Archive for We So Excited

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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This seat’s taken

Contagious: Why Things Catch On is the title of a new book by Jonah Berger, assistant professor of marketing at the Wharton School, and one of the reasons things catch on, he says, is the presence of triggers: events or cultural phenomena that remind us of those things. This being Friday, which trigger do you think is being pulled? Right you are:

Citing Rebecca Black’s song “Friday” as an example, Berger illustrates the influence of triggers in the sharing of information.

“It’s not that the song is better on Friday — it’s equally bad every day of the week, but Fridays are a little environmental reminder, what I call a trigger … to encourage people to talk about it and share it,” he said.

And Professor Berger just might be right about that particular trigger; “Friday” video views tend to spike between Thursday (yesterday) and Saturday (tomorrow).

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Some sort of G thing

I once described Kenny G as a purveyor of “strangled-duck noises.” I’m reasonably certain that this description didn’t discourage any of the man’s fans.

And besides, there’s this going on tonight:

Hollywood celebrities will sneak out of Tinseltown Friday, February 15, to attend a special musical event in the heart of Orange County. Saxophone legend Kenny G will make his debut with Pacific Symphony at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa. “Valentine’s Day With Kenny G” promises to be a romantic and soul-moving experience for the anticipated packed house.

Of course, my interest lies elsewhere:

A number of celebrities are expected to walk the red carpet, including Rebecca Black, who starred alongside Katy Perry and Kenny G in Perry’s newest music video, Iqbal Theba (GLEE), Gretchen Rossi and Slade Smiley (The Real Housewives of Orange County), Principal Pops Conductor Richard Kaufman, international model Beril Akçay, with more celebrities to be announced.

It is a measure of something, surely, that Rebecca Black gets top billing. Although I will have something to say about Beril Akçay later.

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Bringing the beat back

Rebecca Black with Austin MahoneIt’s not quite as easy to work the Rebecca Black beat during this comparatively empty period Between Singles, especially with the After All album still shimmering in the distance; the biggest “news” item of the week was a brief meeting between RB and “old friend” Austin Mahone, a Texas lad of sixteen who’s been characterized as Bieber 2.0. (Both posted photos of the reunion on Instagram.) Like Rebecca, Austin is homeschooled; also like Rebecca, he’s played the House of Blues. Speaking of school, she did say that she’s “almost conquered this semester’s finals,” which is clearly a Good Thing.

In other news, “In Your Words,” the current single, broke 1,000,000 YouTube views this week; the Hater Index is sitting at 0.26.

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Unabashery

An Australian newspaper tries out Facebook Graph Search, and says it’s “taken the pain and skill out of searching for people worthy of a public shaming.”

Among those people, says the paper, are Rebecca Black fans:

Facebook Search screenshot featuring people who like Rebecca Black

“The identity of these Rebecca Black fans have been protected. For shame, people.”

Last I looked, there were 168,383 of us, not all of whom saw her last Friday on Ricki Lake’s show. (Although the clip to watch is this one, in which she says nothing but makes some curious faces.)

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Real live Rebecca Black

There was apparently an upsurge in death rumors again, but no, you can’t get rid of that “Friday” girl that easily. Lots of folks at her Sunday concert at House of Blues in Anaheim, one of whom shot this highly unofficial video:

This was the debut of “Take Me Away,” which will presumably be on the oft-delayed album. Also on the set list: “In Your Words,” the current single; a cover of Ed Sheeran’s “The A Team”; future album track “Carried Away”.

And, oh yes, this was the finale:

Rebecca has often spoken of rearranging “Friday,” but I never imagined it as reggae.

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In practice

A brief bit of facepalm-worthy goofiness from a Rebecca Black rehearsal last week:

She did a second Ustream Thursday afternoon, fraught with sound issues. (Which perhaps was an improvement over the first one, which had no such technical problems but which was marred by side commentary from various low-level griefers.) She blamed the dubious audio on having to use her manager’s Mac instead of her own, which was hors de combat for some reason. Points, though, for remaining cool under pressure. And I admit to something of a grin when someone streaming the show sent her a marriage proposal, and she replied demurely, “Isn’t this a little early in the relationship?”

Yes, I’m acting like an overstewed fanboi. Deal with it.

Meanwhile, Peter Larsen reports in the Orange County Register:

Even Black sees how her trajectory doesn’t exactly follow the norm for overnight sensations, and admits it wasn’t always easy to stick to the well-considered career path she and her advisors have followed.

“It definitely was hard a lot of the time,” she later says of the methodical way her post-“Friday” career has unfolded. “It’s so easy — we could have just recorded a bunch of songs really fast and just put them out there while ‘Friday’ was ‘the thing.’ And yeah, they would have gotten a lot of attention. So it was hard.

“But everyone told me, ‘It’s OK, you can wait.’ And I’m so glad I waited. It’s a hard thing to understand when you’re young, and being that I’m impatient, too.”

The getting of wisdom, a little at a time.

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