Ashlee Simpson: Emo or Oh no?

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i just like the title, but seriously, i had this argument last night. Is she emo? or just self absorbed? or have i answered my own question?

Jackson, Wednesday, 29 September 2004 21:59 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

as emo as avril lavinge is punk

Professor Challenger (ex machina), Wednesday, 29 September 2004 22:07 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I'm no Emo fan, but it strikes me that she's about as Emo as the Oak Ridge Boys.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Wednesday, 29 September 2004 22:21 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

but come on, its a "punk" thing to go against the whole britney image like avirl did...


and if you call it marketing ill have to remind you that the sex pistols were nothing more than marketing for a fashion botique


Jackson, Wednesday, 29 September 2004 22:21 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

but come on, its a "punk" thing to go against the whole britney image like avirl did...

Riddle me this, Batman. Apart from maybe wearing the odd punky t-shirt and a pair of Chuck Taylors (as if those trappings mean anything anymore), how exactly is her slickly produced, candy-colored pop ANY DIFFERENT AT ALL from that of Brtiney et al.?


Alex in NYC (vassifer), Wednesday, 29 September 2004 22:25 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Ashlee simpson complains about her family, has a confessional aesthetic (Autobiography, anyone?), shes even dyed her hair black

i know emo when i see it

and as for avril, her approach to sex is different, lyrically she's much different, regardless of her immaturity.

Jackson, Wednesday, 29 September 2004 22:29 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

i know emo when i see it

But not when you hear it, obviously.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Wednesday, 29 September 2004 22:30 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Riddle me this, Batman. Apart from maybe wearing the odd punky t-shirt and a pair of Chuck Taylors (as if those trappings mean anything anymore), how exactly is her slickly produced, candy-colored pop ANY DIFFERENT AT ALL from that of Brtiney et al.?

Better ballads, obviously.

edward o (edwardo), Wednesday, 29 September 2004 22:31 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

she is on myspace!

Professor Challenger (ex machina), Wednesday, 29 September 2004 22:32 (fourteen years ago) Permalink


ok ok, so simpson could never write a braid song, or even a taking back sunday song for that matter. I think my point has more to do with her aesthetic, i guess.

Jackson, Wednesday, 29 September 2004 22:35 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I think my point has more to do with her aesthetic, i guess.

Blame/credit her stylist, then.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Wednesday, 29 September 2004 22:51 (fourteen years ago) Permalink


but its not always the stylist. take britney for example, it was her idea to have the naughty school girl video for her first single, the record company wanted to do an animated video.

lets face it, these girls are conceptual artists.

(bracing for the hit thats soon to come)

Jackson, Wednesday, 29 September 2004 22:55 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

ok ok, so simpson could never write a braid song, or even a taking back sunday song for that matter.

I know you like her and all, but you don't have to deify her.

David Allen (David Allen), Wednesday, 29 September 2004 23:00 (fourteen years ago) Permalink


Its not an insult, its just fact, im assuming shes not THAT much of a musician that she will eventually write all the music herself


avril on the other hand..... ;-)

Jackson, Wednesday, 29 September 2004 23:03 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

shes not THAT much of a musician

Understatement.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Wednesday, 29 September 2004 23:07 (fourteen years ago) Permalink


sigh, i dunno, maybe im wrong, reading too much into her

Jackson, Wednesday, 29 September 2004 23:08 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Let me restate: What you said of her (she'll never write a Braid of Taking Back Sunday song) was the biggest compliment you can give to any artist ever.

David Allen (David Allen), Wednesday, 29 September 2004 23:11 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

come on, Frame and Canvas is a great cd, and the new taking back sunday is so much better than anything NuMetal ever did

Jackson, Wednesday, 29 September 2004 23:14 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

how is she any less valid (as an artist, of course) in comparison to modern hipster rock bands? neither are doing anything artistically important and both rely on fashion as their only point of (tiresome)interest? riddle me that, batman!
(anyone who says "meaningful lyrics" will be shot immediately)

the riddler, Thursday, 30 September 2004 14:32 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Oh come off it. She's crappy, prefabricated cheese-whiz and YOU KNOW IT.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Thursday, 30 September 2004 14:45 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

one year passes...
REVIVE. Because her new album is QUITE decent. You know how "Cool" by Gwen Stefani is really good but also kind of crap at the same time? "Dancing Alone" off teh new Ashlee is like that, except not crap at all.

And, though nobody except Xhuxk will know what I mean, track 2 is a dead sound-alike for Artificial Joy Club's "Skywriting".

edward o (edwardo), Friday, 21 October 2005 06:54 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Nothing on it as gloriously globe-straddlingly, wantonly stupid as "La La", unfortunately.

edward o (edwardo), Friday, 21 October 2005 06:56 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I remember Artificial Joy Club! I remember seeing the video for "Sick & Beautiful" on 120 minutes way back when.

