Friday, July 29, 2011

I was an Amy Winehouse fan

I was watching back to back episodes of Amy Winehouse and Janis Joplin on the Biography Channel and had a few thoughts.

First of all, I think that it's ludicrous for someone to think that Winehouse's legacy isn't comparable to Joplin's. To say I was "saddened" by the news of Winehouse's death would be an overstatement because it doesn't affect my life in the least bit. However, I was a little "bummed out" after hearing the news. Simply put, I thought Winehouse had the coolest sounding female voice I've ever heard. It was powerful, eerie, and completely was Joplin's.

Second, for those who feel that it's blasphemous to compare the two and feel that Winehouse's career was vastly inferior, I pose this question to you: Can you name 5 Janis songs? I can't. I can name 3 great ones but that's it.

Besides, You Know I'm No Good and Rehab, I strongly urge you to take a listen to Winehouse's version of It's My Party (Leslie Gore cover) and Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow (Shirelles cover). My favorite song of her's is a little known gem off the Back to Black album entitled Love is a Losing Game. It's a great song that makes you want to Bogart-it up, alone with only your thoughts and a bottle of bourbon.

While watching Joplin's Life Story on Bio channel, I couldn't help but feel sorry for her. She was quoted as saying, "I make love to 25,000 fans at a show and then go home alone." Janis wasn't physically attractive and from all accounts, was very unpopular in school.
In 1970, the year she died, Janis decided to get some Sweet Revenge by attending her 10-year High School reunion in Port Arthur, Texas. She wanted to show everyone that this "Ugly Duckling" had made it big and that she had risen above all the bullying and teasing that she encountered in high school. She made a spectacle of it; dressing like a gypsy with an entourage in tow, flamboyantly parading around town while embarrassing her family in the process. Her big charade was halted after the news crew that followed along seized an opportunity to sit down with Janis and ask her a few questions. Their questions about her old high school classmates and how she was treated, struck a nerve with Joplin. She stopped smiling and began being evasive and uncomfortable. With a few stutters, she finally whispered, "No comment." Janis couldn't hide the sadness in her eyes...even behind those purple, circular sunglasses. The look of meloncholy on her face was proof that she was still carrying around the weight of being chastised in school. The reporters then asked about her High School Prom. Joplin's shoulders dropped and she quietly told them that she wasn't ever invited. She was visibly destroyed and her plan's of Sweet Revenge had pretty much back-fired as her act deflated on live t.v. The next day, from all accounts, Joplin's mother told her that she wishes she had never been born. It was the saddest damn thing I've seen in a while. I don't suppose I condone her rabid drug use...but after watching the show, I undersand it.

Anyway, I found the Bio's of these two tragic Rockstars pretty interesting. Do you agree with my opinion that Winehouse deserves the Joplin comparison? She was a brilliant singer.

Top5 Female Artists (not a lead singer of a band ex Debbie Harry of Blondie and in Brent's case, no Chrissie Hynde from the Pretenders and in Frank's case, no Zooey Daschnell from She and Him)

5. Loretta Lynn
4. Joan Baez
3. Amy Winehouse
2. Lucinda Williams
1. Alanis Morrissette

I'll try to "livin'" it up in my next Jive. Pun!



Lyle said...

Former coach Jimmy Johnson went to school with Janis Joplin at Port Arthur. According to Johnson, he "gave her all kinds of hell" and nicknamed her 'Beat Weeds'. Interesting little tidbit.

My top five would include (in no order):

Stevie Nix
Alison Krauss
Gwen Stefani (No Doubt days when she had pain in her heart, not her happy solo career)

And I am searching for a fifth, I don't know, maybe that singer for the Cranberries. She had a good voice.


Hooper said...

Well put. Never thought about the comparison but definitely see it now.
1. Gillian welch
2. Patty griffin
3. Kelly Robison
4. Neko Case
5. Brandi Carlisle

Lyle said...

I'll steal from Hooper. Kelly Robison would be my fifth.

Hooper said...

Kelly Willis. She doesnt go by Robison and i dont know why i put that.

Dana said...

Bullying is and always has been an enormous problem in schools. The only difference is that in the past, it was recognized as a sort of "right of passage" while today it is getting much more recognition in the mass media. This is, of course, a double edged sword. There have been numerous recent reports of teen suicides or drug overdoses that have been blamed on bullying which have made schools create "no tolerance" policies on bullying. I both agree and disagree with these policies. I think that prolonged and targeted bullying needs to be stopped, yet there is no standard legal definition for bullying. We run a fine line between what actually accounts for bullying and what is simply kids being kids. I definitely think that if a child is being severely affected by bullying, i.e. doesn't want to go to school, is frightened/depressed,etc., that something needs to be done. But I would also hate to ruin another child's life by sending them to alternative school for a one-time offense.

