I read something online asking “Is Taylor Swift currently the world’s best pop star?” with a link to a video. I was expecting the short article to be tongue in cheek but it turned out that it was deadly serious. I have to admit that I didn’t know what she looked like but I was reminded of the clip last night after I saw a blonde lass on the TV*. Err I had Britain’s Got Talent on in the background. There was nothing on TV! I should definitely have gone to Bake Myself Silly at Henry’s Cellar Bar where The Leg were playing. The Leg are a fantastic band that kick out tasty slightly stange [sic] music with a bit of aggression. Saying that, they’re friendly chaps so we can change the word aggression to gusto. They kick out tasty jams with gusto.
I looked up Taylor Swift online to see if she looked the same as the lass on the TV and then couldn’t make up my mind if it was she or not and had to check the TV guide to see who was booked for the show.
‘Taylor Swift duets with Ed Sheeran’.
It’s popular pop music. Just as pop music should be and it’s easy to be a music snob and dismiss the charts altogether. Well, I say that now, but if Taylor Swift’s record was released in the UK and she offered an in-store, would VoxBox stock it and put up with the entourage?
Well, you know, yes I think we would stock it. We sell the Monkees which were the first prime time made for TV pop stars and there’s not too big a hop, skip and jump to 2013 and Taylor Swift and she does write too. The song, 22, is incredibly catchy, almost as if the essence of a hit song has been computer analysed with reference to MRI scans of the brains of daydreaming beliber teenagers or something like that. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=brain-scans-predict-pop-hits
You probably like how it sounds too, even if you don’t like it, we all do, even if you don’t want to.
The video is slick. It blows you away with the amount that seems to be going on, the number of people involved and the practice that it would/must have needed to get right. All the dancers are so healthy looking and are wearing the pl__n colours of glee. This is not punk.
It reminds me on one of those daydream sequences in Scrubs. In this episode, JD has a patient who has dislocated her left shoulder (guest star Taylor Swift). This sets up a dance sequence where she is moving around trying to relocate that dislocated left shoulder throughout the four minute stramash directed by North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un in a future sinister scenario reminiscent of The Truman Show.
Is this the best popstar in the world? A Buddhist would mentally beat you to death if you asked him/or her this question and you might be lucky enough to get an answer of a shrug and/or a ‘Meh’ if anything.
So mehbe yes, mehbe no. Why compare Warhol to Waterhouse? Frankly I’m more familiar with The Leg than Taylor Swift and much more familiar with jam out-kickers, the MC5. Two years ago (our anniversary has just passed) George and I opened the VoxBox shop to sell records we really liked and believed in. We wanted to sell the historically great records and to get those classic jams out of Stockbridge and into the heart of Edinburgh and maybe help local bands a bit too. To give a tiny foot up to The Leg all the while recognising that everyone will have different jams that they wanted us to stock too because everyone’s version of what good pop is is different:
And if after this, Taylor Swift is still not your cup o’ tea, don’t worry, I won’t really get in any Taylor Swift. Our shelves will remain free of the worst of the overproduced chart stuff. Always remember, if you do happen to stumble across a talent show on TV or a youtube clip of Taylor Swift’s brand of polished pop, that you can safely enjoy it guilt free if you remember to wash out your ears afterwards with something really rough. There is a 3 chord antidote to chart music by a group that make much better role models for the kids. Wayne Kramer was not quite 22 when he wrote this: (contains swearing)
And the music of the cosmos remains in balance. AH AH, AH AH!
*‘dolls are stuffed with sawdust, and yet are excellent playthings’ Robert Louis Stevenson, Edinburgh 1881.
‘dolls are excellent playthings and yet are stuffed with sawdust’ VoxBox Music, Edinburgh 2013.