By: Chris Dagonas
An e-mail from an unscrupulous talent agent to Brittany Howard, lead singer of Alabama Shakes.
Brittany, Brit, B-How – I caught your show at Echo Beach in Toronto the other night. One word – WOW! Dynamite. Boom! You know what I’m saying? Those lungs, those pipes, those glasses… the whole package. The way you belted out “Be Mine” and “Hold On”, just awesome.
You got that special something, girl. This is rare, and I almost never say this to young female singers, I swear. But you’ve got it.
I want to be in the Brittany Howard business. I mean, with your talent, and my managerial skills, we can take over the globe. I’m thinking Britney Spears (you know how stable her career has been, right?) mixed with Amy Winehouse (show business had nothing to do with her tragic death, I swear) mixed with
Janice Janis Joplin (I’m not really into old music, but I hear she was pretty good). Lovin’ the new stuff, too. I couldn’t believe your voice was just as strong live as it was on the album.
I gotta say, though, B-How, you’ve got the total package, but those dudes in the band. Beard, and Skinny, and Drummer. Those guys are plain. Vanilla. Milquetoast. I mean, I hardly even noticed them. Half the time, I thought they were roadies, and then the other half I thought they were subwoofers. I didn’t realize they were even in the band until they waved at the crowd when you were leaving, and I was all like “Why are those subwoofers waving at us?” I think that guy on the bridge wasn’t really selling aspirins like he said he was.
Anyway, B-Hizzle, the music industry needs your voice, but what it doesn’t need is another generic southern blues-rock band. And without you, those three guys – Facehair, Svelte, and Percussion – are exactly that. Generic.
So ditch those country bumpkins – uh, no offense – and move on out to L.A. and sign with me and I’ll make sure you really hit the big time. Videos on MTV, stadium tours all over the world, your songs in TV ads for cars and soft drinks and Apple Computers. Pretty good for a girl from – where is it, again? – Athens, Alabama. What a town.
I know this offer sounds too good to be true, but we will of course need a few things from you. First off, those glasses, they’re hipster and all, but they’ve got to go. ‘Guys don’t make passes at girls that wear glasses’, right? We need you to be not only a rockin’ voice, but a pretty face too. Would Christina Aguilera have sold so many albums back in the 90s if she looked like a female softball player? I think not! We can get you some contact lenses, maybe switch those eyes to a nice turquoise green. That look is totally in right now.
Next, we need to know how connected are you with this whole “Blues” thing. I know, it’s a classic genre and all, but haven’t the Black Keys and The Sheepdogs and Jack White done this thing to death recently? People don’t want sad music. People want party music. People want music that makes you dance and forget your problems, not sit still and think about them. Your boyfriend is cheating on you? Dance! You lost your job? Dance! You’re too poor to pay the rent? Dancing is free! This used to be a big secret in our circles, but then we realized that we didn’t have to disguise our motives. Shit, we even stopped trying to hide it when Lady Gaga dropped “Just Dance” a few years ago, and everyone loved it! Of course, Gaga’s got a killer body.
That brings me to the awkward part, B-Ho. I know that big voice requires a – um – a bigger body. I get it. Aretha, Adele and all that. But Aretha wasn’t a star of the 2010s. And Adele isn’t exactly making guys flip for her good looks, am I right? This is the era of Instragram and tabloid websites. Imagine the publicity: ‘Brittany Howard loses 50 pounds’. ‘Who’s got the hot new beach bod? It’s Alabama Shakes – excuse me – former Alabama Shakes lead singer, current solo artist, Brittany Howard, Young Howa, Breezus, and you should all buy her new album.’
I know I’ve made a pretty compelling argument already, but in case you’re wondering what I’ve done for other singers, take a look at my managerial history; Lindsay Lohan, Demi Lovato, I’ll even help produce Amanda Bynes’ album. Yeah, that album. All young starlets, just like you, that simply needed a little bit of guidance through the treacherous maze that is the music industry. They’ve all turned out exceptionally stable and down to earth while expanding their musical abilities and not at all alienating their fans, without the slightest forays into drug or alcohol abuse or reckless living. There are a lot of snakes in the grass out here, probably much like your hometown, except in the metaphorical sense. But stick with me kid, you’ll be a shining star in no time.
A.D. Bagg, American Talent Agency Corporation.
An e-mail from Brittany Howard, lead singer of Alabama Shakes, to an unscrupulous talent agent.
Go fuck yourself.