Crappy Music: Black “Friday”

It’s enough to make you want to hang up your “Crappy Music” schtick and go home.

Since last Christmas, I’ve been posting occasional “Crappy Music” finds on Facebook (the postings caused a couple friends to insist I start blogging, hence the birth of Prevarications, but that’s been covered in previous posts). I started a new job exactly one month ago, at the same time that the Rebecca Black “sensation” blew up. I’ve been too wrapped up in the new position and other personal shit to keep the Crappy Music posts (which I may start again, on Prevarications) on schedule (every Monday and Thursday), and I completely missed the boat on “Friday.” So please allow me to conduct a post obitum roundup of crappy links.

First off, here’s the original “Friday” music video performed by new tween-hate star Rebecca Black, produced and auto-tuned out the wazoo by Ark Music Factory, shot at her father’s house and co-starring a metric assload of Black’s friends. (This video has, I shit you not, over 97 MILLION VIEWS as of this writing.)

The video was shot in January and uploaded to Youtube in February (which follows January, then next comes March) And there it languished until one of my favorite entertainers decided to tweet about it. Who’s to blame? Michael J. Nelson of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and RiffTrax fame. He blew it up when he tweeted about it on March 11, 2011, at 5:08 pm.

A comedy link aggregator/blog called The Daily What picked it up the same day, probably from Nelson’s tweet.

Comedy Central’s Josh.0 picked it up from The Daily What, and monsterized it from there.

So, okay, it’s a bad tween song (apparently written by the Ark Music Factory guys) that sounds like something a Disney Channel star (Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, etc.) might record. So why hasn’t one of THEIR videos gained 97 million views in a couple of months, instead of “Friday”? I have no freakin’ idea. One reason might be that as bad as the Disney bubblegum dreck is, this song is worse.

Let’s take a tour of the parodies (this list is by *no* means an exhaustive one).

  1. The best parody. “Bad Lip Reading” version – “Gang Fight.”
  2. Obligatory “celebrity” version: “Bob Dylan.”
  3. Poorly done Christian parody: “Sunday.”
  4. The drama! The suspense! The ham! Handsome Mike’s Acting Masterclass.
  5. Joan’s Day” (oy), the recording of looks like one lo-o-o-o-ong senior moment.
  6. The “Downfall” meme meets “Friday.” (WWHT . . . What Would Hitler Think?)
  7. Brock’s Dub“, the most popular parody with over 12 million views as of this writing. Kinda funny.
  8. The second most popular parody, based on views (over 4 million as of this writing), and it’s actually one of the worst. Maybe it benefited from appearing on the Good Morning America piece featuring Rebecca Black. (About which more below.)
  9. Pop will eat itself. “My Hand is a Dolphin,” a crappy parody song inspired by a one-off line from “Brock’s Dub.”

On Good Morning America, a week after the publicity explosion and the resulting hostile backlash splashed all over the Intertubes, Rebecca Black responded. (In the clip, her mother says, “In all honesty, I could have killed a few people.”)

Media speculation on how much gidas Black had earned began to seep from different websites. According to this article, by March 23rd she had earned somewhere between 25k and a million bucks. Say what?

Around the same time, Black announced on Jay Leno that she was going to donate her profits to disaster relief in Japan. Noble gesture or getting back at the Interwebs naysayers? You make the call.

Celebrities just *had* to weigh in. Here’s three reactions:
1. Nick Jonas performed part of her song at a concert,
2. Lady Gaga called her a genius, and
3. Simon Cowell said she hadn’t done anything wrong.

(I’m inclined to agree with Cowell. She didn’t do anything wrong. I blame her mother and those Ark Music Factory yutzes.)

Here’s the best version ever, performed by Steven Colbert, The Roots, Taylor Hicks…and, oh yeah, that Fallon guy.

In most recent news, the inevitable lawsuit over the copyright/performance/distribution rights was filed by Rebecca’s mother.

And it goes on from there. If you’re curious, you can find the rest yourself.

My reaction? I don’t like the song. Yes, it’s Crappy Music. I haven’t been a fan of bubblegum since I was a teenager (although I’ll still listen to the random Archies or Leonard Nimoy track in remembrance of my youth.) But “Friday” is by no means the worst song in the world, nor is Rebecca Black the worst singer. (You should listen to me in the shower. I put howling coyotes to shame.) She’s only 13 years old, but that doesn’t mean anything to the Internet. Hateful comments suggesting she cut herself and die in a fire have been posted everywhere, not just on Youtube. (They’re gonna be backtraced by the cyberpolice! Consequences will never be the same!) These reactions, while way over the top, are unfortunately typical of today’s comment boards. I would hope the bullying doesn’t scar her, but on the other hand, I would also hope she doesn’t release any more songs. (Rumors say her next single will be titled “LOL.”)

This is an awful lot of heat over an 8th grader who recorded an insipid song. But then, the reaction to Justin Bieber has been hyperbolic, too. A deeper thinker may point to this as a sign of our times: deteriorating quality in all walks of life, including our pop culture, leading to the dumbing down of society, the loss of civility, and a dearth of creativity. No one can think critically anymore without reverting into a gibbering monkey, flinging crap at everything in sight. And even that reaction seems over-the-top. Remember “Mmm-bop”? How it was The End Times because a crappy suckfest like Hanson even existed? Utimately, this whole Rebecca Black thing will turn out to be a tempest in a teacup.

There. I’ll never have to write about this again. Now I can point and laugh at some other crappy music I find on the Internet.

Today’s prevarication: I know something about music.


About Bruce Diamond

Despicably proud old man. Text-extruding asshole (thank you, John Scalzi) with a skewed vision on life, pop culture, writing and general assholiness. Not a scholar, not a gentleman, not Martin or Lewis. But still trying to make life fun and funny.
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