Either there’s a kernel of truth to that steaming pile of malarkey Dita Von Teese told Perez Hilton last week about not crawling down into the unforgiving trenches of pop, or the burlesque queen is presently holed up in a fancy bunker with Studio Magic, a vocoder, and some smart European producers (an even split of Mark Ronson and Calvin Harris, perhaps?), top-secretly forging a flawless debut — all on Interscope’s dime. And if the latter’s the case, Dita would benefit from a few well-placed cover songs on her debut to establish her footing. There’s never been any shame in siphoning off the legacy of an iconic pop song to further your own career. Why, Lindsay Lohan channeled Cheap Trick — and that was well after she had already secured her place in America’s cultural consciousness. Ideal picks for the glamor goddess’ consideration follow.
“All That Jazz” – Nothing quite belts “Cabaret!” like a smarmy showtune. And this song — Broadway’s most tattered, threadbare garter — has been passed around to everyone from Catherine Zeta-Jones to Beyonce. Although Dita can leave her mark not by shouting her way through the lyrics like way too many before her, but by using her best weapon: moxy.
“The Dope Show” – Everyone loves a smart skewing of showbiz. Combine that with a knowing nod to a former ex and the potential to turn a staple of post-punk angst on its ear, and Dita’s pop chops should all but mint her as a Mensan musician. Or barring that, at least guarantee her an easy top ten hit.
“Be My Baby” – But I suppose if Interscope is worrying about Dita coming off too strident (you know how crotchety label execs can be — they’re still fretting about a certain icon’s nipple slip at some sporting event eons ago), a Ronettes’reworking may be in order. If only to make her more personable.
“Material Girl” – Owing to the fact that both Dita and Madonna are a couple of the forerunners of the sexual revolution (or at least, once used to be) and that both bow from the same Michigan suburb, there’s heartwarming kitsch value in Dita paying tribute to Madge.
“Diamond’s Are a Girl’s Best Friend” – Or she can think bigger, joining the ranks of not only Madonna, but also Eartha Kitt, Marilyn Monroe, Nicole Kidman, and Kylie Minogue. The underlying principle’s still the same.
“I Want You to Want Me” – Because Lindsay did.
“Coin-Operated Boy” – Ultimately though, hers is a legacy about empowerment and perhaps the odd role-reversal. And in that, there’s a kindred spirit of Amanda Palmer’s in Dita Von Teese, prowling for a programmable boyfriend.