Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: Friday Music: History, motherfuckers

316 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 13 Newer→ Last

  • Craig Ranapia,

    And this 16 year old is still being sexualised in the selling of her music –

    Well, let’s just put a paper bag over her head and go back to concern trolling Miley Cyrus. I've seen the two videos alluded to once apiece – if that's what constitutes hyper-sexualization these days, I can't help but wonder if Mr Sweetman becomes tumescent in a stiff Wellington breeze.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Cameron,

    Ugh, Thankyou! I get it: don't feed the troll, but this one wound me up too. That awful comment about her being 'sexualised' had me confused, then outraged. If you call that sexualised, then what on earth should she look like?! It just reeks of misogyny. Like you say, if he sees that as wank material, he really has issues.

    To be honest, if I look at the pop charts and have to choose who I want my little sister to emulate and idolise, Lorde is my top pick. She's lyrically an unabashed teenager, minus the boy needy-ness. How can we not be a bit stoked that of all the teen girls we could have representing us on the world stage, it's one that does it so well?

    If nothing else, the twat is a sorry demonstration that tall poppy syndrome is alive and well.

    Christchurch • Since May 2013 • 15 posts Report Reply

  • "chris",

    I guessed that 'bedroom' jibe was a reaction to some of the misinfo making the rounds:

    Lorde is a barely out of her cradle (she’s just 16), bedroom pop magician from Auckland, New Zealand; the kind that makes the rest of us feel really inadequate :) . She’s got a good, strong voice, writes pretty decent lyrics (did I mention she’s just 16!) and manages to infuse an appealing, youthful freshness to her music.

    Fortunately Ella seems fully equipped to deal with this kind of crap:

    No -- if it were up to my parents, I would be an academic and not have a music career. Don't get me wrong, they've been super supportive, but I think it's not every parent's dream, because it's difficult for me to go to school now… They love what I do, but they're just not "stage parents" by any means. My dad is a civil engineer, and my mom is a stay-at-home mom. The fact that my parents weren't really involved in music was kind of good, because it meant that I had something that was private and personal.

    location, location, locat… • Since Dec 2010 • 250 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    Yes, he really did just casually, crudely characterise a 16 year-old as wank-fodder. Her mother read that. Perhaps he should consider keeping his creepy projections to himself in future.

    The funny thing is that while Lorde does have a significant share of older male fans, their appreciation for her isn't sexual - at least not in a Nicki Minaj's bottom kind of way.

    In fact, these dudes are just acting like fanboys - exactly the same sort of fan reactions that teen girls notoriously have for Justin Bieber and One Direction - obsessing over their idol on Twitter and Facebook (and *ahem* blogs), It's a very modern kind of fan relationship, helped along with social media, where you feel like you have a cool connection with your idol without some record company PR being in the way. And it's so much fun.

    But yeah, Lorde isn't being promoted as a sex symbol in traditional pop terms. In the "Tennis Court" video, she looks like a goth alien and delivers a fierce stare at the camera (cf. Miley suggestively licking a sledgehammer). And look at Lorde's wardrobe at the recent Vector gig - dressed like an eccentric elderly dame in a giant kimono. Hardly the wankfest of Sweetman's fantasy. He really needs to keep it in his pants.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • "chris", in reply to Robyn Gallagher,

    these dudes are just acting like fanboys

    That does take a little getting used to, she’s featured in a bunch of posts. But it is very cool to be reading passionate discussions about New Zealand music again – reminiscent of nzmusic.com.

    O, and audioculture, definitely feels like it’s crossed that W.I.P line now, chocka.

    location, location, locat… • Since Dec 2010 • 250 posts Report Reply

  • Jimmy Southgate,

    Sweetman's an idiot, I guess he's just run out of things to say in his drive to be a contrarian.

    For me, at the moment there are so many words about being expended how great Lorde is, and will be, that seem out of place with my impression of how good the music, words & performance is.

