All of the okay things that happened this week and what they mean for you, yr family, and yr future.
GRIMES OF TARTH ON THE WARPATH
Imagine you are Claire Boucher. You were born with the ability to create world-destroying Top 4o smashes, but you chose instead to devote your energies to making “Oblivion.” As a result, young people with interesting hair all over the world adore you. But you want more. You work for the most powerful man in the world, and you’ve got an imperial streak in you that really wants to make a legitimate hit. You could do it in two seconds, but you can’t betray your people. Luckily, you have at your disposal a label-mate who exists to make world-destroying Top 4o hits. So, you write her a song. When she doesn’t want it – did she ever even know it existed? – you snatch it up, record it yourself, and release it as an afterthought just because you were bored waiting for your new album to come out. And it’s this:
Give it two months and I would not be surprised if this becomes a serious contender for Song of the Summer 2014. “Go” isn’t a pop masterpiece, but it is inarguable pop perfection. It’s catchier, dance-ier, and hookier than pretty much anything out right now that doesn’t feature Iggy Azalea. It’s also phenomenally produced and features, on a technical level, proof that Boucher can actually sing. It belongs to a major hip hop label. It sounds exactly like whatever 2014 sounds like. There is no reason it should not go to the Top 10.
If Grimes album no. 4 sounds like this there’s going to be a world of deeply betrayed Pitchfork readers who will want Boucher’s head. I don’t think it will, though – “Go” is Grimes casually dropping the hint that she is one of the world’s greatest pop forces, but that she’s too genuine (and too genuinely oblivious) to care about it. This is just a hold-over for fans while she works on her real stuff. But watch “Go” blow up, just in time for that real stuff to drop. And watch that real stuff be the maximalization of weirdo pop perfection that the follow-up to “Visions” is destined to be, something so transcendentally good that the casual “Go” fans will fall down in awe – the realization of poptimist dreams; the sound of Boucher taking over the world. Grimes may give her allegiances to House Tarth, but it’s obvious now that she’s a Targaryen, and that we just saw Astapor go up in flames.
FUCK HATERS, CONT.
Sky Ferreira continues the art of being awesome and a complete idiot at the same time, a virtue that makes her the absolute ideal champion for Terry Richardson’s moral integrity. Rarely do we ever get to see a PR-controlled person put out a document with so many political/emotional contradictions. Some choice excerpts:
Terry has only been a supportive & caring friend to me for a long time. I actually find the whole thing upsetting & have for a while. To say I support sexual abuse beyond hurts me. I’ve experienced it from a very early age until I was 16 years old & have been VERY vocal about it. I am a feminist & work with foundations globally w/ children & women that are victims of sexual abuse. I fight for it every day.
Your opinion of someone doesn’t make them who they are I am NOT saying the women who have publicly spoken are at fault or wrong or lying. I hope they get help. I’m disgusted that people use others (victims) pain for $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ or someway to help themselves climb the ladder of whatever they are trying to get to.
Basically if one more person has the nerve to ask/tell me that I’ve fucked Terry Richardson, I will slit their fucking throat.
Also, if I was using my “tits” to sell anything, my body is worth more than any cash on the entire planet.
What Sky’s exact position is on any of this isn’t exactly clear (what “this” is at all is pretty unclear in itself), but depending on where you focus she could come off as a feminist hero, an FCP, a cokehead, or just a basic idiot. Essentially she’s doing exactly what she does – fucking up in front of us without any sign of stopping, creating something that’s admirable and cringeworthy and embarrassing and somehow empowering, all at the same time.
CONSPIRACY THEORIES: VIRAL MARKETING AND THE ROBIN/PAULA SPLIT
Robin Thicke succeeded in upsetting even more people with his new video for “getting her back” anthem “Get Her Back.” The track is about doing whatever it takes to “get” ex-wife Paula Patton “back,” and Jonas Åkerlund’s video does a remarkably bad job of convincing a nation of already displeased spectators that Robin Thicke isn’t a total dirt bag (this shouldn’t be particularly surprising, given Åkerlund’s ouevre – I’m not going to include a link here to his video for Rammstein’s “Pussy”). The most interesting piece of criticism to come out of the uproar, though, is Slava Pastuk’s article for Noisey that details a conspiracy theory claiming that the entire Robin/Paula split is an orchestrated PR move to enhance the experience of the album. This seems like an absurd joke at first, but Pastuk’s argument is surprisingly compelling. The entire story does seem too ridiculously neat to be true when you take a step back and think about it – the tipping point for me comes at the widely accepted rumor that Miley Cyrus broke their marriage. Pastuk’s theory is probably too good to be true, but I would feel better about the state of marriage and the general power of love if he’s right.
BILLBOARD REPORT: “THE BEST THING NOW IS PROBABLY FOR YOU TO EXIT”
Iggy retains her choke-hold on the charts and continues to block Ariana Grande from her rightful claim to the no. 1 spot. “Fancy” can’t hold on forever, though, and Ariana may soon have her day. “Chandelier” continues its slow creep; “She Looks So Perfect” continues its rapid descent. And in album world, Lana of course takes her much deserved debut no. 1.