Archive for We So Excited

As though the moment had passed

Possibly the best article ever written about Rebecca Black — I figure my prodigious body of work is tied for third — showed up in, of all places, BuzzFeed. BF’s Reggie Ugwu gets the overview in order, makes a couple of unexpected disclosures, and comes up with paragraphs like this:

Maybe more than any other 18-year-old alive, Black is all of our anxieties about oversharing online made flesh: the fact that more than 350 million photos are shared to Facebook each day and 300-plus hours of video hit YouTube every minute; the nagging sense that kids born into a world where social networking exists are worse off — when it comes to college applications, job prospects, romantic relationships. For most of us, these fears are as vague as they are persistent, a concern filed somewhere in the back of the brain near jury duty and gum disease. But for Black they’re reality. And, as luck would have it, her overexposure came just moments too soon in the history of the viral video industrial complex to translate into anything resembling a sustainable career. When it comes to making traumatic first impressions on the internet, Black is patient zero.

While she did make six figures off “Friday,” her million and odd YouTube subscribers likely bring in enough these days to pay the rent, or at least her half of it anyway.

Besides, music is coming:

The artist Black says she would most like to emulate, perhaps unsurprisingly, is Taylor Swift, whose ability to successfully switch genres — and to be graceful under intense spotlight — she finds inspiring. “She’s the best businesswoman in music right now,” Black gushes. “She’s killing it.” Black’s new songs, based on two nearly complete demos she sent me, sound like Swift — bright and confident with soaring rock drums and dramatic hooks that work best sung at the top of your lungs while cruising down the highway. Her voice is capable and Auto-Tune–free.

We will forget what I said on the release of “In Your Words” back in 2012:

I’m thinking that if Taylor Swift is wanting to be Katy Perry these days, surely Rebecca Black is bidding here for Swift’s niche: songs simultaneously wistful and accusatory.

Still, if she’s cruising down the highway, we now know she prefers the front seat.

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Having blossomed

This site has never run short of Rebecca Black pictures, although I had never submitted one for the weekly Rule 5 babefests for the most obvious of reasons. I mean, she was thirteen when “Friday” went viral in the spring of 2011.

At eighteen, she’s shed a bit of the Dorky Teenager look, and if she’s going to be a fixture at the premieres of low-budget features, there may be more of these to come.

Rebecca Black at the premiere of Bad Night July 2015

Rebecca Black at the premiere of Smosh July 2015

RB being a major YouTuber, it should not surprise you that both these films have a YouTube connection. Smosh is based on the highly successful YT channel of the same name; Bad Night is an adventure film starring two YouTubers.

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Meanwhile in Anaheim

What's next for Rebecca Black?Rebecca Black is at VidCon this weekend, and she sat for an interview with People and Entertainment Weekly, wherein one question that had been pushed to the back burner for a while was brought forward again:

[W]hile the recent high school graduate says that she’s been working on her debut album (which she hopes to have out before the end of the year) since the “Friday” video hit the web, it wasn’t until recently that things really started to take shape.

“I found a producer that I could work with well and that really understood what I wanted,” Black said. “A lot of it beforehand was sort of like songs picked for me, and I wasn’t really cool with that. Once I started actually getting into the writing process and being a writer on every song and loving and really connecting with every song, I think we are creating something really magical.”

Since to my knowledge she had only one writing credit in her eight previous singles (“Person of Interest,” fall 2011), this suggests that the whole album is New Stuff, and so does this:

Black also revealed that the inspiration for her new sound (“indie-alternative,” she says) came from the music she likes to listen to and her own life experiences — after all, she wrote most of the record while she was still finishing up her senior year of high school.

And when it finally drops, you’ll hear about it here.

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As Friday comes around again

There is actual news on the Rebecca Black front:

This will be their second collaboration. (The first, a nice acoustic reworking of Miley Cyrus’ “We Can’t Stop,” came out two years ago.)

Oh, and there’s this:

Um, no.

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Eighteen and I don’t know what I want

I know what I wanted at 18: a place of my own. Didn’t work out quite that way, but hey, I’m just this guy, you know?

Nowadays:

His comment: “i look pretty dumb in this pic!”

Oh, and someone noticed the door under the stairs, and asked if Harry Potter might be behind it.

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Three so excited

High-school graduate Rebecca Black with a couple of besties:

Rebecca Black in cap and gown

She turns eighteen a week from Sunday. What happens now? Probably something like this.

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Edge of seventeen plus one

Next month, Rebecca Black turns eighteen. What happens then, if anything happens then, is anyone’s guess, but this picture she sent up earlier this week indicates that glam is on her mind:

Twitter pic by and of Rebecca Black

Definitely doesn’t look thirteen — which she was when “Friday” went viral — anymore.

Disclosure: I cropped that photo a bit and lightened things up ever so slightly. This is the original as posted to Twitter.

