Top 10 Videos That Defined The OG TRL

Today, a new generation of kids will be introduced to Total Request Live, a fan-voted music video countdown show on a network that’s become known for not showing music videos. Of course, for millions of millennials across the country, TRL is a trigger for a time in your life where you either watched it religiously, or didn’t give a shit about the most popular TV show amongst your peers.

For me, I fell into the first category, making it a point to be sitting in front of the TV home alone at 3:30pm, relaxing after school and hoping my faves would make the countdown. I taped it when I wasn’t home, voted multiple times on the phone and online, and true story: was even the “TRL Fan of the Week” in 2002. Carson Daly said my name, my profile was featured on the website, and I use it as the one-line bio for my internet profiles.

Carson Daly not only hosted the show and introduced all the videos, but he interviewed the hottest stars in not just music, but TV, movies and more in the heart of Times Square. Today, Carson is a permanent fixture a few blocks away at The Today Show and the hosts of the new TRL are DC Young Fly, Tamara Dhia, Amy Pham, Erik Zachary and Lawrence Jackson, who are all apparently people that would entice the kids to watch TRL. Oh, but that’s not all. The revamped TRL also includes “content creators” Liza Koshy and the Dolan Twins, while Eva Gutowski, Gabbie Hanna and Gigi Gorgeous will be the show’s social media correspondents. Because it’s 2017. Again, I had to vote for music videos via telephone.

I might be slightly out of touch with the youngins these days and not recognize a lot of the artists on TRL’s new countdown, but what I can tell you is that our TRL featured iconic artists and music videos that defined a generation. Here’s (my) list of top 10 videos that made a huge impact on the show and will always be remembered in the TRL era.

10 – Ricky Martin, Livin’ La Vida Loca

Ah, the song that introduced the Latin heartthrob to anyone that wasn’t a Menudo or General Hospital fan. He was sexy, his songs were catchy, and his bon bon shook that made women (and men) fall intro a trance. Livin’ La Vida Loca is arguably Ricky’s biggest hit, but it helped also reintroduce Latin music into the mainstream again, with stars like Marc Anthony, Shakira and Enrique Igelsias becoming chart-toppers too. The video was a staple on TRL and even won Best Pop Video and Best Dance Video (because there’s a lot of dancing?) at the ’99 VMAs.

9 – Limp Bizkit, Nookie

I admit it: I was a teenybopper. I had an aversion to rock bands (white guys), but jumped on the bandwagon if said rock bands were featured on TRL (or were liked by the boys I had crushes on in middle school). Nookie of course was one of Limp Bizkit’s biggest mainstream hits, but it was also their first number one video on the TRL chart, and I still think Carson Daly had something rigged to get his pal Fred Durst on the show.

8 – Destiny’s Child, Survivor

Destiny’s Child had been around long before Survivor – in fact, the first iteration with Letoya and Latavia made the rounds early on with hits like Say My Name and Bills, Bills, Bills but they hit the jackpot when Michelle came in and because DC3 as we know them today. Survivor was all about strong independent women, and the camo lewk was one that many teen girls attempted to create.

7 – Christina Aguilera, Come on Over

You know what MTV should actually reboot? Making the Video. I specifically remember Xtina giving us a behind-the-scenes look for this music video, which made it all the more exciting to watch when it was on TRL. This era was prime time for pop princesses like Christina, which is why it’s hard to choose just one for her on this list. Genie in a Bottle? Yup. What a Girl Wants. Yessir. Dirrrty? Mhm. I really miss the late 90s.

6 – Kid Rock, Bawitdaba

Listen, I hate that I have to even put Kid Rock anywhere on the blog but here we are. This song still makes no sense to me, but it was catchy and crossed the line of rock/metal/rap that the TRL generation hadn’t really seen before. It deserves a spot on this list, and now I’m done talking about Kid Rock.

5 – Blink 182, What’s My Age Again?

TRL was the accessible way for non-pop pop stars to make it in the mainstream, and Blink 182 took advantage of this by parodying all the pop stars who topped the TRL list. It was meta and it worked and was one of the most iconic videos (I know I keep saying that, but it’s true) of the TRL era.

4 – Britney Spears, Lucky

The real pop queen deserves multiple spots on this list, so like Christina, it was difficult to choose just one. Lucky featured Brit as a Hollywood star who, while she seemed happy, wealthy and healthy on the outside, wasn’t so much on the inside. #2007. I think this best describes the fame that came with her being one of the biggest stars to come out of the TRL era.

3 – Eminem, The Real Slim Shady

There weren’t many (if any) shows in the late 90s/early 2000s that allowed Eminem to be played next to Britney Spears in a daily countdown, but that was also the magic of TRL. Eminem (another one of Carson’s cronies) blew up during this time, and over the course of the decade the show was on, Em was number one nearly 100 times with various songs, so it was clear Slim Shady was the real deal.

2 – *NSYNC, Bye Bye Bye

I have only listened to Bye Bye Bye maybe like 10 times max in my entire life. Why? I was a teenybopper/Backstreet Boys fan who refused to hear *NSync’s biggest hit. I’d turn the station or channel any time it was on and have legit sat down at a wedding because it played at the reception (that happened this past June). But real recognized real. Boy bands dominated TRL, no more so that BSB and *NSync. I couldn’t tell you anything about this video because I’ve never watched it, but I CAN tell you I’m v familiar with the gif of JT as seen in the above still. V FAMILIAR WITH JT.

1 – Backstreet Boys, I Want It That Way

Am I biased? Yes. But am I wrong? Probably not. IWITW is easily the boys’ biggest hit and it was the song that started the mania. By the time their Millennium album released, IWITW was already a huge hit, and to celebrate, BSB took over TRL – and so did their fans who took over Times Square. It was insane. But it also showed the power that fans had over this show. TRL was ours. We felt like we had power in what we wanted to see on TV. We got to see our heroes either on TV or in person with some sort of weird ownership that we hadn’t felt before. And for the next generation’s sake, I hope they feel the same way too.

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11 VMA Moments That Shaped My Adolescence

OMG U GUYZ THE MTV VMAS ARE THIS SUNDAY WHO ELSE IS EXCITED?!?!

Not me. But there was a time when that was me. When I was prime MTV target demographic, when I was impressionable and bought any artist that made it to the top 10 on TRL (see: Limp Bizkit and P.O.D. CDs in my childhood bedroom). Those formative years when I was a tween and eventual teen who was thriving at Backstreet Boys concerts and making websites on Geocities. Growing up, I was a teenybopper. I’m not gonna be ashamed about it. That’s just who I was. I was the girl who thought MTV was the coolest, the mecca of where all the celebs and musicians were featured. And the VMAs were my Super Bowl.

Back then, all my faves were either nominated, performing, or presenting, so it made sense that I was tuning in like a Michael Jackson popcorn GIF every year. And there were plenty of popcorn-GIF worthy moments that happened on the VMAs when I grew up. These are iconic and unforgettable performances – clips that takes me back to that time in my life when superstardom was out of reach and not a tweet away. Here are some of the MTV VMA moments that shaped my childhood. It’s crazy to think that Katy Perry and co. might have that same effect on tweens at this year’s ceremony. Guys, we are so old.

1994 ♦ Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley Make Out

Isn’t it weird to look back and think that the King of Rock ‘n Roll’s daughter was married to the King of Pop? Like, what even did they pay the music gods to get that love connection? Apparently not enough since their marriage didn’t last that long. However, this kiss is burned in my brain for eternity.

