VANESSA AMOROSI SIGNS NEW MANAGEMENT DEAL, CANONISATION ALSO UNDER NEGOTIATION
In case you didn’t already know, Vanessa Amorosi is a saint. For a twenty-four-year-old, she’s packed enough do-gooding into her life to make Mother Theresa look like a selfish, lazy bitch.
The Absolutely Everybody singer had the regular entertainment-family upbringing. Her parents were cabaret performers and young Vanessa took the obligatory tap, jazz and ballet classes, then went on to perform at shopping centres and local council events, always, as her PR people are at pains to point out, “under the supervision of her family.” It is easy to imagine the horrors of growing up in a low-rent showbiz family, being hoisted onto makeshift stages near the food-court at Fountain Gate, where, arguably, young Nessy should have remained. But the forces of the universe – whatever divine karma the gods were dishing out, could not let that be: Vanessa was destined for greatness.
This is where the story gets equal parts unbelievable and creepy. Somehow, in that strange sub-stardom orbit in which Amorosi rotates, it’s inadequate and just plain Wrong to succeed on the basis of talent alone. From the age of 14 Vanessa has been gunning for sainthood. During the past ten years she has: worked with disadvantaged children; made friends with the terminally ill; received an award from the Governor General; been named Young Victorian of the year; and joined the army. She is a keen animal lover, with a menagerie that would have Michael Jackson turning green (she has llamas and a camel).
With the exception of the armed forces, these are all noble pursuits. One wonders what is to be gained by even mentioning this in relation to her musical career. It hasn’t helped Bob Geldof’s record sales one bit: he can’t sing, his records are shit and everybody knows it, but, hey, he’s done a lot of work for charity, so let’s all nip out and pick up his latest long-player. Working with animals and children did fuck all to help Michael Jackson either. No new Amorosi fans are to be harvested by bigging-up her goody-good credentials; you either like her shitty music or you don’t. But her new manager, Ralph Carr, seems to be plugging this angle like Bill Clinton in a brothel. Perhaps the first point of order in Mr Carr’s new managerial role should be to arrange a trip to the Vatican where Vanessa can finally get the recognition she deserves.
FINGERNAILS, BLACKBOARDS & BERNARD FANNING
Are you too sick to fucking death of Bernard Fanning? Tired of waiting for his balls to drop? Well, you’re shit out of luck, because in addition topping both the charts and Triple J’s hottest 100, Bernard’s currently touring this great nation. He’ll be coming to Melbourne on March 3 & 4 to play the Forum.
KRAVITZ DONS THE FISHNET STOCKINGS
Vodka company Absolut has collaborated with Lenny Kravitz to produce “Absolut Kravitz”, a project in which Lenny created an “exclusive new track based on his interpretation of the Absolut brand”. According to Absolut, Kravitz was “inspired by the brand’s core values of clarity, simplicity and perfection”. Cynics might suggest that the true source of Kravitz’s inspiration was the smell of a greased palm in the morning, but what would they know?
In truth, you almost have to admire the nauseating earnestness of Absolut’s marketing. It’s stupid – you know it, they know it – but damn it, they’re gonna go through with it anyway. A case in point being the company’s claim that Lenny was perfectly at home with the CREATIVITY of Absolut. You see, according to the company, Absolut isn’t simply a garden-variety beverage – it’s more a beret-wearing, paint-daubing, poetry-quoting kind of beverage. Given that Lenny is so easily “inspired”, particularly when a cheque’s waved under his nose, how long will it be before he’s inspired by the integrity of Sorbent? Or the virtuosity of Nutragrain? It’s surely only a matter of time before Lenny is plying us with a three-minute, hook-laden ode to the sunny nobility of haemorrhoid cream.
Art and commerce have always gone hand in hand and no doubt they always will. It’s still sad, however, to see a respected artist prostitute himself, turning what used to be art, self-expression, and communication into an advertising jingle. But if you’re gonna do it, don’t try and make it palatable by couching it in terms of “creativity” and “inspiration”. Because repackaging shit as nougat just makes your audience feel like dupes.
WE DON’T KNOW WHO HE IS EITHER
Courtney Murphy’s only east coast show is scheduled for the Vanguard next month. According to the press release that landed in our inbox, Courtney is an Australian Idol contestant from 2004 who “became one of the most recognizable faces and voices in Australia”. Until now Courtney’s extreme fame hasn’t managed to penetrate the Brown Noise Unit stronghold. But given his renown among the general public, he’ll surely pack the house at the Vanguard. (Rod Laver Arena must have already been booked.) Certainly, Courtney’s “up-tempo Adult Contemporary style” sounds tantalising. Go see him on March 29 – afterwards you can tell your friends you’ve seen the least well-known famous person in Australia.