Music, Pop Culture

Pop culture: Is the lyric video the new music video?

Lady Gaga’s lyric video for “Applause”

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Katy Perry and Lady Gaga both released singles this week ahead of schedule due to leaks (duh, welcome to the internet and 2008). Along with their single releases, they both have released lyric videos to go along with their singles. You know, to give the drooling pop obsessed masses (yo what up thats me 2) something to look at while the real video gets made, and so the artist/record label can make official money off the ads from youtube. Holla fo that dolla. But really, have we entered a new era of the music video?

TRL! my heart strings are a-pullin'. miss u 4ever.

TRL! my heart strings are a-pullin’. miss u 4ever.

The first music video to ever grace MTV was The Buggles “Video Killed the Radio Star.” LOL. 4shadowing FTW. MTV gave music videos a great place to live until they decided ain’t nobody got time fo that shit. They cut down the regularly scheduled music video programming to an hour and a half after school on Total Request Live, or belovedly, TRL. In case you were living on Mars, Russia or a home where your parents banned television (my condolences), TRL was awesome. It was a place where kids got to call in (USING LANDLINE PHONES!!!!!) to request their favorite music videos and hopefully get their Britney or NSYNC vid to the number 1 spot. It was such a big fucking deal. I actually miss it.

Since TRL’s cancellation in 2008 (R.I.P. 4ever and PLEASE bring this show back on the internet. seriously. SRSLY), the music video has had a pretty much exclusive internet platform, because let’s be real: MTV2 couldn’t even keep to its word that it would be the real music video channel, and VH1 LOL. Throw in internet file sharing and the money-losing scramble of the music industry over the past decade, our poor little Music Video has suffered quite a lot in quality, budget and creativity.

first lyric video However, out of a seemingly doomed medium of sonic visual expression came a little thing called the Lyric Video. It’s a modest, bastardly child of the once great Music Video. The first lyric videos started off with horrible fonts and and a gross blue screen. You’ve seen them. They’ve come a long way since Windows 2000 though. Now they’ve got pretty colors and exciting fonts. The joy!

a still of Ke$ha's lyric video for "Die Young"

a still of Ke$ha’s lyric video for “Die Young”

Somewhere along the line, a music exec/artist/manager not completely fucked up on blow realized how many views theses videos get, how CHEAP it is to make them, and how useful it would be to slap ads on an official lyric video and make some extra dollaz.

Good job, music industry. It only took you about 8 years to figure that shit out.

Anyways, it seems more and more with big time releases to put out a lyric video while the actual video gets made, if one even gets made. The lyric video has sort of become a toe in the water to see if a real music video would be a lucrative venture or a compete waste of time and money. But is this creating a greater creative divide between video formats for songs? If the lyric video is the cheap, low-key video version of the song, then will real music videos in turn become something more cinematic? Maybe. Hopefully. We’ll see.

Taylor Swift released both a lyric video and an official video for her single “We Are Never Getting Back Together.” Swift’s lyric video has over 27 million views, and the official video has nearly 175 million views. That’s over 200 million views combined. That’s a lot of fucking views.

T swift and her font-y lyric video

T swift and her font-y lyric video

Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber, Demi Lovato and Ke$ha have all released lyric videos this year for songs. If it hasn’t become a huge norm to release a lyric video, it’s going to be. Especially since both Katy Perry and Gaga released lyric videos quickly after their songs leaked. It’s a great way to make a little quick, extra money ahead of a budgeted music video, give the fans something official to watch and deliver a cheaply made but (hopefully) creative video to accompany a new single.

After all, throwing money at something like art doesn’t always make it good. Put restrictions in place, like money, time and scrolling lyrics, and see how creative artists can get within those boundaries. Who knows. We may have our next piece of musical cinematic brilliance in a 2 Chainz lyric video. Maybe not. All I know is, we are entering a new era of videos made for visually enjoying and interacting with modern music. Thank god a new creative platform has come to the music industry, cuz it’s about goddamn time.

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Celebrité, Fashion

I hate rich people: Miley Cyrus Edition

miley-cyrus-dolla-bills-fashion-lead

Image via hollywoodlife.com

Gotta love the mega rich. It’s so much fun watching them spend crazy amounts of money–and wear money outfits now!– during an economic recession. Way to go, Miley. BRAVO. YOU’RE SO EDGY AND RICH.

The national unemployment rate is currently 7.6%.

