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.

Advertisements

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.”

ICYMI: Give Me Just One Night Changes

Did anyone else watch the ridiculousness that was Dead 7 on Friday (don’t worry, I’ll get to it tomorrow)?? Of course it’s not the first time we’ve seen boy banders try their hand at acting…

Boy Band Babes Breaking Onto The Big Screen

If you’re wondering where Harry Styles has been since One Direction began their indefinite hiatus in December, he’s been (maybe) dating Kendall Jenner, tweeting about burgers and moved to Hollywood in an attempt to start an acting career. Luckily for him and for all of us, he is kicking it off with a legit movie. Harry recently got cast in Christopher Nolan’s World War II action thriller called Dunkirk, which is about “the British military evacuation of the French city of Dunkirk in 1940.” It also stars no-names like Tom Hardy, Sir Kenneth Branagh and recent Oscar winner Mark Rylance, so, NBD. There hasn’t been much detail on what Harry’s role is, but I’m assuming it’s a soldier of some sort, and he could either be on the same level of Matt Damon in Saving Private Ryan or Jimmy Fallon in Band of Brothers. EXACTLY.

But obviously this is nothing new. Harry isn’t the first boy band hunk to break into acting. There have been many in our generation alone, so let’s revisit some of their great and no so greatest hits in film and TV.

Justin Timberlake {‘N Sync}

Arguably one of the best boy band alums to have the most success as an actor, JT has won four Emmys, been nominated for a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and in a movie that was nominated for 8 Oscars (The Love Guru haha jk). Among my personal faves are Inside Llewyn Davis and his first big TV movie in DCOM Model Behavior (<-that is the full version!), as seen above. Classic, just a classic. But we all know he excels the most in comedy, thanks to every single one of his Saturday Night Live episodes. Remember when he hosted for the first time and you were like, ‘Oh shit. He’s really funny and talented and a natural’? It was magic. Even Lorne Michaels has said he would hire JT if being a comedian was his number one priority. I wouldn’t be mad at that.

Donnie Wahlberg {New Kids on the Block}

Let’s face it, Donnie Wahlberg is a more successful actor than Justin Timberlake. He may have been doing it longer, but he’s also had steady acting jobs and won acclaim for his roles over the years. He’s been on a steady CBS drama, Blue Bloods, for the past six seasons, and also starred in Boomtown and Band of Brothers. Not to mention his movie roles in Saw II through IV, and of course, The Sixth Sense, a role which I think collectively blew every viewer’s mind after realizing the dude in the bathroom was the bad boy in NKOTB. PS: the clip above is horribly dubbed en espanol but it is still so good.


Maybe just stick to their day jobs??

Unintentionally Disturbing Boy Band Lyrics

Time for a confession: although I was of prime age during the boy band golden era of 1997 – 2002, I was terribly disinterested in them. It was all too manufactured! Find 4-5 young men between the ages of 15 and 27. Make sure they can all sing. Choreograph dances that make heavy use of folding chairs. Try to ensure that key “types” are present: the cute one, the older one, the funny one, the weird-looking one with stupid hair, the sporty one, the ginger one, the posh one. Some of those might just have been Spice Girls or Disney dwarfs. All that’s left is finding songs for them to sing…. but that’s where things really fell apart. In a rush to move up the TRL charts as quickly as possible, some songs got released with lyrics that were sort of awful. Terrifying. Disturbing as heck. Now that we’re all adults here, I think it’s time to admit that these were very, very bad.

We Got It Goin On by the Backstreet Boys

“Well I’m creepin’ up on your left

Straight up funky when I get with you

Keep it ruthless when I get wet”

Did anyone else know about this? Because I sure didn’t until right now. I think they hid this creepery in the middle of the song and figured nobody would notice. You know what actually sounds like the worst thing in the world ever? A wet gentleman creeping up on my left and then being ruthless at me.

