by Jac Kern
110 days ago
Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings
Apparently Lady Gaga did damn well as host and musical guest on this
week’s Saturday Night Live, because I
keep seeing stories
like this praising her. I don’t know for sure, though, because I fell
asleep on the couch at 10:30 p.m. and woke up just before 1 a.m., just in time to see something that has recurred in my nightmares ever since:
Yeah, that’s Gaga performing “Do What U Want” with R. Kelly, a single
off her new album Artpop. The two engaged
in a really weird sexual…something onstage, and shit just didn’t feel right.
Perhaps it’s not Gaga simulating robotic sex with the R&B star that
troubles me, but the notion of R. “I will pee on you” Kelly announcing that he
will do what he wants to your body. *Shudder*
up Dave Coulier, because Alanis Morissette’s quintessential slice of ‘90s
goodness that is Jagged Little Pill is
becoming a musical.
American Horror Story: Coven has been getting better and better by the week. We’ve seen zombies and
real monsters pulled from history as the witches of Miss Robichaux’s Academy
hone and develop their powers and discover new enemies. But the mellow Misty
Day has been my favorite character so far. The Stevie Nicks-obsessed
necromancer played to perfection by Lily Rabe has been shunned by society and,
thus, doesn’t know much about other witches. She leads a lonely life in a
little backwoods cabin reviving dead swamp creatures and jamming to Fleetwood
Mac. Her role has become abundantly more vital to the story, so it only makes
sense that the witchy woman herself, Stevie
Nicks will make her acting debut on an upcoming episode.
Surprise! A comically wigged Alexander
Skarsgård and Lindsay Lohan (who does not require accessories to play a joke character) played Kenny Powers’ grown
children on the Eastbound and Down series
The Real World is getting even realer next season (not) with The Real World: Ex-plosion. Taking place in San Francisco
(returning for the first time since 1994’s third season with Puck and Pedro),
this 29th (!!!) season will start like every other: with seven strangers — seven
young, attractive, easily influenced strangers — moving into a gigantic house
with an disproportionately small number of bedrooms, furnished by the Target
clearance aisle, perpetually stocked with booze and Sun Drop, conveniently
located within walking distance of a Subway. Four of the seven list
"model-slash-something" on their resumes.
But when the roomies take a trip four weeks into their stay, they will return
to their makeshift home full of their ex-boyfriends and -girlfriends. Because
there really weren’t enough
nonsensical drunken physical altercations in any of the past Real Worlds or challenges.
The annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show was last week (to be aired on Dec.
10 on CBS) featuring a dozen or so very
hungry women, one $10 million bra, a liberal definition of angel wings,
Lisa Frank-inspired looks and Taylor Swift. So if you’re a 12-year-old girl,
which clearly should be Vicky’s
target audience, this will be right up your alley. Photos from Jezebel here.
Kanye West premiered his new music video, “Bound 2” on Ellen this week (for real). This vid starts out on
a high note, with several shots of pretty, wild ponies and a lovely sample from
Brenda Lee’s 1959 song, “Sweet Nothings” (“Uh-huh, honey”). But then a fake
motorcycle and a jiggling Kim Kardashian sporting The Rachel cut pop up, and
they all ride off on the Hot Mess Highway. Kim forgot her shirt, so she has to
ride backwards, straddling Kanye, to protect her modesty. They must be in the
middle of nowhere, too, because Kanye does not seem concerned that his driving
vision is severely obstructed by his fiancée's bouncing boobies.
Seriously, though, did they make it in a mall video booth? Super sorry to
the 10-year-old whose birthday was booked right after this session. I could
only imagine it would be really slippery in there.
This week in classic local Craigslist finds, someone in the area is
looking for the best Chewbacca impression. Winner gets $100. Details here.
Plus, YouTube launches messy music awards and James Blake and Lou Reed name mixups
0 Comments · Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Britney Spears' music gets used as a pirate repellent and to tell the story of Jesus, the YouTube Music Awards were an unfocused mess, some dumb social media users mix up their Lous and James Blake wins the Mercury Prize, then gets dissed during his introduction.
by Jac Kern
Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings
Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards melted the face off the Internet, so if
you’re still trying to form an opinion and sift through gif reactions, or you’re
one of those people pretending you don’t know what the VMAs are — the Moonman
has been around since 1983 and the VMAs have been pooping out
pseudo-controversy for just as long. You know what they are. Sit back down — don’t worry, momma’s here.
