If that headline caught your attention, then you are probably reading this because you are either: A. an Alanis Morissette fan, B. a Green Day fan, or C. terribly confused and/or curious. Chances are the majority of you fall within the latter if not the first two or all of the above.
Yes, Alanis Morissette recently performed as the musical guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live and yes, she decided to close the show with her own version of Green Day’s “Basket Case.” The soft soothing ballad rendition is simultaneously funny yet touching, as she mentions at the end of her performance, “We love you Billie Joe!” It seems as though the singer was paying homage and showing support for her fellow 90′s alt-rock star after he recently admitted to and checked into rehab for substance abuse. It was a kind gesture on Morissette’s part, and a surprisingly fitting cover.
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Earlier today, The Guardian’s Rebecca Nicholson picked up the latest issue of NME and, while perusing the latter’s rock-solid take on Fiona Apple‘s new album, noticed the wrong angsty-brooding-’90s-era-songstress looking casually over her shoulder. And she shared her discovery on Twitter…
NME had run a picture of Alanis Morisseette above the review, and while the two artists do share a vague resemblance (i.e. they are both white women with…hair), we’re amazed that no one in the editing process caught the mistake before plastering it across half a page of prime real estate. Only a few hours later, the reblogging had started; Idolator ran a full story, Dangerous Minds called NME out for their rough week, and MTV questioned the integrity of the review after such a big blunder.
Here’s hoping we haven’t made any major typos, or you know, confused two of the biggest female music stars of our generation in the past couple weeks. Those (re)bloggers are ruthless…
Adrina Thorpe, singer-songwriter from California, has been involved with music for a long time. Originally a classically trained musician, she fell in love with songwriting at the tender age of six. Since then, she has turned this love into a craft that she approaches masterfully. But it is not her songs which make her so special; it is her incredible voice that conveys emotion with such intensity and passion that makes her stand apart.
Her vocal ability is off the charts. She has such a powerful voice, but she sings in a way which is never forceful or overbearing. Her voice is flawless—not only can she carry a tune, she can work with her voice to create many different effects. At times her voice is soft and gentle, other times it pierces through you, giving you shivers. Thorpe has an amazing way of picking and choosing the right moments to let her full vocal power out. Obviously, this ability comes from familiarity with her voice and, of course, from practice. Because of her vocal control, Adrina’s second album Halflight & Shadows, which was released in 2009, is incredibly interesting to listen to. From a song like, “Everything Changes” which is more upbeat to ”Midnight” which is hauntingly beautiful, you never know what pleasant surprises you’ll find when you listen to the album.
In the ultimate show of fandom, Weezer has selected a photo of a smiling Jorge Garcia, who played the character of Hurley on Lost, as the album art for the band’s upcoming album, also titled Hurley. (Confused yet?) Garcia is rightfully stoked about getting the cover. “This is really close to the top, for sure.” One thing Garcia is less thrilled about is his ponytail in the shot, which looks like it’s “starting to come loose or something.” Look, Hurley, count your blessings. Some people can’t even grow ponytails (looking at you, John Locke).
Yup, it’s really happening. Ms. Spears is not only getting a whole episode dedicated to her music, she’s also getting an acting part. Squeal! Jazz hands! Theater kids!
After scandal erupted over her affair with a married man and an alleged sex tape, American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino overdosed on aspirin and sleeping pills and was rushed to the hospital in Charlotte, NC. The singer was released two days later with no life-threatening injuries. Besides the shame, embarrassment and guilt, she’s fine now. Which leads us to the question—Has there ever been a happy ending involving a sex tape? (On second thought, don’t answer that.)
During a concert in Sacramento, California, an overly excited fan (or that fan’s jealy boyfriend) threw a water bottle at Justin Bieber that hit him right in the face. Luckily it was captured on video. Two questions: 1) Why are we just seeing this now and 2) Wouldn’t it be cool if someone made the footage into a sweet remix? Oh wait, they did. Check it out below.
Kanye West back to following nobody on Twitter
Erykah Badu goes blonde, gets ‘hawk
Lady Gaga stage dives into crowd at Lollapalooza
Julian Casablancas wants to write theme song for NY Mets
Arcade Fire debuts at Number 1 on Billboard
M.I.A. debuts extremely SFW video for “XXXO”
Broken Social Scene endorses fan slap video for “All to All”
Soundgarden release comeback single “Black Rain”
Alanis Morissette is pregnant
Don’t know about you, but all that oil spill footage had us in a deep, greasy funk this week. So it’s nice to get some levity, especially when it comes from an unexpected source such as the perpetually cranky Christian Bale. Watch this clever mash-up of Bale circa the 1992 Disney musical Newsies dancing to Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance.” Yes, it’s another Gaga video. We promise we’ll stop. Right after we tell you about this one starring babies dancing to “Telephone.” There, done.
Days before his UK tour was set to begin, Chris Brown was notified this week that his application for a visa had been rejected due to his February assault conviction stemming from a fight with ex-girlfriend Rihanna. The UK Home Office reserves the right to deny entry to anyone guilty of a criminal offense. Brown indulged in a little pity party in the Twitterverse after hearing the news, writing, “U ever feel like the storm clouds are too thick for any sunshine to get through?” [sic]. We would feel sorry for him if not for, you know, that whole oil spill thing going on. And every other thing happening in the world.
First it was Elvis Costello, now Gorillaz and Pixies have canceled their appearances at a Tel Aviv music festival after Israeli forces attacked ships bringing aid to Gaza, resulting in nine deaths. Costello’s wife, chanteuse Diana Krall, is still scheduled to perform this summer.
