September 25, 2009
Lily Allen: Quitting Music?
IN THE NEWS
Poor Mark Ronson, he tried, he really did. Of course it’s not entirely fair to make it sound like his race has been run, but still, it must be damn frustrating to help cultivate two acts that were set to change the face of pop, and have both burn out with the dexterity of a match. It wasn’t surprising with Amy Winehouse, seeing part of her appeal was how fucked up she was, and finding out that she didn’t have the resilience or control her songs let on wasn’t much of a shocker. But Lily Allen, the cute, witty girl next door with a third nipple (Warning: kinda, sorta NSFW), why? She was the perfect pop outsider made for the masses – light, catchy, and fun, while not being bland and vapid – but then after a bit of fame, she fell into public drunkenness, breakdowns, and ridiculous celebrity feuds. The spotlight pushed her into a club she originally had no interest in joining, but did she have to start emulating its members? And even start sounding like them with her run of the mill second album, Its Not Me, Its You?
Well, if her blog is to be believed, it looks like we’ll never find out if the twenty-four year old will rebound. As of today, the young poptart has recanted the music industry, writing on her blog, ‘It’s Not Alright,’ (Allen’s blog has been shut down) that, “Just so you know, I have not renegotiated my record contract and have no plans to make another record…. ” Those curious about the name of her blog would find that its rational has a lot to do with Allen’s reservation with the music industry. Earlier this week, Allen launched the site in support of a proposed British legislation against illegal file sharing. The legislation in question had to do with whether the British government had the right to enter the public sphere of the internet and disconnect believed music pirates. Many, including the Featured Artists’ Coalition, which has members from band such as Blur, Radiohead and Pink Floyd, felt such government involvement to be too severe, and though illegal music downloads remain a large problem, solutions must be progressive to fit the new music industry, not restrictive to try to maintain the old one. But as enlightened as this position seems, with many of the FAC member’s boat loads of money, it’s an easy one to have.
Allen support of such strong government action had to do with her belief that file sharing’s largest detriment was against budding musicians, saying that they are “cutting off income at the most crucial, cash-strapped point in [new artists'] careers.” True, but supporting government internet watch dogs gave her a lot of enemies overnight, and knowing that boredom mixed with an internet connection can create a lot of malicious zeal, Allen received a lot of digital abuse. It was after all of this that she took the content off her blog, and announced her withdrawal from the debate and the industry, further saying, “The days of me making money from recording music has been and gone as far as I’m concerned … Slagging me, my music and my so-called ‘family connections’ off, and calling me a government puppet is not going to get anyone anywhere, so stop it” With all this bad blood going around its hard to tell how serious Allen is with this move, whether it’s merely out of frustration or in an attempt to strengthen her moral standing on the issue. But it’s not unlikely she’ll pull a Favre on this one, seeing despite her expressed concern, she is still quite able to make a lot of money recording music.
by Geoff Anstey