Join 3,501 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Perhaps the most wicked celebrity profile yet
August 2, 2002 9:09 PM   Subscribe

Perhaps the most wicked celebrity profile yet from wickedly funny celebrity journalist Lynn Hirschberg. In profiling the selling of former Backstreet girlfriend and would-be-edgy-rock-star Amanda Latona, Hirschberg portrays the breakthrough artist as a malleable, fame-chasing airhead and her handlers as just as cynical and corrupt as any caricature of record execs ever created. (NYT link) "The lyric to this song is so Amanda, don't you think? It's very uncompromising." He pauses. "Some artists walk in and they won't budge. Amanda is open to direction."
posted by transona5 (27 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
I can only imagine what Hirscherg told Latona's record label to get this kind of access. She's famous for becoming friendly with sources and then depicting them in the most unflattering light possible.
posted by transona5 at 9:15 PM on August 2, 2002


Man, they could so have cut out about 7 pages of that article. And after listening to that song....


*shudder*
posted by atom128 at 9:21 PM on August 2, 2002


This is a joke, right? I mean, I read the first page and just had to stop. If it's a joke, it's drawn out too far, and if it's not a joke...

(you have to imagine Bill Pullman in Independence Day saying this)

GOD HELP US ALL.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:25 PM on August 2, 2002


I thought the piece was quite even-handed. Latona is trying to make a buck in the music biz, and so are her handlers. That they're up front about their genre flexibility is to their credit. The piece seems to show them comfortably as they are, not shatter any illusions.

Compared to some of Hirschberg's classic eviscerations, this is a love poem.

Isn't Hirschberg the one who accused Courtney Love of shooting smack while caring for her infant daughter?
posted by sacre_bleu at 11:03 PM on August 2, 2002


Oh, hmmm. I don't know. I remember this Brill's Content piece about how all these starlets thought she was their friend, and then she turned on them.

I agree that she didn't have much work to do here; the piece practically wrote itself. There weren't really any illusions to shatter because no one's heard of Amanda Latona, and most of our illusions about the music industry have already been shattered, but I found it genuinely chilling.

And I doubt that the now-snarling-rocker-chick is happy about being described as screaming "Yay!" every fifteen minutes and kicking her legs like a Rockette.
posted by transona5 at 11:11 PM on August 2, 2002


I totally agree with you guys that this piece did not seem overly wicked or illusion-shattering to me. <sarcasm>Oh, gee, pop music is all about image, oh my gosh, I had no idea.</sarcasm>

Yeesh, this girl should have become a model. Seriously, it only would have helped her music career, and I'm sure it would have paid better than vocations like "failed girl band."
posted by Lori at 1:01 AM on August 3, 2002


not that bad...

Nothing out of formula, though.
posted by delmoi at 1:19 AM on August 3, 2002


Hrm, after listening to the whole clip I'd probably rate it like 4 or something. Certainly nothing I'd really like listening too, just more filler for Clear Channel. Bleh.

... oh well, time to remove realplayer's auto start key from my registry, again.
posted by delmoi at 1:23 AM on August 3, 2002


haha

And if girl empowerment is what people are buying, Latona will gladly sing the part.
posted by rhyax at 1:29 AM on August 3, 2002


Another ex-BSB girlfriend is Willa Ford. Ugh.

(Why do I know this? Oh yeah, an anti-WF page was on rcade's cruel.com some months ago.)
posted by lia at 7:40 AM on August 3, 2002


For me the real horror of this piece is not the unsurprising revelations about the music business, it's the sheer blandness of this young woman's desire for nothing more than fame. The "always wanting to be the girl in the video" bit nailed it for me. I'm not really that shocked, just a little saddened that so many people just want fame, in whatever field, as opposed to being famous for being good at something.

The other example of this seems to be the thousands of people whose ambition is to be a TV presenter. Presenter of what? They don't care, just get them on TV, in the magazine and out to the fashionable night spots.