    However, given its all just personal preference what's the point in making a big disagreement about that? It reminds me of walking out of one of the best musical performances I hd seen in ages (Fleet Foxes) and having people complain about how it was a stink gig because they're not big showmen. Who wants to have someone bring an immediate downer to something you are buzzing about!

    What's clearly becoming factual at least, is that the success part is real - whether its sustained or not is something we will all have to wait to see.

    Wellingtown • Since Nov 2006 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    Sweetman needs to change his surname. Because he ain't that.

    Since Nov 2006 • 903 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Robyn Gallagher,

    In the “Tennis Court” video, she looks like a goth alien and delivers a fierce stare at the camera (cf. Miley suggestively licking a sledgehammer).

    So does that make Lorde appropriately and comfortably un-sexual, while it's OK to treat Miley Cyrus like a Whore of Babylon-bot? To my mind, that tends to say a lot more about the observers than the observed. For my money, Elvis Presley is ever bit as sexualized as Prince, even though the former never performed ditties like Head in nothing but a pair of bikini-briefs and a lascivious smirk.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Robyn Gallagher,

    In fact, these dudes are just acting like fanboys - exactly the same sort of fan reactions that teen girls notoriously have for Justin Bieber and One Direction - obsessing over their idol on Twitter and Facebook (and *ahem* blogs),

    Well, yes, I have ended up writing rather a lot about this particular pop artist. But I'm fascinated by it all. I've been writing about popular music for more than three decades and you don't see this kind of thing very often. It's such a good story. And I like the tunes.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby, in reply to Jimmy Southgate,

    Sweetman's an idiot

    does sweetman also do RNZ? pretty sure i heard him on summer noelle talking about NZL songs that were "shanties". if it's the same guy, he spoke about 'Not Given Lightly' being a classic.

    but i'm pretty sure Not Given Lightly is a waltz.

    also, Lorde's great. not my cuppa, but the two of them are writing some good songs. (i'm assuming the Lorde is still the wee girl and the friend who featured on RNZ a few years back?)

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • JacksonP, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I feel completely comfortable with the fanboi label. And it's not as if a few of us weren't similarly defensive about our enjoyment of LDR when she first arrived. We know what we like, and others hating on it for reasons that seem purely spiteful gets on our motherfuckin' goat!

    Especially when it's a local act achieving unparalleled international acclaim. Don't like the music, them switch it off. But ragging the success just confirms the tall poppy stereotypes we are often accused of.

    Grow up.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2011 • 2450 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to JacksonP,

    I feel completely comfortable with the fanboi label.

    Sure – Lorde isn’t my cup of tea (and that’s OK) but when my hard copy of Janelle Monae’s new album arrives? Oh, I’m going to fanboy so hard…

    Is it peculiar that she twerk in the mirror?
    And am I weird to dance alone late at night?
    And is it true we're all insane?
    And I just tell 'em No we ain't" and get down

    I heard this life is just a play with no rehearsal
    I wonder will this be my final act tonight
    And tell me what's the price of fame?
    Am I a sinner with my skirt on the ground?

    Hey sister am I good enough for your heaven?
    Say will your God accept me in my black and white?
    Will he approve the way I'm made?
    Or should I reprogram the programming and get down?

    Preach, Electric Lady!

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Che Tibby,

    (i’m assuming the Lorde is still the wee girl and the friend who featured on RNZ a few years back?)

    No, just the girl, sans friend.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Win some…
    A gamine enigma, I imagine…
    Quod semper, natural homunculi exert avuncular avidity…
    a continuum that stretches, with interest, from agreeable, engaging and on thru engrossing to beyond the pale…


    I suspect Sweetman fancies hisself as a KiwiBukowski, perhaps his mean muse, 'Miss Ogenie', has moved in, rather than deserting him?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby, in reply to Russell Brown,

    more awesomer then.

    the contrast to the girl of then is marked. then she was kind of belting out something a bit like wigmore. now she's definitely singing her own voice.

    might send her an tweet asking her not to rap any more tho.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington,

    I'm all for free speech and that but really think there's a case for banning old men from commenting on young people's music. Let them have one thing we're not getting in on FFS...

