Tagged: Back to Basics

Xtina in the studio with Le Tigre, M.I.A., and Santigold

Le Tigre and Christina Aguilera made beautiful music together; image courtesy of amysrobot.com

So, by now we probably all know that Christina Aguilera’s got a new album coming out this spring. It’s called Bionic, which is as rad a title as any. I consider myself a Christina fan, and have enjoyed watching her develop as a singer. And I thought Back to Basics, while overlong, was a lot of fun. Do we all need to watch the “Candyman” music video she co-directed with Matthew Rolston to jog our memories? Okay.

But while I’ve got Bionic on my radar, the folks she’s collaborated with is what really fills me with anticipation. She’s worked with rad ladies like M.I.A., Santigold, and post-riot grrrl icons Le Tigre. If she could bring in artists like Björk, one of her favorite singers, or Gossip, my head might explode. I’m anticipating some tough, glossy electroclash and I hope I get it. While I’m not sure what the album sounds like and do hold some reservations, I’m excited that Le Tigre have been back at work after their hiatus. Also I do think this collaboration is important.

Sure, indie music’s cross-pollinations with commercial fare in the recent past are well-documented. If this applies to big-name producers like Lukasz Gottwald, it certainly applies to lesser-known talent who might be able to lend a certain caché. Remember when LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy tried to produce a Britney Spears single? Hell, remember the rumor that Kathleen Hanna was going to serve as one of the many producers of Paris Hilton’s inauspicious debut? Yeah, we’ve been doing this for a while.

But how often do independent and mainstream female artists work together? How many superstar pop singers espouse even remotely feminist values that could jibe with Le Tigre’s politics (besides P!nk and maybe Lady Gaga)? How many pop stars even claim “Deceptacon” to be one of their jams? And while Mariah Carey liked Hole’s Live Through This, I like that Aguilera actually went in to the studio with these artists. I’ll reserve judgement on the music until I hear a final product, but I respect the professional motivations of all parties. I also look forward to hearing the results, especially if they’re built for the dance floor.

Music Video Auteuses: Floria Sigismondi

Through a glass darkly; Christina Aguilera, as captured by Floria Sigismondi in the music video for Hurt

Through a glass darkly; Christina Aguilera, as captured by Floria Sigismondi in the music video for "Hurt"

As readers of the blog may know, I’ve been keeping my eyes and ears on the Kristen Stewart/Dakota Fanning Runaways biopic. While you may know the leads, the director and screenwriter may not be as much of a household name. But hopefully that will change, as first-time feature director Floria Sigismondi has been making amazing music videos since the early 1990s. Some of her more famous titles include Marilyn Manson’s “The Beautiful People,” The White Stripes’ “Blue Orchid,” and Christina Aguilera’s “Fighter.” Also, Sigur Rós’s “Untitled #1” knocks me breathless each time I see it. 

In keeping with the spirit of the blog, I thought I’d focus on the female musicians Sigismondi has worked with (click on the artists’ names). Also, having read a delightful post on music videos inspired by horror films from my friend Caitlin at Dark Room, I thought I’d continue in the spirit.

Christina Aguilera
“Hurt”
Back to Basics

Fiona Apple
“O Sailor”
Extraordinary Machine

Martina Topley-Bird
“Anything”
Quixotic (retitled Anything upon re-release)

Shivaree
“John 2/14”
Rough Dreams

Amel Larrieux
“Get Up”
Infinite Possibilities

Sheryl Crow
“Anything But Down”
The Globe Sessions

Fluffy
“Black Eye”
Black Eye