Tuesday, January 6, 2009

No Doubt's 'Just a Girl' Live in Nashville

Posted By on Tue, Jan 6, 2009 at 6:06 AM

There's not a whole heck of a lot going on tonight, so instead, let's talk about the future by way of the past. Now, there is talk of a new music commission here in Nashville, and whatever a music commission does, I think their first order of business should be bringing back Dancin' in the District. Or at least something of the sort, a big free music event, for the people. (Maybe don't call it "Dancin' in the District," though, since that sort of conjures up Lionel Richie, or at least baggy turquoise sweaters.) Now, this video is actually going to seem like an argument against that sort of thing, since it features Nashville as the pan in which No Doubt is flashing with their brief, newfound (at the time) fame. That band was never very interesting to me, but there was no denying Gwen Stefani's charisma. At least that's what I thought until I saw this tape of the band's local performance, circa 1996 or so. Stefani, in addition to thinking that watching her do push-ups is entertaining, seems to have no idea how to work a crowd other than to ask rhetorical questions and lead awkward chants of "I'm just a girl." (Adding the usual name-of-the-town-I'm-in shout-out for maximum pandering effect.) During the most anti-climactic speaker-climbing stunt ever, all she can come up with is, Look at me, I climbed up here. Let me ask you a question. I'm going to ask you again. And again. OK, I'm going to climb back down now. And to think, this woman has gone on to riches prancing around with an entourage of mute Japanese girls and is more famous today than Gavin Rossdale, who at least plays guitar. Actually, I don't care that he plays guitar. Anyway. Big free public shows in the middle of the street. Bring 'em back.

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