1995 ♦ Courtney Love bombs Madonna’s interview

I remember watching this live and having NO IDEA what was going on. But I don’t think Courtney Love did either. She wasn’t doing great at the time, but nevertheless, this is still rude. But alas, makes for great TV. Remember Kurt Loder? He is also part of my adolescence, which would be a weird thing to say to him IRL, I think.

1998 ♦ Mariah and Whitney Double Up

At the time this aired, I legit thought this was real. Like they definitely accidentally wore the same dress to the VMAs. I was concerned. Of course, it’s just a bit. I love bits. And I love Whitney Houston. Prince of Egypt forever.

1999 ♦ Diana Ross, Lil’ Kim and Lil Kim’s Lil’ Kim

Lil’ Kim’s outfit was outrageous then, and it continues to be even to this day. The 1999 VMAs were (and maybe continue to be?) my favorite VMAs ceremony of all time, and this is definitely one of the reasons why. I admit, I barely knew who Diana Ross was at the time, despite being obsessed with Phil Collins’ cover of The Supremes’ You Can’t Hurry Love. I didn’t know it was the same person! Anyways, I my mouth was agape when Diana bounced Lil’ Kim’s boob, and hoped that neither of my parents saw what had just happened as I watched the VMAs in our living room.

1999 ♦ Britney Spears and ‘N SYNC Take It Back To School

As I mentioned, 9.9.99 (it was on September 9th obvs) was a big year, particularly for pop music. It felt like it was at its height again, thanks to my boys BSB, Christina Aguilera, Britney, ‘N Sync, all the other boy bands, etc. This was one year after Tearin’ Up My Heart was released, but right around the time …Baby One More Time was becoming super popular. We all know the Britney/’N Sync relationship, but this was everything you could’ve wanted in a pop music performance on the VMAs. Singing, dancing, a school story, a surprise element of the ‘N Sync boys at the desks! As a BSB fan, I willingly admit this is and forever will be one of the best VMA performances in the show’s history.

1999 ♦ Backstreet Boys win the Viewer’s Choice VMA

As I mentioned, I am a BSB fan til the day I die, and 1999 was the height of BSB mania. Millennium had been released earlier that year, and the boys had basically shut down Times Square during their MTV special on release day. I was also at the height of my BSB mania, and voted non-stop in hopes they would win the Viewer’s Choice award against their rival (and mine), ‘N Sync. I remember jumping up and down, so ecstatic that “my” hard work paid off, and that my boys earned the much-deserved moonman. And yes, that white dude in the beginning pulled a Kanye before Kanye.

2000 ♦ Eminem and A Fuck Ton of Real Slim Shadys

Eminem also was a hot commodity in this era, releasing hit after hit after hit, including The Real Slim Shady. The song posits that there are many wannabes but only one Marshall Mathers, and because of that, he invited a whole lot of white guys in white t-shirts and jeans to be extras in his performance. Is this where my real fear of white men started? JK. A little.

2001 ♦ Britney and the Snake

I mean, obviously, right?

2002 ♦ Eminem vs. Moby and Christina Aguilera

Eminem wasn’t necessarily known to be a congenial person that got along with every artist that came across his path. He had beef with DJ Moby, which is why this awkward exchange with Triumph the Insult Comic Dog happened – right before Eminem won a moonman. Which as you can see from the clip, was handed to him by Christina Aguilera. If you recall, Em name-dropped Xtina in The Real Slim Shady, saying:

“Yo Shit, Christina Aguilera better switch me chairs
So I can sit next to Carson Daly and Fred Durst
And hear ’em argue over who she gave head to first
Little bitch, put me on blast on MTV
“Yeah, he’s cute, but I think he’s married to Kim, hee-hee!”
I should download her audio on MP3
And show the whole world how you gave Eminem VD”

Which makes this clip even more memorable (and chilly) thanks to the shade from Ms. Aguilera herself.

2003 ♦ Britney, Madonna and Christina, You Know

The Mickey Mouse Club Was nothing but a memory after this performance.

2011 ♦  Beyonce and Blue

This did not have a hold on my adolescence, but I was still very much awakened when B revealed she was preggo with Blue after singing Love on Top.

A Very Scientific Process In Making the Ultimate Boy Band

Question: Do we need another boy band?

Keep reading if your answer is yes. Because the correct answer is yes.

Executives at ABC recently announced a new reality show called Boy Band, a 10-episode series coming this summer featuring aspiring male singers vying for a spot in a – you guessed it – boy band. Viewers can vote for their favorites, with the top five forming the final group. Think American Juniors meets Making The Band, but sans sketchy Lou Pearlman and with adults.

But what if the singers of boy band past tried out for Boy Band? Would they make the cut? We make the ultimate group based on a very scientific method: what the singer was like at the height of their popularity, their voice, their voice blending with the other voices, how their popularity would shine on a reality TV competition and my own personal opinion.

Nick Carter

 

OG Boy Band: Backstreet Boys

Vocal Function: Lead Tenor

Personality Function: The Heartthrob

Why He Would Make The Cut: Every boy band needs a lead heartthrob with a singing ability to make you swoon in your over-postered bedroom. Circa ’99, Nick Carter was the picture perfect dreamboat, made to make the cover of Tiger Beat, YM and Teen People all over the world. Every time he asked, “Am I sexual?”, the answer is always a screeching, “YES!”.

Harry Styles

OG Boy Band: One Direction

Vocal Function: Second Tenor

Personality Function: Silent Heartthrob

Why He Would Make The Cut: That face. That accent. The way he belts those notes. That hair. The way he puts his hands through THAT HAIR.

Nick Jonas

OG Boy Band: Jonas Brothers

Vocal Function: Counter Tenor

Personality Function: The Seemingly Serious One But Actual Sex Pot

Why He Would Make The Cut: I’m talking Jealous -> now era of Nick Jonas even though the JoBros doesn’t exist and I wouldn’t even really classify them as a real boy band. But Nick is a smokeshow, can hit those falsetto notes like nobody’s business and did I mention he’s a smokeshow?

Donnie Wahlberg

OG Boy Band: New Kids on the Block

Vocal Function: Bass

Personality Function: Bad Boy

Why He Would Make The Cut: Similarly to Nick Jonas, I’d say later era Donnie Wahlberg is primo Donnie Wahlberg. I saw him on the NKOTBSB tour with BSB and I was completely shook and quite frankly upset with myself that I had not been paying more attention to Donnie all these years. He is straight up beefcake, masculine to the max sexy, and his speak/singing voice will automatically take your undergarments off.

Joey Fatone

OG Boy Band:*N SYNC

Vocal Function: Baritone

Personality Function: Jokester

Why He Would Make The Cut: Joey is the type of dude who would thrive on a reality TV competition show. He’s such a ham for the cameras that audiences would lap it right up. See: Dancing with the Stars.

BONUS: Justin Timberlake would be the second one to make the group, but like Ikaika before him, he left to pursue a solo career. Nick Jonas takes his place in a dramatic results show episode.

Disagree? Agree? Chime in!

Questions, Comments, Concerns: Dead 7

Well folks, it was no April Fools’ Day joke – maybe it was kind of a little? – but on Friday, SyFy premiered Dead 7, a zombie Western featuring 90s boy band members and teen idols and made by the fine folks who blessed the world with all the Sharknadoes.

