lie
You work at a smile and you go for a ride
You had a bad day
The camera don't lie
You're coming back down and you really don't mind
You had a bad day
You had a bad day


That sing-songy brainless piano plinking and sing-songy brainless melody coupled with YOU YOU YOU YOU YOU chorus is irritating beyond words.

Je4nn3 ƒur¥ (Je4nne Fury), Saturday, 22 April 2006 00:24 (eleven years ago) Permalink

This is what happens when coffee companies stop paying for original jingles.

ant@work.com, Saturday, 22 April 2006 00:26 (eleven years ago) Permalink

The only saving grace of that song is that the video clip gives the blonde chick wot used to be in The O.C. something to do. The song itself sounds like a parody of itself, like the singer is actually sending up the entire notion of having a bad day (is it? Am I underestimating the songwriter?)

I dunno Don, I think Ashlee is saying "we're both broken (damaged, not heartbroken), but you want someone unbroken (maybe because you can't handle your own brokenness). Whereas because I know that I'm broken I'm willing to accept that dealing with your brokenness is the only way I could make this arrangement work. You disagree, so this relationship isn't gonna work."

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Saturday, 22 April 2006 00:27 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Wrapped up in this is the belief that the notion of a "fairweather friend" being a bad thing holds doubly true for relationships: that it's only by understanding someone in all their complexity and difficulty (rather than some seemingly unblemished pedestal perfection) that you can make love really meaningful.

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Saturday, 22 April 2006 00:29 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Sort of similar to the lyrics for "Unperfectly" by Ani DiFranco, 1992:

I crashed your pickup track
then I had to drive it back home
I was crying I was so scared
of what you would do
of what you would say
but you just started laughing
so I just started laughing along
saying it looks a little rough
but it runs o.k.
it looks a little rough
but it runs good anyway

we get a little further from perfection
each year on the road
I think it's called character
I think that's just the way it goes
but it's better to be dusty than polished
like some store window mannequin
won't you touch me where I'm rusty
let me stain your hands
touch me where I'm rusty, let me...

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Saturday, 22 April 2006 00:34 (eleven years ago) Permalink

This is what happens when coffee companies stop paying for original jingles.

Not for long...enter The Lovemarks!

Saatchi & Saatchi is touting a manufactured girl band, created by the agency, as its latest ad weapon in the battle to reach young consumers.

Marketers will be able to hire the as-yet-unnamed group to promote their brands in their songs, their clothing and what they eat and drink.

(More at Poptimists). (xpost)

nameom (nameom), Saturday, 22 April 2006 00:36 (eleven years ago) Permalink

(1) Several days ago I played the first track on the Johanna Stahley and liked it so much I was ready to make a pitch to Chuck. Tashpop with teenpop beats? I'll have to give that more thought. More rock 'n' roll pizzazz than the Tashbed, I'd say (and I feel relatively positive towards the Tashbed, who, as I've been saying, has been embraced by the teens, albeit in the 30s in plays per week (like Ashlee's "L.O.V.E.") rather than the 70s (like Aly & AJ's "Rush"); and she's on that Nickelodeon compilation too). Stahley's promo sheet says, "Putting a positive spin on missteps and broken relationships is the message threaded through I'm Not Perfect."

It's also the message threaded through I Am Me, is it not?

(2) I got Tori Amos's Scarlet's Walk (2002) from the library last Saturday; haven't had time to listen to it enough, but so far I like it far more than I'd expected. It seems far more pop than I remember her being (I used to cringe when people played her for me); is this because she's moved closer to pop, or because pop moved closer to her? I've not been taking in the lyrics, not because I've been avoiding them, just because she's been in the background and they haven't broken through. In any event, there are songs on here that aren't so different from the opening to "Rush," though unlike Aly & AJ she doesn't take them through to the teenrush of a wailing chorus.

So are the girlpoppers effecting a change in my taste?

I mean, Tori Amos???

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Saturday, 22 April 2006 03:17 (eleven years ago) Permalink

is this because she's moved closer to pop, or because pop moved closer to her?

I imagine it's both...a friend of mine made this same observation a week or so ago. She doesn't listen to the radio and dislikes most teen pop, and she thought that Tori Amos was going more "mainstream" in her some of her later albums (I wouldn't know, never really listened to Tori Amos all that much). I forget which album we were listening to. But then how many teen poppers cite Tori Amos as a major influence? Is the ratio the same as a high school drama dept's worth of aspiring singers?

nameom (nameom), Saturday, 22 April 2006 03:35 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Scarlet's Walk isn't necessarily more pop than Tori's other stuff, but it's certainly less idiosyncratic and more deliberately pleasant. I sort of think of it as her attempt to make a classic rock road album, like she'd been listening to some Fleetwood Mac and Joni Mitchell and maybe some early Elton John while she was out on the road, and just really enjoyed the sense of comfort the music exuded. I like it as an album, but not as much as her earlier stuff - that comfort and, um, generally well-shaped classicism of it all comes at the expense of some of her more gonzo-inspired shards of brilliance on earlier albums. There was a discussion on this recently where Jody Beth Rosen had some really good points.

Ashlee et. al. certainly still sound closer her first album Little Earthquakes, which I actually really could imagine sounding quite different after a heavy dose of current confessional teenpop. Some young aspiring girlpopper should definitely cover "Girl" from that album. But more generally I think we might see girlpoppers move toward that territory when they get to the third album stage and wanna "prove themselves creatively". Relevant factoid: Alanis Morrissette claimed in an interview that when she first heard Little Earthquakes she lay on her floor and cried all day.

