Pink - Stupid Girls (Video stream)

“Outcasts and girls with ambition/ That’s what I want to see."

So the music’s nothing special (think ‘Most Girls’ monotony rather than ‘Get the Party Started’ bounce) but I’ve got to applaud Pink on her good intentions. J-Simpson, MK, La Lohan et al: it’s a veritable SNL skit of tabloid-worthy behaviour, and, unlike Jewel’s sell-out faux-ironic 'Intuition' video, there’s actual humor in this one - albeit the inflatable bra variety.

Because it’s true. She may dress it up in spoof costumes and fake tan, but100lb blondes being praised for their cokearexic figures and healthy work-out regimes isn’t really the vision of an empowered gender I want. Size fourteen is not fat. Food is not the enemy. Go watch Marilyn Monroe in ‘Some Like it Hot’ and think about where the hell we are as a society when flesh is scorned for bone and our conception of beauty is so fucking screwed that it takes actual effort for me not to be seduced into working out five times a week, or taking some warped kind of pride in the attainment of a perfectly flat stomach.

Yeah, I know. Another feminist rant. But come on people, doesn’t it say enough that these rants are still relevant? That their content has barely changed in half a damn century? If it all really was a craftily-orchestrated conspiracy to inspire women to loathe their basic selves, then at least there would be some sense to it. But really, it’s just the basic fabric of our world – and isn’t that the saddest thing? Oh, right, sorry. Just laugh at the silly video.

(And don’t even get me started on those Amnesty ‘public opinions about rape’ surveys – I’m still in denial.)


Morningwood - Nth Degree

"Uh-oh/ Here we go/ Turn up the radio/ Come on everybody/ To the Nth degree!"

Are you a cooler-than-thou hipster? Do you long for pop music you can love without losing your ‘cred’? Does trying to explain your adoration of Annie and Robyn leave your American Apparel post-feminist panties in a twist (“Yes, Annie is blonde and Nordic but not really pop. Sure, Robyn was a packaged princess back in the 90s, but now she’s got status. On her own indy label and everything!”)

Your search is over, my troubled friend. Introducing the pop moment even you can publicly applaud. See how there are all those real instruments! Look, they’re a band! With ex-Beastie Boys credentials! Gil Norton produced, and you can’t get any more authentic and worthy than those Pixies dudes, right?

So. What?

Exactly. If you have any sense at all (and hair that doesn’t routinely take twenty minutes of artful coiffing every morning), that pedigree will have left you entirely unmoved. But fear not, for there is actual brilliance to back that MTV2-friendly allure! Really? Truly? Honestly?

Why yes! Think synthetic coos of lovingly over-produced and insanely infectious joy. Think jubilant chanting. Think pouting attitude. Think plastic, shiny, melodic, focus-group-tested, demographically divine, pre-teen-friendly, co-ordinated-dance-routine-able, ‘if we’re going to debate the substance of pop then this is more pop than Britney’, start bouncing around with the elation of it all sheer brilliance.

Of course, the poor band didn’t actually get the memo that this was a very good thing indeed and so the rest of the album is packed with that whole noisy-disco-yell-electro-can-I-be-Peaches-or-at-the-very-least-Karen-O? rigmarole, but never mind. We know all too well that pure pop perfection is but a morsel of sugar-rush bliss on our adhd singles-only tongue.

Taste. Treasure. Discard.

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Buy the album from Target


All hail Edward O'Kulicz

Without a doubt, the definitive, best-written, most thoughtful and engaging 2005 list of them all.


Rosie Thomas - Wedding Day

I’ve been here before.

Haven’t we all? A new year comes around and we take a moment, hoping that this will be the year we actually get a handle on things. Some energy or control or movement beyond this. I’ve certainly been here before; trying to articulate my eternal devotion to this song, and – as usual – I shall probably fail. But that’s OK. Because this time it’s not about the melody or bridge; the sunshine on my skin despite snowfall and chilled lips. This is the time of year to bring out my manifesto again. So here it is.

I will be brave. I will be adventurous. I will make sure I am prepared enough to be spontaneous. I won’t let the eventual zero-sum nature of everything deter me from the experience. I will remember that I’ll be OK in the end. I will try to remember that people usually tell you the truth, you just choose not to listen.

Rosie knows how it works; the need for momentum, the literal drive forwards over well-worn terrain until we reach the new – the green light in the distance, some kind of steadier footing. We don’t need the concrete plans – the bullet-point, time-spaced itineries which fail to understand just how random this world is. We just need to remember what we can plan to achieve in our own little corner, and what is utterly beyond our control. Which is most of it, to be honest. There’s something in the pictures she paints with these words that make me dream of Sabrina Ward Harrison prints, overflowing with vivid colour but taken with a fragile, pained eye. A restless pace, a feeling I long for, and which finally, this year, I might just find.

This year, the world will open up to me, I pledge each time. This time I’ll be ready for it; training wheels off, pen at the ready. Maybe this year, it’ll be true.

Buy ‘When We Were Small’ from the Subpop store.
Visit Rosie’s MySpace and main site