21 November 2004

Girls Girls Girls

"My problem with girl groups like this is that I'm never sure if my interest is genuinely based on the music or whether I wanna have sex with them. And I really wanna have sex with all the Girls Aloud. Either one at a time or a group thing, with some girl on girl action thrown in for good measure. How can I possibly make a value judgement on their songs with all that evil shit playing on my mind?"

Gutterbreakz in the comments box after Psychbloke posted a picture of Cheryl Tweedie from Girls Aloud. Got me thinking...


Is it possible to divorce musical value from imagery? Aren't both just a function of arousal? It seems an easy out with regard to pop music - of course BritneyKylieChristinaRachel etc work on desire and evoke, at least in this listener, their own brand of Sad Dad infatuation...but what of 'serious' music? Didn't people go and see Throbbing Gristle with half an eye on the idea that Cosey might strip? Wouldn't The Lemon Kittens have just been a bit crap if they hadn't been fronted by Danielle Dax's Cat Queen? Would the punks have asked Sioxsie to put her clothes back on?


Did I like X Ray Spex as much once I saw where that voice came from?

It's troubling. The more I look at things that I've liked the more the ugly head of beauty rears up to mess with my sensibilities. At some point I found myself with an inexplicable fascination for Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians, at some time or other I listened to Eighth Wonder with a real need for them to sound good (okay, it didn't happen but there's plenty of bands I haven't even tried to like), I got obsessed with The Cranes after swallowing a block of hash and dipping into an Enduring Love style bit of De Clerambault's Syndrome and I bought Blondie albums because Debbie Harry looked a bit like my friends older sister...


Blondie - Sunday Girl

Edie Brickell - What I am

But do I like them? Just for the music? I can't see how I can ever tell.


Psychbloke said...

God, the whole things just sublimated sex isn't it? (Well, the good stuff is......)

You shoulda saved this one for 'Dissensus' mate, though to be honest, the answer's pretty clear - I don't really think the debate has legs on......unlike Cheryl....yock...yock....

So, I know I haven't helped, but hasn't our little corner of the blogoverse gone a bit pervy all of a sudden? A further unexplored aspect of my wife's 'Sad Dad' hypothesis?

GTTRBRKZ said...

Actually, I REALLY did like Girls Aloud's version of 'Jump'. Any passing fantasies about jumping their bones were purely incidental.

Note to self: Post some pervy stuff (esp. gratuitus 'tits out' jpegs) at own blog.

GTTRBRKZ said...

...if the bloody servers ever come back on that is:

We apologize for the inconvenience, but we are unable to process your request at this time. Our engineers have been notified of this problem and will work to resolve it.

Blogger is really getting on my tits at the mo'...

Psychbloke said...

Will you be displaying them on your blog anytime soon?

GTTRBRKZ said...

Not tonite, baby. you'll have to get your kicks somewhere else for now...

kek-w said...

"Is it possible to divorce musical value from imagery?"

Yes, you can. But, like Tantric Sex, it takes a lot of practice and, to be perfectly honest, is it really worth the effort?

Still, for my sins (and this is going to sound really sad) I have, er, 'arrived' at a point in my life where I genuinely thought 'Some Girls' was a brilliant record (regardless of whether Rachel was on it or not), whereas I have no interest in 'More, more, more' because I fucking adore Andrea True Connection's version so much that Ms. Stevens' cover seems pointless and non value-added. There appears (but I may be wrong or in denial) to me no visual component involved whatsoever in my almost arbitary preference. In theory, I should find Rachel Stevens so sexually attractive that the songs' content/production/genre referentiality should play no/little role in my choice, you'd think, wouldn't you?

I first heard both of these songs (like I hear most pop) in non-visual situations (but not national radio) such as piped music in shops, etc without knowing who the artist was, so I guess I'd already made my mind up on the basis of audio. And maybe it's because I'm also so aware that my emotions/arousal levels are being so blatantly manipulated by the media, and the images I'm being presented with are digitally airbrushed, false and intrinsically un-sexy that I'm resisting them out of spite and near MES-esque levels of cantankerousness. Or maybe I'm sad and old and I just like a good tune.

Still, Loki's right: it is about arousal on some arcane level or other; hence my post about The Cheeky Girl's accents; even if we don't have access to visual data, we're still making subsconscious decisions on a sexual/pleaure-based level. When I finally saw the Rachel videos I think I almost arbitarily came up with visual 'justifications' to match my initial audio assessments. The "Some Girls" video features a whole crowd of women purposefully striding through an urban landscape: there's something soooooooooo alluring about groups of women marching; I guess it's a dominance/control thing; some sort of power in numbers trope, I'm not sure. Because, really, in 'real' life there would be nothing even remotely sexy about 300 women angrily marching down the road towards you. With "More, more, more" (the video was as boring and lazy, disco-by-numbers as the record) there was an equally arbitary 'turn-off' factor: at one point Rachel wears this white shapeless sack-like dress that when seen from a distance does a weird trick with her physical proportions and makes her legs seem about 15 inches long. It induced a sort of nonsex reptile-brain 'flashback' that said: "Sorry, not tonight, thanks, my brain does not see you as being even slightly related to the human species, therefore I'm shutting down my arousal circuits. Be off with you, Rachel, and take your wretched cover-version with you." But, to be honest, I think I'd long-since already 'decided' I liked one song but not the other.

I hated GA at first; I thought they were a bunch of Nazi boilers; Dom bigged up the first single, but I just couldn't go there with it at the time...it wasn't until "The Show" that I really started changing my mind about them, and it's not because they've suddenly become more gorgeous, because they haven't.

Hate the Children in Need ballad, though.

Errrrr...what was the question again?

Psychbloke said...

Blimey!! - Nothing pithy in Kek's comments box is there....?

kek-w said...


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