Céline Dion is amazing! (For certain values of the word "amazing").
January 7, 2008 10:59 AM   Subscribe

She has made at least one indie music lover reconsider his antipathy for her music. She may be partially responsible for Obama's recent electoral successes. She is an international force for good. (For certain values of the word "good"). What else can you say? Céline Dion is amazing!. (That last YouTube link has a bit of NSFW language. I can't tell you whether or not Céline herself is NSF anything around you. Your call.)
posted by maudlin (87 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
If you hear Céline in Jamaica, run: Her music, blasted at high volume, has become sonic wallpaper in bad neighborhoods, according to music critic Garnette Codogan: “It became a cue to me to walk ... faster if I was ever in a neighborhood I didn’t know and heard Céline Dion.”

Man, that's just too good to be true. Unlike this.
posted by miss lynnster at 11:03 AM on January 7, 2008


honey, you gotta warn us about Celine Dion YT links!
posted by nax at 11:05 AM on January 7, 2008


You may have thought it was a joke, but she has her own line of beauty products stinkin' up the joint, too.
posted by DenOfSizer at 11:05 AM on January 7, 2008


NSFETDWTB

(not safe for ears that don't want to bleed)
posted by milarepa at 11:11 AM on January 7, 2008


I bet more Mefites have her on their iTunes than will admit to it.
posted by desjardins at 11:11 AM on January 7, 2008


NE VEUX PAS.


(Although I will admit picking up a bargain basement CD of some horrible French pop "singer" when I was in France, which now sits languishing in long term storage somewhere, away from delicate ears)
posted by djgh at 11:17 AM on January 7, 2008


Heh. Heheh. Heh. Celine Dion, Canada's worst export.

I don't know, her music isn't particularly atrocious, but there's not a single song I can sit through. They're long, drawn out, repetitive, and stretch what could be said in two minutes into seven. "I'm Alive" is a good example. It's got a catchy tune, until you hear the same damn thing for twenty or thirty two-line verses in the same arrangement.

And... yeah. No. Generally unappealing. I'd rather listen to Morissette, which is much more a reflection of Dion than it is of my music tastes. I can't stand Alanis.

My parents have multiple Celine Dion CDs at home. I have in-ear headphones and iTunes. It's a symbiotic relaitonship.
posted by Phire at 11:17 AM on January 7, 2008


The problem is that all rock critics try to judge her as a matter of taste, regarding the disinterested pleasure she supplies, in the manner of Kant's account of beauty. In truth, Dion's work is closer to the sublime, like a mountain or the night sky: a challenge to our faculties, a demonstration of our finitude, an alienating acknowledgement that, while we belong in the world, it is none-the-less a big, scary, unmasterable place, and we are very, very small. Céline Dion's very existence, let alone her success and popularity, is an inexplicable mystery on the order of dark matter and evolution of prokaryotic cells from amino acids. It may, in fact, be a threat to the sanity of our civilization, or even to the very notion of sanity and civilization as such.

Thanks for the post.
posted by anotherpanacea at 11:20 AM on January 7, 2008 [15 favorites]


The next time you hear the theme song to 'Titantic', listen closely and she's singing '...and I know that the hot dogs go on'.

It's the only thing she's recorded that's in any way worthwhile.
posted by tapeguy at 11:20 AM on January 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


If not for Celine's husband, I would never have learned the phrase "svengali figure". So thanks, Celine!
posted by GuyZero at 11:20 AM on January 7, 2008


"I bet more Mefites have her on their iTunes than will admit to it."

No effin' way. NO EFFIN' W... ["Music from the Motion Picture 'Titanic'; Composed, Conducted and Orchestrated by James Horner"].

Oh hell.
posted by Mike D at 11:22 AM on January 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


All I can think of when I hear Celine Dion is that clip of her frantic on Larry King Live after Hurricane Katrina.

"...let them touch those things for once!"
"...take two people at a time.. take a kayak!"

absolute hilarity.
posted by grahamux at 11:25 AM on January 7, 2008


Celine Dion, Canada's worst export.

