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Re: Amy

PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2015 12:01 am
by Adam Blake
I'd rather be pompous than heartless.

Re: Amy

PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2015 8:48 am
by NormanD
If the director had had the courage to make a film about how fame and wealth are handled by those who win them young then it might have been a movie of some resonance.
That's how I saw the film. Less about how the individual handles it, but how s/he has been exploited and manipulated, how a cash cow is created and then over-milked and then discarded. It taught me a lot about the music industry, as a source of exploitation and profit, how investment must, under every circumstance, lead to pay back.

You had your critical agenda, Garth. I had mine too - one about the workings of capitalism.....yet again.

Re: Amy

PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2015 10:01 am
by AndyM
Haven't seen the film yet, so can't really comment on its documentary aesthetics or its representational politics, but I'm happy to argue with you all day long, Garth, on your blinkered and limited views re Amy W's talent and importance.

Re: Amy

PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2015 12:20 am
by Garth Cartwright
Go on, Andy. Looking forward to the Professor pontificating on the brilliance of Frank and Lioness.

Re: Amy

PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2015 5:18 pm
by AndyM
The only pontification I've read in this thread is yours, Garth.

You are using Amy as a vehicle for riding your usual knackered old hobby-horses -- the intrinsic superiority of Old Black Preferably Dead Musicians (yaaaaaaawn), your gushy worship of almost anything American over almost anything from anywhere else (bigger yawn), your relentless fetish of what you (usually wrongly) call 'R&B', your borderline racism towards successful white musicians (which I take to be driven by your utterly fruitless wish that you were black yourself), your insulting suggestion that anyone moved and touched by Amy's music has been the victim of a corporate con (if only she'd recorded for tiny, obscure backwoods labels like..... Aretha, on CBS, Atlantic & Arista), your cack-handed misunderstanding of how class & privilege actually work in the context of British culture (but then most colonials get that all wrong).

'Frank' is an interesting album that doesn't always work but shows signs of what was to come, and as such it's fascinating. 'Lioness' is a cash-in you can hardly blame Amy for, even so it has two or three great tracks. 'Back to Black', which you damn with faint praise, is a masterpiece that shits from a very great height on most of the tired, played-out, old-soul-farts-who-should-have-retired tripe you celebrate In here on a tediously regular basis, and I won't even stoop to mentioning that chest-beating macho oompah Balkan bollocks.

That do ya ??

Re: Amy

PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2015 7:55 pm
by Garth Cartwright
My, my Andy, you really have a problem, don't you? Making up stuff I've never said - "if only she'd recorded for tiny, obscure, backwoods labels" - inventing my wanting to be black, stating how I hate white musicians - right on: the Stones and Oasis and AC/DC and Abba and all the rest - and on you go, ranting with your usual patronising snobbery "colonials" - how you love to pull that one out, gets you feeling all Daily Express and superior, right?

You're a little Englander, aint you, Andy? Scared of everything and everyone. Not seen the Amy movie cos you're too scared to enter a cinema. Scared of anything sung in a foreign tongue. Scared of foreigners. You can't debate over Amy's talent - or lack of it - but instead do the Burchill thing of spitting bile. And like most people who sneer and slander you're full of self loathing. As you should be.

Re: Amy

PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2015 9:15 pm
by AndyM
Garth Cartwright wrote:My, my Andy, you really have a problem, don't you? Making up stuff I've never said - "if only she'd recorded for tiny, obscure, backwoods labels" - inventing my wanting to be black, stating how I hate white musicians - right on: the Stones and Oasis and AC/DC and Abba and all the rest - and on you go, ranting with your usual patronising snobbery "colonials" - how you love to pull that one out, gets you feeling all Daily Express and superior, right?

You're a little Englander, aint you, Andy? Scared of everything and everyone. Not seen the Amy movie cos you're too scared to enter a cinema. Scared of anything sung in a foreign tongue. Scared of foreigners. You can't debate over Amy's talent - or lack of it - but instead do the Burchill thing of spitting bile. And like most people who sneer and slander you're full of self loathing. As you should be.


