So, I met Crayon Pop TWICE last week, and it was the greatest fucking thing ever. Anything else that I experience from this point forward will just be a total bore now that I’ve been blessed by the Popes of Pop. The only thing keeping me alive is the possibility that I may one day bask in their ethereal glow once again.
I actually didn’t find out about The Divine Five’s trip Down Under until fairly late, so I didn’t really have a chance to go out and buy a whole Crayon Pop ensemble and stalk them all across Sydney like I would’ve done if I’d had more time to prepare. While I’m grateful that I was able to breathe the same air as the Holy Queens of the Universe, I’ll always regret not camping out the front of their hotel and following them across the city like the T-1000 after John Connor.
By the way, can all white people besides myself all please go to hell and never return? At the second Crayon Pop fansign I attended, I somehow ended up next to the ONLY other white people there; it was some white trash overweight family, and they were so rude and kept complaining the whole time and throwing shade as I did the “Bar Bar Bar” fanchants along with everyone else there (“Gummi! Ellin!”). Hello, why are you flops at a K-pop event if you’re going to give people the side-eye for screaming and shouting? At one point the father of this wretched trio tried to put his fatass daughter on his shoulders so she could see above the crowd of Crayon stans, but he nearly toppled over because she was so heavy. Like, really? Your daughter is a two tonne tessie and you actually expect to carry her immense weight on your feeble shoulders? I just know that this guy was at the mall to browse the bargain bins and happened to stumble upon Crayon Pop’s performance by chance on his way to McDonalds to feed his obese daughter more junk that’s eventually going to send her to an early grave.
Anyway, I met Crayon Pop, Way and Ellin told me they loved me (I said it first, but whatever), Gummi said something about my outfit that I couldn’t understand, and I got three signed Crayon Pop albums, so yay for me.
As for music this past week, besides the almighty Crayon Pop, I’ve been listening to a bunch of new releases. I’ve actually been more in the mood to listen to older stuff, but made an effort to check out some new music because I know that if I don’t now I’ll just get snowed under as the holiday album rush continues. I’m already looking forward to things slowing down so I can start digging into some classics and play Crayon Pop on repeat again.
Lady Gaga – ARTPOP
So most of you know that ARTPOP has been one of my most-anticipated pop albums ever since “Applause” dropped. I’m loving it so far, but not quite in the way I was expecting to. It’s more shallow than I thought it would be, and it’s almost as overproduced as a Britney Spears album. I just wanna grab Gaga, slap her in the nose, and then make her re-record half the tracks in her bedroom with a mic and a laptop. ARTPOP would really benefit from a little grit and grunt.
Other than that, the whole thing’s pretty great. It’s definitely up there with The Fame Monster as Gaga’s best release. The only no-no is the overwrought “Dope” — that shit is unlistenable. “Jewels & Drugs” is also embarrassingly bad, but it works because it’s such a try hard exercise in ratchetry that you have to love it. As for my favourite track, I don’t know if I can even choose one — they’re all so damn addictive. Maybe “Mary Jane Holland,” Manicure,” or “Fashion.” I just wish “Swine” was as vicious as the live version was. But my only real concern with this album is that it’s so poppy and overproduced that it might not have a lot of re-playability. I’m not 100% confident that I’ll still be listening to it in a couple of months time, but we’ll see. As for now, it kicks ass, and don’t let the gross Prism stans tell you otherwise.
Best Coast – Fade Away
Every Best Coast album sounds virtually the same to me, and when I actually pay proper attention to their lyrics I find that they can sometimes be trite and contrived. Regardless, I still find myself obsessed with everything this band releases. If I’m feeling melancholy, I’ll play Best Coast. If the weather’s nice and sunny, I’ll play Best Coast. If I want some cool background music while I clean my room or aimlessly surf the net, I’ll play Best Coast. Considering that I love lo-fi, pop, and surf music, I guess it’s just a given that I’d love them.
Fade Away is much darker than their past releases which I appreciate, and it’s definitely a lot stronger than last year’s The Only Place. Plus, they mixed in some grunge this time, which is always a good thing. This one’s definitely going to be on heavy rotation for a while.
MGMT – MGMT
If you thought that Congratulations was as far as MGMT would go to rebel against the mainstream success of Oracular Spectacular, then you were realllllly wrong. Their new self-titled album sounds like aliens abducted Congratulations, probed it, fed it a tab of intergalactic acid, and dropped it off in the middle of Woodstock. That’s a compliment, by the way. (Not that anyone should take popping acid and being anally probed as anything other than a positive and pleasurable experience, but just thought I’d clarify.)
MGMT is a wonderfully weird experience from start to finish that demands multiple listens to truly understand, but true understanding isn’t required to enjoy it. The psychedelic production is so immediately engaging that playing MGMT in the background while you smoke a blunt or chill out is almost as rewarding as sitting down with the record and going through the sounds and lyrics with a fine-toothed comb.
Also, “Mystery Disease” >>>>> all other music ever invented (minus Crayon Pop, which is clearly superior to everything).
miss A – Come On Over
I pretty much said all the important critical stuff about miss A’s “Hush” over on Popdust so I won’t go over it again here. What I will say now is that when I heard “Hush” and saw the music video for the first time, I seriously said to myself, “Who the fuck would waste their time on Fifth Harmony and The Saturdays when you could be getting down to this instead?” It’s not even my favourite miss A single (that would be the legendary “Good-bye Baby”), but the sparse production is so fresh and I’m totally in love with the visuals and choreography.
Anyway, as much as I’m enjoying “Hush,” the song that’s really blown me away from miss A’s new album is “Come On Over.” It’s fucking paradise and the only other song on the album besides the title track that’s worth listening to. The electronic R&B jam is the sexiest thing I’ve heard since *tries to think of a sexy song* Brown Eyed Girls’ “Recipe.” Just like “Help Me” and “Lips,” it seems that so much of miss A’s best material never reaches official single status. They need to start doing double A-side comebacks in the future!
Sky Ferreira – Night Time, My Time
I don’t want to say that I’m pleasantly surprised by Sky Ferreira’s long-awaited full-length debut because that implies that I wasn’t expecting great things from it. I always knew this record would be an instant favourite, but I wasn’t expecting Sky to make such a drastic departure from the airy pop of last year’s mindblowingly good “Everything Is Embarrassing.” Night Time, My Time, is low-fi and abrasive, as if the tracks were intentionally left in demo form. There’s a wide range of obvious musical influences from the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s, from The Cure and Blondie all the way to Siouxsie Sioux and Hole — think Pretty On The Inside and Live Through This, but with the pop leanings of Celebrity Skin. It also sounds like an old John Hughes soundtrack dipped in grunge. Yes, I know I just listed a lot of stuff, but it seriously sounds like a bunch of different things — all of them good.
After multiple listens, I now fully understand why Sky went for the “rape shower” album cover. Night Time, My Time a raw and visceral record that’s not afraid to dig deep and look at the ugly stuff. It was definitely worth the three year wait, and asserts Sky as much more than a trendy blog staple. Regardless of whether or not she ever has commercial success, there’s no doubt in my mind that Sky Ferreira’s a real artist that’s going to be worthy of our attention for years to come.