Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Annie / Hiro Ballroom / June 28, 2005

amy: well, that sucked

caryn: Oh, Annie, Annie, Annie. Look what you've done for us.

amy: so where were you standing the whole time?

caryn: I was sitting in the reserved section. From now on, anytime I see a reserved sign anywhere I will simply sit there regardless of whether it is indeed reserved for me or not.

amy: could you see the guide vocals thing she had going on?

caryn: No, describe. I could tell there was some, uh, help.

amy: well, about halfway through, i noticed that she had something clipped onto her pants that looked like a cell phone

caryn: Uh huh.

amy: and i was like "well, that can't be a monitor for a cordless mic, because she's not using one"

caryn: Hmmmm

amy: so i asked daphne and she was like "that must be for guide vocals"

caryn: How would that work?

amy: and then, sure enough, you could see that there was a white wire going into her ear

amy: i don't know how it works exactly

caryn: Well, she was singing. Badly, I might add. During Me Plus One she was literally croaking.

amy: i think it was piping in vocals for her to sing along to

amy: the absolute worst part was during the verse in heartbeat thought

amy: she sang completely off-key

amy: and then she just skipped the second verse

caryn: Here's my take: harmless, bland, slightly bouncey, forgettable.

amy: do you like the record?

caryn: She's the anti-MIA. MIA's lyrics, her phrasing, her topics, her music are all so interesting and takes pop forward. Annie is just lite.

amy: wait, you DON’T like the record?

amy: annie's liteness is what's so great about her

amy: not everybody has to take music "forward"

caryn: It's fine. There's some decent tracks. It's just not that interesting to me. Liteness can be done really well. I'm thinking Olivia Newton John or ABBA. I just don't think Annie's all that.

amy: ah, ok. well i am in love with the record. she just sucked all the life out of it live

amy: she was so STIFF

caryn: So your main complaint is her performance then? What do you like about the record so much?

amy: i find it catchy and addicting in a way that i can listen to over and over again

caryn: A few of the songs are sticky for me, but not outrageously so.

amy: a lot of the songs are quite off-kilter and can be really burrowed into and dissected, but i love it like i love kylie or madonna

amy: like heartbeat is really weird if you think about it-- the way it starts so unexpectedly, that weird drop in the melody in the chorus

amy: (she managed to hit that note somehow)

caryn: There's more going on with those two, I think. And, I just think this year MIA has set the bar so high for pop that in comparison, Annie's just eh.

amy: i don't think you can compare them at all. how do you think she compares to kylie or madonna?

amy: i think m.i.a.'s closest comparison is missy elliott

caryn: Why not compare them? Are we comparing shade of skin or genre of music? This is pop!

caryn: And don't forget, Annie, uh, raps during Me Plus One.

amy: well why not compare them to nirvana or avril lavigne or 50 cent?

amy: i guess she sort of talks on that song

caryn: I will: all three of those artists are far more compelling than Annie. I used MIA because they are two break out artists in pop at the same time.

amy: what do you mean by "compelling"?

caryn: The music grabs me. The artists' steelo grabs me. They have carved out something new (at the time), exciting, signature and unforgetable.

amy: well, i don't think any of them were doing anything new. as for the other stuff, i find annie to be all those things.

caryn: Well, we'll have to agree to disagree I guess.

amy: ok

amy: now back to how bad that show was

caryn: But just know this: you're wrong.

amy: dude, pitchfork number one song of the year! of course i'm right!

caryn: Oh, so whatever Pitchfork says I have to swallow. They've really inserted that chip into you, huh?

amy: yup. speaking of which – I am so in love with the arcade fire right now.

amy: i forgot how much i love them until the dj before annie played them. now I am listening to the album again.

caryn: Fuck YEAH! It was the one time all night that I really, really wanted to dance!

amy: that proves how bad she was-- i left wanting to hear the music played BEFORE the show!

caryn: Ok, the show. So who's that guy who does her music? He kinda looks like a rockabilly Nordic hispter.

amy: i dunno, some producer guy. he worked on the album with her. he may or may not be her boyfriend

caryn: He had one of those faces that is clearly not American.

amy: i think the best part of the show was when he did the robot voice on "chewing gum"

caryn: Yeah. It was a bit mangled, which made it better.

amy: the mix was terrible. her vocals were really low. probably for good reason.

caryn: That room, the Hiro, is quite nice. A calming setting with Asian overtones and Bright Lights, Big City crackheads jumping up and down in the booths.

amy: oh i remember reading some guy talking about how it was racist

amy: let me find that

amy: http://iamjapan.blogspot.com/2005/04/beck-maritime-hotel.html: “We enter Hiro, and we get it. Asian themed. The stage is a horrible wooden facade, with a dragon spewing smoke from its eyes and mouth. Stereotypes abound. Innumberable paper lanterns. Nonsense Japanese script on the walls. Stereotypes abound. Red walls and faux-bamboo mezzanine. Stereotypes abound, albeit confused ones.”

caryn: I have a friend who is an asian activist and if she ever saw anyone dressed up in asian-wear during Haloween or whatever, she would go up to them and shout, "Someone else's culture is not your costume." I amused myself tonight by wondering if the characters on the walls actually could be translated into things such as, "Die Yuppie Scum" or "I'm with Dickhead."

amy: haha maybe. that would be amazing.

amy: also-- what was that thing she was hitting that made the mwah mwah sounds

caryn: Right, if was like an electric cowbells that she hit ever lackadasically and without much rthym.

amy: it was pretty silly

amy: oh and her shirt! good god that was awful

amy: it was half truckstop ho half my grandma

caryn: Now Amy, everyone can't have a cute Decemberists ringer tee like you. Leave the poor Nordic girl alone.

amy: yeah but you figure she'd have a stylist or something to be like "whoa... you are going out in public in that thing?"

caryn: That's what my mom says to me all the time!

amy: haha yeah that happened to me a lot in high school

caryn: On that note...

amy: in the words of that other annie, instead of treated we got tricked