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Saturday, 22 April 2006 03:38 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Autobiography ends like I Am Me on a relationship that's not working. The song, "Undiscovered," starts:

"Take it back, take it all back now/The things I gave, like the taste of my kiss on your lips/I miss that now."

So by the third line she's taking back the taking back. She misses him. She wants him back. Once again, she's telling a story in abstractions, and once again it feels like a fullbodied story anyway. The chorus goes:

"All the things left undiscovered/Leave me waiting and left to wonder/I need you/Yeah I need you/Don't walk away."

What a profound way to lament a relationship: "All the things left undiscovered."

And then there's the ending, which is a whole new melody, sung in the same slow steps Tim described in "Say Goodbye," but many more - I wish I could convey her singing, the slow emphasis she gives everything, first a steady tread on her husky register:

"'Cause I can't fake/And I can't hate/But it's my heart/That's 'bout to break/You're all I need/I'm on my knees/Watch me bleed/Would you listen please"

Then repetitive little cries as her voice lifts.

"I give in/I breathe out/I want you/There's no doubt/I freak out/I'm left out/Without you/I'm without/I cross out/I can't doubt/I cry out/I reach out/Don't walk away, don't walk away, don't walk away, don't walk away"

A couple of interesting facts about this song: (1) Background vocals are credited to Ashlee Simpson alone; unlike the other tracks, no Kara or John augmenting her. (2) Songwriters are Ashlee Simpson and John Shanks. No Kara.

So, a question I'm kind of posing myself - who or what am I loving when I love Ashlee? - well, this doesn't necessarily eliminate Kara (who's at least as good-looking as Ashlee, and she's only 17 years younger than I rather than 31, and she says on her Myspace page she's single and straight)... This is an artistic creation here, this Ashlee, no matter how few or how many hands are in on it. But still, try and find an equal creation from Kara or John when Ashlee's not in the room.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Saturday, 22 April 2006 04:14 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I do need to point out that the first few times I heard "The taste of my kiss on your lips" it sounded like "the taste of Marcus on your lips." In fact, when I'm not really paying attention, that's how I still hear it.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Saturday, 22 April 2006 04:16 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Doe sthe new Damone single qualify?

I love it to death. It's like the Matrix guys doing Judas Preist with a refreshingly non-breathy girl voice on top.

Grey, Ian (IanBrooklyn), Saturday, 22 April 2006 04:18 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Everything counts, Ian, the poppers and the rockers all interbreeding these days.

Back to "Undiscovered": Good guitar playing from John, too. A gentle drone, a note shifts while the others stay put, but it's insistent, like the song itself.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Saturday, 22 April 2006 04:24 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Tori used to do alll these EPs, frequently weird covers; maybe she finally heard Cat Power do the same thing on albums, and decided to do something straighter for a moment, like Courtney doing Celebrity Skin, or the artsos lightening up in sidetrips, like Postal Service and New Pornographers: "a solo album from myself," as Beck put it. I doubt she's through with her true Calling. Never heard her second, reportedly artier album, Folklore (though seemed to get gen favorable, if unintriguing, reviews, like in Voice), but Nelly F's going back to pop, upping the ante with Timbaland, Pharell Williams, Neptunes, Scott Storch, reggaeton, etc.(I know yall know this, but it cheers me up to write it down.)

don, Saturday, 22 April 2006 05:09 (eleven years ago) Permalink

(Thanks for the explanation and Ani lyric, Tim. I usually like her, and she has some pop appeal she's usually got way down in some other stuff, to lure us in I guess. Did a really good version of "Wishin' And Hopin'.")

don, Saturday, 22 April 2006 05:14 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Has anyone here heard the Furtado?

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Saturday, 22 April 2006 05:14 (eleven years ago) Permalink

(I wrote about Ani's cover of "Wishin' And Hopin'" in the latest issue of Why Music Sucks.)I meant to hitum for a promo; doesn't it come out in May? We probably still could.

don, Saturday, 22 April 2006 05:19 (eleven years ago) Permalink

"(Thanks for the explanation and Ani lyric, Tim. I usually like her, and she has some pop appeal she's usually got way down in some other stuff, to lure us in I guess. Did a really good version of "Wishin' And Hopin'.") "

I actually brought up the Ani lyric partly because I reckon I could make a mean compilation of earlier Ani stuff that would sound like an underproduced version of a lot of stuff here. Back on the covers tip, something like "Anyday" would make a great ballad for a girlpopper (I love this phrase Frank!) to do. In some ways becoming so obsessive about Ashlee has put me back in touch with my partially repressed fem-singer-songwriter adolescence.

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Saturday, 22 April 2006 05:34 (eleven years ago) Permalink

"Love Makes the World Go Round," on the first Ashlee: Another one that I'd not felt at all upon first listen and that then jumped me later on, and now seems quintessentially Ashlee. It's Jimmy Draper's favorite. Another love affair that's not working. There's a great moment, the song being soft and sensitive, and Ashlee singing, "Hold on it's tragic/Stumbling through all this static," and they treat the voice on the word "static" so it fuzzes out of focus, and power guitars roar in. This is feistier, less the lament than "Say Goodbye" or "Undiscovered." The title is equivocally ironic. "I'm the one who's crawling on the ground/When you say love makes the world go round." But then at the end she goes "I say love makes the world go round." I think it means that she's ready to love people other than this guy.