Oh dear, I'm starting to sound like my Mother now.
posted by ciderwoman at 8:00 AM on August 3, 2002


Stars like this and that American Idol abomination may be ironically amusing to some people, but for me it's like not only like witnessing the death of rock and roll but being forced to look at the autopsy photos.
posted by jonmc at 8:29 AM on August 3, 2002


:: glancing at front page of her web site :: Jesus, did the blanket attack her, or something?! :D
posted by metrocake at 9:01 AM on August 3, 2002


:: oh, lordy :: And check out those New York Times "artical" photos. Mmmm-hmmm.
posted by metrocake at 9:02 AM on August 3, 2002


"for me it's like not only like witnessing the death of rock and roll but being forced to look at the autopsy photos."

[Ford Fairlane] "Keith Richards is rollin' over in his grave, and the friggin' guy ain't even dead yet!"
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:12 AM on August 3, 2002


I find it interesting that record companies more than happy to flood the market with pleasant 'n' inoffensive eye-candy like the girl in the article, and yet are lightning quick to point fingers blaming anyone but themselves for dwindling sales. Maybe, just maybe, the punters are beginning smell a rat? I know I object to CDs I buy helping to fund Amanda Latona's constant image changes - especially if they're going to turn her into Shania Twain.
posted by zygoticmynci at 9:21 AM on August 3, 2002


My guess is that with this article, the publicists figured it would never be read by the target audience (12-24-year-olds), or else they aren't familiar with the reporter's other work.

Last Sunday, one of the national news broadcasts had a story about how the record industry had lost 18% of its revenue in the last 2 years. The show blamed this fact on the high sales of blank CDs.

Couldn't it be that far too much of the music is obviously test marketed and focus grouped to try to reach the broadest audience that in turn it ends up reaching no one?

Latona seems like another rusted cog in the machine pointing to this idea. But, in her defense, some book on the music business essentially said "let record companies lead you how they feel fit as there's always 1000 bands willing to do whatever it takes to take your spot."
posted by drezdn at 10:39 AM on August 3, 2002


"Isn't Hirschberg the one who accused Courtney Love of shooting smack while caring for her infant daughter?"

Love threatened Hirschberg after being quoted in Vanity Fair as stating that she was on heroin during her pregnancy, even though Love does not deny it.
posted by hilker at 10:47 AM on August 3, 2002


I listened to that song that is supposed to be her "new hit single", and she sounds exactly like Natalie Imbruglia, except at least Natalie Imbruglia writes her own songs. Also, she's way better looking.
posted by animoller at 11:32 AM on August 3, 2002


at least Natalie Imbruglia writes her own songs.

Except for her biggest hit, "Torn", which was a cover of a small California indie/alt-rock band's song.  (No judgment calls, just passing information.)

And yes... what do I even say to a thread like this?  I mean, yeah, the manufacture of pop music as commodity disgusts me, the overt marketing of style over substance, the idea that the performers (which is what they are, let's not throw around the term "artist" here) are just replacable cogs in a machine.  All disgusting.

But what can I say that hasn't already been said?  I just shut off my radio (except for my college station) and TV, and go out there and look for good music, and listen to what I have.

But never fear... Rock will not die.  It's still out there, and sooner or later, the pendulum will swing back its way and it will be the major popular music force again.
posted by nath at 12:07 PM on August 3, 2002


The music industry is full of manufactured egocentric pop star wannabe dimwit starfuckers?

Please! Say it ain't so!

This has been going on for fifty years, yet the clueless masses are shocked by the fact time and again.
posted by mark13 at 1:56 PM on August 3, 2002


Rock will not die.

"Rock" was dead the first time someone dropped the "and Roll".
posted by mr_roboto at 2:19 PM on August 3, 2002


But never fear... Rock will not die.

Is this one of those vampire related things?
posted by y2karl at 2:35 PM on August 3, 2002


I don't think the point of this was to shock the clueless masses with the news that their favorite pop stars may not be the scrappy, authentic artists they were supposed to be. Lynn Hirschberg is too smart for that.
posted by transona5 at 2:48 PM on August 3, 2002


Is this one of those vampire related things?

I hope not.  The last thing we need is our popular musicians eating people.

...Wait.
posted by nath at 4:53 PM on August 3, 2002


Latona = atonal?
posted by kurumi at 10:40 AM on August 5, 2002


It's still out there, and sooner or later, the pendulum will swing back its way and it will be the major popular music force again.

No matter how "indie" you think it is, it's all product.
posted by owillis at 10:43 AM on August 5, 2002


« Older “London, from one end to the other, teems and stea...  |  The anticipation of war stirs ... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments