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D10 • the silhouette’s art & culture magazine

music

thursday, march 31, 2011

tween idols are back in black

JOY SANTIAGO/ MULTIMEDIA EDITOR

Can anybody tell me why I know the name Rebecca Black? Or better yet explain to me why I can even recite some of the terrible lyrics from her terrible song “Friday”? The elusive nature of viral videos and the blogosphere have relentlessly spread the awkwardly autotuned musical effort of Ms. Black across every facet of the Internet, and consequently into the consciousness of 64 million YouTube viewers as of late. The video and song’s attempt to relate to young girls has thoroughly missed its mark becoming the object of much hilarity, and even hate when all Rebecca Black truly wanted was to have “Fun, fun, fun.” The video begins feebly attempting to situate itself among other much better songs with a bad graphic of a calendar flipping through phrases like “Tuesday is gone with the wind,” and hopefully now that “It’s Friday, I’m in love.” Yet love has not come the way Rebecca Black might have liked it to, as her musical efforts have quickly become famous for all the wrong reasons. After hastily explaining to us her morning routine of eating cereal and getting down to the bus stop, Black takes some time to contemplate whether she will be “Kickin’ in the front seat,” or “Sittin’ in the back seat” with her fellow adolescent friends. Ultimately that thought-provoking question we all ask each morning of “Which seat can I take?” is told to be irrelevant because “It’s Friday … FRIDAY!” With the usage of autotune making Black’s voice sound far too much like Fran Dresher, one has to wonder exactly how this song ever made it out of the production studio in a serious fashion. The record label behind Black’s musical blunder is ARK Music Factory; a label that seems to be devoted to attempting to fulfil little girls’ – or their parents’ – dreams of becoming the next Justin Bieber. ARK has quite the crew of potential pop stars such as Abby Victor, Britt Rutter, Alana Lee, and anomalously a middle aged black rapper named Pato – who coincidentally makes rapping cameos in all of these young girls’ videos. ARK Music Factory’s methods for creating these little teeny boppers are essentially the same with the exception of Pedo. Oh my! I mean Pato … how could one make such a mistake? The formula for ARK’s “success” is as follows: money from the parents of these

children, plus generic songs about adolescent love or a particular day of the week, plus autotune, plus terribly edited generic video with complementary rapping performance by Pedo: the mini pop princess. Ms. Rebecca Black is simply a hilarious casualty within this messed up mix. Unfortunately like any pseudo-celebrity plunged in front the harsh eye of countless condescending computer screen spectators, Rebecca Black has received quite a few harsh comments for such an innocent blunder. What many people don’t think about or realize is that behind this ridiculously poor piece of culture is a real girl, with real feelings, being manipulated by record producers and funded by parents who ultimately want to make some green. The thing that adds to the bizarre nature of this whole scene is that “Friday” was not made as a joke. As Black recently showed on her special ABC unplugged performance of “Friday,” she has a better voice than autotune allows. Still, her mediocre talent does not shine through her – or her label’s – terrible song writing. In the video of this acoustic jam, her producers and friends force an emotional reaction that makes it very clear that ARK and their crew of misfit melodies should just stop while they’re behind. The most interesting form of creation from this musical mess can be seen in a slew of YouTube covers ranging from death metal, Bob Dylan impersonations, a bad lip reading relating Black’s message to Nazism, and of course a handful of acoustic guitar renditions. These appropriations should act as testament to the fact that truly “everybody is lookin’ forward to the weekend, weekend.” When it comes down to it Rebecca Black has made out pretty well. After the pain from those hurtful comments subsides, she will always be able to take pride in knowing that she had a part in explaining the concept of the weekend to millions of unknown haters who have helped her make a decent paycheque – over seven figures so far. After all, at the end of the week it is Friday, and that is pretty exciting because as Rebecca Black informs me, the next day will be Saturday and Sunday comes soon afterwards. Let’s hope that after musically educating us on the formalities of the weekend, Black and her troupe at ARK Music Factory decide to slink back into obscurity. • Trevor Roach

March 31st, 2011  

March 31st, 2011 issue of The Sil

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