Shut Up, Dude: This Week’s Best Comments

Shut Up, Dude: This Week’s Best Comments

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Score: 20 | Jun 27th

Until today, I never knew that I needed, “The Week In Review With Shocker’s Mom And Dad. “

But now that I’ve seen it? I definitely need “The Week In Review With Shocker’s Mom And Dad. “

Posted in: The Number Ones: Brandy’s “Have You Ever?”
Score: 21 | Jun 24th

Fuck this song and Fuck the Supreme Court

Posted in: The Number Ones: R. Kelly & Céline Dion’s “I’m Your Angel”
Score: 21 | Jun 24th

Tom survived the wrath of the BTS Army, but that was nothing compared to the wrath of the BNL one.

Posted in: Shut Up, Dude: This Week’s Best Comments
Breathless Cajones
Score: 21 | Jun 29th

OH MAN. My husband and I visited The Britney Spears Museum in Kentwood, LA about a decade ago. It’s just an old, single story house in the middle of nowhere, with one staff member sitting around all day waiting for the next car of gays to pull up. It was like spending an hour in the Twilight Zone. One half of it is a local military museum. The cantankerous lady working there walked us through it and explained each item in the collection. It went on forever.
Then we got to the Britney section:
She said sometimes Lynn Spears (who lives down the road) would just drop off a load of Britney’s old things to display. They had all of her childhood bedroom furniture in a roped off room. Old framed pictures of Brit and Justin.
We got very close to the angel wings from the finale of the Femme Fatale tour, and they were totally beaten up. You had to pay an extra fee to take your picture with them.
At one point we passed a piece of furniture and she was like, “This desk isn’t Britney’s. I just didn’t have room in my attic for it so I brought it here.”
It is that kind of an experience. Worth seeing if you are ever roadtripping to New Orleans!

Posted in: The Number Ones: Britney Spears’ “Baby One More Time”
Score: 22 | Jun 29th

Winter 98-99. I had a car and I spent many hours in it- CCD, Cub Scouts, an art class my son was taking, weekly produce pickups at the CSA group we’d joined- so it was a time when I heard the new songs right away. I remember thinking that I hated the way she sang, but that it worked just fine for the song, which was clearly a supernova smash from day one.

The video was a whole other can of worms; I’d be happy if I never saw it again. At 32 I was still young enough to feel, as Tom did, that Britney Spears had significant agency in her portrayal, and that effect of pageanty arrogance annoyed me almost as much as the obvious exploitation. This dissipated pretty quickly. For most of the years since, I’ve found the whole saga just tawdry and sad. Pretty much every adult who had direct influence on her, from her parents onward, was and is an asshole.

I’m too old and too distant from all her other demographics for Britney to matter to me personally. Her story is grotesquely interesting, but her as a person? I remember that in my brief time in a fandom 15 years ago I made a casual comment about her triviality, and was astonished at the blowback from younger people. It brought back 80s arguments with baby boomers about Madonna. Madonna herself seems to think Britney is significant qua Britney, not just as a manufactured phenomenon, so I really can’t dismiss the notion, but it’s beyond me. I laughed out loud at this line from Tom:

Clive Calder, the South African businessman who founded the label, had the idea that Britney Spears could be an American Robyn. (Britney hasn’t gotten there yet, but she still has time.)

For me, Robyn as a teenager had more interest and resonance than Britney ever has. Still, the record. It’s the five-hundred-pound elephant in the room. An undeniable work of pop genius and pop cultural watershed moment.