When I first heard about this movie, I was NOT aware it was supposed to be in the same vein as Sharknado, so finding out my beloved Backstreet Boys members – Nick Carter, AJ McLean and Howie Dorough – were going to be in it, I immediately #SMH in shame. Especially because this is the movie’s description:

A post-apocalyptic Western that follows a group of gunslingers as they look to rid a small town of a zombie plague.

Um. Nope. But if you go into it knowing it’s a parody of sorts, I think you’ll enjoy it more. Or at least not shake your head in as much shame. Or if you really want to forego the entire viewing experience all together, just watch this trailer and keep reading.

Comment: what.

lol the opening credits are already ridiculous and I already know I’m going to hate this “plot” because I don’t care for zombies OR Westerns. But this is what I’m told: “Will they become cattle for the army of the dead or become warriors and fight against the growing darkness?”

Concern: U MadTV

This is the villain of the movie, Apocolypta, who is leading the “cattle”. She was also on MadTV and that’s the only thing I know her from, so will I be able to see past that? She does have an extremely annoying growling voice that isn’t anything like her Whitney Houston on the show.

Question: Dothraki?

Apocolypta is speaking some sort of foreign language, but why? Where is this taking place?

Concern: Ew. Blood.

One of the reasons why I hate zombie movies/shows is because I do not like watching blood and guts and anything of that nature. We’re four minutes in and Apocolypta serves some prisoner a human heart to eat. This is going to be rough.

Comment: MY BBs

Story by Nick Carter. My boo 4 LIFE AJ McLean on a horse. A REMINDER OF WHY I’M WATCHING THIS MOVIE.

Comment: Come on and Heat it up

Chapter 1 (there’s more than one chapter??) takes places in Harper’s Junction, and we meet the first of the Dead 7, Billy aka Jeff Timmons of 98 Degrees, who shows up looking like a real dirty All-American hero. He has aged well, considering some of his counterparts. Hey, remember the time Jeff was in the Chippendales? Let me tell you – I just went to Vegas to see the Chippendales for my friend’s bachelorette and no one was quite as famous as Jeff Timmons.

Question: Random killings necessary?

Why is AJ straight up running into Harper’s Junction and shooting people left and right? He’s like the Joker on acid (I answered my own question – he’s working for Apocolypta and killing folks for the zombies to heat. Can you tell I don’t watch The Walking Dead?)

Concern: Visual effects are mediocre at best

Turns out Jeff Timmons is one of the heroes (duh, Traci), and he kills zombies with his guns, in a way that is very reminiscent of the “special effects” seen when Ian Ziering battles sharks in Sharknado. As in, it’s horrible but horrible enough to let you know they’re not serious about this.

Comment: Hey boobs

 Number 2 of 7 is Daisy Jane, a large-breasted blonde played by Carrie Keegan. Don’t know who that is? That’s fine, I only know her because she used to host a live morning show on VH1 I had to cover for work called Big Morning Buzz, which she left in order to focus on acting. Ironically, she was replaced by none other than 98 Degrees’ own Nick Lachey.

Comment: This dialogue

“She took my eye but she took your balls.”

One of the first scenes Chris Kirkpatrick of ‘N Sync fame has is when Apocolypta gouges his eye with her thumb. He has an eye patch. And is the mayor of Desert Springs Jon Secada of Jon Secada has sideburns. GOD BLESS.

Comment: Perfect casting

AJ is an insane villain and no shade, he is so good at being crazy. He’s always been the crazy one of the group so it’s in his wheelhouse, and his performance is getting me through this movie. And it’s only been 13 minutes. Also, we’re on “Chapter II: The Magnificent Dead 7” … how many chapters are there?

Question: Should I know these people?

Because there are so many rando 90s stars in the movie, I honestly can’t tell if some of these folks are celebrities or people from central casting.

Comment: More Joey Fatone

We meet 3 of 7, Whiskey Joe as played by the second best actor in this movie, Joey Fatone of ‘N Sync. He’s beating people up and drinking from his whiskey bottle it is fantastic. Right after this fight, he says, “I gotta go” and he doesn’t mean leave the premises, he’s gotta go number one because WHISKEY.

Concern: Type casting

 Howard Dwaine Dorough of the Backstreet Boys is 4 of 7, a dude named Vaquero. Aka a Latino man with Ray Bans from the actual 1990s. And his accent is… maybe slightly offensive. Maybe also offensive is 5 of 7 Komodo – Erik Estrada of O-Town. Despite also being Latino, he is not type cast but rather playing a sword-wielding ninja cowboy. So Vaquero is way more offensive, I’ve decided.

Question: THERE’S A FOURTH SHARKNADO?

“Sharknado 4 – The 4th Awakens”. This title tho.

Comment: Meta jokes begin

In what I think is the first meta joke of the movie, Gerardo Mejía (the Rico Suave guy) is a store owner? (Who accepts teeth as payment?) Anyways, he says, “Suave! Woo! That’s my boy!” while he’s reading a magazine of sorts. What type of magazine could he possibly be looking at in this zombie world?

Question: What is Nick Carter hiding?

6 of 7 is the one and only Nick Carter of BSB, who plays Jack, Billy/Jeff Timmons’ brother. He’s camped out in a field by himself and gets a letter from Daisy Jane (who is engaged to Billy), and in the note, she encourages him to “put the past behind them”. Did Jack and Billy have a falling out? Did Jack and Daisy Jane have a romantic past? These are the things I’m willing to explore.

“This is a big ass door” Vaquero, while walking through a big ass door.

Comment: Joey Fatone is hilarious

Honestly. He keeps mispronouncing Vaquero as Vacaro (like Brenda Vaccaro, which is a totally relevant reference) and it’s v entertaining to me. He also says, “There’s a bunch of chopped up copperheads (zombies) and they’re… muy muerto.” Spin-off with Joey and AJ. Except no zombies. Or as a Western. So, like a normal movie.

Question: What happened to Everclear?

This is Art Alexakis. He was in Everclear. Now he’s in this movie.

Concern: A kid is going to die

“I’ve gotta check on my foster kid, Georgie.” Jon Secada is the maybe only sheriff/cop in town, and earlier, AJ/Vermillion/Apocolypta’s right hand man, was talking to some kid after breaking out of jail. I am concerned for his safety now. Also, his foster kid?? Update: Foster kid is a zombie. So is Jon Secada. Great.

Question: What does Ikaika Kahoano think of all this?

 Sure, Ashley Parker Angel wants nothing to do with O-Town anymore, but Making the Band fans know Dan Miller actually replaced the originally chosen singer Ikaika, who left because he felt like O-Town wasn’t a good fit for him. Then he went and started his own boy band who had a semi-hit with Hey Juliet and disappeared into the Hawaiian night. Does he wish he could’ve been a bartender then have his flesh chewed out by zombies like Dan? Probs not.

“Everybody’s gonna die some day.” – Jack

Comment: Komodo’s girlfriend is no bueno

Komodo meets Trixie at a bar and she hasn’t left his side since. He’s trying to kill zombies and she’s just there. That is annoying enough, but this girl is like every hot girl in horror movies who looks great running away from a murderer, but the acting skills are just not there. And you know what I found out? The actress, Chloe Lattanzi, is the daughter of Olivia Newton-John. Yes, Sandy herself. Do with that information what you will.

Question: Nepotism?