Songwriting credits: Ashlee Simpson and John Shanks. Once again, no Kara.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Saturday, 22 April 2006 05:37 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Frank, with Scarlet's Walk: try listening to "Your Cloud" and Ashlee's "Say Goodbye" back to back.

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Saturday, 22 April 2006 07:52 (eleven years ago) Permalink

here is what i posted a little while back about johanna stahley on the country thread (ps: i am still alive and well, and usually not all that sad, either. before long i'll probably start showing up on this board again more. if nothing else, i'll have more time to post, yikes):

Anyway. Johanna Stahley's *I'm Not Perfect* (she's from NYC, I think) is a better Sheryl Crow album than the last Sheryl Crow album. Sounds more like when Sheryl liked beats, back in her "Leaving Las Vegas" days. First song is called "My Big O (I Can)," and, judging from the album cover photo, may well be about the singer's Big O and the achieving of it thereof. Also, she imitates Steve Tyler in it. Another highlight is the one where Johanna falls for a bartender. And even the songs with sorta dreary words don't sound like they do.
-- xhuxk (xedd...), March 18th, 2006.
What makes Johanna Stanley's CD so boppy, I figured out, is how her bassist and drummer play full-on late '60s bubblegum soul beats in three straight songs in the middle -- "The Bartender Song," "What You're Doing," and "Misery," the latter of which doesn't sound miserable at all. Tapdancey alley-cat rhythm of "I'm Not Perfect" (a Rickie Lee or Norah Jones move?) and George Michael Diddleybeats of "Nothing I Would Change" are nice, too.
-- xhuxk (xedd...), March 18th, 2006.

xhuxk, Saturday, 22 April 2006 12:49 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I like the zany vocals-mixed-hard-right stuff on The Bartender.

Grey, Ian (IanBrooklyn), Saturday, 22 April 2006 20:34 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I want to report at the library today I got the recent Ani DiFranco album, called Knuckle Down, and the Alanis Morissette collection, called The Collection. I hope you all appreciate my dedication to my craft.

(I, however, did not get the Switchfoot. I picked it up, looked at it, but could not make myself take it.)

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Sunday, 23 April 2006 00:27 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I want to report that at the library... (the report wasn't at the library; the CDs were).

I need an editor.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Sunday, 23 April 2006 00:58 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I do appreciate it, but have not heard Knuckle Down, so assume no responsiblity if it makes you puke. (Of course, if you puke and/or post after Track 1, as is your want and/or wont, just keep a-goin'.)Was just now listening to Johana again before I read that, and at first thinking I'd low-rated her later tracks, but now thinking I do still like the arrangements better, though prob exaggerated the amount of multitracked vocals. For those who dig thee vintage teenpop (and with astute speculation on why Sandie never made it in the USA, by my and Frank's and xxhuxx's old mate RRRRiegel): http://www.sandieshaw.com/forum

don, Sunday, 23 April 2006 01:10 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Brie Larson (http://www.myspace.com/brielarsonmusic) answers questions from her fans (this is a longer selection than nameom posted above):

Q: 1. why are you so spectacular? 2. can you buy a private jet and save me from florida? I think the elderly people are coming to get me.

A: 1.) i took classes from lindsay lohan. but they involved drugs and drinking, so I failed. 2.) if I had a hammer, i'd hammer in the morning, i'd hammer in the eve'nin, all over this land.

Q: Are you excited about turning 17 this year?

A: i'm more excited about not turning 16.

Q: Where do you get the inspiration to be a song-writer and by being an artist (design)?

A: i dont get inspiration. I dont really know why I write about certain things, or why I dont write about certain things. I dont really "write" about anything. its all pish posh.

Q: So first of all i would like to ask. will you come to my house and disco with me and my brother in the nude? Secondly. being serious and all. WHEN. and i mean it. are you my dear, going to come to england.

A: I was in England yesterday! didnt you know? I was dressed as ringo star and I yelled things like "NAY NAY NAY"

Q: will you sing happy birthday to me on friday? i'll be 19.

A: happy birthday Mr.president.

Q: Okay. i've got three questions. 1. do you have any pets? If so, what are there and what are their names? 2. Have you ever watched Veronica Mars? If not, you should. 3. Have you ever traveled overseas? if so, whats your fave place you've been and why? p.s. Do you love it?

A: (uno) yes. simon's dawgs. and unicorn. (something) i lost my remote (tres) i was riding on the mayflower, when I thought I spotted some land.

brie!!!!!!!! will you come and chill with captain nicnic in hard rock cafe london and bathe in baked beans? you know you wanna

A: YES YES YES.

Q: what is your fav. sport and why??

A: is that a trick question?

Q: have you ever wondered what your life would be like without the music, the movies, and the fans?

A: yes. and then I remember that I would live the same life.

Q: 1. What is the best Bob Dylan CD? 2. Have you seen Transamerica? 3. Do you think Reese Witherspoon should have got best actress?

A: 1.) my favorite is Highway 61 revisted. but they are all amazing. 2.) nope. 3.) i thought she did win? am i going out of my mind? I saw walk the line the day it came out, at midnight. LOVE IT.

Q: yes, she did win...my question is do you think she deserved it or should someone else have got it. =]

Q: what is ur biggest wish??? :)

A: to be a character at disneyland. mostly Ariel.

