Category Archives: Musicians
Amy Winehouse died today, and you can read all about it on the righteous Huffington Post obituary that reminds us her demise was just a “slo-mo car crash.”
Her death is not altogether shocking, but it is disturbing nonetheless.
In a sense, her artistic marketability stemmed from a bad-girlification of 1960s soul music. She was a skinny, tatted-up tough girl from working-class London, with big hair and a voice to match. Her struggles with (or seeming acceptance of) drug addiction only enhanced her reputation as a true entertainer, one with moxie, attitude, and presence.
Fans relished her bad behavior, cheering lyrics like “You love blow and I love puff” (“Back to Black”) and “I told you I was trouble / You know that I’m no good” (“You Know That I’m No Good”). Her refusal to go to rehab was celebrated in a Grammy-winning song (“Rehab”), in which Winehouse admits to suffering from addiction and depression.
This glorification of mental illness and self-destructive behavior sends mixed messages to those who also struggle with these issues. Winehouse’s drug use was not only acceptable but legitimized by her celebrity status. This was a double validation: Her drug use fed into her being perceived as a rock star, and her being a rock star forgave her drug use. And now she’s dead, and no one’s surprised.
So what does it take to remove the idolatry from substance abuse? The wasted talents of Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, and many others including Amy Winehouse now, have all developed into a tragic mythos of “forever young,” without acknowledgement of what really ripped these creative beings from our midst. The real scourge is untreated illness, the exaltation of which prevents honesty, recovery, and true grit from being communicated to a public sold on the dangerous cheapness of entertainment.
Over at my personal blog (which has recently been re-named), Jill of All Genres, one of my most regular types of post is what I call the “bragging post,” where I take the opportunity to brag about the accomplishments of my talented friends. It’s one of my favorite things to do and luckily, there are no shortage of accomplishments to brag on.
Charlotte suggested that I post my most recent bragging on post, Bragalicious, here, since many of my shout outs are local New Orleanians (or Baton Rougeians). It’s been too long since I’ve written a post on NOLAFemmes, so I am happy to post Bragalicious here for you.
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First and foremost, as we speak, pretty much all of The Peauxdunque Writers Alliance is gearing up for The Oxford American Summit for Ambitious Writers. Four of our members are attending, including Maurice Ruffin, Terri Stoor, Tad Bartlett and J.Ed Marston. That means something like 40% or so of our membership was accepted.
Jamey Hatley is also attending the Summit. Additionally, she’s won a prestigious waitership to Bread Loaf later in the summer.
Also, Maurice Ruffin‘s short story “And Then I Was Clean” will be published in UNO’s Ellipsis Journal.
Another Peauxdunque member, Joselyn Takacs has been accepted into the MFA program at Johns Hopkins University and is on her way.
A little birdie told me that Barb Johnson will be receiving the Barbara Gittings Literature Award at the ALA Conference tomorrow.
Helen Krieger and Joseph Meissner are screening Flood Streets at the San Antonio Film Festival on Thursday.
Lindsay Rae Spurlock‘s song “As for Now” was featured on Adult Swim’s “Children’s Hospital.” You may still be able to download it for free if you like her Facebook page. Here’s an awesome photo of her, too:
Congrats to all my phenomenally talented friends!
This is late in coming, but better late than never, right? After I reviewed Lissie at House of Blues and suggested everybody check out Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, I promised I would review the show, so here I am.
First of all, it was a sold out show at the main HOB stage, so it was crowded. That’s not my favorite way to enjoy live music and I was a bit grouchy, but also really excited to see Grace Potter and the Nocturnals cause I’ve heard that they’re amazing live. And I noticed that most of their shows on this tour have been sold out, if that gives you any evidence.
I am here to tell you that GP&N (for brevity’s sake) are every ounce the phenomenal performers that I’ve heard. Positively electric. An easy comparison to Grace Potter is Janis Joplin, but I read someone compare her to Tina Turner and I think that may be even more apt. Or some kind of combination of Janis Joplin, Tina Turner and herself may be the most apt description.
I found a local music blog that has videos and a gallery of images from the show. You should definitely check it out and I’ll include some videos below so you can get an idea for yourself of what it’s like to see GP&N live. There’s a high-energy new-wave psychedelic funky/folky quality that is just utterly unique.
This one is a bit dark, but the audio is pretty good.
The lighting in this one is much better and it’s a great song.
This video is not from her recent New Orleans performance, but I’m including it because she did perform it in a special arrangement and after some discussion of Katrina and our recovery. This performance is close to what she performed here in New Orleans, without her commentary, of course.
If, after all this, you want to re-create the Nola concert for yourself, I found a setlist for the show and there should be videos for almost all of these songs available. Have fun!
P.S. Actually, I did it for you. Here is a playlist of the songs that GP&N played at House of Blues earlier this month. Enjoy!