7 of 7 is Sirene, a machete wielding amazong played by Lauren Kitt Carter, wife of Nick Carter. Nick Carter – star, executive producer, writer of the story. So she’s not the greatest actress, but bless.

Question: What happened to Shifty Shellshock?

My, my a Starry Eyed Surprise – to see Shifty Shellshock in a movie with members of ‘N Sync and BSB.

Concern: There’s just blatant racism now

Whiskey Joe yells to Vacquero, “We’re in America we speak American!” Which, I get is a joke, but felt weird to me. To make matters worse, Howie’s Spanish is 6th grade Spanish and an accent that’s fit for Speedy Gonzales.

Comment: I forgot about the other half of O-Town

I failed to mention Jacob Underwood and Trevor Penick are also in this film, and while Jacob spends most of his short time on screen driving a pick-up truck, I honestly don’t even remember seeing Trevor at all. And he’s my fave O-Towner.

Question: What’s happening?

I stopped paying attention because I got distracted by stalking Scott Patterson on Twitter.

Comment: So there’s a brothel

If you were bored by the blood and the zombies, don’t worry, because they’ve thrown in a random brothel to spice things up. And Frenchie Davis of American Idol Season 2 (disqualified bc porn) fame is the madam there. Komodo’s GF Trixie lives here, because she gave him directions but failed to mention she’s a prostitute. He brings along Whiskey Joe and Vaquero, who are being THE BIGGEST CREEPS AND EYING DOWN THE LADIES OH MY GOD THERE IS STRAIGHT UP SIMULATED SEX HERE I HATE IT. Oh bye Howard. He’s dead.

Question: Why?

ARE YOU KIDDING ME Whiskey Joe plays a few notes of Amazing Grace on his harmonica before killing Howie and letting him out of his misery after a zombie prostitute bit him. Like what even was that sentence I just typed.

Concern: I’m still attracted to AJ

He is literally knifing Daisy Jane and Billy is crying because his girl is dead and AJ mocks his tears and it is equally hilarious and hot.

Comment: Just… a lot of blood

So much blood.

“I can’ play rough You’re my kind of bitch” AJ what are you saying

Question: What happened with Billy and Jack?

Billy’s dying and Jack is by his side and crying over his death, but I still don’t get why they had a tense relationship? These characters need to be *fleshed* out better, said no one except me about a SyFy channel movie.

Comment: THIS.

LOL AJ’S HEAD IS LITERALLY ROLLING AFTER KOMODO USES TWO SWORDS TO SLICE IT OFF.

Comment: AND THIS.

LOL ERIK USING A LEG FOR PROTECTION

Question: When zombies die, don’t they come back to life?

Legit question.

Comment: I am mourning the loss of Whiskey Joe

 Whiskey Joey hints earlier that if he ever gets bit by a zombie, he has a separate “blood flask” that’s connected to a bomb lining his coat so when he turns into a zombie he’ll know to detonate it and kill himself. This happens for real and his intestines hang out. I cannot.

“They’re everywhere and I’m running out of whiskey.” Whiskey Joe keeping it real

Comment: Komodo let love ruin his life

Trixie get bit by a zombie, and in mourning, Komodo cradles her in his arms, then kisses her one last time – except she bites him. Like, come on. So he has to kill her they only way he knows how, by jabbing a knife into her skull. Then he kills himself in a Romeo + Juliet situation, thus becoming our tragic lovers.

Question: I still don’t get this movie?

Honestly where is this going, what’s the moral of the story here?

Comment: Baby Baylee appears

Jack/Nick gets bitten by a baby zombie that legit looks like Brian Littrell’s son Baylee when he was a tot, and I can’t unsee it. Luckily, Sirene saves the day.

Comment: The song makes so much more sense now

The original song made by the stars (mainly Nick and AJ) called In The End, is played in the beginning and, surprise surprise at the end of the movie, and it totally resonates so much more because of the journey I just went on.

No one’s left to take me home/Nothing’s left just a dream/Don’t look back nothing’s gonna save us

Comment: Apocolypta is dead

I forgot to mention that. Pretty much everyone dies except Sirene. Which apparently is a relief to some, including Jack, who tells us in the voiceover that he ” has a chance to rest finally rest in death.”

Too Soon to #ReplaceZayn?

We talked about giving you Directioners a week to deal with the fallout of Zayn leaving the group yesterday, but I’m going to talk about it again today, because the internet is still not over it, and in turn, with us being… the internet, we’re not over it either.

Unlike Molly, I am a proud card carrying member of The Cult of Boy Band (not a real cult, just made it up, should probs be legit tho).  Since I’m 29, I’m not really emotionally invested in Zayn’s departure, but I can only imagine what these teenyboppers are going through right now. Kind of.

In the summer of 2001, the Backstreet Boys, well four of them, appeared on TRL and sat down with MTV News dude John Norris for what looked like a serious chat. I knew something was up because 1) AJ was missing 2) Why was John Norris interviewing them and not Carson 3) They were sitting on stools. And sure enough, they came on to let everyone know that AJ had gone into rehab for his alcohol addiction, depression and anxiety and they put the Black and Blue tour on hold.

In full disclosure, watching this brought back a traumatic memory for me and I started tearing up just watching the clip. Because as a 15-year-old teen girl whose life centered around BSB, the moment was a traumatic one, like the kind of ‘JFK assassinated-9/11-Princess Diana’ type moment – I was sitting on my couch and crying uncontrollably, and when my parents got home they thought something went horribly wrong but then I had to explain to them that AJ went into rehab (This was around the time my mom informed me I liked ‘bad boys’ because I was also obsessed with Robert Downey Jr. during his dark days). I was sad, confused, concerned for AJ, mad because I had tickets to the tour and it was going to be delayed – I felt a lot of feels. So I get it, Directioners. I really do. If that moment had been the end of AJ in the group, I would be distraught too.

But times are different now. I didn’t have Twitter and Tumblr and Facebook and SnapTube to express my feelings. You know what I had? The Backstreet.net fan forum and a boom box to play Don’t Wanna Lose You Now on repeat. We didn’t have campaigns to get all 10 Trending Topics on Twitter to be 1D-related. We didn’t have a GoFundMe.com crowdfunding site to raise $877 million to “buy the band” (seriously I’m dying this is real and hilarious). There was no easy way for me to send a 140 character message to AJ’s (hypothetical) fiancee and blame her for being the Yoko of the situation and forcing him to leave the band. We had none of it. Which is why fandom in 2015 is still so fascinating to me. I could go on about that, but let’s stick to the topic at hand.

One of those Twitter trending topics that has been mentioned a lot in the past three days is #ReplaceZayn. Most of the posts suggest that NO ONE CAN REPLACE ZAYN THIS IS RUDE #TooSOon

^how do u even come up with this, people?

But then there are the hilarious responses, because this is the interwebs, and people are photoshop experts and clever 140 character wordsmiths. While the odds of the remaining members of 1D replacing Zayn with any of these people slash any one at all are very slim, it’s still amusing to entertain the idea that one of these folks could be on the next piece of 1D merch. Let the recruitment process begin!

Alan Rickman as Professor Snape

He’s British, so that’s helpful. Also please note it’s not just ‘Alan Rickman’ or ‘Professor Snape’ it’s ‘Alan Rickman AS Professor Snape’.

