Monday, September 30, 2013

Nobody Doesn't Like Katy Perry


      Katy Perry covers the new issue of  billboard magazine (sidebar, non-capitalized titles are so awkward it's like billboard thinks it is the e.e. cummings or bell hooks of music publications) as well she should since she has now tied Rihanna  as the artist with the most #1 pop songs tally thanks to the success of her new hit 'Roar'.  And in that once sentence I pretty much summed up most of what is wrong with the music industry.  Not that Katy Perry doesn't deserve to be hugely successful; of course she does, she makes very enjoyable pop music that all good natured people enjoy listening to in their cars.   But my issue with it is the simple fact that somehow a "pop songs tally" even exists and even more baffling that Rihanna and Katy Perry have now tied for the most number ones on it.   I guess the fact that Mariah Carey release a 17 track album of all number one hits, creatively titled 'Number 1's', in 1998 means nothing.  Nor the fact that Elvis freaking Presley has had 30 number one hits.  It is a reflection of the poor state of the music industry that they must invent new charts and recalculate the old ones to create the illusion that Katy, Rihanna even Queen Bey herself come close to the global domination of somebody like Madonna.

     Have you ever tried to research and find out how many copies of an album an artist as sold?  It is nearly impossible, countries are listed differently, digital sales separately the definition of platinum changes over time and location.  The only fact we can take away from this is that Katy Perry's music is currently more popular that most people and I'm pretty OK with that.  At the end of the day Katy Perry manages to make music that is likable without the need for many objections of qualifications.  I loved Gaga for a long time, but lately I find myself unable to say so without an explanation.  Britney still pumps out some of the best pop music in the industry but it is hard to fully embrace a sexy pop-star who can't own a smart phone or sign her own checks.  With Katy Perry you never get the sense that somebody else is pulling all the strings like with Britney or Rihanna and she never went though a jailbait phase either.  She was a grown-ass woman with some moxy and the sort of not-great voice that anybody can sing along with.  She makes music with major mass appeal, sometimes that can mean it is a bit generic but there is still just enough sense of whimsy to set it apart from the crowd.  I can understand Katy Perry not being your thing, but anybody who straight up says they hate her is going to be met with the same side-eye Chandler Big gets for not liking dogs. 

    If you want to read more, especially her gushing about her douche-tastic boyfriend John Mayer head over to billboard to read it.   And also, be sure to jump down to the comments section there to read some hilarious debating about who the true queen of pop is. (Hint, it's always Madonna). 


Monday, September 9, 2013

Wrecking Ball, indeed

Now that some of the noise surrounding her "controversial" (read: crappy) performance at the VMA's has died down a bit Miley Cyrus is out to shock us again.  She just released her new Terry Richardson (gag) directed video for 'Wrecking Ball'.  The video is unfortunately so desperate to provoke that it doesn't really seem to have anything to say.  And that's too bad because this is one of her better songs and definitely the first I've ever heard from her that completely disguises her vocal failings.  As catching as 'Party in the USA' and 'We Can't Stop' are they are noticeably lacking in the vocal department, whereas 'Wrecking Ball" actually works with the voice she has.  (Which makes sense as it was actually written for her and not something Jessie J or Rhianna turned down like 'Party' and 'Can't Stop', respectively).

I have never been a fan of Miley Cyrus. It generally bothered me how bratty and uncouth she seemed in comparison to contemporaries like Selena Gomez or her predecessors like Britney before ALL THE EVIL happened.  Then, last year, I found myself inexplicably liking her when she wasn't really doing anything but being young, rich, famous and going on vacations with her hot ass boyfriend and his big brother Thor.  It was a great counterpoint to all the 'woe is me' whining of people like Kristen Stewart who act as if having millions of dollars and millions of fans is a burden.  She really seemed to be enjoying what she was blessed with and I was actually happy for her, it seemed like she had actually found an escape route from the former child star curses.   And then she started twerking, and leaking tracks and it all seemed to be filled with so much TRY.

So, here is her video directed by a pervert that starts off as a nice modern update of Sinead's classic 'Nothing Compares 2U'  (you guys, Prince was using text speak before texting...he is a witch!) and degenerates into a softcore porn update of Apple's classic "Smashing shit with a hammer in a white tank top" commercial.   I'm not offended by nudity or sexy videos, I'm a pretty big fan of both when there is some rhyme or reason behind it.  In this case it is pretty clear we're just supposed to be shocked that yet another former Disney starlet is sexing up her imagine and it all just feels a little played out.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

No Equality for Batwoman


Batwoman, alter ego Kate Kane, has never been my homegirl, in fact I don't think I've ever read a single issue of any title in which she made an appearance.  I love Catwoman and always like a hot uppity bitch like Enchantress from Thor or Phoenix when she's not bogged down in Jean Grey's whining, but Batwoman just never hit my radar. But, she is a hot ginger, socialite, crimefighter and a big ole lez and so when push comes to shove I'm pretty sure I'm firmly planted on team Batwoman.  And now Batwoman's creative team, writers  J.H. Williams III and W Haden Blackman (sidebar, damn those are some fancy ass names), have announced they are leaving the title because of eleventh hour editorial decisions forced on them by DC.  Editorial decisions and creative differences can mean a myriad of things, but in this case one issue jumps out in front of the others, see if you can spot it in this quote from William's and Blackman's joint statement.

"in recent months, DC has asked us to alter or completely discard many long-standing storylines in ways that we feel compromise the character and the series. We were told to ditch plans for Killer Croc’s origins; forced to drastically alter the original ending of our current arc, which would have defined Batwoman’s heroic future in bold new ways; and, most crushingly, prohibited from ever showing Kate and Maggie actually getting married. All of these editorial decisions came at the last minute, and always after a year or more of planning and plotting on our end."
Refusing to let Kate and her girlfriend Maggie marry in the year 2013 seems outrageous as more and more states have shown their support for marriage equality.  It suggest that either DC is homophobic or fears that the majority of its readership is and honestly I'm not sure which is worse.  Comics have long since been a favored medium of the disenfranchised, the ridiculed, the rejects; we call comic fans nerds and geeks and depict them as slovenly Simpsons characters.  Young people on the fringe are drawn to the medium because it depicts worlds where anything is possible, where intelligence is valued and where doing what's right defines whether or not a person is a hero or a villain.  Because of this a lot of GLBT people feel an affinity for comics and showing such blatant discrimination towards their community is only going to come back and bite DC in the ass.  DC has been loosing ground to Marvel for years, other than Christopher Nolan's outstanding Batman trilogy none of their films have come close to the success Marvel has had.  Yet still Marvel allowed sometime X-man Northstar to wed his same-sex partner over a year ago.  If DC has any hope of catching up with Marvel they need to first catch up with the majority of the country and approve same sex marriage. Just let Kate and Maggie get married, what's the worst that could happen?  Besides, this is still the world of comics and we all know anytime anybody is happily married their spouse is just going to be killed by a super villain anyways.