Remember that time we said were done with Lady Gaga videos? Kidding! This one is the latest from the woman herself, and it’s a doozey. The concept is sort of all over the place, but in a nutshell it’s about gay men in fishnets and bowl cuts simulating sex with Gaga. Oh, and she wears a nun’s habit and eats a rosary, too. If you listen closely, you can hear the message boards on Fox News screaming.
Looks like Kanye West’s black Porsche Panamera was stolen in Honolulu and crashed into a house shortly thereafter. We anticipate an explosion of caps on West’s blog in 3 … 2 … 1 …
I’ll admit it, I’m a little bit obsessed with Mad Men, the hit series that impeccably recreates the decadence, repression and cherished “family values” of the early ‘60s. The story of the upscale Draper family, who appear to have everything, is viewed through the lens of patriarch, Don Draper, an up-and-coming but mysterious Madison Avenue advertising agency executive.
The show drips with authenticity through a prism of what was and is no longer socially acceptable (drinking, smoking, littering, talking). What I have found especially fascinating about the show, are the three lead female characters. There’s Betty, the beautiful but depressed dutiful wife and mother; Peggy, the ambitious career woman struggling to be taken seriously by the men in the office; and Joan, the head secretary/sexpot who sleeps with her married boss, but keeps all the other “girls” in the office in their place.
In the Mad Men era, women were seen but not heard. Betty, Peggy and Joan lived their fictitious lives with feelings hidden under wraps (it wouldn’t be ladylike to do otherwise) and numerous disappointments —mostly caused by the men in their lives—to themselves. A woman’s place was in the home and her role was as confining as her corset.
Last week on my blog, I interviewed writer Jessica Hopper. When I asked her to name the most challenging aspect of writing her book, “The Girls’ Guide to Rocking,” she said:
“The careers of many women, before the women’s lib era often had a similar trajectory that involved being robbed of their royalties by a bad pimp-like boyfriend/manager figure.”
Maybe I have seen one too many episodes of Mad Men, but that line really stuck with me. I wondered, are women more musically independent now or are most still overshadowed by a more powerful and occasionally nefarious male authority?
I posed this question up to a friend of mine who has a successful male trifecta on her resume: a famous father, a famous ex-husband and a famous cut on a famous male musician’s famous debut album. That’s a whole lotta famous. But it’s a sticky wicket if you want to be taken seriously as an artist on your own terms. “I don’t want people to think I’m just a groupie, like Pamela DesBarres,” she says.
These days, Miss Pamela teaches writing classes, but even though she was a member of the band, the GTOs, everyone knows her for the classic memoir I’m with the Band, which details her numerous sexual dalliances with famous rock stars.
Once you become known for the famous male company you keep, is it possible to surpass that public perception and be your own woman?
Courtney Love will forever be associated with Kurt Cobain, an identity she realizes puts her in a league she wouldn’t be in otherwise, and a role she nurtures. There’s no doubt that marriage to Kurt raised Courtney’s profile. Yet, this bonus neutralizes a significant amount of her own artistic integrity because his name will forever be attached to hers.
Yoko Ono has always been demonized by the perception that she was responsible for the break-up of the Beatles. No matter how many albums she records, she will forever be overshadowed by John Lennon’s legacy.
Drummer Meg White inspired an entire generation of young girls to play drums. But when The White Stripes started out, Meg and Jack, formerly married, were coy about the nature of their relationship and pretended to be siblings. Meg has taken a lot of heat for not being as musically savvy as Jack and will likely always be associated with him.
Alanis Morissette? It is often argued that her success belongs to songwriter, Glen Ballard, who wrote the songs on her breakout album, Jagged Little Pill.
Joan Jett defers business decisions to her long-time producer, Kenny Laguna. But long before Kenny, Joan’s first band, The Runaways, was heavily influenced by male producer and limelight stealer, Kim Fowley.
No matter what she does musically, Shania Twain will forever be entwained with her ex-husband, producer Mutt Lange.
Ronnie Spector? Some people believe that producer and husband Phil Spector was entirely responsible for the hits. “Anyone could have sung those songs,” a pro-Phil journalist once told me.
And once you have divorced your musical partner, can you ever go back to being just yourself? Carole King? Gerry Goffin. Ellie Greenwich? Jeff Barry. Cher? Sonny. Carly Simon? James Taylor.
Fleetwood Mac? The material culled from two couple break-ups within the band proved to be more than just Rumors.
Even one-time tough gal Pat Benatar co-bills her husband, guitarist Neil Geraldo on the marquis.
Janet Jackson owes her career to the five male Jacksons that came before.
Miley Cyrus long-ago eclipsed the fame of her “Achey Breaky” dad but probably would not have had a shot without him. Jessica and Ashlee Simpson both had father Joe in charge.
Would anyone care about Lisa Marie Presley if it weren’t for her ultra-famous DNA? And I don’t mean Priscilla’s.
My pal Jeff argues that the reason so many female artists appear to have male svengalis at the helm of their careers is because, “there are just more of them,” he says. But I disagree. I believe the music industry frowns on women who don’t show up with a male stamp of approval to get them through the door.
Of course, there is Madonna and Bonnie Raitt and Patti Smith and Tori Amos, artists we all agree are indisputably in charge. But it sure has been a long time since one female artist showed up that everyone knew and agreed that, without question, was the one that wore the pants in both her songwriting and her business decisions.
The only example I can think of where the reverse scenario is true is with actor, Tom Arnold, who rode Rosanne Barr’s coat-tails to fame. But that’s not about music.
It may seem like we’ve come a long way, baby, but in some r-e-s-p-e-c-t-s, when it comes to being taken seriously on their own as musicians, women still have a long way to go.