Q: if you could live in any decade which decade would you choose?

A: SIMPLE. the 60s. no doubt.

Q: Do you remember going to a school called Pioneer Middle in South Florida to talk about you're movie Hoot (April 3rd)?

A: PIONEER MIDDLE SCHOOL GIVES A HOOT. i hope cookies and cream/salt and pepper have been feed lots of cheetos and crickets.

Q: Where'd you get your networking skills?

A: from many years of working in the netting industry.

Q: Do you want to go see the musical Wicked with me.

A: can I be in the musical?

Q: What event from your life would make the best cartoon scene? Pirates: cool or overrated?

A: once I chased a road runner. i tried to drop an anvil on her head. but it fell on me instead. i think that would work great as a cartoon. the best part was that I was dressed as a coyote! how random right?! right. pirates are overreated. I AM THE WARRIOR.

Q: How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop? Why is the sky blue?

A: those are highly controversial question. mostly ones I cannot answer. but I will say this. "is it safe to say C'mon C'mon? was it right to leave? c'mon c'mon. will I ever learn? c'mon c'mon c'mon c'mon"

Q: you were in my dream. i'm hungry. lets go get pizza.

A: I have a question. I JUST GOT OFF THE PHONE WITH YOU AND NOT ONCE DID YOU MENTION THAT I WAS IN YOUR DREAM. what the frick. that damned lip ring is giving you brain damage.

Q: do you like mooses? that is a weird word. mooses.

A: i once owned a bear that wore a dragon costume, named moose. so. to answer your question. i hope mooses suck.

Q: would you eat a chocolate covered hot dog if someone offered it to you?

A: depends. what kind of dog? i couldnt eat a whole saint bernard. maybe a baby poodle. the white ones. with milk chocolate? that wouldnt be so bad.

Q: What do you think about imaginary teddybears?
-You want one?
-Do you think im crazy, or just a really cool person with an imaginary teddybear called Hans?
Take your time Brie.
Those are some tough questions.

A: --- they make me say "free all night" ---i dont ---well. can you make pancakes? waffles? if the answer is yes. then yes.


Q: i got a job at the gun club pulling traps. it just kind of happened. i dont even know what i'll be doing. AHHHH I'VE NEVER EVEN HELD A GUN IN MY LIFE! but i hear you get good tips...should i stick with it? hahaha this is like an advice column...

A: YES. BECAUSE YOU ARE THE WARRIOR. listen to the following songs, they will be the soundtrack to your life: slippery people by talking heads, warrior by yeah yeah yeahs, knockin' on heavens door by BOB DYLAN and....soldier by destinys child:)

Q: How long does it take you to come up with all the banter you churn out? I mean seriously, it has to be the most random irrelevant stuff I've ever read. I guess though that is the mystery that is Brie Larson....

A: i bought the Do-it-yourself DVD.

Q: is your concert on friday free?

A: well. its 5 invisible dollars. so I guess you could say that.

Q: should my mum let me get my lip pierced?

A: YES. and it should be in the shape of the letter B.

Q: Do You Like Panic! at the disco? and do you think billie joe armstrong is attractive?

A: i would say no, but only because when I hear their music or just their name...I get this sudden urge to break my left arm and stick a fork in my eye? billie joe armstrong is in green day. your answer is right there.

Q: What does celestial mean?

A: read a book. maybe its in there.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Sunday, 23 April 2006 01:36 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I wrote about Yolanda Thomas (as part of a long spiel where I briefly mentioned, uh, other stuff) on the metal thread, but she probably would've made more sense here. here she is:

http://cdbaby.com/cd/yolandat

xhuxk, Sunday, 23 April 2006 01:37 (eleven years ago) Permalink

ok what the heck this is what i wrote about her (though i'll leave out the other stuff):

1. yolanda thomas (another post-divinyls cdbaby aussie hard-living gurl who stops after only *eight* songs and who is almost as good as leanne kingwell in her horniest songs "lock up your sons" and "going down" where she is gone down on and maybe "oh yes", all of which make her two sappier songs about california more bearable).

2. come to think of it, "oh yes" probably has a wee bit too much melissa etheridge in it for its own good, and the gloria-estefan-via-shakira move "perception of deception" is probably more fun. vibratophobes, caveat emptor. but "lock up your sons" and "going down" are truly rockin' and sexy and really crack me up:

xhuxk, Sunday, 23 April 2006 01:40 (eleven years ago) Permalink

uh, getting fired has apparently worked wonders on my counting skills: yolanda thomas's CD has seven songs, not eight. and her l.a. songs aren't really all *that* sappy; i can easily imagine faster pussycat singing "breaking in hollywood." the other one's more sheryl crow.

xhuxk, Sunday, 23 April 2006 02:21 (eleven years ago) Permalink

also from metal thread: a teen-pop band i never heard of before from 30 years ago whose album i bought for $2 in seattle last week (i wrote this before i knew they were teen-pop):

- slik *slik* (1976, on arista records, and totally fucking mysterious. who the hell are these guys? they name one song "the kid's a punk" but at best they only look like punks in the *lords of flatbush*/dion and the belmonts sense, except they're all wearing different baseball jerseys on the cover. and really short greasy hair. you know they're tough guys 'cause the one with the springsteen/deniro/pacino look has a toothpick in his mouth and another one is punching his left palm with his right fist. they cover both "when will i be loved" by the everly brothers and "bom bom" by exuma, the latter of which i'm pretty sure was also covered by the jimmy castor bunch, and they also do a song called "do it again" credited to midge ure, though ultravox didn't put out their first album until 1977 I think. also, there's a song called "dancerama." so maybe they're disco? i have no idea, not yet.)
-- xhuxk (xhux...), April 23rd, 2006.

