Who’s your Alanis?

Confessions of a Rock Snob

So last night I’m flipping channels and finding nothing on the digital cable, per usual. That is, except for the endless reruns of SNL on Comedy Central. Who happens to be the musical guest?

Alanis Morissette.

As some of you know, I have this thing for her. I am ashamed of this, I don’t want to like her music, I do find it trite, but damn it if I don’t stop to listen every time I hear any of the four singles from Jagged Little Pill.

Even worse, I find Alanis hot.

I have been trying to figure this out all day now, why I am so suckered by a second-rate Tori Amos, who is herself but a pale imitation of Joni Mitchell. Oddly enough, Jewel didn’t take me down this path of adoration; despite her greater physical charms, she makes me entirely indifferent. While I do like the music of Four Non Blondes, it’s not quite the same; there’s no crush, no warm fuzzy feeling like I get when I imagine Alanis with her hand in my pocket.

Once I had a crush on a girl I worked with. She was neither pretty nor smart nor particularly talented. But some odd blend of quirkiness, a nice smile, and her ridiculous pretension led me to get all silly about her. With Alanis, I find myself in a similar emotional state. So maybe what I can draw from this is that I have secret crushes on pretentious females with cute smiles—but there is a broader issue. Forget Alanis the woman. I still like her music, a lot.

Despite knowing it’s bad, Alanis’ music seems to subvert my intellect and strike at some music receptor that’s not connected to my brain. And not in the kitschy way. Alanis is not so good because she’s so bad. She’s bad and I like her anyway.

Must I now quit GloNo in shame? Should I just give in and buy the Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back DVD? Advice anyone?

19 thoughts on “Who’s your Alanis?”

  1. The first time I saw Alanis (it might have been on SNL), I was struck by this frank, distinctive voice she has, and how well she sang her song, which was about old boyfriends and while slightly precious, was also kind of good. Of course, I knew about the stream of scorn that’s always directed at her by cool music people, the way she misuses the word ‘ironic’ in the song of the same name. So I investigated no further (always the conformist). A friend of mine who loves her (and had free tickets) took me to see her in some godawful hockey arena in New Jersey. It wasn’t the right setting for her, since she seems to be trying for a kind of Bob Dylan thing and her songs are too personal to register in the airplane hangar we were in. But I’m impressed with something strong-seeming and individualistic about her. Like how she never changes her hair style (even though it isn’t flattering and I think she might think about it) and wears goofy hippie clothes in an era when most girl singers don’t. So should I quit Glono now too?

  2. Regarding Alanis Morissette and “Irony.”It’s a well-known fact that well-read rock snobs hate Alanis for her misuse of the word “ironic.” The song that bears the title lists a number of events that would really be deemed coincidence, not ironic. Rain on your wedding day is perhaps unfortunate, but not ironic. A free ride when you’ve already paid is just bad money managing. So, there’s clearly nothing ironic IN the song. Here our Alanis seems to have pulled a fast one on all those so quick to judge her an illiterate dope. She has written a song about irony, a word most people misuse, and filled it with examples of its misuse. The fact that there is no irony in a song called “Ironic” is indeed ironic! Genius!

  3. Wait wait wait. I just found out something about the rain on your wedding day line. Apparently, if it rains on your wedding day, it’s supposed to be good luck for the marriage. Now, isn’t THAT ironic!

  4. Oh my god, you retards have gone one step too far. Sab, you’ve completely ruined the “thing” I had for you. I would have expected this from Jake, but you’re the biggest snob of all. I’ve looked to you as a rock, man. If you can be turned to the dark side, what hope is there for the rest of us? Do you have a thing for hippies? It’s just icky if you ask me. I feel dirty just thinking about this.

  5. I don’t know about Ryan Adams, but I did hear that she used to date Dave Coulier of Full House fame (when they were both still Canadians) and wrote “You Oughtta Know” after their nasty breakup. This comes from the rigourously researched Pop Up Video. (correct spelling and song name courtesy of imdb.com and cdnow.com)Perhaps the reason for your attration to her and her music is her Canadian heritage. Or maybe it’s because you remember her from those “You can’t do that on television” re-runs on Nickelodeon.

  6. I have to agree. Just thinking about her voice makes me cringe – the whole fingernails on a chalkboard thing… I really tried to like her for a while, and her songs are catchy – but I simply cannot stand her.Be that as it may, props to Sab for taking a stance might’ve been career-ending.

  7. Why do I have to go to Sab? Is he going to make me go to Von Bondies shows with him?Pat, did anyone ever tell you what a striking resemblance to Dave Coulier you have?

  8. I’d like to take Alanus and every sandle wearing college proto-hippie chic who thinks shes cool and lock them in a sports bar during an Andrew WK show. That would be justice for both parties.I want more stories about Meg White!My next negative rant will be aired in 90 minutes. Please stand by.

  9. While there is all of this Alanis analysis, I am disturbed by sab’s confessions, particularly with regard to a woman he once worked with. I can only hope it isn’t who I hope it isn’t. . . (and if it is, then I’m quitting GloNo).

  10. With funny timing, Robert Christgau happens to give Alanis the nod in this week’s Voice: “Once dissed as the voice of pseudofeminist exploitation, Morissette was in fact a thinking original in a showbiz context she had the stuff to make something of.” Okay, it’s awkwardly put. And I don’t know if anyone gives credence (Creedence!) to Christgau anymore. But at least it’s a tiny salve for sab and me. Who, I gather, are in disgrace.

  11. A traffic jam when you’re already late isn’t ironic, its just unfortunate.However, if you worked for City Hall and were on your way to a meeting to discuss the traffic problems of the town and got stuck in aforementioned traffic jam, thatd be ironic. Ms. Morissette please take note.The idea that she deliberately omitted irony in a song about it to achieve it is probably beyond her, anyways everyone know Americans (that includes Canadians) have no sence of ironey.Now Morrissey, there was one ironic fucker. Better looking than Alanis and all….

  12. We apparently don’t even know how to spell the word. Frankly, I’m a fan of Alanis. Ignore Ironic for God’s sake, probably her worst song, and listen to some of her other work before you grab some nails and commence with the crucifixion.

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