The Katy Perry Experiment
I had this awesome plan. It was called "The Katy Perry Experiment," and the plan was to listen to nothing but the aforementioned pop tart until my head exploded.
The plan was to start with the recently released record that Columbia rejected back in the early '00s, move on to her ubiquitous hit album One of the Boys and load up on whatever detritus was floating around the Intertubes. The plan was to figure out — for reasons of critical discourse — what the hell people saw in her. But the wife put the kibosh on that one.
"You've made me listen to some unlistenable shit, and this is just, well, unlistenable — in a bad way. It's like music for people that have never heard music before," she said. "You are not doing this while I'm around."
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As in most things that don't concern whether or not we should buy a new toaster, she was right. I cannot make it through an entire Katy Perry album in one sitting, never mind an entire month of Katy Perry — but dammit, I tried!
Sure, Perry has a couple of extremely catchy songs that are impossible to get out of your head, but that doesn't mean you won't think long and hard about self-decapitation. For every decent hook on one of her albums, there are three vapid, clunky verses filled with references to consumer goods, hackneyed gender tropes and weird, homophobic homoeroticism. And really, the decent hooks are few and far between.
To hear Katy Perry tell it, she is both a comic genius and way over our heads. "People who want to tag along for the ride, they'll understand and they'll get the joke and they'll realize that I wrote the fucking joke," she told Esquire recently.
But, y'know, where's the punch line? Just thinking about the damn joke is making my head hurt.
Needless to say, the results of The Katy Perry Experiment are inconclusive at best. All of the aesthetic arguments in the world don't change the fact that those stupid songs are still stuck in my stupid head. Despite all the affronts to simple human dignity, Katy Perry's team is smart, and setting her up for a long, prosperous career.
Here's hoping our collective heads don't explode.
Trae Day — a free outdoor concert and festival in the TSU Stadium parking lot commemorating the one-year anniversary of the City of Houston's proclamation honoring the gruff but charity-minded local rapper — went just fine until the very end. After performances by Trae, Bun B, Rick Ross, Slim Thug, Shawty Lo, Rich Boy and many others, the fire marshals shut down the event early due to overcrowding. Shortly thereafter, gunshots erupted in three separate locations near the stage. Eight people were wounded and taken to area hospitals; TSU officials said their injuries were "serious but not life-threatening." Witnesses Twittered and told the media they believed the shootings were gang-related, but TSU police would not comment on any possible suspects or motive. At press time, no arrests have been made.
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1. Nurse With Wound, The Surveillance Lounge
2. Beastie Boys feat. Nas, "Too Many Rappers"
3. The Dead Weather, Horehound
4. Earth, Radio Live
5. Wolves in the Throne Room, Black Cascade
6. Amon Düül II, Yeti (reissue LP)
7. Wilco, Wilco (the Album)
8. Clutch, Strange Cousins from the West
9. Tortoise, Beacons of Ancestorship
10. Suffocation, Blood Oath
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Top songs, July 23
Data from www.yes.com
1. Taylor Swift, "You Belong With Me"
2. Nickelback, "If Today Was Your Last Day"
3. Rob Thomas, "Her Diamonds"
4. Pink, "Please Don't Leave Me"
5. Shinedown, "Second Chance"
6. Beyoncé, "Halo"
7. Katy Perry, "Waking Up in Vegas"
8. Kelly Clarkson, "My Life Would Suck Without You"
9. Kings of Leon, "Use Somebody"
10. The Fray, "You Found Me"
(lists compiled by Chris Gray)
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