I know, you just came here to berate me for this headline – but hear me out.
As we all know, the world can currently not
escape get enough of Taylor Swift. Her tour, her BFFLS, her feuds, her music, her music videos, her controversies, her haters, her lovers – it’s seemingly all Taylor all the Time.
And with this – dare I say – over saturation, has come the inevitable backlash. Our once loveable girl from PA whose family moved to Nashville to write her feelings into anthems has turned into a finely tuned pop-music machine. And you know what? Good for her. She’s a savvy business woman who has wisely navigated the obstacles of pop-music to take her career to new heights. But let’s get one thing straight – she is no longer the underdog. Not by a long shot.
Enter: Justin Bieber. Bieber – who once stood proud atop a mountain of screaming tween fans. Who was birthed by said fans on YouTube; a case study for what it means to be a pop-star in the internet age. And who, quickly after hitting puberty, saw his public image crumble. He became the butt of every joke, a troubled youth who couldn’t make a right decision to save his life – with some even calling for his deportation.
But now we are entering a new phase of Bieber-dom. Bieber as underdog – filling the void that was once occupied by Taylor. He is creating entertaining, catchy music (I won’t hear arguments on that one, you may not like pop music, and that’s fine, but What Do You Mean is a good solid pop tune). He is opening up to his fans in a way that feels genuine (see: crying on stage at the VMAs), he’s returning to his roots by reminding us that he has been crushing drum sets since he was a tiny toddler. He’s even singing live. And…it seems to be working.
I feel the tide turning on Bieber. As a long-time fan – yes I wear that badge proudly – I’m starting to see the haters cautiously change their tune. This poor kid who didn’t know what to do with his insta-fame, is starting to figure it out. He’s learned that his flaws can be his biggest stepping-stones to greatness, in a way Taylor did in the early days, i.e., when she wrote about being told she couldn’t sing in “Mean.” And unlike Swift who is sitting pretty for the first time atop the pop-music throne, Justin has been there before. He knows what it means to be on top, and so I don’t think he’ll chase it as narrowly, or as methodically, as Taylor has been these past few years. And I think that will only mean longer endured success.
So I ask you – is Justin Bieber the next Taylor Swift? Has pop music found its new underdog? Only time will tell, but this “Baby” loving twenty-something is betting big on the Biebs.
We all know that Reddit is a place where you can find just about anything. Makeup tips, photos of Gene Wilder, spoilers and in-depth analysis for pretty much any show that has ever been on television, the list goes on and on.
But what you might not know is that amongst all of this internet-ness, lies a sub-reddit called Thomas The Dank Engine. This sub-reddit is a location for one thing and one thing only, remixes of the theme song to Thomas The Tank Engine. Yes, that Thomas The Tank Engine. The kids show that features trains with eyes and mouths who talk and go places on tracks.
Even more impressive than the mere existence of such a thing is that what started as a small online community has now grown to a sub-reddit with 25 thousand users. Simply put, that is a fuck-ton of Thomas the Tank Engine Remixes – ranging from Childish Gambino, to Biggie Smalls, to Queen. Don’t see the remix you want? Request it. Someone will likely post your jam shortly.
So enjoy this weird and wonderful corner of the Internet, and good luck getting the theme song out of your head ever again.
(Full disclosure here – I do marketing for SPIN, so am not approaching this with any kind of un-biased journalistic integrity, but hey – this is just a blog, so I think I’m in the clear.)
Last week, SPIN responded to South Park’s episode that featured Stan’s father Randy Marsh, subbing in for Lorde at a birthday party (that is a very poor man’s description of the episode, watch it in full here). The article was somewhat less than well recieved by South Park fans – who were up in arms, feeling that SPIN had completely missed the joke – which, to be fair, they sorta had.
Well, in last night’s episode “The Cissy” – SPIN got what was inevitably coming to them. In case you were unaware – South Park has a remarkably quick turnaround time between episodes (as seen in Six Days To Air), which means if you slight them on a Thursday, you better be ready to reap what you sew the following Wednesday. But here’s the thing – regardless of how much SPIN may have to deal with some hurt feelings, the episode was awesome. Maybe one of the best I’ve seen in a while. So hey, if one article missing the mark means an episode of TV landing it sqaure between the eyes, I think we as a society have still benefitted. Plus, I think SPIN handled the episode like a champ.
Dear Katy Perry,
Today a friend instructed me to listen to your new single “This Is How We Do.” Seeing as this friend and I almost always see eye to eye on all things pop, I happily obliged. While I am sure that I will end up singing this song ad naseum for the next few months – upon reaching the end of the track, I found myself with more than a few questions for you in regards to this song. I would be more than grateful if you are able to provide me with answers to any of the below:
1) First and foremost – is this really how you do?
2) What exactly do you mean by “all my girls vintage Chanel baby?” Are your girls vintage? Are they Chanel babies? Please clarify.
3) Just so we’re all on the same page – you know you’re a white girl, right? Like, dated and collaborated with John Mayer white.
4) What exactly is “no big deal”? The song? Your life? The various popsicles featured in the video?
5) Could you please elaborate on how you, Katy Perry, “straight stunt?” Gymnastics? Shooting hooops? Driving cars off of cliffs?
