~Friday. Friday. It's Audio File Friday~
In case you've been living under a pop-culture rock let me tell you about Rebecca Black. The thirteen year old singer with vanity record label Ark Music Factory, a group that creates music videos for young tween starlets in the making, created the sensational 'Friday'. The hit single has taken the world by storm over the past couple of weeks, beginning its life as little more than an internet meme before ensuring its place in the hall of viral fame by making waves in traditional media. Read: it escaped the internet.
Now being completely honest I was as much on the anti-Rebecca Black train as anyone else; watching the video repeatedly for little more than lulz. Or so I thought. After listening to it so many times my analytical brain cogs began tuning and I realized something: I liked the song. Not only
did I do I like it, I think it's straight up brilliant!
And so, for this Audio File Friday I'm bringing you the 8-bit version.
Gotta keep it somewhat gaming related.
Beautiful isn't it? Taking one of the biggest cultural phenoms in recent memory, and taking it back to an old school, classic gaming vibe. Creator Arman Bohn is making a clever statement on the instant-nostalgia quality of contemporary society.
Ever since VH1 did their I Love The 80s series, culture seemed to follow along a past-happy vibe. Everything old was new and vice-versa. Look no further than fashion trends, with the 80s and 90s' bold colors dominating all through the first decade of the New Millenium. Trends that can be seen in film, with its never ending remakes, and of course in music where 80s-tastic synth pop has regained dominance making way for the return of 90s style guitar wails and bass heavy club beats. In gaming we can see this trend as side-scrolling platformers, 2D fighters, and puzzle games from indie developers see their return to the top of the gaming totem pole. Even the resurgence of 3D and motion controls, both having been attempted 80s, is indicative of this trend cycle. 3DS? Kinect? Move? Wii? How about Virtual Boy, Power Glove, and Konami's Para Para Pardise? Hell, classic arcade cabinets have been using motions controls of sorts this entire time! All those snowboarding, skateboarding, and jet ski arcade games?
Or how about Time Traveler. YEAH. Remember
fucfreakin' TIME TRAVELER!? Calling it now, E3 2012 holograms will be all the rage.
And as we shift into mid-90s style what comes next? The New Millenium was a return to decades prior, so when we inevitably come full circle is it back to the 80s again? Somewhere else? Somewhere new?
I certainly don't have these answers, and neither does Rebecca. What she does have though is a pointedly accurate take on 2011 life.
Rebecca Black in so many ways represents what we as a society have turned ourselves into. Within a month of its initial release, 'Friday' gained over a million views and went viral. It became the number one trending topic on twitter, garnered media attention from nearly every major news outlet, and the single itself sold over 40,000 copies on iTunes in its first week; unbelievable for an new unsigned artist. Sure most of the attention she received during this time was negative, with statements like worst singer ever and death of music being thrown about, but those people were clearly missing the point. Rebecca herself represents our need for constant stimulation and instant gratification, whether it be from a meme, a song, or a flashy new console every year that we don't necessarily need but most certainly want all the same.
The instant classic with lyrics like, "Gotta get down on Friday. We we we so excited," and "Yeah we so excited" forgoes the
lame proper grammar of days past, highlighting the unsung emergence of a new era in communication. Who says "I have got to" over "gotta" these days? Weird, uncool people. Those extra "We"s are there to emphasize her point. And these days we have so much to do, not unlike Rebecca's busy family who're all rushing, who can be expected to use full sentences when vocalized text shorthand could convey it so much more easily? "Gettin' down" is just that much more efficient than "Getting down" thanks to that dropped g.
Her next single 'LOL' is sure to continue this dialogue on language and its malleability.
And the genius doesn't stop there with lines like 'Yesterday was Thursday. And today is Friday, Friday." and, "Tomorrow is Saturday and Sunday's afterward." She is, you got it, reminding us what day it is. For us gaymers this is invaluable help! I can't tell you how many times I've gone into marathon runs of Pokemon or Mass Effect only to lose track of time completely. I know you've all been there; that odd magical hour between late night and early morning when, eyes glazed and muscles stiffened, you put down your controller, remove your headset, and wander back towards the rest of your life. And now, thanks to Rebecca Black you'll know exactly what day it is as you do.
It's Friday. Friday. And you've gotta get down on Friday.
The words are embedded into your skull via cleverly simplistic repetition, calling back to tribal chants of ancient societies. Even if you don't think you're a fan of the song, I implore you to not hum the lyrics every Friday morning as you get ready for your day. Your day of gaming, or perhaps work. Just like Rebecca we've all got responsibilities. They may not involve cereal and challenging life choices about what seat to take in your underaged (a statement in itself on society's obsession with youth, something I'm sure many of us gays can relate to) friend's car, but we do and would be remiss to ignore them.
Arman Bohn took this song and its singer, both definitively oozing what 2011 is all about and brought it back to the days of 8-bit beeps and boops for a staggeringly effective.....well, effect.
I need a thesaurus.I'll be sure to feature more about him and his music in this very feature in the weeks to come, but after discovering his 8-Bit 'Friday' cover I became so enamored with the utterly flawless social commentary of it all that I had no choice but to push back all the other artists I'm planning to write about. Not to worry, Mr. Bohn will be featured here soon, as will more from Team Teamwork.
Gaming and music coming together to discuss the realities of the world we live in. I'd say I'm left speechless at the thought, but clearly that's not the case.
This song in both its original and 8-bit forms is relevant, contemporary, and says everything about music and culture and the mixing of the two that could ever be said.
So enjoy the 8-bit remix, the original, and hit up Rebecca's official website for all the latest on this generation's voice. I'll see you all next week for yet another Audio File Friday. Friday. Audio File Friday.
And Happy Audio File April Fool's Day