Miley Cyrus and the Flaming Lips
August 31, 2015 12:18 PM   Subscribe

Miley Cyrus and Her Dead Petz is a new album by Miley Cyrus, released yesterday for free. 14 of the 23 tracks are cowritten and produced by Wayne Coyne and other members of The Flaming Lips, the rest either solo work, or made with her regular producers Mike Will Made It and Oren Yoel. Joe Coscarelli wrote about the making of the album for The New York Times. This is not the first time Miley Cyrus and the Flaming Lips have worked together, as she sang two Beatles with them last year, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds (live version) and A Day in the Life (live version).
posted by Kattullus (131 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
 
Despite my feelings (repugnancy) towards 2015 Wayne Coyne, I will always have hardcore love for the Flaming Lips circa 1993-1995.
posted by Windigo at 12:20 PM on August 31, 2015 [13 favorites]


Also, I think Miley might like drugs.
posted by Windigo at 12:22 PM on August 31, 2015 [12 favorites]


Windigo: People make similar posts about public figures all the time-- what are you talking about; what did Wayne Coyne do in 2015? Is it just bad songs, or did he commit a personal or political sin?
posted by 4th number at 12:23 PM on August 31, 2015


4th number: Also, I think Miley might like drugs.

So did The Flaming Lips circa 1993-1995.
posted by Kattullus at 12:24 PM on August 31, 2015 [5 favorites]


Christina Aguilera - Britney Spears + Crispin Glover = Miley Cyrus.

Discuss.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:25 PM on August 31, 2015 [29 favorites]


Actually, I bet there's a better equation for that.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:27 PM on August 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


All the glitter/sprinkles/goo in the video kind of make me want to throw up. I find the music interesting, though.
posted by Huck500 at 12:29 PM on August 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


New track: "Can Somebody Tell Me What 'What's Good' Means?"
posted by kmz at 12:30 PM on August 31, 2015 [10 favorites]


I too have a love for early 90's Lips, everything up to and including Clouds Taste Metallic. Growing up in north Texas I saw them play quite a few times in what was undoubtedly their prime. I'm one of the few who thinks The Soft Bulletin is a bloated mess that's best left in the overrated bin of history's record store. 2009's Embryonic was really great and I wish they'd continued in that direction.

All said, I've been trying to listen to this Miley album on and off all day. I emphasize 'trying'. The only track that's stood out is the one featuring Ariel Pink, and I feel like I'm grasping for something to like there.
posted by item at 12:30 PM on August 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


she sang two Beatles with them songs
Words order not in the right those are.
posted by w0mbat at 12:32 PM on August 31, 2015 [11 favorites]


Just listened to A Day in the Life, and, oh, what wretched dreck. Sgt. Pepper was already overwrought and indulgent to begin with...
posted by Nevin at 12:33 PM on August 31, 2015


The problem with 2015 Wayne Coyne is that he's fully bought into his own mythology and instead of growing older gracefully and organically, he's escaped into the embrace of his cult as a pathetic, vaguely predatory, faux-psychedelic Peter Pan character. He's just insufferable. I'm not getting into the controversies (racism, sexism, just plain treating people like shit) but they're googleable.
posted by naju at 12:35 PM on August 31, 2015 [29 favorites]


what are you talking about; what did Wayne Coyne do in 2015? Is it just bad songs, or did he commit a personal or political sin?

His GF, Christina Fallin (daughter of the OK governor) posted a picture of her (white) self in a Native American headdress. After the predictable internet outrage happened, Wayne put up a picture of himself, and several other people and his dog wearing one. He also fired his drummer for criticizing Christina - who mocked Native Americans during a show with her band around this time.

There's more, but that is the gist. He seemed like less of a douche when I met him back in 94, but I was already pretty loaded when I went to that pre-show party, so...
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 12:37 PM on August 31, 2015 [4 favorites]


> I'm one of the few who thinks The Soft Bulletin is a bloated mess

THANK YOU. I *loved* Hit To Death, Transmissions and Clouds (and In A Priest Driven Ambulance had its moments), so when The Soft Bulletin was released, accompanied as it was by a flood of 5-star, Best Of The Year-style reviews, I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. And then I did, and...I dunno. Both it and Yoshimi have always sounded waaaaay overproduced to my ears, and mark the point where their act became an Act, featuring Whimsy applied with a trowel. "Do You Realize??" is my generation's "Dust In The Wind."
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:38 PM on August 31, 2015 [7 favorites]


I think I turned the corner on my love of The Flaming Lips after that one year at SXSW when it was virtually impossible to avoid the gaudy spectacle of Wayne Coyne rolling around the streets of Austin in his giant hamster ball accompanied always and everywhere by a small phalanx of MTV cameras.
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:38 PM on August 31, 2015 [5 favorites]


This looks like an early attempt to post the full album on YouTube, without any sort of tracklisting, for those who want a different audio source. So far, it's weird-good, but I'm only a minute in.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:39 PM on August 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


yeah don't get me started on my hatred of Yoshimi
posted by item at 12:39 PM on August 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


All the things I want to like Miley Cyrus for--being gender-fluid, recently going vegan--always get canceled out by the fact she doesn't know how to treat POC like, well, actual people.
posted by Kitteh at 12:40 PM on August 31, 2015 [18 favorites]


Miley is really positioning herself as the Pop Star for Young Trump Voters.
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:41 PM on August 31, 2015 [9 favorites]


> I'm one of the few who thinks The Soft Bulletin is a bloated mess

*sobs* I thought I was the only one. I was SUCH a hardcore Lips fan based on Clouds Taste Metallic and Transmissions from the Satellite Heart (and then going backwards to their earlier work) and Soft Bulletin is when the love started to drift away. I was a teen at the time (so thought in black & white terms) and felt like such a "bad fan."
posted by Windigo at 12:42 PM on August 31, 2015


All the things I want to like Miley Cyrus for--being gender-fluid, recently going vegan--always get canceled out by the fact she doesn't know how to treat POC like, well, actual people.