Chris Kirkpatrick

He has a resume to prove his talent in a group environment, and what else is he doing? Also he’s apparently travelling back in time to #ReplaceZayn, per this poster? And why does everyone else look like they’re photoshopped too?

This Guy From The Wiggles

Honestly didn’t even know The Wiggles were still doing their thing. Respect.

Perrie Edwards (AKA Zayn’s fiancee)

PLOT TWIST

Jaden Smith

Any and all of his nonsensical tweets could easily be made into lyrics, so he’s like halfway there.

Duke Silver

Niall can play the guitar, but can anyone play a mean jazz sax? Didn’t think so.

Right Shark

Guys, I feel like we’ve been giving a lot of attention to Left Shark, and rightfully so, but what about Right Shark? While Katy is off making Left Shark onesies, and Left Shark is busy on his motivational speaker tour of Ramada Inns in North America, Right Shark is probably sitting at home kicking himself for getting the dance moves on point. Let’s give him/her/it a chance at fame, shall we?

Jeremy Clarkson

This person is relevant if you’re British or watch BBC America on Monday nights instead of The Bachelor or are like, really into cars? Either way, this dude just got fired from his job because he allegedly punched a producer of Top Gear. Use that anger and channel it in music, Jeremy.

Billy Zane

It’s like a warped version of Wheel of Fortune’s Before and After, but I think it can work, you guys.  Fans have already “mistaken” him for Zayn, so let’s just keep going with this.

Lil Wayne

I’m just rhyming things now, TBH. But hOLY HELL WTF IS THIS PIC

Robert Durst

Just don’t piss him off. In fact, he’ll probably never leave the band because the boys already know too much. Just keep your mouth shut, Louis.

A Definitive Ranking of the songs on Platinum Christmas

The year is 2000. I graduated 8th grade and met Molly in high school for the first time. We survived Y2K. George Dubya was elected President for the first time. American Beauty won Best Picture at the Oscars.  Ian ‘Thorpedo’ Thorpe dominated in his native Australia during the Sydney summer Olympics. Joey chose Pacey over that other dude in the Dawson’s Creek series finale. TRL (Total Request Live, duh) was at the height of its popularity. This was the year of …Oops I Did It Again, The Real Slim Shady, ‘N Sync vs. BSB. Pop music was alive and well, and being a 14-year-old teenybopper, I soaked it all in.

The folks over at Jive Records, which was home to a lot of the pop acts featured on TRL, decided to capitalize on this and make a compilation album for the holidays called Platinum Christmas. If you shared any of the same musical tastes as I did, you remember this album clearly. My Christmas music collection was sparse at the time, and rather embarrassing to be quite honest. But I played this album on my boom box for hours. I would make my parents play it in the car, so listening to a lot of these songs remind me of sitting in the backseat, staring out the window and gazing at the piles and piles of snow we passed by.

So in honor of the holiday season, I’ve revisited one of the most nostalgic albums from my youth, and ranked each song by order of import/how good it is. Please tell me I’m not the only person who played this on repeat! And immediately skipped over Santana!

{16} Posada (Pilgrimage To Bethlehem) by Santana

In the summer of ’99, I became obsessed with Smooth by Rob Thomas and Carlos Santana. Like, I bought the CD single, and put that shit on repeat with no end in sight. Because I didn’t know any better, I thought I would just automatically love all of Carlos Santana’s music. Yeah, I was a teenage girl into the Backstreet Boys, someone should’ve told me I wouldn’t like listening to the Latin-inspired blues guitar stylings of Santana.

{15} My Gift to You by Donell Jones

This song sounds like one of the B-Side tracks off a Time Life R&B/Soul collection comprised of 10 CDs.

{14} Silent Night / Noche de Paz by Christina Aguilera

Listen, I owned Xtina’s My Kind of Christmas album, and this song wasn’t on it. Because it’s boring. Literally every song on her own record is better than this one.

{13} Christmas Day by Dido

I never really got into Dido, mainly because her voice annoyed me. But apparently Dido’s been busy releasing new music since 2000, and none of it involves collaborations with Eminem.

{12}  The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire) by Toni Braxton

I feel like I only really like Toni Braxton’s voice when it’s strictly in the confines of Un-Break My Heart or I Get So High. If I hear it in any other song, I’m not into it. Exhibit A.

{11} Little Drummer Boy by Jars Of Clay

I went through a period of time in my life, albeit brief, where I was super into Christian music. Jars of Clay is one of the big names in that genre (and also some of the guys are from our hometown of Rochester) so I got “excited” when I saw they were on this album. Their version of Little Drummer Boy is real chill, the kind of song that you probably listen to while watching fire crackle in your fireplace.

{10} Christmas Time by Backstreet Boys

As a self-professed BSB fan, I am the first to admit that isn’t the best Christmas or BSB song in their catalogue (If you want a better one by them, listen to this). At the time this song was released, I was in full BSB fangirl mode – I even remember calling into the local Top 40 radio station back home and asking them to play the song, even when it really wasn’t a single? I can’t even recall if they obliged me or not. The point is that although my love for them knows no bounds, I usually only listen to about a minute or two before skipping to the next song.

{9} World Christmas by R. Kelly

Controversies and weird shit aside, I actually do appreciate R. Kelly and his voice. Every time I hear this, I think ‘UGH’ but then it gets to the chorus and I’m hooked.

{8} Grown-Up Christmas List by Monica

While this is a popular Christmas tune, I think this was the first time I had ever really paid attention. Monica, while she doesn’t have to belt-iest or most impressive voice, it’s smooth and pure, and that’s what makes her version of this song so great.

{7} Sleigh Ride by TLC

If you want a never-heard before track by classic TLC, you need to listen to this. Everything about it screams 90s/early 00s, and it’s fantastic. T-Boz’s distinguishable voice, Chili’s R&B riffs, and the magic that is Left Eye’s raps is all featured in this track. Not to mention they managed to make a classic Christmas tune sound like an original. Not many artists can do that without coming off as trying too hard.

{6} I Don’t Wanna Spend One More Christmas Without You by ‘N Sync

As previously mentioned, I was a BSB fan. Also as previously mentioned, 2000 was the height of the BSB vs. ‘N Sync rivalry. And while I wasn’t as intense as some girls, I did refuse to listen to any ‘N STINK songs. I changed the radio station anytime they came on, and silently seethed in dance class the day my teacher played the entire No Strings Attached album during warmups. I still have only heard Bye Bye Bye a limited amount of times. So, when Platinum Christmas was on repeat back in Y2K, I promptly pressed fast forward on my CD player. Years later, I calmed it down a bit, and actually listened to this song. It’s great, y’all. But hey, let’s not get crazy. BSB 4 Evr.

{5} Who Would Imagine a King by Whitney Houston

Boy, do I miss 80s/90s Whitney. This particular song was also on the soundtrack to her movie The Preacher’s Wife, and it shows off her gorgeous voice in a more religious setting, and the lack of excessive riffs is exactly what the song needed (or didn’t need). This song is a reminder why Whit became a music icon in the first place.

{4} Christmas Song by Dave Matthews

I don’t know about you guys, but in Rochester, I feel like Dave Matthews Band was like THE band to be into if you were one of those people that was granola-y and wore hoodies like this. And in usual DMB fashion, this track was recorded live, and just hearing the screams in the background reminds me of all the dudes wearing those baja hoodies and flip flops and Grateful Dead tye dye t-shirts. But I mean, great song.

