Archive for We So Excited

The word is heard

Writers know about prompts: you get a very brief setup, from which you are expected to derive a story.

It may be a little trickier if what you write is the popular song. Rebecca Black asked for a one-word prompt, and this was the result:

While watching one of her weekly videos many moons ago, I caught a glimpse of an actual record player at her digs. As someone who got his first such device before even hitting puberty, I can appreciate this photo from RB’s Facebook page:

Rebecca Black in a record store

Eternal verities, doncha know.

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Viral spiral

The folks at Hollywood Life came up with a semi-wacky idea: have Rebecca Black respond to some classic viral videos — including, of course, her own.

Legitimate question: “Front seat, back seat — who the heck is driving? These are seventh-graders, fercryingoutloud.” It gets answered.

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Ready for next year

For some reason, this was posted on the first of November. I’m running it anyway:

RB is back home in Los Angeles. I really should send her a case of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

And someone snagged some live video from the tour:

I still love that line: “If you don’t like me, get in line.” (There remain a couple of F-bombs.)

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How Swede it is

There’s not a great deal of Rebecca Black news this week: the tour continues, and RE/BL continues to trickle into the music players of the world. (Were it going faster than a trickle, it might have actually charted this week, which it didn’t.)

That said, this Swedish (!) interview is a pretty decent summation of the last six years — at least, the bits I can comprehend, which are mostly in the three-minute video — and if nothing else, it suggests that at least one part of the world has moved beyond partying, partying, yeah:

Lyssnar du fortfarande på Friday?

“Are you still listening to ‘Friday’?”

By about four to one, Nej (no).

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Hearts, scarred and otherwise

You’ve all heard these questions before. Maybe even some of the answers.

And in this piece for NBC’s THINK, Rebecca Black describes what it was like to be targeted:

An adolescent girl is, at best, pretty confused as to what life is all about and usually struggling to navigate this world around us as we’re beginning to be seen as adults but without the emotions or experience to handle adulthood. It is so challenging to live up to all the requirements that a hugely demanding society places on us women; to perform, to look exquisite, to be fun, to be smart, to be popular. It is just too much; we are not created to be “perfect” and it is not fair to demand so much from a young girl, let alone from any grown woman or any human.

Although I was hurt to my core by the intense nastiness, I had absolutely no way to deal with that, so I shut down. Looking back, I can see that that was actually a pretty sensible way that my brain coped with the stress of what I was experiencing: Pretending that the bad things were not that bad and easy to shake off, was the only way I knew to handle it.

“Heart Full of Scars” starts exactly there.

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Signs of the rhymes

There’s something faintly compelling about having a Whataburger half a mile away: of the national chains, only Popeye’s and Jack in the Box are closer. I ordered probably too much food, pulled ahead to the next window, and the shuffle in the music box duly served up the next song: Rebecca Black’s lovely cover of Troye Sivan’s “Wild.” Which would not be at all notable, except that the last time I went through the drive-thru at this Whataburger it played a different Rebecca Black song.

And the time before that.

This would seem to defy the odds: there are 5,090 songs on the playlist, including eleven by Rebecca Black.

And then this, postmarked “Metroplex MI 480,” was waiting for me back home:

Note received from Rebecca Black, October 2017

Maybe I’ve been doing something right these past six and a half years.

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In between tour moments

Just a little free fallin’:

A little full-moon fever never hurt anyone.

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Second and third opinions

The three participants in the Love Is Love tour — if you’ve been here on a Friday in the last six years, you might recognize the one on the right — get up close and personal:

The tour begins in Chicago on Sunday and ends in Los Angeles on the 4th of November. And this is what it’s all about.

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Sliding by

A recent Popcrush article on Rebecca Black contains a ten-page slideshow, including some pictures you just might have seen before. A couple of the captions, though, seem a bit at odds with one another.

Number 8, “On the Tiny Details”:

“Details matter. Perfectionism can be problematic. but in everything you do, pay attention to the smallest details. The slightest change in a song or even an outfit can make or break it. This stuff has your name on it forever, so it’s important to be proud of it and know you paid attention to every element of it.”

Number 9, “On Pressure”:

“Try not to put an immense amount of pressure on yourself all of the time. Sometimes this industry can feel overwhelming or frustrating, but we can’t help the fact that we’re human and that we’re not perfect! Mistakes are okay and everybody makes them, so when you’re freaking out, try to bring yourself back and remind yourself of that.”

In the meantime, here’s the full video for “Heart Full of Scars.” As the cool kids say, it’s a bop.

(A couple of R-rated words here and there.)

