Thursday, July 28, 2011

w o m a n h o u s e remembers: Amy Winehouse

I was looking through the posts and I noticed that we did not have one on the recent death of the musician Amy Winehouse. Love her or hate her Ms. Winehouse was an incredibly talented singer, song writer, and fashion icon who tackled many stereotypes ascribed to female musicians. My sister posted an excellent article on Ms. Winehouse's career, published yesterday by the New York Times, on facebook and I'd like to share it with our readers. Below is a quote from the article that addresses the media's tendency to paint talented, drug-addicted female musicians as victims:

“Janis [Joplin], like Amy, is always projected as a victim,” said Ann Powers, a critic for NPR Music. Yet that analysis, largely based on their shared drug addiction, is simplistic, Ms. Powers said. For one thing, it fails to account for the joyous and powerful images Ms. Winehouse and Ms. Joplin projected; for the raucous brio of Ms. Joplin’s high-hippie floozy style; for Ms. Winehouse’s own wholehearted embodiment of a look that lent her the air of a slatternly rocker from Camden Town, a tough immigrant neighborhood in north London." 

-A Bad Girl With a Touch of Genius, Guy Trebay, New York Times

I remember the first time I heard the song "Back to Black" while I was working the shittiest job of my life at H&M. It was so rare that they ever played a song I liked on the company radio station so when "Back to Black" came on I was completely taken aback and had chills running down my spine.

I will remember Amy Winehouse as the gutsy songstress whose music was versatile, poignant, and honest. And, while her death was undoubtedly tragic, I do not see her as a victim, but rather as a woman who's choices, despite often being destructive, were her own.

Posted by: Anna Garski