06
Apr
10

THE RECOMMENDER – NUMBER 82 – WARPAINT

WARPAINT

It’s not too perspicacious to mention the knock-out beauty in this LA girl group, so we’re just going to strike up the observation from the start.  We say observation, but even a homosexual, blind man would get bowled over by how impossibly pretty they all are.  That’s not even taking into account their original drummer, who left to become the model-turned-actress, Shannyn Sossamon, as we think you’ll agree she also seems formed from the same extraordinary genes.  However, we aren’t ignoring the music, which this four piece, turned three piece, turned four piece again, churn out.  They’ve also now added the new drummer Stella Mozgawa, who once again seems a direct descendant of Aphrodite, but please believe us when we suggest it’s the tunes, and the tunes only, that qualified them for a Recommender post today.  We first came across them last year, with their song Stars, but resisted a write up on the basis that it was too drug-infused.  We fully understand that artists and songs often become rather mighty after you’ve bent your mind into kaleidoscopic shapes, but any song that can’t also be appreciated sober probably isn’t that good to start with.  Stars showed off a psychedelic side of them that’s still around, painting musical pictures as melancholic dreams, but it’s with their track Elephants that their sombre haze cleared to reveal something with more emotional depth.  Jenny Lindberg’s bass, rumbles as if the strings are loose, in the same great way Nirvana’s Krist Novoselic used to, whilst Emily Kokal’s eidolic vocals remind us of Bjork, were she calling out from the afterlife.  It’s music for you to get lost in, but as the frustrating maze of each song unfolds before you, you find at it’s centre a satisfying feeling of warmth and comfort.  Tunes that melt your heart as equally as they freeze your soul are rare, but most important is perhaps the realisation that the music is plenty strong enough for their beautiful looks to be irrelevant after all.     (MB)

posters | WARPAINT

Find them here:          Myspace

Hear them here:         WARPAINT – ELEPHANTS

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15 Responses to “THE RECOMMENDER – NUMBER 82 – WARPAINT”


  1. 1 Seth Michael
    April 9, 2010 at 6:45 am

    Speaking as a homosexual… they’re hot. And their music is killer as well.

  2. April 9, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    Talking of their hotness (is hotness a word, prob not) when I wrote a short piece about these guys last year (http://breakingmorewaves.blogspot.com/2009/11/warpaint-new-waves-breaking-more-waves_14.html) the hits I received (as in blog hits, not sxual come on type hits) and still get are basically all searching google on some variant of the names of the girls in the band and words such as ‘sexy’ and ‘hot’. It seems that Warpaint do something for a certain hot blooded indie male type (straight or gay!). And I know at least one lesbian who likes them as well.

    So basically, the conclusion, statistically proven is next level hot.

    (Did I forget to mention the music in this comment completely ? I think I did!)

  3. 4 Merryn
    April 10, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    Yeah but it wont do them any favours musically. It’s always a trap for women to be situated as sexy, especially in such a sexist ‘industry’. They’ll really struggle to cred now, especially as a serious band. It’s really unfortunate for them and something they’ll inevitably come to regret.

    • April 10, 2010 at 9:01 pm

      OK but they’re hardly overtly going for it like, say, Shakira.

      I get what you’re saying, but just because they’re pretty doesn’t automatically make them shit at making music. It’s just worth mentioning coz they’re super-lovely to look at.

      Like we said, it’s all about the music on The Recommender, so looks are actually irrelevant. However, it would have been silly of me to ignore their beauty. Like the elephant in the room etc.

      It won’t do them any favours musically though, exactly as you say.

      Mike

  4. 6 Merryn
    April 11, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    Do you know to be honest, they look like your average women to me… The boys in the bands are just as ‘super-lovely’ to look at. It’s just not mentioned. And for good reason. All women in the public receive comments about how they look and judged ranked in accordance with how ‘fuckable’ they are. If they’re deemed tasty then suddenly their elevated to beauties, when in their everyday life their just ordinary women. It’s really odd. I was friends with the female band member from the great Australian band Spiderbait, who before she was in a band was considered to be an average looking person. She would describe to me the process that men felt they needed to subject her to when she became a successful band member. She once told me that men felt they needed to tell her as a compliment that they found her sexually desirable. She figured it was because when we look for a long period at bands we inevitably sexually size them up. In the end she had a good way of countering men’s urges to give her their tick (dick) of approval, when they would say ‘and your really attractive as well’-she would say (in a very pleasant tone) ‘that’s weird because I don’t find you attractive at all’, just to keep it real. People are strange eh.

