Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Pareles on Peaches
New York Times critic John Pareles reported yesterday on Peaches' New York City concert. His report, correctly!, is positive, and includes some smart, and not-so smart, observations:
"Every one of her songs is about sex: straight, gay, bi, all-purpose."
"Lately she has been shifting from raps, which take a lot of writing and rhyming, to hard-rock songs that allow for far more repetition; luckily, Peaches can sing, wailing like Joan Jett, and now she occasionally plays guitar." (Comment: I'm not sure why Peaches made this shift, which I noted in my review of the Lawrence concert, but I'm sure it's not because she was averse to writing and rhyming. Her writing and rhyming were brilliant, but not to be judged, as Pareles does, by comparison to rap. Peaches did not just start picking up the guitar, but used to play it in her previous concerts. She plays a bit more now than she used to.)
"The musical upgrade [playing with a band], as Peaches called it, puts more punch and variety in her music and frees her for more showmanship. At Irving Plaza she performed onstage, on a speaker cabinet, in the balcony and on the dance floor." (Comment: no, it just allows for a different kind of showmanship. Without a band, Peaches also used to perform on any surface she could get to.)
"Compared with Ms. [Joan] Jett, Madonna or Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Peaches is less an object of desire than a pep-rally yell leader; her raps often have the rhythms of football cheers. Her material is closer to a checklist than to a fantasy, and her audience finds it amusing, not shocking." (Peaches frequently refers to herself as a "sexual conduit," someone who enables sexual turn-ons.)
What's funny about reading Pareles article is that he can't really describe what Peaches is about, because, as he says, "Most of her lyrics can’t be quoted in this family newspaper."
It appears from Pareles' report that the NYC show did not feature the kind of dancing I witnessed in Lawrence. Someone told me that there were no dancers at the Philadelphia shows as well. So maybe the Lawrence show was the most provocative! What, indeed, is the Matter with Kansas?
Now I'm going back to reading the incredibly depressing news about Lebanon...