I’m not the biggest fan of Fall Out Boy, I haven’t been able to get excited about their album releases since From Under the Cork Tree was on the horizon.
Mindlessly browsing News.com.au – to get my fill of tabloid journalism – I found this little puff piece on their new album, Save Rock and Roll. Yes it is an insanely inappropriate title for a pop band, but Pete Wentz, the band’s lyricist, justifies it as “tongue in cheek”, and “[a] kind of a joke, but if it means something to you, then it’s not really that much of a joke”. It seems that his sentences are as rambling as his lyrics.
I don’t think I have a real problem with the title: one of the best ways to sell shit is to call it something it isn’t. Obviously Fall Out Boy are quite the marketers.
As with previous albums, the band has worked with other musicans on some of the tracks. The credits include: Elton John, 2 Chainz, Big Sean and Courteney Love.
Huge fan of Elton, don’t know what a ‘2 Chainz’ is or when it is / isn’t appropriate to use a ‘z’ instead of an ‘s’, and I could give two shits if Sean is big or small.
I think I like Courtney Love – she did marry the greatest human being ever known – but Fall Out Boy’s apparent reason for her inclusion is a bit of a worry.
Wentz reasons that “it’s important for girls to understand that they don’t need to just be coat hangers for boys, it’s not all about being groupies…so we thought it would be important to have an iconic female voice on the album, and Courtney screams rock ‘n’ roll”.
I really didn’t know what to think when I read this sentence. Let me break down what Mr Wentz farted out in that heinous quote:
– Courtney Love should be a role model for young women,
– Courtney Love is an iconic voice of rock ‘n’ roll and
– Fall Out Boy makes rock ‘n’ roll (I know I might be challenged on this, but I dare you to find an F.O.B song that doesn’t fall under the umbrella of pop / bubblegum punk).
Those last two points are really easy shots: Courtney Love, although a gifted musician on her own terms, is only iconic in the sense that she is associated with Kurt Cobain; Fall Out Boy’s rock ‘n’ roll credentials are immediately and obviously laughable.
The first point is a bit of a worry.
I don’t have a problem with Pete Wentz selling his album with a stamp of feminism, I know how profitable and easy it is to hijack movements, I just wish he didn’t use Courtney to do it.
Sure, she has made some notably feminist(ish) songs – Doll Parts, Garbadge Man, off the top of my head – and her subversively gnarly portrayal of female roles is a kick in the teeth to the patriarchy.
Should she really have to be a role model? She has done some right heinous things. If you didn’t click that link because you are a) lazy and / or b) an arsehole, then let me give you some highlights. Courtney Love:
– Used smack while pregnant,
– assulted Madonna (not saying it’s a bad thing, I just think it’s cool),
– OD’d in front of her child,
– was beaten in the media by Robert Pattinson.
None of these things are especially bad and I don’t blame her because I know that Robert Pattinson is a mental giant, children need to be introduced to chemicals / reality as early as possible and Madonna deserves nothing but the worst treatment.
But why, Mr. fkn Wentz, do you feel the need to put her forward as a role model? Is Mr. Chainz a role model? What about Larger-than-average Sean?
While his justification of her inclusion with feminism is a great marketing technique, I really feel it makes it obvious how women can be independent, strong and challenging, as long as they do so with the permission of a man; Wentz’s sentence, in having to justify the inclusion of the female but not male(s) musicians on the album, speaks volumes about how women’s place in society needs to be constantly justified. He could have simply said he was happy to have such a well known, talented musician on board – like he did with Multiple Chainz and Biggy Seans.
Yes I am using a quote from a well trained interviewee who knows how to sell his mouth wash. But his arseholery is a great example of a misogynistic music industry where women are either included and objectified, or included but must be justified.