Wednesday, November 5, 2014

"But You Love Ladysmith Black Mombazo!"

For the first time in twelve years an album has sold over 1.2 million copies in one week! Taylor Swift, let me blow ya mind.

People hardly ever talk about record sales anymore. I haven't thought about them in years, so this remarkable statistic is quite fascinating. Who knew an album called 1989 could really speak to the state of the modern music industry.

Remember when selling a million copies (or going platinum) was standard for any popular singer? *Nsync and the The Backsteet Boys would burst onto TRL the day of their release, endlessly passing back and forth the prestige of  which group could sell the most copies in a single day. Frantic fans would pack stores just to get their paws on those tunes. There were probably riots when Target or Sam Goody couldn't keep up with the demand.

Today some still seek out a physical copy of the CD or digitally download it from iTunes, but streaming services like Spotify and Pandora are more popular than ever.  Earlier this week, Taylor Swift made a controversial choice and pulled all her music (past and present) from those partially free platforms, giving fans only one option - if you want to hear T. Swift, you have to buy the album. One of my Spotify playlists just lost some great tunes. I guess if I ever want to hear "Stay, Stay, Stay" and "Mean" again I'll actually have to throw down some dough.

Clearly taking this step has worked in Swift's favor. Now she is nearly as commercially successful as Eminem was in 2002. Something we all strive for.

Oh nostalgia! All the talk this week about this specific point in history is especially a keen interest for those who grew up in the 90s and 2000s, myself included.

Fittingly, Entertainment Weekly is also paying homage to the same time period.  The magazine is releasing another one of their reunion editions this week. They brought together several amazing casts from movies and TV, but only one featured group is just so entirely fetch and represents what many call the movie of my generation.

It has been ten years since Regina George, Cady, and Gretchen Wieners' big hair full of secrets were released upon the world. I remember it well. At my high school, teachers and students alike were completely obsessed with Mean Girls, and a decade later, the flick hasn't lost its appeal.

Much like The Breakfast Club, the story plays to the issues that teenagers will continue to experience through time. Clothes and other trends will change, but in sticking to classic themes, the movie will never entirely age or lose its quality.

Tina Fey's wonderfully comedic writing, plus the involvement of Amy Poehler, Lizzy Caplan, Amanda Seyfried, Lohan, Rachel McAdams and the rest of the fantastic cast just makes for a fun movie from start to finish.

It's really remarkable that each character has at least one line that kills. As everyone must be aware by now - aside from actually watching the movie, quoting Mean Girls has become a  whole entire thing on it own. Throwing out lines is as easy as breathing or chowing down on a Kalteen bar. Such fine words can be used in any situation.

When someone says something that is highly disagreeable:

Or your new coworker tells a really long boring story over lunch:

Or that Greek yogurt commercial starring John Stamos' glorious hair and smile comes on TV.

Or for that special occasion when your dog just graduated from obedience school:

Maybe, you will get caught in the middle of a Real Housewives marathon:

And, definitely anytime there is need for some laughs to boost an awkward conversation.

Some people memorize Star Wars and others take pride in knowing every line of Mean Girls. We're all the same people just trying to have fun in this crazy world.

Being a junior in high school when Mean Girls was released, this anniversary is a fun throwback, but it also is only a reminder that my 10-year high school reunion is less than a year away.


Another decade from now, Mean Girls will have become just a little more vintage and only time will tell if the same is true for the music of Taylor Swift. Not everything in pop culture leaves behind a quality lasting legacy. Irregardless, things are looking good for Swift, who everyday continues to win over more of the world with her pop inspired storytelling.

In the words of Kevin G, Math Enthusiast / Bad Ass M.C: "Don't let the haters stop you from doing your thang."

Until next time.

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