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

Lady Gaga’s lyric video for “Applause”


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.

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.

Fashion icon: Justin Bieber’s leather shirt


I love this outfit. That leather shirt is rad, gold chains are always fun and the hat adds a little team spirit. You can take away someone’s self love by booing them in extremely public places, but you can’t take away their style! Way to go, Biebs. Werk that leather shirt n gold chains. And be good plz.

On the fence: Justin Bieber

Whoa. Image via fanpop.com
Whoa. Image via fanpop.com

Justin Bieber.

Yes, growing up in the spotlight is difficult. He was supposed to be the modern-day Canadian equivalent to the humble, funny and talented Justin Timberlake. However, in recent months, Bieber has shown us just how fussy and annying a super-famous-mega-star baby of 18 years old can really be. Let’s examine what’s going on in the Bieberverse. (Is that a thing? I hate myself for writing that)

The Evidence

He accepted an award for Favorite Pop/Male Artist at the 2012 American Music Awards and dedicated it to”all the haters” which is SO LAME. Come on dude. No. -2

His music is fun. Don’t lie to yourself! Beauty and a Beat is a hella jam (Max Martin produced, so obvi!) Plus, he directed the video which is a really fun and well directed video. +5

ugh, teens. Image via idolator.com
ugh, teens. Image via idolator.com

He met the Canadian Prime Minister in an outfit best described as farm-douche chic. It’s not like their should be some fascist regime when it comes to style and meeting any head of state. It’s just super annoying. Eye roll! -2

He got mad at James Franco (who gets mad at James Franco? WTF?) for making a parody video of his song “Boyfriend”. The parody vid wasn’t even rude or anything, it was hilarious. Not having a sense of humor about your boy-toy status in the pop music industry? Self-awareness goes a long in H-wood Biebs. Get some. -3

Usher likes him. That’s cool, I guess? 0

Selena Gomez and Taylor Swift probably talk SO much shit about him. It would be scary to have those two against you, especially T-Swift. +2

His back story is amazing. I never finished his documentary, but watching him drum as a little kid proves that he was born with a natural talent for music. And his mom got it on tape! +5

His instagram is ridiculous. Body shots, selfies and now buttcrack. He’s like your friend’s gross little brother who farts in his hand and then throws it at you. Why are you showing your fanbase, KIDS AND TEENS AND QUESTIONABLE ADULTS, your buttcrack? Mooning is so 1983. Over! -1

He took his Grammy snubs alright, saying that “It’ll happen one day”. His manager was pissed though, saying on Twitter that “I just plain DISAGREE. The kid deserved it. Grammy board u blew it on this one.” Just be happy you have a job, you jags!!! -1

The Score


This is all I know about Justin Bieber. I think his music is fun, but his personality could use some growing up. Granted, he is still a teen and there is much needed time and room to grow. If we all had cameras following us and listening to our stupid teen opinions, we’d look like shitheads too. But come on! someone get him a decent PR adviser! It’s BEYOND time for that.

Image via daydreamstars.blogspot.com
Image via daydreamstars.blogspot.com

James Franco is the best ever: makes a Justin Bieber video


What the fuck! This is awesome. I wanna hang out with this guy and just MAKE stuff. It wouldn’t even matter if it was just paper cutouts of snowflakes that we pasted Ashley Olsen/Michelle Tanner’s face on and called them “Snow Rudes” or something. Oh wait that’s the middle sister Stephanie’s line, right? Who cares.

Celebrité: So Lady Gaga has a perfume now

Image via Facebook

Lady Gaga’s got a p-p-perfume

With the 24 hour news cycle and not really giving a shit, I totally forgot that Lady Gaga was making a perfume. I’m not sure she ever confirmed it or even commented on the rumor going around that it was going to smell like semen and blood. What a weird rumor to start. Seriously. Who the fuck thinks about spraying blood and semen on themselves, and then pushes the idea on a tad bit left of center pop star’s perfume idea? I bet it was someone in Hollywood who is balding and hates their life, and probably has an egg mcmuffin twice a week. Pathetic.

Image via crushable.com

From first look, I’m not totally appalled at the packaging. The box looks nice in its black and gold coloring. The lid for some reason makes me think of Lady Gaga’s hair and how nutty and over the top it can be. Like a fancier version of the hair bow she used to wear back in her heydey as a rising star. I can almost see a pair of sunglasses peeking out from under the gold top. The black liquid looks pretty cool, except why the fuck is it black? Is that shit gonna stain? Probably not, that would be a pretty awful design flaw.

I will say this: I hope it doesn’t smell like vanilla like every other god damn celebrity perfume. Justin Bieber, Beyonce, J.Lo, Britney, Paris, Selena Gomez, Katy Perry and every one else. Vanilla. I guess if Gaga’s smelled like semen and blood it would at least be thinking outside of the box. Kim Kardashian has one, right? Does it smell like a business pyramid scheme and self-absorbed pee fetishes? I wish. Then I would TOTALLY buy it. Ke$ha’s will probably smell like that too, but with a little more essence of beard and whiskey-sweat tour bus balls.

Also, I guess you ain’t shit unless you have a perfume. Noted.

Image via Facebook

One Direction has the dolls, now where are the DANCE MOVES?

The blonde one always looks like he's about to have a panic attack or cry, even as a doll. Hilarious. Also, dolls are weird. Image via Vivid Imaginations

Boy bands are officially back, per the 20poorandfabulous request. I see the dolls that are very NSYNC circa No Strings Attachedbut all that is missing is the choreographed routines. Come on, One Direction. Don’t you wanna be cool as fuck? Doesn’t one of you want to be the Justin Timberlake? Because you’re all kind of being huge Kevins right now, and it’s a total bore. Even Justin Bieber knows he has to dance to really get the teens/ladies/old moms and gay men hot and heavy. Plus, choreography distracts from your weird lyrics and the future reality that at least four of you will end up like O-Town unless you get them moves-a-bustin’. This is not a boyband drill.

