On a Sunday morning, to post about rock and roll — blasphemous.
Nonetheless…we have a friend who’s a genuine, certified "rockrgrl" — Rain Perry. Won an award from the magazine and everything. Wrote and sang what is surely the best song ever about Yosemite, called, appropriately, "Yosemite."
Since Rain has so generously made it available for free, you really should take a minute to download it and listen to it.
She calls it her hardest-working song; it makes me think about Yosemite in a way I never quite did, before.
But actually, this is not about Rain. This is about the idea of rockrgrls, and why we love them.
For one, they can fuck up, and admit it. You can see that in this hot song from the Cardigans, with the great chorus:
I need some fine wine and you, you need to be nicer…
But we don’t have to go into the past to find some attitude from a rockrgrl. In 2006-7, we have Amy Winehouse, who has a huge hit (and deservedly so) with the chorus:
You try to make me go to rehab and I say, no, no, no…
And now, after (warning: London gossip) reportedly violently fighting with her husband, she has in fact canceled her tour after going to a hospital in a coma on August 8th with multiple drug overdoses, including heroin, cocaine, ketamine, whiskey, and vodka. She doesn’t have a video as good as the one above, but one look at her tells you so much: her defiance, her love for girl groups, her irony.
She’s got problems, but it just makes her more appealing — to some of us, anyhow.
Both these songs get across the idea that we the audience know what the singer is talking about, even before they say the words, a crucial overthrow of the 60’s idea that bands (such as the Beatles) had secret knowledge, and were somehow spreading the truth among their eager followers. The best phrasing of that idea today I have heard comes from Devotcha’s "How It Ends," as heard in "Little Miss Sunshine:"
And in your heart,
You know it to be true,
You know what you gotta do.
They all depend on you.
And you already know.
Yeah, you already know how this will end.
Here Wineheart is performing at Lollapalooza earlier this month in Chicago. Doesn’t she just look like the perfect Motown bad girl?
(HT: Matt Yglesias)