time to change the way we view music and the arts

If I’m lucky…

Welcome to the first post of the new year everybody! *throws confetti*

I’m about to make a confession: I am one of those people who makes little harmless “it’s good luck” wishes and when the clock hits 11:11. It’s pretty frivolous but I do it as a small way to take what could be either an awesome, average or terrible day, and have a single moment to take my mind off the million things that are usually going on around me. You non-wishers should try it just to get a moment to breathe. πŸ˜›

Why tell you this inner tidbit? Well it is 1/11/11 today. Does that mean luck is on my side? Who knows, but humor me for what comes next.

Britney Spears, the ‘Hot Topic’ store chain and McGill University certainly have their own spins on luck in spades as of late.

The lasting 90s pop-icon conversation topic, (whether you talk positively or negatively about her, you’re still talking about her and still making buzz!) just released a new radio single called “Hold it Against Me” (ignore the annoying radio plugs for z100 inserted in the song)

While I’m reserving judgement for myself to develop a less impulsive reaction to this track, I will say I am intrigued by the “theory debunking concept” proposed in the review posted by the MTV Newsroom. The basic premise says that Spears defies expectations of staying power in the music industry, based on the industry sharks’ own unofficial “rules.”

“Britney Spears single-handedly disproves the theory that pop music prioritizes style over substance. Without flashy music videos, a primping glam squad and tricky studio wizardry, naysayers argue, pop stars would not be able to maintain their luster.

Based on those criteria, though, shouldn’t Britney’s success have fizzled out years ago? By 2007, America’s pop music sweetheart-turned-sexpot was a mother of two who had replaced her personal trainer with a bottomless frappuccino. If, according to her critics, Britney’s major selling points were her six-pack abs and sex appeal, she’d have dropped off our radar by then.”

Upon first read, this quote has some merit based on conditional logic. At the same time, said merit is held up by an ultimate implication that this new single is good. According to MTV’s logic, to some level by process of elimination, the music has to be what’s good since there isn’t much else “celebrity-worthy” to hold Spears up on. I don’t know if process of elimination should apply though. Popularity vs. provable talent, even if the popularity isn’t as image based anymore, doesn’t necessarily equate to skill by default. I find Spears’ mysterious ability to continually tread above the “shark infested waters” of the music business interesting, but at this moment, my interest is from a business standpoint only. Whether anyone takes MTV’s opinion on Spears’ supposed current, musical, star-power seriously remains to be seen. (“take MTV seriously….” I can hear the sarcastic jokes coming now)

On the contrary, perhaps sometimes things should remain unseen. I would say that applies to music sold illegitimately through Hot Topic, the self proclaimed “Loudest store in the mall,” known for being a “cool music-inspired accessory destination for both guys and girls.”

While this store chain has been known for carrying lots of merchandise for more indie and underground bands that usually the highly dedicated fan would go on the hunt for, that doesn’t mean the retail franchise was ever about acting ‘under the table,’ so to speak. Though I’m not sure how you could consider stocking and selling what look like either fake or fan created bootlegs of K-Pop (Korean pop) on the store website, discreet and under the table. The K-Pop news/gossip site, AllKPop.com pointed out and saved screenshots of at least two products, while mentioning more, shown to be sold via Hot Topic’s online store that have either:

a) Non-official cover art
b) Don’t exist at all (Band, “2NE1” does not have a A cappella album) or,
c) Incorrect label names.

As of this moment, I was just on the site and the products listed with AllKPop are still available with Hot Topic. It shocks me to see how this established business doesn’t seem to be concerned about being caught advertising non-authentic inventory, and through the permanency of the internet no less. Even if the products get removed, proof of sale to begin with is now out there forever. As it is, the Hot Topic in the mall by me is on its way out and it hasn’t been selling band shirts or much other merch in a long time anyway, so in my opinion they’ve lost their reliable edge. When I found Hannah Montana soundtracks on the shelves, I already knew the days of badass, goth, punk, emo labels were long gone.

With regard to low points, McGill University is concluding that when you’re down and have hit a low point, music can come to the rescue! Stop me if this scenario sound all too common: It’s 10:00 on a Friday or Saturday night and girl or guy has no plans, whereas all their friends are out on dates. Sucks on occasion. Possible options to fill your night:

a) cook yourself a nice warm meal and savor the food. (ugh, you forgot to go to the grocery store this afternoon.)
b) call your ex and hook up. (just because you can, doesn’t mean you should…)
c) smoke some weed. (um, it’s expensive and I don’t want my hair to smell for the next three months.)

**(Let’s be very clear here. I AM NOT advocating use of marijuana for ANYONE at ANYTIME. /end disclaimer)**

okay, so you opt no for all those choices and you still feel crummy. McGill says you’re still in luck! Listening to your “favorite pop song or classic rock hit” “triggers the same chemical reactions in the body” as all three of the aforementioned activities! Saves for a lot of cleaning up of food an drama doesn’t it?

Now, I don’t know if Spears always imagines herself to “get lucky” in the sexually driven encounters of her songs, but if I humorously question the legitimacy of aligning the highs of actual sex with listening to someone sing about it, I hope you don’t hold it against me. πŸ˜‰

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