Bubba's Rants and Raves #2 - Stevie Nicks and Garbage - U2 Feedback

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Old 10-02-2001, 12:37 AM   #1
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Bubba's Rants and Raves #2 - Stevie Nicks and Garbage


Personally, I'm tired of the 70's pop artists who are churning out very mediocre music, songs that get noticed simply because of who released them.

Let me preface this by saying that I don't think all artists from the pre-punk era are generating mediocre music. John Fogerty released the excellent Blue Moon Swamp in '97, Santana released the award-winning Supernatural, and everyone is prasing Bob Dylan's latest EP.

And tired, mediocre music is not limited to those artists who predate the punk revolution and the post-punk consequences. I would dare say that Bon Jovi's seen better days, and I've long since tired of Sugar Ray -- who may one day be at the wrong end of these articles.

But, returning to the topic at hand, the artists of the Seventies need to consider holding back on music until they have something interesting to say. Aerosmith hasn't made solid rock n' roll since "Cryin'"; I find myself torn between irritation and indifference each time VH1 play's Elton John's latest, "I Want Love"; and Stevie Nicks should stop immediately.

Stevie Nicks annoys me, even on the level of personal style. I have no idea why, after thirty years, she still insists on "her look", which wasn't that stylish in the first place.

Amusingly, a Stevie Nicks fansite ( http://www.hopelesslyenchanted.com/ ) includes links to online stores that feature "Stevie's Style" of clothing. The stores profess to sell clothing ranging from "Enchanted Clothing" to "Renaissance Fantasywear" and -- my favorite -- "Trashy Lingerie". It scares me that fans buy and wear these dresses that are little more than layers and layers of curtain material, and it makes me wonder how many fans partake of a daily serving of Lucky Charms just for the sake of living each moment in Fantasyland.

Add to her dresses the ruby red lipstick, the frightening lack of aging, and the long flowing hair with long flowing bangs, and you have what some would call the "mystical enchanting gypsy of rock n' roll" (quoting another fansite), and what I would call a lunatic with connections to a very talented cosmetic surgeon.

All this could be forgiven if her music didn't suck, but sadly her music is no better.

As an example, take her most recent single, "Sorceror", the duet with Sheryl Crow. This title plays right into her fanbase; that could be overlooked, but the music itself is sorely lacking. The overall production is fine, but the song itself goes nowhere, and the vocals have no real melody to them. Worse yet, the barely rhyming lyrics are about as meaningful as the ramblings of a nine-year-old girl -- or a random word generator, I can't decide which.

Granted, some of U2's lyrics are barely decipherable, but those songs aren't released as singles. Some of Bono's earlier incoherencies are just the result of improvisation. And the other problem lyrics, those more fully developed, usually have the symptom of too many possible meanings, not too few. Since Bono has matured into a full-fleged songwriter -- around 1984 or 1985 -- he has never deliberately produced for an album words this empty of meaning.

The lyrics?

I'm tired
I'm thirsty
I'm wild-eyed
In my misery

Okay, she's not in the best of moods. No difficulty there.

Timeless in your finery
It's a high price
For your luxury

This is where I start to ask, Say what now? There are two people apparent in the song, her and "you". Which of the two is "timeless in your finery", and what the hell does that mean? And is being timeless the "high price for your luxury"? Does anybody follow this?

Who is the master
A man and woman on a star stream
In the middle of a snow dream

Eh? Beyond the emptiness of this first part of the chorus, I can't help thinking of the cheezy "Barry Gordy's Last Dragon", featuring "Sho'nuff, the Shogun of Harlem":

"Who's the Master?"


Show me the high life
Come over
Let me put you on ice

Again, what is she talking about? Is she advertising Miller beer, or what?

All around black ink darkness
And who found lady from the mountains

I have no idea what she's talking about, and no amount of repetition could help.

All around black ink darkness
And who found lady from the mountains
Lady from the mountains

Why is she repeating herself? The phrase wasn't poignant the first time, and it doesn't get any clearer with a second listen.