It's almost enough to breaky your achy heart.
posted by item at 12:43 PM on August 31, 2015 [8 favorites]


4th number: Also, I think Miley might like drugs.

So did The Flaming Lips circa 1993-1995.


Yes, but Miley just really, really wants us to know. Which is totes cool. I'm just helping her achieve her goal.
posted by Windigo at 12:44 PM on August 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


(“Karen Don’t Be Sad” -- Oh, here comes that Flaming Lips touch)

I thought Wayne Coyne was a bit too high on the Wayne Coyne Is Awesome Parade when he got pissed off at people leaving Treasure Island festival in 2009. Hey, you're the last show on a Sunday, and not everyone likes you that much, so of course we're going to leave early.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:44 PM on August 31, 2015


I really like the new music. She has an incredible voice and the simple production serves it well. Also a huge Steve Drozd fan - that guy could make a symphony out of a ceiling fan...
posted by erebora at 12:46 PM on August 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


The Soft Bulletin was the last Flaming Lips album I bought. Deserter's Songs was the last Mercury Rev album I bought, for similar reasons. Most of the great 90s bands that stopped making music at the end of the decade probably did the right thing.
posted by pipeski at 12:51 PM on August 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


Gaga is singing torch songs now, so I guess someone's got to try the wacky art thing.
posted by JoeZydeco at 12:52 PM on August 31, 2015 [4 favorites]


Listening now, just into the second track, and it's interesting enough to keep me listening so far. What's most remarkable about the album to me, at this point, is that she's giving it away free, and its production does not count toward her current record contract, so it's clearly a labor of love and artistic stretching and (hopefully) growth. Fascinating.

Even when I don't like what Cyrus is specifically doing, I can't help but love her audaciousness and moxie. (I mean, it's an extremely difficult task for anyone to find their genuine voice as a creative artist, let alone do it once you're already incredibly famous and still a young adult. She's doing what she's supposed to do, if she's approaching music as an expressive art rather than a commodity. It's just that she has to do it so publicly, when most of us have the sanctuary of obscurity while we make young mistakes or follow ultimately fruitless inspirations/techniques on the way to making things that we really love and that have meaning and get that ineffable thing we're trying to get out right. She's so completely fearless about it, I think it's great.)
posted by LooseFilter at 12:55 PM on August 31, 2015 [27 favorites]


I'm enjoying the album. If you're going to live a life centered on ridiculous pop excess, Miley Cyrus plays that game better than anybody in her age bracket. The legion of drag queens last night was the best spectacle of the VMAs.

I hope she doesn't actually love drugs as much as she claims.
posted by rcade at 12:56 PM on August 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


Yeah, we get it Miley- you just discovered acid.

woo-hoo
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:57 PM on August 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


she's giving it away free

A constant critique from Outraged Parent types. #wreckingball
posted by Ogre Lawless at 12:59 PM on August 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


Also, what do you think Miley uses on her toast?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:59 PM on August 31, 2015


Miley Cyrus is either smarter than hell, or she's got somebody who's smarter than hell working for her. She was already past the end of her fifteen minutes when Party In The USA came out, and... it's difficult to even believe we're talking about the same person who sang Party In The USA.

And let's face it--the era of non-Celebrity Stunt Candidates is over; our future presidents will all be either pro wrestlers, former Game Of Thrones cast members, or Miley Cyrus. If our choices were Donald Trump or Miley Cyrus, I'd vote for Miley without a moment's hesitation. We'll be lucky if the devil offers us a deal that good.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 1:01 PM on August 31, 2015 [13 favorites]


Yeah, we get it Miley- you just discovered acid.

Snide dismissiveness is always so appealing. Do you have a newsletter?
posted by LooseFilter at 1:01 PM on August 31, 2015 [18 favorites]


Miley was always going to have a very difficult path to shake off the Hannah Montana image, and I've been amazed how perfect so many of her decisions have been so far. Whether it's her, her parents, her PR people, or whoever, I think they are navigating her brand expertly through a very challenging reinvention.
posted by scrowdid at 1:03 PM on August 31, 2015 [4 favorites]


I think my problem with Miley is her indiscriminate use of "the voice".

She's got this authoritative voice like a dorm RA leading a game of "have you ever?" Or maybe one of those rich kids that has learned this over a lifetime of hearing mom and dad talk to the help.

Like the way she was trying to punk out minaj yesterday and whitesplain the situation where Minaj was wrong to talk about race.

Thanks Miley, I wish my daddy was rich so I could feel entitled too.
posted by hal_c_on at 1:03 PM on August 31, 2015 [14 favorites]


> Also, what do you think Miley uses on her toast?

That orange goo from Robocop 2.
posted by ZipRibbons at 1:06 PM on August 31, 2015


If our choices were Donald Trump or Miley Cyrus, I'd vote for Miley without a moment's hesitation.

