Born This Way Video: A Review


Gaga, you’ve outdone yourself.

There’s a lot to say about this particular video. If you thought Gaga had gone crazy in her Alejandro or Bad Romance videos, you thought wrong. This is Gaga gone crazy. Before I go on, you should probably watch:

Okay, now that you’ve got it fresh in your mind, here we go. This is the manifesto of Mother Monster. And it is. It’s the birth of someone, and though not completely new, she’s put out there in an entirely different way. It’s put out there, through a really creepy music video, to make us think.

You can go really in depth on this video. It may sound strange, but I think this thing’s pretty deep. It’s full of ideas we really need to think about. It’s abstract, and I don’t get a lot of it, but I think the most truthful thing I’ve heard all week was this line: It seems easy, you imagine, to gravitate instantly and unwaveringly towards good. But, she wondered, how can I protect something so perfect without evil? It’s so true. This woman, young and half naked, thought crazy by half the world, could teach us all a few things. The battle between what is good and what is bad will always be prevalent in our society. And while I don’t completely understand the connection between that statement and this video (I see a few threads, but not enough that I feel comfortable stating them as fact), I think it’s an important thing to remember: it’s never gonna be easy to know what to do.

While I could’ve done without the creepy birthing scenes and the goo in the beginning, I think that video conveyed the point she was trying to make. No matter what we may say about Gaga (that she’s way too out there, that she needs to put some clothes on, that she’s an attention hog, that she is a bad example for our youth), you have to admit: the chick has a point. We are who we are, we were born this way, we’re all out to do great things and nobody can stop us. We all want to be comfortable enough in our own skin to sing this and mean it; we all want to be comfortable enough to dance around in a bra and panties in front of a camera. And while many people may say that’s sinful, inappropriate, whatever, they’re missing the point. We need to celebrate the beauty inside of ourselves. We need to celebrate ourselves, naked (whether figuratively or literally) and organic, before we can go out and accomplish anything. This isn’t to say that you’d better be skinny and wear no clothing or you’re not worth anything. It’s the symbolism: think of your true self as what you need to bear, fully and truly, to the world. Your true self needs to come out in all its naked glory.

I think what scares people most about Gaga is not that she puts on costumes and meat dresses, not that she sometimes wears nothing but caution tape, not that she sings about sex, not that she came to the Grammys in an egg. I think what scares us most is that she’s not afraid to do all of that. She’s not afraid to just be who she is.
Personally, Lady Gaga is an inspiration to me. And she doesn’t have to be an inspiration to you, but she means a lot to many people in my generation. She gives us hope, she lets us dance, she says we can be anyone and anything we want. And though we have been told that halfheartedly by everyone else since our youth, when she says it, we believe it. Because she lives that statement. She was born this way.

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Phrazes for the Young Album Review


   The Strokes’ front man Julian Casablancas released his debut solo album, “Phrazes for the Young” on November 2, 2009. The album’s lyrics focus on post-apocalyptic motifs, while its uncommon blend of electronic synth-pop, rock and blues gives it a unique and futuristic quality. “Phrazes” is definitely worth listening to on repeat.

   Though The Strokes are still together, each member has gone on to either release a solo album or work with other bands. They have not released an album since their third, “First Impressions of Earth,” which was met with lukewarm reviews in 2006. The band is currently working together on an album which is scheduled to release in March.

   Casablancas is known for his unique vocals, which are reminiscent of both Lou Reed and Jim Morrison. His angry croon, though a seeming contradiction, helped set him apart from other singers when The Strokes first became popular in the early 2000s. Throughout “Phrazes,” Casablancas ranges from snarling disillusionment in “Out of the Blue” to controlled chaos in “River of Brakelights” to beautiful nostalgia in “Tourist.”

   While Casablancas is mellower (he no longer throws microphone stands during performances) than he ever was in the heavy days of The Strokes, his music continues their tortured tradition. He still sings about drinking in “Ludlow St.” (he recently recovered from an alcohol addiction) and a feeling of angry loneliness permeates “Out of the Blue.” One of the iTunes-extra songs, “30 Minute Boyfriend,” with its semi-terrifying declaration of love, is reminiscent of The Strokes’ “Heart in a Cage.”

   The singer throws in smatterings of angry wisdom throughout the album. In the epic sounding “River of Brakelights,” he sing-screams, “Like batteries we die, like rivers we dry. Refuel and recharge, that’s humans and cars.” In “Out of the Blue,” he sings that “when roles are reversed, opinions are too.” Casablancas proves throughout “Phrazes” that he is fully capable of delivering songs that are both catchy and thought-provoking.

