Thursday, March 26, 2009

Inge, naked

See? You read “Inge, naked” and you come right here, don’t you? But this one’s not for you.

It’s for our milky-skinned diva of darkness who doesn’t need to remove one thread to reveal herself. Unfortunately the likes of Josie, Sannie, Tasha, Thandiswa and Simphiwe are not necessarily going to applaud her latest contribution to the media’s perception of women in the music industry.

Uh uh, Inge

Yes, we love your aloof yet pointed stare. Yes, your eyes flare. Yes, you are a diva we can’t quite believe is ours (so much so, perhaps, that we didn’t support you and Paul and Fuzzy and Sean enough. And that’s our loss. And we know it. And some of us are doing what we can to re-design the rules.) But

This. Is unnecessary.

Because. This is not Hollywood.

(this is my adulterated version of the cover shot of Cape Town's Myweek mag - April edition. It appears without my desultroy enquiry in its original form)

And the media is not a pimp, even though it punts itself as one. It’s a platform for information. And your body is not a product, even though it’s young and healthy enough to stand for everything that consumerism bases itself on – vanity, greed, beauty. You represent music, and you represent women. I don’t care if you didn’t ask for the latter role – your very presence and potency in an industry dominated (at least on stage) by men makes it part of the deal you didn’t make when you put yourself on public display. And that deal, baby, can make or break you as a self respecting artiste.

Lathering yourself, half-dressed, all over the cover of another free magazine (that nobody asked for) which (mistakenly) posits itself as some kind of reference of Cape Town cool is crummy. As if cool can be snapped and slapped onto a page and dubbed with words that are shallower than shamelessness and half-conscious to boot in the first place. It’s a misconception. As is thinking that your body is going to sell your voice.

You have intellectual property rights. You are the business. You make the decisions. (that's what independent means, it isn't just a
synonym for South African über cool.) There are more than enough photographers willing to do a shoot that will do you justice, give imagery of you the gravity your gifts deserve, give it your edgy glamour without you having to show the world what you only show a few people. You’re not an almost-famous, schizophrenic soap star, you’re not a bimbette trying to get your pop schlock seen and not (really) heard. You’re an undeniably able singer and performer who has garnered enough respect on the scene to be seen for her talent rather than her twat. So what the fuck are you doing on the cover in your granny’s bathing suit?

Do us a favour, and stop selling your skin.

Disclaimer. This is not some kind of masked nastiness. I love Inge’s work (though the sounds coming from the Inge Beckman trio need another few months in the practise room). It was Inge who originally inspired me to write about SA music. I bumped into lark one dark long street festival night and was riveted and reborn by her world class talent. I’d been roving that world for years, and the only time I had for SA music was when BOO! graced the stage. This was the beginning of the second wave of music that we are now seeing flourish (and perhaps phade if we don’t pull together). Inge stopped me dead in my tracks with her life threatening bjorkgonemadesque motions and her sirenhowl and changed my world. Well, Inge and Paul. Such a brilliant union.


  1. um yeah i dig inge too, i have to agree with u. i dont get why she is on the cover of the mag like that.

  2. What did the original cover look like?

  3. I applaud you for this piece of writing and your honest opinion.

  4. I think its cool, Inge has always had a body worth flaunting. Rock N Roll will never be as sacred as we all want it to be, we live in a small world and I think everybody should take an opportunity if its suits them best.....

  5. Yup you got me, my mouse moved as fast as if it had a cartoon Tom tearing at its ass and why not what fan does not yearn for a sly peek at their idols naked in some form or another?

    My insalubrious curiosity, not to mention my predisposition for anything sleazy, was alas not to be satiated, it was a not a Tom that I found when I clicked through , but I certainly found a cat (a bitch perhaps), a seething feline with her claws out and certainly intent in causing some pain, or least leaving a scar.

    Loved the anger, the attitude and most of all the audacity that someone in the midst of all this media PR fluff and flattery is willing to tell it like it is, or at least as she thinks it is. Is about time that someone gave their soapbox a little more bite. Though a soapbox can be, as the name may suggest, a very slippery surface and it is very easy to fall off.

    I disagree all entertainment related media is by nature a pimp, especially this form of media which is more marketing than media and which is after all free and distributed almost exclusively in shopping malls.

    So what if Inga chooses to use whatever vehicle or takes upon herself whatever role for whatever reason (maybe she is cheekily re positioning herself in some meta suburban referential way and she is involved in an ironic critique of the publication , or then again maybe she just thinks she looks hot in her granny’s red bathing costume) it’s her career and she not does not have to subscribe to any cause no matter how noble, these representations that you point out, no matter how valid are not necessarily hers.

