May 19, 2022

Disco dance percussion in folk revival anthems of the 2010s

In 2020 I wrote extensively on the role of accenting the offbeats in the rhythm to maximize the danceability of a song. See this final survey post, and the three background posts linked in the first paragraph there.

To summarize, though: music and dance are intertwined, the main beats are matched with the delivery motion in the dance, while the offbeats are matched with the winding-up motions in the dance. Letting loose on the main beat requires you to have wound up decently well during the offbeat. To encourage that winding-up motion, the rhythm section accents the offbeat to draw your attention to it.

"Hey, you're supposed to be doing something important here! Like winding up your leg so you can swing it as far as possible for delivery on the main beat." Or winding up your arm, in order to deliver the hardest punch-in-the-air on the main beat, for those who are doing something as simple as fist-pumping.

During the techno danceclub craze of the '90s and early 2000s, the UNH-tsss drum rhythm became so saturated that the electronic danceclub musicians tried to wipe it out during the rest of the 2000s and 2010s. They used the synths as rhythmic instruments, in place of a multi-piece percussion set. This was the hallmark of electroclash, and then electropop.

However, if a genre of music was not closely associated with danceclubs, they were not as beholden to the crusade to eliminate percussion from the rhythm section. Most notable was the dance-rock craze of the 2000s and early 2010s, where disco-style drumming -- with a hi-hat accenting the offbeat -- was ubiquitous. Singer-songwriters could get away with it, too, such as pianist Vanessa Carlton in "Ordinary Day" early in the decade, and rock-oriented Orianthi in "According To You" later on.

As for mainstream mega-hits, though, no genre was more obsessed with using percussion to accent the offbeat than the folk revival craze of the late 2000s and early 2010s. Folk is usually associated with any location and any occasion *other than* boogeying down in a danceclub. So it was free of the stigma against UNH-tsss drum kits.

Within this campaign of the disco drumming reconquista, the opening salvo was fired by the song everybody unfairly loved to hate at the time, but which has gained "familiar fave" canonical status by now -- "Hey, Soul Sister" by Train, from 2009.



It gradually builds its rhythmic power until 2:50, when the distinctly disco hi-hat comes in for the offbeat, and then begins to really ring out during most of the offbeat interval in the choruses afterward. It's commanding your body to not just sit in your seat as though this were a typical singer-songwriter romantic ballad with cheesy lyrics. No! -- this is the climax, now you're supposed to get up, move around, and cut a little rug with the rest of the crowd!

Even a slow-tempo song like "Ho Hey" by the Lumineers, from 2012, uses a tambourine on the offbeat during the chorus, to motivate their irony-poisoned hipster audience to stand up and shake the snark free from their bodies, before returning to their lounging posture during the verses.

And even if the tone was brooding, a fast-paced song like "Stolen Dance" by Milky Chance, from 2012, uses hi-hats on the offbeats, and a heavy bass drum on the main beats, in a familiar disco percussion rhythm.

By far the closest alliance between the folk and disco genres was Avicii. In "Wake Me Up" from 2013, the folk-inflected verses use handclaps on the offbeat -- the trad percussion instrument for the trad passages of the song. Then during the electro-danceclub choruses, the familiar hi-hat from the disco era comes in on the offbeat. There's the same dynamic in "Hey Brother," but it's not as extensively worked out.



Also from 2013, the final major entry in the genre came from Down Under, in Vance Joy's "Riptide". (For whatever reason, the big British group from the 2010s folk revival, Mumford and Sons, kept percussion out of the offbeat, and relied on rhythmic strumming from the banjo or acoustic guitar.) It's going much further back than the mellow '60s hippie folk songs, evoking the frenetically kicking bodies of Jazz Age danceclubs, similar to the folk / old-timey dance jazz group the Squirrel Nut Zippers from the late '90s. It would've been totally natural to slip this song into the playlist at the trendy Great Gatsby-themed Charleston-dancing flapper parties of the time.



May 15, 2022

Catcall report, woketards killing off boy bands, pent-up female desire channeled into pseudo bi-curiosity

Wow, first Saturday night of the spring where I went cruising down the main drag in the city with music blasting out of the windows.

Haven't been since maybe New Year's -- everything has gone virtual, I haven't even bothered to check in on the would-be Saturday night revelers. But there was actually a decent crowd! Not as big and bustling as it should be, but compared to other public spaces, this was not as devoid of bodies. Some experiences are way less replaceable with a virtual simulation.

In pre-virtual times, this crowd would have been totally representative of the population at large. But now, when everything has gone virtual, these seemingly ordinary people are actually a self-selected elite -- the top 10% of the population for fun-loving-ness, outgoingness, and corporeality, who just cannot feel fulfilled from the simulations of The Real Thing.

So I decided to turn up the dial on the life-of-the-party behaviors that I normally roll out on such occasions. I don't need to be gentle with them, they can handle it -- they *want* it that high, that's why they came out IRL instead of staying plugged into their simulations.

First was of course some catcalling, or rather wolf baying, since I had "She Wolf" on repeat and howled out during that part of the chorus (a proper AWOOOOOOOO, not the dainty little "awoo" that she does).

Got some good looks, although since it's dark at night, it takes girls longer to figure out that it's a hot guy making the sounds, so no calls back. Will try this again in the afternoon sunshine, tomorrow or some other day. I miss getting catcalls back, performers feed off the energy of the crowd. Summer of last year and 2020 were perfect for that, so we'll see about this year.