Fuck that. Nicki/Kanye 2020.
posted by kmz at 1:06 PM on August 31, 2015 [23 favorites]


When she was first collaborating with Flaming Lips on a one-off song (2011 or 2012, I think?) they said in an interview that she had never done acid, but she really wanted to with the band. I think at the time they felt a little weird about introducing her to drugs, because she was so young and (relatively) innocent. I think we can all conclude that they ended up doing a boatload of hallucinogens together and explored the limits of the cosmos. Again, Coyne has this predatory cult leader vibe that sets off alarm bells. I don't want to think about it too much. At the same time, she's 22 and can do whatever she wants, godspeed, etc., so really it's none of my business to judge or assume.
posted by naju at 1:08 PM on August 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


Listened to the album about twice now. I really like it. It's delightfully weird while still staying within the confines of pop music. When much pop music is sort of just that amorphous Dr Luke/Diplo stuff, it's always nice to hear a bit of creativity.

I really like the person/celebrity Miley has become. She gives so few fucks it's kind of refreshing.
posted by Lutoslawski at 1:09 PM on August 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


if anyone is listening to it, it's pretty damn good.
posted by djseafood at 1:11 PM on August 31, 2015 [4 favorites]


I can't believe I'm typing these words...I actually like a lot of this.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:12 PM on August 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


Snide dismissiveness is always so appealing. Do you have a newsletter?


Why, yes- it's called TheWhiteSkull Telegraph-Gazette. To what address should I send a complimentary copy?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:12 PM on August 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


When she was first collaborating with Flaming Lips on a one-off song (2011 or 2012, I think?) they said in an interview that she had never done acid, but she really wanted to with the band. I think at the time they felt a little weird about introducing her to drugs, because she was so young and (relatively) innocent.

To be fair, that incident involved Coyne and Ke$ha, not Cyrus.
posted by item at 1:17 PM on August 31, 2015


Embryonic is really, really good. If you skipped it because you didn't like some of the intervening albums, you are missing out.
posted by neuromodulator at 1:19 PM on August 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


Waiting for the eventual Demi Levato/Mercury Rev album.
posted by drezdn at 1:19 PM on August 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


To be fair, that incident involved Coyne and Ke$ha, not Cyrus.

Ah, so you're right! My memory is awful these days. [joke about drug use]
posted by naju at 1:21 PM on August 31, 2015


It's easy to be glib, but remember, this is a 22 year old, who up until age 18, had to have any hairstyle changes approved by Disney Lawyers.

I think she's doing pretty well considering.
posted by turntraitor at 1:22 PM on August 31, 2015 [36 favorites]


Wayne Coyne has managed to piss me off with his arrogance while simultaneously flippnig my "don't care" switch with the stuff the Lips have put out over the last few years, so I have exactly zero interest in this.

I have no opinion one way or the other about Miley Cyrus.
posted by SansPoint at 1:25 PM on August 31, 2015


The Soft Bulletin is a great album, and no amount of tedious I-liked-them-beforeism will change that.

I'm enjoying this, and have done a complete 180 on Miley Cyrus after realizing that I was treading into Old Man Yelling At Cloud territory. This is great! I wish all teen pop idols would pivot right into abject weirdness and not giving a damp canoe what anyone thinks.

Also, I still feel that Billy Ray owes the cosmos a tremendous debt, and every hour he spends staring off into the middle distance with his lower lip quivering and wondering what the hell happened is another drop of dust on the scales, versus the thousand million billion tons of Achy Breaky lead on the other side.
posted by Shepherd at 1:26 PM on August 31, 2015 [15 favorites]


I can't say that I'm into Miley's music or her nudity all that much, but she has one thing going for her -- she has recognized the Cult of Celebrity for what it is and didn't break down in despair when her first 15 minutes of fame expired, but rather chose to exploit it to deliberate excess. She's as much a parody of the Out-Of-Control-Pop-Star as she is actually one.

“You can watch that performance at the VMAs and people could think it’s just a hot mess, but it’s a strategic hot mess,” Cyrus said in an interview for the MTV special, Miley: The Moment. “Right now, I’m a point in my career when I can be exactly who I want to be. I just want to, like, have fun and not think about any repercussions.”
posted by delfin at 1:31 PM on August 31, 2015 [4 favorites]


idea for Flaming Lips cover band name: Crazy Uncle Van
posted by thelonius at 1:33 PM on August 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


i like a lot of what miley does, although she needs to listen to someone about white privilege and staying in her own damn lane. wayne coyne is disgusting and i wish female artists i like would stop doing drugs with him and getting covered in cum like substances.

as for ke$ha - that right there is a clusterfuck of epic proportions, to the point where higher ups in the music industry are being polled about whether or not they believe her accusations about being raped. i hope she survives this and gets to a point where she can help other young women in the business.
posted by nadawi at 1:40 PM on August 31, 2015 [14 favorites]


Christina Aguilera - Britney Spears + Crispin Glover = Miley Cyrus.

Crispin Glover is the white Flavor Flav. You check out both dudes and think, 'they gotta be kiding me,' but they're not.
posted by jonmc at 1:47 PM on August 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


Miley is one of the few people in actual 2015 who looks like the 1910 vision of 2015.
posted by GuyZero at 1:49 PM on August 31, 2015 [30 favorites]


I'm only familiar with The Flaming Lips via Yoshimi Battles The Hip-Hop Robots which I hadn't realised was 12 years ago.

I concede I am not as hip to the new, new sound as I like to imagine. It is possible others may be aware of this dozen-year old diamond. Definitely worth my mentioning/your hearing anyhow.
posted by comealongpole at 1:51 PM on August 31, 2015 [4 favorites]


She gives so few fucks it's kind of refreshing.

