Find Me On:
It’s been delayed several times over the course of two years, but Missy Elliott’s “Block Party” should (*crosses fingers*) finally get released in 2011. That would make SIX years since she released her last one.
“So no one is trying to modify your tastes or tell you what bands to like.” Uh, except for everyone Brandon used in this defense, as well as Brandon himself. I know you used Lady Gaga as an example of the opposite in your argument, but do you think she’s not a victim of some of the same attitudes in the mostly-male critical class that you claim Cocorosie is? Most reviews I’ve read of Lady Gaga’s albums (or Madonna’s albums or Janet Jackson’s albums or Mariah Carey’s albums or [insert widely-know megaselling female artist name here]‘s albums) spend the first 75% of the column expounding on things decidedly non-musical, and then cap off with a few lines about whether or not the record is any good. The fight you’re fighting is feminist issue, not a Cocorosie issue. I resent them being held up as some sort of unique pariah just because what they do is more traditionally “artful” or whatever. I think their press coverage (or the lack thereof) has everything to do with them just being terrible, not because they’re women.
Somewhere else in the comment thread, Tune-Yards was used as an example. I don’t want to get into who’s conventionally attractive and who isn’t, but neither Merrill Garbus nor the Sister Casady could ever be mistaken for Heidi Klum, yet one of these bands seems to be embraced by the average American indie rocker and one doesn’t. That leads me to believe that it’s not about their sex or their looks or their willful intent to be conceptual or confrontational, but rather the music itself.
I honestly believe Cocorosie has done an incredible disservice to themselves by making it so impossible to separate the music they make from the persona they project. They resist at every opportunity the chance to be critiqued on solely musical terms, so of course many reviews are going to focus on the non-musical before they get to the musical. And a lot of people AREN’T going to like the non-musical.
Right. Completely spot on. The whole reason some of us have reacted to this article and the comments from its panelists is its scolding tone. Let’s boil it down, shall we? A few years ago, Brandon writes a review that was later substituted for one that undoubtedly made for better reading. Oof! That probably hurt his feelings, because he could not fathom that people may not actually like a band he likes. So he’s been sitting around stewing on it for years until it reached a head. Now he goes out and approaches other people to write a defense of band who really doesn’t need defending. These people go on to say some of the most ludicrous things all as a means to justify why they think Cocorosie -really- isn’t getting the coverage, when in reality it’s just a matter of music publications having only so much room and making a concerted effort to fill that room with reviews people might actually want to read. No one likes a review which consists entirely of reasons we should like that band, against all we know that’s better logic. That’s what fan club message boards are for. Granted, I haven’t read nor do I know the content of Brandon’s original review, this whole thing comes across as sour grapes.
People don’t like Cocorosie? NEWS FLASH. Lots of people don’t like lots of bands. But it would never even cross my mind to gather a bunch of quotes from other musicians in an effort to scold people into liking some band I like who I don’t think is getting a fair shake. If you want to do Cocorosie any favors, quit coddling them like you would a sweet sixteen who had no one show up to her party. They’re big girls and they know full well what they’re doing is going to split opinions. I’m sure it makes them feel warm and fuzzy to read all these nice things from their peers, but part of them has to feel insulted by the notion that they need some gang of protectors because the big, bad public at large out there is completely oblivious to their existence. Wah.
No, it’s the hamfisted racial/sexual/socio themes dressed up in a we’re-storytellers-DO-U-SEE guise that’s neither shocking nor sincere. They keep doing it because dopes keep eating it up. As for the music itself, *yawn.*
What I really object to is being condescended to by all you people telling me I don’t get it because I’m a man. Fuck you people. Based on percentages, I probably listen to more female-driven music than male-driven music (or it’s at least a 50/50 spread). I don’t not like Cocorosie because they’re female and non-stereotypically sexualized. I don’t like them because they’re twelve kinds of terrible.
I won’t engage in a long and pointless dialogue about art and what makes it and what doesn’t, but having Antony as your chief defender is hardly a selling point in any real discussion of why Cocorosie is or isn’t good. Sometimes I appreciate being challenged by what I’m hearing or seeing, but I never appreciate it when the challenges are hollow and devoid of any deeper point. Cocorosie exist to provocate and nothing more. The fact that most of the people sticking up for them in this panel are likewise loft-bubble NYC art people (or in the same scenes in their respective locales) just strengthens my position. None of them have any grasp on what’s good anymore. They exist in a huge daisy chain of self-congratulatory and orgiastic approval. If you want to provocate, fine. Do it well. Don’t do it limply with some of the most average, unchallenging music around. And if you want to provocate on the level that Cocorosie does, you better be making the best damn music I’ve ever heard, because it will be a requirement to offset the mountains of bullshit you’re trafficking.
This is nice exercise and all, but I’d love to see Stereogum publish a collection of other respected musician-types explaining why Cocorosie is so terrible and despised. As it stands, this collection of art-fucked defenses and accusations of misogyny-by-numbers is a pretty hollow endorsement. For a lot of people (myself included), the deep loathing of Cocorosie comes from an informed sense of “knowing bullshit when I see it.” And these sisters stink like bullshit.
Perpetua was just telling me yesterday how much this album sucks, but I’m not going to believe that until I hear it if the first mp3 is anything to go on. I want to zone out to this on a sunny day.