Thursday, December 9, 2010

Ah, the Guilty Pleasure: Porcelain and the Tramps

  The subject of Guilty Pleasure music choices came up in an online discussion recently, and I wrote the next three paragraphs.  Then it grew.

  My upbringing was somewhat strict. So a musical act where the singer covers anger and/or sex and uses bad words has a certain guilt attached.  I can hear my ex: You LIKE that? I can't believe you would listen to that!  Shame, shame.
  I have some of those now.  Lately it's been hard to get enough of Porcelain and the Tramps.  Why?  Would I actually like this person on a social basis?  I dunno... Alaina, or the part she plays, comes across as belligerently blunt, bossy, frequently profane and ready to take what she wants in a relationship, usually sex.  With exultation.  I tend to turn it down when pulling into a parking lot or next to another car.  And then... back up ASAP.  She can write and sing and be fresh and creative, with gusto.
   Okay, maybe not as guilty artistically as the Madonna and Britney stuff I had.  But in other ways yeah.

   Why not artistically?  Porcelain can go from a kicking chanting sound to a sweet bit of melody that could have been from the 1940s or 1920s or even earlier, while never letting you forget this is a self-aware, self-empowered Modern Girl... then combine those elements and pump them out in another and another way.    She explores you-will-not run-over-ME anger/determination (Gasoline and My Leftovers), grinning romantic sexual intention (Sugarcube), desire versus talk of desire (You Want), wry and sarcastic appraisal of vanity and deceit (Transparent), and an adoring/judging prude (The Neighbor), an apparent mistress-slave relationship (King of the World), a romantic relationship post-mortem (The Preying Mantis), a look at the dynamics of prostitution (Redlight District, ironically maybe the most radio-playable song yet), the self-explanatory I'm Your Favorite Drug, a joy-of-sex number (I Feel Perfect), and pride of being really fantastic at it (F*** like a Star).  Um, yeah, largely about sex and sexual romance and power... and pursuing fun to actually grab it, not to pine away like some maudlin Victorian.  She's quite clear about what she means.  Yet in her bluntness, she writes damn good poetry, uses alliteration and illustrations and empirical statements et cetera in ways that flow seamlessly, and shows the same talent in melody lines, beats and pacing that can turn on a hair without losing its way.  Rock and Roll?  Dance Music?  Pop?  Classifying her is pointless and hysterical - at least half of this cannot be played on the air.  Which is sad because (A) lovemaking has to be superior to hate and THAT gets played all the *%# time, and (B) Porcelain is a world-class treasure of an artist.    If the world weren't so dang prudish and artistic justice existed, she would be recognized as such and be ridiculously rich.  Crap.  What a downer.  What would make me feel better?
    Well - other than that - I'm gonna listen to Sugarcube again.
    And smile.

   Porcelain and The Tramps is essentially Alaina Beaton's group, and at any given time can include the musicians that work for the time and situation.  If there's better info on that, feel free to correct me. She has been writing and performing on a professional level at least 5 years that I know of.  She's currently 25, pretty, has a fine ability to create her own striking dramatic style and loaded with independent attitude.  A true underground star, IMHO.  Wiki doesn't have an article on her or the band, though they do list them in a couple of other articles:

    They DID have an article on Wiki, but it was deleted for "Lack of Notability" (as was Alaina's):
   - Despite listing her in a string of articles about other artists she's worked with - co-wrote "How Do You Love Someone" for "Guilty Pleasure" by Ashley Tisdale, also co-wrote "Lolita" for Belinda's Carpe Diem CD, more of the same with L.P. (singer),  is featured on "Action" on "We Are Machines" album by Street Drum Corps...  But Urban Dictionary knows her:

   -  Which is pretty much Underground Cult Queen defined, I reckon.  It is mentioned here and there that some consider them "Industrial" rock.  I haven't the foggiest idea why.  She can go through 3 or 4 genres in a single song, and none of them sound like what I would consider Industrial - think Rammstein.  Anyroad - her MySpace site:
Which references her Twitter site - don't usually include these but she doesn't have that many:

   Check YouTube for videos - mostly fan slideshows it would seem.
And this appears to be her Facebook location:

 - Or at least one of them.  Search there on her name and you'll see what I mean.

   Have fun - but don't say I didn't warn ya.