Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Cocorosie - Uncaged Tigresses
Aside from where they are appreciated, on sites like Pitchfork, maybe, and of course the few the proud the decent writers, Cocorosie sure get a lot of flak for being themselves. Their new album "Ghosthorse & Stillborn" is a cheeky insta-classic, cute and naughty and simple and bizarre. Why do some hate it so?
I can think of male bands that might justifiably earn similar scorn for being too out there, such as Panda Bear/Animal Collective, Akron/Family, etc., but surely not the rabid hate blogs that Cocorosie get. I'm not going to bother listing all the insults so as to not even mention the names of the losers who write such nasty things. The best most of even the more established writers can say is "you will either love them or hate them."
Hmmm. Can you imagine a rock writer being so dismissive of say, Bob Dylan? Now, say what you want about Dylan--I revere him a God--but his albums tend to ramble on with his nasal sneer of a voice and instrumental arrangements as conventional and uninteresting as the thirteen hundreth time Woody Guthrie uses the same melody to tell a different story... yet no one would dare say "you will love it or hate it." They would say "this is good"-- one is not given the choice of "hating" it.
Whenever something gets a nasty critical backlash it's almost always by a female artist--usually young and attractive--who demands to be taken seriously as they prance around in girlie costumes with toy horses and so forth. They are being "infantile" and need to be slapped, etc. There's no consideration that these regressive accessories have a point beyond the indie boy's ken.
Cocorosie represents just one example, for another I would mention Asia Argento's Scarlet Diva, or LA Ruocco's Xero. A woman artist is expected to be conventional, to focus on her pretty voice, or violin skills, or her ability to evoke the sadness of the Kansas plains...to "speak" to men in a way they want a girlfriend to speak to them, submissive and gorgeous, to not shock and provoke by challenging the male conception of a rock "goddess" as existing for his own exploitative desire and amusement. Cocorosie with their punk haircuts and painted on moustaches, their potty mouths and drag attire challenge what a male indie boy likes about music in the first place.
What would be an equivalent? Hmmm, imagine you are obsessed with Britney Spears, you think you are in love with her, would die for her, if only she could meet you, know the real you... And then she gains 50 pounds, shaves her head, bounces back and forth into rehab... suddenly she's a monster, she has betrayed your love! Well, if you loved her, it wouldn't matter that she gained weight and drug dependencies! Her turning you off shows that you only lusted... that you are pig and not the compassionate male you thought you were. Boom! Slam! Score one for the feminists, like the detective outing the killer at the end of the crime novel. Another example would be the hot girl you been staring at all night at the club, you luck out to bring her home, and she's all drunk and obnoxious and instead of fucking you gets on the phone to her mom and cries and screams for three hours. Hmmmm - is this her fault? You knew she was drunk when you brought her home...instead of placating your desires, she forces you to see them for the empty hormonal drives they are.
I guess my point is these idiots hate Cocorosie because Cocorosie does whatever the hell they want; they are free, and they don't need to dress pretty and strum their acoustic guitars for MTV Unplugged and act all coy and shy around male interviewers. For indie boys it's like realizing they are afraid of tigers. The indie boy has been telling himself he's not afraid of tigers, but the only tigers he's known are in cages. When he sees an uncaged tiger walk up to him, he realizes he's scared. Instantly he clouds his own inadequacy from himself by deriding the tiger. The tiger is a lousy tiger, is all -- a betrayal of tigerhood.
That's crap, brothers. The tiger is free in Cocorosie. You can tell who the free men are out there by their response to the free tiger. I'm not saying you have to love them--they are quirky and not for all tastes--but to hate them makes no sense. Why feel such a need to lash out vindictively at an artist who, after all, is not exactly being shoved down your throat by the popular media? It's called projection; it means you're still dealing with mommy issues, it means it aint about the artist at all -- it's about you!!!