As Long As You Love Me by the Backstreet Boys

“Every little thing that you have said and done

Feels like it’s deep within me

Doesn’t really matter if you’re on the run

It seems like we’re meant to be

I don’t care who you are (who you are)

Where you’re from (where you’re from)

What you did

As long as you love me”

This song takes codependence to new and terrifying lows. It sounds a lot like BSB is definitely singing about someone with a criminal record here. “Doesn’t really matter if you’re on the run?” “Don’t care what you’ve done?” Maybe I’m just hard-hearted, but I care A LOT whether or not you’ve committed murder, stolen from a church, or have to put one of those signs on your door telling trick-or-treaters that you’re a registered sex offender. As if that weren’t enough, BSB doesn’t care “as long as you love me.” That’s what low self-esteem will do to you, kids. You’ll go out with someone who isn’t allowed within a half mile of an elementary school, as long as they say they love you.

God Must Have Spent A Little More Time On You by NSync

“The heart of a child

That’s deep inside

Leaves me purified”

Dude, no. You have to date GROWNUPS, though.

Most of NSync’s 1997 Self-Titled Debut

Individually, none of the songs are too bad. But taken as a whole:

  • Drive Myself Crazy
  • Crazy For You (“wherever I go/ Whatever I do/ I’m crazy for you”)
  • I Just Wanna Be With You, which includes the words “you’re driving me crazy,” “my love is insane/ pleasure and pain,” and then an unsettling repeat of “I just wanna be with you” and “you and me gotta stay together”
  • I Want You Back (“I’m going crazy without you”)

We’re looking at a whole lot of crazy. Right? These are… not healthy relationships. If there are a lot of 20-something ladies who think that the ultimate in romance is somebody declaring that they love you so much that they are mentally unstable, I blame this album.

Can I Touch You There by 98 Degrees
Literally this whole song. I feel like if I type out the lyrics my very hands will catch an STD, but just trust me. Still, props for getting permission instead of just creeping on my left, I guess (looking at you, Backstreet Boys).

 

ICYMI: Starbucks Red Cups & Christmas Carols

The first week of November is over, which means we’re another week closer to Christmas. Playing Christmas music now is FINE, you guys.

It’s November. Go Ahead. Play Your Christmas Music

Have you noticed that fall gets a lot less cute in November? All of those bright, crisp leaves have fallen to the ground, and now they’re just a brown, soggy chore. By the way, you know what else is hidden under that blanket of brown leaves? Brown dog poop, which is more or less impossible to find now. It’s like the world’s worst Easter egg hunt every time I try to clean up after my dog. I do realize that this marks me as a person who has both a house and a dog, so I know: champagne problems. Nevertheless, it’s cruddy to be sitting at work and realizing, like an grown-up urban legend, that the smell is coming from your own shoe.

To make matters worse, we turned the clocks back last week. I’m not so stupid as to think that this actually took away an hour of daylight, but it did shift it from the evening to the morning, and now we have to negotiate the reality that we won’t be leaving work in the daylight until February.

Even my girl Louisa May Alcott knew what was up:

“November is the most disagreeable month in the whole year,” said Margaret, standing at the window one dull afternoon, looking out at the frostbitten garden.

“That’s the reason I was born in it,” observed Jo pensively, quite unconscious of the blot on her nose.”

Preach, Margaret.

For the above reasons, I submit that – except for Thanksgiving, God do I love Thanksgiving – the best parts of fall are over and it’s totally cool if you want to play Christmas music.

Christmas music in November is an economically-sound choice. See, if you’re the kind of person who likes Christmas music in the first place, you probably have a decent-sized collection of it. We have roughly seven weeks until Christmas, and now that I say it that does sound very far away (because it is). But bear with me. Let’s say you have 15 Christmas albums. That isn’t even hard to do. A few of those compilations from Bath And Body Works or Starbucks which were surprisingly good in the early 2000s, some boy band stuff even if you never listen to them the other 10 months of the year (NKOTB, N Sync, All-4-One, Boyz II Men), the classics (Mariah is a classic). If you’re going to listen to one full album a day, which you probably wouldn’t, you’re listening to each album every other week or so. That means you’re only listening to each one 3-4 times. Any less than that and you aren’t even getting a return on your investment. It’s simple economics! Or maybe Common Core math. Either way.


In the mood now? Here’s a playlist to help kick things off. Just a few of our favorite holiday jams for your listening pleasure.