  5. 7 Harry
    April 11, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    Yeah I agree with Merryn on this. The first three sentences of this piece read like a wank fest, sorry Mike. And Robins entry, well what can I say, did he have one hand on the key pad… For example how does this sentence: ‘that’s not even taking into account their original drummer, who left to become the model-turned-actress, Shannyn Sossamon, as we think you’ll agree she also seems formed from the same extraordinary genes’ pass on any relevant info about the music at all? As Robin’s comment clearly shows, the music is mentioned last and least. These are just people playing music, if you find them ‘knock-out beauties’ then, sorry, but can you keep your salivation to your self? Because as this entry proves, it quickly becomes a ‘corr blimey cop a load of that’ session. You get this with female dominated bands, the guys all crowd around purving on them for the duration of their set and then their’s the inevitable dissection of their bodies and ranking of who likes who better. I’ve been in bands with female members and I can say from standing on the stage and looking down at the crowd, it’s a whole other world for women musicians out there and it’s not a very nice one either. So, in short, keep it in your pants guys and when you say you’re going to make it about the music, then mean it!

    • April 11, 2010 at 2:28 pm

      That’s a little harsh Harry! Lots of articles about Warpaint mention their looks. I’m not sure why we aren’t allowed to? It’s not like I didn’t mention the music. We’ve also listed two videos and an mp3 showing off the music.

      You asked why I mentioned Shannyn Sossamon. She’s a famous Hollywood actress and is definitely part of Warpaint’s story! I recommend bands, so I ALWAYS try and tell the band’s story to give the reader context. It’s totally relevant if you ask me. I then go onto the music in detail.

      If you’re going to quote my words back to me, then perhaps “we suggest it’s the tunes, and the tunes only, that qualified them for a Recommender post today” is just as relevant inside this article no?

      It’s not like I was being overtly salacious, talking about their tits or something, or particularly reduced their musical talents down to having a nice arse.

      I’d usually not vent any frustration at people’s negative comments, as I always appreciate those readers of The Recommender that take the time to interact, but I think you’re being over-sensitive and have missed the point of the article as a whole, so I feel I had to defend myself.

      I spend more than half the critique talking about the music, firstly mentioning their track Stars, then Elephants. To quote my words again I even end by saying “most important is perhaps the realisation that the music is plenty strong enough for their beautiful looks to be irrelevant after all.”

      I don’t think you can argue that The Recommender is’nt ALL about the music. Warpaint didn’t get onto The Recommender because of their looks. Nobody does.

      OK, grumble over…
      Mike

  6. April 11, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    I also think the negative comments here are being a little over sensitive – as Mike states he wouldn’t have featured Warpaint in The Recommender if it wasn’t for the music. However, ever since Elvis Presley stepped on stage and thrust his hips at his audience, contemporary music and culture is about so much more than just the music, and therefore Mike is entitled (rightly or wrongly) to make comments on these ‘other’ aspects, be it the fashion of the artist, their politics, or their appearance. If it was just about the music, why do bands make videos with themselves in ? They are selling an image – otherwise why not just release the music on its own ?

    However I also do think Merryn is right – once someone is on stage in a band they do get judged on their physical appearance (men as well as women). Just as once we get to know a person in ‘real’ life they can become more attractive as we learn more about their personality and character, likewise when you fall in love with a bands music, the performer can also ‘seem’ more attractive than they really are.

    Also considering that much of contemporary music is lyrically based around themes of love and sex, it’s hardly surprising that its audience relates back in this way.

    As for the comment about me having one hand on the key pad, I suggest Harry re-reads. At no point did I make any personal observation on the physical appearance of Warpaint. I simply stated that after writing a blog about the band on my own blog, most of the hits I get on the piece from Google have the word “Hot” or “Sexy” in the search terms. That’s not me searching – that’s readers of my blog. The reference to “Statistically proven as hot” that I wrote was intended as humour and nothing else and to attempt to reinforce that humour I added the next line about forgetting to talk about the music at all. It was a self depreciating line. Apologies if my attempts at humour failed.

    For the record (gosh now I really am talking about the bands appearance) I don’t find any of them particularly attractive in any way, but I really like their music.

    Good to see this post provoke the debate though. 🙂

  7. 10 Merryn
    April 11, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    I wonder who is actually being overly sensitive here? You cannot compare Elvis to the way women are treated in the music industry. You guys should maybe read some stuff written by women musicians to find out just how awful it is for many who talk about being forced to perform ‘sexy’ to sell themselves. I think you guys got caught out and now you’re trying not to admit that you really focused on the way these women looked in relation to their sexual attractiveness. Now you’re saying people are being overly sensitive, which is a classic way to down grade peoples dislike of sexism or racism etc, i.e. it’s you who are being over sensitive, it’s just humour, etc etc. It’s clear that a few people didn’t like the tone of the article and found it sexist, regardless if you think it’s okay to go on about female artists sexual attractiveness, other’s do not. You’ve been picked up on it that’s all. You can say it was all in jest or it’s okay because everybody does or even that it’s done to men, but other people don’t find it harmless and for good reason.
    That’s all.
    p.s. you can’t say that it was just a passing remark either, it pretty much completely colours the whole tone of the article.