She's still better than Loverboy or Tom Green.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:26 AM on January 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


Oh, is this the confessional now? I don't have her on iTunes, because as much as I love the woman for being warm-hearted, sincere, and a total hoot who really doesn't give a damn about being cool, I just don't like her music. But I have no problems with people who like her music. I remember having my own personal High Fidelity moment several years ago when a very sharp, witty and awesome co-worker described at great length how much she loved Céline's shows and CDs.

But I have a major soft spot for this video, which I first saw and adored in the middle of winter several years ago. It's not the music, but the way the whole thing (on a proper-sized tv) is just flooded with light. Given that my average winter workday has me flinging myself against windows like a deeply confused diurnal moth, that video sums up Not-A-Canadian-Winter for me.
posted by maudlin at 11:28 AM on January 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hey, Xenophobe, watch it! Tom Green went to my High School! [insert indignant school spirit ramble]
posted by Phire at 11:29 AM on January 7, 2008


I'll take Tom Green over Celine any day of the week.

In fact, I propose a test: one Celine Dion CD versus Freddy Got Fingered. Which can you sit through the longest?
posted by ruthsarian at 11:31 AM on January 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Arrrrgh Arrrgh fucking Titanic song was UK number 1 for six fucking years aaaargh splutter.
posted by Artw at 11:31 AM on January 7, 2008


NE VEUX JAMAIS

also: I haven't yet read the 33 1/3 book (but plan to) and can't help but wonder how much he actually reconsidered his antipathy, especially since the book is subtitled A Journey to the End of Taste. From reading the article, it seems more like he was engaging in a campaign to rationalize his visceral reactions and write a book about it than he was trying to reconcile any Dionian enjoyment with his so-called hipster cred.

also also: I am a big fan of the 33 1/3 books in general. whee!
posted by heeeraldo at 11:32 AM on January 7, 2008


I just realized something. Why isn't her name spelled "Selene"?
posted by DU at 11:33 AM on January 7, 2008


A quick perusal of iTunes reveals I do have "My Heart Will Go On". Somewhat more interesting is that I have two tracks by Dion ("Runaround Sue" and "The Wanderer") and two by Dionne Warwick ("Walk On By" and "That's What Friends Are For"). For shame.
posted by smackfu at 11:33 AM on January 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


The Youtube clip is part of this blog from fourfour, to give it a bit more context.
posted by louche mustachio at 11:47 AM on January 7, 2008


I hereby award anotherpanacea the first Plate of Gilded Beans award of 2008. That, good madams and sirs, is how it's done. it's also kind of true lol
posted by fleetmouse at 11:48 AM on January 7, 2008


I can't speak ill of her. After Katrina, I stayed in Vigas for a week, and Celine Dion gave me free tickets to her show, which wasn't to my tastes, but I am not in the habit of looking a gift horse in the mouth. Her dancers went through their closets and rounded up clothes for my girlfriend, since her entire wardrobe was back in New Orleans. And they didn't give her crap clothes, they gave her nice stuff, stuff they thought she might like.

I know it's not a lot, but when you're really down, little gestures mean a lot.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:50 AM on January 7, 2008 [24 favorites]


Sure, Tom Green sucks now, but he used to be actually kind of funny (back on local cable in Ottawa, many years ago). You might say that he only started to suck once he left Canada, so don't blame the Canadians for his craptitude. Celine, on the other hand, has always sucked.
posted by ssg at 11:52 AM on January 7, 2008


Celine Dion reminds me of a brand new violin: loud, a bit strident, with a glossy, pristine surface and shiny steel strings. She's pretty, she can hit the notes, and boy you can hear her clean across the room as if she were standing next to you. I can respect that a great many people like her, but I prefer mellow, soft-edged old fiddles.

Astro Zombie: that's really super nice!
posted by zennie at 11:55 AM on January 7, 2008


Come on, people. "It's All Coming Back To Me Now" is one of Jim Steinman's greatest triumphs, and Celine was the perfect choice to sing it. As he himself puts it:

... it's not just a pleasurable feeling that comes back, it's the complete terror and loss of control that comes back. And I think that's ultimately a great weapon.

I can't listen to Celine Dion for more than about 45 seconds at a time. Such is the horrible pain and torment of her voice.

