The novel The Love Song of Jonny Valentine, which is out today, is narrated by the 11-year-old pop star known for such bubblegum hits as "Guys vs. Girls" and "U R Kewt." The novel tracks Jonny, who speaks and thinks in a mash-up of tween grammar and music-industry lingo, on his "Valentine Days" tour across America. As he chafes under the control of his manager-mother, Jane, he attempts to reconnect clandestinely over the Internet with someone claiming to be his long-lost father. (In a review last week in The New York Times, Michiko Kakutani had nice things to say about it.)
In this scene, Jonny has escaped [...]
Because nothing makes popular music more fun than typing alongside friends, it's time to do that "liveblogging" thing in honor of the 2010 American Music Awards, which celebrate the most popular of the most popular music that this country has to offer, complete with the sort of pomp that only the most craven enterprises can possess. Join me after the jump for the Black Eyed Peas, Christina Aguilera, Katy (sigh) Perry, the results of allowing 13-year-olds to vote (online) (for their favorite male pop stars), and OMG NEW KIDS AND BACKSTREET BOYS TOGETHER!!
It's nice to know that there's no "controversy" so stupid that Abe Foxman won't be ready with a comment about it.
In eighth grade, Mary liked Leonardo DiCaprio, Emily liked Paul McCartney, and I liked Gavin Rossdale. We probably didn't say liked, though, or even loved. We were obsessed, we were crazy, we swooned, we fantasized. We liked the mall, and love was a word for grandmothers on the telephone: they loved us, they hoped to see us soon. The feelings we had were much more gigantic and upsetting. Crush was good. It implied force, and pain, and the possibility that we might not make it out the other side intact.
At the time, I was pretty sure I had every picture of Gavin Rossdale ever published taped [...]
Kanye West With Justin Bieber and Raekwon, "Runaway Love (Remix);" Kanye West With Rick Ross, Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj and Bon Iver, "Monster"
The busy, busy Kanye West took a pretty simple approach to his much-hyped bringing together of teeny-bopper Justin Bieber and the Wu-Tang Clan's Raekwon: he basically recorded Rae and himself rapping over the grimy finger-snap beat from the 1993's "Wu-Tang Clan Ain't Nuthing Ta F' Wit" (funny that, when Rae was so careful to write lyrics appropriate for his 16-year-old co-star), and laid clips of Bieber's vocal track overtop for the chorus. But in the way that shows how simple is so often best, it sounds pretty great. It definitely has the feel of the mid-'90s heyday of hip-hop/R&B mashups. You could almost imagine hearing it between [...]
Over the weekend, the microblogging service Twitter changed its "trending topics" feature to focus on terms that were "the hottest emerging trends and topics of discussion", a la Google Trends, as opposed to those words that were steadily appearing a lot on the service. This would seem to be one way to break the trending-topic domination of the windswept Canadian heartthrob Justin Bieber, who has been a steady presence on said list since before the first of this year thanks to his talent at whipping up his very devoted fanbase. "WOW," Bieber said (via Twitter, of course) upon hearing the news — it's unknown if the "wow" was [...]
This song is great in the way that many of Maybach Music Group songs are great, which is to say: a behemoth beat made of 808 bass, piano and church bells, Rick Ross's baritone sounding good while saying nothing interesting, and Meek Mill's higher register sounding urgent and ever better while saying sharp, slick, clever rhymes. When Ross says that he has "that Justin Bieber," I'm pretty sure he means that he is selling cocaine. (Cocaine being white like Justin Bieber.) But it's fun to think of other stuff he might be talking about. A funny haircut? Perfect teeth? Or maybe Justin Bieber himself, bound and gagged in the [...]
Kanye West has organized an unexpected musical collaboration, recruiting Wu-Tang Clan's Raekwon the Chef to rhyme on a remix of Justin Bieber's "Runaway Love." Bieber is 16 years old, the age at which Raekwon started smoking the crack-laced marijuana cigarettes called "woolies." But Rae told MTV's Shaheem Reid that the verse he recorded for the track is age-appropriate for Bieber's presumably less experienced tween audience. "I can go basic when I want to. I can go rated R, I can go rated PG. I definitely didn't give him anything that I thought was too hot to be spoken on by a 16-year-old… One thing people [...]
9. Girls Don't Poop 8. Gaga Has A Weiner 7. Snookie Is My Homegirl [sic]