{3} Merry X-Mas Everybody by Steps

2000 was also the year I went to London/UK/Europe for the first time, and I was into this phase of being into a lot of British pop acts, because I wanted to seem cool, I guess? Like I was super into Westlife, BBMak, Craig David, S Club 7, etc. Steps was a S Club 7-like band that was comprised of five guys and gals and really big in the UK. While I did get into Steps a little, it was really just this song that I still sometimes listen to on my current Christmas rotation.

{2} This Christmas by Joe

Look, no one can touch Donny Hathaway’s OG version, but Joe is pretty close. While others have tried, I feel like Joe is the only one who can sing it like Donny, but not actually be Donny or copy his every note.

{1} My Only Wish (This Year) by Britney Spears

By far, this is the best song on Platinum Christmas, and worth the price of the entire CD just for this song. Brit hadn’t released any holiday songs up to that time, and again, she was at the height of her popularity (…Oops era, remember) so this song was like a Christmas gift in and of itself. It’s an original song, which is a welcome respite from the usual Christmas music catalogue played on soft rock radio stations during the holidays, and it’s just fun. It’s upbeat and makes you want to dance around the Christmas tree while eating cookies and watching the snow fall outside. In fact, in college, my friend and I even made up a dance – quite literally made up a dance on the spot – to this song and the non-impressive moves were the highlight of the holiday season every year.

 

Things I’ve Learned from Heart-ing Nick Carter

You may know him as that blonde boy bander, you may know him as Paris Hilton’s ex-boyfriend, hell, you may even know him as Aaron Carter’s older brother. But to me, he’s Nick Carter of my beloved Backstreet Boys (new readers, I am a BSB fan, get over it). And tonight, he becomes a reality TV star.

Nick, the youngest of the BSB-ers and the last one to get married, is front and center of a show called I Heart Nick Carter, in which he and his then-fiancee Lauren Kitt let cameras into their world as they prepare to get married. As far as reality TV shows go, I have a pretty high tolerance for them. I used to exclusively write about reality TV for a living for about a year and a half, and trust, there are some pretty horrible shows out there. But then there are actual good ones that you can’t stop watching, even though you know most of it is set up or edited perfectly (Wahlburgers, The entire Bachelor franchise).

After watching the first episode of I Heart Nick Carter, I’d say this show is somewhere in the middle, but closer to the quality of the Wahlbergers than say, that of Joe Millionaire (was that ref too old?) or I Wanna Marry Harry. That being said, I think if you’ve ever been a fan of the Backstreet Boys at some point in your life, you should watch this show. If you are a product of the 90s, you’ll understand that celebrity was much different in the “TRL Era” than it is now. Kids these days can easily following their favorite Directioner or Bieber on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, YouTube, etc., and see behind-the-scenes photos and personal videos or send a quick message to them in hopes of a reply. Before the internet and social media, seeing our favorite band in concert was the closest we’d ever get to them and if there was a MTV: True Life or Making the Video, it was a friggin jackpot.

While celebrities having their own reality series seems cliche these days, for 90s kids like me, it’s surreal that we get an inside look into Nick Carter’s life. Like you’re telling me we get to see his HOUSE and it’s not just on CRIBS?? This is next level shit, y’all. And, I can say that even as a fan, I learned a thing or two from the show, so maybe you will too. Here are some things to look out for on the premiere tonight:

There Are Fans Who Actually Hate Nick Carter’s Fiancee

Even as a tween/teen, I was never the kind of girl who would be so mad to the point of pure hatred if one of the BSB boys had a girlfriend. I don’t know, maybe it’s because I was more of a sensible young adult, but I thought it was cute when they found love. Also, I’m not delusional. Apparently, there are still fans who have so much hatred towards Lauren Kitt (as seen in the photo that’s floating in a toilet from the Twitter account ‘F**k you Lauren Kitt/DumpLK’). Granted the accounts I found against Lauren haven’t been touched in like 3 years, but still. Lauren says in the pilot that “girls yell obscenities at me”, and I just am embarrassed if these girls who hate Lauren are over the age of 18. Look at your life. Look at your choices.

Lauren is an Independent Woman (Part I)

Lauren left home at 18 to live in Japan. Japan! AND she speaks fluent Japanese! And then she moved to Paris!! Seriously, she’s living my dream life.

Don’t Try Beating Lauren at Wrestling

There’s a scene in the first episode where Lauren pushes Nick to set an actual date for the wedding, and threatens him by playfully wrestling with him on their bed. And she isn’t kidding Around. Oh PS she’s a bodybuilder. As in she’s competed in competitions including the World Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation competition, whatever that is. Also, she was almost a WWE Diva. So I mean, those Twitter trolls probs shouldn’t mess with her.

Lauren’s BFF is A Girl Who Got Screwed Over by a Boy Bander…?

Lauren has a heart to heart with her best friend named Natalia, who, as Lauren says, she met when their boyfriends were on tour together years ago, and they became BFFs. But Natalia’s unnamed boyfriend broke up with her after five years and it ended horribly. He even took all the money out of their joint account, and that’s exactly what Lauren is afraid will happen to her. After some research, it seems as if Natalia is the ex-girlfriend of newly married (always shirtless) New Kids on the Block bad boy Donnie Wahlberg. He obvs kept it on the low for five years, but yikes!

Nick’s Scared He Will Lose Fans If He Gets Married

Alright this seems like one of those fake storylines that reality show writers set up to create more drama. I mean at Nick’s book signing (yes, he wrote a book) in Los Angeles, there are “fans” who tell him they don’t want him to get married. One of them even says, “Maybe I’ll move on to the One Direction guys”, to which Nick responded, “I’ve had nightmares about this moment.” Let’s be real – I feel like half these “fans” aren’t real. I have never seen these people in my life. And I’ve been around the LA BSB circuit (gross). Nick defends his theory since their first manager (probs stupid ass/jailbird Lou Peralman) told the boys they weren’t allowed to have girlfriends in public because it will ruin their careers and won’t sell any records. Keep in mind Nick was 12 when he joined BSB, so really, his career is the only thing he’s ever known. Luckily, good old Sweet Howie D hits Nick with the real shit and basically tells him to get his act together and marry Lauren, or else she should be the one to leave him.

Nick’s Management Team is Really Involved With His Life

Lauren and Nick tell his management team, which consists of a publicist, agent, and two managers, that they want to get married on March 1st. The team basically shuts it down (unconvincingly as actors, I must admit), and they all agree to move the big day to April 12th, which is probably the date Nick & Lauren picked out in the first place. The interesting thing here is that the team is talking about planning their wedding. Excuse, why is the business management team planning Nick and Lauren’s wedding?

Catch I Heart Nick Carter Wednesdays at 10pm on VH1

Playlist of the Month: Songs With Terrible Lyrics

Songs are poetry set to music. And today, on Bad Poetry Day, we remember that not all poems are good. Some of them make awkward word choices trying to force a rhyme. Others use clumsy metaphors. And still others do things with English grammar that, well, you just can’t do. Out of the hundreds of songs released every year, it’s no surprise that some aren’t necessarily bad music – but the lyrics are terrible poetry.

Listen to the entire playlist below or click here!

