Ellis & Barnes: Serious Mothers!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman

Why is it that the latest wussy song trend is to try (as much as possible) to sound like a whimsical six year-old who is singing to her cat at a tea-party? That's all I can think about lately whenever I hear these women open their maws and a meek underdeveloped voice jumps out accompanied by "playful" child-like elementary piano recital chords.

Example: Mac Air Book ad song, Old Navy sweater ad song from last fall, Regina Spektor, Girl Put Your Records On. These jingles are even played on the radio and passed off as “songs”, sung by grown women who sound like they haven't learned to tie their shoes yet and probably eat Cheerios from a baggie while wearing a tutu over jeans (awwwwwww….how fucking precious.)

I will give anything a shot when it comes to music. Between the sixth grade and about thirteen years ago, I wouldn't because I was a dick. A record or tape had to either have the Union Jack or a gang of rockabilly dudes on the sleeve to get me to listen to it way back when, or else it was deemed un-listenable. During this whole time, I carefully hid my unyielding passion for Olivia Newton John from "my cool friends", as I was a 40 year-old Record Store Owner Douchebag in the body of a tiny girlwoman.

One day while listening to a particularly catchy tune by The Spice Girls, I figured that I was going to like what I was going to like and that was that. I started wearing guilty pleasures like The Spice Girls and Britney Spears (seriously...she will come back) practically tattooed on my forehead, and what happened was that as soon as I embraced earnestly liking things I'd balked at before, I felt an enormous freedom. I have worked in a few record stores over the past 20 years and even though my math skills are dismal (a pear or a zebra would pass a math test before I would), I'm pretty proud of my Name That Tune-type abilities. This might be because I've opened my mind to a wide variety of music and now never want to stop listening - so I'll give it a go. My "policy" is, if I don't like an album a whole side in (or on CD - five or six tracks), then the chances are I probably won't like the whole thing or the artist, but I'll at least listen to the whole thing first. My husband is great at introducing me to what the kids are listening to today, as he'll go in blind and hear anything at listening stations in record stores or pick up something he read about in some tiny article and it turns out to be a gem that quietly sat in our home months before seeing a silhouette wearing an iPod maniacally thrashing to it on the TV.

So to recap: A) I love music. B) I'll give anything a try. C) I am sorely disappointed with what the fuck is going on with this "I sound like a little girl" movement.

I wouldn't be "open minded" if I were to say: "This needs to stop!", but that's exactly what I feel like saying. I hate this genre that much. Every recordsnob impulse in me wants to see these ladies pack up their Unicorn trapper keeper full of darling lyrics (with a Starbucks contract folded inside), and go away. It makes me want to call up Chrissie Hynde and ask her if she has any plans this year, or to bring Suzi Quatro out for a spin. This music makes me think that we need Sinead to release something pretty much identical to her first album ("The Lion and the Cobra") which left me gobsmacked after hearing just the first track.

PJ Harvey, Exene Cervenka, Olivia, Debbie Harry, Marianne Faithful, Sharon Jones, The Ghost of Dusty Springfield, Nina Hagen, Ronnie Spector, Kim Gordon, Kim Deal, Kelly Deal...even you Courtney (and you Britney!) These child-ladies are driving me back into a position where I will become a narrow-minded music asshole, and I need YOUR HELP to make sure this doesn't happen. Please make something. Anything! Before I....

I'm back to being a Dick.


Have a gripe about the state of popular music, or even unpopular music or music?
Write and tell us!
Biz and Jordi
Princess Pony Party Amazing
Haunted Lighthouse
Tracy Gold,


At 3:59 PM, Blogger Biz and/or Jordi said...

wow...i want to live in all ofyour made up cities.


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