Archive for We So Excited

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 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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Raised by wolves

Local Wolves is a print and online magazine based in Southern California, founded by photographer Cathrine Khom. Their ninth issue is just out, featuring a selection of “Autumn Beauties”; Rebecca Black’s BFF Alexa Losey is on the cover.

Rebecca Black in Local Wolves magazineAnd if you dig down thirty-odd pages, there’s RB herself, photographed in some places that may not actually remind you of her Orange County origins, including an actual pumpkin patch. The text included with those pictures, it appears, is intended to bring you up to date, in case you hadn’t heard that she was still around and still doing whatever the heck it is she does. (Of course, if you read these pages, you already know that, after a fashion; I’m starting to believe that I have written more about Rebecca Black than has anyone else on the face of the earth.) RB posted a shot from the session to Instagram; you can read the whole issue of Local Wolves from their Web site, which will take you to Issuu, a nifty-looking online publisher with a prodigious variety of available content. (I probably need to keep up with SwimSuit Illustrated, if only to see if they have an annual Sports issue.)

For her regular Friday video, RB churned up something called “Everyday Makeup Tutorial,” which is of course nothing of the sort — but she’s deadpan enough to make you believe it, for the first minute or so anyway. She then tweeted:

RT if you think i should do an ACTUAL everyday makeup routine ;)

Seriously twisted, this girl.

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Which stream can I take?

I continue to fool around with iTunes Radio, and at some point this week I got the idea of putting together a custom station, just to see what I’d get. So I scrolled through the song list, pushed the appropriate buttons, and voilà!

Thus was born Friday Radio, which began its operation, not actually with “Friday,” but with the second Rebecca Black single, “My Moment.” As expected, there’s a heck of a lot of teen pop, and since much of it is vended by Disney, there’s a heck of a lot of Disney-related material coming down the stream.

Here’s the first batch of tunes served up by Friday Radio:

  • Rebecca Black — My Moment
  • Meaghan Jette Martin — Too Cool
  • China Anne McClain — Calling All the Monsters
  • Aaron Carter — I Want Candy
  • Demi Lovato — Can’t Back Down
  • Bridgit Mendler — Turn the Music Up
  • Hannah Montana — Ice Cream Freeze (Let’s Chill)
  • The Chipettes — Hot N Cold (Katy Perry cover)
  • Keke Palmer — Bottoms Up
  • Tim James & Nevermind — Twist My Hips
  • Hannah Montana — I’m Still Good
  • Greyson Chance — Unfriend You
  • Meaghan Jette Martin — 2 Stars
  • Keke Palmer — It’s My Turn Now
  • Nick Jonas — Introducing Me
  • Jonas Bros. & China Anne McClain — Your Biggest Fan

Some observations:

Miley Cyrus was a lot easier to listen to when she was Hannah Montana.

Greyson Chance is that kid from Edmond who became a YouTube star by warbling a cover of Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi”; he’s working on his third album.

Yes, the Chipettes are the Rule 63 version of the Chipmunks.

And viewed, or listened to, on its own terms, some of this stuff isn’t half bad.

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Old-school illin’

This concerned me for a moment:

Not an existential crisis, no: she was just, um, unwell.

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Something old

The third of August — the third of August 2012 — was the last time there was an Ask Rebecca video, until this week:

Two observations: her comic timing is fairly decent, though it’s hard to tell with the extremely close editing, and her makeup bill probably looks like a Pentagon procurement order. And the latter, I suspect, might really be unnecessary, based on this selfie in which she says she’s not wearing any.

In other news, I actually used the word “selfie.” Two months extra purgatory for that.

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Maybe a little truth

But this time, it’s mostly dare, and as you’d expect, some of those dares are marginally disgusting, albeit still funny.

SDK, incidentally, stands for Settle Down Kids. I think.

I saw the original Little Brother Fake Tweet, although I didn’t recognize it as such. (And really, this one would have seemed more likely, but it happened after the fact.)

Also this week, since RB is back in school: essential school supplies.