Molly’s Picks

Empire State Of Mind – Jay-Z feat. Alicia Keys

I like Jay-Z. I like Alicia Keys. I even like this song, as in I know every word to the rap verses. But the chorus drives me crazy every time. “Concrete jungle where dreams are made of?” There are so many easy ways to fix this. Take off the “of.” Change the “where” to “that.” Hell, even toss in a few commas and change the “where” to “which” and bingo, we have a restrictive clause: concrete jungle, which dreams are made of…

Sexy Bitch – David Guetta feat Akon

There are SO MANY words to describe a girl without being disrespectful. For instance: brunette. Like 5’6, 5’7. Looks like that one girl who was in our sociology class. Wears a lot of patterns. Basically anything you would  say when making a witness report. David Guetta and Akon find none of them.

Champagne Supernova – Oasis

Where were you when Oasis was getting high? Not sure, but I know where Noel Gallagher was: writing this song. He’s said himself that “slowly walking down the hall, faster than a cannonball” makes no sense so I don’t even feel bad about this.

Whenever, Wherever – Shakira

The real question is what does this guy do when he comes across breasts that are NOT small and humble? I picture Shakira’s paramour shrugging dejectedly, reaching for his Columbia backpack, clipping on a few carabiners and filling up the ol’ Nalgene when he meets a busty lady, sighing “this is going to be a steep climb.”

Sk8er Boi – Avril Lavigne

This is what the pop-punk trend of the early 2000s wrought: ratty straightened hair, lots of hot pink, spikey bracelets, and Sk8r Boi. It makes no sense. A ballerina who’s not allowed to be into punk because she has to – what, listen to Tchaikovsky always? And why do her friends all share a single nose? But that plot twist near the end makes the terrible lyrics almost all worth it. AVRIL is with the SK8ER BOY? Did not see that one coming.

Traci’s Picks

My Humps – Black Eyed Peas

You could basically choose any Black Eyed Peas song and I assure you there will be at least one stupid line. In this particular song, the offense comes from the word “lumps” – sorry, more specifically, “my lovely lady lumps”. Come on Fergie, you really thought this would be a great way to describe your breasts? Although, you did change your name from Stacey Ferguson to just Fergie, so maybe it’s just in your blood to name things horribly.

Eenie Meenie – Justin Bieber ft. Sean Kingston

A good rule of thumb is not to use children’s nursery rhymes in your songs. Especially if those lyrics are slightly sexist. “Eenie meenie miney mo/Catch a bad chick by her toe/If she holla (if, if, if she holla) let her go” Does that even make sense? If a girl does holla, wouldn’t that be a good thing (for him)?

I Want It That Way by Backstreet Boys

Listen. I love the Backstreet Boys. If you’re new to our blog, this is not brand new information, as evidenced here. But I will gladly admit this song does not make any sense. Like the chorus and the verses don’t want the same thing. Also, what is “it”? In fact the boys themselves will admit it doesn’t make any sense. I’ve even seen them multiple times say in interviews and stuff, “What way? You want it what way??” Kevin’s explanation was that Max Martin, Swedish superproducer, wrote the song and at the time his English wasn’t that good. Too bad it’s like their most popular song ever.

Soda Pop by Britney Spears

Britney Spears isn’t really known for her lyrics. Or her singing. Don’t get me wrong, I love the girl but, come on, let’s all be honest with ourselves. If you grew up in our generation, you know how big this … Baby One More Time album was. A deep cut from said album is Soda Pop, a song referring to a beverage that no one actually calls “soda pop”. But props to Brit for namedropping the likes of Homer, Agamemnon and Zeus then later singing, “Open a soda pop, watch it fiz and pop/The clock is tickin’ and we can’t stop/Open a soda pop, bop-a shu-bop shu-bop” But the real reason why she’s popular is that you get these songs inexplicably stuck in your head for the next few hours.

Any song by Kesha

I feel like there is a clear line before Ke$ha and Kesha. Pre-Kesha was so much more of a shit show, and her lyrics reflected that. Particularly on her 2010 album Animal, which included her breakout hit song TiK ToK, and other notable songs called Dinosaur (about an old man hitting on her), Stephen (in which she’s an annoying little bitch asking why Stephen won’t call her back) and Party at a Rich Dude’s House (which is exactly what it sounds like). Then there’s the song Blah Blah Blah that’s about Ke$ha meeting some dude at a bar and she wants him to just shut up and have sex with her and it’s maybe borderline non-consensual? “Come put a little love in my glove box/I wanna dance with no pants on, holla” Everything about that lyric is horrible.

O-Town? O-Yes! A Look At The Boy Band’s Criminally Underrated Tracks

This week, the members of O-Town announced they’re getting back together – for real this time – to record a new album and eventually go on a tour.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with O-Town, they are one of those boy band fabricated in the groundbreaking first season of Making the Band in 2000. Five guys were chosen as the winners: Erik Michael Estrada, Jacob Underwood, Trevor Pennick, Ashley Parker Angel and Ikaika Kahoano. However Ikaika was all, I’m not into this and quit (He later formed his own group called LMNT with MTB rejects Bryan Chan and Mike Miller, and MATTHEW MORRISON FROM GLEE HOLY SHIT I HAD NO IDEA UNTIL NOW. They sang this Hey Juliet song, that may sound familiar). To replace Ikaika, the group decided to invite runner-up Dan Miller to the band and O-Town was officially formed.

They were managed by the infamous Lou Pearlman (who also created MTB), and went on to record two albums before disbanding in 2004. They say they wanted to pursue individual endeavors, but really, the only one who had any sort of semblance to a successful endeavor is Ashley Parker Angel, you know the token cute blonde one. And by successful, I mean he had his own reality show, played Link Larkin on Broadway, and now voices a character on Disney cartoon Handy Manny.

Nearly a decade later, the boys are back at it – without Ashley Parker Angel – and going into a ‘new beginning’ of their careers. And here’s the thing – I’m excited to see what they come up with. It’s no secret that I am partial to boy bands, and unfortunately (or fortunately) I wasn’t able to hide my feelings for this 2000s group either. Fun fact: In high school, my friend Sarah and I, on a whim, decided to drive to a local mall where O-Town was having a CD signing, and since we got there kind of late, we were sort of the last ones in line. And when it looked like we just might have our chance, they LIT’RALLY cut us off with one person in front of us, thus prohibiting us from meeting these dreamboats. But Sarah, because she was way more ballsy than I, decided we should just sneak over to the table (that was set in front of a Bon Ton department store) and we managed to get a few of them to sign our CDS.

Anyways, I appreciated their music, and I feel like because of the success of ‘N Sync and my beloved Backstreet Boys, a lot of boy bands cropped up and took over the space, making it nearly impossible to survive if you weren’t either, well BSB or ‘N Sync. I think with O-Town’s vocals, they had potential to be something bigger and better, but just didn’t have the right mix of management, record label support, or good music to back it up.

In saying that, here’s a list of some of O-Town’s best songs you may not be familiar with, but deserve more attention. Yes, they only had two albums out, but there were actually some solid pop tracks on there. Warning: if you don’t like pop music, maybe don’t listen to the first few on the list.

10) Every Six Seconds // O-Town

Well, I liken this song to Next’s Too Close, in that I loved the song and sang at max vol when I listened to it – but I never understood the lyrics. Until I was old enough to actually listen to them. Oops. And looks like Lou Pearlman was trying to sneak in a couple of product placement ads in the song. I see you Victoria’s Secret and Mac.

