Archive for We So Excited

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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Nothing more than feels

“Feels” as a noun seems uncomfortable to me, especially when it’s rendered with a Z, but I suspect it’s too late to do anything about it now.

Wilmington, Illinois singer/somgwriter Kiara Saulters, known professionally as “Kiiara,” actually had the temerity to record a song called “Feels.” Released as the second single from her low kii savage EP, following the big hit “Gold,” “Feels” is weirdly atmospheric and liberally salted with F-bombs, perhaps even more so than “Two Weeks” by FKA twigs, whose emotional range it shares.

For my introduction to “Feels,” I am indebted to, yes, Rebecca Black, who cut an acoustic cover with Olivia O’Brien this week under the auspices of Vevo. If anything, the F-bombs seem even more prominent here, what with two voices joined together. If you stay for the whole video and wait for a couple of seconds, you get the audio (but not the video) for RB’s single “The Great Divide,” which in its Crash Cove remix dropped one spot on Billboard’s dance-club chart this week, to #34. And the fact that Vevo is getting involved makes me wonder if there’s going to be some industrial-strength push behind “Foolish,” the next Rebecca Black single.

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Possibly an example of good timing

“The Great Divide” dropped to #33 in Billboard this week, and were I an avid watcher of musical trends, I’d suggest it was just about time for a new single from Rebecca Black.

Well, guess what:

Yes, it’s called “Foolish.” I haven’t heard a note of it. But I will.

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There have been better weeks

Upward progress has been halted for now:

The Great Divide by Rebecca Black at 25 on Billboard dance chart

Still, seven weeks in Billboard. “Friday” managed only six. And there were other issues to contend with:

Shortly thereafter:

So it’s not been her week. Still, she keeps on singing. “Issues” was Julia Michaels’ debut single, appearing in January of this year:

And hey, it keeps this department humming. Still, there’s a Rebecca Black original on the way:

There was room for 30, but it filled up almost instantly.

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Six weeks on

“The Great Divide” continues to unite us on the dance floor, up two spots from last week:

The Great Divide

And yet another cover served up, this one a duet with Drumaq. The original was recorded last year by Noah Cyrus, who is Miley’s younger sister. (“Lana Montana”?)

Warning: One brief untoward utterance at the end.

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A walking, talking melody

Chart progress: continuing.

The Great Divide by Rebecca Black at 25 on the Billboard dance chart

Meanwhile, Kurt Hugo Schneider has contributed this song to the cause:

We can dig it, as they used to say back in the day.

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“The Great Divide” continues to climb the dance-club chart:

The Great Divide by Rebecca Black at 27 on the Billboard dance-club chart

And there is, yes, another cover for your delectation, this time of “Starboy” by The Weeknd.

You should probably consider this totally unsafe for your workplace, what with the pseudo-Oedipal references scattered throughout.

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Seven points higher

First, the chart action:

The Great Divide at 35 on Billboard dance chart

Next, the obligatory cover song:

Which is that Taylor Swift/Zayn Malik song from Fifty Shades Darker. I note in passing that the original peaked at #33 on that same Dance Club chart. (Okay, yeah, it hit #2 on the Hot 100, but you I can’t have everything.)

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Up seven notches

Progress continues:

The Great Divide reaches Number 42 on Billboard's Dance Music Chart

Meanwhile, it’s back to the covers, this time a song first recorded by Katy Perry and released a whole two weeks ago. Whatever else you might say about Rebecca Black, she does pay attention to what The Industry is doing.

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Devoutly to be wished

I’ve been waiting a long time for this:

It’s been a slow climb. “The Great Divide,” released in August 2016, was #53 last week on this same chart:

#49 chart entry for The Great Divide by Rebecca Black

This is only her third song to get any chart recognition from Billboard: “Friday” made the Hot 100 at #58, “Saturday” at #55. (On the Heatseekers chart, since discontinued, they were #1 and #2 respectively.)

In case you missed it:

I’m happy for her. (And I feel a measure of vindication after having stuck beside her for nearly six years.)

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Ed aims to please

Ed Sheeran’s “Castle on the Hill,” from his album ÷ — yes, that’s the name of it — is an atmospheric ballad about growing up in Framlingham, Suffolk. All the more reason, I think, that it should be covered by a half-Indian guy from Cincinnati and a half-Mexican girl from southern California, right?