Or such is the power of her voice. One of the two. I can't remember which.
posted by koeselitz at 11:55 AM on January 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


I knew those hot dogs would go on.
posted by futility closet at 12:03 PM on January 7, 2008


17 years ago I had MTV on while doing aerobics and Where Does My Heart Beat Now came on, her first US hit. I stopped not only to huff and puff but to listen to her extraordinary voice. My first thought was that she was going to be a global phenomenon if she found a way in spite of that schnozz and her kitsch sentimentality. And, by George, she did.

A pity about the kitsch sentimentality, which she is superb at depicting, in every soap opera nuance. But I can't help adoring her voice and her joie de vivre, her vital energy and what comes forth as a genuine affection for others.

Born to a large, impoverished family in Charlemagne, Quebec, [Celine] Dion emerged as a teen star in the French-speaking world after her manager and future husband René Angélil mortgaged his home to finance her first record.

Her first English language video, Listen to the Magic Man. Celine's oldest songs, she recorded during the time when she was 13-17 years old. Songs from 1981-1985

Countless others have mined the kitsch emotion thing, some exquisitely and I take great pleasure in their singing in spite of the cringes: Edith Piaf La Vie En Rose l Judy Garland Somewhere Over The Rainbow l Charles Aznavour Isabelle

There's just some marvelous trash that I adore, guilt or not: barbie girl - aqua l Banana phone - Raffi

There's always some fun new trash to fall in love with. Today's fun trash: a video ad for V Channel, which uses the slight Indian mispronunciation of we, as v in a fun way. V Are All Rockstars. Sweet Child Of Mine - Sitar Edition

Vive guilty pleasures!
posted by nickyskye at 12:07 PM on January 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


I've read the book alluded to in maudlin's post, Carl Wilson's Let's Talk About Love, and it's a breathtaking, beautiful, fascinating, wonderful work - definitely the best work of non-fiction I read in 2007. Wilson, first of all, isn't a typical "indie music lover" - he's one of Canada's foremost critics, with a particular love for jazz & the avant-garde, and pop/hip-hop alongside indie rock. But what's most significant is that Let's Talk About Love isn't just an examination of Celine, (her role inside Quebec, Canada, and the larger world,) but rather an insightful, funny, poetic and often very personal examination of aesthetics - both as philosophy and as a lens through which we approach art, day-to-day. Wilson ties together ideas about taste, canon, kitsch, mass art, and criticism, doing so with a lightness of touch and a reassuring humanism. Incorporating scenes from his own failing marriage, it becomes a very tender work; not just brain but heart. A book that's ultimately about art's power to bring human beings together, or maybe to sustain them in their isolation.

Anyway, it's great. You can buy it here and my blog is doing a three-part (mon/tues/wed) series this week, examining some of its ideas.
posted by Marquis at 12:08 PM on January 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


She's still better than Loverboy or Tom Green.

I strongly and only barely respectfully disagree.

Without even getting into their courageous, pioneering work on behalf of unconvetional headwear choices for plus-sized gentlemen, Loverboy served a critical function as one of the first internationally successful Canadian bands of the Import Substitution Era. Loverboy is in a sense the Yugo or perhaps the Hyundai of Canadian pop.

Born of broadcast regulations obliging Canadian radio stations to play substantial helpings of such bands alongside slick American fare like Journey and REO Speedwagon, Loverboy proved that protectionist cultural laws could in time produce recording artists of equal and eventually even greater merit. Thus was Canada's domestic pop industry launched. It's no overstatement to argue that without Loverboy, there would be no Arcade Fire.

And though it would eventually succomb to MTV humourectomy - aka Carson Daly's Disease - the first anarchic years of the Tom Green Show on public-access cable in Ottawa and Toronto were among the most daring, provocative and hilarious pieces of TV comedy of their time. The episode in which Tom had his father's sedan's hood airbrushed with the logo "Slutmobile," complete with buxom-biker-chick illustration, and then followed his father to the local bus stop in said Slutmobile to interrogate him as to why he wasn't driving the Slutmobile to work that morning in front of a gaggle of his bemused fellow commuters - this sequence, in particular, boasted a seamless mix of Oedipal conflict and existential absurdity rarely seen outside the European art cinema. For a brief, shining moment, Green was truly the Bergman of public-access cable, and his place in comedic history is thus assured.