Michael F Gill (Michael F Gill), Friday, 21 October 2005 07:24 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I still have the Artificial Joy Club CD (and not in storage, either!) It is great! But the new Ashlee album is even better! Here is what I posted on the 2005 country thread yesterday, but I'm reposting it here since (1) Ashlee fans and/or enemies may not likely look at that thread and (2) Ashlee doesn't have much to do with country, I guess:

---

By the way (not sure when this turned into the rolling post-teen-pop thread, but what the hell), I am i am playing the new Ashlee Simpson CD now and it is GREAT. First song and single, "Boyfriend," is now officially my favorite Franz Ferdinand song ever. No kidding, that's who its music sounds like, except with a really good singer for a change. Other parts, I'm thinking Stevie Nicks and Courtney Love a LOT, but also, like, "Broken English" by Marianne Faithful, or, well, what was that sleazy Deborah Allen rock-disco song in the '80s? Wow.
-- xhuxk (xedd...), October 20th, 2005.


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Her music rocks the disco like Stevie's '80s solo stuff never did, I think, but like I always *wanted* it to. And she has more dance in her music than Courtney ever did, obviously. I am blown away.
-- xhuxk (xedd...), October 20th, 2005.


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I mean, shit - Kim Carnes, Bonnie Tyler...I'm 95 percent sure that none of them ever made an album anywhere NEAR this good. I don't want to jinx it or anything, but this could end up being my album of the year. Just about every track ROCKS, and the ballads really seem to kick, too. (Weird, I saw Ashlee on SNL a couple weeks ago and that mature pseudo-classy whine weep tune she did bored me to tears; I did not have high hopes for this album at all.) (And by the way, Deborah Allen's biggest hits were COUNTRY hits, and Trick Pony covered "It's a Heartache" this year, so Ashlee can count as country if you want.)
Deborah Allen still looks pretty sleazy by the way:

http://www.deborahallen.com/

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


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Hardest rocking Ashlee track MIGHT be "Coming Back For More," or might not. But the only one that turns into Led Zeppelin's "Trampled Under Foot" at the end, as far as I can tell so far, is "L.O.V.E."
xp

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

xhuxk, Friday, 21 October 2005 12:09 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

oops, left out these:

Also, "Catch Me When I Fall" reminds me "Cold Chills" by Kix, for some reason (the melody and open spaces and cold chilliness of it, probably). And "Burnin Up" reminds me of "Burning Up" by Madonna (the new wave evolved into rock-disco burning-uppishness of it, probably.) And the title track "I Am Me", while definitely not the hardest rocking track, is probably the most blatantly Courtney-grungey one.
xp

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


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By the way, what I really meant to say about Ashlee's ballads isn't so much that they "kick" (which is not to say that they don't), but that there's generally a really visceral lushness and throb to them; they aren't just shrinking violets wilting behind the rock woodwork.

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

xhuxk, Friday, 21 October 2005 12:12 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

The country thread is an odd place for such a thing, but yeah. The "Skywriting"/"In Another Life" sounds absolutely blatant to me, do you actually hear it, xhuxk or am I speaking crap?

edward o (edwardo), Friday, 21 October 2005 12:17 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

No, I think the comparison totally makes sense! (As for the country threadishness, it kind of came out of a long running Shooter Jennings --> John Cougar ---> Hope Partlow ----> Brie Larsen ----> Ashlee series of tangents. David Banner gets talked about on that thread too! It is my favorite ILM thread of the year, no contest.)

xhuxk, Friday, 21 October 2005 13:31 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

She shold be beheaded on television.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Friday, 21 October 2005 16:09 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Wow, talk about throwing a body in front of a moving train

Joseph McCombs (Joseph McCombs), Saturday, 22 October 2005 05:14 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Damn, she is still hotter than her sister. That emo/punk look is way hot!


http://www.zone1061.com/pictures/wallpapers/ashlee800.jpg

Tickly Me Elmer, Saturday, 22 October 2005 09:02 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

If boobs were money, she'd be a very wealthy young lady. Oh wait, they are and she is.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Saturday, 22 October 2005 17:06 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I'm not sold on "Boyfriend" - the Franz Ferdinand-y backing band, the Donnas-y vocals. I liked her better in the Natalie Imbruglia days ("Pieces of Me"). Maybe I should give the rest of the tracks a chance.

Are You Nomar? (miloaukerman), Saturday, 22 October 2005 19:57 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

That picture veers very close to Blatant Nipslip territory.

Curt1s St3ph3ns, Saturday, 22 October 2005 20:24 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Also from the country thread:

The Deborah Allen disco hit was... don't remember the title, actually (I'm too lazy to dig out my old Swellsvilles and find out), but it's the one with the lyric that Leslie deliberately misheard as "I know you like the back of my hand," in order to project some s&m content onto Deborah's burnt-voiced passion.
-- Frank Kogan (edcasua...), October 20th, 2005. (Frank Kogan)

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Sunday, 23 October 2005 00:52 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

No one is disturbed by the fact that in that picture Ashlee is five fingers deep in the funhouse? She's like, wrist-deep in a Georgia O'Keeffe. (You guys, I just made the best rhyme ever!)