http://alexgitlin.com/npp/slik.htm

http://www.answers.com/topic/slik

xhuxk, Sunday, 23 April 2006 04:06 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Wow. So Midge Ure was in something good once. I guess when they adopted their lovable nicknames,he took his from the insect, cos the voice is just so high. Whining by again, can't touch it, too thin, just wait til it's gone. (in Ultravox, anyway.)

don, Sunday, 23 April 2006 04:39 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Frank i've only heard Knuckle Down once or twice but it has little if anything to do with teenpop! I was thinking more of some of the stuff Ani was making 10-15 years ago in her early 20s. I could make a comp and send it to you (he says, remembering the pile of CDs he's still supposed to make for various ilxors).

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Sunday, 23 April 2006 07:05 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Slik's 'Forever and Ever' was #1 here in 1976, Frank. Certainly Midge Ure's finest moment, which isn't saying much, but it was a really good single, late glam with some nice bells, and nothing to do with punk which was utterly unknown in the Uk at the time. Also, he wasn't the leader of Ultravox at first - in fact their first album is art-school new wave with John Foxx up front, and is quite good.

Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Sunday, 23 April 2006 08:48 (eleven years ago) Permalink

More about Courtney
Ovular--From Ovary, a femminst replacement for seminary, from Semen.

Watching the video to Mono, which i think is the key to all this, there is a scene, with courtney in a grocery store, being chased by cops and photogs, she stops, lifts her skirts, and has 3 children come out from under, the girls lift their skirts, and there is three more--that set lifts there skirts, and emerge with chain saws...the girls in chain saws ravage the suburbs.

i dont need to do the freudian work for you (the whole video is pretty transparent) but i think that 6 or so years ago, courtney was arguing that she would give birth to a generation of kids who will kill their parents--and one could make the arguement that Ashlee, etc are those kids.

whether courntey would allow that is up for debate ofcourse--but the video is pretty clear on the sticky politics of progeny.

(you can stream it on her site)

anthony easton (anthony), Sunday, 23 April 2006 09:41 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Just to point out to UK Peeps: 'Under The Surface', i.e. The Marit Larsen Album, is now available to buy on iTunes in the UK, and possibly elsewhere.

You can also go to http://www.cdplanet.no, which is a norwegian website but there's a flag on the top left of the page that you can click to view the Webpage in English (the album costs 18.50 in U.S. dollars, but I'll bet there's a significant handling and shipping charge [I didn't check]).

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Sunday, 23 April 2006 22:21 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Not A Pretty Girl was a good Ani album, but maybe a little later(and otherwise less relevant) than the ones you're talking about, Tim??

don, Sunday, 23 April 2006 22:55 (eleven years ago) Permalink

No I think Not A Pretty Girl (I agree her best album) is still relevant, basically that stretch from about 1992 to 1996 was the period where I think she was making music that was most likely to connect with teenagers. I really got into Not A Pretty Girl and Dilate when I was 14.

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Sunday, 23 April 2006 23:10 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Yeah, Martin, I listened to Silk's "Forever and Ever" and I definitely recognize it, definitely heard it before, though who knows where -- maybe on some K-Tel-type compilation of mid '70s British hits? Anyway, it's nice. Very spacey opening. But their version of "Bom Bom" (which Jimmy Castor did indeed also cover) is way better. Who were Exuma, anyway?

Metal Mike Saunders, via email today:

> i haven't even heard the Dhani side(s) (single or anything else) post A-Teens. but during all of year 2005 i had literally BOXES of 3/$1 (especially) and 50 cent and dollar bin vinyl albums 60's/70's (mostly) to dredge thorugh here at home.

i had a small-lightburlb-turns-on moment of clarity the other day...and realized that when you break down the last 30 calendar years into decades as --

1975 - 85
1985 - 95
1995 - 05

then i can cue up a list of "very favorite pop act of each 10 years (decade) of the last 30 years" as a uninterrupted Swedish Pop head of class reign --

ABBA
Roxette
A*Teens

the 1995 Roxette (foreign issue only) singles comp GREATEST HITS / GET TO THE CHORUS is just unbelievable....i have to pick up a used CD of it on Ebay. i stumbled across a Korean cassette in a local thrift store lasst year...

I guess that indicates i'll be digging up the post-A*Teens sides in, i dunno, year 2015?

the footage in APA's mtv reality show looked like it was just a Dr Luke thing (the strong single/tune), but you know Max Martin...a million dollars can't get him in front of a camera or an american interviewer. smart guy.

does any fanboard know exactly what Max Martin actually did on Bon Jovi's "It's My Life" mega-hit comback monster except -- obviously -- completely fix (rerecord) the rhythm track. and either co-write or do similar major fix-it work on the tune? BJ are total dicks about giving (signing over any) outside production credits...bon jon's such a musical genius y'know...like that godawful current fake-o "country" version (for CMT and country radio) of their (current) hack single ("They Say You Can't Go Home")...good lord what an affront to intelligent/clever pop or pop/country music. if i had the funds i'd have Miranda Lambert burn HIS fuckin house down. it's not pretty when pretty boys start getting old and think, "oh, it's time to start cutting country-crossover versions." fuckin' tool. he should roadie for Ashley Parker Angel!

xhuxk, Sunday, 23 April 2006 23:36 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Even as a Shanks fan I can't find much good to say about "They Say You Can't Go Home," but the Martin co-written and Shanks co-produced "Complicated" is the best thing on the album, and it basically is teenpop, even though sung by old Jon (who's younger than I or Metal Mike).