And as for that plate of beans, the sauce is a bit runny for my liking.
posted by gompa at 12:14 PM on January 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


On the one hand: Celine Dion, Chilliwack, Loverboy, Burton Cummings, BTO, The Guess Who, and Brian Adams.
On the other hand: Niel Young, Joni Mitchell, 80% of The Band, Leonard Cohen, and The Tragically Hip.

Balances out, more or less.
posted by Meatbomb at 12:15 PM on January 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


I've met Carl a few times - and, in the name of alt-country cred (at Twangfest), foisted moonshine upon him - and he's a pretty straightforward guy. Best I can tell, he honestly wanted to figure out what the deal with C.D. is, and wrote a book about it.
posted by notsnot at 12:16 PM on January 7, 2008


Are you serious, Zombie? That's so cool. I remember seeing her fiery, tearful appearance on Larry King during the Katrina disaster. The old fart asked her to sing something at the end, and she did. Can anyone say they watched that with a dry eye? Say what you will about her music but she's a good soul.
posted by fleetmouse at 12:17 PM on January 7, 2008


I saw Aretha Franklin live a few years ago. She was definitely in diva mode, singing all her greatest hits, sure, but doing some tunes that were not audience favorites, but her favorites.

Including the Titanic theme. The bathroom lines were rivaled only by those during a more-recent Rolling Stones concert I attended, during the Keith Richards solos.
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:18 PM on January 7, 2008


Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse... Celine and Anastacia doing the most anemic version of the mighty AC?DC's "you shook me all night long" you can imagine!

Sample comments:

can somebody please PLEASE tell me why?? why is there such thing in this world??? I´m not a big fan of ac/dc but I like it enough to say please mama kill me!! I don´t want to see that again!!! I´m gonna have nightmares...=(

MAN, i nearly cried when i heard this. WHAT the fuck is that i see the duck walk..... i mean c'mon they should both be burnt for this heresy

posted by the_very_hungry_caterpillar at 12:19 PM on January 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


Looks like my Ben Stein is Astro Zombie's Celine Dion... sometimes a moment of human kindness can count for a lot.
posted by miss lynnster at 12:25 PM on January 7, 2008


*barbie girl correct link
posted by nickyskye at 12:27 PM on January 7, 2008


Amazing post! Amazing woman! A rocker too, don't forget... and she was amazing on X-Factor!
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:28 PM on January 7, 2008


Damn, beaten to the ACDC link...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:30 PM on January 7, 2008


Celine Dion, Chilliwack, Loverboy, Burton Cummings, BTO, The Guess Who, and Brian Adams.

Those are all great. You forgot Prism, Glass Tiger, Gino Vanelli, The Box, The Spoons, Rough Trade, Parachute Club, and a few others.
posted by fleetmouse at 12:36 PM on January 7, 2008


She's pretty

Whoa, whoa, whoa there, horsey. My lunch - it's all coming back to me now.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:37 PM on January 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


Well, I've not been exposed to too much of her, except that she managed to turn one of the greatest lust-songs of history, "I Drove All Night" into a car ad that cut the heart and soul out of it, leaving behind Dion's clinically precise vocals. It's a song that demands Lauper's imperfect burr, or Orbison's sublime but strained reach rather than Dion's maternal crooning. It's the song of a desperately horny person arriving unannounced at five in the morning with red eyes, sore muscles and a deep heartache that is just easing. It's a song that smells of stale gas-station coffee, cheez-its, sticky stale summer sweat because the AC don't work, and sexual arousal. It is a magical combination of "fuck me," combined with romantic tenderness and the heartache of a long-distance relationship. And gee, can you tell that I consider it one of the top pop songs of the 20th century next to Memphis Minnie's "When The Levee Breaks?"

koeselitz: One of these days, I'm going to celebrate Jim Steinman's birthday on the radio. You know how they keep doing Broadway revivals of ABBA and Billy Joel? Someday, someone will produce a good Jim Steinman musical. It's probably the only revival musical that I'd sit through.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 1:03 PM on January 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


A quick perusal of iTunes reveals I do have "My Heart Will Go On". Somewhat more interesting is that I have two tracks by Dion ("Runaround Sue" and "The Wanderer") and two by Dionne Warwick ("Walk On By" and "That's What Friends Are For"). For shame.

