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Avril Lavigne on Letterman

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Avril Lavigne was on Letterman last night. I’m always pleasantly surprised when I see her and realize that she doesn’t suck. I mean… it’s nice to see a girl play GUITAR… even if she’s not very good. Hell. it’s just nice to see a girl keep her damned clothes on. Even if her only contribution to the musical landscape is to give a small fraction of 15 year old girls something to listen to other than Britstina Spearguilera… that’s good enough for me.

Plus, I like how sometimes she sounds like Alanis, only less so. Which reminds me… I should probably go buy that CD too.

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About Dr. Dave

  • sandra smallson

    I’m sure all the young girls in the world who like to dress half naked because they..err..let’s see..CAN and WANT to..are very happy to see how Britney and Xtina have infiltrated the psyche of an adult so much he is now involved in childish word games such as..Britstina Spearguilera…:) Fascinating.

    Personally, even as a woman, I’m not sure there is any interest in seeing Avril Lavigne even in a see through shirt, let alone an off-shoulder corset. Yup. Let her stick to her strengths..Baggy pants and skate boards.

  • Infiltrated my psyche? I’m not sure what you’re trying to say. Are you disagreeing with me?

    My ‘childish wordplay” was simply meant to suggest that they are musically interchangable and equally unlistenable. Are you suggesting that I’m really secretly obsessed with them? Even if I were, if would be because I like to secretly jerk off to their videos, not because I have any interest in the “music” they are making. That, to me is not what being a musical artist should be about.

    When did pop music performance become indistinguishable from a $15 lap dance?

  • sandra smallson

    Yes, Dave. I am disagreeing with you:) Did I not make that clear? I’m sorry if I did not. I’m stumped. This is the 1st I have heard that Xtina and Britney are interchangeable. Really? fascinating.

    Bottom line. I don’t find them interchangeable at all. Ella and Etta could have been interchangeable if we applied your line of reasoning. You don’t like raunchy acts. you don’t like sexually provocative acts. That’s not what a musical artist is about, you tell me.

    Dave, what has chastity got to do with music? Who cares if Lavigne is fully clothed? If she’s crap, she’s crap. Be her buttoned up to the ears, or in low rise pants with her ass hanging out.

    I’m not going to argue the merits of Britney and Xtina. I find a majority of their music very enjoyable indeed. I could not care less whether Britney is in a skin coloured catsuit with a snake round her neck. If I’m watching it I would probably enjoy the show but when I am listening to “Boys” or “Slave for you” or “Toxic”..or Xtina’s “beautiful” I am not visualising them dressed as lap dancers as the music comes to me via my portable device.

    Until people like you can learn to distingusih from the image people project and their music, we will forever have these pointless arguments of what is considered music or not. Artists are entitled to project whatever image they want to project. If it’s not your cup of tea, that’s all well and good. But it says nothing of your reasoning process if you are going to judge their music on whether the video was raunchy or not or whether you saw Xtina on TV almost naked.

    If you don’t like pop music, it’s one thing but dont argue that you don’t think their work is music simply because you think their image is that of lap dancers. That sort of reasoning makes no sense whatsoever.

  • Eric Olsen

    Avril is no less pop music than Xney Ciccone, she just commits it with guitars. Image is a problem when it becomes the message as opposed to a method of conveying the message.

  • sandra smallson

    Eric, you know we disagree so I’m not even going to bother with anything you have to say on pop music let alone that “image” comment you made. Particularly because it makes no sense to me:)

  • It’s not ME who is confusing image with music. When Britney Spears chooses to lip-sync her concerts so that her singing doesn’t interfere with her choreography… SHE is making a statment that the music is secondary in importance to the visuals. I’m not a prude… I like to look at half-naked teenaged girls as much as the next guy. And I don’t dismiss all pop-music as vapid and empty either.(**) I’m just saying, I have no respect for “musical artists” who don’t play instruments, who don’t write songs, and who seldom actually SING without a mountain of studio effects and overdubs. And the fact that this has become the NORM in pop music is sad to me.


