Katy Perry

Don’t Believe Everything You Hear About New York City in Songs

The next time you’re tempted to write a song about the “concrete jungle where dreams are made of,” do New Yorkers a favor: don’t. The latest pop homage to New York comes via virtual unknown Catey Shaw and “Brooklyn Girls,” an anthem for young female transplants riding the L train from their apartments in Bushwick to Williamsburg, asserting their edginess by wearing combat boots in the summer. It’s suddenly started to go viral, three days after its release — yesterday afternoon, “Brooklyn Girls” had 7,000 views on YouTube. As of press time, it has 105,000. A great deal of its rise to prominence is attributable to the instant backlash from Brooklynites intimately familiar with the world Shaw describes (i.e., many music bloggers). … Read More

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Just How Feminist Is Your Favorite Pop Star?

On a ranked scale from Lana Del Rey to Beyoncé, here’s how feminist your favorite pop stars… Read More

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Cultural Appropriation Is the Last Resort of the Lazy Pop Star

There’s been a predictable Internet shitstorm about the cringe-inducing video for Avril Lavigne’s “Hello Kitty,” three-and-a-quarter minutes of cultural cluelessness that make Katy Perry’s VMA performance look like a nuanced examination of Orientalism and the changing nature of East/West cultural interchange since the abolition of the Sakoku policy in 1853. The Lavigne video is awful, obviously — it’s a sort of checklist of idiotic Japanese stereotypes, including candy stores, cupcakes, sake, sushi, random Japanese phrases (“Kawaii! Arigato!”), and, of course, four identikit Harajuku dancers who get used as silent stage decoration.(There’s also the curious fact that Lavigne appears to be wearing some sort of colored contacts in the video, that seem designed to accentuate just how blue her eyes are — although if anything, they end up making her look like an extra from David Lynch’s Dune who’s hit the spice a bit too hard.) It’s all like a budget knock-off of Gwen Stefani circa 2004, only without the Neptunes/Nellee Hooper production and the hooks. … Read More

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Lady Gaga: Do What U Want, Except “Tell Men What To Do”

Earlier this week, in what I can only hope was a throwaway comment, Lady Gaga gave some bad relationship advice.

Speaking about being submissive to her boyfriend, actor Taylor Kinney, Gaga told Sirius XM’s The Morning Mash Up that “he’s totally in charge.” “I mean, when I am home, I am like, shoes are off, I’m making him dinner,” she continued. “He has a job, too, and he is really busy!” … Read More

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Kylie Minogue, the Unknowable Pop Star

Although it’s only March, I am almost certain Kylie Minogue’s “Into the Blue” is the best mainstream pop song of 2014. It’s the perfect mix of light and dark: an angelic voice proseletizing positivity and self-sufficiency, a pulsating beat providing a hard undercurrent, and a dramatic string section to boot. And yet, “Into the Blue” is nowhere to be found on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, the industry barometer of America’s most popular songs based on radio play, streaming services, YouTube, and hard-earned downloads. Why? … Read More

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Why Iggy Azalea’s ‘Clueless’ Remake Is Pop’s Greatest Love Letter to the 1990s

The 1990s as inspiration is, at this point, so ubiquitous it’s mundane. So instead of adding her own take to the pile, Aussie rapper Iggy Azalea took a different approach with her new video for “Fancy”: She made a shot-for-shot homage to Clueless, casting herself in the lead role of Cher Horowitz. By not trying to pass off the ’90s trend as her own creation, Iggy succeeds in having fun with it — and grabbing attention. … Read More

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Clean Person Jolie Kerr’s Cleaning Advice to Pop Culture Icons

For years, when I’ve found myself in sticky domestic situations — clogged toilets, red wine spills, and, well, red wine vomit — I’ve turned to my friend Jolie Kerr. She’s always given me the best advice on how to clean up after myself and feel like a real grownup — and done so without shaming me (I mean, who hasn’t thrown up red wine?). She began to put her handy advice to good use at The Hairpin, in her column “Ask a Clean Person,” which now runs on Jezebel and Deadspin under the moniker “Squalor.” Her columns have proved the need for a friendly, down-to-earth, judgement-free advice-giver, and today sees the publication of her ultimate cleaning manual: My Boyfriend Barfed in My Handbag… and Other Questions You Can’t Ask Martha. … Read More

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Katy Perry’s New Video Reveals Queen Cleopatra’s Guilty Pleasure: Hot Cheetos

However politically incorrect and unpalatable she may be, one has to laud Katy Perry’s unabashed form of appropriation.… Read More

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CBS’s Unwatchable Anniversary Special Illustrates How Not to Celebrate 50 Years of the Beatles

Last weekend marked the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ arrival in America and their initial, ratings-shattering performance on The Ed Sullivan Show. You may have heard about this anniversary. It’s been mentioned a few times! The half-centennial came to a head last night on CBS, which aired The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to the Beatles, a two-and-a-half-hour mixture of documentary tribute and performance footage. The performances were reportedly culled from a four-hour concert the night after this year’s Grammys; one can only imagine what was left on the cutting room floor, considering the depressingly disastrous stuff that aired. … Read More

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