MaryLeigh Roohan is a friend of a friend whose music I was recently introduced to, to my profound joy. She just released her sophomore album, Skin and Bone. You can stream it for free here. She’s a very talented singer/songwriter and I highly recommend her to you. Give it a whirl.
"Cyrus’s twerk act gives minstrelsy a postmodern careerist spin. Cyrus is annexing working-class black “ratchet” culture, the potent sexual symbolism of black female bodies, to the cause of her reinvention: her transformation from squeaky-clean Disney-pop poster girl to grown-up hipster-provocateur. (Want to wipe away the sickly-sweet scent of the Magic Kingdom? Go slumming in a black strip club.) Cyrus may indeed feel a cosmic connection to Lil’ Kim and the music of “the hood.” But the reason that these affinities are coming out now, at the VMAs and elsewhere, is because it’s good for business."
Her whole transformation from Hannah Montana to teen idol pop star to vaguely punk/rebellious to twerking and rapping has been orchestrated and enacted over the last decade basically flawlessly. Complicity from labels means famous rappers featuring Miley Cyrus as a guest artist, which is cringeworthy (and which helps perpetuate an obvious strain of institutionalized racism in the entertainment industry) but which quickly establishes her in a new genre and forestalls any potential decline to irrelevance.
So yeah this isn’t a vapid twenty-year-old girl somehow led astray by watching too many music videos. This is a cynical businessperson backed up by a whole lot of clout who knows that as much as the Internet mocks her and writes about how problematic she is, her next single is going to be in heavy rotation on every radio station in North America over the next few months and her next album is going platinum again.
I lost all of my vanity when I peered into a pool I lost all of my innocence When I fell in love with you I never knew a man could fall so far until I landed here Where all of my wounds turn into gold when I kissed your hair
Come to me Hannah Hannah won’t you to come on to me I’ll lay down this bottle of wine If you’ll just be kind to me
Ask her why she cries so loud She will not say a word Eyes like ice and hands that shake She takes what she deserves To celebrate her emptiness In a cold and lonely room So sweep the floor with your long flowered dress If you cannot find a broom
Come to me Hannah Hannah won’t you come on to me I’ll lay down this bottle of wine If you’ll just be kind to me
She’s got hair that flows right down Right down to the backs of her knees Her Papa he was a preaching man And the Lord is hard to please So she comes down from the ozark hills to these very streets to roam With a banjo and a bible and a fine tooth comb
Come to me Hannah Hannah won’t you come on to me I’ll lay down this bottle of wine if you’ll just be kind to me
And I’d walk one mile on just broken glass Just to fall down at your feet oh Hannah you’re the queen of the street
I climbed the tree with my Hannahlee My intentions they were pure Oh the breeze did whip and I lost my grip I tumbled towards the earth Well you never would guess who it was that stood below And His name I would never tell But His eyes were clear And His arms were strong And caught me as I fell
Now come to me Hannah Hannah won’t you come on to me I’ll lay down this bottle of wine If you’d just be kind to me
And I’d walk one mile on just broken glass To fall down at your feet Hannah you’re the queen of the street Hannah you’re the queen of the street
LTMC: I love NPR, and I love the Tiny Desk concert series. Did not know about Keaton Henson before, and now I do.
What’s even better is that I can download the audio of this exclusive live session for free. In an era where the RIAA is still doing everything it can to prevent people from accessing exclusive music content without first paying a pound of flesh to the corporate recording industry, NPR is giving us free access to live performances by great artists. Many of these artists aren’t mainstream acts either, so the Tiny Desk Concert Series also helps artists by giving them exposure to new fans. Case in point: myself and Keaton Henson.