(For comparison, here’s Ed’s original.)

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Still on the line

While we wait for something new from Rebecca Black, her friends and associates are reworking something not so new: this week saw the release of two new remixes of “The Great Divide.”

Dave Audé’s take, described as “Dance” in the iTunes Genre column, is pretty conventional but also pretty damned danceable. The Mauro Mozart version, characterized as “Electronic,” also commands you to move, though at over seven minutes it can also be characterized as “interminable.”

Oh, and there’s this:

The three dots on her middle fingers, incidentally, are tattoos.

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And still more covers

Jon Bellion’s single “All Time Low” came out this past spring. You may be absolutely certain that Rebecca Black knows it inside and out:

With Max Ehrich. Note: Some of the language approaches saltiness.

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Fake like Drake

So far, Rebecca Black’s supply of cover versions seems inexhaustible, and that’s fine with me. Here she and Josh Levi take on Drake’s “Fake Love,” apparently in one take:

I went looking for more of Josh, and found a nifty cover of The Weeknd’s “Starboy.”

Meanwhile, HelloGiggles talks about RB and “The Great Divide”:

Her brand new song is a bit more mature, and her vocals are totally top notch.

It just proves that anyone can stand up, brush themselves off, and continue on. Black, who was 13 going on 14 when “Friday” was released in 2011 and is 19 now, never stopped singing — even though the internet was buzzing with negativity over her music video.

Does negative buzz actually count as buzz?

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Peer review

Yeah, it’s Friday, but this is a Thursday-night picture of Rebecca Black down near the Hollywood Roosevelt hotel, and no way am I passing up the opportunity to peer at it.

Rebecca Black in West Hollywood

Rebecca Black in West Hollywood

Says HelloGiggles: “Rebecca looks like a badass fairy queen, and we love it.”

The Hollywood Roosevelt, if you’re keeping score, is at 7000 Hollywood Boulevard; film producer Arthur Cohn (The Garden of the Finzi-Continis) has a star on the Walk of Fame just outside.

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She who writes songs

A Rebecca Black fan outpost in Brazil happened upon this:

I recognized this as a screenshot from ASCAP’s Ace database, and mused for a moment: “Who would have thought that Rebecca Black would be a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers?” Yet there is is, in blue and white. (And she has an ASCAP publishing unit: Rebecca Black Music Publishing, which apparently has existed for a while, or at least since “Person of Interest,” her first writing credit.)

So I went back to Ace, and found “Alive,” “Jokes on Me,” “Last One Standing” and “Time of My Life,” from her brief teamup with Edward Wohl in 2015. What I didn’t find was this:

Maybe “Golden” is next?

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It could have been a birthday gift

“And what would you like?”

Um, a new Rebecca Black record would be nice.

And so it is:

To me, it seems a little less restrained than Alessia Cara’s 2016 original.

Cara, incidentally, wrote some new words to Troye Sivan’s “Wild,” which Sivan liked enough to cut a new version with Cara’s voice and lyrics. It’s pretty spiffy, but I still like Rebecca Black’s cover better.

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Fists of furry

Legend of Kung Fu Rabbit is the English-language version of Legend of a Rabbit, the first-ever animated film from China to be exported to the rest of the world, possibly to try to earn back the CNY 100 million it lost in its domestic market.

One possibly intriguing character:

Penny from Legend of Kung Fu Rabbit

She’s named Mudan in the Chinese version, but for some reason they’ve called her “Penny” here. Yan Ni, fortysomething, was the original voice actor.

Yan Ni

In English, Penny’s voice was provided by a teenager: Rebecca Black.

Yes, that Rebecca Black. From the few bits I can catch from the trailer, she sounds every bit like the fourteen years old she was in 2013 when the DVD came out. Still, I should see this some day.

(Title in the trailer. I wish I’d thought of it.)

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Already qualified

“I’m so sick of these little white girls acting as if they’re so high and mighty and know everything about culture. Starbucks is not culture.” — Rebecca Black (circa 2015)

(Via John Salmon. As I post this, I’m watching RB on YouNow.)

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The song retains the grain

You know, I wouldn’t blame her if she really couldn’t sing it anymore:

But that was good fun, and hey, the mousy little 13-year-old from the “Friday” video turned out Rule 5-worthy and then some. Recent shots of 19-year-old Rebecca Black:

Rebecca Black outside Time Inc. in New York

Rebecca Black's jeans are ripped

Rebecca Black goes all 80s

This latter shot she described as “my mom, circa 1983.”