Je4nn3 ƒur¥ (Je4nne Fury), Sunday, 23 October 2005 01:43 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

*clap*

Jimmy Mod wants you to tighten the strings on your corset (The Famous Jimmy Mod), Sunday, 23 October 2005 01:44 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

So, maybe inevitably after my initial burst of happiness at noticing how good it is, Ashlee's album is now slipping down my potential Pazz and Jop list and may slip off the list altogether - though partly that's just because I've been replaying stuff like Fannypack and MIA and Mannie Fresh and Hold Steady and Living Things this week I hadn't pulled out in a while and I've been realizing they're better than my memory was letting me think. Anyway, if I vote for it, I'll most likely just give it 5 or 6 points (unless it picks up steam again, which could happen); we'll see. Still a really strong album, though. And the new single, "L.O.V.E.," besides ending like Zep, also starts out like "Dream On" like Aerosmith (and hence also like "Don't Close Your Eyes" by Kix, "No Speak" by No Doubt, and um, some Supertramp song - "Take the Long Way Home" I guess? Whatever.) Also I for sure prefer Ashlee's album to Gwen Stefani's, even though pretty much every review I've read claims Ashlee is ripping Gwen off. I don't get that. Ashlee's a way more passionate singer, for one thing. (And I *like* Gwen; I have nothing against her. Her solo album is good.)

xhuxk, Friday, 4 November 2005 14:38 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

DON'T Speak. No Close Your Eyes. Take the Dream Way Home. Whatever.

xhuxk, Friday, 4 November 2005 14:57 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

DULL DULL DULL, like most of the other women vocalists out there. she is so pretend that it is actually torture to hear people speak of her favorably. a toy for over 20 something pedophiles in the waiting. take her and that osbourne daughter bitch and drown them in a fucking river.

HPrimeau, Friday, 4 November 2005 15:13 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Actually, between "L.O.V.E." and "Catch Me When I Fall," "Dream On"/"Don't Close Your Eyes" seems to be a bit of a recurring melodic motif on the CD (which I'm playing now, and is sounding great again. Maybe better than Mannie Fresh and/or Living Things? We'll see.)

xhuxk, Friday, 4 November 2005 15:27 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Wait, anyone over 20 is who wants a go at this bird is a paedophile? That doesn't make sense! She's like... 19?

Alex in Novosibirsk (ex machina), Friday, 4 November 2005 15:32 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Yeah, I was wondering about that, too.

Weirdest (probably misheard) album on the album so far: "Do you know how it feels to be a rape, lyng there frozen, with my eyes wide open?"

Not sure what else that word could be: "Erased"?? That's weird, too!

xhuxk, Friday, 4 November 2005 15:34 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

She's 21!

Dan (Thank You, Us Weekly) Perry (Dan Perry), Friday, 4 November 2005 15:35 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Pervert.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Friday, 4 November 2005 15:38 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

And she knows how to have a good time at the Mickey D's!

monkeybutler, Friday, 4 November 2005 16:26 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

In her defense, I'm surprised the tedium of being trapped in Toronto hasn't caused that to happen more often.

Vic Funk, Friday, 4 November 2005 17:35 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

the word is "afraid," chuck. I found it by typing "ashlee simpson lying there frozen lyrics" into google.

'Twan (miccio), Friday, 4 November 2005 17:37 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

i think that video makes me love her more (the whole drunk in McDonalds thing)

JD from CDepot, Friday, 4 November 2005 17:46 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Wait, anyone over 20 is who wants a go at this bird is a paedophile? That doesn't make sense! She's like... 19?
-- Alex in Novosibirsk (dr_...), November 4th, 2005 9:32 AM. (ex machina) (later) (link)

Why is Jon saying "bird" and "paedophile"? I thought he lived in BUSHWICK.

jaymc (jaymc), Friday, 4 November 2005 17:55 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I'd say Calum but there's a mirror in the room.

'Twan (miccio), Friday, 4 November 2005 18:04 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Ha ha, I am playing the reissue of D.O.A.'s *War on 45* now. I forgot how good it is. ASHLEE MAY BE PUNK BUT SHE IS DEFINITELY NOT OI!!!!

xhuxk, Friday, 18 November 2005 15:12 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Having reread some of Frank's earlier posts, and seen that his Ashlee==punk claims are far more measured than the reaction to them, I can understand the confusion about my earlier posts. It had seemed to me that Ashlee==punk was being floated as trial balloon, partially to tweak people with a more traditional attitude about what punk is (meaning Ramones, Sex Pistols, etc.). This pushed one of my buttons, because it seems to me that when this is done, that is, when a counterintuitive claim is made about an artist's genre, the intent is usually to tweak people with an urban, college educated, mostly liberal mindset (say, Village Voice readers). Or maybe a Rolling Stone magazine mindset. And who knows if I'm even right about that -- I certainly can't even come close to proving it. My guess is that most Rolling Stone readers wouldn't consider Ashee a punk. My point was that tweaking people's preconceptions is an important thing to do, so it would be a shame if the tweaking hardened into a predictable, knee-jerk, anti-liberal line. Because if the tweaking always comes from one direction, it limits the tweakee's pool of interesting artists to an equal and opposite extent as a Rolling Stone magazine mindset limits its readers. The last thing a counterintuitive proposal should be is predictable. But in retrospect, I was clearly fighting the wrong battle on the wrong thread.