Playlist of the Month: A Very Cookies + Sangria Christmas

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.

ICYMI: Zayn Left 1D Everything Hurts And I’m Dying But Get Over It

Unless you have been living in a cone of silence or given up all news outlets for Lent, One Direction is down a man as Zayn Malik officially quit this week. Which means you only have a few more days to mourn his loss.

Directioners, I’m Giving You 5 Days

Are you a person over the age of 21, or a teen who isn’t into One Direction? Come on over. The internet is getting scary, and you’re in a safe place.

I’m much, much too old to actively dislike One Direction. I’ve heard probably three or four of their songs on the radio, and I could name three of the boys by first name without looking it up.

Well, two of them. Because this week, Zayn left the group, and now big chunks of the internet are going nutso.

Okay, adults and teens who aren’t into One Direction, I’m still talking to you. We need to give these kids five or so days to sort out their feelings. You hear that, Directioners? You have the better part of a week to deal with this.

Here’s my thinking. I was never the boy band type, but I know what it’s like to really love a pop culture phenomenon. I cried during the Friends finale, and I still miss Parks and Recreation. If a celebrity has a baby, I probably know what that baby’s name is. I can still tell you what day Bennifer was supposed to get married (I remember because it was my birthday, but still). So while I can’t directly relate to posting tear-streaked selfies because Zayn isn’t in the band anymore, I do get where these kids are coming from.

This is why we have to let the One Direction fangirls make a fuss now, as long as they don’t drag it on forever. It’s easy to laugh at teenagers for caring so much about things that don’t really matter. But how many times have you gotten upset or cried about ridiculous things? Probably quite a few, if you’re being honest.


Of course, a member leaving a boy band is nothing new, but the way folks react now is way different than in the 1990s, aka the boy band hey day.

Battle of the Boy Bands: 90s vs. Now

I’d like to consider myself a connoisseur of boy bands. While the height of my knowledge was reached somewhere between the years of 1998-2004, I’ve tried to keep abreast of the young artists these days and their teenybopper fans.

As a self-professed Backstreet Boys fan, I know what it’s like first hand to be in the ‘fandom’, and in just 10 years, the way boy bands and fans themselves has changed drastically. While at their core, boy bands in 2013 still aim to titilate tweens the same way they did in 2003, here are some main differences between the fans of today and the fans of yore. Also, it’s a handy guide to feel old/in the know when you talk to someone under the age of 18.

Fashion

One thing that has stayed the same throughout the years is a group’s stylist’s need to coordinate every member’s outfit with the others. For some reason, in the 90s, this meant getting the absolute most ridiculous clothes and fabrics and forcing the guys to wear them in photo shoots. Bless.

Then

You know what’s tearin’ up my heart? The fact that *Nsync is wear short sleeved lycra shirts and no one questioned Lance Bass’ sexuality from this picture alone.

“Hey girl. We know the way to your heart. Hockey. And just to cover our bases, we’re reppin five different teams. Quack Quack, baby.”

The only thing that could make this more 90s is if 98 Degrees was covered in slime. Matching red jumpsuits, sitting on a big orange couch at Nickelodeon’s The Big Help? I can smell the gak now…

Now

These days, boy bands stray away from the themed photo shoots, and go for more of a coordinated look, like One Direction.

The Wanted’s jacket, jeans, sneaks look is so much better than the lycra shirts.

By boy band rules, the Jonas Brothers are technically just a band of boys, but they’ll suffice for this post.

Girlfriends/Love Lives

Then

With the exception of this epic couple, boy band members in the 90s had to hide their relationships. Britney + Justin were the exception because they were perfect and then B had to go and ruin it with her cheating. Oh what could have been. ~*NVR 4GET*~

“When they first started out, “Managers were like, ‘Everybody’s single,'” recalls Brian Littrell. Adds Richardson’s wife Kristin: “I had to say I was his sister!” – People Magazine Interview September 2013 (Please note the source of this picture – the Angelfire page is STILL UP.)

