A Mind That Suits What doesn't kill me, makes me laugh... usually.

Saturday, August 30, 2003 :::
In the "Do I really care?" category, we have the MTV video awards. A Mind That Suits cannot get cable, and so has no idea what the show was like. But the papers have been full of it the last two days. He used to watch it religiously, but if Madonna was not performing, it was usually pretty flat and predictable. Not that he likes Madonna; he just acknowledges that she treated it the way she treats every public perfomance: as vital to her career.

Well, she "performed" two nights ago, that's for sure. Britney Spears and Christina Aguillera proved just how low they would go by doing sensual versions of "Like A Virgin," with which Madonna dominated the very first MTV awards show in...1984!! It wasn't the song, which is bad enough; it was the open-mouthed, tonguing slurps that the two young heirs gave to the Metallicly Boobed One. That's right: two former Mousketeers, sucking face with the Queen of Shock.

At Stanford, A Mind That Suits ate lunch every day at a very nice eatery in the over-the-top Alumni Center, where the immigrants who ran it were heavily into Madonna. And so we heard the Immaculate Collection over, and over, and over, inspiring the thought that this woman's career is a real tribute to what hard work and complete shamelessness will get you. Not only was she a lousy dancer early on (that's toes first, dear), but the nasal Michigan twang of nearly all her most famous hits seems, now, nearly unlistenable, as opposed to her mature voice, which is really quite nice. Before age caught up with her, at least her leg extensions (as in the Vogue video) approached the level of perfection.

But then, at one of the many points when her career was near its low, she did produce the infamous Sex volume. "Brilliant shamelessness" is the key, here. The lady really is brilliant. And shameless. It is a combination that works. That is a pity.

She is apparently a nearly-psychotic perfectionist (which means that the lousy clothes are all her own fault.) So A Mind That Suits, many years ago, was highly amused at an MTV Video Awards retrospective which, necessarily, featured her incredible appearances, including one--for Vogue, again--where she and her dancers dressed in Louis XIV court style and used fans (I mean the papery, hand=held, Chinese kind) to great effect as rhythm instruments. In two of the performances, including Vouge, Madonna was looking away from her mic when the recording of her vocals started. I'll bet she had screaming fits after that, even though everyone with any sense knows you cannot dance like that and sing.

Except maybe Bette Midler. The last time A Mind That Suits saw her wonderful campy self perform, it was on Letterman, where she and the Harlettes did an up-tempo rendition of "Boogey-Woogey Bugle Boy,"--in mermaid suits. Live. You cold tell because the then pleasantly middle-aged Bette started losing her breath while singing.

The difference between Midler and Madonna is that Midler is really funny.

But A Mind That Suis owns, he believes, not a single record by Ms. Midler, and thinks that somewhere lies a copy of the previously mentioned, unlistenable Immaculate Collection he got as a promotional offer.

His style of music is embodied by Mr. Johnny Cash, whose "Hurt" video won Best Cinematography two nights ago, an obvious choice,and a well deserved award. A Mind That Suits was pleased to see that Mr. Cash responded to the untimely death of his wonderful wife by booking studio time, and is off to LA to record a new album. The last four records--the "American Recordings" series--have been among the very best things he has done, and God be with him.


::: posted by A Mind That Suits at 12:49 PM



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What doesn't kill me, makes me laugh... usually.

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