On a happy day, I remain faithful to Alanis Morissette. I appreciate that she’s grown up in front of the camera and that this experience is difficult. Just look at Michael Jackson – he’s still guilty of being a bit of a freak, imho. And of course the docs have coined a term for this me me me freakiness: “acquired situational narcissism”. In Alanis’ case, she’s reversed the star drama paradigm, going from a tarted-up talentless dance drone to an interesting, story-tellin’, world explorin’ woman. Well that was until now…
I feel like I grew up with her. When Jagged Little Pill came out I was pretty angry with my recent relationships and “You Outta Know” really made me feel like it was ok to be pissed off and call someone out for lying or misrepresenting their intentions towards me. I felt better, it got me through. As I matured, her music matured and I kept listening. Not as captive a listener as I was, but I still followed her career and paid her respect. Her ability to write strong lyrics about relationships, painful situations, personal growth, beauty and joy have kept me interested.
Then this morning I nearly barfed my breakfast through my nose when I read the garbage spewing from her lips regarding this exclusive Starbucks deal.
The deal is this: Maverick Records has given Starbucks the exclusive rights to Alanis’ 10th anniversary acoustic edition of Jagged Little Pill for six weeks. In protest, HMV has pulled her entire catalogue from its shelves.
Here’s Alanis on the situation: “My intention certainly was not to ruffle feathers in that department although it’s inevitable obviously. I have had a really sweet and positive relationship with retailers my entire career.”
Alanis on why Starbucks (this was when I had to choke back the puke): “When people walk into Starbucks–beyond the fact that they’re focused on getting coffee–there’s a real openness and a focus to behold and take in whatever may be on that counter, and I think this record is a special record.”
Only someone suffering from this celebrity illness, this acquired situational narcissism, would think it’s ok to align their music with the dull experience of going to Starbucks where they believe their fans are going to “behold and take in” whatever may be on that counter, including their special record.
And I guess that record doesn’t seem so special when she puts it that way, “whatever may be on that counter”. So Alanis, it’s ok with you that your music, your spirit, your ideas have just become part of Starbucks incremental sales strategy? Oooh, a new profit category for Starbucks. I’m getting goosebumps.
Sorry Alanis, the folks who do buy your record at Starbucks are not buying it because they’re big fans. It’s because they’re yuppie hacks who can’t wait for the next impulse buy – it wouldn’t matter what, just whatever may be on that counter is fine. Your words.
If you cared about your music and your fans, you’d encourage all of them to buy your music anywhere and everywhere possible.