Ke$ha - Sleazy
You can’t imagine the immensity of the fuck I’m not giving.
Kesha doesn’t need you. Maybe she likes you, maybe she’s gonna come over later if she wants to, if the club plays the right songs and she’s feeling it, but, like she says in “c u next tuesday:” “I don’t need you dude, I’m the shit.”
This is not to say that Kesha doesn’t need anything; actually, I think I might argue that the entirety of Kesha’s discography is predicated on a kind of complex gasping need. But about this she is very clear: she doesn’t need you, or your brand new benz, or your bougie friends. She wants a lot of other things but she wants you to know she doesn’t give a fuck about the markers of a class she didn’t grow up belonging to. The dollar sign in her name started as a joke about how, uncredited and uncompensated, she sang the hook of “Right Round” in 2009, and was on the radio every ten minutes but still didn’t have any money. “I am money,” she explained later. There is an excess and a muchness and a hedonism to Kesha but it has never been one of wealth exactly; in fact, it has often been an explicitly negative reaction to something I might describe vaguely as “modern class relations.”
And it’s not just class, though that’s deeply important. A lot of Kesha is about not giving a fuck, not in the sense of having less to care about but in the sense of having other things to care about, specific things. It’s a rejection of values but not of having values; it proposes an alternative. That can be a very powerful thing. You can’t imagine the immensity of the fuck I’m not giving.
Ke$ha - Tik Tok
I don’t wanna call this song “where it all began” partly because that seems like really bad writing, and partly because it’s not fully true, but this was certainly a song that hit the music scene like a cartoon man crashing straight through a wall and leaving a hole shaped like himself in his wake. This is the song that set up Ke$ha as someone who was never not making a joke, but somehow that message didn’t get through to a lot of people, who treated this song as some kind of deeply serious infringement upon good taste and Music. Then again, that’s totally the point, isn’t it, so good job, Kesha. (A good rule of thumb for people who hate Kesha: she is almost definitely smarter than you.)
But with all the talk about brush my teeth with a bottle of Jack and kick them to the curb unless they look like Mick Jagger and the party don’t start til I walk in—that is, all the talk about how Kesha beautifully characterizes herself as a very specific kind of larger-than-life sleazy joyful party girl—something got lost in the middle. The middle got lost in the middle. I mean, the bridge of this song—it doesn’t have exactly the same tone, does it? We go from the party don’t stop woah woah oh oh to something a little more wistful, almost sad, not really kidding anymore. Something serious.
And that, I think, is the essence of Kesha: an incredible party shot through with a reminder of pain and confusion and sadness, and the idea that one of those things is happening because of the other.
You build me up / you break me down / my heart it pounds yeah you got me / with my hands up / you got me now / you got that sound / yeah you got me. This is not just about having a good time because life sucks; it’s not even really about escapism, exactly. It’s about how a lot of the most beautiful parts of life were created and loved because of the worst parts of life. It’s about how frivolity exists for a reason, and how empty fun is not empty at all. Nothing is ever really empty.
We are made by the things that happen to us, and at the same time we try to make ourselves. These two things are interlocked, and as much control as we have over who we are and what our lives are like, we cannot always have control. The party don’t start til I walk in, but you build me up, you break me down. There can be pain at the heart of any stupid joy. There can be helplessness at the heart of any steely intention. We are buffeted this way and that by even the things we choose; but at least we chose them. We do what we can. We try to be who we want to be.
How about a tear-jerky YA romance where they both live long enough to go to college and get bored with each other.
The Fault in Our Compatibility
An Abundance Of More Interesting People
“Believe me—the crowd gave me $18 in tips. I ran out the door. Bought a whole chicken. Ran up Seventh Avenue to my home. Mother and I ate that night— and we have been eating pretty well since.”
—Billie Holiday, recounts her first paid singing gig
How To Train Your Humans
I’m obsessed with this
I would like Martin Scorsese to be interested in a female character once in a while, but I don’t know if I’ll live that long.
Meryl Streep pulling weeds (via raffaellacarra)
Kittyinva: July, 1915 “Life” magazine cover by John La Gatta.