Thursday, January 7, 2010

Throwback Thursday: Second blog post edition

So Thursday was halfway gone when I realized that I now allegedly have a blog "series" that I have to "maintain" in which I "write" posts dedicated to "music" from days gone by. Initially, I planned to just post Throwback Thursday on Friday, which would have been a total cop-out and an easy way for me to not actually have to write a Friday post. So, I decided to just bite the blog bullet and write two posts in one day.*

In honor of writing a second post in one 24-hour span, I have chosen Britney's Oops!... I Did It Again, the song that officially** holds the title for Best Song Whose Name Contains An Exclamation Point. As I was discussing with a friend very recently (because we often talk about our favorite pop icons from their glory days, you know, from before their I'm-bald-and-bashing-car-windows-with-umbrellas phases), there really is no good reason this song was so popular. The video was the cheesiest thing ever created, not in like a good way, and the song lyrics are quantifiably terrible, and Britney traipses around in a red latex jumpsuit that foreshadows only the worst of Lady Gaga's outfits. And yet, it was a huge hit. Totally mysterious, not unlike most aspects of Britney's impenetrable inner life.

Instead of putting you through the painful rounds of the Titanic references in the official video, I have chosen to post her live performance of the song from the 2000 MTV VMAs. This performance isn't nearly as infamous as her Slave performance from the next year, but I have always secretly liked it more. Here's the video, followed by my favorite parts, broken down by seconds.

:12 Britney starts singing live. If only we had known then how truly lucky we were to witness such a rare event.
:49 Britney grabs the rail violently and drops it.
:54 Some dude in the audience yells either "YEAH BRITNEY!" or "GET IT BRITNEY!" It's hard to tell which one. He's so committed to it. I imagine him being either the horniest straight or the queeniest gay in the audience, and also way ahead of his time.
1:01 Britney's tear-away suit starts to pre-emptively come off her body. Little bastard. I remember people talking about how this ruined the whole performance because it gave away her surprise striptease. I never understood this logic. It never detracted from the performance for me; I mean, you still got to see her rockin' bod, so stop fucking complaining.
1:07 Said rockin' bod makes its first appearance. Thus begins the best decade of pre-adolescent eating disorders ever.
1:27 Britney raises her arms above her head to signal that THIS IS THE BEGINNING OF MY NEW SONG PAY ATTENTION Y'ALL. She is also still singing live at this point. Take note.
1:36 Choreography officially begins. I could try to hide the fact that I learned this entire dance, but I won't.
1:36 This is also the point when her voice-over track starts playing, but you can still hear her singing underneath it. Amazing. Like we wouldn't notice that there are now two Britneys singing instead of one.
1:55 Britney starts writhing in a sea of gay men. This is absolutely a pre-cursor to the Slave video, which would come out the next year.
2:07 The camera zooms in on Britney's hips/ass while she does a shimmy, and somewhere in the universe a star dies from related causes.
2:17 Britney does a serious, hardass Harlem street move and drops her hands to her muthafuckin knees and pops her booty. Another star dies.
2:24 Britney gets inside the space egg and poses with her back arched, while singing, "You see my problem is this..." To which we respond, "What? Your problem is that your body looks too good? Were we supposed to notice you have a hot body? Honestly, it's not that noticeable. Wait... have you gained some weight?"
2:52 Britney does a subtle but effective double-forward hip thrust. Yeah, I noticed and learned this part of the dance too.
3:19 Britney's live mic comes back to the front as she screams "WHOOOO!" to signal that the frenetic dance break is about to begin.
3:31 The music gets more beat-heavy for about two to three seconds, and Britney faces the back and shakes her ass to match. Not sure why, but there is no camera zoom here.
3:47 Close-up on Britney's face, and we really see her straining here. She is singing, y'all. You can't hear it, but goddamnit, girl is singing.
3:52 The best go-from-standing-to-crouching (I think they call this a level change) ever in the history of dance occurs. I did this in my room over and over and over again.
4:08 Britney coos, "Oooooh, I did it again," before punching her fist toward the heavens as if to say, "I did it! Again! I made mere mortals scream and cry and question their sexualities! I made legions of women hate their abdominals! I made real singers question their talents! And while I was at it I killed some stars! Oops! I did it again! But the 'oops' part is just for coyness because I totally meant to do it yeeeeehaw!"

With that, I will conclude by sky-punching and saying: Ooooh I did it again. I blogged twice in one day. What about it, bitches?

*This kind of sucks because now I have no fucking clue what to write for tomorrow
**Not officially at all


  1. Okay FIRST OF ALL, the suit falling off doesn't ruin the video, it's just a sad sign of missed potential for AAAHmazingness. The BritStrip was probably THE SHIT, but instead it's just a wardrobe malfuntion. She covers it well, though, so propz for that.

    And SECOND, though this dance is killleeerrr and she's really into it, nothing, and I mean nothing, including Lady Gaga or Madonna, beats the VMA Slave performance. I don't say this as a biased lifelong Britney fan, I say this as a consumer of pop music and live performances. For one, you have to consider the timing, which was just right. It was her third performance year in a row at the VMAs and each year was consistently better (climaxing Slave year, obvs). Second, the production value is ENORMOUS. Think of all like 40 of those dancers, in crazy costumes, with LIVE ANIMALS backstage and all their wranglers, and it isn't even her show. She took over the VMAs. And finally, the impact. I don't think there could have been a Gaga Paparazzi VMA09 without this performance. It was the birth of what we now consider "normal" award show performances.

    Slave VMA is the Citizen Kane of award show performances. There's just no beating it.

  2. For tomorrow, I think you should write about your opinions of the winners of the People's Choice Awards from last night.

  3. I appreciate the hard work that went into the play-by-play, but why not mention the creepy and much cooler version done by Bowling For Soup. Yes, that version that we all saw in Lindsay Lohan's Freaky Friday. The lyrics become an anthem to desperation. This makes the Britney version just white-trash theater.

  4. hahahaha! I miss this britney!

  5. Genius recap.

    And I resisted the urge to joke that I can't imagine Brit being "impenetrable" on any level.

    Two posts in one day makes me feel even lazier for not having written in days. Way to go.

  6. O man. If all her stuff had such an ace, in-depth analysis to go with it, I bet I would have appreciated it that much more!

    There's two ways to look at the early seam-split on the pants. Those who criticize it appear to be looking at it from a theater/drama put-on-a-show perspective. The "backstage" mindset if you will. The goal is assumed to be to make everything to come off without a hitch, and any glitch mars it.

    This is a bit too insular in my view. The true goal of a show ought to be what's created in the minds of the audience, not to satisfy some overly-fussy "we-in-the-know-noticed-it" perfectionism. Everything can come off exactly as planned, without a hitch, and the show still sucks if the audience wasn't moved. An audience is far more moved by passion and spontaneity than by perfection.

    I say this little early tease works in Brit's favor, not against her. It's a little unplanned drama, it creates a bit of shock/suspense ("oh my god, are her pants coming off?") and then the reveal reveals what is meant.

    Didn't care for the Stones cover. I'm more an AC/DC man myself.

  7. Hey I loved this!! Thanks, girl. I miss Britney's better days. I really like your blog. I have never been to NYC but I live in NY...go figure. Keep writing!

    xo ~ Sar

  8. ...I forgot how much that performance FUCKING ROCKED. Thank you for that. ::clicks follow::