Does Justin Bieber’s new song make him the new Justin Timberlake?

Image via justinbiebermusic.com

Remember waaaaay back when, when Justin Timberlake shed his pop music wings that carried him to the top of the world? His performance of Like I Love You was one of the most anticipated tween girl moments of my lifetime. Everyone was nervously thinking he couldn’t do it alone, or that his new song wasn’t poppy enough. But lo and behold, he danced into our hearts before he descended from the giant stereo set.

This video was TEN FUCKING YEARS AGO. Cripes. But still awesome. The dancing and singing is fab, and he ends the performance with a dance solo and the disappears into a life-sized tape deck. Pure brilliance.

Fast forward to now, with Justin Bieber’s latest release. It’s not like this song is anything super innovative, but at least it doesn’t sound like the eurotrash trend that hit America radio like 3 decades too late. It’s a little more R&B than we’re used to with the Biebs, but he makes it sound good and his voice is fucking spot on.

Way to go Biebs. Be our new JT, because it’s getting to be obvious that he’ll never return to us. A true sign of the impending apocalypse, I’m almost sure of it.

PS: SO many girls (and some diluted middle-aged, Twilight fan-type women) are gonna be creeping out to pictures of JB while listening to this song and probably plotting Selena Gomez’ death. Fuck off, they’re the new Brit and JT. Leave pop royalty alone, dicks. It’s not like child stars (even if they’re LOADED) don’t have enough problems on their hands without death threats and stalkers.

Check out Biebs’ new direction

Guest blog: DM at the movies, homosexual dark knight

Guest blog courtesy of Dick Montgomery

So I was super excited to be at The Hunger Games midnight showing. The place was crowded with tweens, although none of them were dressed up. The energy at midnight showings is always awesome, because you know you’re surrounded by fellow fans. I went alone, and sat behind a block of 5 baby-faced teens. They were texting, and talking in sentence fragments as they discussed their senior skip day plans for the next day. Thankfully the previews came on and quieted the inane streams of drivel pouring out of their mouths.

Katniss shoots homophobes with her bow and arrow skills. Image via usatoday.com

It was after the twilight preview that the justin-bieber clone directly in front me made a VERY stupid decision. As a demonstration of his recently discovered testicles, he decided to shout “Twilight is fucking gay!” His now mortified lady friends promptly told him to shut up, because “Twilight is amazing.” to which he responded, “Maybe if you’re a fag.” As a fag who does not particularly enjoy Twilight nor homophobia, I was rather put out. It’s always kind of shocking when you encounter such brazen bigotry in public, and by the time I had really processed what had happened, the movie had started and I wasn’t going to miss any of this movie on account of this douche nozzle. The movie was great, and the bieber-clone didn’t feel the need to posture his pallid impersonation of masculinity any further.

By the time the end credits started rolling, I realized that I needed to educate this asshole before he assaulted civility and human decency again. We were all dumb high schoolers once, and it’s a great time to be chewed out for being an idiot. I decided to use a gruff approach, probably because I had just watched 22 children murder each other. Before I really had a solid set of talking points, I reached forward and grabbed him by the scruff of the neck. I pulled his face over to mine and turned him so I could make eye contact. As I stared him down, I delivered the following warning in a voice not unlike Christian Bale’s Batman.

Lisa and Erin are bitchy. Image via unrealitymag.com

Bro, You should probably be a lot more cautious about using homophobic language in public. You never know when there’s a fag sitting right behind you who’s FUCKING SICK of hearing your ignorant bullshit.”

It was obvious by the look in his eyes that at this point he was convinced I was about to do awful things to him. I pushed him away and swaggered off as he stammered half-formed words of apology.

It’s important to note that it is actually I who was scared shitless; I had no idea I had that in me. As I walked into the parking lot I shakily lit a cig and absorbed what just happened. After the initial shock at what a fucking badass I was, I cranked the radio in my car (which happened to be playing “Sexy and I Know It”) and drove away feeling ten feet tall.

Celebrité: Selena Gomez goes to the Congo

Selena Gomez in Valparaíso, Chile. Photo via unicef.org
Selena Gomez in Valparaíso, Chile. Photo via unicef.org

Can we get a Disney special out of this please?!

Selena Gomez will be going to the Democratic Republic of Congo as UNICEF ambassador sometime in April. Her previous work as a UNICEF ambassador sent her to Ghana and Valparaíso, Chile to promote early childhood development and awareness. Yay for her!

I really wanna see Selena Gomez make volunteering and social awareness something cool to do with the crazy kids and tweens of the day. Wouldn’t that be amazing? Her, maybe Justin Beiber, and a concert/documentary event on the Congo. Show that to a bunch of annoying teens who thought they were going to scream their lungs out to “Baby” instead being mortified at how not-first world some people live. Maybe they (and some young adults) would stop being upset about not having $500 iPads.

You know, Twilight was based on a true story in... Africa... Photo via wisc.edu
Tweens and some hopefully embarrassed adults at the Twilight premiere. Photo via wisc.edu

Kudos to Selena for doing something positive with her celebrité!! Now if she can only get an MTV or Disney TV specials to inspire her legions of followers to do good. There’s GOTTA be a way to market volunteering and humanitarian awareness to screaming, hormone-crazed teens. Wouldn’t it be great if kids and teens were throwing tantrums over their parents not donating enough to poverty and famine in Africa?! Probably in a billion years. But Never Say Never.