I certainly hope you mean "For shame I have only two tracks each." OK, sometimes Dionne Warwick and her lush orchestrations are a bit much for me, but if you're dissing the great Dion, I'm gonna have to hunt you down and feed you to Meatbomb.

Anybody else notice Larry King's idiotic comment that New Orleans is "mostly French"? That hasn't been true for over 200 years, ya maroon!

Also, great story, Astro Zombie—I like her a lot for that.
posted by languagehat at 1:11 PM on January 7, 2008


tapeguy: "The next time you hear the theme song to 'Titantic', listen closely and she's singing '...and I know that the hot dogs go on'.

It's the only thing she's recorded that's in any way worthwhile.
"

Wow. I came in here just to post that. When my father found this out we had to replay that bit of the Titanic closing credits a dozen times.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 1:13 PM on January 7, 2008


You know, it's real easy to hate Celine Dion and dismiss her music as dull and predictable sentimental audio poo but....

....ummmmm..........

....welllllllllllll...........

...it's real easy to hate Celine Dion and dismiss her music as dull and predictable sentimental audio poo.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 1:14 PM on January 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


I love music. I love music a lot. Music is my life. I was born in the dressing room of a shitty but infamous dive bar. My first crib was actually a hollowed-out speaker box. I teethed on guitar cables.

I love music. It is my life, my my blood, my heart and soul.


Therefore I am now going to permanently cauterize my ears shut with this soldering iron so that I will never run the risk of accidently hearing a Celine Dion song again.
posted by loquacious at 1:23 PM on January 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


I'm not a big fan of hers, but I'd rather listen to her in french. There's less vocal histrionics, and she sings more with feeling. Probably because english isn't her first language.

I love Pour que tu m'aimes encore [youtube]
posted by quoththeraven at 1:27 PM on January 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Ok. Done. Hurts like hell but it'll heal ok. I really should stop reading this thread, though. I just got snippets of that blasted, screeching Titanic song stuck in my head. Dangerous shit.

That's ok, I'll just play a little bit of... oh, fuck. No. OH GOD NO WHAT THE FUCK AM I GOING TO DO NOW!?
posted by loquacious at 1:27 PM on January 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


but the way the whole thing (on a proper-sized tv) is just flooded with light. Given that my average winter workday has me flinging myself against windows like a deeply confused diurnal moth, that video sums up Not-A-Canadian-Winter for me

maudlin, one word for you, Chromalux.

The bulbs work wonderfully for SAD. They get hot, I find a cheap metal clip lamp from the hardware store works fine.
posted by nickyskye at 1:32 PM on January 7, 2008


People: Nickelback is at least 7.25 times worse than Celine Dion. Add Avril Lavigne and Sum 41 to that steaming pile of what Canada dumped on us, and Celine's bizarro pop music seems practically Pixies-esque in comparison.

Honestly, even if you hate Celine Dion, wouldn't you rather sit through her Vegas show than a triple bill of Nickelback, Avril Lavigne, and Sum 41?

(And yes, The Hip more than make up for all of the bad music that Canada has given us, so I forgive it.)
posted by The World Famous at 1:39 PM on January 7, 2008


maudlin, one word for you, Chromalux.

Two words: Venice Beach.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 1:50 PM on January 7, 2008


Three words: send me airfare.

(Thanks, nickyskye. I'll look into that.)
posted by maudlin at 1:55 PM on January 7, 2008


Your secret shame is exposed on last.fm
posted by blue_beetle at 1:55 PM on January 7, 2008


Yeah, but she's no Bubbles.
posted by not_on_display at 2:11 PM on January 7, 2008


Oh well, I confess. Memoire d'Abraham is my fav Dion track, her d'Eaux album in fact is on my Itunes, but that is it.
posted by Wilder at 2:17 PM on January 7, 2008


D-D-D-D-Danse dans ma tête!
(features Quebecois Celine in overalls on a bed with cheezy electronic horns)
posted by furtive at 2:20 PM on January 7, 2008


two words - barbara streisand
posted by pyramid termite at 2:27 PM on January 7, 2008


"Please turn that down."


