How NOT to write about music – 134. Poppy


Note for the crowds queuing up at the back there to take notes: this is NOT how to write about music. Don’t leave your notes up there for everyone to see. Meaningless. Some days, you may well feel this meaninglessness is appropriate: a mirror to the significance blogging of this kind holds. here is the trick. Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up. Even when your chosen home continent is burning its way into oblivion and all the fucking newspapers can talk about is some fucking pantheon of rich entitled cunts and should they still hang out together, don’t give up. Write. Write like your fucking life and identity and sense of being hangs on it. Write like today is the final day and after this, nothing. Oblivion. No memory, no remembrances. No one is left. Write like you’re living in Hong Kong, in Iran, in the centre of Australia. Fuck that and write anyway.

Just so you know, I hate the second song I placed here. Right now, I hate it. Maybe I didn’t when I placed it up there the other day.

I have little to tell you about Poppy. Surprised it’s taken this long for music to follow the path so expertly and cynically laid down by the folk behind Babymetal nearly a decade ago. Perhaps it hasn’t taken so long; perhaps my gaze is not so ardent and all-seeing as it once was. There’s noise. There is stillness. There is white heat metal fury. There are eyes staring straight at you, unblinking. There is hope. There is contrariness. There are high voices, squeaking. There is fetish wear – or are these rock uniforms? Hard to tell. There is a semblance of a melody (not meant as a pejorative). There is an ending.

This is straightforward description of the first song above. Poppy herself is way more complex and fascinating than that.

I have little to tell you about Poppy.  She is an American singer, songwriter, actress, fashion model, YouTuber and religious leader (Wiki). She is a digital content creator. She has her own online church whereby her fans pledge allegiance to the Poppy Church. The church has 100,000 rooms, with 1,000 halls connecting to the corresponding 100 rooms in that hall (Wiki). She is all about the augmented reality: her friend Charlotte is a celebrity-interviewing mannequin with a synthetic voice. Everyone should watch the interview where Charlotte interviews Poppy.

I love that second song now. She is so overwhelmingly head-fuckingly WRONG, she is genius. She is like Mr Rogers only WRONG! The next four videos made me laugh out loud so hard everyone around me in the office turned their heads to look.

Absolute genius.

There are a fair few accusations of abuse and plagiarism flying around the Internet when it comes to Poppy – and especially her former collaborative partner Titanic Sinclair. Here are a couple of links to the stories:

Poppy is a disturbing internet meme seen by millions. Can she become a pop sensation?
Poppy Responds to Mars Argo Copyright Suit, Calls It ‘Desperate Grab for Fame’
Poppy Parts with Creative Partner Titanic Sinclair

How NOT to write about music – 46. Grimes


You know how rare it is they play death metal on the Radio One breakfast show? How can this NOT be my jam? Submit. Submit. You have any idea of the shit I have to wade through just to get to one good slalom? My only regret about my job at BIMM London is that I don’t get to wear latex bodysuits 24-7. That, and the tiredness. Have you any idea how rare it is that shit as heavy as this – no, not Catfish and the fucking Bottlemen, not fucking Vaccines with their vacuous pouts and vacuous lyrics on constant alert for the next cover of Vice – get played in my car? Submit. Submit. Submit. If you all weren’t so caught up on gender you’d be hailing this as the new Nine Inch Nails* or Throbbing Gristle, the back-straightening dystopian future response to our collective amoral dystopian present where folk like us (we like us) wrestle back three seconds of control and writhe. Your problem right now is failing to understand tyranny in all its varied and hetero normative forms, in believing that there is a dialogue taking place between YOU and THEM. You know how rare it is I bother to wade through the shit? I’d wade through the shit any number of times you want babe, just for one more listen. If anything about this screams fake or inauthentic to you then I humbly – no, fuck humbly – suggest to you that you’re listening in all the wrong places. Anyone else hear this as a natural continuation of the line started by ABBA and Babymetal and – oh fuck it, I don’t know – Sepultura years ago? Me neither. Catchier than a whole library-full of.

It’s retro-futurist rock opera for the scorned generation.

It never stops.

*Skinny Puppy, not NiN.