Friday, February 26, 2010

Anatomy of a Boy Band Performance

Do not adjust your YouTube set. Yes, you are looking at technicolor pimp suits. Allow me to explain just how I came to stumble upon this millennial gem. I woke up this morning, and anxiously called the customer service line for my pay card to find out how much money had been deposited, and I was getting nervous with rent and bills being due. Fortunately, it was more than enough, and so I was very excited that I got paid and I wasn't going to be poor! Naturally, in my excitement, my first thought was to YouTube that *NSYNC classic, "Just Got Paid." Yes, I am that cool. The below visual assault was the result of said search. Can we break this thing down for a second!?

Ok, we have to assume based on A. The date (2000) B. The song (off their first album) and 3. The overall quality of the performance, that this performance was very early on in the history of *NSYNC. I mean come on, these are the guys who would like fly out into the audience at concerts and dance on puppet strings and stuff. I'm guessing they hadn't really solidified their 'signature boy band' style yet. I mean, this performance had everything, and not so much in a good way- neon fedoras, slapstick, cardboard cutouts, and scantily clad women. Is THAT the *NYSNC us tween-at-hearts knew and loved!?

0:01-0:45 First off, could we not spring for some coats that fit? They all look like little kids in their (sugar) daddy's clothes. And I mean they had such flyy choreography, wouldn't baggy clothing be the least optimal to show off those hip swings that have been timed to perfection? Although I must say, they were makin it rain within the first 45 seconds of the video... maybe they were just really ahead of their time on that one.

0:50 Ok, and the cardboard pop-up "mirror" painting of Justin Timberlake with that fedora-covered fro? I died!!!!

1:38- 1:56 And now they are pseudo-rapping and living it up with cardboard people... could they not just bring in a few actors/dancers to act like adoring fans? Maybe they didn't do that because then they couldn't have had the cardboard booty short pull-away flap with which they pretended to grope a thong-encased cardboard butt- and what a travesty that would have been. Visionary.

2:00- 2:05 Nice dance move there, Joey. It's a wonder the 'butt-spank' never became the 'cabbage patch' of our generation.

2:14 Ok, now we have some actual people. Skanks, to be more exact, sitting at a Price is Right bar set circa 1978.

2:30- 2:50 And now we are having a dance fight complete with cheesy sound effects. And people are cheering wildly because some guy "faceplanted" into the ground in said dance fight. Carry on.

3:03- 3:25 Ooh and now the "break it down" section.... white boy beatboxing + acapella harmonies + all white getups with touches of their individual color schemes ('cuz these boys are all unique dangit!) = hott!

4:04-4:10 Woah... the guys just said "Damn!" They clearly have not honed into their squeaky clean soda pop image yet. And speaking of soda pop... a pre-meltdown B. Spears seems thoroughly entertained by then beau JT's riveting performance. Oh early B. Spears, I wish I could go back in time and warn you of what was to come. Those were simpler times, indeed.

4:15-4:25 Andd now they are forced back into their giant storybook. And did JT just call somebody a Trick? Somebody get this group a cohesive image, stat! Creepy strange performance complete. Close the books on this one.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Happy Anniversary!

As a quick side note, I posted a detailed Olympics entry that somehow ended up behind my youtube vid post, so check it out below 'cuz I put a lot into it!

Anywho, back on point. Today, as I'm certain you know, is the 30th anniversary of the 'Miracle On Ice'- one of the most epic events in the history of sports. It is one of THE coolest stories. Period. I'm not rehashing what happened because you should already know it, and if you don't, take a little bit of time and learn, because it's part of not only sports history, but of world history. It's like Rocky IV, but so much better because it was REAL!

I'm not one for cheesy love stories, so to me this is one of the greatest love stories in the history of our country. A team of amateurs who cared about each other so much and worked so hard to overcome the machine-like Soviets who were so heavily favored. It was a team that poured everything they had into the game, and they showed the greatness of the American spirit.

You can't hear Al Michael's call at the end of the game and not just well up with pride and get caught up in the thrill moment that was. If you don't, well then you must be a communist.

Props to NBC Sports, by the way, for their documentary on this historic game. It had me near tears (I know i'm a nutcase). It really did capture the essence and the importance of this game with the right amount of excitement and drama without making it cheesy. It was an excellent tribute, and I loved that they let us hear about it from the people who lived it- three of the players, and Al Michaels, who called the game. If you can find it to watch it, I highly recommend it. It was so cool to hear the players speak to how much they cared for each other, and how deeply they realized the significance of this game. I thought it was especially interesting that they said that the Soviet players looked relieved after the game, and kind of in awe and respect for the enthusiasm and joy the Americans played with.