If you really don’t watch the VMAs, it’s important to understand that the V and A do not
matter — MTV rarely plays music videos, as we all know, and no one ever
remembers who actually wins the Mooman by the end of the night. The respected
academy of critics are teens who vote for whichever marginally talented star tweets
the most. You watch for the pop culture experience — whether it’s Fiona Apple’s
“bullshit” acceptance speech, the Britney-Madonna kiss or Beyonce’s baby bump
announcement, crazy shit goes down at the VMAs. And this year was no different.
The big draw of the night was Lady Gaga’s big comeback. It’s been two
years since a big performance and release, and Mama Monster also is back from a
hip injury that kept her out of the public eye for a bit. Gaga opened the show
with her new single, “Applause,” which was welcomed by audience boos (those
turned out to be staged. Gaga — go figure.). The performance looked like some
kind of jazzy, art school, off-broadway number, complete with dudes in leotards and onstage
weave and costume changes, ending in LG in a big ass brown curly wig, a mermaid
shell bra and thong. Her body was siiiiick
(eat it, haters) and it was nice to see her look/act like a human — this is not the
meat dress-wearing, alien goth princess, Jo Calderone Gaga. This is ARTPOP
Artists.MTV, Music, Lady
She seemed a little more down-to-earth, if that’s possible? Like she was
having fun, and not taking it too seriously. Which is good, because her new
song is in a fucking Kia commercial.
Next up is the kind of moment that makes careers
and ends presidencies. Just kidding. It’s just Miley! So I (like every human
with access to the Internet) detailed my roller coaster of emotions when I first
watched Miley Cyrus’ video “We Can’t Stop.” And I must say, I have no problem
with MiCy growing up and changing directions. Alternatively, I have no problem with her being a completely fake, manufactured product (cut to Lady Gaga —Government Name: Stefani Germanotta — looking like the normal girl she
actually was less than a decade ago, on an episode of Boiling
Points. Most pop stars were once Hannah Montanas before their producers gave them "molly"
and a rejected Rihanna beat, OK?). I have no qualms with her getting an fierce
haircut and wearing denim diaper shorts and
juxtaposing her former good girl image with her current hot lady looks. But there's a difference between shifting
from Country to Pop or Disney kid to edgy starlet and purposefully quashing
your saccharine image by motorboating a woman's thonged butt on TV just for the
shock factor. I see you Miley, and I will not respond to you.
One note I must make about the performance is Miley did share the
spotlight with the black chicks from her "We Can't Stop" video. (Side note: those giant bear
backpack apparatuses they’re wearing look really heavy!) Many critics of the
vid questioned why these “friends” only appeared in one scene of the video,
when she appears to be so immersed in black culture throughout (See: Conversation
on cultural appropriation
I’m not prepared to start here). Once Miley was done assaulting her backup
dancers, rubbing her fur-covered crotch and definitely not lip synching (for
better or worse), the two songs that had everyone clutching their pearls this
year came to an uncomfortable head as Robin Thicke made his way onstage.
Thicke’s video for “Blurred Lines” sparked up just as much controversy
as Miley’s in recent months. From scantily-clad models (plus a naked one in the
uncensored version) to lyrics like “I know you want it” — plus dumb hastags
all over the place — there were bound to be some haters. But, doesn’t that
description sound comparable if not tamer than nearly any popular music video
circulating right now? Now, I can understand the concern about the subject of
“blurred lines” when there is so much right-wing bullshit about rape culture
going on right now. But the video came out in March, and it wasn’t until
recently, once a few people started writing about their disapproval, that other
folks started recycling these opinions and making parody videos that completely
miss the point. Look, I’ve got a soft spot for Robin Thicke. He started off more
than a decade ago as an R&B singer — he’s got a smooth-as-a-baby’s-butt
voice so of course his songs are
going to be sexual and of course some of his videos are going to feature sexy
girls. He’s married to actress Paula Patton, whom he’s been with since he was
16. They have an adorable son named Julian Fuego. If anything, Miley would corrupt him!
So Miley rips off her PedoBear onesie to reveal the two-piece from the
“Blurred Lines” video and everyone realizes yes, she’s going there. The world
looked on in sheer terror as she twerked every which way upon Thicke, stroking
him and herself with a We’re No. 1 finger you see at hockey games. Miley’s butt
looked really scary and Robin looked like Beetlejuice.