Now

While there are still jealous girls out there screaming ‘OMFG ZAYN AND PERRIE ARE ENGAGED MY LIFE IS OFFICIALLY OVER’, I feel like there is a large majority that are “Zerrie shippers” and appreciate the 1D and Little Mix members’ love like we did with Britney and Justin.

IDK if it’s because Kevin is the least adored Jo Bro, but it seems like every fan was on board with his relationship with Danielle since it started. The two even have their own reality TV show, for goodness sake.

Dedication

Then

At the height of the 90s boy band days, the internet was a fairly new thing. Everyone’s e-mail was @AOL.com, AIM was for stalking your crush and talking to SmarterChild, and Geocities and Angelfire were web hosting sites for your favorite bands. The fact that we could even get pictures and talk to fellow fans seemed incredible, and it was our way of showing our dedication to the world.

I used to live by this site, since they updated it so frequently (like twice a day), and it legit has looked the same ever since 1998.

Now

  • Tumblr Directioners: Holy shit, a Larry Stylinson sex tape better leak soon or I will light myself on fucking fire
  • Twitter Directioners: Omg, Follow me xx I love you so much
  • Youtube Directioners: This is like the best song ever, partyin harrdd
  • Facebook Directioners: Haha oh my goodness look at this, you are like my like bff for eva Harry. Omgomg I love you sooooooooooooo muchhh :))))) lololol rofl

Today’s kids turn to all forms of social media, and I feel like it’s reached a whole new level of obsession. Because you can now reach out to your idol – and even possibly get a reply – fans think they form this bond with the celebrities, which ultimately makes them even more devoted and obsessed. I was going to find examples on Twitter and Tumblr, but honestly, it’s a scary, scary place, and I want no part of that.

Rivalries

Pop Quiz:

BSB : *NSync :: One Direction : ???

Then

I admit, I was totally a *Nsync hater – or as I used to call them, *NSTINK. My “hatred” for them ran deep. So much so that I refused to listen to their songs (save for like maybe 5 of their hits). I’ve probably only heard Bye Bye Bye all the way through less than 10 times in my life. One time in dance class, my teacher put on the new *Nsync cd during warmup and I was SO pissed. Like so mad that my teacher could tell that I wasn’t happy about it, and continued to remind me of it until the day I graduated high school. Get a grip.

But the more I think about it, it was never because I hated the group itself. In fact I agree that they were good singers, were probably the better dancers of the two groups, and of course, like any grown ass woman, my love runs deep for Justin Timberlake. My hatred for ‘*NSTINK’ was for their fans. I loathed the annoying way that they always thought BSB sucked and *Nsync was better – and they wanted to prove it. Constantly. I’m sure you can say the same for BSB fans, but obviously I’m picking sides here. And as an adult, I think we can all recognize that it was totally spurred on by the media. If that one journalist didn’t pit the two bands together, there probably wouldn’t be an entire generation of girls who judge each other in their 20s by which boy band they liked better.

The best example of the fan rivalry is in the video clip from TRL below. I remember watching this live, and being so pissed off at the *Nsync team that I was almost as mad as Tiffany. Creeper alert: I somehow got a hold of Tiffany’s AOL SN and stalked her on AIM, in awe of her BSB dedication.


Now

I suppose the correct answer to the analogy above is Justin Bieber. Which might not make complete sense, since he’s not a boy band. Today’s kids are more fandom vs. fandom, rather boy band vs. boy band (or artist in this case). And since kids don’t have the luxury of having TRL, they take to social media yet again, specifically on Twitter. Case in point:

The second thing you need to know is that Directioners don’t like Beliebers. The conflict began (where else?) on Twitter. “The Beliebers trended #HitDirectionersWithAShovelDay” for no reason explains Holly, a 16-year-old 1D fan from Chicago. She says the war has raged on ever since. “When they won at the TCAs instead of Justin Beiber, they started making fun of Harry’s acne. They’re just trying to make us angry.” {x}

Of course Biebs had to say something to stop the madness and the the constant Twitter trends, but that didn’t really stop the fans from being cray online…

 

So whose side are you on? BSB or *Nsync? One Direction or Justin Bieber? Do you even care? Do you just want to reclaim your youth now? Yeah, probably the latter.

 

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.