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Celebrité

Celebrité: Cory Monteith found dead reports @CTVBC

RIP Cory Monteith

RIP Cory Monteith

Reports are coming in that GLEE star Cory Monteith has been found dead in Vancouver. CTV BC is gearing up to report:

He had previously been in rehab later this year due to substance abuse (not sure which substance) and was dating GLEE costar Lea Michelle. SAD. SO YOUNG. And talented! If anything, may this inspire the many young GLEE fans to learn more about substance abuse.

Check out his last tweets yesterday about the national movie sensation “Sharknado”. Rest in Peace, CM.

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Celebrité

Celebrité: Amanda Bynes is getting annoying

Everyone knows Twitter is full of useless information: jokes about dying alone, endless/useless fights about politics and details about strangers’ day to day lives. But once in a while, some fairweathered tweet about a useless celebrity sets me on fire.

Amanda Bynes erratic behavior is becoming a bore

Image via People

Image via People

It’s sort of beating a dead horse at this point to say “Why do we CARE about these people?” Is it because our love lives are stale? Our cubicle is depressing? We don’t have enough interesting things going on it our lives? Probs a combination of the three and a BAJILLION others, but I digress.

My problem with this tweet, and most gossip columns tweeting about AB, is that her crazy weird behavior is something we care to know about. Wearing crazy wigs to court because she shaved her head to wear bad wigs? SHOW ME THE PIC. Mumbling to herself all over NYC? YOU GOT A SOUND CLIP? Throwing a vase/bong out of a high rise window? I LOVE GLASS CHIPS. Entering stores and locking herself in bathrooms to “apply makeup”? DAMN THAT GURL IS HIP. Sure, calling Drake ugly and everyone else ugly is kinda funny and entertaining. But seriously, what the hell is her game?

I will dissect this in three ways:

  • Amanda Bynes is having a mid life identity crisis. Not legit crazy, which would explain why she has never been held by a court for incompetence. It also explains why her friend Drake Bell (granted I don’t know anything about him besides he starred on her show “The Amanda Show” in the early 00′s) said in an interview with OK! magazine that “She’s a sweetheart. I had lunch with her yesterday, and she’s brilliant. She’s good, and she’s healthy.” Without actual mental issues, there’s little anyone can do just because she’s acting weird and rude.
  • She is uneducated and starved for attention. At least Joaquin Phoenix’s weird year was for art. Unless Amanda Bynes is writing a dissertation on the absurdity of post-modern media, or planning to compile a book of tweets that mirror modern life in the era of useless information, I’m gonna continue to think she’s acting out for attention.
  • She thinks acting erratically and getting media attention will bring her career back to life. She’s not wrong, which is even sadder commentary on modern American pop culture and how to be successful. Be a dick! Be crazy! People Love it!

No matter what, the Amanda Bynes news is getting old. Either she’s going to continue to spiral into even more erratic behavior for more and more media/twitter attention, resulting in who knows what, or the public is gonna get bored of her weak attempts at staying relevant. Only sweet time will tell whether our fave semi-crazy B is gonna take it too far or reign herself back in. Oy. Vey.

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Gross, Music

Gross: Demi Lovato sells cars now

Demi Lovato, Car Saleswoman

EW. WHAT? Excuse me? Demi, are the first lyrics to your new song “Made in the USA” (PUKE TITLE) Our love runs deep like a Chevy? And is your chorus really cuz our love was made in the USA? Jesus. Nice try on the “Party in the USA” rip off, but no. Just… no.

Image via broadwayworld.com

She’s so edgy. Image via broadwayworld.com

How much do you think Chevy paid to have Demi Lovato, singer, actress, judge on The X Factor, to put a line referencing Chevy’s slogan in her song pukingly titled “Made in the USA”? Probably a lot. Oh, did I mention yet that Chevy is also the official car sponsor of The X Factor where Miss Lovato just happens to be a judge? Interesting! Transparent. And disgusting.

It’s like the mainstream music industry isn’t even trying to creatively cross promote anymore. Sure, Britney Spears made a couple of songs for Pepsi (and this AMAZING commercial that is my favorite commercial of all time), but she NEVER had a line in one of her albums about how good Pepsi is. It’s one thing to endorse a company and their product, but it’s another to bring it into your art or music and still call it art. It’s not art honey, it’s an ad. You make ads now.

Mental illness marketing is IN

The other thing that pisses me off about Demi Lovato is that she used/currently uses her mental illness(es) as a marketing tool. Come one, come all, o dearly afflicted teens! GROSS.

