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Not Prince Hamlet

"Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse."

Jagged Little Somethin'

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

During my freshman year in college, Alanis Morisette burst on the music scene with her album "Jagged Little Pill." The record made a huge splash in the lives of EVERYONE in my peer group. The angst! The conviction! That voice! "Jagged Little Pill" holds a special place, I believe, in the annals of rock history, because it was the first album by a female vocalist to successfully combine "I-don't-give-a-*^$#" lyricism with pop melodies and hooks, thus producing a staggering commercial success. Nothing Morisette has done since that record have quite measured up.

Well now, check this out. The Canadian ballad-basher has run afoul of one of her biggest retailers, HMV Canada. Due to an agreement Morissete made with Starbucks to sell her re-recorded release of "Jagged Little Pill" exclusively at their coffeeshops for six weeks before selling it anywhere else, HMV Canada has pulled all--read that again: ALL--of Morisette's records from the shelves of their stores. They feel betrayed, it seems.

I have long been uncomfortable with the Starbucks music trend. The coffee behomoth's excursions into the musical world have been pioneering in the field of atmospherics, the employment of specific sensory triggers in order to create positive consumer associations. But this, I think, is the first time that an artist--from Cheryl Crowe to Sting to Tony Bennet--will get burned by their complicity in Starbucks' atmospherics.

The irony of the whole thing is unmistakable: the voice of teen and young adult independence and angst, of anti-status-quo and anti-establishment bravado, has touched off a corporate war. Maybe Alanis could re-write "One Hand in My Pocket" with this last new closing lyric: "I've got one hand in my pocket/and the other one is sipping a latte."

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posted by Not Prince Hamlet, 7:02 AM

2 Comments:

Has does a hand sip a latte?
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 4:41 AM  
First of all, anonymous (above) needs to realize that he meant to say one hand holdin a latte- whatever, thats not the point. The point is, Rocky- you do know how to make a good joke. That was pretty good, pretty good.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 8:40 PM  

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