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Monday, 24 April 2006 00:37 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I've listened to the new Pink and guess what? I'm conflicted about it. Neither Shanks nor DioGuardi are on it, but they're an influence. (My feeling is that Martin has been going for a bright version of their style rather than that they're an American-rocked version of his style, though I don't have the music-theory chops to really back up this feeling. They're work covers a wider range, too, for what that's worth.) Anyway, about half of the Pink album - not just the Max-Luke numbers, either - are in the Shanks-DioGuardi and/or Martin-Gottwald style, and hearing Pink's voice fronting that style is a bit weird. I'm not sure she's the right singer for it. I mostly like those songs, and I may like them more once I get used to them. Perhaps. "U + Ur Hand" is a grumpier, duller version of the Veronicas' "4ever." It's so similar that Martin and Gottwald should sue themselves. Same Transylvanian half-step, same layered-on harmony. But it doesn't have the sparkle or bite of "4ever." Maybe if I'd heard it on its own I'd adore it.

(Gottwald could also sue himself over the Veronicas' "Everything I'm Not," which runs very close to Kelly Clarkson's "Behind These Hazel Eyes." But "Everything I'm Not" works fine as a Veronicas track, has a Veronicas character, doesn't seem superfluous in relation to the Kelly.)

My favorite song on the Pink is "I Got Money Now," which in feel if not in lyrics reminds me of "Dear Diary," my favorite Pink track ever. Same low singsong that feels prayerful and sorrowful. Produced and co-written by Mike Elizondo; doesn't sound anywhere near to Shanks or Martin.

All Pink albums are mixed in style and mixed-up in ideas. This is no different. As pure pleasure sound, it's got a lot to like, but it feels less strong in itself than Missundaztood had. Less Pink, for better or worse. Or so it seems so far.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Monday, 24 April 2006 00:42 (eleven years ago) Permalink

The writing credits on "It's My Life" are "Bon Jovi, Martin, Sambora." I don't have Crush, but a quick spin through Google seems to indicate that the entire album is credited as produced by Luke Ebbin, Jon Bon Jovi, and Richie Sambora, with Max Martin listed as co-producer on "It's My Life." I don't see where Sambora or Bon Jovi are trying to shut Martin out of the credits.

Last year, when I first tried to describe "Since U Been Gone" to Chuck - I don't think I'd known yet it was a Maratone production - I told him that it was "Max Martin–style Bon Jovi, like "It's My Life."

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Monday, 24 April 2006 12:53 (eleven years ago) Permalink

more metal mike saunders via email:

>oh, i definitely had "Just Want You To Know" at either #2 or #3 on my 2006 Village Voice singles ballot...depending on whether Crazy Frog was #3 or #2. no way i was going to let the Year Of The Frog slip by without it going at least Top 3.

same D-Luke #1 as half of the known pop world, Behind These Hazel Eyes.

can't remember what the hell else i liked in 2006 on singles...a couple of the hilary duff singles...i think i had to scrape and throw Miranda Lambert and Hope Partlow in just to fill it up. no way would they be Top 10 for me in a strong pop year. OH -- greenday's "Holiday" since it was a great rock song w/good protest-lyric and the old 1994 gd giant-wall of-guitars billion seller production style. my least favorite GD producton style (even compared to the $500 budget debut album 1990) but what the hell. bill has always been the lennon/mccartney surrogate of our era so ya know the guy has realllly worked hard being Angus, Johnny Ramone, AND a sorta cut rate Brian Wilson of guitar rock (as in, songwriting career arc although he probably thinks of it more like a Kinks thing from what the locals tell me), all at the same time soo. still not as good a tune as Crazy Frog though.

=#4= well - with the VV music section apparently kaput to hell, i figure serious rock writers will start doing what i've been the last couple years....randomly posting their serious "rock crit thoughts" into other music fans' myspace.com Comments columns a couple times a week, by random number table method. i mostly have to just deal with the 100-200 "add me" requests (per week), and answering endless random questions (from moronic to generic to record-collector-arcane) in the In Box mail...but yea, a couple times a week something pops out that's more than just the usual swapping-of-one-sentence-smartass-comments (between the same Comment boxes). here's a couple from this past (weekend) as example...(check the comments side)...yea...pretty deep stuff ha ha hahaha ha. hey, what the hell, "underground" was a pretty cool idea for about 20 seconds back in fall 1967. -- anyway here's the lay of the land for us rock "critics" year 2006...this is what's left, guys --

http://www.myspace.com/killyridols69
http://www.myspace.com/guttergauntgangster
oh and this guy (musician) i know in LA who made such a dumbass comment into my page's recent "heavy metal" blog/journal post that i had to lecture him for about a half hour in print, or at least eight entire column inches of space ----
http://www.myspace.com/gainsbarre

yep...."rock criticism" as memo-pad notes ha ha. would the scholars call that "post-modern reductionism?"

