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    The boys in the trees

    I don’t remember how it came up in conversation, but I mentioned “You Belong to Me,” and this guy who must have been all of 23 was like, “Oh, yeah, the Jennifer Lopez song.”

    And I thought, Oh, no.

    That’s just so unjust. At first I was hoping that Lopez had done that whole retro thing that all the boy bands are doing and covered the Jo Stafford song. No, I don’t want to see Stafford abused, either, but there’s something especially repellant about someone like Lopez–whose entire singing career is built on frantic, unconvincing assertions that she’s still down with the regular folk–denaturing something of Carly Simon’s.

    Perspective: when I was in college, the whole Riot Grrl thing was all over the news. You know, you’d have these white-bread women singing, like,

    I go to Brown on Daddy’s dime
    But I’m totally oppressed
    [skronky guitar noise]
    It’s an act of true sedition
    When I shriek about my breasts
    [skronky guitar noise]

    The great thing about Carly, in retrospect, is that she approached her spoiled-brat neuroses without a trace of self-pity. Yes, she sang all solemnly about how empty her life felt despite all the parties and expensive romantic jaunts and stuff, but you never got the sense that she was pissy at the world about it. Who cares if she recycled the same half-dozen melodies for ten years and missed half the notes she sang?

    Speaking of missing notes all the time: Madge. Are you excited about her new album? I am. I just hope it doesn’t suck. The title is promising–whenever she remembers she’s a neo-disco chick and stops trying to address the Darkness in our Materialistic Souls and crap like that, she still has it. I seem to be the only life-long Madonna fan, BTW, who doesn’t think Ray of Light was the second coming. I’m sorry, crooning about how your new baby is wonderful because she was the latest, greatest step in your program of self-discovery is way creepy.

    Have you noticed that my posts are scatty this week? Sorry. Atsushi’s coming home for the weekend on Saturday. As he reminded me on the phone last night, exactly one year ago I was visiting him in Kyushu for the first time since his transfer. The first several months were tough, but we’re in our groove. I still get fidgety right before I know I’m going to see him, though, so, you know, you get randomness.

    2 Responses to “The boys in the trees”

    1. Mark Alger says:

      The great thing about Carly was the front cover shot of “No Secrets.” I was around 18 that year and, trust me, I dreamed about those nipples for months. She got a lot of slack unreeled off the spool and cut just to length for her for that.


    2. Sean Kinsell says:

      Right! That’s the one with the hat and shoulder bag, yeah? ‘Cause I was thinking when I posted this that the cover of Playing Possum was probably considered sexier at the time. Of course, now a grainy photograph of a female pop star in a teddy would be considered the height of restraint.

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