Happy 30th Anniversary to Eruzione and all the guys of that incredible team. And good luck to the 2010 USA team- we already improbably kicked Canadian butt- let's take another incredible run to the gold! USA! USA!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Beautiful Sunshine

I love the sun being out... even if it is still cold. It makes me happy! I would like to share this happiness, so I give you a video that will make you smile!

I just think it's so cute and funny! Have a great day!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Baaa Baaaaaa Ba Dum Dum Dummmmm

I'm sure that what you took away from the title is that I'm going to be talking about the Olympics! There is so so much to love about the Olympics: national pride, competitive spirit, cool outfits, epic music, and sports you really probably wouldn't watch much otherwise.

First, can we talk about the fashion? The US has been looking pretty flyy in all their outfits (athough I may be a little bit biased). I LOVE the knit caps the Americans had at the opening ceremony, and I am dying to get one- too bad they are currently going for $300 on eBay. Darn you, Ralph Lauren and your fabulous design. The snowboarding outfits were also really cool. The on trend plaid undershirt with the pants designed to look like baggy jeans perfectly encapsulated the essence of the carefree sport. I loved it! I also liked the crazy curling pants by the Norwegian men. You've gotta find some way to make the least athletic, slowest paced sport interesting, and they did that- at least a little bit.

Random factoid I learned: did you know that John Williams, composer of scores to films such as Star Wars, Harry Potter, and pretty much every other American epic wrote the Olympic music? No wonder it sounds so grand and awesome! That man sure knows how to make something sound and feel important. Another note on music: I cannot even count the number of times I have heard Party in the USA playing in the background at the events. In Canada. While non-Americans were competing. What the heck!? I wonder if Canadians enjoy that song for it's inherent awesomeness despite its American-centric message. The world may never know...

On the actual sporting front, I must admit that I don't like the Winter Olympics as much as the summer games, but there have definitely been some incredible performances so far. Among the highlights, Shaun White's untouchable half pipe win and Evan Lysacek's beautiful skating performance.

Shaun White- wow. What an insane competitor, and yet he has an incredibly chill demeanor. He trains in his own secret half pipe and develops tricks that no one else can even do. And when he already had gold locked up in his first run, he went and threw it down (yes, I have attached myself to the lingo of various Olympic sports. Fun!) in his second run with a Double McTwist, his signature new trick, and got an even better score. This kid is the coolest ginger pretty much in the history of the world.

Ohhhh Evan Lysacek. Tall. Dark. Thin. Handsome. 24. Athletic. Need I say more!? Yes, I do. Besides his beautiful exterior, the boy has serious talent. His short program was absolutely flawless. His free skate was technically excellent and graceful. Sure Plushenko had a quad, but his landings and footwork were very obviously subpar in comparison to Lysacek's. I loved the face off of the American and the Russian... it was so 'Cold War throwback.' I hoped at some point Plushenko would say, "I must break you," but no such luck. I was dissappointed for Johnny Weir- the boy skated the program of a lifetime that should have warranted higher than 6th place. He was incredibly graceful about it, though. He may be bizarre, he may be controversial, but he is a talented and artistic skater.

I have to say my absolute favorite part of the Olympics is the medal ceremonies. I'm one seriously strange human being- I rarely ever cry at movies or anything like that, but when USA wins the gold and I hear the national anthem and I see the medalist tearing up, cue the waterworks! I have such an appreciation for the emotion behind this scene. I love that it is a celebration of triumph, both on an individual level, a team level, and a national level. In that moment, the essence of sports and competition becomes so clear, and it's magnificent.

I so very badly want to go to the Olympics some day. No, not as a competitor (I'm sure that's a shock considering my vast pool of athletic talent), but as a spectator, or maybe even as part of the staff. I just want to be a part of this incredible experience in some capacity Hey dream big, right?

Friday, February 12, 2010

Things that are irksome...

Wow, I just started this post out on a totally cynical note. I mean it is V-day weekend and all, so I'm just acting in the spirit of the holiday...

So, at the top of the list of irksome things, is naturally Valentine's Day. I'm not going to go into a whole diatribe... but may I just say, do we not have enough awareness of haves vs. have nots in society without having a specific day to highlight it? Chew on that one...

Now, a word on Rom-coms. I enjoy watching them on tv because I have a strange love of watching cheesy bad movies when they are on. Let me use the example of Sleepless in Seattle. In movie life, it is apparently romantic that Meg Ryan is flying across the US and creeping on an unsuspecting Tom Hanks and son. In real life, this would probably result in a restraining order or a trip to the shrink. But, I guess movies are supposed to be about escapism, not a how-to of relationships. Still, annoy-ing!

