Friday, July 18, 2008

Like omg you guys! I totally saw Miley!

I walk past Bryant Park every day on my way to work, which means that every Friday I catch a little bit of their summer concert series. So far it's been a fairly small turnout for acts like the Counting Crows, Usher, and Chaka Khan, but today was different.

Today was Miley.

Usually the crowd stretches about halfway across the lawn, with a few scattered people who don't care that much staggered along the walkway outside the lawn. Today the crowd filled the lawn and the walkways and parts of the street bordering the park. You couldn't see anything because of all the signs and balloons being held up, and all the children carried on parents' shoulders – mostly girls, but a fair amount of boys, even teenage ones. All the little girls had on Miley and/or Hannah shirts (except one in a Demi Lovato shirt, which, really, little girl? Did you see Camp Rock? Because it was bad).

The main thing I noticed was that about half the girls were crying. And it wasn't happy crying. Look, five-year-old girls are not emotionally or physically equipped to get up at the crack of dawn, travel from suburbia to midtown Manhattan, and stand in the hot sun for hours, unable to see anything, bored and frustrated and filled with anxious anticipation, all for maybe seven minutes of their hero prancing around stage, barely glimpsed from Mommy's shoulders between signs that say "MILEY MAKES US SMILEY." It's an emotionally overwhelming experience on top of all the physical tsuris. I cried the first time I saw the Backstreet Boys in person, and I was 17. I can't imagine what it would have been like to see my musical idol at age seven. (Although it might not have been that exciting, since Shirley Temple wasn't exactly her iconic self at that point.)

The other thing I noticed was that Miley, when she finally appeared, was wearing a purple plaid shirt, denim short shorts, a white fedora, and black high-heeled ankle boots. Snazzy.

The music? Eh, it was okay.

(Check the performance here, here, and here.)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Picture This: Tizz Making A Bad Career Choice

Oh, Tizz. Honey. NO. This wasn't a star vehicle and was not worth the producer credit.

I watched Picture This because I do kind of love Tizz, but… Man oh man. Picture This is basically what happens if you put the movies Sleepover, 10 Things I Hate About You, Freaky Friday (Lohan edition), She’s All That, and a little Witches of Eastwick in a blender, turn the results into paper mache, and build a science-class volcano out of it, which explodes with lava made of fail.

I’d like to say Tizz was fantastic, but she wasn’t. Sometimes she fell down, and that was good, because Tizz can do a fall-in-a-fountain take brilliantly. And there were a few isolated lines that made me giggle. But overall, the movie was incoherent; it started out as the story of a nerdy girl trying to get noticed by a popular boy, but since he said he liked her about 10 minutes in (even though they’d never conversed and he had a girlfriend), that failed. Then it was a wacky comedy where she had to sneak out and fool her father, while the local mean girls tried to kill her! Which would have worked if it had been that movie from the get-go, or if Tizz’s character had been even mildly endearing, but she wasn’t. Despite her telling the viewers she was a nobody—a poor nobody—she was incredibly entitled and bratty, and not even mildly likable.

THEN it took a sharp left turn into horror when the mean girls tried to use a vial of blood to cast a curse on Tizz! And the popular boy only wanted her to come to his big party so he could bring her upstairs and defile her! But then it all ends up okay, and she’s declared Prom Queen and gets the boy, and also it’s heartwarming because her father finally learns to trust her. Even though she was lying to him through the whole damn movie.

Nothing made sense. Nothing was good, except for the few moments where Tizz fell down. Though not as insanely unable to pick a plotline and stick to it as Camp Rock, it definitely needed to pick a genre, streamline its plot, and let Tizz be her charming, endearing, insane self.

Absolute Suck

Becky: Tizz's made-for-TV-movie can't possibly suck as hard as Camp Rock, at least.

Jess: Nothing can. It's like how nothing is colder than absolute zero. Nothing sucks harder than absolute suck.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


So my life is super stressful right now, and to cheer myself up, I just watch this over and over again (mostly on mute so I don't accidentally listen to them).

Oh, Jonas Brothers. I'd rather watch this looped for two hours than ever sit through Camp Rock again.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I don't know which side to buy

Y'all. Y'all. I have had Miley Cyrus's new single stuck in my head for five days now, and I'm still not even sure if I actually like it. Check it out:

I think we're going to have to resort to math on this one.