Let’s all cleanse ourselves by looking back on Thicke’s earlier, hairier years.
One actual quality performance of the night came from Justin Timberlake.
Sure, he’s ubiquitous, but damn, the dude is talented. JT sang and danced his
way across every stage in the Barclays Center, never missing a beat or breath, touching on
hits from all throughout his career. Naturally, everyone was waiting for the
anticipated *NSYNC reunion, and every time a cluster of male back-up dancers
rushed onstage, I thought that was the moment. Finally, four shadowy figures
emerged from an illuminated stage, and Justin joined them in the center.
I hate to be a spoilsport, but, *NSYNC, you’re tearin’ up my heart. Nearly any
millennial Pop lover was either a Backstreet Boy or *NSYNC fan, and I was
more of an *NSYNC girl. Nevertheless, when I recently had the opportunity to
attend the BSB reunion concert of PNC Pavilion, you better believe I screamed
my lungs out with the rest of the crowds of pathetic women. I had to hand it to
the ‘Boys — they looked more attractive as 40-year-olds than they did 20 years
ago! They were in shape, still had their chops and were really good sports
about it. The concert really was a fun time. So when I saw an overweight,
wobbling Chris Kirkpatrick struggling to pull his jacket over his tummy, I
could not focus on anything else. A single tear ran down my cheek. And why the
hell, of all songs to play during this rare moment, would they sing
“Girlfriend?!” I still love you, *NSYNC, but reunion wasted, in my opinion.
VMA, Artists.MTV, Music, Justin
More stuff: This picture is NOT the Smith family reacting to that Miley mess I
just recounted. This is a still taken during Gaga’s performance and it’s not
even an accurate reaction, so stop sharing it, ya losers.
Drake, Bruno Mars, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Kanye also performed,
and no one is going to say anything about that. Drake reminds me of a dinosaur
and his song was really boring. Kanye performed in a shadow in front of a
screen cuz he’s a dad now and he can’t be bothered with camera close-ups, guys.
The camera cut away to reaction shots from Taylor Swift so often, she should be credited as a co-host. Good god.
Katy Perry’s new song "Roar" ended the night with a boxing-themed performance
by the Brooklyn Bridge, but it seems like everyone was too busy freaking out about
Miley to notice. It was pretty fun, but apparently it sounds a lot like Sara
VMA, Artists.MTV, Music, Katy Perry
news, even D-list celebs, Like Dharma & Greg’s Thomas Gibson can get
Breaking Bad’s Anna Gun (Skyler White) wrote a New York Times op-ed about how everybody
HATES her — or at least the character she plays — any how this widespread
abomination doesn’t seem to carry over to male characters on television.
"Beauty and the Beat?"
In his latest video, my newest hero Todrick Hall takes it to the next level and
tells the story of Cinderella using the music of Beyoncé. Rupaul’s Drag Race star Shangela plays the fairy god mother.
0 Comments · Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Lady Gaga's next tour jaunt will include the BornBrave Bus, a safe place for fans to participate in talk sessions about “mental
health, depression, bullying, school and friends"; CD sales continued to plummet in 2012, but the vinyl LP, cassette and even MiniDisc formats all got a sales boost; in this week's installment of "Just another day in The Flaming Lips," the band's giant, laser-shooting hands were stolen at a festival show. If giant, laser-shooting hands weren't so hip right now, they would have been so much easier to find.
