clap clap blog: we have moved
Friday, February 20, 2004
I hear what Joe's saying, but...I dunno. I think at this point you just have to look at Courtney as your crazy rich grandma: you go visit her every once in a while, and you'll have to listen to her say some shit that you disagree with, and some shit that just doesn't make any sense, but at the end she'll give you $100, and the fact that she gives you that $100 makes all the blather not really an imposition, and so more charming than anything else. If you're gonna get bothered by her self-aggrandizing, rock-hero stances, you're going to have to avoid everything but the music--the newspaper stories, the interviews, the online posts, the videos, the TV apperances, etc. Because she's gonna say some shit that will just plain make you cringe. ("Do you want to see my waxed asshole?" springs most immediately to mind.) But if you listen to the music, I think it's intensely rewarding; it's far, far more subtle and ambiguous and nuanced and smart. Yes, the video comes off like a vapid gansta-rap slam (although might I point out that gangsta-rap gets slammed in not a few hip-hop videos these days), but when you listen to the album, all the hip-hop commentary she works in is really smart and a lot less reactionary.
I still need to do my full America's Sweetheart post, but for now, let me just say this: I'd like to see Courtney play with her persona even more. Specifically, I think she should use that air of danger and craziness she's cultivated (or, uh, generated without trying, I suppose) and use it to make the songs more present. She does this quite effectively in "But Julian..." for instance. I mean, you look at 50 Cent or Swedish death metal or George Jones, and one of the things about their songs is that you believe them a lot more. You believe that 50 might shoot you, or that George might get drunk and roll down a hill. Similarly, when Courtney sings about slashing tires on "Mono," well, it doesn't seem all that far-fetched. This is, after all, a woman who not a few people believe murdered (or paid for the murder of) her husband. Not true, as far as I'm concerned, but a great thing to work into the music more. Her cockiness is very charming to me.