Plus: Girl can sing, and for once she's not overproduced, so you can really appreciate the richness of her natural voice. Take notes, Baby V: this is what a genuinely powerful singer sounds like. +10

Minus: She gets so shouty on the choruses that her voice is kind of wasted. Confidential to Miley: I know you want desperately to be a hardcore rocker girl, but you're 15, you dance (well, "dance") in concert, and your core fanbase is made up of eight-year-old girls who watch your show on the Disney Channel. You're a pop singer. Embrace the poposity. -6

Plus: On the other hand, there's something endearingly 15-year-old-y about the shouted chorus and tempo change. I totally would have considered that super badass at her age. +3

Minus: The lyrics hurt me in ways too vast to enumerate, starting with the fact that she totally lists more than seven things, and going on from there. -10

Plus: As Becky pointed out, the unsophisticated, vastly illogical lyrics (as well as the shouty chorus) do make it seem like Miley does actually write her own material, unlike the many other pop stars who claim to pen their own music. So good on her for getting her voice out there! I mean, her other voice. Look, you know what I mean. +5

Minus: …No, seriously, "And compared to all the great things that would take too long to write/ I probably should mention the seven that I like…" What? What? -2

Plus: I really enjoy the video. Miley manages to do the whole "I represent all broken-hearted teenage girls" thing without it coming across as arrogant. +7

Minus: Then again, she seems to feel that an oversized argyle vest is the same thing as a dress, which leads me to question Billy Ray's parenting skills. I mean, even more than I already have. (Does he know he has other kids?) -5

Plus: Then again again, she kind of rocks it. Maybe. Sort of. +2

Minus: Okay, I promise this is the last time I'll pick on the lyrics, but she says she's "not coming back"…and then totally tells him how nifty keen he is! Make up your mind, Cyrus! -4

Let's see, add all that up, and…it's a wash. Yeah, that looks about right.

…But it's still totally going on my iPod.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Well, Vanessa Hudgens has done it again.

By "it," of course, I mean "released an album so bland and overproduced it makes Aly and AJ look like groundbreakers." Her debut offering, V, was a total snoozefest, and Identified is no different. Check out the video for the first single:

What I find completely fascinating about this is what V is doing with her voice. Normally the Hudge has a piping, chirpy little soprano, with a tendency towards a breathy delivery on her non-HSM songs (and of course every note she sings goes straight through her nose, which should have been beaten out of her by her vocal coach years ago, but whatcha gonna do?). But listen to her wail (well, "wail") on this one! She's doing her utmost to sound like a grownup, getting some Christina in there, some Aretha, some big girl voices going on!

And, well, it doesn't actually work. Because Vanessa Hudgens is a tiny pixie made of spun sugar, a dollop of meringue in a sundress, and meringue cannot wail. But by gosh, she's giving it the old college on-set tutoring try!

It is nice to see her being allowed to be non-Caucasian, after the atrocity of her makeup in HSM2, where they apparently attempted to powder away her natural color, despite the shrieking orangeosity of Zef and Tizz. (I originally referred to this as "flouring" her face, but after Camp Rock went whole hog and had its Latina heroine actually stick her face in a bag of flour, I guess I'll have to stop calling it that.) Also, check the sexuality going on here! I guess once you're naked on the internet you can strut your be-sneakered gams down darkened streets with impunity.

Anyhoodle, the entire album vacillates between this attempt at Big Girl Voice and our usual squeaky robot Vanessa. There's very little that's stand-out good or stand-out bad; it pretty much all falls on a spectrum of "mediocre" to "mildly crappy," with a couple of minor exceptions. "Paper Cut" sticks out at me because it makes me a little concerned for the Hudge: "Your love hurts like a paper cut, so sweet/ Never even feel the slice, it's so deep…" But for my money the What the Hell Award goes to "Party on the Moon," which includes not only the word "astrologic," but also the astonishing phrase "Milky Way hotties." Nice one, V.

(I have to say, though, that looking over online lyrics to this album, I feel a bit gypped that I don't live in Japan. Over in the Land of the Rising Sun they get gems like "Set It Off." Not only does it appear to be about Vanessa's high-tech chastity belt, it contains lines like "Now bend over like Houdini/ And there's no key/ You gotta pick the lock." I'm not entirely sure what that means, but I know it's dirty!)

In conclusion, Baby V continues to run a C average - passing, but nothing to write home about. Better luck next time, Sneaks!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Most Important Blog of All Time

A blog which is totally worth subscribing to: High School Musical 3: Graduation News! As in, a blog that keeps everyone up to date on the facts and rumors about HSM3. Which, you know, Jess and I are totally going to end up seeing opening night. Because it looks to be amazing.

Two things from the most recent blog entries, which badly need highlighting:

RYAN'S ROCKETTES, OMG. Yeah, Ryan is the captain of a drill team. Which he apparently named after himself. Oh man, I love Ryan. (Also, from the alleged leaked soundtrack, he gets the movie's only solo song! Can I get a HELL YEAH?)


From this post. I point out the pic for two reasons:

  • Troy looks extremely adorable and oddly not douche-y. Like, to the point where Jess and I had to stop and debate whether that was really Zef or just one of Disney's slightly-younger clones with mildly less stupid hair.
  • Uh, Chad is offering Troy a handjob there, right? Right.

Best. Blog. Ever.

ETA: Thanks to Molly for pointing out my ridiculous spelling errors, and while I'm at it, to Ann for linking to that blog to begin with.