There is a lot of negative stigma attached to the concept “Women in music.”
Groupies and girlfriends and other sorts of latchers on are now making money out of the musicians apart from bribing them and selling their secrets, through the likes of their own books and reality t.v. shows. This type of involvement of women in the music industry is destructive for those who actually ARE musicians themselves. It is very difficult for women to be taken seriously as musicians and it seems to me that it is a male dominated industry as far as instrumentation is concerned even today.
This rant was birthed from a friend’s facebook status about the lack of pants worn by Rihanna and Beyonce and Lady Gaga. It made me think about the female role in the music scene. I am very much of the opinion that women have pretty much branded themselves as sex on purpose with sales and marketing in mind. Lets face it, nobody wakes up the morning of their gig and goes
“I think ill just wear this leotard on stage because all my other clothes are in the wash.” Unlikely.
So my first point is that the lack of clothes is always a premeditated course of action. The ladies weren’t tricked into being half naked. They want to wear no clothes. Its an easy cop-out option to attract people without the talent doing the talking.
Number two: If sexy people want to wear no clothes, go for it. Its their thing. There are millions of ways to look horrendous in outfits that do include pants so I guess its just a case of people pulling off the look they’re going for. Sometimes going for “outrageous freak” works for people ala Lady Gaga and David Bowie. It should be noted though that to dress outlandishly obviously increases the chances of getting it horribly wrong ala Rihana. (I have to include that I am well bias when it comes to Rihana because I really detest her music and Nuno Bettencourt is her guitarist. Well jealous. How terrible is it that amazing musicians are making horrible music because there is more money in bad taste than good taste?! But that’s for another time.)
What is far, far worse than talentless ladies making money off of a sexy image is extraordinarily talented ladies doing the same thing.
Voices like Madonna and Cher really did not have to strip down to make it! But they did (And then some). That bleaks me out more than anything. Say what you will about them, those are two of the most phenominal and dynamic performers in the world. They sing, they act and they are legendary icons.
When is it time to stand back and let your talent do the work and not the botox? I believe in these women. I believe in their ability and clearly they don’t have as much faith in their talent as I do. Nobody wants to see Elton John in spandex or a thong. These women are just as accomplished (and just as old).
That is not to say that men don’t also exploit their sexiness to sell their music. Think of Sebastian Bach (Skidrow) and Anthony Keidis of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Billy Idol, Mick Jagger, Steve Vai… I can’t recall many iconic images of Iggy Pop in a shirt. In the music industry you are selling your image, your lifestyle, your music, your person. You are the brand. I actually enjoy the multifaceted nature of it all.
Sexiness is a whole lot more than no clothes though. It’s the way people speak. It’s in the way people move. It is also a clever tool to make oneself more appealing. Ultimately that’s what you’re aiming for I guess, to use whatever you can to get those people in that room to get into your music.
I have this idea though that all the pimping and promoting can actually undermine the music. Isn’t the real magic of music the fact that it is the music that makes you feel?
Music can make you cry, make you dance, mourn the loss, share the joy, feel the love, relate, remember, forget, call you to arms, inspire, give hope, bring destruction. It’s the music that causes you to really and truly feel. It amazes me, knocks-me-over every single time musicians do that. Every time a song stirrs up a whirlpool inside you, you are feeling what some musician has created. New artists, old forgotten songs, live bands or tapes; THAT is the beauty of music.
I seldom put on a record and lie on my bed thinking “if only Led Zeppelin had released a frangrance” or listen to Marlene Dietrich thinking “I’m sure her outfit was so 1940s.”
The branding, the image, the sexiness and the facades all fade with time. The only thing left is the music; The songs we write, the light or darkness that we speak and sing into the world. I don’t see much appeal in leaving your legacy as “that umbrella chick with no pants.”
Some points to consider:
a) Performers have been rocking that leotard look for CENTURIES! Literally. And theres a reason ballet dancers are all super scarily skinny… Its not a flattering look.
c) Umbrella-ella-ella-eh-eh-eh is not a real sentence.
Lastly, it is an unforgivable thing to lump the likes of Aretha Franklin, Patti Smith, Ella, Janis Joplin, Tracy Chapman and hundreds of brilliant female musicians who have revolutionised the world with their amazing gifts in the same basket as Joe from the Real Housewives of Orange County or Jessica Simpson.
Cape Town’s trendiest photographer Gavin Collins of prettytrendy was recently featured for his fashion portraiture on liebenpix
“Gavin Collins is a Cape Town based Fashion and Portrait photographer whose style is reflective of a truly South African Pop-Culture interest. This style has a different appeal to it, very interesting.” – LiebenPix
Rumours of legendary Brit rockers Pink Floyd together again for the London Olympics this year (2012) had me super excited.
Articles popped up all over the net yesterday both supporting and denying the idea and equally mixed were the reactions of fans and critics. These are some of the more informative blurbs courtesy of some well reputed music journalists:
“Pink Floyd to reunite for London 2012 Olympics?” January 3, 2012 16:30
This article first ignited my excitement. Pink Floyd (Or what’s left of it) back in action!
Later the same day NME published another article denying the reunion in an article entitled “Dave Gilmour denies Pink Floyd are reuniting for London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony” published: January 3, 2012 18:23
IBNlive published this article this morning: “Pink Floyd to reunite for London Olympics” Posted on Jan 04, 2012 at 02:12pm IST
In their article they neither affirm nor deny that some members of the band will feature at the London Olympics. Actually they managed to say very little on the topic. The main content of the article was a quotation of an unnamed source. (Thanks for that.) However, they did reference Contactmusic news in the article which turned out to be really encouraging:
Sadly, 10hours ago they too posted an article that smashes my dreams to smithereens and pronounced denial of the rumours. They were shortly followed by Musicrooms.net, SoundSpike, Ultimate Classic Rock, Examiner.com, Gigwise and more. All denying claims of a reunion.
There is no doubt that I was bleak. It feels like iv’e tried to hi-5 someone and they stood there looking at me while my whole body launched into a massive, over-excited swipe only to leave me there with my arm dangling in the wind and my hopes hanging in the air, disappointed.