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lundi, novembre 07, 2005

these pages have no numbers

well, here i am in my new flat, you should come and visit, and i've spent so much time marvelling at ben marcus' notable american women, robert coover's "heart suit" cardgame story in issue n°16 of mcsweeney's or asva's futurists against the ocean and installing and scribbling little words in my notebook (some song about a unicorn without a horn) and simply enjoying the fact that a decent living space enables me to leave records spinning for more than one song or two because my stereo system is not ten centimeters from my forehead and i haven't even taken the time to copy out all the draft ideas i wanted to here. i've received a couple of insulting mails, also, for no reason. dismissing them in oblivion takes quite some time, as is curtain hanging. next in line was a discussion about gender power being involved in chorus repetition, as the ones ruining street legal, you know, the scheme of the lead singer announcing big ideas which are being obediently repeated by lavish expressionless ideas, what happens in the mind of an artist actually craving for this kind of scheme? contemporary r'n'b goes the same way, turning all these dull asian-afroamerican half-breds into vibrato machines to accompany big male smart mouths in a weird super hetero sexist waltz of egos. thank g*d we have missy to actually rap (rapping is indeed a very much empowered and gendered activity in US hip-hop - not to sound vainly glorious and dismissive about the realm of the past but where are the foxy brown and lil'kim and l'trimm that made the rap game such a varied and exciting one?) and produce and lead her art business. the other day at a friend's house we were listening to kate bush and there was this big chorale of male voices submissively echoing the diva's weirdness and it troubled me the other way round. i've always loved indie rock because it discarded the issue by making actual duets something more than a selling concept, carpenters or barbra streisand vs. gibbs bros-like. i guess electronic pop music took it all a step or two backwards, systematically pushing the discreet girlfriend at the microphone, with the smart might music-creator controlling it all behind the computer. eventually, you have to credit a constantly expanding musical figure such as sufjan stevens' for completely blurring the gender origins of his choirs. i just love the fact that you can never tell if this or that range in his elegiac chorales is sung by a girl or a boy. they're all mixed. they're all holding the same stick, at the same time. they hold hands. they don't fight for power. same idea goes for gruntling goddess runhild gammelsæter, who used to sing in the shortlived thorr's hammer (you can also hear on sunn o)))'s white one) - she's the only extreme metal singer i can think of who doesn't bring romantic appeal to big guys' manly mayhem but who actually growls as well as she sings in clear voice, in a really disturbing way, and with all the rigid schemes i have in mind when it comes to musical genres and genre distribution, i've thought for a long time that these howls and grunts were courtesy of one of the guys of the band. now i need to figure out why i love these lavish voices in japanese indie pop that all sound the same so much, especially when they're super lavish like coated with plastic (you can mention any singer in any band on usagi-chang, softly! or contemode, they do all sound the same, tending to get even less expressive when they accompany a guy's voice, as in aprils or macdonald duck eclair, or even when the music goes really noisy, as is the case on eel's latest little prince album), and why i can't stand most of mainstream j-pop's idols because most of them happen to have distinctive, expressive big voices (riingo s. is the exception). does it come from some kind repressed appeal to tamed, submissive characters, especially in the context of a super patriarchal society such as the japanese one? in the meantime of an answer, i'd just like to end this silly business by saying that i really love when brother and sister sing together and properly collaborate (another battle of power at stake, in this case), as rufus and martha wainwright seem to enjoy doing, more and more, these days (and i'm pretty sure that this doesn't have anything to do with the fact that rufus is gay, yes i am). Now, back to tables and chairs and curtains and electric supply.

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