February 9, 2009
this is a song i recorded today called “mannequin.” it’s a love song from a mannequin to a fashion model. orginally the mannequin/model thing was supposed to be an allegory for feeling detached and inauthentic and modern love and all that but i couldn’t make that work and it sort of mutated into this bizarre fantasy about a literal mannequin who is in love with a model. i think most of my songs could be described as “rhyme-y,” for lack of a better word, but if that’s true then this one is extra rhyme-y. i mean in terms of there’s lots of internal rhyme and not just end rhymes and stuff. i mispronounced “de la renta” (like “de la soul”) and there are some other small things i’d like to fix (a lot of problems caused by time stretching) but i’m too lazy to rerecord the vocals. i think the chorus is clever the first time you hear it and then quickly becomes annoying, so that’s why i only go back to it once. once i got into the song, i decided i wanted it to be a product placement kind of song, like that fergie song from the sex and the city movie, but also to be kind of cole porterish (i’ve been playing around with a cole porterish cover of “chopped n’ skrewed”). i think that’s appropos because if cole was magically living today, you know he would be the producer du jour, rocking an MPC and selling more songs than kanye and blaze and the matrix and max martin put together.
the song was mostly inspired, though, by the copy of nylon i got at the airport yesterday. i never buy magazines because i’m frugal (thrifty/cheap/pick your adjective) but i’m really trying to work on it because if i ever want to write for a magazine then i should buy them so they’ll be around by the time i could write for them. but then if that’s true i should really buy magazines that i would/could actually write for but then i am distracted by glossy things and pretty pictures and celebrities so i mostly buy tabloids and etc. the magazine i buy most often is us weekly but then i’m always disappointed with it because there aren’t, you know, words to read in it. this was the first time i had gotten nylon and i really liked it — it was a good compromise between images and text and design. some of the writing is silly or stupid, of course, but silly or stupid in a really fun and attractive way. i guess that’s condescending and maybe even sexist but whatever, i am imperfect and complex, take me for who i am blah blah blah. like, one of the articles is about this girl going to the hershey’s chocolate factory (she’s “nylon‘s factory girl” — get it? *nudge nudge*). the article is kind of overly cutesy and ridic (“For the record, I am a chocolate aficionado, not a fanatic. If this were Pasta Land and I were making spaghetti, there is no doubt I would have eaten my weight in carbohydrates”) and the writer has the habit of adding these kind of cheesy parenthetical punchlines: “I am greeted by an employee in head-to-toe uniform, who informs me that I need to suit up as well, which avid readers know I love — lab coat, hairnet, no jewelry (OK, maybe I don’t love that part so much.)” “I particularly like the animatronic cows (got chocolate milk?)…” “I have the chance to snag one [a hershey kiss] right off the line, and it is definitely the best kiss I’ve ever had (ahem).”
but i still really like the writing, it still works for me, it still provokes an emotional response for me which is above neutral which is what i’m aiming for and which i don’t get just anywhere and which is definitely worth the 3.99. you hear like women go on about how “________ (thing that is not actually porn) is my porn.” but something like nylon is my porn. not just for the edgy pics of pretty girls in improbable outfits but also for the sillyfun writing, which is brain porn for me. it remind me of like when graphic designers have to insert text into something and they don’t have a copywriter and so they write things that are faux-deep but really just kind of adorable and pretentious. or like how makeover montages in movies are cliche but how that cliche seems almost unavoidably enjoyable and great. i know i am straying dangerously close to a semiserious (semisweet!) version of that jack donaghy line about women and ambition and dogs and clothes but of course badgood writing and thought and art is totes unisex, just like american apparel — it’s just that i prefer it, as with many things, to come from women. i like it sometimes and always, like in that song. writing doesn’t necessarily have to be good to be good, it just has to be good enough. see, and now i’ve done an extended example of just what i’ve been talking about, so who am i to criticize (haha LOL!).