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Behind the scene

Two weeks ago, I tossed out the following thoughts regarding Rebecca Black’s Not Then But Actually By God Now Out EP RE/BL:

Of course, the selling point for the EP is that it’s an actual EP, a proper CD with five tracks on it and some sort of case. Very few of these are likely to be pressed; she’s never sold anything but downloads before, and her youngish audience may not be able to come up with the premium price.

I’m assuming the last two singles, “The Great Divide” and “Foolish,” will be on the disc. That means two new tracks. And no, I don’t think “Friday” will be on there as a bonus track.

Spot on, with one exception: there are six tracks, with both original and extra crispy Crash Cove remix of “The Great Divide” on hand. (Can’t blame her for that: it’s the remix that got into the top half of Billboard’s Dance Club chart.) The two new songs are pretty decent: I liked “Satellite” better than “Wasted Youth.”

Those who pre-ordered through Pledge Music, as I did, have already received the downloadable version; I was delighted to see that FLAC copies were available.

And to justify the “Behind the scene” title, here’s an outtake from the RE/BL photo shoot:

Outtake from the photo shoot for Rebecca Black's EP RE/BL

I’ll report in when the actual disc hits my mailbox. In the meantime, the iTunes Store AAC version is $6.99; each individual track goes for $1.29, an unusually high price point for Rebecca Black.

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On the road again, kinda sorta

And maybe promoting that new EP, right?

There is, of course, a video:

Said new EP is due out next week.

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One might even say “rebellious”

Thursday night, 10:52 pm. It’s approaching midnight Eastern, and I’ve just landed at the iTunes Store, hoping to score a copy of Rebecca Black’s new single “Heart Full of Scars,” which is scheduled to drop in eight minutes.

To my amazement, it’s already there. I fumble for the Buy button, and about fifty seconds later, it’s mine, all mine.

Now it must be admitted that I’d already heard it once; I had the upcoming EP (due two weeks from now) on preorder, and they allowed me a stream. I was somewhat surprised by the presence of an actual F-bomb. I probably should not have been: I know I swore like a sailor when I was twenty. And considering her subject matter — triumph over the naysayers who said Nay, as naysayers will, after the much-mocked release of “Friday” — well, I’d probably have to drop at least a buck twenty-nine in the cuss jar.

But the purchase came with something I didn’t expect: the cover art for that EP. Somebody worked maybe too hard on the title:

Cover art for RE/BL by Rebecca Black

That’s RE/BL: the slash is silent.

Of course, the selling point for the EP is that it’s an actual EP, a proper CD with five tracks on it and some sort of case. Very few of these are likely to be pressed; she’s never sold anything but downloads before, and her youngish audience may not be able to come up with the premium price.

I’m assuming the last two singles, “The Great Divide” and “Foolish,” will be on the disc. That means two new tracks. And no, I don’t think “Friday” will be on there as a bonus track.

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No fooling

Something tells me Mr Martinez is not the most unbiased observer. But then, neither am I.

For comparison, “The Great Divide” in its Crash Cove remix form, which has been on YouTube since the first week of September, has 3.4 million views. Then again, it actually spent a fair amount of time on Billboard’s dance-club chart, which “Foolish” inexplicably didn’t.

And then there’s “Friday,” which picked up about 160 million in its original incarnation, got reset to zero after its ownership was settled, and has had 111 million in the five years since.

Still, you need more than just YouTube to make yourself mobile:

Rebecca Black and a sport-utility vehicle

In Los Angeles, this is considered minimal transportation.

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One hundred thirty-six

So I was restructuring my photo archive, and I got to wondering: “Geez, just how many pictures of Rebecca Black do I have?”

This, I think, gives her third place, trailing Taylor Swift (412) and Zooey Deschanel (628). It’s a distant third, but still: third. And she’s only 20. An opportunity, I figure, for a Rule 5 post.

Rebecca Black outside the Grammy Museum

Rebecca Black has lunch, sort of

Rebecca Black keeps her balance

Rumor has it that the long-awaited EP will drop on 15 September; at least one Major Fan is running a countdown.

For the heck of it, here’s a Just Stuff video from summer 2016:

She’s very nineteen in these scenes.

And this went up today:

It’s happening. (I think.)

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In the 60s this would have been a dance

Today, it’s a workout for your abs:

Rebecca Black does the side plank

What’s going on here? This:

My girl @msrebeccablack killing it today with her side plank variations. The SIDE PLANK primarily works muscles in your CORE. It strengthens abdominal and back muscles, particularly the transversus abdominis, rectus abdominis, obliques and quadratus lumborum. It also hits the gluteus medius and gluteus minimus in the hips, as well as the adductor muscles located in the inner thigh.