I've got Ashlee on now. Yeah, there are elements of punk, I guess. I little burr in her voice, some attitude. No more or less than, maybe, Pat Benetar, or Nancy Sinatra. One song sounds strangely like the Cardigans. Nice CD.

Sang Freud (jeff_s), Friday, 18 November 2005 15:53 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

i dunno man, most tweakers i know don't like ashlee simpson.

latebloomer (latebloomer), Friday, 18 November 2005 15:55 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I'm 47. I don't know *anyone* who likes Ashlee Simpson. Except myself.

Sang Freud (jeff_s), Friday, 18 November 2005 16:05 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

>it seems to me that..when a counterintuitive claim is made about an artist's genre, the intent is usually to tweak people with an urban, college educated, mostly liberal mindset<

Sang, where exactly do you get this idea? Why wouldn't you just think that the intent is to describe how the music sounds, what it does?

xhuxk, Friday, 18 November 2005 16:14 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

And if you're worried about "a predictable, knee-jerk, anti-liberal line," please realize that a significant number of the people who see punk in Ashlee Simpson on this thread also see punk in Living Things. (Or at least I do. I *think* Frank does. I do know he likes them.) (Actually, "Who's more punk, Ashlee of Living Things?", might be a pretty good question.) (Living Things might be interesting merely by virtue of being 2005 "punk rockers" who ARE actual punks.) (Actually.)

xhuxk, Friday, 18 November 2005 16:21 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I mean Ashlee OR Living Things (whose Commie mom allegedly only let them do protest songs whilst growing up, and she'd send them *The Autobiography of Malcolm X* through the laundry chute, and now they do lots of anti-war songs AND seem to want to search and destroy etc.)

xhuxk, Friday, 18 November 2005 16:25 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

"so does she take it up the ass in jail or what? "

wonderful. like im gonna get any work done today with that image floating around my head.

JD from CDepot, Friday, 18 November 2005 16:33 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Though admittely the "punks = hoods/creeps/assholes" equation might conceivably rule out some liberals. I know dorks who still believe the Clash could never have been punks, since they were more concerned with saving the world than fucking it up. So the only "real" punks are, like, say, Rancid Vat and Antiseen and GG Allin and the Didjits and Skrewdriver or whoever (the first two of whom I actually like) (and the fourth of whom I know very little about, to be honest). I've always thought that claim was full of shit, but I have to admit that calling Montgomery Gentry punks might well open up a similar door. Not sure what the answer is. (Still, MG DO feel punk to me. And Earle doesn't. And Bruce Cockburn, who says if he had a rocket launcher some sonovabitch would die, really doesn't either. But it's not just that he's a lefty; like I said, so are the Clash and Living Things.)xp

xhuxk, Friday, 18 November 2005 16:35 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

>Sang, where exactly do you get this idea? Why wouldn't you just think that the intent is to describe how the music sounds, what it does?

Intent is a tough thing to glean from a piece of writing, so it's more like a feeling, just based on having read lots of stuff in my life. I mean, I *wish* the intent were just to describe how the music sounds. But sometimes statements are made where the intent seems to be to incite, not describe. Like when Frank says up above that Ashlee "and Shanks rock harder than the Gang of Four and Franz Ferdinand, both of which sound like toy bands in comparison," it doesn't really help me understand what Ashlee's music sounds like. Admittedly that could be because I hear Ashlee differently than Frank does, so maybe it's just that his description doesn't connect with me. For instance, to me the Ashlee CD sounds like a lush studio construction, not a band at all, per se. Even when she gets angsty, every hair's still in place. Gang of Four sound positively ferocious by comparison. Certainly there's more money behind Ashlee than Go4, so yeah, the guitars are way fatter and the drums are deeper and the vocals are centered better in the mix. But the sound of Go4 is so completely different from Ashlee’s that the comparison isn’t useful to me on a descriptive level. To say that Frank is trying to “incite” Gang of Four fans with that statement is too strong, and probably baseless. But I think there is an element of that in there, of let’s push that button and have a little bit of fun with this.

Sang Freud (jeff_s), Friday, 18 November 2005 16:35 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I don't think I know who Ashlee Simpson is. Is she one of those people who is very popular in America and not very much known over here?

I imagine that she is very attractive, though who knows.

OK, just scrolled up the thread and saw a picture; yes, of course she is.

the bellefox, Friday, 18 November 2005 16:40 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

i don't see what's at stake in ashers being punk or not punk -- that's what you'd have to explain to the alien. i wouldn't wind the alien up either, you never know.

pinefox -- 'la la' is the one song people (maybe including you?) have heard. it's really, really good.

