Fuck Guilty Pleasures: Dannii Minogue Is The Superior Minogue
[Editor's Note: Fuck Guilty Pleasures celebrates the over-produced, commercial, artless, lowbrow music that we believe is genuinely worthwhile. Like, among the best music ever.]
It was the wee hours of the morning about ten years ago when I first saw Dannii Minogue, on Top of the Pops. Chains dangling from her baggy black pants, gold earrings grazing her shoulders, she performed her hit song "Put the Needle on It." I perked up.
I knew Dannii's name, but mostly just as the younger sister of Kylie Minogue. Despite breaking out first, she'd always been considered the less successful sibling -- not to mention, early on, the fatter, less attractive one. Nowadays it's more like botox jokes.
Don't get me wrong. Dannii is popular, but only really in her native Australia and the U.K. In the U.S. she barely registers. Her 2003 album Neon Nights had a minor dance hit here called "I Begin to Wonder," but, really, she was always considered too pop to be hip.
In my opinion, however, that's backwards -- she's actually too hip to be pop.
Around the time Neon Nights came out I was DJing at a very small club on Santa Monica Blvd., and began to play "I Begin to Wonder" in my sets. It was so damn catchy. Our clientele was diverse: Kids who looked like they could be in the Human League piled in, while random guys arrived fresh from the neighboring porn theater. While the music mainly veered toward the artsy -- underground classics from Throbbing Gristle and brand new singles from German producers -- Dannii somehow fit in just fine with this crowd that prided itself on its obscure taste.
Dannii's music became so ingrained in my sets that one of my friends made me a t-shirt with her image screenprinted in the Andy Warhol style. Despite the fact that her music was purely pop, she was such an unknown personality in Los Angeles that dancing to her didn't feel like a betrayal to the underground. This certainly wasn't Britney Spears.