Lastly, upon a subject near and dear to my heart: the NCAA is considering increasing the penalty for taunting. REALLY!? It is already controversial and has affected the outcome of games. And in a format where every game is absolutely crucial, there is no room for something as minor as excessive showmanship to determine a winner. Not to mention, this is a very subjective call to make. What crosses the line between what is acceptable and excessive in terms of celebration?

So Happy Valentines Day, everyone. Really...i mean it...

Monday, February 8, 2010

Football Season, Gone Away on the Brees

Haha, See what I did there? Ok, that was a lame pun... anyways...

Well, the most glorious sporting season of the year has come and gone, culminating with what was apparently the most watched program on TV ever... the 2010 Super Bowl! So long, 2009 football season, I barely knew ya (thanks to a food industry working schedule- boo)!

Here's what I do know:
1. A moment of silence is in order for the the shoulder of Sam Bradford and the knee of Jermaine Gresham (see both pictured above in full working order in 2008). Ahh what could have BEEN... honorable mention goes out to the stinger in Colt McCoy's arm. The guy is a class act and I will cheer for him in the NFL. And now I can go back to a more complete hatred of Texas.

2. This college football season was so completely lackluster, and not just because my team was mediocre and our archnemesis went to the national championship. For gosh sakes, Iowa made a BCS Bowl. USC did not. Now I hate USC, but I am a college football elitist. I like to see the marquee programs do well, and I like to see the Boise States of the world squashed like a bug. Even the Crimson Tide beating the hated Longhorns wasn't completely satisfying- Nick Saban is a completely arrogant jerk. I don't think he smiled once, and I do think he should have called off the dogs at the end of the game. Once positive is, the reign of Saint Tebow (aka the Reign of Terror) is over.

3. I really, REALLY hope and think that OU is going to be back in a big way, barring any cataclysmic injury plagues (See: 2009 Season). I don't know if Landry is the be-all, end-all, but he's not terrible either. We shall see. We're going to have some really, really good players back and coming up on defense... Ronnell Lewis, anyone? BEAST! Offense should be much better, especially if some of our recruits can come out and play as true freshmen (a la 2005, but hopefully with better results). And can we get a kicker in the house? The NFL playoffs made me yearn for the days of Garrett Hartley (painful though it is for me to admit). I have high hopes for a BCS bowl at this point, but this is sheer speculation.

4. The Big XII was one big ugg-fest this year. Aside from (rather, including) Texas, mediocrity, and out right awfulness ran rampant in the conference. It was a hot mess of Team A squashed Team B, Team B demolished team C, and then Team C came out and owned Team A. The North returned to its abysmal ways, and the majority of the South managed to cannibalize itself as well. To what can this be attributed? Hard to say. Hopefully this was just a down year; I really enjoyed 2008 and the competitiveness displayed throughout the Big XII. Here's hoping, but with the departure of Colt McCoy, and the canning of Leach and Mangino, who the heck even knows what will happen.

5. Ndamukong Suh is an absolutely for real player and should have won the Heisman. The end.

6. I now hate USC and Florida even more than I thought possible. Lane Kiffin is a loud-mouthed, arrogant, shady character. At least Pete Carroll was obnoxiously likeable. Urban Meyer... ugh what can you even say? The bogus resignation/retirement and 24 hour turnaround was ridiculous and insulting to what he claimed was a change for his health and to be with his family more. What.EVER.

7. JoePa can never retire. He is just too precious and no-nonsense. I love how he's totally old school and doesn't give a crap what anyone else thinks. I almost wish I was a Nittany Lion so I could go camp out at Paternoville before a game. I would totally do it.

8. Brett Favre is incredible. I am not a fan of his bogus retirement antics, but the man can still play! I am sad for him that his last pass was again an interception. I really hoped he could win it all this year and go out on top... so I hope he comes back next year. The Vikings came so close to winning the NFC Championship, and were it not for the ridiculous overtime rules, they might have had their shot at the Superbowl (Ok, I know they had opportunities to win, but I'll take any chance I get to highlight the ridiculousness of the NFL OT rules).

9. The Dallas Cowboys finally shook the December Curse and won a playoff game for the first time since 1996! I am VERY hopeful for next year. Romo must stay focused (no Jessica Simpsons), and the 'Boys must find a way to a. Ditch Roy Williams (Longhorn and waste of $) and b. keep Miles Austin (he is so beautiful to look at). We'll see how it goes, but there were some glimpses of total awesomeness towards the end of the season.

10. I hope AD learns how to not fumble. He is phenomenal otherwise. And it is in fact AD, not AP. Get it right, pundits. Although AP (Allen Patrick) did fumble a lot in his OU days...hmm.

11. The Pro Bowl stinks. There is nothing compelling, exciting or interesting about it. Two thirds of the original players selected didn't even play this year. At least it moved to the mainland, but this event needs a serious retooling.