Man, I could not disagree more. She gives allllll the fucks. I actually like her music and will happily listen to it, but she is trying so hard to get people to pay attention to her, however she can. Her whole persona is totally crafted around screaming LOOK AT HOW COOL I AM as loud as she possibly can and it actually makes me feel embarrassed for her. Like physical cringing. But, like I said, I'm listening to the new album right now and the music is good. So whatever, I guess.
posted by something something at 1:55 PM on August 31, 2015 [8 favorites]


the kleptones are amazing. "a night at the hip-hopera" is my favorite, but that one is good too.
posted by nadawi at 1:55 PM on August 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


i don't think she's in anyway saying "look how cool i am!" she's pretty clear that she's trying to fuck with the ideas that people have about what a disney star/disney meltdown should look like. like a lot of art out of 22yr olds, some of it is interesting and some of it is tiresome, but i think you've missed something if you think "cool" is what she's going for.
posted by nadawi at 1:57 PM on August 31, 2015 [5 favorites]


Edgy, then? Maybe "cool" is a relic of my old-lady-ness.
posted by something something at 2:00 PM on August 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


I have the same kind of respect for Miley as I do the Backstreet Boys, N'Sync and the Spice girls. Oh, and Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift et all.

They are quite consciously making decisions which fall in the Zeitgeist and it's making them money hand-over-fist. And Miley is starting to fall into the same category as Justin Timberlake and Brad Pitt; I dislike them because they're actually very good at what they do and it makes me jealous :-)

And I do think you could have great fun at a party with Miley. I'm just quite curious what kind of conversation she'd bring to the morning-after group breakfast...
posted by MacD at 2:03 PM on August 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


She's still figuring out her shit, but she's got the right mindset and is growing into an interesting person. I was the worst when I was 22 - we all were. I picture her as being 100% awesome in 8-10 years when she's confident, has nothing to prove, and her tastes and worldview are fully fleshed out. She's well on her way in that direction. (She's saying things like "I'm naked on instagram, it's fine, no one really cares anymore" so I think she has a healthy enough idea about it all.)

Also, her willingness to explore gender fluidity is legitimately cooler than most anything her pop celeb peers are doing, so hats off to her for that.
posted by naju at 2:04 PM on August 31, 2015 [10 favorites]


miley cyrus and her dead petz just pissed all over my computer and made it crash on the third song - the 2nd song was kind of interesting for those who might think her singing a flaming lips song would be interesting

the lips aren't all that edgy anyway, if they ever were
posted by pyramid termite at 2:06 PM on August 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


Next up: The new Taylor Swift/Melvins album drops in October.
posted by not_on_display at 2:28 PM on August 31, 2015 [17 favorites]


I don't care about Miley. Still, probably more than what I care about Coyne is up to since the first single from Embryonic. FL were always a bit gimmicky, but now they look a parody of a gimmick.
posted by lmfsilva at 2:35 PM on August 31, 2015


Next up: The new Taylor Swift/Melvins album drops in October.

I ... would listen to this.
posted by Xavier Xavier at 3:02 PM on August 31, 2015 [14 favorites]


If only Miley would stop appropriating black culture and stop using black women as props. She's been called out enough on it that you think she'd pause and take stock.
posted by Windigo at 3:10 PM on August 31, 2015 [16 favorites]


Isn't that, though, pretty much the entirety of white pop music, and not unique to Miley?
posted by Thorzdad at 3:27 PM on August 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


That doesn't make it ok.
posted by Windigo at 3:42 PM on August 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


I mean, she's forward and enlightened about matters of sexuality and gender, but refuses to move those goalposts when it comes to matters of race even when called out by name. She's young, and still learning, but how much leeway does that give her ultimately?
posted by Windigo at 3:44 PM on August 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


Whenever I see Miley -- which is always more often than I care to -- I'm reminded of the Onion story on Marilyn Manson, which had him going door to door trying to shock people. Miley seems even more desperate.
posted by Pararrayos at 3:45 PM on August 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


Okay, I am two songs into the album and it is gorgeous music. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. Also, Miley Cyrus is really changing into something rather interesting.
posted by kariebookish at 3:53 PM on August 31, 2015


I put bangerz on my pazz and jop, and some of her choices on the backyard musical she has done have been really interesting. She has a great voice. I think t his album is a genuine attempt to work out the implications of these things, but I am not sure it is as interesting as the one previously.
posted by PinkMoose at 4:13 PM on August 31, 2015 [4 favorites]


I am listening and I like some of it. But honestly I probably won't return to it after I've made it all the way through. Also far far too much milk involvement for my tastes.
posted by Duffington at 4:18 PM on August 31, 2015


[A few comments deleted. Folks, if you just think Miley isn't worth paying attention to or whatever, that's fine, but maybe give it a pass here.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 4:18 PM on August 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


Miley seems even more desperate.

I wouldn't call it that. She's experimenting with music and fame, like last year when she let a homeless teen give her VMAs acceptance speech and this time around when people from her Happy Hippie Foundation introduce her show-ending song. They're a charity for LGBTQ homeless youth she started.

I'm a middle-aged grunge and alt-rock fan, but Cyrus won me over. Putting out a psychadelic album with $50,000 of her own money and releasing it free online is a cool stunt.

I do think her hosting bits last night were lame, though. Too much vulgarity for its own sake. Not enough wit.
posted by rcade at 4:44 PM on August 31, 2015 [5 favorites]


I'm most of the way through, and there are a few tunes that I really like and some more that I'll give a second listen to. I'm about as far out of her demo as one can be, I'd think, but, sonically and emotionally, this is an interesting journey of an album. I mean, yeah, it has a lyrical emphasis on weed and fucking that distinguishes it from most post-Disney pop, but it also has a fair amount of tenderness and romanticism that makes it more than a one-note shockfest of a novelty album. Kudos.
posted by the sobsister at 5:07 PM on August 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


This is a lot better than I was expecting. I have sort of enjoyed seeing her experiment and take on a new public persona, but other than Wrecking Ball her music has been more of a nonentity to me. This is the first music from her that I could imagine choosing to listen to more than once.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:37 PM on August 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


If only Miley would stop appropriating black culture and stop using black women as props. She's been called out enough on it that you think she'd pause and take stock.
posted by Windigo at 3:10 PM on August 31 [5 favorites +] [!]