    (**) Elvis was a “pop” artist. And a sexually suggestive one at that. The difference was that he could sit on a stool with an acoustic guitar and sing “One Night With You” and blow the roof off a room with no backup dancers and no choreography and no hip-swiveling and not so much as a touch of reverb on the vocals.

  • sandra smallson

    Beyonce lipsynchs as regularly as Britney. Britney’s choreography is pretty energetic. It’s intense. She feels she can put on a better show if she lipsynchs while entertaining? Maybe she is nervous. Maybe she needs a few more miles in her before she can do it all. So what? That’s her choice.

    My point to you, which still stands and we will just have to agree to disagree.. How do all these things that piss you off, make TOXIC a bad song? Or Slave for you? Or “Boys”..or the pure pop “Hit me baby one more time”? They DO NOT.

    You like Elvis? Elvis barely wrote any of his songs. What saved him for you? The fact he could play the guitar? So, if Britney picks up on her Piano lessons and becomes an accomplished Pianist in the next few years, even if still half-clothed she would suddenly become more credible to you?

    It’s a bottomless pit:) We have to agree to disagree because I can’t understand you. I’m sure you can’t understand me either. Sinatra, Franklin, etc, so many Artists don’t pen their own tracks. So many Artists don’t play any instruments.

    Every Artist brings something to the table. How I judge my stuff is, what does this Artist bring to the table? what am I getting out of this Artist? Is the music pleasing to my ears? Is it the voice? The instrumentals? The performance? Or is it the whole package? Ah, she or he even wrote and produced it? Fantastic…

    This is why I find it difficult to understand somebody saying, that Christina Aguilera just makes pop fluff because she doesn’t write or play any instruments. Then I listen to a song like “Beautiful” and I wonder if that person knows what it is to appreciate music for itself and not whatever pre-conceived notions you have in your head.

    I can’t get “Toxic” out of my head these days. It’s a fantastic. The fact that Britney did not write it or play any of the backing instruments or might be lip-synching it on tour is irrelevant to me. She sang that song in the studio. I can hear her sing it. It’s her song. She performed/performs it. It’s a good song. Period.

  • sandra smallson

    Oh, and are we talking about the same Elvis? LOL..No hip-swiveling? A man who had to be filmed from the waist up on certain shows because he was gyrating and thrusting his pelvic area too much for comfort? If Elvis were alive today, he too would make use of the electronic devices that produce a special effect on the voice. It’s not a bad thing. Choreograohy was not such a big thing then either. If he were alive he would have dancers gyrating all over the place. In death people are often over praised. If Dylan had died before the Victoria Secret ads, his fans would have sworn on their lives that he would never let his music be used for ads, like that was such a horrible thing. People who think like that truly miss the point. Yet, today, dylan is in a Victoria Secrets ad:)

    Cher used electro effect/vocoder on her single “Believe”…depends on what type of music you are making. Clearly Celine Dion is not going to sing “My heart will go on” with any special effects. However, listening to her fast tracks you can hear use of new technology. It’s all part of entertainment and I’m sure Elvis would have embraced it fully.

    Perhaps I just have an open mind to what I accept as music and I judge solely on my reaction to the sound rather than any previoulsy held notions I have of what “we” have come to know as what music should be. I have no cooler than thou attitude towards my enjoyment of music. I find that type of attitude a total waste of time. I am not saying you have that attitude. I speak in general.

  • brasslamp

    I think I see what you are saying Sandra. I think I agree. If we wanted to get technical on music today, where would we start? My Father is a private music tutor. It is torture listening to music or watching music videos in his presence. The other day he ripped apart an Alanis Morisette vocal performance. As for rap or hip-hop? It makes him recoil in distaste. If we wanted to get technical with the definition of music you would be hard pressed to find anyone in the music industry who is doing it by the book. Textbook stuff. It’s not possible. It’s like acting. The acting you are taught is not the acting that we see on screens or the acting that wins awards. Basically, we are taught to over act. When you watch a drama school play, it is the acting of the old days. Lots of expressive body movement. These days, the acting is more realistic and less obvious.

    Same thing with music. This is why I think I understand what you are saying, Sandra. What I certainly do not do is judge music according to any previously held ideas of what it should be. Music is indescribable. It should not be pigeon holed.