If you’d heard of this before, you’re a step or three ahead of me.

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By decree of the remix queen

Note for reference: When Rebecca Black recorded “The Great Divide,” it came in two flavors: the original, and the right-on-its heels remix by Crash Cove. And it was the remix that eventually landed halfway up the Billboard dance club chart.

Inexplicably, “Foolish,” which if you ask me is a better song, made no chart noise. So here’s a remix, by Scheir and, yes, Crash Cove:

Says Brian Delaney of Rockdafuqout:

A stark contrast to the original, the two producers teamed up to bring a whole new feel to the track. Speeding it up a bit and leading with some beautifully melodic guitar riffs the track quickly builds into heavy synth work and a drop reminiscent of some of the Chainsmokers best work.

While the original has a nice vibe, this re-work hits way harder and brings dynamics that the original lacked. This will be in heavy rotation in my playlists.

And words of wisdom from the world’s oldest 20-year-old:

Where, indeed?

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Hail, hail, the doppelgänger’s here

Well, not here exactly, but in the City of Big Shoulders:

I’m guessing the two upper photos are the genuine article, the lower ones the imitation, but what do I know?

Then again, I don’t have a Tinder account. Guess who does?

Yeah, but flying just doesn’t do it for some of us. Fortunately, there are alternatives for first-class travel:

Rebecca Black in front of a Packard convertible

Looks like a 1955 Packard Caribbean. And she can have whichever seat she wants.

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Gotta get down on frizzday

Listen for the anguish in her voice:

Answers were swift to arrive, but this is the one I like:

I have no idea what she ultimately did, but this turned up on her Facebook feed yesterday:

Rebecca Black lets her hair go wild

And, well, it’s hard to mess up t-shirt and jeans.

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News from much farther south

Rebecca Black has a substantial Brazilian fan base. How substantial, you ask? Enough to justify a fairly spiffy Web site and a surprisingly newsy Twitter feed; almost enough to make me wish I spoke fluent Portuguese. And here’s their most recent piece of news:

The third single from the new RB album, or EP anyway, will be “Heart Full of Scars.” Regrets? Evidently she’s had a few, though she’s only 20 and presumably couldn’t have had too many. (Of course, I have the disc — an actual physical CD, not just a download — on preorder.)

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When she was hot

The important thing is to preheat:

Cover for the week: “Uh Huh” by Julia Michaels:

She finds some remarkable stuff, I have to admit.

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The Friday newsreel

Let it be noted that Rebecca Black’s 20th birthday was Wednesday, I didn’t mention it here on Wednesday, and Thursday I was quizzed by readers: what the heck happened?

How I should have responded: “Waiting for Friday,” to the tune of Lisa Loeb’s “Waiting for Wednesday.” Alas, I wasn’t quite up to that level of smartassery.

Said I last week, after mentioning that 20th birthday:

The Cover-A-Week scheme goes on, though this is the first time she’s done a song older than she is. (The original “Straight Up” was waxed by Paula Abdul in 1988.)

I can just about imagine her reading that and chortling: “You ain’t seen nothing yet, Chuckie.” And so, from 1967 (!):

If I catch her singing any Tony Bennett stuff, I’ll let you know.

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Hey, 19.98

Rebecca Black turns 20 on Wednesday, which means I’ve been following her for nearly six and a half years. A lot of things have happened, and a lot of things are happening: this weekend, she’s moving to a new apartment. And before too awfully long:

The Cover-A-Week scheme goes on, though this is the first time she’s done a song older than she is. (The original “Straight Up” was waxed by Paula Abdul in 1988.)

And the obligatory quasi-semi-glam picture:

Rebecca Black day before yesterday

EP still due Real Soon Now.

Addendum: For some vaguely solstice-related reason, I was looking at Wikipedia’s June 21 page, and I glanced at the list of Births. RB wasn’t there.

She is now.

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I sing all kinds

The story goes that Sam Phillips, upon first meeting the young truck driver, asked him just what sort of songs he sang.

“I sing all kinds,” said Elvis Presley, and over the next twenty-odd years proved it.

Rebecca Black is no Elvis. She’s not even twenty yet. (Less than two weeks away, though.) But while she doles out her rare originals slowly and deliberately, nearly every week she’s covering something new, adding thirty thousand fresh YouTube views to the 150 million or so she already has. This time around it’s “Scared to Be Lonely,” a future-bass number by Dutch DJ Martin Garrix and British vocalist Dua Lipa, though RB’s arrangement is clearly based on a later acoustic remix:

(Then again, if the instrumental break on the Garrix/Lipa original reminds you of Crash Cove’s remix of RB’s “The Great Divide,” you are not alone.)