Photographer Matthew Rolston features Vent Haven figures in upcoming book
0 Comments · Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Matthew Rolston has taken close-up portraits, startlingly realistic
headshots, of some 200 figures — colloquially known as dummies — at Fort
Mitchell, Ky.’s Vent Haven ventriloquism museum. The results are in a
new book, Talking Heads, to be published next month by Pointed Leaf Press.
by Jac Kern
Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings
Even the most
plugged-in, pop culture-obsessed Facebook addicts miss out on Internet crazes
every once in a while; thus, Koren performer Psy’s viral music video for “Gangnam
Style” somehow escaped me. I’d seen
the term mentioned on blogs and even watched a (ridiculously high quality) wedding
video based on
confusing sensation before I was able to find a reference the original video. (Isn’t
it funny how that happens?) I found myself Googling “What the hell is Gangnam
Style?!” not knowing if it was a dance craze or song or fashion trend. The song
actually mocks the lifestyle of rich residents of the Seoul suburb, though most
attention surrounds Psy, a middle aged man singing angrily whilst doing a PG
version of “the pony.” I guess some
of the humor is lost on me because I’m secretly bitter I didn’t discover it
incarnation? Mitt Romney Style!
Who’s down for a
rousing game of “Steak House or Gay Bar?”
Kanye West stripped us all of our daily
affirmation source by deleting all of his previous tweets last week. He has since returned to Twitter, but just to mourn the one-year since Steve
Jobs’ death. Riveting stuff.
is the new black. Lately, high-profile performers across the globe have
proverbially sniffed the milk carton, shrugged and took a sip anyway, all
ending up tossing their cookies on stage. Now, if you’re like music editor Mike
watching people experience a retaliating
digestive system is disturbing and you'd rather not see that shit. Otherwise, here’s Lady Gaga
and Justin Beiber barfing at their
recent respective gigs. Thank goodness for HuffPo, who compiled a gallery of “Stars Who’ve Puked During Concerts.”
When Heidi Klum
and Seal broke up,
I was crushed (mostly because it meant no I’d really never be invited to one of their epic
Halloween parties or themed vow renewals).
When Amy Poehler and Will Arnett split,
I was angry and confused. (Can’t they just laugh it off?!) Well, now I know there’s
no such thing as love because after more than 30 years together, Danny DeVito
and Rhea Perlman have separated. Maybe people grow apart after decades
together. Perhaps DeVito’s role as Frank on Always Sunny began rubbing off on
him. I don’t care — Matilda’s parents were supposed to stay together forever.
Thankfully, Amber Tamblyn
and David Cross got hitched this week, giving us all a final shred of hope for
humanity. Check out Questlove’s Instagram (the coolest way to peep wedding pics, ever) for photos of the Esty-fied Tommy Hilfiger
ad starring Joan of Arcadia and Tobias Fünke.
0 Comments · Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Kanye West and Jay-Z will reportedly be making a sequel to their collaborative Watch the Throne
album, according to producer Mike Dean. But that’s just a small part of
the twosome’s plans to expand their kingdoms.
by Danny Cross
The private group hoping to purchase
Music Hall for $1 is now asking for $10 million in city contributions
to its effort to update the historic building, double the initial $5
million it asked for. The Music Hall Revitalization Co. says failing
to strike a deal before June 1 will jeopardize the proposed $165
million renovation. Among the updates the city is being asked to fund
are $75,000 buffers to block noise from the streetcar and a $150,000
escrow account to pay for any future disruptions due to the
City Council yesterday spent some time
considering ways to fix the city's retirement fund deficit.
Cincinnati's retirement board wants the city to contribute $67
million to the pension system this year, though Council has
reportedly contributed only about half of that.
CVG today will unveil its updated
Concourse A, which has undergone a $36.5 million renovation. It is part of the
airports attempt to lure a low-cost airline to the hub that formerly
Cleveland is the first Ohio city to
open one of the state's four new casinos, drawing about 5,000 to a
grand opening last night. Cincinnati's casino is expected to be the
last of the four to open, with Hollywood casinos scheduled to open in
Toledo May 29 and in Columbus this fall. Cincinnati's' Horseshoe is
scheduled to open next year.
Barack Obama's Super PAC is airing TV
ads questioning Mitt Romney's business record, specifically his
commitment to workers.
Prosecutors today decided to bring
charges against former News of the World editor Rebekah
Brooks, who along with her husband and four others will be charged
with conspiring to pervert the course of justice. The alleged
incidents occurred in response the phone hacking allegations, and the
charges are apparently quite embarrassing to Rupert Murdoch and
British Prime Minister David Cameron.