Theorry Henry (Enrique), Friday, 18 November 2005 16:42 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Whereas calling the Living Things "punk" is uncontroversial, and wouldn't fall into the category of writing that I'm discussing. I'm not saying that people who like to throw out counterintuitive arguments are restricted to only liking one type of music. Just that when they choose bands to tweak people with, that particular set of bands always seems to come from the same place. Or maybe I'm just easily tweaked!

xpost

Sang Freud (jeff_s), Friday, 18 November 2005 16:45 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

No one is disturbed by the fact that in that picture Ashlee is five fingers deep in the funhouse? She's like, wrist-deep in a Georgia O'Keeffe. (You guys, I just made the best rhyme ever!)
-- Je4nn3 ƒur¥ (j...), October 23rd, 2005.


by far the most intelligent thing said on this thread, yet it continues...

JD from CDepot, Friday, 18 November 2005 16:51 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

>that particular set of bands always seems to come from the same place. <

So what "same place" do Ashlee and Montgomery Gentry come from again?(Like, the United States? So do Living Things!) You're stating a tautlogy, I think: "When certain writers define bands as part of genres the bands are usually not associated with, those bands come from genres other than the one they're being newly defined as."

xhuxk, Friday, 18 November 2005 17:28 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

"La La" has one part that works: the chorus. The verses just sound like Pink and the bridge feels like a merely obligatory musical digression.

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Friday, 18 November 2005 17:36 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

>when Frank says up above that Ashlee "and Shanks rock harder than the Gang of Four and Franz Ferdinand, both of which sound like toy bands in comparison," it doesn't really help me understand what Ashlee's music sounds like<

Only if it out of context, and leave out:

>the clipped-short guitar crunch style from that very same song, and when it's not the Clash it's the Specials and Gang of Four (and Franz Ferdinand, for that matter) for Shanks' snapping-twig guitar riff that runs throughout the verse. And I think Shanks plays it more effectively than G of 4 or Franz Ferdinand, both of whose guitar work I like a lot. <

Frank was describing how the record *sounds,* Sang.

xhuxk, Friday, 18 November 2005 17:47 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Only if you TAKE IT out of the context.

(None of which to say that writers can't describe and incite at the same time. Nor that they shouldn't. Hell, inciting is punk rock too. {And right, it's the oldest cliche on earth, just like punk rock is.} But sorry, "that's not the way I hear it, therefore this guy must be trying to pull a fast one over on me" really doesn't hold much water.)

xhuxk, Friday, 18 November 2005 17:52 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

>So what "same place" do Ashlee and Montgomery Gentry come from again?(Like, the United States? So do Living Things!) You're stating a tautlogy, I think: "When certain writers define bands as part of genres the bands are usually not associated with, those bands come from genres other than the one they're being newly defined as."

I'm a hair's breadth from waving the white flag. What I think I'm saying, though, is "When certain writers define bands as part of genres the bands are usually not associated with, those bands come from genres they feel are likely to get a rise out of coastal alternative newspaper readers." I.e. bands whose main audience has a different ideological makeup from the readers, more typically conservative than liberal. As a rule, though I'm sure there are counterexamples aplenty. I agree that Ashlee and MG don't share an audience, but I also suspect there are few readers of the Voice music section who cheerlead for either one, and that that has something to do with their ideology.

But you've made a lot of good points, and I don't feel strongly enough about my argument anymore to argue it vehemently. In any event, the wife and I will be soon be making the long drive up to Hartford CT to check out the Gretchen Wilson / Big$Rich show, so I must be signing off now. Maybe I'll report back on Rolling Country. Hope my directions are good.

Sang Freud (jeff_s), Friday, 18 November 2005 18:22 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

This towering stack of crap defies gravity.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Friday, 18 November 2005 18:32 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

ihttp://b3ta.kamikazestoat.co.uk/jenga.gif

gear (gear), Friday, 18 November 2005 18:36 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

>I will be soon be making the long drive up to Hartford CT to check out the Gretchen Wilson / Big$Rich show<

Have fun! Drive safely! I hope it doesn't snow! (And by the way, you might want to note that Frank's Big & Rich piece in the Voice this week was basically about how they are pretty much the LEAST punk thing ever. Not sure how that might fit with your thesis or not....)

xhuxk, Friday, 18 November 2005 22:38 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

"A pox on both your houses!"

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Saturday, 19 November 2005 22:46 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...
Well, Thanksgiving intervened, then the servers seemed to be erratic or down whenever I visited the UConn Library, then I came back here (Denver) and had other things to deal with, hence didn't get to read or think about your replies.

pauline kael, j.d. salinger, james thurber = more punk than ashlee simpson

I agree with this, actually. And I don't know if I'd call John O'Hara a punk, but he sure put a lot of punks (and punk) into his stories. As for what's wrong with The New Yorker, that's for another thread and another day.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Monday, 12 December 2005 03:33 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