The flip side of all the media reports alerting people to the bullying problem is the "glamorization" of suicide. I couldn't tell you if bullying-related suicides have become more prevalent (I can assure you that they have always occurred) or if they are just reported more. Or maybe they have become more numerous because they are reported more (that's my guess.) Kids read about this stuff, see that these kids are getting their names and pictures printed on the cover of magazines, and don't think about the permanance of suicide. They ain't going to be around to see those magazines after they commit the deed. And dang, aren't they teaching that bully a lesson?

Ok, to get off my soapbox--in the veritable words of our old ag teacher Mr. Cook--does anyone else think there is any correlation to Amy Winehouse's death and the "27 club." If you are a troubled rock star these days, and are pretty sure you aren't going to make it to a ripe old age, wouldn't it cross your ming that your 27th year is a great year to do yourself in and secure yourself in your noteriety for years to come? Just playing devil's advocate here, knowing how some readers of this blog love a great conspiracy theory.

Top 5 female singers:

Alanis Morrisette (esp. in her "angry" years)
Gwen Stefani (if I had ever been a rock star, I would want to dress and look exactly like her)
Norah Jones
Hon. Mention Bjork (ok, just kidding)


Dana said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dana said...

BTW, I must be the queen of "air quotes." I must assure those that don't know me well that I don't do them "in person." My family would prolly accuse me of being "pretentious."

The Franker said...

My top five female singers are as follows:
1. Lucinda Williams
2. Kasey Chambers
3. Joni Mitchell
4. Joan Baez (even though she pretty much covers the songs of other artists.)
5. Kimya Dawson (I realize that this choice is going to stand out from the others like a frog in the punchbowl, but I am quite fond of her music both as half of the Moldy Peaches and her solo career.)

In light of the new direction that this discussion has seemingly taken, I also want to list my favorite bullies of all time (from film and TV.). So here we go...
5. (tie) Nelson, Jimbo, Dolph, & Kearney from The Simpsons
4. Doug Neidermeyer from Animal House
3. Mick from Teen Wolf
2. Biff Tannen from Back To The Future
1. Johnny Lawrence from Karate Kid. For an 80s high school student, evil was never more singularly personified than by the dean of fictional high school bullies, the great William Zabka! Likewise, I consider a high school letter jacket to be as enduring a symbol of cinematic evil as a Nazi uniform or handlebar moustache!

Lyle said...

Following along with the twist this blog has taken, some other notable bullies:

Scott Farkus - A Christmas Story

Ace Merrill - Stand by Me

And probably my favorite, Fred O'Bannion - Dazed and Confused.

Christopher said...

Don't forget that blond a**hole that picked on Corey Haim in Lucas (1986)

Anonymous said...

Rock stars should do what the elevators do in buildings and skip that year and just have their 28th birthday that year.
-stolen @SamGrittner

top 5
Alison Krauss
Nelly Furtado
Beyonce Knowles( her butt does what her lyrics can't)and that's bring me to tears
Cyndi Lauper
Sinead O'connor

Dana said...

I just realized that no one has listed any female bullies on this Jive. Everyone knows that the XX chromosome produces some of the meanest, most vicious, ahem, creatures on the planet. While male bullies use brute force as their weapon of choice, the female bully resorts to inflicting emotional and psychological (emphasize PSYCHO)damage that can result in lifelong trauma.

A cinematic example off the top of my head is Mandy Moore's character "Hilary Faye" in the movie Saved!. I've never been more happy to see a film character get there's than when said character ran into the Jesus sign. In fact, the whole theater I was in erupted into jubilant cheers and applause.

Any other cinematic female bullies worth mentioning?

The Franker said...

Dana, I am really humbled that I can't make a decent list of female movie bullies although I'm sure there have been many. I guess I have never seen to many of these movies. The only ones that jump in my head are the girls in Carrie (who along with a young John Travolta) tormented and finally suffered horribly for their actions. It's never a good idea to bully anyone...but even less so when your victim posesses telekenetic powers!

Lyle..I can't believe I forgot Ace from Stand By Me...I only at he'd that darn movie several hundred times when i was younger!

And I have to add two more female singers to my list:
-Neko Case (who I think may have the best voice of anyone in the indie or alt-country world)
-Jessica Lea Mayfield (You probably have not heard of her yet, but do yourself a favor and look her up on YouTube)

Hooper said...

Frank = Hipster.