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The Problem With Calling One Direction Gay

7 May

One Direction: More successful than you. But not gay, yet.

For more One Direction and pop cultural musings, you can follow this author on Twitter: Henry Ellenthorpe

Last week, I was trawling my Facebook homepage to see what I was missing out on and apparently my life lacks casual homophobia, sexism and partying. Hot damn, my life pales in comparison. Anyway, one girl had posted a parody of One Direction’s What Makes You Beautiful (she’s a fan) on a friend’s wall, proclaiming its greatness. And look, when I watched it for the first time I laughed. But then I realised at what I was laughing and realised it was actually pretty shady. And not the kind of shady that can be fixed by an nonchalant ‘it’s only a joke,’ in the same way that calling someone a racial slur can’t be ameliorated by a ‘only joking, bro.’ It highlighted a casual homophobia that is so intermixed with reaction to popular culture and music that it’s become au fait. Read on after the jump. Or don’t. Whatevs, UR so gay:

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1 Thing I Love About Pop

21 Jan

This is a rather sad column today. Firstly, I have flu so looking at this laptop screen is about the 177th I would like to be doing right now. Secondly, the great blues singer Etta James passed away yesterday. She died from complications from leukemia at the age of 73. There aren’t many ways to say ‘I’m really upset about this,’ and sometimes simplicity is key. Thus: I’m really upset about this. James was a singer whose voice was at once instantly recognisable and identifiable as well as completely unique. It’s funny (if I can use that word) that two major pop songs right now (Avicii’s Levels and Flo Rida’s Good Feeling) both sample James’s ‘Something’s Got a Hold on Me’. If that introduces a whole new generation to James’ magic, then the world’s all the best for it. More gushing after the jump:

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10(0) Things I Love About Pop

13 Jan

This is my 100th post! I can’t quite believe it – time sure flies when you’re analysing Rihanna lyrics. In honour of this anniversary, I was going to make this a 100 point post. Then I realised I go to school and you know, sleep. Anyway, we’re got another present coming your way pretty soon and patience is a virtue. So I’m actually doing you a favour. Thank me later. For the moment, here’s some popular things in popular music this week. I live so vicariously.

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10 Things I Love About Pop

7 Jan
KP, LMFAO and RiRi: 2011, it's like we never left 'ye.

KP, LMFAO and RiRi: 2011, it’s like we never left ‘ye.

Welcome to 10 Things I Love About Pop: 2012! Or, 10 Things I Loved About Pop In The Year The World Was Supposed To End. Whatever works for you. Let’s have some good news anyway, shall we? Michael and Jonah have both returned to the blog: Good for fans of Drake and indie bands respectively (more news from them later) and great news for Henry’s energy levels. There’s only so many unreleased Katy Perry demos one can write about. So let’s head into another year of pop music, head’s high and smiling. It’s as glossy and slightly disconcerting as ever and we’re going to have a lot of fun analyzing it. Enjoy:

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The Year In: Popstar Parties

31 Dec

Happy New Year! It’s that time of the year when everyone freaks out about where and exactly with whom they’re going to spend an underwhelming, bitterly cold, vomit-concentrated evening. I can practically feel the dread of underage partiers raising their fake IDs to a bartender. It’s glorious, and so is partying: Cool kids do it with other cool kids. And they have good lives. There were plenty of parties in popular music this year, so let’s take a look at some of the best. Just a quick update: KP and Russell are divorcing; which is a huge loss for someone who thought that they sort of just made sense as a couple. Anyway, if The One That Got Away goes to number 1 (it’s at number 3) breaking MJ’s record, that will be incredibly bittersweet.

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The Year In: Collaborations

29 Dec

Collabs (abbreviations are the only way that this post is going to be written with a trace of coherency before I collapse into my bed surrounded my holiday prep and Hardy) came into their own this year. We’ve had some inspired pairings and some purely marketed for number 1 status (I’m looking at 2/3 of yours, KP.) Let’s take a gander at some of the best:

 

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The Year In: Underdog Anthems

28 Dec

Losers Like Them: GaGa, P!nk, Taylor and Glee.

If there were ever a year to be an outcast, 2011 was that year. I’m not being cynical about it because society can be pretty isolating and if people can find support through music, so be it. Of the year’s biggest themes in popular music (dubstep and underdogs), the anthems that heralded the misfits and anyone that the majority deems different were surprisingly heartening. There are far worse trends (homophobia, misogyny) that artists have exploited in the past. At least this one spreads a freakin’ good message. So we’ve rounded up the top 5 most notable examples of artists singing, ‘hey, just because you think stamp-collecting while drinking hedgehog blood is the bee’s knees doesn’t mean you’re weird. In fact, you’re all the better for it.’ Unsurprisingly, every single choice on this list has been featured on Glee (Edit: Taylor’s Mean totally hasn’t). That may make people roll their eyes, but it makes me want to give the show a massive hug and make it cookies. There is however, a problem with these anthems as they tend to convey a broadbrush message completely devoid of subtlety. But that’s another post entirely. Please also note that I am currently tired from an excess of eating, unwrapping and sellotape-induced injuries. I have already misspelt ‘underdog’ as ‘undergod’ twice which would give this article a much different, more worrying undercurrent. Bear with me:

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