imagine if the Beatles had had a "myspace" back in Dec 1960 when they'd just got back from the first Hamburg trip (the utter fluky providence of its having happened at all in the first place being the happenstance (musically) that completely set the fuse for pop music getting completely turned on its head when the Beatles nuked the whole UK music scene with "Please Please Me" in jan 1963)...yea...that've been cool. imagine archived-forever comments from all the german hookers and neer-do-wells the Beats had hung with (beyond the obvious Astrid and Klaus fashion crew).... someday poor biographers will have to troll through 10's (literally) of thousands of comments on some unknown (now) band's page that winds up (later) being a 5xPlatinum band in year 2009....

yea, me and two other Skye fans from the "punk band" world (drummer Clay from well known band Clorox Girls in Portland one of them, and frontman Johnny Jewel from Denver, now Portland the other ) were among the first 100 names noticing/asking for "adds" onto Skye's page when it went up its first month ages ago! and yea we left a goodly handful apiece of funny comments into the photos over the 6 months before the page became (now) pretty sprawling. (and most old photos disappeared eventually). if you ever send out a cheap xmas or birthday donation to bubblebrainy's Bolton PO Box, she enjoys getting things in pizza boxes. (she is still big on hello kitty or barbie related thrift store togs, and oh yeah, music).

i still stick to the idea of Skyster being an "inverted Lou Reed" (60's) for our time... your perfectly self-conceived "cult artist" and musical-contrarian (per rules) who is also capable of writing a giant hit song. at least if you consider "Sweet Jane" to be a pop hit in some universe if, like Elektra and "Light My Fire," some label guy had taken a razor blame and sliced the damn thing into tidier shape (and had had competitive production values, say on a 1970 Badfinger level).

i wonder if she'll ever write a song about...um...being a Canadian. hey y'know, i recall "American Woman" was a pretty good sized hit as canuck-perspective comment. so it's been done at least a couple times before.

xhuxk, Monday, 24 April 2006 15:30 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I'll say it -- the new Pink album is disappointing. Lyrics are weak to lame, melodies aren't there, and it just sounds like she's becoming a parody of herself.

I'm a huge Roxette fan. I like Joyride better than Look Sharp, but "The Look" (on the latter) is razor sharp and so so sexy. But those are the only two albums I'm familiar with. Is it worth getting the Get To The Chorus thing? Marie Fredriksson had brain surgery a few years back, but I believe she's in the clear. Always loved her androgynous fashion sense.

Je4nn3 ƒur¥ (Je4nne Fury), Monday, 24 April 2006 15:37 (eleven years ago) Permalink

i definitely had "Just Want You To Know" at either #2 or #3 on my 2006 Village Voice singles ballot...

This single is so underrated, it's at least as good as "Since U Been Gone".

The Mercury Krueger (Ex Leon), Monday, 24 April 2006 15:48 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I love all the Backstreet Boys singles from the new album, probably "Incomplete" is the weakest of the three so far.

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Monday, 24 April 2006 20:59 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Dr. Luke/Max Martin-produced Ashley Parker Angel single "Let U Go" is good, sped-up harder rock version of the BSB "Just Want You to Know"/Kelly C/Veronicas formula. Metal Mike Saunders mentioned it upthread and also talked about a recent TRL appearance:

"yea, the Ashley Parker Angel reality show had two illuminating short segments...the one where LZ-boy-couch snoozers the Matrix were hacking out a pay-us-then-we'll-write-once-the-check-clears paint by numbers hack song...and then the near-awesome Dr. Luke in action as a contrast. O-town Ash did the Dr. Luke song/single with a live band on TRL tuesday and whoa, it rocked like fuckall. (low-tech band with no unified look, young-ish guys like him and no other pretty boys...one guitarist was a short runt with a goofball mohawk). as "cool song, better live than the record" moments go it was a pretty sublime moment of pop crossing into rock."

nameom (nameom), Monday, 24 April 2006 21:28 (eleven years ago) Permalink

so far, give or take the exuma cover, my favorite song on the slick LP i bought is "the kid's a punk," which STOMPS, at least like the sweet or the bay city rollers if not quite slade, plus i like that you can't tell whether "punk" is an insult. what you can tell is that the band considers it a synonym with "a loser" and "a bum, where he comes from nobody knows" and "a head-shakin', heart-breakin hobo." (see also: *school punks,* brownsville station.)

xhuxk, Monday, 24 April 2006 22:31 (eleven years ago) Permalink

And Frank, here is what I wrote about Switchfoot on Rolling Country 2005 last year:

"So, in the random 5-CD changer this morning..., Whenever I thought I was hearing a Reckless Kelly track really jump out at me, turned out it was by Switchfoot, who are not remotely country, as far as I can tell, but somehow *feel* country to me; I could actually imagine hearing them on CMT, though really their album is either the best Nickelback album ever or the best U2 album I've heard since *Under a Blood Red Sky.* Probably the latter. So I dunno where the country *feel* of it is coming from - some distant root in Irish folk melodies via U2 maybe? I dunno.."

xhuxk, Monday, 24 April 2006 22:48 (eleven years ago) Permalink

My favorite songs on Switchfoot's *Nothing is Sound* wound up being "Politicians" and "Daisy," then "Lonely Nation" and "The Blues" and "We Are One Tonight." (Not sure why.)