Stevie then repeats the same chorus and verses until somebody tells her that she's reached the four-minute mark.

Simply put, this music makes Enya immediately approachable and lucid.

But let's move on to more praise-worthy music, specifically Garbage's new single "Androgyny".

Since their first album in 1995 -- has it been that long? -- Garbage has built a faithful following through the deployment of two deadly musical weapons: the slick, bass-happy production values of Butch Vig, who helped with a couple "Staring at the Sun" remixes; and the powerful voice and magnetic personality of Shirley Manson. Shirley is strong and sexy, the only woman in modern rock that can sustain both her femininity and a level of danger, and one of the few women who could hold her own on the same stage with Bono.

My only complaint has been the theme to "The World Is Not Enough". In my mind, Shirley Manson is the front-running candidate from the world of music for "Bond Girl", and it's a shame that the theme was not nearly as good as it should have been. Like Bono and the Edge writing for Tina Turner for "Goldeneye", the reality simply fell short of the potential.

That said, Garbage's "Androgyny" is an excellent example of the band in top form: great beats underneath bells, whistles, and a crunchy guitar; and sexually charged lyrics sung by an audibly, um, "hungry" Shirley Manson.

As most of us already know, Garbage will release their third album today and will open for U2 at Notre Dame in just over a week. Many of us are lucky enough to see Garbage while waiting for our band to take the stage, and we should be in for a real treat as Butch, Shirley, and the others warm up the arena.

Achtung Bubba

#1 - Britney and Jewel

[This message has been edited by Achtung Bubba (edited 10-04-2001).]

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Old 10-02-2001, 03:05 PM   #2
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i have to say I'm really enjoying Garbage's new album... especially Nobody Loves You.

A lot of it reminds me of other music rather explicitly, even some that I don't like (untouchable sounds a bit.. dare i say britney spears) but for some reason it just works where others fail at similar things.

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Old 10-02-2001, 04:36 PM   #3
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I don't like the video...Shirley looks like an emancipated hair-band singer from the 80's. I know the point is to make her look androgynous, but when you've got a babe like Shirley Manson, why mess it up?!

They want you to be Jesus
They'll go down on one knee
But they'll want their money back
If you're alive at thirty-three
And you're turning tricks
With your crucifix
You're a star

"I can't watch a man sing a song. He gets all emotional, he starts swaying...it's embarrassing!" -- Jerry Seinfeld
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Old 10-02-2001, 04:44 PM   #4
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I'm loving the new CD, 'Silence is Golden' is amazing!

Silence is golden...I have been broken

'listen as hope and peace try to rhyme' -*POP*

"Irish people are like Texans" -Bono, 4-3-01

What would Jesus Not do?
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Old 10-02-2001, 07:48 PM   #5
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I'm sad...I can't listen to the wonderfulness of the new Garbage album.

*light bulb* Wait...I'm seeing them live in 13 days. Ok, guess that makes up for it!

"I suppose I do everything in extremes-laugh a lot, cry a lot, fight a lot, make love a lot, eat too much, drink too much, try too much, cry too much. Pass the onion..." -Bono


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Old 10-04-2001, 02:58 AM   #6
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Just to let you guys know, I've added an archive of previous articles at the bottom of Article #2. It won't matter now, but it should help people find previous articles as they pile up.

And as another observation... I don't write these articles to start fights, but I know my opinions can be divisive. That said, I'm shocked that no one thus far has weighed in on Stevie Nicks, has either applauded or villified my rather harsh opinion of the woman.

Oh well. Perhaps they're simply not playing "Sorcerer" on VH1 enough.

- Achtung Bubba
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Old 10-04-2001, 06:53 AM   #7
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I think Stevie's hit and miss. That's about it. I love her voice, but I think a lot of the new stuff is weak. The first single wasn't bad, though.

The King has spoken!

PLEBA- You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.

Tpyos skcu

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