So you're in favour of an all-white show, because she's white? Could you help me define that?

Seems to me she's doing a pretty good job blazing her own trail, whether people like it or not.
posted by raider at 5:44 PM on August 31, 2015


hal_c_on, thank god I'm not the only one who noticed that. I loved watching Miley do backyard sessions with Laura Jane Grace and Joan Jett and I'm rooting for her to pull out of the child star spiral, but when she whipped out that pitch perfect White Boss Lady Voice on Nicki last night I wanted to slap her.
posted by moonlight on vermont at 5:47 PM on August 31, 2015 [6 favorites]


So you're in favour of an all-white show, because she's white?

There's a really big huge vast windy gulf between 'stop appropriating black culture and using black women as props' and 'only work with white people.'
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 5:48 PM on August 31, 2015 [10 favorites]


Listening. The goo is a big turnoff but some of the music I like.

I was pleasantly surprised by her backyard music videos and have seen her in a slightly different light ever since. The over-the-top vulgarity and sexuality is a little dull, but I can't really point fingers - I can only be grateful that I when I was 22 I was not famous and there was no youtube.
posted by bunderful at 5:49 PM on August 31, 2015


I really liked the music for the goo video. And the visuals are unsettling; they're obviously and deliberately reminiscent of bukkake porn, presented in a not particularly sexy way, which feels to me like a pretty studied commentary on commodification of women.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 5:54 PM on August 31, 2015 [1 favorite]



So you're in favour of an all-white show, because she's white? Could you help me define that?


Noooooo. I didn't remotely suggest such a thing.

There's oodles and oodles of fantastic writing out there about the appropriation of black culture and how it often diminishes instead of celebrates. There's scrolls of words detailing how to be an ally and respectful in using other cultures' output to inspire your own. If it's a topic that interests you, I suggest seeking them out.
posted by Windigo at 5:57 PM on August 31, 2015 [4 favorites]


Feckless,

OK edify me. Where's the line? I fail to see where Cyrus deserves to be a target of any such accusations. Elvis, Rolling Stones, Eminem...

Silly me, I thought it should be a good thing if music is music for all? And everyone is included.

And how has she appropriated black culture or used black women as props, other than working with black people?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a fan but this seemed worthy of counter-argument.
posted by raider at 5:58 PM on August 31, 2015


lmgtfy
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:02 PM on August 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


A google search constitutes a counter-argument?
posted by raider at 6:18 PM on August 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


A google search that will lead you to writings by people of colour (which I am not) who talk about Cyrus' appropriation. I'm not going to go into the arguments, because the arguments have already been made by the people who have much more of a stake than I do. Please go read what people of colour have to say about Cyrus appropriating the culture of people of colour, instead of some white dude.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:23 PM on August 31, 2015 [16 favorites]


We're basically saying it's not our job to educate you. There are countless writings on the topic, many of them posted right here on Metafilter.
posted by Windigo at 6:23 PM on August 31, 2015 [5 favorites]


(FFFM said it better than I)
posted by Windigo at 6:24 PM on August 31, 2015


Sorry guys I could go all night but don't want to derail.

Windigo, you seem cool and maybe we could chat.

It just seems to me if we were to discuss appropriating black culture, Miley Cyrus is pretty much the last target that comes to mind. Other than being inclusive, I don't see/hear it.
posted by raider at 6:25 PM on August 31, 2015


my issue with the video is coyne's involvement in it and how it relates to other works he's done with other artists (one of which called out his boundary crossing and poor professionalism) - while i totally buy that miley might be making a point about the commodification of women, i do not think those are coyne's motives and i wish he would stop.
posted by nadawi at 6:28 PM on August 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


raider, if you're not a person of colour, it would probably be a good idea to listen to what people of colour have to say about it instead of saying "well I don't see it," in the same way that men need to listen to what women have to say about sexism and misogyny instead of saying "well I don't see it." Because if you're not part of the population it affects, then it is nothing more than privilege allowing you to say "well I don't see it."

Black people have written about Cyrus appropriating black culture. If we are to discuss that, it is incumbent upon us to listen to what those people have said, and not just be a couple of white people giving another white person a pass on the one hand, and talking over what people of colour have actually said on the other.

So. Please peruse the results of the google search I linked you to. And please pay attention to what people of colour are saying about her appropriation. And then maybe it can be a fruitful discussion; I don't think it's useful to anyone here to have to go through sub-101-level explanations of "why you need to listen to the oppressed group talking about oppression instead of listening to other privileged people."
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:30 PM on August 31, 2015 [15 favorites]


it's also not just appropriation but the way that she then uses her voice to, say, get down on nicki minaj and cast her as the angry black woman (and also pretty much say that everyone behind the scenes knows that nicki is just an angry black woman). it's that when she's been given chances to be thoughtful, to show that she's not just putting black women on like a costume (and to use as a jester), she fails utterly - and she's been given lots of chances to have those thoughtful moments. it's not that her appropriation is worse (although there is an argument for that), it's the way she buckles down into it.
posted by nadawi at 6:37 PM on August 31, 2015 [11 favorites]


I want Miley to grow out of this -- I'm willing to forgive some of her missteps because she's 22 and she had a screwed-up childhood and she clearly doesn't have good people around her (get away from Wayne Coyne for starters!). I think she's smarter and talented than she gets credit for, and I like she's having fun and trying to do some good, but I really wish she'd just take two years off or something and go read some books and learn some actual things.

