You should have told me yourself

Dear friends,

1. It's Wednesday which means videos!

I swear I really am working on an interminable piece about Amy Winehouse. Much like my interminable pieces on Thom Yorke (that one surfaced) and Boubacar Traore (did not) I am stuck between my own conflicting opinions on the artist, their pre-occupations and whether or not they mean it, man. I care very much about sincerity. I even like my insincerity to be sincere (see: "I fake it so real/I am beyond fake") this is a trait I can't explain. Grad Psych majors, hit me with your best shot.

She certainly captures the eye. Her camera stare in recent photos, ratty beehive, black eyeshadow tilting up at the corners in the shape of bat's wings, tattoo-ed pool hall broad from the 60's costume, ranges from defiant to awkward. Does she want to tell you she's loved you all this time or does she want to smash you on the head with a bottle? It's hard to say. So instead I focus on the sound, the aching vulnerability in her voice. Like an ashtray and booze sportin' Dinah Washington, forever staring out the window at the cars while the record skips in the background.

Heard It Through The Grapevine/Amy Winehouse and Paul Weller (video)

If she sang along to this song at home, I can't imagine that it would be much different than this performance. Despite the tabloid image trappings; the tottering heels, the pulling up the skimpy dress*, the boozy unfocused look in the eyes - it sounds real. I'm not saying I believe she heard about her man cheating her and now she's going to lose her mind. No. I mean that it sounds like she's lost in the song, like it's pleasure.

2. It's Wednesday which means MP3 Flashbacks!

Since I've been babbling on Soft Communication for a few years now about songs and artists that I never included mp3s or even weblinks for**, I thought I might include a feature now and again where I revisit old posts and let you hear the songs I was prattling on about then. Here is a holiday themed entry from '05, called Give a toast to now featuring tiny, unknown acts Radiohead and Queen.

Love, D

* Interestingly, as concerned as she is with keeping the dress from falling down, she spends a lot of time in this performance channeling Gypsy Rose Lee and flashing thigh. It's rather endearing.

** Uh, 'cause I didn't know how and I kinda still don't?

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Anonymous Phil said...

I'll be interested to read your thoughts on Amy Winehouse. I just snagged her album last night, but haven't gotten a chance to listen to it yet.

That rehab song is good, no doubt, but looking at that youtube video with the one conspicuous black face in an ocean of caucasian motown...well, let's just say there's a race performance critique to be made.

1:31 PM, April 16, 2007  

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