JP Morgan today said, “Surprise! We
lost a bunch of money!” Two years after congress tightened
regulations on Wall Street, the industry now fears that regulators
will now listen to their fears even less as they enact stricter
Humans are consuming more resources
than the earth can replenish, according to the World Wildlife Fund's
Living Planet Report for 2012.
Lady Gaga yesterday cancelled a
cold-out Indonesia performance in response to conservative protests
over her clothing and dance moves.
National police spokesman Boy Rafli Amar, responding to the
pressure, said Tuesday that the permit for her June 3 "Born This
Way Ball" concert had been denied.
Indonesia, a nation of 240 million people, has more Muslims than
any other. Although it is secular and has a long history of religious
tolerance, a small extremist fringe has become more vocal in recent
Hard-liners have loudly criticized Lady Gaga, saying the
suggestive nature of her show threatened to undermine the country's
moral fiber. Some threatened to use physical force to prevent her
from stepping off the plane.
Lawmakers and religious leaders, too, have spoken out against her.
by Mike Breen
Posted In: Music History
at 11:45 AM | Permalink
Lyle Lovett's celebrity marriage ends and Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett jam with CCM grads
On this day in 1995, what was seen as one of the strangest "celebrity marriages" ever came to an end as movie star Julia Roberts and singer/songwriter Lyle Lovett announced their separation after being married just 21 months. Although, in hindsight, was the coupling really as odd as it was made out to be at the time?People magazine played up the "beauty and the beast" plot line, suggesting Lovett was some sort of dog-faced weirdo who somehow, miraculously tricked America's sweetheart into marrying him just three weeks after they met. But Lovett is a smart, funny guy who seems genuine, sincere and nice. And it's not like he looked like Joseph Merrick or anything. He did have an unruly, big hairstyle, which seemed enough to make the storyline work. (When Roberts returned to The Pelican Brief set after tying the knot, the cast and crew members reportedly wore T-shirts that said "Welcome Back, Mrs. Lovett" on the front and, on the back, "He's A Lovely Boy … But You Really Must Do Something About His Hair.")People magazine's extensive coverage post-separation was typical of how most media treated the relationship. "From the very beginning of the Julia-Lyle fairy tale — beautiful-but-vulnerable movie star falls big for intriguingly offbeat country crooner — wishful thinking seems to have had an edge over dour common sense." Maybe they were right — two people from vastly different entertainment fields, especially when one is "classically" more attractive and monetarily more successful then the other, will never work out. Roberts went on to marry a cameraman — Daniel Moder — with whom she had three kids. They've been together for a decade. And Lovett has been dating film producer April Kimble since 1999. Lovett has written several touching-to-hilarious songs about love, relationships and marriages. My favorite is the amusing "An Acceptable Level of Ecstasy (The Wedding Song)" from his 1986 self-titled, debut album. But here's the song "Fiona," from his 1996, post-divorce album, The Road to Ensenada, which many feel includes several songs about Roberts. "Fiona"'s intended subject is pretty clear — that's Roberts middle name and what Lovett called her "in code" on stage during the early stages of their hook-up.Born This Day: Musical movers and shakers sharing a March 28 birthday include Country/Pop star (and actress) Reba McEntire (1955); Country singer/songwriter Rodney Atkins (1969); Pop singer/songwriter Matt Nathanson (1973); guitarist with New Wave revivalists The Killers, Dave Keuning (1976); rapper J-Kwon (1986); and superstar Lady Gaga (1986).In the Best of Cincinnati issue out today, we included a pick on a collective of Jazz players — all graduates of U.C.'s College-Conservatory of Music — who joined Gaga and Tony Bennett on last year's hit network TV special, A Very Gaga Thanksgiving. Steve Kortyka (saxophone), Brian Newman (trumpet), Alex Smith (piano) and Scott Ritchie (bass) made up her band for the duet of "The Lady is a Tramp." That's Newman playing the opening riff and introducing the entire special. Check out an interview with Newman about playing with Gaga here.
0 Comments · Tuesday, July 19, 2011
It was announced that Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Lil Wayne have been nominated for possible induction into the International Bowling Hall of Fame. (Kim Kardashian, Michael Jordan and the only people who make logical sense, Jeff Bridges and Bill Murray, are also up for the esteemed honor.)