    Eric, how can image become the message? If Britney Spears is seen as a raunchy act then she may be a raunchy act. How does that stop anyone from enjoying her music? Not all music must be a political statement. Sometimes I want to dance. Britney is singing about boys, love, sex. How else do we propose this 22 year old girl should convey the message in her songs? By wearing a nun’s habit? Britney is dressing like every other twenty-something girl. She is drinking and smoking and kissing boys and partying. Like every other twenty-something year old girl.

    I’m indifferent to Britney. I own non of her work but I like some of it. I watched a documentary on her where she was 10 and belting out a tune at the mickey mouse club. She can sing. Is she singing live on her tours? I have never been to one. What irks me is how everyone wants a chance to label Britney as manufactured pop. The music industry is filled with hypocrites. Many bands were formed exactly with the pop idol format. The difference? It was not televised.

    Live and let live.

  • Jeez, people… come on.

    I did not intend this post to spark a discussion of what IS and what IS NOT music!! All I said was that Avril Lavigne doesn’t suck as much as Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. (I love how some have taken that as a glowing endorsement of Avril Lavigne’s music!!)

    It’s fine to say that “nobody can say for sure what makes good music or good art” or good… whatever. And yet here we are on a site called BlogCRITICS where I assumed our job was to critique and to criticize. No? Have I missed something? Are we not allowed to think that something sucks? Is there nothing that YOU Lovers of Britney think sucks? Then go write in your own weblogs about it. And lighten the hell up while you’re at it.

  • Eric Olsen

    Dave, no one expects the Spanish Inquisition: there isn’t much you can do about the direction comments take once the post is up. Some people are very touchy about their favorite artists and shoot squirrels with bazookas whenever they encounter criticism of said, whther real or imagined. Shouting “lighten up” into this gale has about the same effect as it would in real life.

  • Hey Dave if it makes you feel any better it happens to all of us. Look at what Thursday fans did to me on This post.

  • sandra smallson

    Brasslamp, I agree with your post. Dave, Ithink you need to relax. When you put up a post stating your opinion categorically about something or someone it is beneath anyone to then turn to those who disagree with them and accuse them of taking things personal. Of course you are entitled to state your opinion. Others are also entitled to disagree with it. There’s no point claiming that these people are taking it personal or are “touchy” etc etc..I mean, come on! Were you taking it personal when you wrote your opinion of who sucks and who does not suck? Why should anyone in turn then claim that a disagreement with that opinion is taking it personal simply because you may have been criticising an Artist they like?

    I just can not understand the reasoning process of some people. You said Britters and Xtina are interchangeable and basically their music sucks. i say no and state why I do not think so and the hypocrisy in the whole thing. Brasslamp brings in his or her own perspective on the thing. You then say “lighten up”. Lighten up about what? Did you expect applause for stating your opinion?

    Does Eric expect total agreement anytime he states his opinion? Or some sort of “respectful” disagreement even if the person does not feel it deserves respectful disagreement? The manner in which you state your opinions is the manner in which they are responded to. If you can’t handle your opinion being criticised then perhaps you too will need to find a weblog where only people from your chosen school of thought visit.

    What’s the point in that? We all have different opinions. Everybody should be allowed to express their opinions as they see fit. There’s no point in accusing people of taking things personal when they disagree with an opinion you have boldly stated like it’s fact. To do so is just to project a spoilt child image, unable to handle your opinion being dissected.

  • eileen

    Dave, you don’t nead to settle for avril just cuz she keeps her clothes on. I, mean it’s great that she keeps her clothes on. But does she really deserve so much credit merely because of that? I keep my clothes on too. Maybe I deserve a grammy. Really, a true musical artist should be judged for how well they write songs, sing or play their instruments, not by how often they are fully clothed.

  • you have to be kidding me, this much conversatinon on people who don’t spend even one thousandth of the time listening to this trivial crap? honestly people, say something interstesting, e.g. something not based on a direct egotistical reaction to someone elses inspirational confluence on an existing occurence, or perhaps the fact that you all have no genuine opinion on the original subject speaks for itself!?

  • Sandra = yawn