And of course I'm trying to "incite" - incite thought, incite people to describe what they hear, to communicate their experience, to reflect on where that experience comes from, to display their personalities, etc. etc. etc. That said, I didn't introduce "punk" into this discussion in order to incite. That's because I'm not the one who introduced "punk" into this discussion. The word "punk" appeared right on top of this thread, first response, though in regard to Avril more than Ashlee. (But the word "emo" itself implies a resemblance to punk.) Then, in regard to Ashlee, you get this: "Damn, she is still hotter than her sister. That emo/punk look is way hot!" Then this (really well-written) characterization from Cunga: "A rich valley girl with a Christian youth-group father incorporating the image of a G-rated 'rocker/punk' as a marketing move for the type of MTV viewing teens who might think Green Day is the epitome of dangerous." And Chuck had compared her voice (but note, on just one of the tracks, and this was comparison was embedded in the midst of a whole slew of comparisons to other performers) to Courtney's. (And also notice that two other people got to the Franz Ferdinand comparison before I did.) This isn't to say that I wouldn't have introduced "punk" into the discussion if none of you had - I think it belongs in the discussion, though actually I was surprised when it first came up here.* It was there in this convo not just because some of you guys put it there but because you perceived Ashlee Simpson as putting it there. So we're not discussing "punk" here because one of us decided to throw it in as some sort of shock effect.

Also, at the risk of getting called pompous and preachy again, I'm going to say that a lot of you need to make it a habit to reread posts before your respond to them. E.g., note the following sentence of mine, "I wouldn't call Ashlee a punk, just call her someone who occasionally veers punkward," and also note the phrase "occasional punk moments." And my reason for discussing the garage bands and the Kirshner Brill Building bizzers was to point out that from the get-go a lot of punk arose from such moments and such people. And I can't see why that particular point would even be controversial, though perhaps it's new to some of you. (Can't really tell how you took it, actually. Did you notice it?)

*I finally bought Autobiography several weeks ago, and the title song contains some of the same punkisms/Courtneyisms as "I Am Me" does. So the "punk" in the latter probably isn't just in its effect (on me) but in its deliberately placed signifiers. So I guess we can say that Ashlee herself, and not just Tickley, Cunga, and Natedey, raised the issue of punk. But for the most part there's a whole lot of other stuff going on in the music.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Monday, 12 December 2005 05:38 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Something that's going on in this thread (at least for me) isn't just that some of us have conflicting ideas of what "punk" is, but that each of us has multiple ideas of punk (at least I do, Chuck does, and I'll bet most or all of you do too), and some of those ideas conflict with each other as well. That was one of my reasons for throwing in the MG creeps/bullies line, to create dissonance in my own argument.

When I first read the phrase "punk rock," I knew intuitively what it meant. It meant the malicious laugh in the midst of Syndicate of Sound's "Little Girl." It meant the snidely obnoxious way Rudy Martinez said "You're gonna cry" in ? and the Mysterians "96 Tears" - made "cry" sound sick, loathsome. It meant kids who terrorized other kids in junior high school hallways, those years when such songs were on the radio. I remember when a couple of kids in my school picked a fight with each other and then made rules about the fight - no kicking, no punching, no hitting in the face - so they ended up just shoving each other around, across the pavement. A friend of mine and I were there watching, and I said, "This reminds me of that song from last year..." He laughed and finished my sentence for me, "You're pushin' too hard." So that's one punk rock, kids who tried to make themselves feel strong by terrorizing weaker kids and singing hatred of girls, with any old I'll-get-even-with-you song on the radio as soundtrack. It's guys like the Young Rascals, early on, and Mouse & the Traps, who heard "Like A Rolling Stone" and didn't get its adventure and romanticism at all, just heard it as a way to tell some bitch off. Of course, this was all mixed up with straight pop sap (listen to the Troggs' "Love Is All Around"), coolness, and a dance into the unknown - who the fuck knew what was happening, this new world - and remnants of rock 'n' roll bounce and intimations of the really cool psychedelia that none of the punks could master. Anyway, this is how I first understood the phrase "punk rock," when it appeared in the early '70s, and if it meant any modern music it didn't mean the Dolls or Stooges - who were too self-reflective, would turn the gaze and the knife on themselves and on their audience. Might mean "Brownsville Station" or even "Sweet Home Alabama" but not "Search and Destroy" or "Personality Crisis." But then once I realized that "punk rock" was also being used for the Ramones and ilk, then of course it did very much mean those who turned the gaze and knives on themselves - the Dolls and Stooges in retrospect and subsequently the Sex Pistols (and I'd say again in retrospect the Stones and the Velvets and Dylan). And from there it could mean noisy sweethearts like X Ray Spex and the Clash and earnest do-gooders like Sham 69 and on. So that's a whole bunch of different types of punk, and there were many more to come. The most interesting to me were the ones who were mixing it up between "we're just normal guys lashing out at our exes" and "we're tearing everything up big-time" and "we're wearing our broken hearts under our hate" and so on, Electric Eels, Stooges, Dolls, Pistols. In 1978 I was sure that the Clash were the greatest band in the world, but I felt that the Contortions were more punk; I felt that Stevie Nicks' occasional punk moments outpunked the Clash, too, but she was just a normal heartbreak girl lashing out, not part of the Great Tear It Up or of any movement, and Ashlee's "I Am Me" [and little or nothing else by Ashlee] gets to be punk too in the Stevie way, not in the oppositional tear-it-all-up sense nor in the turn-the-knife-gaze-on-yourself-and-those-around but as a normal kid doing her lashout. And I think normal kid doing the lashout and dancing to the lashout is the wellspring for a lot of the other types of punk.

