Patti Smith ripped off all her guitar strings, Rihanna dropped a killer music video and we questioned posthumous misogyny
When this explosive Rihanna and Megaforce-directed creation landed online yesterday morning, I couldn’t devour it quick enough. It’s almost too good; from the avalanche of cult film references, enviable outfit choices, and bloody shock tactics, all set to a backdrop of one of Ri-Ri’s biggest bangers. Forget “Bad Blood”, I’ve been speaking in primarily “Bitch Better Have My Money” GIFs since yesterday.
A tongue-in-cheek joke that balances on the line of what’s acceptable can be gold dust when it’s delivered in the right way, and satire is often one of the strongest forms of protest. However, when PC Music’s GFOTY made jokes about a "tribal band" being like a "blacked-up Bombay Bicycle Club" and then said she was drinking wine from a caraf in the VIP section, it fell kind of flat. As is pointed out in this piece by the Fader: “There’s one general rule that prevents a joke from simply being as cruel as the system it's mocking: punch up, don’t punch down.” In fact, there are loads of things I agree with in this piece – definitely worth a read.
Misogyny is still so ingrained in our culture that sometimes it takes the comparison of two things, side-by-side, to notice that you’re being short-changed because you’re a woman. In this article for Pitchfork, the writer shines a light on how unequal the treatment of male and female musicians truly is, even after they have died, by examining the portrayal of Amy Winehouse in Asif Kapadia’s AMY and Kurt Cobain in Brett Morgen’s Montage of Heck, noting: “Even though both deaths were motivated by depression underscored by narcotics and celebrity, Montage depicts a context in which the public was willing Cobain to succeed, whereas Winehouse, when confronted with similar drug-addled obstacles, was met with ridicule and slander.”
I’m a sucker for a honey-dunked R&B voice and Toronto crooner Tory Lanez’s silky smooth vocal runs have had me hooked from the get go. This collaborative EP with LA collective WEDIDIT Cruel Intentions is nothing short of phenomenal, from that first peaches-and-cream verse of “Acting Like (Prod. by Shlohmo)” to the wavy, lean-back production of “Honda Civic (prod. by D33J)”. Best enjoyed in the sun, with a blunt in one hand and some ice-cold water in the other. Bliss.
Yeah, it’s probably a bit self-congratulatory to big up one of our own pieces at Dazed, but when Lena Dunham sat down to interview Lorde for our recent “Girls Rule the World” issue, I got totally absorbed. Lorde speaks about how her sense of self has always “felt too permanent to fuck with”, Lena speaks about how her favourite thing in the world is talking to other women, and they both speak about their undying love for Taylor Swift. Reading this interview is like eavesdropping on a conversation between two people you really want to be mates with. Oh wait, that’s exactly what it is.
It’s been nearly a week since Patti Smith’s Glastonbury performance, but I’m still not quite over it. With her wiry grey hair, combat boots and swinging cross necklace, she ripped off all of the strings on her guitar in a frenzy, dedicated her set to Wikileaks, told everyone to truly embrace their freedom, fell flat on her face and then screamed into the microphone, “Yeah I fell on my fuckin’ ass at Glastonbury – but you know why? Because I’m a fuckin’ animal that’s why!” And that’s without mentioning the fact she brought the actual Dalai Lama on stage. Anyway, even if you weren’t there to see it in person, here it is on the internet, including a truly mind-blowing rendition of The Who’s “My Generation”.