This is the Key to the Brilliance of The Soup

31 01 2009

This is the only reason I’ll ever need YouTube for the rest of my days.

UPDATE!
Okay, this is the only reason I’ll ever need YouTube for the rest of my days.

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Another Sasha/B Showdown. And the Winner Is…

23 12 2008

In the typical binge-a-licious Beyonce style, two new videos recently surfaced: a raucous, danceified visual aid to “Diva,” a Sasha Fierce track, and “Halo,” a mellow, aw-shucks-I’m-in-love situation, taken from the softer side of Sasha (Beyonce). Confused yet? Don’t be. Because after watching these two vids, Mrs. Carter (that’s right, ANOTHER moniker) will make dern sure that you know the difference between her two self-imposed alter egos. BONUS! She’s also decided to spring for the use of color!

Anyway, the last time B released two videos from her latest album, ‘Single Ladies’ clearly came out on top. The thing became a YouTube, Bonnie Hunt, SNL, and AMA phenomenon, while ‘If I Were a Boy’ simply confused people (read: me) with its shifting perspective and bored others (read: me again) with its blase whininess.

This time around, the tables have certainly turned. Translation: Halo rocks as a single on a purely sonic level.View below.

The video doesn’t necessarily help or hurt its awesomeness. Overall, it makes sure to stay out of the way of viewers actually listening to the track by employing incredibly typical and bland archetypes. ‘Ooh, ain’t we sweet!’ ‘He adores my passion of watching myself do an accelerated form of pantomime in front of a mirror!’ ‘Oh my gosh, camera! Didn’t notice you there as we giggle deliciously!’

Also, personal qualm: if you’re gonna hire a model to be your love interest to act out a relationship you ‘wrote’ about in your ‘most personal album yet,’ a relationship that you have with a hugely public figure, a figure everyone knows you’re married to, then COMMIT to acting like you’re NOT YOU. What I mean by this: don’t spend the last 30 seconds of the video singing to him whilst 3 cm from his face and not make any contact. Weird. B, I totally respect you not wanting to get your hank-pank on in your vid whilst married. Just don’t tread some strange line between committing to the ‘character’ in your video and remaining Mrs. HOVA. Anyway. Unnecessary aside.

Moving on to ‘Diva,’ a video that does exactly what ‘Halo’ didn’t do, on an obscenely grand scale:

Imma bullet my issues.
-Are we now to believe that Sasha permanently comes with a backup-dancing duo? If so, a) boo for blandness and b) how creepy of Beyonce to yearn for the Destiny’s Child days of yore, when two subordinates were always at her rear!
-Those much-publicized-pre-video-release fringe glasses were SO anti-climactic. First of all, she barely wore them during the video. And secondly, they were so incongruent! ‘omgLOVE these glasses, Mr. Video Director. I must wear them with my most avant garde apparel: JEANS, A WHITE TANK TOP, AND A LEATHER JACKET.’ So NOT diva.
-The concept was slim-to-non-existent. With ‘Single Ladies,’ a concept wasn’t required; the focus was on the crazy-awesome 3+ minutes of choreography. And that was a record-introducing single. Girlfriend (or, as in the case of this video, Homegirl) gotsta step it up with some coherence on the second go-round.
-Howevs, the dancing was on the money considering the track’s ‘hood’ quality. B was moving with more of a ‘what up’ aggression and shoulder swag, unlike the strong feminine hippages of ‘Single Ladies.’ That’s right, hippages.

Overall, the vids are sufficient and still relatively entertaining. But Halo definitely emerges as more of a solid release, while Diva feels too hurried and wafer-thin.





I Just Soiled Myself in Delight

19 11 2008

Watch it in higher quality here.





Twilight Impressions

18 11 2008

I’ve not read a single line of the Twilight series, and unlike my aggressive aversion to the over-hyped Dave Matthews Band, I’m totally drinking the Stephanie Meyer Kool-Aid and becoming increasingly eager to catch the film when it comes out November 21st. With that said, I’ve been watching the interviews of Robert Pattinson (who I already favored because he’s played a Hufflepuff) and Taylor Lautner on EW.com and I have some completely unnecessary judgments to make of them.

Taylor Lautner (aka Sharkboy and Wolfteen):

Click his face to watch his interview. My initial (and therefore, completely accurate) impression of him is he’s that guy who’s friendly and fun to be around, but God love him, is more dense than a Redwood. His redemptive quality, however, is that he seems to be aware of it. And if it’s cool with him, it’s cool with me. I’m also fully aware that the grounds for the above claims are strongly based on his horse teeth. It surely doesn’t make him look smarter.

Robert Pattinson (Edward Cullen/Man-dusa):

Click anywhere BUT that frightening coif to see his EW interview. Lautner’s easy to read, what with him being all “aw, shucks, I love the movie, I love the director, I love my were-hair, teehee.” But there is something refreshing about Pattinson’s watered-down, media- and fangirl-friendly pseudocynicism. Throughout the interview Mr. Rasta Beanie (the poor guy’s forced to keep his hair long and unkempt to maintain his Edward-ness) fidgets through the questions with measured self-deprecation. Coming off of fame from another wildly popular book series, Pattinson seems pretty acutely aware of Twilight’s superficiality, which I love. Unlike his squeaky-clean boyhunk counterpart Zac Efron, who his so completely aware of his sparkle-toothed charm and endorses the High School Musical franchise like it’s the solution to our country’s economic problems, you can tell Pattinson only sees this as a gateway to actually meaningful work (i.e. the upcoming Dali biopic in which he stars).