- my dog's first-ever words
posted by wfc123 at 2:42 PM on January 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


... and she was amazing on X-Factor!

She's no Rhidian.
posted by smackfu at 3:00 PM on January 7, 2008


nickyskye writes "Judy Garland Somewhere Over The Rainbow"

IMO, Willie Nelson's cover is the best, in no small part due to the fact that it's not overdone. Willie Nelson is like the anti-Céline.
posted by krinklyfig at 3:25 PM on January 7, 2008


The World Famous writes "Honestly, even if you hate Celine Dion, wouldn't you rather sit through her Vegas show than a triple bill of Nickelback, Avril Lavigne, and Sum 41?"

No. At least at the other show I can get high enough to where I wouldn't care. I have the feeling it might have the opposite effect at Céline's show and make her music more irritating.
posted by krinklyfig at 3:33 PM on January 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's a well-known fact that Negativland's field-recording of a live version of "Over The Rainbow" titled "Over The Hiccups". (warning: sad art film version.)

A very close second, if not a tie, is Israel Kamakawiwo Ole's version, which still gives me shivers, even just hearing the strains of it from my unworn headphones on my desk. (warning: tropical images may cause intense longing in winter.)
posted by loquacious at 3:35 PM on January 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


The World Famous: "Honestly, even if you hate Celine Dion, wouldn't you rather sit through her Vegas show than a triple bill of Nickelback, Avril Lavigne, and Sum 41?"

krinklyfig: No. At least at the other show I can get high enough to where I wouldn't care. I have the feeling it might have the opposite effect at Céline's show and make her music more irritating.


There is a third option. Death.

If not, I'll choose Celine. At least I know I could sit in the back, stuff in some earplugs and catch a nap without getting jock-sweat and beer all over me.
posted by loquacious at 3:38 PM on January 7, 2008


And, err, sorry. Edit:

It's a well-known fact that Negativland's field-recording of a live version of "Over The Rainbow" titled "Over The Hiccups" is the best. (warning: sad art film version.)
posted by loquacious at 3:39 PM on January 7, 2008


Much of her music just strikes me as bloody weird.

Like the one where her lover leaves her and their cruel dysfunctional relationship, she's so traumatized she forgets it all, then, when he comes back, all is forgiven and everyone lives happily after all. Whiskey tango foxtrot?

And never, ever, is love easy in any of her songs. It's always some grand struggle, some Sisyphean task.

That girl is broken.
posted by Samizdata at 3:50 PM on January 7, 2008


As for her beauty, I think she's a classic belle-laide (beautiful-ugly), in keeping with many of the great singers of the planet, male or female: Tina, Aretha, Judy later in life, Celia Cruz, Barbra, Billie, Tracy, Joan.

Typical beau-laid (handsome-ugly) male singers: Bruce, Bob, Luciano, Frankie baby, Mick. oops how did this beau-laid rascal get in here?

Maybe having a good sized schnozz is part of the great voice deal?
posted by nickyskye at 4:00 PM on January 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


Honestly, even if you hate Celine Dion, wouldn't you rather sit through her Vegas show than a triple bill of Nickelback, Avril Lavigne, and Sum 41?

It's a bit like being asked whether you'd prefer being impaled to death or have your genitals cut off and then getting thrown into a pile of salt... hard to pick one, really.
posted by clevershark at 4:01 PM on January 7, 2008


Nickelback, Avril Lavigne, and Sum 41?

Any time... and you could add Celine as an encore. But, Daniel O'Donnell... I'd be throwing myself off the balcony before he was into the first chorus.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:12 PM on January 7, 2008


Without even getting into their courageous, pioneering work on behalf of unconvetional headwear choices for plus-sized gentlemen, Loverboy served a critical function as one of the first internationally successful Canadian bands of the Import Substitution Era. Loverboy is in a sense the Yugo or perhaps the Hyundai of Canadian pop.

Splendid analysis. The counterargument, though, is that these days, the refuse of Loverboy are playing Muggs'n'Juggs in New Westminster for beer money (note: not necessarily true), while Hyundai cars are receiving awards from Edmunds rather than jeers.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:13 PM on January 7, 2008


She's no Rhidian.