No, Garth, you're not very good at the abuse thing, are you ? Leave it to those of us that are, eh ? You're better at the wide-eyed enthusiasm thing, which you still pull off quite well on occasions, though to be honest you're getting a bit long in the tooth for it.

Little Englander ? I have written a considerable amount of academic work on the complex politics of English identity, bibliography available on request. Read some, you'd undoubtedly learn something.

Scared of foreigners ? Evidence please before you hurl accusations, but for now let's just say: bollocks. Scared of anything sung in a foreign tongue ? Troll round and look over my album collection, if you can spare the time from telling everyone how cool you are to live in Peckham (where, by the by, half my family come from).

I do however hate superannuated adolescents who draw most of their aesthetic from Rik in 'The Young Ones'.

And Amy ? Best British singer for twenty years, a tragic loss, blah blah. Don't expect you to like her, don't care either way, really. I guess she didn't suck Allen Toussaint's cock enough for you to be interested. You stick with Irma Granny or Candi Granny or whichever dried-up old prunes who still sadly have to haul their ageing bods round some scuzzy London clubs because they got shafted by record companies in years past.

You've driven several people off this Forum in the past on account of your ranting, but I'm going nowhere, sister.

Re: Amy

PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2015 9:35 pm
by AndyM
Oh, and self-loathing????? Hardly.

Re: Amy

PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2015 11:26 pm
by Hugh Weldon
You can't debate over Amy's talent - or lack of it - but instead do the Burchill thing of spitting bile.


Erm....

"And from then on she constantly behaved like a spoilt brat."


"Listen to her murder standards"


"Like her dad she wasn't very bright"


"A stupid film about a silly, spoilt young woman."


One might debate over bilious expectoration. It doesn't quite approach the depths of dear Julie B, but it's close.

I'm off to listen to Amy murder Donny Hathaway...

Re: Amy

PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2015 1:15 pm
by Gordon Neill
I've not seen the film and doubt I ever will. I do think that Back to Black is one of the greatest pop albums of the last 20 years. You might argue that there hasn't been a lot of competition, but you can only beat what opposition you have. But, as Aly mentions, I'm also uncomfortable about feeding a prurient, exploitative interest in a sad car-crash of a life. I'm not being judgemental of anyone who has seen the film. It's just a personal thing. And I regard the lives of Amy, her dad, and the boyfriend as...well....personal.

So maybe I was already predisposed to sympathise with Garth's take on the film. But, before the red mist descended, I thought that he argued his case well. The film is too long. It's part of an industry push to keep the product shifting. No mention of the two stage schools she attended. A reminder that most successes come about as the result of a team effort, and pointing out that the film makes little reference to Mark Ronson or the Daptones. A suggestion that maybe the real story was a bit more complicated that the tabloid version of victim and nasty dad, nasty boyfriend. Even a suggestion that Amy might bear some responsibility for her wasted life.

I thought these were all rational points, well-argued and based on evidence or at least reasonable assumptions. Yes, Garth does have a punchy style and is well capable of landing a few juicy ones. But so what? This is a forum, where people should expect to read different opinions and maybe have their assumptions challenged. It's not like real punches. It doesn't hurt.

So I was bemused by the reaction. An accusation of 'borderline racism'. I had to spend some time trying to decipher that one. Is it because Amy was Jewish (I've no idea if she was, I'm just guessing)? Is it because Garth owns a cotton plantation (I doubt it, not in that part of London)? Apparently it's because he likes records by lots of black singers (as well as records by white singers). The use of the word 'borderline' is of course a giveaway. 'Borderline racism' as in 'not racism'. So why use the 'R' word at all? Is it an attempt to gain the moral high ground (over some pop records)?

And then to follow that with references to 'Balkan bollocks' and 'colonials'. Followed by calling Irma Thomas and Candi Staton 'dried up old prunes'. So much for the moral high ground.

What is noticeable is a lack of any real attempt to address any of Garth's arguments. I can't remember anyone leaving the Forum because of Garth's 'ranting'. But, frankly, if folk have to crack open the smelling salts any time they read something they disagree with, maybe they should try some safer pastime, like rearranging their record collection or watching daytime telly.

And as for 'wide-eyed enthusiasm' and being a bit long in the tooth for it. That's me! And long may it continue into my dried-up old prune dotage......

Re: Amy

PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2015 3:52 pm
by AndyM
Gordon Neill wrote:So I was bemused by the reaction. An accusation of 'borderline racism'. I had to spend some time trying to decipher that one. Is it because Amy was Jewish (I've no idea if she was, I'm just guessing)? Is it because Garth owns a cotton plantation (I doubt it, not in that part of London)? Apparently it's because he likes records by lots of black singers (as well as records by white singers). The use of the word 'borderline' is of course a giveaway. 'Borderline racism' as in 'not racism'. So why use the 'R' word at all? Is it an attempt to gain the moral high ground (over some pop records)?


It would be tedious to spend long screeds of text spelling out more long-windedly what I said previously in a more condensed form, but just this once..... One 'accusation' Garth had regarding Amy is that her style & whole career represented a white appropriation of '''''''''authentic''''''''' black music. That's trite and lazy thinking, and given his other posts on assorted subjects, it fits into a simplistic and dodgy set of views about how culture and ethnic identity interrelate.

And do you really have no idea if Amy was Jewish?????

Re: Amy

PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2015 4:06 pm
by Gordon Neill
Well, I think there is an argument to be had that Amy Winehouse, and many others, have appropriated/borrowed/been inspired by black music. You don't have to agree with it. I'm not sure how much I'd go along that path myself. But to suggest that someone having that view is in anyway, borderline or otherwise, a racist is to my mind a bit bonkers. It demeans the argument and, frankly, the serious issue out there in the real world.

And, no. I didn't know Amy Winehouse was Jewish. I know, it's amazing and well worth the five question marks. I'm a bit blind about all that sort of stuff. Possibly as I'm Northern/Scottish/provincial etc.

Re: Amy

PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2015 5:11 pm
by AndyM
Yes, of course she was inspired by black music, and frequently talked about it, but that merely places her in the lineage of almost all interesting/important/worthwhile white artists since Elvis.

Re: Amy

PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2015 5:50 pm
by NormanD
Why did she get those shitty tattoos done?
I asked earlier.

I don't know the why, but have found out that they were done at a tattoo parlour called Prick, in Shoreditch. I'm not much fond of tattoos, maybe it's a leftover from a fairly observant Jewish upbringing. Unlike Amy, it seems, who may have made a bigger break with her internalised religious repression. Or never really had any.

Re: Amy

PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2015 9:07 pm
by Hugh Weldon
Gordon:

What is noticeable is a lack of any real attempt to address any of Garth's arguments.


One thing that annoyed me about Garth's diatribe was a carelessness with the facts. I couldn't be bothered to quibble over those - eg the fact she wasn't signed by Simon Napier until she was 19 -as it was clear that far from offering an argument he was just keen to have a go. Fine if he thinks she was seriously overrated, though I beg to differ.

But I notice the 'two stage schools' has come up again. I'm not sure why their absence from the film should be such an issue, other than to indicate some degree of privilege, or 'spoilt brat-ism'. In fact as far as I'm aware, like many kids around here she only went to part-time classes at Suzi Earnshaw. She lasted less than two years at Sylvia Young. She lasted less than two years at all the secondary schools she attended.

She came from a well-off background but this was no Kate Bush indulged and groomed by EMI story. She was impulsive, ill-disciplined, disorganised, and troublesome. The family situation clearly had a lot to do with it.

So she didn't have to struggle. But she was never very together. She tried everyone's patience, as adolescents and addicts will. Rather than passing judgement on her character, I think we should be grateful for what she did manage to do during her far too brief career.