On one hand, she IS bringing awareness about mental illness into the homes of middle America. On the other, it seems a bit exploitative and confusing to talk about mental illness so much, and then release songs like this empty crap that have nothing to do with anything besides bringing brand awareness to said afflicted teens. Sort of like, Hey guys! I’m bipolar and depressed too. It really sucks, but you should check out this new 2014 Chevy. They are cool now. Skip the therapist to go for a test drive, cuz this shit runs DEEP. 

She's totally upset about the growing wealth disparity, you guys. Image via depotpicture.com

She’s totally upset about the growing wealth disparity, you guys. Image via depotpicture.com

Demi Lovato is the epitome of an uneducated, blank industry pawn. It’s not like she’s the first one ever, but she’s definitely the most obvious this year. It hurts me to know that these young stars, Miley, Justin, Selena, T-Swift, don’t have college educations, because I think a lot of them would be woken up to just how shitty of an influence they are on the world. It pains me to think about what’s going through their heads when they think of the world, life, entertainment, capitalism, commercialism, sexuality etc. *Shivers*

All in all, Lovato’s career is kinda doomed. She’s not ever going to be taken seriously as an ‘artist’ because of shit like this. There’s not really any coming back from corporate shillings. Cuz honestly, what’s next? A song about using Veet on your vag because boys think pubic hair is icky? “I love to Veet my vagina/it makes all the boys say ‘Hey Demetria!’” Wait that’s pretty good, actually.

I pray for my country.

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Fashion, Hit Miss Mess

Hit Miss Mess: 2013 MTV Movie Awards

EW. Holy shit. The 2013 MTV Movie Awards were not a great compilation of fashion this year. Not to mention the fact that I know I’m getting older, but who the fuck are most of the people on the red carpet?! My guess would  be B-list “teen” celebs from MTV original shows (lol) and the CW.

Hit

Taylor Hanson

Legit, the only person I say who looked amazing head to toe. He’s so fucking handsome. And you can also tell he’s not a total piece of shit because he A) dresses himself and has great personal style or B) has enough brains to have a stylist. A+ Taylor!

Taylor Hanson

Miss

Macklemore

Okay. So, if Macklemore is going the pop artist route in mainstream society, then I owe him a congratulations. He wore something weird that will get the media talking. If I may deconstruct the outfit a bit, it feels as if the black tie and shirt underneath the blue suit is kind of grounding him, or serving as a reminder that he’s a “regular guy” with an eccentric shell. The cape is kinda fun, the hair has a style and shape, and he doesn’t look like a total hot mess. The shoes are horrid though.

I feel for men because there aren’t a lot of options or opportunities to be really creative with fashion without looking like a jag. He gets a B+ for effort.

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Mess

Hayley Williams

She is definitely a cute bitch. Her hair looks fun and she’s got a pretty smile. But overalls are not okay. EVER. And oh lord, that bag. Is it underwear? Is she carrying lipgloss inside of theoretical old butt stains around on a red carpet? Honey, no.

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Honorable Mess

Hana Mae Lee

What the fuck is that? OH! It’s a cigarette butt. Cuz people should PAY ATTENTION TO ME!!!!!!!!!! stop smoking? Woulda been a cute look otherwise, but then nobody would be talking about it or her. Clever publicist, but stupid, stupid outfit.

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Celebrité, Fashion, Music

Celebrité: Is Britney channeling ‘Blackout Britney’ with her new look?

Image via dailymail.co.uk

Image via dailymail.co.uk

Like any good Britney fan, I was worried when I read this morning that she had dyed her hair brown. If anyone remembers 2006/2007 correctly, you’ll know that brit brit dyed her hair dark brown circa the recording of “Blackout” (best B album ever) and set off her very public mental breakdown surrounded by episodes of umbrella bashing, a shaved head, and a couple of trips to rehab. It still almost brings a tear to my eye.

To my great relief, this time around it doesn’t seem like B has dyed her hair brown as any kind of mental health statement. It’s a good color for her skin tone, her dress is really great actually, and there appears to be life in her eyes. This is awesome. Yay Britney!

She is also busy-ish working on what she calls “Blackout 2.0″. Maybe she’s channeling her past insanity/genius to make the best Britney album EVER. Here’s hoping!

Britney Spears’ “Gimme More”

May the lord bless her precious little heart. And her dancing!!!!

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