Upthread (circa March 27) I talked about Kaci Brown, who wanted to be a country singer but was signed by Interscope who wouldn't let her be one and put her on the road with the Backstreet Boys instead. Anyway, I wound up liking her 2005 *Instigator* album way more than I expected to. It's post-Destiny's/Britney/etc teenpop r&b with lots of non-word syl;ables from Kaci's mouth and an extraordinary amount of dub space in David Sonenberg and William Derella's production; Best track is probably "Body Language," which does the middle-eastern/bhangra thing and adds rock guitar and where Kaci lists all the languages she doesn't speak. Then probably "Instigator" (where she'll steal your boyfiend and the waiter too), "Cadillac Hotel" (Nelly Furtado-style reggae that somehow reminds me of the Tamlins' version of "Baltimore" by Randy Newman, maybe because it mentions seagulls), and "My Baby" (Teddy's-jam new jack swinging elecrofunk rhythm workout). Third tier I guess "The Waltz" (which I may well be underrating - slow simmer seduction brought to a boil, and literally turning into classical waltz music at the end), "SOS" (pretty dub pop for being stranded on the desert island in the lyrics), "Like Em Like That" (la la la la la la la). Worth seeking out - -when I bought my $2 copy in Princeton, it was one of a few there.

Also great on that '76 Slick LP (now playing in the background): "Dancerama," funked-up pop disco segueing out of "Bom Bom"'s great post-Santana proto-worldbeat disco metal.

xhuxk, Monday, 24 April 2006 23:04 (eleven years ago) Permalink

also, I wrote this two months ago on the metal thread, but given how the two threads are evolving it would've made more sense here. also, i've decided i like the album's brill building gone '80s AOR (a la amy grant) sound a lot. Tunes galore are starting to sink in:

http://cdbaby.com/cd/staceyevans

stacey evans, *a slender thread*, cdbaby californina pop-metal singer-songwriter rock; i definitely like some of it (especially "rollercoaster", absolute glam-metal roxette with a chorus about how a guy's moving too fast for her), and i kind of like the guitar sound (chunky and even sometimes boogiefied -- "a slender thread", which has a cabaret croon melody possibly ripped from "creep" by radiohead, ends with a pretty nifty guitar solo -- but often bordering on early psychedelic pop-rock, like i dunno, the beatles maybe?), and i like the europop undercurrent (e.g. vixen via abba in "letting them keep you") that courses through a lot of this. but soemething about the whole thing still screams "sincere and confessional folkie", which makes me wary. her voice is fine, i guess -- not as sandpaper as alanis or melissa etheridge, tougher than sheryl crow i guess but *probably* with less personality than at least two of those three, i'm not sure yet; maybe the personality will kick in later. plus the songs tend to get lost a lot, at least on first listen (maybe they'll kick in later too), and outwear their welcomes: best song is the shortest, and at 3:50 it's not that short. "machine" seems to want to sound like a machine, keeps going into these electro-rock parts and a robotic riff that reminds me of sly fox's "let's go all the way" of all things, but its melody is like "i am woman" crossed with benatar's "invincible" (maybe just because she keeps saying "invincible"?) crossed with some (i think) '80s new wave classic i can't put my finger on. last couple tracks seem to probably be the trippiest, but the trippiness is always balanced with commercial pop, which is a good thing. named as influences on her cdbaby page: bee gees, abba, fleetwood mac, eagles, def leppard, journey, electric light orchestra, olivia newton-john, ann wilson, karen carpenter. so, i dunno. i get the idea there might be interesting stuff going on here, but i need more time with it.

(she apparently has plenty of super-pro sidemen in her band - guys who work with elton john, rod stewart, and ray manzarek, for instance)
-- xhuxk (xedd...), February 24th, 2006.

xhuxk, Monday, 24 April 2006 23:34 (eleven years ago) Permalink

more emailed metal mike (caution: he's on a roll, this may continue for a while. it's happened before):

..i must've punched up /sampled the Bratzs lp tracks back at a job where the music player functions were working (on the work PC). they were in a style that's instant "tune-out" for me...low-quotient on hooks, fake rock guitars...feh.

the GREAT "club mix" with thumping drum machine and honking-euroKeyboards of "who let the dogs out" is on several different CD-singles (of that, and the next single's tune Cd-maxi also)...the club mix stands the test of time. the "album mix" that was on the top 40 radio (and Disney, who dropped the club mix plays within 6 months) was always useless...and later, seriously annoying.

ahh...way back when, i checked out (the entire songs) the whole Huckapoo repertoire (maybe 12 whole tunes) that was on their original www.com setup. didn't rate a single tune outside of the great one (from the scrapped major label pop-Nashville project, as i sleuthed in the review) that was on Pixel Perfect. but...this sounds like a different assortment (with some different tunes included)...hell yeah, i'll swap or pay a solid $2.79 plus post for any kind of CD-R thrown into a 6x9 envelope in any kind of crap small case...i always have tonnage of clean cute brand new cases, cd-single and fullsize album size both. though the Huckapoo track record was a miserable 1 for Everything back when. VERY curious to know who the leader singer on (the Pixel Perfect track was), and if they have any lead vocals on the CD-R's tunes.


< (dave) "...kind of like...stalking a 17 year old..." >

well, it's real different if you're a muso (recorded bandleader/writer) like me. me throwing picture-comments at say, Skye's page (back in its first six months, jeez, 2004?), is like Howlin' Wolf giving white teen bluesboys unsolicited advice back in 1967. (when i was a 15 year ol