    Hey at least she has got people talking and is that not that what publicity is all about? Is it not one of the prerogatives of every rock star to be able to change identity chameleon - like whenever the mood takes them?

    I personally think Inga looks far sexier on stage than preening by the pool and this shoot may very well be doing all female musos a disservice by not being the alternative, non conformist, counter culturist that you seem to think her position dictates, but it’s her call. I think her music and stage performance is all she needs to demonstrate what she stands for.

    And just as an aside I remember another band that you rated for their indie credentials and that you were vocally supportive of when the supreme bastions of the same consumerism you mention in your blog had been put on the bill for Coke Fest, also recently graced the cover of the same free rag.

    Though that all said loved the piece, I normally can’t be arsed to formulate a reply so thoroughly, so you definitely have something powerful in that prose that demanded a response, very impressive.

    But like Pierre says there nothing wrong with girls in swimsuits or as the B52’s say Boys in bikinis for that matter.


  6. A well written and entertaining rant.
    I would love to read the emotional outpouring that would result if your beloved Pretty Blue Guns got onto a My Week cover dressed only in speedo's holding ice cold cokes...Brrrr
    The Horror

    “They wouldn't be heroes if they were infallible, in fact they wouldn't be heroes if they weren't miserable wretched dogs, the pariahs of the earth, besides which the only reason to build up an idol is to tear it down again.”
    Lester Bangs

    At the end of the day who gives a feck?

    "If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite."
    William Blake

    She is an artist and I personally feel it would only be right to judge her work and not the person.
    Her art is her only representation?

  7. 'the gravity your gifts deserve...;
    nice imagery that.

  8. am here to see Inge naked not to read half-assed commentary on consumerism and media gluttony. and you used the same tactics to get me here, so give up the self righteous crap

  9. I have to admit I've seen better pictures than this in You magazine. But then again maybe she wants to get into soap operas as opposed to electronic opera. Who can say what her motivations are, but she sure is becoming the female Arno, that's for sure, voice pedals and publicity shots. I like your balls Jess, but really, if someone pulls this kind of shit, you really shouldn't lower yourself to their level.

  10. Oh come on. She's just trying to survive doing what she loves in this piece of shit music scene we've got going... Who pays your rent Jezebel, surely not the magazines with the most artistic integrity?

  11. fuck you, baby. the Cape Music Industry Commission pays my rent. and i write nothing for cosmo that i won't put my name to.

  12. Riddle me this riddle me that..
    "Inge, naked". Jezebel...that is a sleazy draw card. The joke's on you. You are selling out to sex. Not me. I am not naked. I am wearing a vintage bathing suit. Like you said. A granny's costume. I am flattered that I managed to work you up and possibly turn you on? I also love how you covered your tracks with coruscating compliments of my talent and ability as not to come across as a complete jezebel cow. If you want to diss me then atleast have the balls to mail this link to me so I can participate in the rant.I don't know who you are. That's maybe part of the problem? I hear you are a good writer as you say I am a good artist and as Hunter S Thompson was a male model during his formative writing years.If you want to disrespect me by cockroaching your way around on the blog playground slating me then I challenge you to a duel.To quote Legolas from Lord of the Rings: "Your head will fall before your sword is drawn." I'm gonna piss off now I have a pedicure at 12.

  13. Wow. How enjoyable, I couldn't care whether it was Inge or not, I had a good giggle.

  14. Oh i tried to remain silent but here is my two cents :

    "It is not the critic that counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again. Because there is no effort without error and shortcoming. But he who does actually strive to do the deed, who knows the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails while daring greatly, knows that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls, who know neither victory nor defeat"

    This goes to both artist and writer who dare to put themselves in the arena. I would like to propose a draw ?

  15. I think in this, as with the piece on aKing, Jezebel's views are aimed at the media... Problems is I think J might have a problem with people actually making it in SA.

    Don't fret, you're not the only blogger that thinks they own an artist.

    Poor poor display of getting attention I feel.

  16. Industries do not work in isolation. When i write, I’m talking variously to the media, and the public, and the musicians as well as to those who don't fit labels. Sometimes the myopia expressed in return makes me think I’m talking to myself. And while I’m not about to ask anyone to excuse me from having an opinion (what was that someone said about them being like assholes?), I have to point out the obvious - while no one seems to like criticism and everyone seems to welcome compliments; anyone committed to their craft or creativity appreciates perspective, whether or not they agree or understand (at first). Which is why i appreciate yours.

    Dig around a little and you might be surprised to find that my support (and criticisms) of musicians and their music goes beyond sonic synapse.

    Perhaps i should change my slogan to something like

    "mediocrity is not ok"

    just to clarify my cap.