Ting Tings — “That’s Not My Name”

Released: 1.27.09

Peak: #39

Jules de Martino and Katie White are, like Santi White, small-time industry survivors (TKO opened for Atomic Kitten! Dear Eskiimo signed to Mercury!) who finally figured out how to cash in just as the biz collapsed around them. And as with Santogold, you’re likely to have first heard a Ting Tings song in a commercial or a trailer. But where Santogold’s glossy surfaces glint like a grinding axe blade, the Ting Tings polish funhouse mirrors to reflect their trivial pop surroundings from absurd angles.

On “That’s Not My Name,” Katie White vents the unspoken frustrations of the world’s forgotten girl, finding a golden mean between Toni Basil and Kathleen Hanna that’s less coherent or authoritative or principled than either. White runs through a roll call of mistaken names: Stacy, Jane, Mary, Jo, Lisa, “darling” and “bird,” even “hell,” whatever that means. She isn’t ducking catcalls on the street; she’s stomping around her bedroom after school to a spunky, rewired Devo beat, wondering why teachers and boys and everybody else call her quiet when she’s a riot. Indelible and disposable,”That’s Not My Name” is the premier example of the Ting Tings’ annoying, prefab technique.

At least I think it is. “Great DJ” (“Tha drums/ Tha drums/ Tha drums”) may be more deliriously annoying; “Shut Up and Let Me Go,” its simulated postpunk even more dishonest that its boasted “I ain’t faking this,” may be more cheekily prefab. On a different day, I might prefer either to “That’s Not My Name.” And that’s how pop should be sometimes. Not all the time, though. It should never be just one way all the time.

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  • productivityzero  On September 27, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    Versatile hucksters, they: I first heard the Ting Tings not in a commercial or a movie trailer but covering Altered Images’ “Happy Birthday” on the toddler show “Yo Gabba Gabba.” So you could say this was the first band my daughter introduced me to…?

  • Parker Baty  On January 10, 2012 at 2:09 am

    Im obliged for the blog article.Really looking forward to read more. Fantastic.

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