Yeah, but honestly, who is?
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:14 PM on January 7, 2008


What did I take from that? That it is just not a good idea to ever say on stage, "Can someone call 911? This is not part of the show." Unless of course, that whatever happened was not part of the show and someone should call 911.
posted by Morrigan at 4:28 PM on January 7, 2008


I gotta track down that 33 an'a third book.

And I also have to say that I don't really get what's wrong with Celine, though I have to say that I can't think of a single one of her songs, really. But I'll cop to the hypocrisy charge on that one, since Coldplay gets me irate for reasons I can no longer remember.
posted by klangklangston at 4:49 PM on January 7, 2008


But, Daniel O'Donnell... I'd be throwing myself off the balcony before he was into the first chorus.

Like an idiot, I clicked the link. I think my ears and eyes are broken. My bandmates are going to wonder what's wrong with me at practice tonight.
posted by The World Famous at 4:57 PM on January 7, 2008


oh yeah, that's more like it. Had to get that carob Celine taste out with some marabou Frida.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 5:28 PM on January 7, 2008


I used to love the French Album, possibly because I don't understand French, or possibly because she collaborated with J J Goldman. Such emotion, I still wonder what it means.
posted by RussHy at 6:17 PM on January 7, 2008


"Honestly, even if you hate Celine Dion, wouldn't you rather sit through her Vegas show than a triple bill of Nickelback, Avril Lavigne, and Sum 41?"

no, i would not - i know nothing of sum 41, but avril probably wouldn't get on my nerves too bad and i actually like some of nickelback's stuff
posted by pyramid termite at 6:31 PM on January 7, 2008


Has anyone heard or have copies of the Phil Spector Celine Dion recordings?
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 7:14 PM on January 7, 2008


"Taste" and, more specifically, the spectrum of taste--bad to good, crude to refined-- is an interesting concept.

Sure, like, I suspect, most of those posting on MeFi, I'm inclined to greet Celine Dion's music with salutes of projectile vomit... but I wonder what the mechanism behind one's finding her music bad, or someone else's music good, is.

What's the relationship between "cultural capital", subcultural bubble, and preferred thinking patterns? Or the relationship between particular rhythms and the biochemistry and life-cycle of the individual? I've always been struck by the way that, in the US, anyway, the hormonally supercharged period from ages 13-20 seems to require a soundtrack. And that soundtrack is usually fast and/or loud and/or bumpin' with bass.

And then from 21-24, one typically stops being imprinted with new musical genres. And over the period of the next fifteen to twenty years, as one's metabolism slows, even one's existing tastes "soften"... as the hard-edged icons of one's youth begin, in their dotage, discovering and re-recording Cole Porter and traditional folk melodies of the Yanomami.

It's as though music, and its associations, helps cobble together and stabilize adolescent identity. And it's easy enough to see this at work within highly defined little youth subcultures-- emo, punk, goth, hip-hop, whatever-- but what kind of youthful mental associations, what subculture and what internal landscape, goes with imprinting Celine Dion?

I suppose a very straightforward Ideal Love/Romance/Marriage script... but I don't know.

I've thought about these questions for awhile, but obviously, haven't really thought them through...

I don't know why, but something seems wrong to me about knocking Celine Dion, or Tom Clancy, or Jerry Bruckheimer, or Danielle Steele, or whomever-- whether cynical or naive, all these people serve to adequately tranquilize some not insignificantly large segment of the human population. Not unlike MeFi, perhaps.
posted by darth_tedious at 7:29 PM on January 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


I don't know why, but something seems wrong to me about knocking Celine Dion

i just think there are people who do what she does better - unfortunately, most of them are pretty old and not too many people her age have wanted to do this, so she's filling a niche
posted by pyramid termite at 7:53 PM on January 7, 2008


I kinda like her. But I'm a gay man and it's genetically required. Phil Collins on the other hand, or even the thought of Phil Collins, makes me psychotic.

Uh-oh.

There goes Tuesday.
posted by Vavuzi at 9:30 PM on January 7, 2008


darth_tedious, Really enjoyed your comment. I think initially Celine came in during the 80's start of the whole yuppie generation thing, all that Reaganomics could offer pop music with big hair. Ideal Love/Romance/Marriage script sounds spot on. But I would also add to that a positivity, a spiritual buzz and theistic message, eg A New Day Has Come, a New Agey soaring aspect to her songs.