    • 11 Mini
      April 11, 2010 at 6:42 pm

      Merryn/Harry – I’m a woman and I didn’t find this article sexist!

      Sadly, I think u have been very picky and u seemed to select the only parts of the post that suit your argument, while ignoring the rest.

      I’ve followed this blog for a long time and I’ve never seen a comment like this on here. Mike and The Recommender team are a group of very credible, widely respected bloggers.

      You’ve pointlessly turned this into some sexism debate. U are trying to talk on behalf of women, but we are fine to voice our own defence if we need to thank u very much.

      It’s an entertaining post, selected on the basis of Warpaint’s great music, which Mike is trying to support and promote.

      Complimenting women on how they look is not sexist. What’s wrong with saying women are pretty?

      Saying Mike’s been ‘caught out’, suggests that u are some kind of righteous blog police or somethin. He even states at the end of the article, “the music is plenty strong enough for their beautiful looks to be irrelevant after all”.

      It couldn’t be more clear to me. U two have conveniently missed important points.

      Ignore them Mike, they’re obviously trying to look all clever by throwing ridiculously unfair accusations at u.

      Attractiveness is a perfectly valid thing to talk about without being “shown up” as a sexist. These girls are gorgeous.

      To be told ur “going on” about it, or that there’s “a few people” who share their opinions, when there’s seemingly only two that have mentioned it, out of the many thousands of people that have likely read this blog post. The supposed “tone” was not out of order.

      Please don’t suppress bloggers and their opinions, as the world is a better place for their work if u ask me.

  8. April 11, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    OK, I think this needs to step back a little now, as I don’t want this blog to be a forum for people to comment back and forth, winding each other up, and I don’t want these comments to simply stick to the topic of sexism or anything else along those lines.

    To you all – I adore the debate, I love the opinions, but let’s just agree to disagree. This is what opinions are all about.

    Everyone who knows me does not consider me a sexist in any way and I will obviously defend myself regarding any such accusation, just as anyone would.

    If anyone is offended by this post in any way then that wasn’t the intention and so I sincerely apologise to you for any offence it may have caused you.

    This blog prides itself on quality writing, with well researched pieces, but everyone needs to understand that all critiques are opinions.

    Just as importantly, we love our many loyal followers, so thanks to all of you.

    I am going to ask the band directly if they think this article has offended them in any way and to see if they would like to comment, but apart from that I think we can leave it on this more positive note.

    Thanks to all of you.
    Mike

  9. April 11, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    Hi Merryn. Just a couple of points before I bail out of this debate.

    First I offer an apology if you thought my use of the phrase “Over-sensitive” was inappropriate. The intention was not to downgrade your view of sexism, but state my feelings on the issue. In hindsight the choice of words may have been wrong, so apologies for that.

    However I would like to highlight some areas in your comments which are factually incorrect ( rather than what your or my beliefs may be)

    First you suggest we should read some writing by women musicians who are forced to perform sexy. Well I have. Recent contemporary artists such as Marina and the Diamonds and Kate Nash have discussed these issues in their blogs and I have read and commented on those. Some time ago I also read 2 books by Sheila Whiteley. Just because I have read a book doesn’t mean that I will automatically subscribe to a particular view, it will give me some understanding though.

    Second you state that “You cannot compare Elvis to the way women are treated in the music industry”. Well I didn’t. That would be pointless. I was making a point that ever since Elvis took to the stage contemporary music and culture is about so much more than just the music, and that includes sexuality. I wasn’t saying if it was right or wrong (that’s why I wrote in my original comment “rightly or wrongly”) or if women were “forced to perform sexy” as you say, just making a point that that is where culture is. Because this is where it is I believe it is a fundamental right for bloggers to be able to express opinions on these issues. Freedom of speech etc. Sometimes this may offend people, as it has done to you, but this doesn’t mean that bloggers shouldn’t be able to pass comment, as likewise you should be free to make comments back.

    As for ‘getting caught out’ as I said above I apologise for using the words “over sensitive.” However I did not as you stated “get caught out and now you’re trying not to admit that you really focused on the way these women looked in relation to their sexual attractiveness.” I did indeed focus on their supposed attractiveness, but in relation to how many other people seemed to find the band as such. Again, just a comment on facts I was finding. And despite what you suggest, the last couple of lines of my post were a genuine attempt at humour.

    Right, that’s it I’m done.

  10. April 11, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    Mike apologies – I must have been writing my further comment whilst you posted yours and missed your ‘closure’ note. Anyway, I’m done here. Keep up the good work you gorgeous and sexy person 🙂


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