TEN! NINE! EIGHT!...
No, I will not reveal my great idea for the world's greatest band ever (woops, let that part slip!) this year. But I will say a few words and also post Ross of Love's 2006 mix.
I dislike my tone but like the ideas in a few of the previous comments. I feel this is something I should explore further. When I get back home, I'll tie some of my own ideas about THE STATE OF THINGS (though I wouldn't claim to be able to accurately depict that...more my impressions of the limited publications/sites/etc. I pay attention to) to crises in ethnographic filmmaking practices. The point being that many of these ideas transcend discipline.
"Taking this shit seriously" seems like an obvious idea, but I haven't really thought about it in the context of what I do (even if I've been trying to do it). It's alarming to consider that pop music as of 2007 has so few significant intellectual havens, be they in academia (essentially non-existent) or on the internet, where the best one can hope for is a disparate patchwork of blogs and sites, but not really a unified sense of community, despite the perceived COMMUNITY of music writers/thinkers that, for instance, Idolator is pandering to. But you'd have to be some kinda asshole to want to be in that club!
Toward a pop anthropology -- well, that won't work, exactly, because we (the writers n' thinkers n' listeners) aren't on the outside looking in, even if a lot of writers would like to position themselves outside. Or, more appropriately, at a clinical or sarcastic distance. Presumably, we write/think about whatever it is we're listening to because it is WORTH DOING. If it wasn't worth doing, you'd figure we'd stop doing it. "Whatever" is always invalid as a critical response. Snickering (alone) is not analysis. Sarcasm (alone) is not analysis. Sarcasm is not irony. Sarcasm is not satire. Nothing is "meta," because meta is a PREFIX that requires context.
Anyway. Idolator has just posted this:
- Lily Allen has declared war on people who bought Paris Hilton's Paris, saying "People cheesy enough to buy albums like that should be killed." No word on whether or not people who also bought Alright, Still would get away with just being maimed.
Idolator offers no follow-up. As simple news reportage, this is insufficient -- Idolator has characteristically covered their bases by not responding to Lily Allen's attack and then attacking her to make sure that there's a nice blanket of bile.
What do the editors of Idolator think of Paris Hilton's new album? On November 21st they ran a post on Paris vomiting on stage at a Jay-Z performance with the headline: "Not Even Paris Hilton Can Stomach Paris Hilton's Music." On September 20th, they reported:
Paris Hilton's SoundScans have dropped into the four-digit range. No wonder she gave that homeless guy money yesterday--he can totally go to Best Buy and goose her sales tallies a bit.
September 7th - "news story" about a DUI. And then, closer to the release date, we get Idolator's editorial swipes that align them pretty much in Lily Allen's camp of shitheads.
Septmeber 6th, this idiotic review is considered to be the "most apt" assessment of Paris.
September 5th, an article on the Banksy stunt that covers its bases, throwing shit equally at all parties involved. The motivations behind the Banksy stunt are "brain-bending." The headline: "Paris Hilton's Album Finally Considered a Work of Art."
August 29th, we finally get the one and only Idolator word on Paris:
Considering that Hilton's public-exposure level is just below that of Hassan Nasrallah's, [selling 75,000 copies in the first week] is a total disaster, right?
Not exactly. While we won't have confirmed numbers until later in the afternoon, the fact that Hilton came even close to the 75,000 mark is pretty astounding. Sure, industry watchdogs will point out that just about anyone can make it to the Top 10 with an ample marketing budgeting these days, and that next week's sales will probably experience an unholy drop-off, and that these are the sort of high-cost, low-payoff projects that are killing the majors. But look at it this way: A woman whose only prior music experience was dating a second-tier Backstreet Boy--and whose curiosity-object album could easily have been downloaded for free--still sold more copies in its first week than the last Slayer and Obie Trice efforts, and came close to beating Johnny Cash's American V debut. The lesson here: If you really want to get people out to the stores, make sure you get them a TV gig in which they can give handjobs to farm animals.
That is the ONLY comment Idolator ever made on Paris Hilton's album. (Also, Nick Carter was a first-tier Backstreet Boy, FACT-CHECKERS PLZ.) There is no musical analysis, no social analysis, and no real opinion about the album itself stated one way or the other. And then a few months later they have the nerve to take a swipe at Lily Allen for essentially saying the same thing!
And hey, I signed up for this gig. I emailed my info out for their poll and submitted my ballot. But simply choosing not to participate is an easy out -- why not get Paris's album some positive coverage on the site? Even if it's considered "contrarian" (which it isn't -- although it IS contrary to the above series of bullshit assumptions about Paris and her music that make no effort whatsoever at any sort of justification...that's just the way it is).
But I imagine that Idolator are such shameless panderers that they'll print Frank's comments about Paris and proceed to do precisely nothing about the tone or general aims of their site, since the main goal seems to be patting as many readers on the back as possible. Or maybe they'll offer an insufficient quasi-apologetic response to the ideas presented as a one time only deal (to cover their Frank base) and then print another safely sarcastic headline.
But I can't keep holding Idolator up as a sole example of these tendencies, because Idolator is a symptom of a greater poison in conversation, the assumption that everything's "understood" already. Any significant changes to what is understood (e.g. in 2006, Beyonce is great but Paris and Lindsay and Ashlee are MANUFAKSHURED TRASH) drip in slowly enough to keep the nasty and dishonest tone intact. In 2007 we could all be lovin' us some P-Hilt at a distance (like what seems to be a turnaround on "My Humps" after so many people's vitriolic reception, but no love for Fergie yet) but it won't change the fact that everything's a goddamn joke, and worse you don't even have to tell us what the punchline is because we know it already. Paris and Scott Storch walk into a recording studio...
OH SIX! Year-end mix for OH SIX dut duh-duh dut dut party times. Ross has 'em up at Mincetapes, here's the link.
Actually, I'm gonna post 'em here, too. All mixmaking credit goes to Ross of Love, located this way.
OH SIX PART I
OH SIX PART II
EDIT: Y'all should also check out the last post, where there's an innarestin if heated convo happening in the comments.
EDIT 2: WE SHARE OUR MOTHER'S DUFF WTF!!!!!!! SEXY/CAT!!!!!!