The Art of Flopping

Billboard published an article today decrying the overuse of the term “flop” when describing a pop artist’s lack of success. The term’s use grew to exponential levels this past year, with the underperformance of several pop heavyweights, including Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber. Even Katy Perry, who scored massive (if arguably unwarranted) success with “Roar”, was subject to being deemed a “flop” with her second single “Unconditionally”, which has peaked at #14 on the US charts.

With the music industry in such a state of disarray, is it fair to really call anyone a flop?

Album and single sales and chart positions are the primary identifiers of who is deemed successful or not in the music industry, especially in the pop genre. As shallow and capitalistic as it is, it still matters, and there are a number of companies that make their livelihoods (including Billboard) keeping track of who is selling the most and topping the charts on a regular basis. However, there has been an overabundance of “flop” declarations within the last year. Fans, in a desperate effort to prove why their favorite is better than another, have screamed “FLOP” at anything not charting at #1 for ten straight weeks. Lady Gaga has probably been the most high-profile victim of this; “Applause” was deemed a massive flop, despite remaining in the Top 10 for months. Granted, it’s not as successful as “Bad Romance”, but it’s nowhere near a flop. Neither is Katy Perry’s “Unconditionally”. Sure, it’s nowhere near the hit that “Roar” was and “Dark Horse” is appearing to be, but Perry is still at the top right now.

If someone is going to be called a flop, then you have to look outside the Top 20, at least. For example, Ke$ha’s two followups to her 2012 single “Die Young” are huge flops. “Come On” peaked at #27, and “Crazy Kids” did even worse, peaking at #40. Those two singles ultimately killed her sophomore album Warrior and shoved her completely off the A-List. Luckily for her, she has bounced back with Pitbull and their smash hit “Timber”. Still, Ke$ha and plenty of other artists are true examples of what it really means to have a flop record.

But so what if an artist has a flop single or even a flop album? Beyonce’s 4 was huge disappointment, but then came the history-making BEYONCE. Some of the most iconic artists of all time have had their chart stinkers. Michael had “Invincible”, Madonna has “MDNA”, Mariah has “Glitter”.  What matters is their body of work, and whether they can recover from a flop. It’s still too early to count out Gaga and Katy and (I regret to admit) Bieber just yet.

For now, let’s just call it an underperformance and let them hope for the best.

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WHY WE NEED TO STOP ON THIS MILEY ISH

I’ma be like every other blogger out there and put in my two cents about Miley’s performance.

Look, that girl is the devil. If you haven’t seen this

Buzzfeed: What Miley Cyrus Was Trying to Do At the VMAS vs What Miley Cyrus Actually Did then go read and laugh. It basically compares Miley’s  ‘Coming of Age’ performance to Britney’s like 10 years ago.

Too funny. Too real. Too true.

But here’s my thing. We bloggers can blog about that. We are pop culture, right. But why is CNN, FOX News, MSNBC and friends all on the air wasting precious air time and cost cable packages on psych panels trying to decipher Miley’s moral and mental state? I mean WHAT. Are you serious?

CNN said some ish this morning in this article: CNN’s Article aka Some ISH

These are responses from ‘outraged parents’ on the whole affair:

“I just find it extremely discouraging and difficult to hold out hope for the improved status of women in this world when even the most entitled among us so negatively reinforce the worst stereotypes and misogynistic attitudes about women,” said Belkin.
“Her behavior sets 50 to 60 years of women’s forward progress back a long way when you consider that her huge fan base really only consists of young and impressionable girls and horny young boys, who, unfortunately on many levels, are our future leaders,” said John Rodrigues of Boston, in response to a request for comment on CNN’s Facebook page.

*Pumps the breaks*
Okay, I’m sorry but you found it “difficult to hold out hope for the improved status of women in this WORLD” and you think her behavior “sets 50 to 60 years of women’s forward progress BACK”

ARE YOU KIDDING ME? My face below:

I mean…Seriously?

While the romanticized antics of these parents is duly noted, I think that it is a TAD dramatic considering that Lady Gaga’s entire posterior was exposed and UNCUT on TV–she was in a glitter thong–and ain’t no body talking about that. Additionally, how about EVERY NIGHT  on TV the female anchors/reporters on FOX, CNN and friends look like porn stars with their boobs pressed to their faces and hair straight as a pin and makeup all dark and colorful. Talk about setting women back. Women in the television news industry can’t even go on TV and be taken seriously in a suit anymore. They have to be 110 pounds with a weave looking fresh off the college campus.