12. The Lingerie Football league is disgusting and demeaning to women. Can they really and honestly expected to be taken seriously when they are running and tackling each other wearing next to nothing? I'm no feminist, but can we please not send women back to the stone age?

13. I'm happy for the Saints to have won the Super Bowl. Seeing the pure excitement of Sean Payton pumping the Lombardi Trophy in the air Jersey Shore style and Drew Brees fighting back tears while holding his baby boy show why the spirit of the game is truly great. Insert cheesy Who Dat headline here!

14. A word of advice: never, ever work at a restaurant (or two) during football season!

Sorry, I know that was a lot. I didn't even cover half of what I could have in this post, i.e. Superbowl commercials, and my horrendous college bowl pick record. Apparently I should have started my blog earlier into football season- oops! But, I mean, to be fair, there's no more football until September! Unless of course you count spring ball, the combine, draft day, training camp, and summer practice. And I do. Fear not, more to come...

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Where is the Love?

So Oscar noms are out as of yesterday, courtesy of the fabulous Anne Hathaway who I LOVE. So many movies got the nod this year with the increase to 10 Best Picture nominees. Up and District 9 were two surprises in this category. I have to say, I am so bummed that 500 Days of Summer was nowhere to be found in this category!

If you haven't seen it, this movie is excellent. Zooey Deschanel is georgeous, stylish, and charming. Joseph Gordon Levitt is georgeous, stylish and charming. Both are extremely relateable: anyone who has been on either side of an unbalanced romance can relate to both Summer and Tom in various respects.

The non-linear storytelling device is so interesting. It really mimics how people reflect upon relationships. It was a little confusing the first time I saw it, but by the second viewing I really appreciated this disjointed and distorted narrative.

The whole movie feels so genuine- the balance of fantasy and reality is heartwrenching in its integrity. It's what everyone has felt, imagined, and experienced, all played out in this exemplary relationship.

It's a movie that self-proclaims as "not a love story," but it is all about love. I don't want to talk too much about it because I hate knowing too much about movies going in. I will say that it covers love from all angles and brings the viewer in from many different perspectives. It is a veritable roller coaster of emotions and opinions for the viewer, but it is gratifying in the end.

It's cool, it's indie, it's relatable. But I guess Oscar is not about the love story either. It's truly a shame that this great film will go unrecognized, because it is definitely one that every young, single person should see. Do it- you won't be disappointed, unless of course it leaves you wishing it had been nominated for an Oscar!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Taylor, We Are Just as Shocked As You

Well it's back to the norm, minus the fact that i'm working dilligently to avoid being impaled by an icicle a la Christina Yang. Those things are brutal and unforgiving! But anyways I have apparently chosen the best or worst time to start a blog (depending on your POV) because I have to talk about the GRAMMY'S! Don't worry this is not a fashion critique- I'm going to talk about the show, because this awards ceremony also thankfully has performance aspects! Hooray! So I'll cover a little bit of everything.

There were some very good performances. Gaga never fails to put on a show, and who else would they put her on stage with but the most ostentatious, "lady fabulous" (to quote Glee) performer out there, Elton John! They both sounded great! Beyonce sang well, if not a little overly-riffy. Pink upside down and flipped around and she sang elegantly. I also LOVED the MJ tribute. The 3D was absolutley stupid- who at home has 3D glasses sitting around? But the song was beautiful and wonderfully sung by the ensemble. I have high hopes for the new We Are the World.

I now understand why Jay-Z wrote DOA. Autotune is terrible- particularly for live performances! It put the singers behind the beat and just sounds so ridiculously over-produced. See: Jamie Foxx, Black Eyed Peas, Drake. This show should be celebrating talent, not the use of a voice-correcting technology.

And then, there was Taylor Swift. Ouch. Her performance did very little to validate her shocking Album of the Year win. She was miserably pitchy. Miserably. In a category with the likes of the Black Eyed Peas, Beyonce, and Lady Gaga, this win seems a bit unjustified. I know it's about the album, not live performance, but the other nominees put out phenomenal albums. I know it's a matter of preference, but I just do not like Taylor Swift's fill-in-the-blank-I-love-fairytales-but-I'm-just-a-normal-girl songs.

Ok, I would be remiss if I didn't comment on some style!

Lea Michele, what can I say. This girl is so fabulous!

I won't comment on B. Spears. Uh-oh. Speaking of teen pop stars who are inappropriate for their age.... Miley looks a little like Lindsay Lohan from days of old... and not in a good way. I worry.

And out of curiosity, who invited Aaron Carter!? This is just too hilarious.

I will leave you with, one final image that pretty much summed up the whole night. Get it, B!