In April 2007 Sony announced that Celine Dion had sold more than 200 million albums worldwide, so she's apparently hitting some pleasure buttons somewhere on the planet.
posted by nickyskye at 9:40 PM on January 7, 2008


>all that Reaganomics could offer pop music with big hair

Hmm-- the Reagan era... big hair, wide shoulders, McInerney/Bret Easton Ellis/Janowitz : The Years of Power-Suspendered Orderly Yearning.

Seems about right...
posted by darth_tedious at 9:59 PM on January 7, 2008


nickyskye writes "In April 2007 Sony announced that Celine Dion had sold more than 200 million albums worldwide, so she's apparently hitting some pleasure buttons somewhere on the planet."

Oh, yeah, she mashes that button over and over and over, with her fist.

I have no problem with people liking her. She seems to believe in what she does to a dorky degree, which is sort of endearing, and people like her earnestness. But, good lord, she is nothing but the most gooey, purified cheese, turned up to 11. It's just too much for me, as much as I try to make a case for her music in my head. Wow, what a voice. I wish she were more subtle and artful with it, but I fully admit that's taste. One of my sisters adores Barry Manilow, and I feel pretty much the same way about him, but more power to her. Although my brother-in-law did tell me that his concerts are fairly surreal. Almost all women in the audience, and they're all crying. I mean, I get it, it's a release, and he makes them swoon and he's all smooth, and Barry and Celine appeal to huge, huge audiences across the world, but it's not for everyone ...
posted by krinklyfig at 10:31 PM on January 7, 2008


I always used to LOVE Ana Gasteyer's impression of Celine... "Please! Don't be jealous of me! [ piano music plays, lights dim ] I wasn't always this lucky. There was a time when I had so many ear infections, the kid in the town would call me "Ugly, Retarded Girl"! But now, I am the best sing-gerr... IN THE WOOOORRRRLD! And now I will sing the best song in the world!"

I hate that there aren't any of her SNL clips anywhere. I did find French & Saunders and MAD TV impressions, though.
posted by miss lynnster at 11:45 PM on January 7, 2008


she mashes that button over and over and over, with her fist

Thanks for the first bellylaugh of the day krinklyfig. God that's funny. Your gooey, purified cheese, turned up to 11 instantly reminds me of The Grinch lyrics. I guess certain singers are willing or interested in tapping into the Big Myths about Love, Hope, Loss, Yearning and somehow find a Zeitgeist pipeline they can surf, Laird Hamiltons of the mythical emotions.

There are many adored popular singers whose voices or music are as appealing to me as fingernails on a blackboard. They include Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Barry Manilow, Barbra, Tom Jones.

I've been quite excited regarding the interesting and meaningful discussion of taste in this thread, as I am about art vs craft in this recent crochet-knitting art thread. And then darth_tedious' stimulating thought about the timeliness of music styles connected with age, hormones and meaning.

There are a few elements in pop women's music that have bothered me in general: The codependent lyrics, about missing the son of a bitch tremendously, going back to or caretaking a bastard or standing by your jerk; the kitsch nature of the emotions expressed, which are not usually allowed to include anger or complexity; that there aren't enough positive songs about enjoying the daily aspects of life that aren't ridiculous.

Seconding loving Ana Gasteyer's and the French & Saunders parodies. Deliciously naughty. Even that awful MadTV one is funny.
posted by nickyskye at 11:12 AM on January 8, 2008


Holy shit, loquacious, that "Over the Hiccups" film was depressing. And after I was feeling all happy from Astro Zombie's story, too.

(It also made me think of the movie Gummo for some strange reason and I do NOT like to think about Gummo. Ever. My roommate tied me down and made me watch it one dreary, hungover Sunday. Thankfully, we watched Mommy Dearest right after. A nice, refreshing palate cleanser. "I'm not mad at you, I'm mad at the DIRT!")
posted by LeeJay at 11:26 AM on January 8, 2008


Holt shit, loquacious, that My Favorite Things dvd is overdue as MINE. Love the DisPepsi coverage!
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:45 AM on January 8, 2008


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