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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2016 7:54 pm 
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Ms Morissette's very much a mainstream artist who occasionally edges into more interesting territory, though, isn't she? It doesn't surprise me that she's had much more success generally, in Brazil as much as anywhere else. I did like her performance in Dogma where she was completely mute, that was amusing. Dickie's right, Ms Hersh is a better comparison with P.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2016 9:20 pm 
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AineteEkaterini wrote:
Ms Morissette's very much a mainstream artist who occasionally edges into more interesting territory, though, isn't she? It doesn't surprise me that she's had much more success generally, in Brazil as much as anywhere else.


I wouldn't say Alanis is mainstream now, she WAS in the 90s, but not now. Usually you don't listen to her stuff in radios today, unless it's an alternative or rock radio. Have you ever listened to any of her records post-SFIJ? Anything she released after that record was poppy, lighter and more radio-friendly, I'd say. However, the lyrics remained the same: relationships, brokenness and infatuation all around. Meh. Polly kinda went that route with Stories. Not quite there, but poppy? Sure.

AineteEkaterini wrote:
I did like her performance in Dogma where she was completely mute, that was amusing. Dickie's right, Ms Hersh is a better comparison with P.


PJ is 100000000000x better than Alanis, but LBSH, Jagged Little Pill was a 10/10 classic record. It sold over 30 million worldwide for a reason. I don't understand the beef that some PJ fans have with Alanis. I mean, it's ok to dislike her music, her voice or whatever, but Britney Spears is the one who can't sing, doesn't write her songs and lip syncs. People should be hating ''artists'' like these instead.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2016 10:27 pm 
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I used to really love Alanis when I was about 15 I think, I was particularly fond of the SFIJ record, but in time I just grew out of it. I don't really listen to her at all anymore, though I guess I could still enjoy some songs if it came to that. But all the talk about spiritual enlightenment and whatnot I find very glib. Not my cup of tea at all. I would say she mainly does tread the same ground, which is certainly not to say she's bad: most artists do. This is something of a "problem" I have had with some other artists after having acquainted myself with Polly's work: they seem to always do the same thing, only slightly different.

As for Britney and co. whereas I don't give a fig for them, I can't see why should anyone hate them either, art and entertainment are two quite separate things and should be regarded as such.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2016 6:19 am 
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blackngreen19 wrote:
DrDark wrote:
Okay, I'll bite.

3. Polly seems to have never much enjoyed interviews or even touring for that matter. 'Meet and greets' are out of the question.


She's had a number of meet and greets this year (i.e. the book signings). I met her at one of these and she didn't seem distant or aloof or anything but she's just very very sweet and gentle.


I believe that these book signings had the unusual restriction of any comment or question addressed to Polly needed to be only about the book and the poetry. Since she's still primarily thought of as a musician, It seems these don't really qualify as 'normal' meet-and-greets in my opinion. The original question was "why isn't she popular" and I was trying to enumerate some reasons for this based on what her history has been for the last decade or more (at least in my opinion). Don't get me wrong, she's a genius and a visionary in my book. No other performer and/or music has ever had as much impact on me as hers. In my experience, if you ask people who are very mainstream in their tastes to try to listen to her, you'll get reactions like "that sounds like white noise" or "holy crap, turn that off!". I gave that up long ago. She's somewhat like Captain Beefheart (one of her idols BTW) in that her music (at least her earlier music) for many can be characterized as "room clearing music" :laugh:. Like Don, she has chosen to be an enigma to her fans and that's fine, but I'm trying to address the original question.

blackngreen19 wrote:
With the Instagram account and these book signings they're definitely trying to change that part of her image. Her Instagram may not be very active at times, but the pictures you get are almost always backstage pics, whereas most bands just post pics from their shows...


You're right. The Instagram stuff is totally new. Prior to that there has been absolutely nothing. In fact the web site prior to the current one was almost hilariously out of date. When the forum on it was hijacked, it was us gardeners who had to inform her management of the problem (they turned it off). Check out Patti Smith's or Lucinda William's web sites for examples of online content that is more personal. Yes, I know Polly doesn't "owe" us anything and we should be happy with whatever she chooses to give us, but again I'm just trying to get back to the original question.

For the record, I don't care if she's popular or not. She's a unique artist, basically without peer. Hopefully she'll continue to perform her music live and not go full time into poetry, film scoring etc (similar to how Beefheart gave up music for painting). One thing that's clear is she's gonna do exactly what she wants to do.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2016 11:14 am 
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I don't really think she's chosen to be an enigma or a mystery or anything as grand as that, and I always fail to see why she is thought of as such, but then again I fail to see why Kate Bush is thought of as "reclusive". I think their relationships with their respective audiences are quite healthy actually. There's a documentary on Tori Amos where her fans talk about her. Now I love Tori, but I find some of her fans scary.


Last edited by Mr. Badmouth on Sun Sep 25, 2016 10:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2016 1:45 pm 
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DrDark wrote:

I believe that these book signings had the unusual restriction of any comment or question addressed to Polly needed to be only about the book and the poetry. Since she's still primarily thought of as a musician, It seems these don't really qualify as 'normal' meet-and-greets in my opinion.