So yeah, Robert Pattinson’s charmed me into being interested in the film even more than I already was. And I’ll give Taylor a few more chances to alter my initial impression of him. But seriously: am I wrong?





Two Choices: Hip-Hop Femininity

5 11 2008

I recently saw Ciara’s new “Go Girl” video, and I have many thoughts, none of which are entirely positive. First, the superficial shots: the song has zero energy. T-Pain’s guest spot is the most exciting part of the track, and that just means it kept me awake long enough to see the end. The concept was also only halfway there; it’s futuristic, she’s an about-business corporate chick. Now she’s a robot! Then it ends climactically with her becoming the main feature at a harley show, twirling around on a Price is Right, “brand new car!”-esque lazy susan, spurting sparks from the tailpipe. Also, the scaffolding in the final dance sequence looks like the behind-the-scenes view of the scaffolding in the “Promise” video. Oh yeah, and it looks like Ci-Ci has not only harnessed the Matrix backbend, but the “Go Girl” video seemed to be an outlet to display her newfound love for Mel B.-like splits. Overall, in one word, “Go Girl” is both visually and aurally uninspired.

But…..

Seeing her in that CUH-RAZY robot outfit with metal greaves, a strong stance and underoos that Katy Perry would fall in love with, got me thinking about Ciara’s image and strong femininity in hip-hop. She’s not the first female solo artist to ward off the temptation of becoming a glorified video girl (yeah, I’m looking at you, Christina Milian, Ashanti, Amerie, etc.), nor has she completely eschewed using sex as a marketing technique. But overall, everything from her bourgeoning image to her aggressive-yet-impressive dance style is refreshingly strong for a female in her particular genre, and in pop music in general. I applaud her for espousing this unique image, but after the Go Girl video, I felt led in two distinct directions:

Ciara’s Anti-Object Femininity: How’s She Doin?

1) Her message, while a bit jarring, is important and should be applauded and embraced by the hip-hop community. Sure, she’s pretty freakin’ terrifying in that robot outfit and man-cut business suit in her new video. But maybe it’s necessary. Maybe Ciara needs to be the stark opposite so we can arrive somewhere in the middle. And I’m not saying that it’s a travesty that women are being mentioned in sexual terms in rap lyrics; that would be a separate issue altogether. What Ciara’s standing against, at least visually, is the manipulation and domination that is occurring in popular sexual lyrics regarding women. Women aren’t partners in rappers’ sex fantasies; they’re subordinated and lured with promises of fame and wealth, which give the lyricist the right to gratify himself however he sees fit, sometimes even with violence. I know what you’re thinking: light topic, right? Let’s move on.

OR:

2. Ciara has good intentions, but she’s actually making matters worse. Good for Ciara for standing up against objectifying females, but seriously: the message she’s sending with her creepitude costuming is putting us right back where we started. The reason I say this: a woman does not need to disregard her innate femininity to illustrate that she’s more than a sex object. What CiCi’s saying with her MANnerisms is, “sup. I’m just like a dude. That means I gets respect.” WRONG. Ciara needs to hold on to what makes her a woman and demand equality in the hip-hop genre while doing so.

Anyway, sorry for the tome. Below is her video, just in case you need to prove me wrong:

Random irreverence to the intellectual legitimacy of all the above: check out the beginning of the spark-cycle sequence at 2:36. How does that look like anything BUT super-flatulence?!





Two Choices: Robyn’s Swedish Sensibility

22 10 2008

Okay, so I could go on and on about how undiscovered and unappreciated Robyn’s new foray into American audiences has been with last summer’s release of her album Robyn, but I fear that I will uninterestingly bring up points that are unoriginal and overwrought by none other than Perez Hilton (I’m using the un prefix like it expires tomorrow, btw). However, I do feel the need to bring up this query: Robyn recently released two new videos (strange pattern of current pop artists, yes?): Cobrastyle, while a definite upgrade from the low-budget Swedish original, still maintains a high level of euro edginess. The new Konichiwa records Robyn deliberately takes a stand against the “sex sells” feminine presence in pop music, and the Cobrastyle video is a clear illustration of that. See below:

However, in Dream On, Robyn takes a fairly neutral, more western direction. There’s a distinct plot, which does help explain the singer’s intention for the song to be “about forgiveness.” Alot of focus is taken away from her aggressive neo-feminism, and it quietly appeals to a broader audience. Check it out:

I love both of these videos, but it leaves me with two distinct choices (coincidentally!):

How do you like your Robyn?
1. Watered down and more accessible, so a wider audience will give her the credit that’s long overdue?
OR
2. Unapologetically Swedish, aggressively anti-sex-object, and deliberately obscure?

Make your decision carefully.





An Undeniable Truth about John McCain

17 10 2008

He’s a Tyra-phile. Look below for proof (like you needed it):

Props to fourfour for putting together this political treat.