Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Vanity 6 is something of a warrior goddess

Wherein I'd like to see what they could do with Blister in the Sun

I wish I could remember how I got there to give proper credit, but I stumbled across a new site, Moistworks. Lots of great commentary on a variety of music. What hooked me was the straight-faced deconstruction of Nasty Girl, a minor hit for the Prince constructed "Vanity 6." Apparently, the number 6 referred to the number of breasts in the group.

It's a wide ranging discussion over two posts. Links to both.

Nasty Girl #1:
I like your reading - that she's Vanity channeling Prince imagining what it'd be like to be a woman imagining a guy imagining her as a nasty girl - but I also want to ask, do you really think she wrote this song? Because if she didn't, then it's more like Prince channeling Vanity imagining Prince imagining what it'd be like to be a woman imagining a guy imagining her as a nasty girl. If we were in college, this is the point at which I'd write, "And so, as you see, the text literally deconstructs itself;" and the point at which our TF would make a little red exclamation point in the margin.

Nasty Girl #2:
Re: Fellatio. You know, at 33 I don't feel 15 years past my sexual prime. But I have to admit, fellatio didn't even occur to me. Funny, isn't it, that you and I had completely counterintuitive gender-specific reactions. Or, did we?

Re: Nina Simone's "hoo-hoo." Would you mind just saying that again?

Re: Danceability. I referenced the Gang of Four yesterday and, well, their ethos amounted to playing danceable songs in which the undertone was always "Stop! The very thing you're now dancing to is killing you!" A mixed message if ever there was one. But then, there are lots of songs like this - songs which use the form against itself. (The first truly political rap song, How We Gonna Make The Black Nation Rise, by Brother D. with Collective Effort - "While you're partying through the night/The country's moving too to the right" - or even Young Tiger's anti-bebop-"Calypso Be," which you'll find in a post way lower down on this page - both fit the bill.)


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