Urban haps of a grrrl on a mission to be a better writer, a new music master-blaster and a wonderfully brilliant razor-packing, MAC LipGlass wearing feminista...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Katy Perry

On Monday night I met up with new partner in crime, Jamiyla, at Steve Madden on the LES to check out this new artist that had music promotion bigwigs-- Giant Step-- going absolutely ga-ga. I had never heard of Katy Perry before I received my invitation. In all honesty the main reason I decided to go was for the Perrier Jouet and Stoli open bar. I know that says very lil about my curiosity for new music and volumes about my love for the bubbly, buy hey, music here lately just hasn't been blowing my skirt up.

As soon as I turned the corner onto Rivington I was surprised to see a small line forming outside. Were all of these very hip, very cool multi-culti folk here to see Katy or to get their drink on? If it was the former I wanted needed to be in the know.

By the time I slid inside, Jamiyla had made a new friend-- Tracey Moore (formerly of the Jazzyfatnastees and co-founder of Black Lily). While we sipped our mimosas, the three of us talked about the state of Black music and debated about how segregated New York City’s Black and White artistic communities had become. Initially I disagreed about this last issue, pointing to groups like Burnt Sugar and the Afro- Punk movement, but then I realized that if it wasn't for Giant Step I would have never heard of Katy Perry and come to find out she is pretty well known outside of the urban or Af-Am cipher (she's been featured in the NY Times, on TRL and on this summer's Warped Tour).

(Jamiyla & Tracey)

She has this song, "I Kissed A Girl," which is like chicken pox catchy and she totally reminds me of early Alanis Morissette except where Alanis' "Like A Pill" was situated on a bed of anger and angst, Katy settles on a more humorous cushion for her set. She also reminds me of Ashlee Simpson or Avril Lavigne before they became US mag fodder. I'm looking forward to checking out her record, One of The Boys, when it drops next week.

Afterwards I thought about some of the things Tracey had mentioned with regard to NYC's artists communities and how we tend to not socialize and collaborate across racial groupings. Maybe she is right. I think back to when I was a little girl and even though I may not have been chillin with white girls, that at least musically speaking, my homegirls and I would all listen to 92-WKTU and watch Video Music Box where they played Madonna, Blondie, Tony Basil and Belinda Carlisle as often as they did Vanity 6, Run DMC and the Mary Jane Girls and we loved them all and we're surely influenced stylistically by them too! We knew all the words to "Mickey" just as well as we knew Mtume's "Juicy Fruit." Of course this was before there was such a thing as urban radio-- clearly the beginning of our sonic xenophobia. Now I hardly ever listen to the radio and the only time I readily hear about white artists (in urban circles) is if they are "soul" singers ala Robin Thicke or Amy Winehouse.

Well thank you Giant Step for always keeping me in the know. Last year you got me so into Sara Bareilles and now you got me again with Katy!

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Blogger chocolatestar said...

I'm so happy you went & met Jam & Tracey. That's so cool. I will make it to the next one and the summer is full of good musical events. MWAH!

6/16/2008 10:04 AM

Blogger Hot Grrrl said...

It was fun but it was hot and so you did the right thing by going home. Hope to see you soon.

6/16/2008 1:57 PM


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