“You Suck” and Other Passive-Aggressive Jams

15 12 2014

As much as look forward to new releases and awards season, moments of triumph and honor for my favorite stars… I am completely guilty of enjoying their personal and professional lows just as well. I consume pop culture and celebrity news each waking hour of my day; absorbing the good, the bad, and the ugly indiscriminately.
Sorry not sorry but the silly, weak, thinly veiled instances where they lash out at each other are just as satisfying as when a cast lauds each other and their project, because it reminds me that they’re still just people! The following list of songs are some of the more passive-aggressive tunes in recent memory; they basically exist because the celebs in question have issues to address & feelings to express, but they pretend their privacy is so valuable that they can’t just come out with it about a given feud.

Inspired by Abigail Breslin’s recently released song “You Suck” which is a not so stealth attack on former flame, Michael Clifford, of 5SOS ‘fame,’  here’s a little list of my favorite passive-aggressive musical moments! An angry tweet can entertain us for days, but an ambiguously targeted lyric can spark fodder for a career (Carly, Alanis — I’m looking at you!).

 

10 – 7. Gwen Stefani, “Hollaback Girl” – Trent Reznor/NIN, “Starfuckers, Inc” – Stone Temple Pilots, “Too Cool Queenie” – Foo Fighters, “I’ll Stick Around
Target: 
Issue: General bitchery and fame grubbing
Most scathing lyric: [STP] “There was this boy / He played in a rock-n-roll band / And he wasn’t half-bad, At saving the world / She said he could do no right / So he took his life / His story is true…  It’s ok cause what goes around, comes around / It’s all right cause what goes around, comes around”

 

6. Rihanna, “Cold Case Love
Target: 
Issue: On-going Physical & Emotional Abuse
Most scathing lyric: “But your love ain’t the kind you can keep / Release me now cause I did my time / Of this cold case love / My heart’s no longer cold & confined / I’ve had enough”

 

5. Jonas Brothers, “Much Better
Target: 
Issue: Less than amicable break-up
Most scathing lyric: Get a rep for breakin’ hearts / Now I’m done with superstars / And all the tears on her guitar / I’m not bitter / Now I see everything I’d ever need / Is the girl in front of me / She’s much better”

 

4. Katy Perry, “Circle the Drain
Target: 
Issue: Addiction
Most scathing lyric: “Wanna be your lover, not your fucking mother / Can’t be your savior, I don’t have the power / I’m not gonna stay and watch you circle the drain”

 

3. Justin Timberlake, “Cry Me A River
Target: 
Issue: Infidelity
Most scathing lyric: “You don’t have to say, what you did / I already know, I found out from him / Now there’s just no chance, for you and me, there’ll never be / And don’t it make you sad about it”

 

2. Selena Gomez, “The Heart Wants What It Wants
Target:
Issue: General Douchebaggery & Insensitivity
Most scathing lyric: 
“You got me scattered in pieces, Shining like stars and screaming / Lighting me up like Venus, But then you disappear and make me wait / And every second’s like torture, Hell over trip, no more so / Finding a way to let go, Baby baby no I can’t escape”

 

1. Taylor Swift, “Dear John
Target: 
Issue: 
General Douchebaggery & Game Playing
Most scathing lyric: “You are an expert at ‘Sorry,’ And keeping lines blurry / Never impressed by me acing your tests / All the girls that you’ve run dry have tired lifeless eyes, Cause you’ve burned them out / But I took your matches, Before fire could catch me, So don’t look now / I’m shining like fireworks, Over your sad empty town”

 

 





Return of The Dutchess…

27 11 2014

The Cali native formerly known as Stacy Ann Ferguson has dropped a new single, and it’s as sun-baked and carefree as you’d expect from the sultry voice on every other party anthem of the 2000s.

Robbie Daw for Idolator observes, “The DJ Mustard-produced track finds the 39-year-old Black Eyed Peas diva surprisingly stuck in creative rut, spouting out a slew of hip-hop-lite cliches that, to be honest, we would have expected her to have left behind sometime around The E.N.D. ”

Fergie Ferg is so much better when she actually SINGS! I have always been confused as to why they make her talk over these club beats, or trot her out for a looped and dreamy hook. It’s like will.i.am didn’t know what he H. A. D. in his arsenal. I discussed this, at length, in a blog post almost four years ago… I’m starting to feel like Fergie’s leading me on.

As I’ve pointed out before, this long-awaited sophomore album can serve as second act for the former Black Eyed Pea and the sky’s the limit if only she would give existing fans a bone. (We’re here and we’re waiting! Reward us! Give us something we can share with friends and proudly say “I told you so!”)  I’ve literally been watching this woman sing her way to deserved stardom since a little known 90s girl band (Wild Orchid) hosted a fun but forgettable Saturday morning talent show (Great Pretenders).

This “LA Love” stuff is OK for radio buzz, but give me those love-hardened, crushed velvet pipes on a power ballad ala “Big Girls Don’t Cry” any day. The Dutchess is approaching 40, and she still got it, but she needs to start owning it. “LA Love” isn’t as fun as “Fergalicious” or “Clumsy,” and certainly lacks the confident sass of “Glamourous” and “Pedestal.” It’s an empty spectacle, not a hit.

At least her husband seems proud of her-- Josh Duhamel was kind enough to appear at the American Music Awards last Sunday to introduce Fergie's live performance of the track. 

At least her husband seems proud of her– Josh Duhamel was kind enough to appear at the American Music Awards last Sunday to introduce Fergie’s live performance of the track.