    I like Simon and find him highly entertaining, he's part good music reviewer and part car crash. There's definitely something passive aggressive in his writing, he'll write some quality stuff on music he likes but he really feels the need to drop the hammer on what he presumably feels are sacred cows. He's obviously a bit confused about music for young women as well, one moment he's complaining about Katy Perry making microphone blowjob gestures to 10yr olds in the audience and the next he's comparing Lorde to Farmers lingerie perv fodder.

    But it's only music at the end of the day. Lorde gets Jools Holland and he gets the kingdom of his Dom Post music blog.

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 949 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Robyn Gallagher,

    (and *ahem* blogs)

    I think she just called you a fanboy Russell - lol.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Che Tibby,

    might send her an tweet asking her not to rap any more tho.

    Good luck with that. She's not bad at it, imo. Certainly better than Lana Del Rey.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby, in reply to Russell Brown,

    might have come across stronger at the gig. the video footage was... not flattering.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Dylan Reeve,

    I've been almost entirely disconnected from the Lorde thing. I had no concept of who she was or what she sang. I'd gathered she was achieving a lot of success, but the details in the post here make that even more impressive.

    I've watcher a few of her videos on YouTube now and two things are immediately clear - she has a lot of talent, and any claim that she (or her lyrics) are sexualised is absurd.

    Sweetman's review is all kinds of creepy for that reason. But beyond those claims it really just seems to be pointlessly contrarian.

    That a teenager from New Zealand has managed to create this success, with her own skills and without the manufacturing that seems so common in modern pop music, is clearly something special. Why not celebrate it, as we do any other NZ success internationally?

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 311 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Peter Darlington,

    There’s definitely something passive aggressive in his writing, he’ll write some quality stuff on music he likes but he really feels the need to drop the hammer on what he presumably feels are sacred cows.

    Which is fine, but you need to have some idea what you're talking about. I got the impression he honestly couldn't see what he'd done wrong.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    What struck me about Sweetman's piece was the jealousy. It read like someone who is himself lacking the talent and makes up for that lack by attacking those who succeed. I wonder if he has similar opinions about Lisa Carrington and Beatrice Faumuina.

    What I found disgusting about the piece was the bullying of a 16 year young performer by some old music reviewer. It was nasty hostile piece and deserved every criticism it's had and more.

    And I don't mind being a fanboy either - I actually have learned to enjoy the pleasure of enjoying someone's success - even if it makes me look a bit silly :).

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    What struck me about Sweetman's piece was the jealousy. It read like someone who is himself lacking the talent and makes up for that lack by attacking those who succeed. I wonder if he has similar opinions about Lisa Carrington and Beatrice Faumuina.

    He's been accused of that heaps but it seems to be water off a duck's back. He seems to live the Oscar Wilde quote that it doesn't matter if they say good things or bad things about you, the real crime is if they say nothing.

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 949 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Robyn Gallagher,

    In the “Tennis Court” video, she looks like a goth alien and delivers a fierce stare at the camera

    I find that video captivating. It really is impressive that she delivers that performance with just a head shot. It isn't perfect but as a sustained piece it is impressive. And sexual?? Well I guess rule 34 applies but I can't see it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Which is fine, but you need to have some idea what you're talking about. I got the impression he honestly couldn't see what he'd done wrong.

    He never does. Would love to see Simon comment here on the timeline and detail you've just up about Lorde's career because it really doesn't fit with the lazy narrative on his blog. That's the problem, it's the musical equivalent of pissed old racist guy at the pub. Hot air, biased, no substance. Ironically, just what he's accusing Lorde's music of.

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 949 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 13 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.