The book signings being about the book only is just an invention of her publisher, I think. They just want to sell as many books as possible, obviously, and if word spreads that she'll sign anything they won't sell that many poetry books anymore, since poetry is just not that popular. In reality, things weren't that strict. She refused to sign LPs and CDs at first, saying that the night was all about the book, but in the end she caved in and did sign other stuff as well (for those who were still there, that is, but there were quite a lot). And she did answer my questions about touring, quite elaborately to my surprise. That's the only time I met her, and others may have other experiences, but I do know quite a few fans, and I've never heard a story of her being rude, no stories that I should take seriously anyway. I mean, you can hardly expect her to look everyone she passes by in her life into the eyes asking them how they're doing, can you.

If I look at my circle of friends and acquintances, I do know a lot of people who like her music. They may not be huge fans (although some are, I do know of 2 Polly's named after her), but they appreciate her music very much. But maybe it depends on where you're from, or how old you are...

So I don't feel like she should be more popular. And I kind of like the fact that she's not hugely popular like, let's say Eddie Vedder or someone like him. Have you ever seen the lines of people at the hotels on their tours? I really really don't wish that to anyone. I think she sells enough and gets enough recognition to do the things she wants to do and I'm sure she's happy with that. And I'm happy with that too, thank God it's still possible to watch a concert from the first row without having to camp overnight.

I guess you do need a liking for darness and arty stuff to like her music, and maybe the times are such that most people just need lightheartedness to balance national and international politics and economics. Just give them bread and games and they'll forget about the bad stuff happening. But as I said, I don't see that in my circle of friends, fortunately.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2016 1:56 pm 
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DrDark wrote:

You're right. The Instagram stuff is totally new. Prior to that there has been absolutely nothing. In fact the web site prior to the current one was almost hilariously out of date. When the forum on it was hijacked, it was us gardeners who had to inform her management of the problem (they turned it off). .


When did she get her new management? Maybe this stuff has got something to do with it...


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2016 6:45 pm 
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blackngreen19 wrote:
When did she get her new management? Maybe this stuff has got something to do with it...


Sometime in mid-2013 according to this article:
http://www.irishtimes.com/blogs/ontherecord/2013/11/27/just-what-is-going-on-at-u2-inc/

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2016 11:06 pm 
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Here in Canada, she seems to be relatively unknown except among fellow music nerds. That being said, I've been able to introduce her music to many of my friends over the years - despite being dark and sometimes uncomfortable, her songwriting is generally pretty catchy and has a strong personality that appeals to a lot of people.

I spent a year in England back in 2012/13 and it was a thrill to talk to people who already knew about her music and to occasionally hear her music on the radio or during a DJ set.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2016 8:55 pm 
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Billy wrote:
I don't understand the beef that some PJ fans have with Alanis …


Don't worry, I’m only teasing. It’s not a competition!

Mr. Badmouth wrote:
I think their relationships with their respective audiences are quite healthy actually


blackngreen19 wrote:
Have you ever seen the lines of people at the hotels on their tours? I really really don't wish that to anyone. I think she sells enough and gets enough recognition to do the things she wants to do and I'm sure she's happy with that.


Absolutely right, both. My guess is that Polly started out thinking that kind of adulation was what she wanted (insisting the band move to London, etc.), and of course got badly burned and resolved not to get sucked in again. Most of us, in various more or less subtle ways, are after validation from the people around us: she gets hers, very sensibly, from her friends and family and nobody else. It takes great strength of character to do that (I don’t think I always manage it) and I very much admire it. She clearly (as Dr Dark says) doesn’t ‘play the game’ in the way that might facilitate the kind of popularity other artists have, but which has a somewhat pathological mindset at its heart. That doesn’t stop her being unfailingly polite to anyone who does actually come her way, which is another sign of security in one’s own identity.

What does surprise me is that most of my alternative-mode friends aren’t that bothered about her, either. There’s my god-daughter’s mother who’s a (long-since) ex-Goth and who now sings either folk or classical in various outlets in Midlothian, and a Goth girl who says Polly makes her cry more than anyone else can. And that's about it. Another friend found herself standing beside P at a concert and mildly observed to herself, 'That's PJ Harvey, that is' before going back to dreaming about Kylie Minogue.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 5:16 pm 
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Because she probably doesn't want to be.....in that I mean she doesn't sell herself or allows herself to be sold like other "popular artists". Some artist once they taste money start to crave it and it poisons them.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:43 pm 
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^ There's an Alanis message board I frequent and Brasil's love for Alanis is one of the oldest inside jokes there :green:

I'm from Slovenia and I know a fair amount of PJ fans, but that's because I live in a student bubble. 95% of people have probably never heard of her. If I had to say why it's probably because her music is too dark for most people.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2018 7:47 pm 
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PJ Harvey is in a total different position in her life when it comes to her career choices. She wants to be an artist, not a old jukebox.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 8:37 pm 
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She doesn't owe us anything. I believe that we should all be grateful that PJ Harvey had given us her wonderful talent. That's really all it should be.


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