I'm on your side, Miley, but you're making it really hard.
posted by darksong at 7:09 PM on August 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


If Nicki Minaj was upset about being portrayed as angry, perhaps it was counterproductive for her to make the comments "and now, back to this bitch that had a lot to say about me the other day in the press. Miley, what's good?" and "don't play with me, bitch" while making an awesome rage face.

Those actions suggest to me that she's cool with seeming angry and can be entertaining when she does it.
posted by rcade at 7:11 PM on August 31, 2015


Nicki Minaj Has Every Right To Be Pissed At Miley Cyrus

"It’s not very polite," Cyrus said of Minaj's comments. "I think there’s a way you speak to people with openness and love." Instead of addressing Minaj's message, which highlighted the barriers black female artists face in the music industry, Cyrus focused on how it was said. By doing so, Cyrus dismissed the long and storied history of black women being told to bury righteous anger, to calm down and express our fury at systemic inequities we face on a daily basis "politely."
posted by Windigo at 7:26 PM on August 31, 2015 [14 favorites]


I liked the record.
posted by TrialByMedia at 7:48 PM on August 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


This is pretty good stuff. A few duds, but still. I'm surprised. I'll keep listening to this.
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:09 PM on August 31, 2015


Depending on how you handle "X featuring Y" credits, between 40% and 57% of the Video of the Year nominees were POC. While the music industry, and every industry, and all of US society, has a shitload of race problems, the fact that Anaconda wasn't nominated seems like less an issue of race and more an issue of Nicki Minaj's ego not willing to accept a non-nomination. And then Taylor Swift assuming Nicki's comment was all about her seems like an issue of Taylor Swift's ego. Wow, ego-driven people in the entertainment industry? What are the odds?!

So Miley personally knows Nicki Minaj, and doesn't like her personality, and, when pressed on the issue, divulges her opinion. So that makes her racist, because finding Minaj to be rude fits a stereotype? Miley can think white people are rude or polite, but has to think all black people are polite? Or is it that when asked about Minaj, Miley isn't allowed to answer, because it fits a stereotype?

Man, this is like using the Bechdel Test as a rating for individual movies, instead of the industry. The fact that the vast majority of movies fail the Bechdel Test is a clear sign of sexism. The fact that My Dinner With Andre, which only has three characters, fails the Bechdel Test is not a clear sign of sexism.

Disclaimer: This is not meant to imply that Miley is not racist, doesn't have problems with appropriation, etc., etc. It is merely in response to the idea that finding Nicki Minaj to be rude is in itself racist.

Disclaimer 2: I have not seen My Dinner with Andre. Maybe the discussion between the two guys is shockingly misogynistic. In fact, given when it was made, I wouldn't doubt that. But the fact that a movie consisting of only two main characters and one minor character fails the Bechdel Test does not ipso-facto constitute sexism.

Disclaimer 3: While I have not seen My Dinner with Andre, I would probably watch the remake, My Dinner with Andre 3000
posted by Bugbread at 8:17 PM on August 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


Nicki Minaj Has Every Right To Be Pissed At Miley Cyrus

I don't challenge that at all. But why direct your anger at Cyrus instead of the VMAs? Minaj feels like "Anaconda" was slighted and tweeted in July, "If your video celebrates women with very slim bodies, you will be nominated for vid of the year. When the 'other' girls drop a video that breaks records and impacts culture they get that nomination. If I was a different 'kind' of artist, Anaconda would be nominated for best choreo and vid of the year as well. I'm not always confident. Just tired. Black women influence pop culture so much but are rarely rewarded for it."

If she was willing to show her anger during the show and make some headlines, why not talk about that instead of Cyrus?
posted by rcade at 8:24 PM on August 31, 2015


...Wait a minute. Rereading that, she's saying that her video was snubbed because it featured women who weren't super-slim. And she contrasted that to videos by 'other' girls. And then later she clarified she wasn't talking about Taylor Swift. Which just leaves Beyonce. So is she complaining that Beyonce got nominated for 7/11 because it had slim women, and Anaconda got slighted because it had big butts? But she also frames it as "Black women influence pop culture so much but are rarely rewarded for it," so is she saying Beyonce isn't black?

7/11 is such an incredibly shitty video. In fact, pretty much all of the nominees were. So if she's saying "Anaconda should have been nominated, not 7/11," I am so totally on board.
posted by Bugbread at 8:34 PM on August 31, 2015


> I really like the new music. She has an incredible voice and the simple production serves it well.

I wouldn't call the production simple -- far from it (and I think at times it obscures her voice completely) -- but I definitely agree with the larger point: the music is great. I went in with The Worst Possible Attitude, not just expecting to hate it but delightfully eager to find things to complain about, and I discovered... I love it. It's phenomenal -- creative, listenable, interesting.... I'm really digging it.

(These kids today!)
posted by Westringia F. at 8:51 PM on August 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


i actually think if she was talking about any singer in particular it was last year's winner, miley.

also minaj tried to direct it at mtv from go but taylor and miley keep getting in their feelings about it.
posted by nadawi at 8:57 PM on August 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


nadawi: "i actually think if she was talking about any singer in particular it was last year's winner, miley."

Oh, okay, that makes way more sense. And, yeah, Miley and Iggy. That's a double-punch.
posted by Bugbread at 9:03 PM on August 31, 2015


Eh, the whole Miley-Nicki exchange over the past few days has felt completely manufactured and forced to me. I'm getting annoyed just thinking about it. Maybe Nicki had a point she was trying to make in the beginning, but this is all caught up in celebrities needing to garner attention through fauxtroversies and it's exhausting to see everyone hanging on every moment.
posted by naju at 9:03 PM on August 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


although she needs to listen to someone about white privilege and staying in her own damn lane.