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Continuing education

For the last couple of years, Rebecca Black had been homeschooled. Not this year, though: she let it be known in this thread that she was back in a formal classroom, as a presumably ordinary high-school junior. (And that’s a nice pair of Chucks.)

Also, she got an impromptu voice lesson:

Which did, I admit, make me chuckle.

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No bowl, please

In this bit of silliness, we learn that Rebecca Black wears a 7½ shoe — and that she hates cereal. How is that even possible?

(And there’s a companion piece.)

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Go east, young woman

Rebecca Black takes a trip to New York:

I wish I had a tenth of her sheer exuberance.

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The online thrift shop

There is vintage, and there is Not Vintage Yet. For that, there is Poshmark:

Ever wish you had a style-mate and could shop her closet? Now you can. Poshmark connects you to people whose style you adore, allowing you to shop their closets, anytime you’d like.

Have items in your closet that you love, but just don’t wear anymore? List it for sale on Poshmark in less than 60 seconds. Sell what you have in your closet so you can shop for what you really love today.

Generating a sale listing on Poshmark using their iPhone app — Android is coming — automagically updates your social-media connections, which is how I heard about this in the first place: Rebecca Black is unloading some of her stuff, including this unworn Zara blazer. If you click on “Zara,” everything Zara comes up.

The only downside, I suppose, is that you have to divulge your size. Still, this has the potential to be, um, farking awesome.

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That day is upon us once again

Rebecca Black takes a back seat to no one — except maybe at your local Honda dealer, where the Honda Summer Clearance Event is taking place.

To borrow a phrase, everything is proceeding as I have foreseen. Even Aaron Sorkin is getting into the act:

Next on the agenda: VidCon. In the meantime, meet RB’s BFF.

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Sometimes at sixteen you do this

Rebecca Black, apparently trying out the visage de canard, contemplates those mysterious creatures known as guys:

I am reasonably certain she will never be as confused about guys as I was about girls at that age.

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Not stopping

Once again, Rebecca Black teams up with a Cute Guy, and the results are delightfully sonorous:

This is slightly more sanitary than Miley Cyrus’ sort-of-raucous original, which should surprise no one familiar with the awful truth about Hannah Montana.

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The past is at hand

In this autobiographical bit, the part of the Disembodied Hand is played by Rebecca Black:

Yes, “Draw My Life” is a Thing.

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Friday’s child

I note in passing that Rebecca Black is sweet sixteen today, and is, as of the last time I looked, the youngest person listed by Wikipedia as having been born on the 21st of June, which, in 1997, was not at all a Wednesday. (Obligatory fanboy reference: They list her as “singer, dancer, actress.”)

And there’s this:

Other noteworthy summer debuts: Jane Russell (1921), Mariette Hartley (1940), Berke Breathed (1957), and Edward Snowden (1983).

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Switching lanes

How low-budget was the video for “Friday”? It was shot at Rebecca Black’s home in Anaheim Hills, with prop expenditures of approximately zero.

Except that while announcing that the family is moving out, she admitted that the bus stop was fake.

I think I speak for everyone here when I say “Duh.”

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Finder’s keepers

This is apparently Rebecca Black’s desktop:

Screen shot from Rebecca Black's Mac

Two things (apart from Hello Kitty in the center) jumped out at me:

  • There’s a folder called “My Book.” Oh, really?
  • AIM? Seriously?

Addendum: It just dawned on me. AOL first put AIM online in May 1997. The service is therefore one month older than Rebecca Black.

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And down was gotten

Earlier this week, Rebecca Black discovered to her horror that her dad was listening to Nickelback.

Which gives me an excuse to post this:

What can I say? It’s Friday.

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Meanwhile last Tuesday

She’s added about 3800 since then:

Rebecca Black has one million followers on Twitter

I think I was #9200 or something like that.

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Hier c’était jeudi, aujourd’hui c’est vendredi

Once in a while, Rebecca Black takes questions from her Tumblr followers. This one made me laugh:

screenshot on a friday, how many messages do you get, like on average telling you it's friday?

Then again, she tweeted this yesterday:

Quelle surprise.