(And as I said above, there's a different and maybe even deeper well-spring, some obnoxious 10-year-old at the back of the schoolbus deliberately annoying the hell out of the driver, the teachers, everybody, including me, by singing "You make me want to la la" over and over and over until you want to scream, and it's not because "La La" is particularly punk - it's not - but because it's annoyingly catchy. And so "La La" is a wellspring not by being punk at all but providing the dance of the inner brat, maybe the real proto-everything-else. Though to be realistic, given what's on the radio, the kid's more likely to pick "Laffy Taffy.")

(When I was ten, and this really happened, the kids - there were two of them - were singing "She loves you yeah yeah yeah" about two million times, and boy was it irritating.)

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Monday, 12 December 2005 07:44 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

By the way Sang Freud, I really appreciate your posts. I also would like to get back to Rick Massimo's posts. He hates Ashlee, but for interesting reasons that he's actually willing to give and that have something to do with Ashlee as I hear her.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Monday, 12 December 2005 07:48 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Might mean "Brownsville Station"

That is, might mean "Smoking in the Boys' Room" by Brownsville Station.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Monday, 12 December 2005 07:56 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Let me spell it out, you all love music, you aren't dumb:

What IS punk about Ashlee Simpson? Nothing.
What IS NOT punk about Ashlee Simpson? Everything.

I mean, come on guys, I know you love to argue, but any part of this girl's image/"music"/success that works well is no thanks to her. It's a team of about 800 ppl. that is contractually obligated to ensure that this disturbingly average talentless shadow of a Texan virgin does not reveal her mediocrity to the world. Besides the boobs. But that was god's decision, really.

scout (scout), Monday, 12 December 2005 08:24 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

goddamn this thread

latebloomer: Deutsch Bag (latebloomer), Monday, 12 December 2005 08:27 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Yes, and those 800ppl are doing a damn fine job. "I Am Me" rocks, really, it does.

edward o (edwardo), Monday, 12 December 2005 08:33 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Speaking of rereading posts, I see that Chuck thinks that Stevie and Courtney style is on the record a lot, so that probably means he hears Courtney in more than one song. I'm really only hearing the Courtney style in "I Am Me" (and in "Autobiography" on the previous alb).

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Monday, 12 December 2005 08:41 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

These "800 ppl" have names, actually, though there seem to be four main ones: Ashlee Simpson, John Shanks, Kara DioGuardi, Jeff Rothschild.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Monday, 12 December 2005 08:46 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I don't hear that much Courtney, maybe a bit on "Eyes Wide Open" too. "Boyfriend", yes, Franz Ferdinand. "In Another Life" definitely Artificial Joy Club. "Beautifully Broken" reminds me of that lovely Nina Gordon record, some of the country-rock numbers on it, anyway. Some of the backing vocal "scatting" on "LOVE" is somewhat Courtney-esque, if she went day-glo guitar pop, anyway.

edward o (edwardo), Monday, 12 December 2005 08:48 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

YES, they do have names... Any of which would make more sense on the cover of those albums.

scout (scout), Monday, 12 December 2005 10:28 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I heard Courtney quite a bit on the first record, too! I mean, Courtney is totally in the ragged grain of Ashlee's voice; Stevie is too, I think, though probably *by way of* Courtney, actually. But "I Am Me," the title track, is easily her *most* Courtney song, both vocally and emotionally. (I said that up above before Frank got here, too: "And the title track 'I Am Me', while definitely not the hardest rocking track, is probably the most blatantly Courtney-grungey one.")

xhuxk, Monday, 12 December 2005 14:31 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

YES, they do have names... Any of which would make more sense on the cover of those albums.

Well, one of those names was on the cover of the album, but certainly I wouldn't say that some of the others aren't also deserving to be there. But that goes against standard practice. Arrangers, producers, songwriters, stylists etc. tend not to get their name in lights. Nelson Riddle didn't make the cover of the Sinatra records, Sam Phillips didn't make the cover of the early Elvis records, Andrew Loog Oldham didn't make the cover of the Stones, Greenwich and Barry didn't make the cover of the Shangri-Las, Holland Dozier Holland didn't make the cover of the Four Tops, etc. etc. etc. But anyway, even if you want to say that "I Am Me" is primarily Shanks and DioGuardi rather than Ashlee Simpson, how does that make it not punk, or not good?

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Monday, 12 December 2005 15:22 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

By the way, if someone wants to say, "But Frank, the kicker to your Voice piece on Ashlee is meant as incitement," I would say, "Yes, you're absolutely right, and I wrote the kicker." I definitely want to provoke people to think about the relationship between their social allegiances and their aesthetic ones. And I think it's completely legitimate for one's social allegiance to intertwine with one's aesthetics. Whether I agree with it or not, someone's saying that Ashlee picked up her punk at the mall can be the germ of real good analysis, as can one's conviction that someone like Ashlee, because of who she is and who her collaborators are, and because of whom they play to, can't make music that can be called punk. But these are only germs of ideas until one elaborates on them, and life gets pretty boring when people refuse to notice counterarguments. If the principle that takes down "I Am Me" also takes down "Steppin' Stone" and "Wild Thing" and "Kicks," don't you have to rethink or abandon the principle?