   Casablancas’ debut album may be more pleasing to non-Strokes fans, as it is more varied and moves away from the garage-rock that The Strokes were so popular for years ago. The last track, “Tourist,” which simultaneously makes you want to dance and cry, features an inexplicably melancholy and slow Spanish-style guitar loop. “11th Dimension,” the album’s single, is an 80s-esque pop song, while “4 Chords of the Apocalypse” is a bluesy tune that is just waiting to be played over a breakup scene in a chick-flick.

   Casablancas proves his songwriting and vocal ability in this debut solo album. Though it moves away from The Strokes’ work, “Phrazes for the Young” will please both Strokes fans and the casual listener.

“Film” Friday


I haven’t done one of these in a while, but consider it your Christmas present.

Yeah, it's like I'm handing you a bit of happiness. TAKE IT.

Videos I love so much I want to make them my boyfriend:

1. But I Can Dance! – Natalie Tran
I want to be Natalie Tran. I love Natalie Tran. She is the most hilarious YouTuber I have come across so far. Someday, I hope to be as funny and successful as her. I love this video because it’s so true. Check out my other favorite videos of her: Bending at the Knees for Love and Flasher! Whoops! Yeah, it’s porno music/comment time.

2. Mashterpiece Theatre – Jersey Shore
These people are fun, and the video involves the Jersey Shore and British accents…combined. YES!

3. All I Want for Christmas is You
Except that it isn’t Mariah (which is good), but is instead really fun guys dancing around in sweaters. These guys make me so happy – I love their videos. Merry Christmas :)

4. Like it’s Quidditch
I always liked the sound of Like a G6, but I thought the words were really stupid. I love Harry Potter, so this tickles my fancy. You can buy it on iTunes, too. Hufflepuff, know what’s up.

5. Poker Face – Christopher Walken
I love him. He’d never heard the song, so he “sang” it…just watch the video. OH!

6. Clap – Brenden Fraser
My friends and I had a huge Golden Globes party last year. We dressed up and got classy…and then clapped like this all night after it happened because it was so hilarious. It’s 8 seconds, just watch it.

7.  Chess Tournament Cheer
This is probably the funniest thing Will Ferrell has ever done. I quote it all the time, but nobody ever gets it. So check me out!

8. And finally, The IT Crowd Bloopers
This show is so hilarious. And it’s streamable on NetFlix!!!! WATCH IT! But watch the bloopers first. Maybe.

Movie Stars and Have You Ever?


Sigh.

I want to live in an old movie.

I’ve watched black and white movies for as long as I can remember. My childhood consisted of regular kids programs like Mr. Rogers and Sesame Street, but it was filled mainly by movies from the 30s and 40s (like Arsenic and Old Lace, The Thin Man, The Scarlet Pimpernel, and Marx Brothers movies).

I want that life.

People were so classy back then. I understand that women didn’t have many rights, people were pretty racist, and wars were taking over the world, but there was SO MUCH CLASS.
Now it’s all, have you ever done crack? Only once? Whoa, I do it at least once a day.

I always sucked at the game “Have You Ever” when we used to play it, because I’d never done any of the things people thought were important…
Q: Have you ever had sex in public?
A: WHAT? Bloody hell…and also NO.
Q: Have you ever made out with two people at once?
A: What do you think my life’s like? An episode of Jersey Shore?
Q: Have you ever eaten —
A: Whatever it is, no. No no no, let’s just say I don’t eat.
Q: Have you ever done crack?
A: I don’t even know where I’d get it, much less how to do it.

My game would’ve gone more like:
Q: Have you ever eaten a macaroni-orange colored crayon?
A: Erm. Yes. I thought they were really macaroni when I was little.
Q: Have you ever actually read a book?
A:
Why yes! Multiple, in fact. And I enjoyed them.
Q: Have you actually liked someone for reasons other than wanting to rip all their clothes off in a ladies restroom?
A:
Yes…Ah, well, I guess I’m just doomed to grow old and have cats. Or be in an old movie :)

People back then got famous for being good at things (like acting). Now you just have to say something really stupid or show up naked on the internet. And to that, I say: class it up, society. Put your panties back on.

Society Told Me Not To


Society: I wouldn’t do that if I were you.
Me: Shove it!

