HEY YOU! NOGOODFORME.COM is now found at...NOGOODFORME.COM! You've stumbled upon our old mirror site instead. Please point your browsers to NOGOODFORME.COM instead and update your newsfeed to http://feeds.feedburner.com/nogoodforme/tYOS. Thanks and we shall see you at NOGOODFORME.COM!
Tuesday , December 14, 2010
Heavy Rotation: M.I.A., The Langley Schools Music Project, Billy Joel, The Rolling Stones, The Bee Gees, Julie Ruin
M.I.A., "Tell Me Why"
So yeah, let's just talk for a moment about M.I.A. because it's like the elephant in my room and I have to unload. I really wish there was an "Ambivalent" button like there was a "Like" button on Facebook, 'cause I'd be all up in that right now. First: I always feel vaguely guilty as a progressive female of color when I talk about M.I.A., 'cause I believe in solidarity and all those good things. But there's just something rubbing me kinda wrong these days, and it's not what I'd think. Honestly: I don't give a fuck that she eats gourmet fries, or married a rich dude, or whatever. She's entitled to be happy in life, however she wants, and if she's not hurting anyone, let the girl eat truffle fries with a bitch-ass NY Times writer who has a history of taking down female stars of all sorts. I don't even care that she's radical chic--I don't require musicians to have coherent politics, although it's definitely arguable that hers can be kinda sloppy. What I do give a fuck about is that her music gets worse and worse with each record. Not that MAYA is such a bad record, but it's mediocre. It's a genius concept--take that Public Enemy sonic-assault approach to things and make a lot of noisy beats and be clever and uncompromising about your slogans and your references. But the execution is only half there, because there's no real emotional connection for much of this record. I'm not talking about my emotional connection to this music, but hers--it sounds phoned-in, half-assed and only intermittently interested in itself. I love noise, I love beats, I love crazy revolutionary dialectic that scares people, but 2/3rds of this record sound like she doesn't give a shit and NOT in a punk rock way. If she wants to noise out, let her, and if she wants to be pop, that's cool, too, but it's highly ironic that an artist who was so dedicated and passionate about questioning the actions and consequences of our geopolitical commitments doesn't have much commitment to what drew us to her in the first place. But whatever. If she doesn't give a shit about her music, neither do I, really. I can still enjoy her bananas performance concepts. (Kat)
The Langley Schools Music Project, "I Get Around"
Okay, now that I got that off my chest, I feel so much better. Let's just listen to children in the 70s who sound like they genuinely like to make music, okay? You can tell that whoever's playing the cymbal in the background really LOVES playing that cymbal. Now that's what I like. (Kat)
Billy Joel, "Don't Ask Me Why"
BUY THIS MP3
A TRUE STORY THAT HAPPENED: On Saturday morning, at the gym, running on a treadmill while listening to Billy Joel and drinking a very big iced coffee from Panera Bread, I was thinking about coolness, about how one enduring paradox in my life is that I seem to be regarded as superlatively cool in certain circles while in others I'm uncool to the point of invisibility. That happens to lots of people, I'm guessing, and maybe part of the problem is our lack of coolness role models these days. Cuz I for one can't think of anybody, on the pop-culture landscape, who's even half as cool as the dog I saw eating a banana on the sidewalk in Venice the other morning. It's a drag, and I left the gym and went home and conditioned my hair with Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Conditioner, and made fun of myself a little, saying things like "Who are you looking for, Barker - the Fonz?" And then I went to the movies and guess who was sitting right in front of me? THIS GUY.
Anyway, this is my favorite Billy Joel song right now. I am the unFonz, and that's "cool" with me. (Liz)
The Rolling Stones (co-starring Paul McCartney & John Lennon), "We Love You"
BUY THIS MP3
Speaking of pianos! Here's a list of my favorite piano players, in no particular order:
1. Billy Joel
2. Mary Timony
3. David Bowie
4. Paul McCartney
5. Richard Sohl
6. John Frusciante
7. Devendra Banhart
8. Jack White in the last scene of Under Great White Northern Lights
9. Eddie Van Halen in the video for "Panama"
10. whoever was in charge of piano on "We Love You" by the Rolling Stones
Oh and also Rowlf from the Muppets, who I'm sure eats bananas all the time. (Liz)
The Bee Gees, "You'll Never See My Face Again"
BUY THIS MP3
Two days ago, a friend described my general worldview as being "fatalistic," an extremely on-the-money accusation that struck many of my chords and rang all my bells. I am so OVER describing myself as an "extremist"! Out with the old, in with the new. Fatalism is the new extremism. According to the dictionary(.com), "fatalism" is the acceptance of all things and events as inevitable; submission to fate. This is EXACTLY how I feel about EVERYTHING, and I really like it! For me, though. For me.
I think that "You'll Never See My Face Again" is the most fatalistic- and therefore, effective, in my books- break-up song of all time. There is no going back on "You'll Never See My Face Again." When you tell someone they'll never see your face again, you can't be bluffing, or else you are so lame and wishy-washy and need to explore the tenets of fatalism in a deeper way, in my opinion. But really the most kickass part of "You'll Never See My Face Again" is the lyric "It makes me laugh/You've got no friends." Being able to say "It makes me laugh, you've got no friends" about a person who will never see your face again, and mean the fuck out of it, is a victory. (LJ)
Julie Ruin, "Breakout A Town"
This week, I decided to revisit Kathleen Hanna's Julie Ruin record, which was the greatest thing that ever happened to the Universe when I was fourteen, in the opinion of my fourteen-year-old self. Sadly, I found that Julie Ruin didn't really stand the test of time, mostly because I don't understand why Kathleen Hanna feels she must sing in a baby voice. You're not a baby, Kathleen Hanna! Is she trying to make a point? Is she trying to reclaim "being a baby," through song? Weird. Anyway, "Breakout A Town" is the song from Julie Ruin that holds up the best, after all these years. I listened to it, like, five times this week! I like when she coughs at the beginning of the song. Nice unconscious homage to the false start in "Louie, Louie." Reclaim coughing, Kathleen. Oh, but the real point I wanted to make about listening to Julie Ruin after a ten year long "not listening to Julie Ruin" drought (perhaps I'm overstating the case by calling it a drought) is that all I could think about was Ad-Rock! Is this song about Ad-Rock? Is she talking about Ad-Rock right now? Oh my God- this one's GOTTA be about Ad-Rock. That's my "listening to Julie Ruin at twenty-five" inner monologue. The lyric on the album that I think is the weirdest, when you consider Ad-Rock, is from this song, when she sings, "You're so smart and I'm so dumb-dumb." Is that really how Kathleen Hanna felt about Ad-Rock, in the early days of their courtship? Like he was "smart", and she was "dumb-dumb"? What a crazy surprise. I totally would have taken Ad-Rock to be the "dumb-dumb"-er member of Ad-Rock and Kathleen Hanna. (Laura Jane)
Tags: babies, Billy Joel, children, coolness, David Bowie, dogs eating bananas, enthusiastic cymbal playing, fatalism, Jack White, Kathleen Hanna/Ad-Rock relationship analysis, Langley Schools Music Project, M.I.A., pianos, radical chic, Rowlf, the Fonz, the Rolling Stones
Share | | | |