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For all you hot-headed believers

A couple of Fridays ago, I tossed up some live footage of Rebecca Black and Dave Days teaming up on a remake of Rihanna’s “Stay.” A formal studio version was promised, and it’s finally materialized:

It’s a bit more polished than the live take, unsurprisingly, and I admit to being impressed with this new serious-ish version of Days, who made his name as a parodist.

RB still refuses to take herself too seriously, as witness this goofy loop she put up on Vine.

And I can’t even begin to argue with this:

Although the reverse can be true: there are plenty of examples of songs I used to hate that I can stand now that they’re not being blared at me 24/7.

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Longer form

Rock Forever Magazine spends eleven minutes talking with Rebecca Black:

Actual revelations: new single under way, still no release date for the album.

And since Playlist LIVE was mentioned, here’s RB at Playlist with guitarist Dave Days, doing Rihanna’s “Stay”:

It’s so much easier to do these when there’s actual material.

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Think about fun

You know what it is, and the UK’s Intellectual Property Office has been looking into the oft-maligned art of parody. Some of their conclusions:

Parody is a significant consumer activity: On average, there are 24 user-generated parodies available for each original video of a charting single. 25% are target parodies, 31% are weapon parodies and 21% are self-parodies (where the parody maker criticised themselves).

YouTube, asked for “rebecca black friday parody,” claimed 316,000 results. It only seems like that many.

The potential for reputational harm in the observed sample is limited: Only 1.5% of all parodies sampled took a directly negative stance. This is where Rebecca Black’s “Friday” comes in. While there was a “disproportionately negative response from parodists”, the empirical evidence suggested that even highly negative parodies did not harm the original work. It is advantageous to a video to attract parodies, even critical ones.

If the makers of all those “316,000” parodies of “Friday” watched it only once, that’s still a tidy sum for RB.

There exists a small but growing market for skilled user-generated content: Parody videos located in this study generated up to £2 million in revenue for Google in 2011, a portion of which was shared with the creators.

I’ve mentioned this up before. It remains the one “Friday” parody I actually paid to add to the collection:

A definite Palpatine with cheese.

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Gotta stay up on Friday

On a scale of 1-10, Rebecca Black rates her “inner self-confidence” at 15:

Oh, and if you were wondering why she was in Florida in the first place (see previous post, the answer is Playlist LIVE:

First and foremost, Playlist is a festival for everyone who loves online video and music! There will be live performances by many of your favorite YouTube and musical artists. Beyond that, YouTube and music have become very collaborative, so it’s about interaction. There will be interviews and interactive talks, complete with audience participation, from YouTube artists. There will be meet-ups and autograph signings with all of the artists participating, and every artist will have merchandise for sale. You can meet your favorite YouTuber and film the experience and post it to your own YouTube channel!

Hard to imagine her not being there, really.

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The world holds its breath

It’s been two years since “Friday” went viral, and, well, Rebecca Black has yet to become a superstar:

14 mars 2011 : le monde retient son souffle. C’est en effet en ce jour que le premier single d’une adolescente américaine dénommée Rebecca Black, “Friday”, est publié par Ark Music Factory. Depuis plusieurs jours, effectivement, Internet — et au-delà — ne parle quasiment que de ce clip. Rebecca Black, d’ailleurs, aura été la requête Google qui aura le plus progressé durant l’année 2011 !

50 millions de vues sur Youtube plus tard pour la vidéo officielle de “Friday” — à additionner aux 160 millions de la première vidéo, effacée en avril 2011, et que tout le monde s’était partagé — qu’est devenue l’adolescente, âgée de 14 ans lors de son explosion publique ?

A few minor emendations: “Friday” was actually first uploaded in the fall of 2010, and went largely ignored until it was picked up by Tosh.0 and The Daily What. And RB, thirteen at the time, will be sixteen this summer.

And “Whatever happened to…?” questions are inevitable, I suppose. That said, I continue to believe that she’s better off just above the radar, rather than making desperate grabs for the brass ring. What she has going now is reasonably sustainable and even somewhat lucrative.

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