Society has told me (yep, it speaks) that I shouldn’t do these things in public:

1. Don’t dance down the skywalk.
People can see you. It is weird to drive down the street, look up for a moment, and see someone gettin’ jiggy with it in a suspended hallway. Also, people who are walking through the skywalk while you are dancing in it will be scared and/or confused. They will not join in with you, because life is not High School Musical and people don’t all dance in sync at random moments. No matter how much you wish you could, you should not dance in the skywalk.
Know what I say to that? HAHAHA, because I do it anyway. Yeah, I’m that girl flailing around in the skywalk.

2. Don’t sing in the rain. Or anywhere else where people are watching, for that matter.
Yeah, Gene Kelly did it, but that doesn’t mean you should. Technically he wasn’t in public, because it was a fictional movie. Singing in public, no matter how overjoyed you are, is annoying and will make people want to hit you with rotten fruit (though why anyone would carry rotten fruit around with them, nobody knows).
Know what I say to that? I don’t believe in fiction. Everything is real. Also, I don’t care, I will sing if I like. I will burst into song in the middle of lunch. (I will swallow my food before I burst into song in the middle of lunch.) I will burst into song when I’m walking down the street and the air smells good and I bloody well feel like singing.

3. Don’t laugh so much.
It makes your face go all red and spreads your nose across it. That is not attractive. Also, too much laughing can give the impression that you’re stupid.
Know what I say to that? Hahahahahahhahahahahha!

4. Don’t do creepy things to people, no matter how hilarious you might think it’d be.
Don’t wink or wiggle your eyebrows suggestively at people who are only slightly your friends (even if you are obviously joking, because people are stupid and won’t understand that you’re joking). Honestly, you just shouldn’t joke when around with people because your sense of humor is easily misinterpereted as insanity and someone will chuck you into the loony bin.
Know what I say to that? Nothing, but I do give it a suggestive eyebrow wiggle and a pat on the bottom.

“Enter Title Here”


So sometimes we all need to laugh. In fact, I kind of HAVE to so I can make it through the day. So here’s some joy for your Sunday afternoon.

1. I don’t know what this is. But it’s French and it’s super weird. I wish I spoke French just so I knew what was happening in this video. It’s like Sit and Be Fit on acid.

2. Face Exercises (Lion) – We all want to look younger, but are we sure we want to look this stupid doing it? (I actually kinda like her hair…)

3.  The Alex and Charlie Format! Today’s show is in the key of G. And a bloody good thing it is, because I like things that make me laugh, and this MAKES ME LAUGH. Whey hey!

4. Where the Dirty Hipsters Are – Nothing gives me more pleasure than making fun of hipsters. Except blogging, which is convenient because HEY I can make fun of hipsters on my blog!

5. New Testament Cigarettes – Because Woody Allen is a genius of epic proportions.

6. ‘Llectuals – I know I’ve already put this up, but I REALLY WANT THERE TO BE A SHOW LIKE THIS. Someone make it and dedicate it to me.

How to Be a Musician


Rockstar:
1. Live by one rule and one rule alone: Guitar should not sound melodic. There shouldn’t be any real chords like in Beatles or Stones songs, just really scary and loud guitar riffs. And solos shouldn’t have anything to do with the tune of the song but should instead show off your ability to play random notes really fast.

2. Okay, there are actually two rules…the second involves a lot of leather.

Popstar:
1. Constantly show off your vocal range; this is especially important if you’re singing the national anthem. Hit as many high notes as you can, but make sure you immediately follow them with low notes. Then jump back to high, make your voice quiver a little, and make the ugliest face you can. Point your hand up to the sky, hitting your final note, and…finish.

2. Wear as much lip gloss as you can possibly apply to your lips without them falling off.

Grunge dude:
1. Blow all your money on cocaine. Mmmm, nothing’s better than druggie arms.

Hint: it's him.

2. Blow the little money you have left on flannel shirts. You’re not allowed to wear anything (reapeat: anything) other than flannel shirts. Okay, you can wear pants. Flannel pants, preferrably…yeah that’s a lie.

Julian Casablancas:
1. Look really amazing all the time.

2. Write really great music.

3. Sing me to sleep every night.

…10 points to anyone who can figure out who my favorite singer is.