I’m just saying, people, Miley isn’t the reason why women are experiencing inequality. If anything, she just looked stupid running around between teddy bears in her underwear. NOT TO MENTION the fact that Paula Patton probably wanted to throw down when Miley rubbed her barely there backside all up on Robin Thicke like it was nothing. – Nasty.

But more than that read this Solidarity is for Miley Cyrus by Jezebel Jezebel article. Basically they liken her perofrmance to being blatantly racist in nature because of the way it objectifies black women. I’m not going to get into a race discussion here, but it is an interesting perspective and worth reading.

ANYWAY. Bototm line? Miley is not going to ruin my life as a female. And if she does, it’s about time because you would think that Beyonce, Gaga, Britney, Jessica Simpson, Xtina…AND FRIENDS already have. Miley just wanted some attention and some press. She definitely got it. (Go Girl) But let’s just simmer down on this Miley is ruining the world for females ish.

 

-P

 

Lady Gaga Is BACK! Her “Applause” Music Video Is Everything!

Welcome back Lady Gaga!

The megastar has released the music video for her new single “Applause” and it is, without doubt in my mind, the best video she’s done since “Bad Romance”.

For starters, the video isn’t longer than four minutes, which was surprising since Gaga had a tendency to make mini-movies out of her singles.

But more importantly, the video is classic Gaga: artistic, weird, a bit creepy, and visually striking. I could already count three looks that are bound to be iconic, including the smeared paint look from the single’s cover.

What was also apparent was that Gaga had fun making this video. There were so many times when Gaga was smiling, that it made me enjoy the video even more.

Welcome back Gaga! Now I just need you to snatch Katy Perry from the top spot of iTunes, and we’ll be good.

Four Images That Prove That Lady Gaga Loves Trolling Her Fans (But We’re All Going to Buy ARTPOP Anyway)

So this evening, pop music titan Lady Gaga unveiled the cover art for “Applause,” the lead single from her upcoming album ARTPOP.

Everyone was expecting the artwork to look like the following three images:

The promo that launched it all

The promo that launched it all

Or this one, released last week:

Gaga sits on computer chip....throne?

Gaga sits on computer chip….throne?

Or how about this one, from this afternoon?

891247137_700

 

The image, which was unveiled by fashion trade magazine Women’s Wear Daily, complete with an interview, was this:

applause

One of these things is not like the other.

Gaga is the queen of epic trolling.

And her new single “Applause” will be out on August 19th, along with the pre-order for ARTPOP the album and the app.

Don’t even bother lying; you will be downloading it at midnight.

But still…

Kind of, yeah…

– B

 

Ego Ramble: Are The MTV VMAs Relevant?

The most nominated artists…for the least irrelevant awards ceremony ever?

This past week, MTV announced the nominations for 2013 MTV Video Music Awards.

And no one really cared. Or at least, I didn’t.

The truth of the matter is, I’m pretty sure I’ve only seen three or four of this year’s nominated videos. That includes Justin Timberlake’s “Mirrors” and Drake’s “Started From The Bottom”, neither which I terribly enjoyed. The rest of them completely slipped through the cracks for me. And then there’s that hot disastrous mess that is Miley Cyrus’s “We Can’t Stop”, but that’s for another post.

This is a particularly surprising admission, considering how much I live for pop music, and pop music videos.

However, since the demise of music videos on TV and the ultimately confusing and irritating advent of VEVO, I haven’t really had the desire to watch music videos, unless they are from people I know will make them truly excellent (i.e. Lady Gaga). MTV has all but said they no longer care about music videos, preferring to air reality shows that exploit and devalue my generation (again, another post for later).

I also feel like the quality of music videos has dropped off significantly. Best case, they are decent and somewhat interesting before you forget about them. Worst case, they are either outrageously awful (once again, Miley) or plain boring. Or oddly misogynistic (see Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” and multi-nominated JT’s “Tunnel Vision”).

So with all of this in mind, I have to wonder whether there is a point to the VMAs anymore, kind of like there isn’t much of a point to the Daytime Emmys. Both awards ceremonies seem superfluous, honoring media that are either dying or falling into one hell of a rut.

All this said, I will be watching because I am 85% sure Gaga will be attending and performing her new single from ARTPOP. But that’s only 10 minutes of a three show? What else am I going to do for that time? Nap? Play Candy Crush?

Do we need the VMAs anymore? Vote in the poll and leave a comment!

– B