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"
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: 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