On My Radar

29 05 2012

Here’s a recap of some things I have been following/thinking about lately:

1.  Amanda Bynes is a HOT MESS. 

Amanda Bynes, 2008 SAG Awards

In 6 weeks time the former Nickelodeon darling has gotten a DUI and been involved in (by my count) four fenderbenders — the first of which had her sideswiping an LAPD patrol car.

Bynes, 26, has worked consistently as a comedic actor since childhood. First featuring on Nickelodeon’s Saturday night program All That, an SNL-like variety show for the tween set, before starring alongside Jennie Garth in the fan-favorite What I Like About You in 2002. Bynes was last seen on the big screen in Easy A (2010) and Hairspray (2007).

Until recently, Bynes seemed to be humble and healthy. I’m thoroughly surprised at her antics; they certainly feel more fallen-Disney-star (*cough*LiLo!*cough*) than disgraced Nick star (*cough*JamieLynn!*cough*).  I hope she pulls herself together, because I know she can continue into adulthood and be just as funny and just as successful as before.

I think it’s time for someone to ‘Ask Ashley’ about a 5-step program.

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2.  John Edwards is (still) a douche.

The disgraced politico and one-time presidential hopeful has done little to change his image, or himself. In all fairness though, theres not much he could do.  You cheat on your cancer-stricken wife and have an illegitimate child with the bimbo, you get a special seat in Hell.

His trial has concluded, and (literally) the jury’s still out as to whether he violated federal law by using campaign funds to cover-up his affair with videographer Rielle Hunter.

I am STUNNED that his daughter Kate has been at his side throughout the trial, much like she was by her mother’s side as she was DYING. I am not part of their family, and want to refrain from being too judgemental, but WHAT’S UP WITH THAAAT?!!  She’s an adult. She should be able to look at the situation objectively and say “He’s still my dad… but he’s also a douche.”  He isn’t looking out for ANYONE but himself, so don’t get too wide-eyed at the possibility that if he is acquitted, he will live the rest of his life trying to atone for his flaws. He won’t.

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3. Movies whose announced release dates have been moved back — This is never good!

G.I… Just Kidding

It was announced just days ago that GI Joe: Retaliation will not hit theaters June 29 as planned. They apparently decided to delay the premiere in order to apply a 3D treatment, ya know, so they can squeeze more money out of us. 

I think two things occurred to Paramount execs a little too late; they realized that the first one wasn’t great and they were going to be EMBARASSED by the continued success of The Avengers.  Also, they would have had two Tatum flicks pitted against eachother: GI Joe Retaliation and the testosterone-rich ensemble film Magic Mike.

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4.  Ted Kaczynski lists convictions/sentences as achievements on Harvard Class of 1962 alumni newsletter.

I read a couple articles about this:  I chuckled to myself then I wondered for a second why it was news, before remembering how stupid and touchy people are. I think the reunion committee took the harder of two options; someone (probably a liberal) would have objected to Kaczynski’s total omission from all things related to the Class of ’62 reunion, but I’m guessing now we know that MORE PEOPLE object to the mockery being made of their own successes by listing his legal tribulations amongst their MDs, PhDs and the like.  Either way, he’s still in prison and they’re all presumably quite rich… Let’s focus on that instead.

A mildly-related item: I immediately was reminded of a CLASSIC Will Ferrell skit on SNL in which The Unabomber attended his class reunion. I still pee my pants a little, even having seen it dozens of times. ENJOY!

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5.  Phil Phillips wins American Idol! 

Phillip Phillips, 21, of Georgia, wins Season 11 of FOX reality competition AMERICAN IDOL

Season 11 closed out with a high and a low; record-breaking numbers of votes and viewers. 132 million votes were logged between the finalists, but Nielsen Soundscan reports that this was the least watched conclusion of any AI competition season (nearly 8 million fewer than last year).

My brother and I liked Phil from the beginning. HOWEVER, I told my brother I would not cast a single vote for him until he performed a Dave Matthews song. (Which he finally did when he made the Top 6!)

I love that he never picked big numbers to get votes; he was always authentic and original. I have described his voice to non-Idol-watching friends as “if Dave Matthews, John Mayer and Tom Waits had a vocal lovechild.”   He’s hot. That’s all there is to it!

Runner-up Jessica Sanchez, a 16-year-old powerhouse from the San Diego area, was no slouch. I cannot and will not deny she is a great talent. BUT I also cannot and will not deny that she lacked personality. Singing a big song is only part of being in that business, and she just needs to live a little more life before she can top the charts.

I’m also glad Phillips won because I never felt that Sanchez should have been allowed to compete. Her Wikipedia page lists a number of accomplishments and professional opportunities earned before her Idol audition. The format of the show has evolved so much since season 1, but I know you cannot have had a record deal prior to auditioning. (Carly Smithson of season 7 was controversial for being in violation of that rule.)  Sanchez was featured on two major recordings, which from a technical standpoint I guess doesn’t violate the eligibility requirements, but it doesn’t seem fair. She’s got a lot of famous fans, and thanks to the show she’s had more exposure, so I don’t doubt that she will get a deal regardless of taking 2nd place. But who’s to say she wouldn’t have gotten the deal anyway? And if she hadn’t made the Top 24, would Phillips still have won?  I guess I’m glad they let her through, because ultimately she didn’t win.

But still, what kind of pop-culture consumer would I be if I didn’t obsess over people I don’t know and speculate on things that didn’t happen?