Tag Archives: Spice Girls

Teenage Dreams & Liz’s Multitudinous Husbands

Katy Perry - California Gurls video still

The first question you have to ask yourself is this: Does anyone really care about the Billboard Hot 100 chart anymore? Isn’t that measuring something that’s rather irrelevant to anyone who gives a rat’s ass about music? Wasn’t it meaningful to those back in the proverbial day when moving discs from racks is what really mattered?

And when’s the last time you saw a disc (OK: a bad question to ask this audience which maybe has far too many physical discs for purposes of storage; but think of the average Billboard Hot 100 sort of person: does s/he know what discs are outside of a musical museum?)?

So now it seems that there is the possibility—if not likelihood—that pop confection Katy Perry, who has now tied Michael Jackson with five BH100s from her Teenage Dreams album, five that he received for Bad, may actually eclipse the King of Pop if her label goes for six.

Does this mean that Katy Perry is a more talented musician than Michael Jackson was? Or that she has better marketing? Or that she is simply a musical equivalent of Lay’s potato chips of yore, as in nobody can eat just one, and nobody can get enough of Katy, although in the not-so-long-run a diet of potato chips is completely unsustainable, no matter how tasty the damn things are?

Justin Bieber sells a remarkable number of units. Good for him. And we can roll it back, through the Jonas Brothers and their spiritual kin, going back through the Spice Girls to the Monkees and possibly beyond that. (I recently heard Davy Jones doing a promo on a record station, one of those, “This is Davy Jones and you’re listening to. . .” and it sounded to me like someone’s late grandfather—won’t these people just let it go?)

Good for these demographically created acts.

But really: who’s counting?

Isn’t it sort of like all of those husbands that Elizabeth Taylor had? I mean: unless you were the person of the moment, did anyone really care if it was number three or four?

So here’s hoping that Katy continues to get out there with those sexy outfits and croon her heart out. Let’s hope she makes every cut from her album a BH100.

Because for those who really care about music, it is no BFD.

Mom Power: Spice Girls Reunion

Girl PowerIs anyone else as psyched as I am about the fact that the Spice Girls are having a reunion tour? Back in the 90s, they were the bees knees, the cat’s pajamas, and every girl I knew adored them. It broke my heart when Ginger left, and then when they split up, I knew it was the end of the era.

Of course, I never really felt compelled to listen to their music (aside from the infectious “Wannabe” and “Spice Up Your Life”), and I couldn’t tell you who sings what part on each song, but I really did admire them. Any band that dedicates themselves to playing characters and admits that there is nothing below the surface truly garners my respect. When it came to singing, each of the girls was completely unidentifiable, and completely generic, but their personas and costumes are so bold and exaggerated, that they’re impossible to forget. They each chose an archetype, a gender/race role or even a fetish and made it their individual image.

Continue reading Mom Power: Spice Girls Reunion

2 BECOME 1: THE SPICE GIRLS EAT CHICKEN

If Burger King can feature something as scary as a Chicken Whopper, why can’t McDonalds re- re-configure its own chicken into yet another curious shape? Well America, get ready to go nuts over Chicken Select Strips. McDonald’s believes that the “larger portion size and zesty sauces” of its new product “will appeal to adult diners.” And to ensure that these slices of processed poultry aren’t just for juniors, the golden arches licensed “Wannabe” from 20th century demographic busters the Spice Girls to drive home their point. The advertisement is straightforward in its meaning. As Mel B tells you what you want what you really really want, a multiethnic gang of fresh-faced young adults dip, crunch, and grin their way through an allegedly exciting package of the decidedly boring-looking chicken strips. This tomfoolery plays out on an orange and red cartoon set that suggests the menthol green candy land of Newport Cigarettes’ print ads, a place where large-mouthed singles horse around with the vigor and boundless energy unique to a smoker of menthols.

But let’s get back to the chicken, chicken.

It’s not surprising that the Spice Girls sold “Wannabe” to McDonald’s. After all, what’s one commodity to another? What is amusing are the numerous tie-ins between song and product that McDonald’s and ad agency DDB failed to consider. First of all, there’s the “zesty” nature of the sauce included with these new strips. Where’s the tie-in? During their heyday, the Spice Girls were certainly zesty. Why not feature Scary Spice in the ad, stomping about in KISS boots while freaking the Fry Guys? Secondly, McDonald’s has decided to give its adult diners four of these tasty new chicken items. Well, there are four remaining Spice Girls halfheartedly working on solo careers. Ring them up, mate! But remember, Easy V doesn’t come for free. She’s a real lady. Finally, there’s the matter of the spicy dust that gives these birds their bite. What better chicks to chat up spicy strips than four sassy British birds with a propensity for knicker kissing? Come on, DDB! Slam your body down and wind it all around!

Commercial is as commercial does. “Wannabe” will do its best to sell McDonald’s latest chicken vagary, and move on to the next product that really really wants it. But you’ve been warned. If you watch any television at all, be prepared to have Scary, Ginger, Baby, Posh, and Sporty periodically stuck in your gob for the next month or so.

A zigga zigga say ahhh.

JTL