9) Shy Girl // O-Town

If you want to time travel back to the late 90s/early 2000s, this song will do the trick. Honestly, this is the poppiest pop song and could’ve been recorded by 2ge+her. Their first (and second to last) album was totally a representation of Lou Pearlman and the band he wanted to make on the reality TV show. It was also becoming a copy cat of all the other boy bands, so much so that it was on the edge of becoming a parody of itself. Enter Shy Girl.

8) Sexiest Woman Alive // O-Town

Again, with the lyrics. Absolutely ridiculous. But that beat though. Product placement tracker: Häagen-Dazs & Calvin Klein jeans.

7) Take Me Under // O-Town

Remember when 90s songs had someone talking in the beginning? Yeah, this song has that. Except it’s supposed to be like a sexy woman robot voice? The future was so bright, y’all. Sidenote: I randomly remember them recording this song on MTB, and through the power of YouTube, we can watch it all over again – oversized turtlenecks and OG Mac systems included.

6) Love Should Be a Crime // O-Town

O-Town: not just a boy band, lobbyists against love.

5) You Can’t Lose Me // 02

O-Town’s  second album, O2, was such a different sounding album than the first. It was like they broke free from the Lou Pearlman chains and were like, ‘Screw you, we’re doing what we want… for 90% of the album’. It has more of an acoustic feel than bubblegum pop, and I’ll let’s be real, I still listen put some songs into my iPod rotation to it to this day. This song is the last track on the CD, and kind of gave me the vibe of closure yet open for possibilities in the future… am I reading too much into this? Also please take time to appreciate the Windows Media Player-like graphics in this video.

4) Girl // O-Town

O-Town was particularly good at O2/acoustic songs and R&B/pop tracks, the latter of which is featured in this song. Pair that with an ode to a girl and you’ve got the perfect mix to make the fangirls swoon.

3) Suddenly // 02

It’s songs like Suddenly that make me think they’re channelling BSB circa 2005, which I’m totally okay with. It’s much more bearable than some of the almost unlistenable songs from the first album.

2) Craving // O2

There are a string of songs on O2 that are just on point, and this is one of them. One of the reasons I’m looking forward to them getting back together is the hope that they do more songs like this. If you put this next to Shy Girl, it’s like two different bands.

1) From the Damage // O2

O-Town haters, listen to this before you judge any further. Or just pretend they don’t have the stigma of being a fabricated boy band and listen to it for what it is. The lyrics aren’t hokey, and there’s so much emotion in it, it’s like they finally believe what they’re singing. There’s a reason why this was the first track on the album – they wanted to make it clear they were not the same boy band from the first record. One might think they’re actually full-fledged artists.

Playlist of the Month: A Very Cookies + Sangria Christmas

Can you believe that Christmas is just DAYS away, you guys??? Unless you’re Jewish, or celebrate Kwanzaa or are the Grinch, so this doesn’t really apply to you. For this month’s playlist, the last and final one of 2013, we decided to stick with a traditional theme and go with our favorite holiday songs. I’m sure by now you’ve heard plenty of them on rotation already, but what’s a few more? Happy listening! And Merry Christmas/Happy Belated Hanukkah/Happy Kwanzaa/Happy December to all!!!

Click here to listen to the entire playlist on Spotify!
spotify:user:122917273:playlist:2SiQGCxAAb7WB1jPEf7nU9

Traci’s Picks

If Everyday Could Be Christmas – 98 Degrees

I’m warning y’all now, my portion of the playlist will be pop heavy and seem like a tween in 2000 made it. Mainly because I still feel like I am. I’m starting off with 98 Degrees, because I think this album was overlooked by a lot of people (I don’t blame you), but I think it’s actually their second best album out of anything they’ve ever released. Their strong suit was always their acappella skills, and it’s prominently shown in this song.

(PS: That video is ridic but the only version I could find!)

Maybe This Christmas – Ron Sexsmith

Anyone out there celebrate Chrismukkah? Anyone out there celebrate Christmukkah because of Seth Cohen? Well we can thank our fave faux Newport Beach resident for bringing that term into our lives, and we can also thank The OC for bringing great songs into our lives. Music was always an integral part of the show, and come Chrismukkah time, it was no different. I’ve been listening to this song ever since it was on one of the holiday eps and it never gets old.

Last Christmas – Glee Cast Version

Last Christmas is possibly my favorite modern day holiday song, and obviously many artists have covered it. I opted to choose this song featuring Lea Michele and Cory Monteith. I’ve never been a real hard core fan of the show, but for some reason his death really got to me and still gets me to this day. But it’s nice to know his talent and legacy will live on through the show and its music.

My Only Wish (This Year) – Britney Spears

This song was featured on the Platinum Christmas album which was released in 2000. For those who didn’t grow up listening to this like I did, it featured the biggest names in pop music including my beloved BSB, ‘N Sync, Christina Aguilera, TLC, Monica and more. I personally think this track by Brit Brit is one of her best in general, it’s just so fun and uplifting and you can’t help but dance to it. Speaking of dance to it, my friend and I may or may not have made up a ridiculous dance to this song in college. Private viewings available for a fee.

What Christmas Means to Me – Hanson

Snowed In. Classic Christmas album of the 90s and beyond. Zak sounds like a baby here, but hey, they still sound better than I ever did as a teenager.

*Ed. Note: We usually pick 5 songs each, but I couldn’t decide, so here are two bonus songs for as your Christmas bonus this year 🙂

It’s Christmas Time Again – Backstreet Boys

I like the Backstreet Boys and you can’t stop me from putting them on this list. So suck it. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!

Underneath the Tree – Kelly Clarkson

It’s about time KC did a Christmas album and her lead single is reminiscent of Mariah’s All I Want for Christmas is You. Although it’s nowhere near the popularity of MC, Kelly is giving her a run for her money with this jam.

Molly’s Picks

I Wish It Was Christmas Today by Horatio Sanz, Jimmy Fallon, Chris Kattan and Tracy Morgan

In the 2000 years of Christmas songs, is this really one of the best EVER? If you go by the giddy Christmas-y feeling you get every time it airs on the SNL Christmas episode, maybe it is. The great thing about this song – and I’d say this of the original SNL cast performing Winter Wonderland as well – is that while it somewhat pokes fun at stupid Christmas songs, it does so without being nasty or cynical. It’s pure holiday happiness.

All I Want For Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey

90s kids know what I’m talking about. If you can, get your hands on All I Want For Christmas Is You (Extra Festive). How can you make this song MORE festive, you may ask? Well,  add some bells and shit and make the beginning of it sound like a song from Beauty And The Beast: The Musical. By the way, of course Ariana Grande has covered this and of course it’s amazing.

Once In Royal David’s City by Sufjan Stevens (cover)

I won’t fill the playlist with them, but my real favorite Christmas songs are all traditional hymns that are a little less common than Silent Night and Adeste Fidelis. So, imagine my delight that Sufjan Stevens has covered Lo How A Rose E’er Blooming, The Friendly Beasts, Once In Royal David’s City, Bring A Torch Jeanette, Isabella, and I Saw Three Ships

The Rebel Jesus by Jackson Browne

Leave it to Jackson Browne to cut through all of the sap and remind us what we message we really should be taking from the Christmas story.

Fairytale of New York by The Pogues

Sometimes you need a Christmas song with lyrics like  “you’re a bum, you’re a punk/ you’re an old slut on junk”.” Besides, I’m making my list first and in the spirit of the holiday, I should probably leave some of the White Christmas/Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas-like classics for my friend.