6) No question, just wanted to give props for somehow working in La Super Rica into a song. (Side note: Now I wantttt itttttt)
7) Have you yourself ever used rent money to pay for bottle service?
8) Who was this song written for originally?
9) Are you absoultely, positively sure you would like the beat back?
10) And finally, where can a girl get a pair of those pizza earrings???
Your timely response is greatly appreciated.
Thank you Reddit, for this amazing addition to Oscar night. Ladies and gentlemen – the #allspaceyselfie
Okay bear with me, there is A LOT going on here. BUT, it’s a lot of totally extreme awesomeness.
First and foremost, this is a mashup of Avicii’s “Wake Me Up” and Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up,” with some Chumba Wumba thrown in for good measure. While I’m not 1000% sure that the two songs completely mesh together, they work well enough, and the Chumba Wumba is, of course, an amazing addition.
We could stop there. A good mashup is worthy of a post. And this one is sure to be a crowd pleaser.
But we can’t stop there. This video is just…too good. First of all, in case you forgot (like I had), the video for Never Gonna Give You Up is one of the greatest videos of all time. From Rick Astley surprising you with his cherubic face to all the dancers breaking it down 1987 style, it’s all that is right with music videos. But then, then it gets SO. MUCH. BETTER. What’s that? A super cut of the some of the greatest dance sequences from Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Michael, and Saturday Night Fever? WITH TURK DOING THE SAFTEY DANCE?!?!? Ugh. I’m actually dead right now from joy. I’m writing this to you from the grave. I have been murdered by fancy footwork.
But seriously, just watch the damn thing. And don’t just listen, WATCH. You can thank me later.
PS – I feel like this should probably be called “Never Gonna Wake Me Up,” right?
Here’s a scene I’m sure you’re familiar with. You’re at a show, the band is delightful, the venue is packed, your beer is cold…but you’re stuck standing behind a posse of hat wearing hipsters. At first you think nothing of the crew; seeing a group of guys in perfectly weathered t-shirts and hats taking incessant photos on their iPhones is nothing new, after all. Then you notice that they won’t put their damn phones down, and they won’t stop talking, and their effing hats are obstructing your view of the stage. Sound familiar? Of course it does.
But who are these hipsters exactly? And what makes them choose their various hats? I am going to break down in a completely un-proven, non-scientific manner the 5 distinct types of hat wearing hipsters.
1) The Slouchy Beanie
Ah the slouchy beanie. It could be 5 degrees or 95, it doesn’t matter – that head needs to be kept warm. Maybe it’s to cover a bald spot, maybe it’s because he hasn’t showered, or maybe he thinks it brings out the V in his V-neck – regardless of the reasoning, the slouchy beanie seems to permanently affixed atop his head. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good beanie. But for me the most impressive thing is the dedication that comes from wearing that beanie all night, no matter the size of the crowd or the amount of drinks consumed. Safe to say the slouchy beanie guy thinks he knows a thing or two about fashion, but also wants to seem like the “cool guy” who just rolled out of bed and tossed on a hat. But don’t be fooled, at least 10 minutes were spent in front of a mirror getting that slouch just right.
2) The Fedora
Look, thanks to Workaholics we all know the rule: one fedora per crew. But you can never ignore that one guy. The fedora guy can go one of two ways: either he is completely clueless and thinks this hat he picked up at a mall kiosk somehow makes his ill-fitting button-up and True Religion jeans look better (it doesn’t), or he is way, way too concerned with the way he looks. Under that fedora might even lie a second look, courtesy of lots of Axe hair-care products. The fedora guy is particularly annoying at concerts as the hat expands both the height and width of his head, making it much more difficult to see around.
3) The Snapback
I’m sorry, did you just go to Lids? Because that über-flat brim looks like it’s never been touched. Oh, you have all five of the stickers that came on it still on the hat in pristine shape? Well then you must really know a thing or two about collecting hats. Denver Nuggets, huh? Is that your team? Oh you’re from Maine, of course, so the Nuggets would be a logical choice. I know, I know, you’re a very eclectic white boy with an extensive knowledge of underground rap, but yet I seem to constantly bump into you at Century City.
4) The 5 Panel
Only recently starting to grow in popularity, the 5 panel hat is for the guy who wants to use his hat to tell people “Hey, I’m laid back. I like to go outside and ride my skateboard and am not afraid to get my limited edition Vans dirty.” (That or he is actually a cyclist.) But let’s be real, every scuff that appears on that perfectly splatter painted canvas is a blow to his heart. The 5 Panel guy can frequently be found wearing a tank top, and hanging out with his 19 roommates on the front porch of his “crib.”
5) The Newsie
No he’s not acting in the Broadway play, he’s just hanging out. He is also looking for the most out of his hat, as the newsie cap provides both shade and warmth, making it the perfect hat for…never. I guess if you’re like truly Steampunk, or making my coffee at Intellegentsia, or concocting a delicious cocktail at a whiskey bar then it’s maybe acceptable. But otherwise…just, why?
So there you have it. And look, we all have fallen for one of these hats before, and some of us have even worn them (myself included). But please, gentlemen, next time you’re at a show – be aware the effect your hat can have on those around you.