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Friday plus four

Four years after “Friday” went viral, Rebecca Black talks to Entertainment Weekly:

The Orange County high school senior currently focuses on her million-plus subscriber YouTube channel, where she does comedy bits, answers fan questions, and performs the occasional song. “What I love and have loved about doing YouTube is that I have complete creative control,” she says. “That was a thing that I lacked with the people I was working with and had surrounded myself with. I realized that they didn’t care as much about what I wanted to do as much as what they wanted to see me do. I really felt like I could be myself, and people really got to know me for who I am as a person instead of just this girl who sang songs.”

That phrase “what they wanted to see” has particular resonance with me, since earlier this week I went searching for Black-related material on Bing, and this is what I got on a submenu:

Bing submenu from a search for Rebecca Black

It was originally nine items across; I’ve reformatted it into three by three, but this is what I got. You’ll no doubt notice that a couple of these items are identical — and that some of these pictures are not Rebecca Black at all.

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And lo, down was gotten

You already know the story:

The bell tolls seven times and I arise;
my fast is broken with a bowl of gruel.

And twelve lines more, as Pop Sonnets takes on Rebecca Black’s “Friday.”

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Sneaked in

Rebecca Black by now has done enough shoefies over the last few years, on Facebook and Instagram, to make it possible to identify her just from an ankle shot — providing she’s wearing Converse. This one from a couple years back testifies to her loyalty to Chuck Taylors:

Rebecca Black from here down in Converse high-tops

This one, however, threw me for a loop. She put this picture on Facebook with the tag “if only you knew how i took this”:

Rebecca Black from here down in Converse low-cuts

Phone in her third hand, am I right?

No?

Assuming she did take it herself, I’m thinking the most plausible explanation — I’ve worked with timers, and you never get yourself back into position exactly the way you wanted to be — is that one of those two hands actually belongs to someone else, and I see what I think is just enough disparity in wrist diameter to confirm.

Oh, and one more thing:

Make that two more things:

After three years, it still elicits the giggle.

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Accounting for another week

We begin with an anguished question from a fan:

This is what you’d call a business decision by the artist:

“Music is art, and art is important and rare. Important, rare things are valuable. Valuable things should be paid for,” [Taylor] Swift said earlier this year to The Wall Street Journal. “It’s my opinion that music should not be free, and my prediction is that individual artists and their labels will someday decide what an album’s price point is. I hope they don’t underestimate themselves or undervalue their art.”

Then again, seven years ago a band, without any label input, threw the question open to its fans:

I’m contemplating offering £4.50 — a tad over nine bucks — to download Radiohead’s new album In Rainbows, and after all, the price is up to me.

After a brief discussion, I upped the ante to £4.75.

If there’s any irony here, it’s in the fact that if Rebecca Black ever gets around to releasing an album — she says she’s been in the studio on weekends — she’ll be setting the price for it, unless she signs a distribution deal. (Her singles have been coming out at 99 cents each, with the notable exception of “My Moment,” which carried a $1.29 tab.) I have no idea how much she’s making off Spotify, but it can’t be a whole heck of a lot.

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Once burned, ice shy

The late Lou Gehrig, an eminently sensible man, would probably not have encouraged people to dump water on their heads for the sake of research into amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. But being an eminently sensible man, he also wouldn’t have attributed the phenomenon to Beelzebub:

A WorldNetDaily writer can’t fathom why anyone would willingly dump ice water on themselves, so she did some digging and has now concluded that the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is a satanic ritual.

“I began to think about the IBC,” Selena Owens explains in the piece. “Whose idea was this? Why would people so easily agree to being drenched in icy water? Who participated and who didn’t? Why do people feel obligated to take the challenge if offered to them? What’s the purpose of calling out three other people to take the challenge?”

It gets sillier after that, believe it or not.

Says Lynn:

I don’t even know what to say about this, folks, except that it’s really, really effed up. Someone please go dump a bucket — no, a trash can — full of ice over Selena Owens’ head. Maybe the ritual will reboot her brain.

And since it’s Friday, here’s Rebecca Black on the receiving end:

To the guy who said she should have been wearing white: give it a rest, why doncha?

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Still a person of interest

MTV actually put Rebecca Black to work at this year’s Video Music Awards, since arguably she does more in the way of music video than they do.

I did like this photo she tucked away on her Facebook page:

Rebecca Black on the red carpet

Still holding on to that exuberance, I see.

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Maybe not so much choice

This year’s Teen Choice Awards were marred by the suggestion that someone other than teens might be making the choice:

The annual awards show, which hands out gongs for the best teen movies, music and this year — web stars, enjoyed its 16th instalment on Sunday and it is usually fairly innocuous — bar one pole-dancing routine by Miley Cyrus in 2009.