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90265

No, not a new Yes album, but the main ZIP code for Malibu, California, the subject of a song by Miley Cyrus, released about three weeks ago, and promptly covered by Rebecca Black:

I almost wonder if this is going to show up on her EP Real Soon Now, since Miley’s next album is due in, um, October.

Then there’s this:

Come on. Even Bugs Bunny knows from Pismo Beach.

Or maybe he doesn’t.

Next expected RB sighting: Girl Talk Empowerment, 6/6 in Toronto.

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From here to there

For Rebecca Black, the week began in Vegas, at the Billboard Music Awards:

Rebecca Black at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards

And it winds up in Oslo, where she’s on a sort of working vacation:

Rebecca Black at an Oslo restaurant

Rebecca Black on an Oslo street

“Foolish” has now reached 350,000 views on YouTube; I think it might make its first Billboard chart appearance next week.

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Take a hike

Oh, wait, she did:

Rebecca Black takes a hike

I couldn’t tell you if that was before or after this:

The operative word here, of course, is “again.”

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Ears to you

I don’t think Rebecca Black is telling us that the revamped MTV Awards are still kind of a Mickey Mouse operation:

Rebecca Black at the 2017 MTV Movie & TV Awards

And the next morning, she was back on message:

After six years on the edge of the spotlight, she’s fairly unflappable.

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April, followed by Merch

One offering by PledgeMusic on behalf of Rebecca BlackThe story hit Twitter Wednesday evening, and it didn’t exactly hit square: not everyone quite understood the ramifications of the announcement, and by the time I did, I’d already committed myself to the expenditure. Shortly thereafter came an explanation:

PledgeMusic considers itself a direct-to-fan platform as opposed to a crowdfunding website. Features of PledgeMusic that distinguish it from other crowdfunding systems include that it:

  • is solely focused on raising funds for musicians
  • does not retain any ownership or rights to any music created through the platform
  • encourages artists to include contributions to charity as part of their fundraising project
  • absorbs all transaction processing costs involved in pledging on a project
  • encourages artists to offer a wide range of incentives and exclusive content to pledgers
  • does not process any funding transactions until the funding target is reached
  • is international, accepting artists, projects and pledgers from all over the world
  • allows pledger refunds

My eye immediately went to the picture on the starboard side there. Up to this point, everything released by Rebecca Black has been download-only: the idea of getting actual hard copy, even for a six-track EP, was something I couldn’t pass up, and it’s not like I’ve never spent this kind of money on a recording.

And this service isn’t limited to Small Names, either: they’re already selling Willie Nelson’s God’s Problem Child and taking orders for Chuck Berry’s swan song, Chuck. I have no idea as to RB’s actual wealth, though her info page on Bing says she has a net worth of $1.5 million, which seems at least reasonable.

Besides, she was busy Wednesday night, on the pink (!) carpet at the premiere of Katy Perry: Part of Me.

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Adjusting to things

Rebecca Black’s “The Great Divide,” after a 10-week stay, has finally slid out of the Top 50 on Billboard’s dance-club chart. Which is fine: it’s time to focus on “Foolish.” For now, there exists a lyric video, on RB’s own channel, and an audio-only track which purports to be from “RebeccaVEVO” but which bears no Vevo logo.

Tomorrow afternoon, the full-fledged video, at least slightly steamy, shows up on RB’s channel. If you can’t wait that long, Entertainment Weekly got it first.

Addendum: If you did wait that long, here you go:

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This “Foolish” thing

I knew the drill: new songs drop on Friday at midnight, Eastern time. “Give or take,” I recalled, and therefore I showed up at the online store at 10:57 Thursday to push buttons rapidly. At 10:59:30 the magical word “Buy” appeared. Achievement unlocked.

In Time — gads, in Time!Rebecca Black explains her new single “Foolish”:

I was 18 when I wrote this, and I was just getting into a relationship. It was my first real boyfriend-girlfriend thing. I was really excited and terrified. There was this one point where I was just laying in bed with my boyfriend at the time, and we had been listening to a Coldplay record. It stopped, and all we heard was the buzzing from the record player. It was the most calm, sweet, intimate moment we had together, just listening to silence. I think it’s those moments that really make a relationship — at least for someone like me who’s just trying things out.

And the timing couldn’t be better, since (1) it came out on Friday, as do all new records now, and (2) in its tenth week on Billboard’s Dance Club chart, “The Great Divide” has slid down to #45.

The song itself? So far, all that’s out as a freebie is a clip via Spotify; there will be a video eventually. I liked it, but then I would.

Update, Saturday: A lyric video appears:

Carly Rae Jepsen could have sung this, I think.

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