this might be reaching just a little bit

From ReallySmallTalk and Dan Kennedy.


At first, Ashlee Simpson’s lip-synch gaffe on Saturday Night Live this weekend made me cynical. I thought of all the forty and fifty year-old men handling this poor girl’s career and almost certainly not trusting her to sing on live TV. The suits that pressure a girl into not singing her own (Okay, her writer-producer’s own) songs. In March of this year, I finished sitting through eighteen months of marketing meetings as part of my job at a major record label and I learned just how much of that kind of thing goes on. So, my first reaction to watching Ashlee Simpson stand on the SNL stage confused about how to react to the fact that her voice was singing loudly through the PA speakers — even though she clearly hadn’t sung a note yet and was holding the mic down by her thigh, and even though her band was playing the second song as planned, not the first one that was being sung by the phantom Ashlee in the PA system — was slackjawed confirmation of everything we all know goes down. And that feeling very quickly faded to cynical thoughts about the dinosaurs running her career and how much money they make on the likes of her, and how they make her dress a certain way, hire people to teach her how to look at a lens the right way, how to say the right thing, how to sign a CD correctly, which executive hands to shake and which live songs to fake instead of play. But then I started feeling a renewed sense of optimism. Think about this: The last time a live lip-synch snafu happened on this scale it was Milli Vanilli. And what did we find just around the corner? Nirvana knocking Michael Jackson and Warrant off the charts, and George Bush voted out of the White House in favor of a Democrat who would serve two terms. Ashlee Simpson’s performance on SNL has filled me with hope. And that’s all she ever set out to do.

I have to admit he draws an interesting parallel. I don’t think we appreciate often enough how much of turning point Milli Vanilli/Nirvana & Bush I/Clinton really was. Think about the state of music before Nirvana – Winger, Poison, Slaughter on and on.

On we on the cusp of another inflection point in America? Go Kerry! (and go Sox!)


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