Which, I submit, indeed should have been barred.

But the ceremony’s officials may be kicking themselves for including the new category this year, after impassioned fans of losing “Web Stars” nominees claimed that the whole thing is set-up…

The latest furore started when Cameron Dallas, an 18-year-old Californian with 5.5 million followers on Vine, publicly denounced the process.

He won the award for “Choice Viner”, but was so incensed that he didn’t get the presumably more prestigious award of “Choice Web Star: Male” that he took to Twitter to reveal how he had been made aware of his win days previously.

“It’s funny how they told me I won the Viner award 6 days before the voting ended and made the runners up still vote to tweet for them,” he said, before deleting the tweets.

Meanwhile, a check of the fine print reveals:

According to its voting rules, which are published in its website’s fine print, “Teenasaurus Rox reserves the right to choose the winner from the top four vote generators.”

In other news, someone or something is using the name “Teenasaurus Rox.”

2011 Choice Web Star (!) winner Rebecca Black got one-fifth of a nomination this year:

Web Collaboration nomination for Rebecca Black and others

They did not win. However, RB says, and I quote, that she’s “blessed to be back at it.” And since I have it, a photo from one of the pre-ceremony parties:

Rebecca Black before the Teen Choice Awards

We’re just glad to have you around, Bex.

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On schedule

Since someone asked (using the Tumblr Ask function), Rebecca Black explained what’s been going on with her schooling for the past three years. First, the question as put:

after dropping out, did you actually ‘homeschool’ or hang around doin almost barely anything somewhat educational in your room (like i’ve been doing these recent months)? im a highschool dropout same age as you, just thought even tho it looks all cool and good on the outside, everyone got their own struggles but all others see is the problems, and maybe you have some of your own. private answer me if you want to. i’d like to know you a lil better.

Her reply:

I never “dropped out” of high school. I was always taking a full load of classes, but I took them online. I still had all the different teachers and classes. I did this for my freshman and sophomore years, and then went back to public high school for my junior year, and will continue that for my senior year as well, as I didn’t want to miss out on a “high school experience” completely.

I’m not one to support dropping out, that’s honestly never even been a reasonable option for my family and myself. I never dropped out of high school, I’m not graduating early, no GED, CHSPE, I’ll be graduating this next year with my class!

And that would seem to be that.

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Coming up in the world

Those who edit Wikipedia are advised about notability: persons or events not worthy of note should not have their own articles. (I don’t have one, and don’t ever expect to, though I know a few people who do.) One’s level of notability determines how much stuff gets on the page: if, for instance, you dial up Led Zeppelin’s “Good Times Bad Times,” their first single, you’ll find in the sidebar a “Led Zeppelin singles chronology,” which, if you follow the links, will take you through “Whole Lotta Love” to “Immigrant Song” to “Black Dog” — though not to “Stairway to Heaven,” which was not released as a single — all the way to “Fool in the Rain.”

I mention this on a Friday because some Wikieditor has assembled a “Rebecca Black singles chronology,” which begins, inevitably, with “Friday,” and continues through “My Moment,” “Person of Interest,” “Sing It,” “In Your Words,” ending with the recent “Saturday.” Each of these songs has its own article and a small collection of contemporary reviews, just like those “real” musical acts.

“Sing It,” notes the pertinent article, received “mixed to positive reviews.” Not incidentally, it was the first RB single to get more thumbs up than down on YouTube; the fans now greatly outnumber the haters. I’m waiting for this to happen to Yoko Ono.

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What with this being Friday and all

Rebecca Black, interviewed at VidCon this past week, on what’s next and why you don’t ever read the comments:

How to keep your water bottle from sliding off your lap was apparently not part of the discussion.

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Phriday photo

Rebecca Black put in an appearance at DigiFest NYC last weekend, and left behind a trace of her existence:

Rebecca Black at Digifest NYC 2014

That logo for Dormify made me think: “Surely Nancy Friedman has seen this name before.” (And she has.) Dormify, they say, “gives you fresh, chic apartment and dorm room decorating ideas,” which is a good thing, given the blanded-out cubicle that is Rebecca’s bedroom. (Assuming that the videos she made in her bedroom were in fact made in her bedroom.) And she’s their target market:

Nearly all of Dormify’s customers are young women and their mothers, although … it is launching a new line of “performance sheets” for men’s beds.

Dormify offers free consultation online and has an average sale of $125 per customer. Zuckerman said students can decorate a dorm room for about $500. A set of sheets, a duvet and pillows start around $150.

“Performance sheets”? Words fail me.

And what’s that blacked-out thing on the backdrop? Not having a copy of the miraculous software used by law enforcement on network-television procedurals, I cranked up various aspects of the picture to verify that it is a logo of some sort, but no way could I read the red-on-black printing, either here or on the other half a dozen I looked at.