And I’m not about to try to explain this:

Then again, it’s CVS. Perhaps no explanation is necessary.

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And rounds were made

With a Brooklyn appearance scheduled for tonight, Rebecca Black hit up just about every possible source of publicity in New York this week: WhoSay, Teen Vogue, Complex Music, MORE, and, yes, Billboard, and that’s just through Thursday. This is called maximizing one’s opportunities.

Said I two weeks ago:

Awesomeness TV was responsible for the Web series Royal Crush; RB was a cast member in season three. I suspect she’s done more work for them in the interim, and await the unveiling of same.

Consider this unveiled:

It can’t be any sillier than Ouija: Origin of Evil, opening this weekend.

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Let’s get buzzy

Rebecca Black for BuzzFeed Music“Take a #BuzzFeedMusicBreak with Rebecca Black,” they said, and it proved to be more substantial than one might have thought, considering, well, Buzzfeed: for one thing, the “break” ran a solid 18 minutes, and for a more important thing, the two opening numbers were songs we haven’t heard before, songs we may see released one of those days. The first of them, an apparent ode to nighttime, is cheerfully catchy; she followed it with an ambiguous love song. The closer, inevitably, was “The Great Divide.” Did she work “Friday” into the program? Well, kinda sorta.

In other RB news, she’s doing a short show/meet-n-greet in Brooklyn on the 21st.

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Bae by dae

Still not used to the B word:

Awesomeness TV was responsible for the Web series Royal Crush; RB was a cast member in season three. I suspect she’s done more work for them in the interim, and await the unveiling of same.

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Long division

Michael Korte, proprietor of the Web series “City of Michael,” interviews Rebecca Black.

They play off each other remarkably well, I think.

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Among the greatest hits of all time

This might be an odd way to characterize “Friday,” the song that made Rebecca Black famous, considering it peaked on the Billboard Hot 100 at #58 and has sold somewhere around half a million downloads but zero physical copies.

Then again, you probably remember these tracks, and they, too, never got above #58:

And despite having had the view counter reset once already (at about 166 million), “Friday” is closing in on a hundred million YouTube views:

Four days later:

This works out to about 2800 a day, and none of those days were a Friday. And if there are seven thumbs down for every two thumbs up, well, she gets paid just the same either way. I’m happy to attempt to pad out the count:

After which, I will of course look forward to the weekend.

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Country for young women

This looks like a pretty interesting show:

Have you ever wondered the story behind “Live Like You Were Dying” for Tim McGraw? Did you know that the songwriter of “Friends in Low Places” actually traded his ownership of that song to pay off a hefty beer tab at a local bar in Nashville before it became a worldwide hit for Garth Brooks?

Introducing, “Nashville Unplugged: The Story behind the Song”, a songwriter in the round show that brings the most successful hit songwriters from Nashville right to you. The intimacy of this all acoustic, impromptu show makes for a highly interactive connection between the songwriters and the audience. No show is ever the same because there is no script or band; just some truth-telling troubadours with guitars in their hands, telling the stories behind some of the world’s greatest songs that they happen to have written.

Thursday in Pasadena. And I never would have guessed the opening act:

Then again, RB is working hard to hone her songwriting chops, so why not?

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Friday, when new songs are released

Billboard, I’m sure, would say otherwise, but I’d like to think that changing the drop day for new music from Tuesday to Friday is Rebecca Black’s doing. (And she did it a few years before the rest of the world, not like the rest of the world was paying attention.)

Rebecca Black premieres The Great Divide

That said, there’s no video yet, but “The Great Divide” is out as a single; I picked it up somewhere within the first five minutes of its availability. The standard version has already fallen into desuetude in favor of this remix, which pushes the song a hair closer to EDM and maybe a step away from Jim Steinman. I think I like the remix better, and hey, it gives RB the chance to double the take.

Update, 3 September: Here’s the official video, based on the remix:

This is killer stuff.

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Black’s life matters

It’s not really a remix. Let’s call it a mashup and go with that:

Although the real news is buried in the description:

Check back in the next two weeks as we will [be] debuting her new single “The Great Divide.”

(Via Elle.)

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