("Wild Thing," if you're interested, was written by Chip Taylor, who had previously affiliated with Chet Atkins, one of the architects of the Nashville countrypolitan sound (Taylor wrote a song for Bobby Bare, "Just A Little Bit Later On Down The Line"!); after "Wild Thing," Taylor went on to work with James Taylor and to write and produce the country-inflected hit "Angel of the Morning." So, does this make "Wild Thing" unpunk?)

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Monday, 12 December 2005 15:46 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

That is, Chip Taylor produced Merillee Rush's "Angel of the Morning," and Evie Sands' as well. James Taylor didn't record "Angel of the Morning," as far as I know, or "Wild Thing," though Chip Taylor produced some of the early James Taylor work.

I haven't read Lester Bangs' "James Taylor Marked for Death" in quite a while. Does he mention Chip Taylor? Did he know that there was a James Taylor/Troggs connection? A lot of the piece is about the Troggs, and one of the questions it's posing is why the MC5's version of "I Want You" isn't as good as the Troggs', implying that it was now hard for people in the MC5's position to pull off what the Troggs had pulled off a few years earlier.

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Monday, 12 December 2005 15:56 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I felt that Stevie Nicks' occasional punk moments outpunked the Clash,

Oh DO PLEASE give me a break.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Monday, 12 December 2005 15:59 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Maybe I'm the one who said she picked up punk at the mall? If I did, I probably meant that punk is an accessory for her, one of many. It's not central to her persona. Moreover, it seems tacked on as an afterthought. In other words, she doesn't *do* punk particularly well. To her, it's all about sticking out her tongue and prancing around with a microphone. (I'm referring, I guess, to this amusing review from my local rag: http://www.newsday.com/entertainment/music/ny-secsing4531676nov30,0,1207471.story?coll=ny-music-headlines)

I don't think my aesthetics blind me to the fact that punk can come from anywhere. It's certainly present in Wild Thing, though I suspect that there it derives less from the sheet music than from whoever had the idea to have the loud guitars and drums all emphasize every single beat all the time, and of course from the sneering, leering, over-the-top vocals. And from the sheet music too, though the Troggs inhabit the song in a way that Chip Taylor may never have imagined when he wrote it. It's kind of present in Steppin' Stone, though in a much more controlled way. (Think Eddie and the Hot Rods, vice the Troggs' Sex Pistols.) Mickey Dolenz pushes the "anger" button, and out comes "anger," fairly convincingly, but still in quotes. There's nothing about the Troggs song that's in quotes.

I'm not sure that I know where the Troggs or the Monkees are coming from socially. Too far away in time. And it probably doesn't matter. The point here is that while punk is an interesting lens through which to view Wild Thing, and perhaps Steppin' Stone, it doesn't help much in explaining Ashlee. She's the wrong test case for the "Is ****** A Punk?" meme. In Ashlee's case, the more-or-less clear consensus here seems to be, well, "no." It's not that she can't make music that could be called "punk," just that she doesn't. There indeed may be a line tracing through Stevie to Courtney to Ashlee, and that's a more interesting line to pursue than the thin one that might connect Wild Thing to her.

Sang Freud (jeff_s), Monday, 12 December 2005 17:10 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

one month passes...
Alex in NYC is sooo right about....well EVERYTHING!!!
haha and he's funny:D
Ashlee Simpson has no talent except for the successful fake boobs she recieved from a lastic surgeon.
P.S. I LOOOVE The MisFiTs

Alice in Wonderland, Sunday, 15 January 2006 01:29 (twelve years ago) Permalink

plastic**

Alice in Wonderland, Sunday, 15 January 2006 01:30 (twelve years ago) Permalink

why don't you just change your name to Alex in Wonderland

jaxon (jaxon), Sunday, 15 January 2006 19:20 (twelve years ago) Permalink

eight months pass...
Oh how things change. Since the inception of this thread, Ashlee Simpson has gone onto have freakish plastic surgery, abandoned all semblance of her entiretly arguable (see above) "punk" incarnation and is now performing in a "Chicago" in London, playing a stardom-crazed, murderous suck-up wannabe (typecasting?)

Meanwhile, I now work for MTV.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Sunday, 1 October 2006 12:47 (twelve years ago) Permalink

you should try and follow her path, get your own show while you pursue stardom

latebloomer (latebloomer), Sunday, 1 October 2006 13:20 (twelve years ago) Permalink

what did her plastic surgery look like

latebloomer (latebloomer), Sunday, 1 October 2006 13:43 (twelve years ago) Permalink

she doesn't look like randal anymore

maura (maura), Sunday, 1 October 2006 13:48 (twelve years ago) Permalink

eleven years pass...

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