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Single slice

For one brief, shining moment, I actually got Rebecca Black to follow me on Twitter.

It didn’t last. Maybe she ran into the usual Twitter limits; maybe she decided it was better for her image if she didn’t. Within half an hour, I was back on the outside looking in, and in fact Twitter had obligingly dropped me from her list of followers, something that rather a lot of people have been reporting of late, so I suspect I’m just visiting Glitch City.

However, Twitter did send me the usual list of suggestions, and it was interesting: three YouTubers, two of whom I’d actually heard of, and Bruno Mars. (Bruno Mars? Really?)

Then there’s this:

So much for the whole grain.

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The cupboard is bare-ish

Generally, one expects some sort of video from Rebecca Black on Friday. What we got was this:

Autocorrect messed up “TIME,” I assume, though it could simply be that she’s a giant sleepy blob of doom.

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A decision has been made

Today Rebecca Black announced “ROADTRIP!!!!!!” with exactly that many exclamation points. She’s headed to the Coachella Valley, probably not for the big Carrot Festival therein, and which seat did she take?

Rebecca Black and friends

I’m guessing the driver might be older than sixteen.

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Brrr

Below-normal temperatures today and tomorrow morning here in the Big Breezy. Not that Rebecca Black would have any reason to know that, but if you ask me, she definitely picked a fine time to do her second one-take unequalized cover, a version of the Neighbourhood’s “Sweater Weather,” which you’ll find below the jump.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Meanwhile in Florida again

Rebecca Black is once again at Playlist Live Orlando — there’s also a Playlist Live in the fall in the similarly exotic Secaucus, New Jersey — and in case you’re not up on this series, it consists of “three-day gatherings for fans, creators and supporters of online video.” RB qualifies as all three of those.

Oh, it’s sold out, so you may not get to see this:

Those panels look like they might have some entertainment value.

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Pi, schmi

To some of us, Pi is Very Special Indeed:

To others (after the jump), maybe not so much:

Read the rest of this entry »

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Avoiding next Friday

It’s Valentine’s Day, after all, and Rebecca Black has advice for the lovelorn:

And hey, if she can put a short I in “driving,” she can put one in “unrequited.”

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And the front seat rules

Some things I was wondering about, answered by the California Department of Motor Vehicles:

You must:

  • Be at least 16 years old.
  • Prove that you have finished both driver education and driver training.
  • Have had a California instruction permit or an instruction permit from another state for at least six months.
  • Provide parent(s) or guardian(s) signature(s) on your instruction permit stating that you have completed 50 hours of supervised driving practice (10 hours must be night driving) as outlined in the California Parent-Teen Training Guide (DL 603). Visit the Teen website at www.dmv.ca.gov/teenweb/ or call 1-800-777-0133 to request this booklet.
  • Pass the behind-the-wheel driving test. You have three chances to pass the driving test while your permit is valid. If you fail the behind-the-wheel driving test, you must pay a retest fee for a second or subsequent test and wait two weeks before you are retested.

Once you have your provisional driver license, you may drive alone, as long as you do not have any collisions or traffic violations.

Which explains how it is that Rebecca Black, aged sixteen years, six months and six days, drove herself to the KTLA studios on Sunset this morning to appear on a news-like show.

Also discovered this morning: “Saturday,” her duet with Dave Days, has made the Billboard Hot 100, charting at #55 — three positions higher than “Friday.”

And for laughs, RB turned loose four minutes’ worth of outtakes from her last six months’ worth of vlogs. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of reading the comments — you never read the comments — and happened upon this:

Rebecca, do you know what a brony is

Oh, dear God.

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A diamond in the flesh

When I first heard that Rebecca Black was covering Lorde’s ineffable “Royals,” something inside of me died just a little.

Fortunately, I heal quickly, and I’m here to tell you that this is pretty amazing, especially given her early history of, um, studio fine-tuning. She recorded it live on her MacBook, with absolutely zero production values.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Sunday still comes afterwards

In retrospect, it seems so obvious: Rebecca Black already owns Friday in pop culture, right? And so, the Next Step:

In purely musical terms, “Saturday” is to “Friday” what the Four Tops’ “It’s the Same Old Song” is to “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch).”

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Not diving from the fourteenth floor

I have an occasional tendency to drop into a random page in the archives and then read a couple weeks’ worth, just to refresh the memory and see if my thinking has changed in the interim.

Which in no way inspired Rebecca Black to sit through the original video of “Friday”:

Well, most of it, anyway.

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A short-reach excavator

On the off-chance that there’s someone out there who really, truly liked the song “Wrecking Ball,” but wanted to hear someone else — anyone else — sing it, we have here the second Rebecca Black variation on a Miley Cyrus theme:

The first, of course, was her duet with Jon D on “We Can’t Stop,” which you may remember from July.

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