(Deathless family anecdote that will follow my daughter until we, her parents, are dead: age four, she was found meandering up and down the steps of our front walk, smacking a long stick against the iron railing, and singing, rhythmically and tunelessly, with only six words loud and clear: “HIT THE BABY ONE MORE TIME”)

Posted in: The Number Ones: Britney Spears’ “Baby One More Time”
Score: 25 | Jun 29th

I was 33 years old when “…Baby One More Time” came out, and was long past the time in my life when pop music in general held my interest even remotely. The odds were clearly stacked against it, but this song got to me. I unabashedly loved it, to the point where an actual teenage girl felt the need to assure me that the song was not worthy of the kind of adulation I was giving it. She was wrong and my love and admiration for it has only increased as the years have passed. I’ve sung it twice at karaoke in recent years and will gladly do so again. A man in his 50s singing Britney Spears shouldn’t work, but I can assure you it could not have felt more right.

What separates it from the untold masses of dispensable pop fodder over the years and puts it in the G.O.A.T. discussion for me? Underneath its perfectly constructed and executed pop/r&b-tinged sheen lies a raw, authentic expression of the oft blurred line between youthful romantic desperation and the dark underbelly of obsession. Much has been made about Max Martin’s English-as-a-second-language wonderfully nonsensical lyricism, but accidentally or not, in this song he perfectly describes what it’s like to experience wanting someone with such an all consuming force that you feel as if your whole world will come apart if your burning waking-up-in-a-cold-sweat longing continues to be unmet. And it’s essential that it’s in a minor key, which along with just about all of the instrumentation and arrangement, not subtly brings the urgency of the situation to the forefront. It also lures to the surface the lurking, foreboding sense that no matter what the outcome, this situation is doomed to crash and burn spectacularly. Finally, and most importantly, Britney delivers. Oh boy, does she deliver, plummeting the depths emotionally far more so than the typical pop singer of any age. She’s convincingly deep in it to the point of devastation if she can’t somehow recapture what she once had. I’m sold every time. I tell you, this song is perfect. I must confess that it’s a 10 or no pop song is or ever will be.

Posted in: The Number Ones: Britney Spears’ “Baby One More Time”
Score: 25 | Jun 27th


I asked my folks about all The Number Ones from last week. Here’s what they said.


Mom: “6, not really my cup of tea, but it’s got some good beats and good harmonies”

Dad: “That particular style of music is not my jam, but I’d give it a 6”


Dad: “I’d give it a 6. The harmonies are good, but it’s a very slow-moving song, could probably be a minute or 2 shorter”

Mom: “I’m gonna give it Also a 6, it’s not a bad song, it’s just kinda boring, drags on, doesn’t hit me where I live”

I’m Your Angel (this is taking it purely from an artistic standpoint):

Mom: “I shall give it a 5. I found it very formulaic, there’s nothing special about it, it’s like: Here’s a ballad”

Dad: “I’d give it a 6. The harmony was good. He was trying too hard to make his voice stand out, tremolo, doesn’t work when you’re doing a duet”

Stayed tuned for more.

Posted in: The Number Ones: Brandy’s “Have You Ever?”
Score: 28 | Jun 24th

Our beloved dog, Gryffy, will cross the Rainbow Bridge today. He’s been battling Type 1 diabetes for over a year, and took a dramatic turn for the worse Tuesday night. He hasn’t eaten since, and now can hardly stand on his own. We’re all torn up.

We look forward to him being out of pain, but we’re going to miss him so much. Please hug your furry friends in his memory today.

Posted in: The Number Ones: R. Kelly & Céline Dion’s “I’m Your Angel”
Thin White Duck
Score: 35 | Jun 29th

This is the last straw. Just for this, I’ve finally decided to never watch Chappie.

Posted in: Danny Brown Says Die Antwoord’s Ninja Sexually Assaulted Him
Scott Lapatine
Score: 60 | Jun 30th

Thank you everyone who is subscribing! I didn’t want this post to seem (too) desperate, but unfortunately the truth is that we did have layoffs this year and I haven’t taken a salary in six months, which is not sustainable lol. So yeah, important milestone today. 🤞

Posted in: The New Stereogum Membership Program Is Here


Jun 30th

I don’t know how to process a Weird Al article without being told what his highest charting single was and what its rating is.

Posted in: Beck Denied Weird Al’s “Loser” Parody Back In The ‘90s

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