You’re Afraid


Today, I noticed someone was sent to my blog by Google (ohhh Google, you’re almost as weird as me) with the search “I’m afraid my tall strong wife beats me.” First, I want to find this person and give him a cuddle. Then I want to ask if he means “I’m afraid! My tall strong wife beats me!” or if it’s the I’m afraid as in “Oh yeah, and I regret to inform you that my wife beats me.” Then I want to ask if he liked the post Google directed him to. But I actually don’t know which post that is…because I don’t write about wives, beatings, or fear. I think…

Google has a weird computer brain. Because it also directed “creep emailing me” to this blog. I guess I write about creeps, but I’m still confused.

Oh yeah, and y’all love Katy Perry. Or at least, it seems that way to me. I have gotten hundreds of hits on this blog from searches like “Katy Perry California Gurls” or “Katy Perry Cupcake Bra” or “Katy Perry Bending Over” (um…). I wrote about Katy Perry once. Or maybe it was twice. I dunno. Anyway, I wrote about how she creeped me out. But then I broke my own rules and decided I like her. I even shout-sing Hot N Cold in my car sometimes. Oops. I sing Ke$ha sometimes too. I’m a huge hypocrite. You love me.

“This is something this is nothing jazz hands.” Do you think Google will tell me who wrote that in because I want to find them and force them to be my friend. They make no sense. Neither do I. Soul mates!

And of course, the ever wonderful “How to lips.” Maybe I should take this person out on a date and teach them how to lips. First I have to look it up, though, cuz I don’t know how to lips either.
I know! I’ll Google it!!!

Trash the TV


Let’s talk about trashy TV and possible theories of why we like it:

1. We secretly want to be trashy and need an outlet to appreciate trashy people.

2. We (not so secretly) hate trashy people and therefore watch shows about them in order to feel better about ourselves.

3. In some sick way they turn us on. This seems a little too Freudian for my taste.

4. We are self destructive and want to punish ourselves by forcing ourselves to bleed out of our eyes.

5. There’s nothing else on TV.

6. They are ridiculously quotable. I refer you to:
“I felt like eating ham and drinking water. Ham.” – J-Woww, Jersey Shore
Every other word uttered on Jersey Shore
“Get me OUTTA HERE!” – Danielle, Real Housewives of New Jersey
The entire “Money Can’t Buy You Class” by Countess Luann (RH of NY). Have I mentioned that she looks about 500 years younger in the music video for that song?

Segue!

Dear Countess Luann,
Are you crazy? Yes, you’re pretty classy, but you’re also a countess. You’re rich.
Money doesn’t buy you class: this is true. But everything you stand for involves having a lot of money. While you sing “money can’t buy you class” in a million dollar gown, do you really think you’d have class without it? 
Sincerely,
Upset in the US

Segue!

We should dislike reality TV. We should dislike all trashy TV (I refer to Californication – I love you, David Duchovny, and I will happily have your children, but that show is a badly disguised porno). We should go all Strokes on their booties, saying, “Good try, we don’t like it. Good try, we won’t take that shit.” But as they said, “I can’t win.” And we can’t. It’s like watching commercials without thinking. They’re just there.

Happiness: Accessable 24 Hours a Day


See Happiness Inducer #2

In order to keep myself from shrieking loudly and then collapsing and writhing on the floor in agony (this agony is derived from being totally insane and/or hormonal/tired/bored/alive), I have to do totally awesome things. So. Totally. Awesome.

Okay, so I don’t actually DO these awesome things. “Doing these awesome things” usually involves remaining motionless and looking at a computer screen…

1. ‘Lectuals
From the people who brought you Hipster Olympics comes ‘Llectuals, the sexy new PBS show about intellectual high school students.
Have I mentioned I actually wouldn’t mind seeing a show like this?

2. The X-Files
Every season is streamable on Netflix, so I basically have 24 hour access to heaven on earth…aka Fox Mulder.

3. Sing Talk
Probably better than Ke$ha’s song TiK ToK, mostly because it doesn’t involve capitalizing the third letter of words.

4. Budweiser Greetings Commercial
I hate Budweiser commercials, usually. But this one makes me want to be a guy and do these things. Watch.

5. Old Spice Commercial Parody
Old Christ: The Man Your Man Could Smell Like
I love the real Old Spice man, but this comes as a pretty close second.

6. Watching J-Woww “feel like eating ham and drinking water”
I don’t know what it is, but I love J-Woww. She is my homegirl. Also, this is probably the cutest thing I have ever seen her do. Ham.

7. Sassy Gay Friend
This one (Hamlet) is my favorite, but they’re all amazing. Okay? Okay.

Cheers, enjoy, live long and prosper, and AHOY!