Yeaaaah if there is one thing these creative types need to do it's stay in their own damned lane.
posted by xmutex at 9:16 PM on August 31, 2015


also minaj tried to direct it at mtv from go but taylor and miley keep getting in their feelings about it.

That seems like a cop out to me. She had her shot to make her acceptance speech anything she wanted it to be. Stage a rebellion like Fiona Apple.
posted by rcade at 9:26 PM on August 31, 2015


If she was willing to show her anger during the show and make some headlines, why not talk about that instead of Cyrus?

Her call-out of the VMAs happened over a month ago; its life-cycle was already over. Here's an Instagram message wherein she buries the hatchet with MTV and thanks various news outlets for picking up and promoting her message. This weird, weeks-late tone-policing Miley did is an entirely separate issue.
posted by brookedel at 9:28 PM on August 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


The alleged "tone policing" was in response to the question "What did you make of the Nicki Minaj controversy around the VMAs -- that she was upset 'Anaconda' wasn’t nominated for Video of the Year?"

If the Times didn't think it was over four days ago when that question was asked, it didn't have to be over for Minaj at the VMAs.
posted by rcade at 9:32 PM on August 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think, if you read that Instagram message, it's pretty clear Nicki felt like her original message had successfully reached the public. I don't see why she needs to belabor a point she's already made and is satisfied with? Especially when she can make a shiny new point about people who think it's fine to police a black woman's tone when she's talking about racism.

alleged "tone policing"

Miley's exact quote was "I don’t respect your statement because of the anger that came with it", which is, like, the platonic ideal of tone policing.
posted by brookedel at 9:52 PM on August 31, 2015 [6 favorites]


Discussions like this are what push me over from being on the fence about tone policing to thinking "Man, if this is what people are talking about when they're talking about tone policing, then I guess I think tone policing is just fine."
posted by Bugbread at 10:02 PM on August 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


(Well, okay not "just fine", but "Not necessarily bad, but not necessarily okay, either. Must be determined on a case by case basis.")
posted by Bugbread at 10:16 PM on August 31, 2015


Guys I'm starting to suspect that celebrities are actually not really just like us.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:31 AM on September 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


Also, this.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:33 AM on September 1, 2015


rcade: If you're going to live a life centered on ridiculous pop excess, Miley Cyrus plays that game better than anybody in her age bracket. The legion of drag queens last night was the best spectacle of the VMAs.

Present to the viewers an image of a life centered on ridiculous pop excess. So far, it seems like Ms. Cyrus is more in control of everything in her career than Mick Jagger was when he was fresh and new.

It's interesting - and I'm not picking on your comment, but using it as a springboard. If men PARTAAAYYYY!!!! loud and hard, they're "rockers". They can whip out their dicks (Jim Morrison), piss on the audience (Syd Vicious), pass out in their own puke (too many millionaire rockers to name). If women show their nipples on-camera intentionally, they're "over the edge", "losing it", "attention whores" (not actually quoting anyone, just talking about attitudes).

Miley has preempted the upskirt paparazzi by posing in full-nude erotica, releasing nude selfies, and so on. She broke her little-girl image, and carved a place as a pop loudspeaker, then began using that voice for some charities. Oh, sure, she's still first and foremost into self-promotion, but that is in fact her chosen career as a pop star.

She's doing more for the world than any ten of her white pop contemporaries, outside of Gaga. I say "white" specifically because rap has always had a social justice angle, of course, so there's a lot of people using lyrics and words to try to improve the world. White pop music simply doesn't have that heritage (at least, not since the echoes of the 1960s finally died, probably crushed under the weight of "We Are the World").

I hope she doesn't actually love drugs as much as she claims.

Why not? I do! But, like chocolate cake, I really shouldn't have them too often.
posted by IAmBroom at 8:42 AM on September 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


rcade: But why direct your anger at Cyrus instead of the VMAs? ....
If she was willing to show her anger during the show and make some headlines, why not talk about that instead of Cyrus?


Because Miley intentionally (and stupidly) made it personal, just before the VMAs, with an intentionally-timed slap via Twitter to Nicki.

rcade: She had her shot to make her acceptance speech anything she wanted it to be. Stage a rebellion like Fiona Apple.

Yeah, why can't Nicki be more like that nice, quiet white girl who doesn't sell much, and only whines in her room where no one can hear her?
posted by IAmBroom at 8:49 AM on September 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Why not?

Because we've already lost enough talented musicians in their youth to drugs. I'm not engaging in pot hysteria -- just wondering where she draws the line since she talks about drugs so often.

Yeah, why can't Nicki be more like that nice, quiet white girl who doesn't sell much, and only whines in her room where no one can hear her?

What Fiona Apple did at the VMAs in 1997 by telling fans "this world is bullshit" was great and is still well-remembered 18 years later. If she'd been a failure in her career since then it wouldn't change that moment, but if you think she has been a flop who faded into obscurity, I'd suggest her Grammy nominations in 2001, 2003, 2006 and 2013 would indicate otherwise.

In 18 years nobody's going to care that Minaj called Cyrus a bitch over a newspaper quote.
posted by rcade at 9:36 AM on September 1, 2015


I know "the Grammys are still a thing?" is kind of a trite response here, but come on. Using Grammy nominations or even wins as a marker of present-day notoriety is quite silly.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:47 AM on September 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Tell me what metric you're willing to accept that shows Apple hasn't faded into obscurity, then. We can look it up and see whether Broom's characterization of her career is ridiculous or not.

She's had a successful, commercial, award-recognized career. Her work no longer puts her atop the pop culture zeitgeist but who ever stays there long in our youth-obsessed culture aside from Madonna and Prince? The VMAs were practically a Disney Channel production.
posted by rcade at 10:04 AM on September 1, 2015


And then Nylon magazine stepped into the fray.

The BeyHive begged to differ with tweets @NylonMag which basically said this.

Nylon eventually saw the error of their ways, with this and this, calling it a "bad word choice". Yeah, kind of like "polite" was a bad word choice.
posted by fuse theorem at 12:23 PM on September 1, 2015


You crazy kids, the golden era for Flaming Lips was 86-89.
posted by aperture_priority at 12:29 PM on September 1, 2015


IAmBroom: "Because Miley intentionally (and stupidly) made it personal, just before the VMAs, with an intentionally-timed slap via Twitter to Nicki."

What? I thought Nicki was mad about the New York Times interview. What did Miley tweet?

IAmBroom: "If men PARTAAAYYYY!!!! loud and hard, they're "rockers". They can whip out their dicks (Jim Morrison), piss on the audience (Syd Vicious), pass out in their own puke (too many millionaire rockers to name). If women show their nipples on-camera intentionally, they're "over the edge", "losing it", "attention whores" (not actually quoting anyone, just talking about attitudes)."

I agree with your greater point, but all of these male examples seem really bad. I think pretty much everyone considers Jim Morrison to be "losing it", and even the most die-hard Sex Pistols fan would call Syd Vicious an attention whore. I think the problem is that the really famous examples of "rocking" are famous precisely because they are considered "over the edge" and "losing it". That's why the famous "rocking" examples so often match up with the famous "dead" examples (Jimi Hendrix, Keith Moon, etc.) What you need are the examples that are one step below that. Steven Tyler. Keith Richards. (Note: I am picking older musicians because the only young male musician I can think of known for "partying" is Justin Bieber, and he's largely considered to be a frat bro douche, so not really a good example of "when men do it, it's considered okay". Maybe y'all hip young millenials can provide some other examples)
posted by Bugbread at 4:16 PM on September 1, 2015




the only young male musician I can think of known for "partying" is Justin Bieber

Not a young as Biebs (but not as old as Tyler or Richards, either), but there's Libertines/Babyshambles Pete Doherty (36), who's been considered a joke for a good part of his last ten years over the drug-influenced burglaries, spats with members, friendship with Amy Winehouse, etc. I mean, I like The Libertines (not as obsessively as some people, mind), but at a point was like "SHUT UP GET SOME HELP AND GET OFF THE SMACK". Andrew WK is all about PARTYHARD.GIF, but he's more or less seen as a human cartoon anyway (and his social media presence is a lot more interesting than the "drink jack, sleep with underage groupies, do blow from hookers tits and wave your dick around" of the 70s and 80s). Then, there's a few bands like WAVVES, but once again,stories about 420'ing or scoring coke or pills is usually as far as they go (and WAVVES were almost done after a series of boozed out gigs that ended up with Nathan Williams being bottled out by the usually calm Primavera crowd in Barcelona).

As far as I can tell, these days the hard-partying rawker is seen more of a tired cliché from a time a band had to be outrageous to get press. Those things still happen, but a musician will be called out on his excesses more often than celebrated if they get public.
Of course, there's always people who are into that, and if I had to guess, the "beach party" DJ scene is where the big cocaine, blackjack and hookers action is.
posted by lmfsilva at 6:23 AM on September 2, 2015


bugbear, I was slightly off: Miley spoke about Nicki in an interview, not a tweet, a few days before the VMA. The actual interview.
posted by IAmBroom at 10:55 AM on September 2, 2015


There's the guy from DIIV who was caught with mass quantities of heroin and MDMA in the trunk of his car. You know who most people remember from that story, though? Sky Ferreira. So that might not be the best example.
posted by pxe2000 at 1:10 PM on September 2, 2015


What I remember from that story is that when I saw the headline I immediately recalled a news story from the mid-90s about the singer from Sugar Ray getting busted with a trunk full of drugs. Thing is, as far as I've been able to Google, that never happened. But I have a very vivid memory of hearing that story on the normally reliable alternative rock radio station I used to listen to in the mid-to-late 90s. What I've concludes is that either some rocker did get busted in the mid-to-late 90s and I've conflated whoever it was with Mark McGrath, or I dreamt it.
posted by Kattullus at 2:12 PM on September 2, 2015


IAmBroom: "Miley spoke about Nicki in an interview, not a tweet, a few days before the VMA."

Yeah, that's what I thought this was about. And it makes a huge difference. It's not "intentionally-timed" (or, if it is, it was intentionally timed by the New York Times, so anger about timing should be directed at them, not Miley), and it's not some out-of-the-blue attack, it was a response to a question. There's a huge, huge difference between suddenly tweeting about Nicki Minaj being rude months and months ago, and answering "I think she's rude" when asked for your opinion about something that happened months and months ago.
posted by Bugbread at 3:05 PM on September 2, 2015


Not so much when the opinion is about yourself (and, I'll note, you've removed all blame from Miley simply because an interviewer asked her a question. "No comment" is a perfectly acceptable response.)
posted by IAmBroom at 6:42 PM on September 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


I've removed all blame because I don't think anything wrong was done. It's like saying "Who's to blame for the fact that I had granola for breakfast?" or "Who's to blame for the fact that Danzig bought cat litter?"
posted by Bugbread at 7:49 PM on September 2, 2015


Danzig's cat?
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:22 PM on September 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


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