Are they so used to online interactions that it doesn't even occur to them to call back, even if they wanted to? Is their instinctual muscle memory by now to grab their phone and tap out a text message? They'd better not be *that* online. We'll see...

Anyway, on the way back from the main drag, I fumbled around for a new CD to put in the player, and there it was -- One Direction's debut album. I'd picked it up for a couple bucks at a thrift store, and decided to put it on for the ride home. But I didn't make it more than 30 seconds into it before singing along, and thought -- I have to turn around and go back, to serenade the babes!

Just think of how deprived their senses are of that crucial experience -- it's not right to just let them wither on the vine like that. Not that I'm a professional singer, but I can belt it out if I need to, for a little while anyway. And the hits on that album do get pretty intense, they're not mellow '70s ballads or anything. The early 2010s were one of the most intense zeitgeists in human history, and One Direction was a central part of that.

The absolutely pulsating teenage yearning that was provoked by the boy band to end all boy bands... and the phenomenon only just got going with the endless trail of humped pillows left in its wake. It was more about the feeling that they were actually desired as The Only One by some hot guy, who not only wouldn't keep them their dirty little secret, but was proud to shout it to the rooftops.

So I cycled through the three songs that struck me as the most apropos -- their mega-hits "What Makes You Beautiful" and "One Thing", along with one that I was surprised was not released as a single or a music video, the wholesome party anthem "Up All Night" (I heard it for the first time tonight, but the lyrics are simple enough to pick up fast).

By the end, my voice was getting pretty shouty, and I needed some nice rosehip & hibiscus tea after getting home, but it was totally worth it. Again, it's not a technical recital for American Idol or anything -- they're just excited to be part of that level of a party atmosphere.

And those girls were just the right age to be One Direction's fanbase 10 years ago, so there was no risk of "Hmmm, I wonder if the audience will know this one or not..." They knew. It's like singing "I Want It That Way" to 24 year-olds in 2008 -- of course they remember that one! Few songs have the ability to instantly, and fully, transport you back to an earlier time and place. One of the most powerful types are those that made you feel noticed and desired as someone special, for the first time.

No amount of likes on your social media posts -- or, God forbid, donos to your OnlyFans account -- can recapture that feeling of Mr. hot guy serenading you, and as far as you were concerned, only you. (He doesn't *really* mean it toward those billion other girls in the audience...)

Aaaaaain't nothin' but a heaaaaartaaaaache

Aaaaaain't nothin' but a miiistaaaaake


The response was amazing. Not like applauding or anything fake like that, it's not the occasion to applaud a performance. It's to jump on the trend, let go of your inhibitions, and do what the singer is provoking you into doing. Smiling, running like the wind, and all that other crazy wholesome hormonal behavior.

At one point, when "Up All Night" was blasting, two cute girls in sundresses dropped whatever they were doing, to bounce and dance around on the sidewalk, each with one arm raised up to link their hand with the other's. For that pagan dancing-around-the-Maypole vibe (it is the time of the season, after all).

It's so heartwarming and rewarding to see them respond like that, and to know that a bunch of others nearby saw that duo dancing, and felt what they were feeling vicariously. Good enough, since it wasn't a club, where everyone is expected to be dancing. I can get catcalled or followed around a store some other night -- picking up everyone else's spirits is something that is usually limited to festive occasions like this.

Toward the end of the cruise, it had suddenly begun to pour buckets -- but I refused to roll up the windows. The car seats can withstand a little water, my shirt sleeve and arm that are hanging out the window will dry out. The show must go on -- even more so, when everyone's mood is tempted to go all negative, getting poured on during their Saturday night out.

So I kept the music up, the singing going, and still pounded the outside of the driver's door like a drum during the right moments. While not able to distract them from the pouring rain, this activity at least makes it feel like it's all part of one great big crazy party atmosphere, taking them out of their ordinary experiences. Not just a bummer or a downer.

BTW, I think the average guy -- at least the type willing to go out and have fun on Saturday night -- enjoys hearing One Direction's girl-crazy anthems, too. When they were teens, these songs gave voice to their own intense crush on that one special girl, who they were internally debating whether or not to reveal their feelings for.

Listening to these songs, they got to imagine themselves in the aspirational position of being a confident (and hot) guy who opens up, in hopes of winning the girl. Not just girls, sluts, or thots in general. Not interchangeable accounts on the hook-up apps. But her, the only one he can't stop thinking and feeling about.

It's risky and takes courage to sing songs like these to a girl, so the guys are imagining themselves in a courageous role, something that would motivate them to take on a confident, masculine behavior. Sorry, but sliding non-committally into a girl's DMs, or God forbid, Venmo-ing her some cash on her OnlyFans, is not courageous. Not public, for one thing. But also non-committal, almost passive-aggressive. Girls want a guy who's got guts. Nothing risked, nothing gained.

* * *


Sadly, these kinds of songs will never be made again, as our empire disintegrates, and along with it, our cultural production industries. In this case, it's not only the general breakdown of trust and cooperation at the institutional level -- and remember, there are no Trump voters in these industries, it's 100% Democrat-on-Democrat suspicion, paranoia, hate, and violence.

On top of that, there was the jihad that these puritanical libtards waged against "toxic masculinity" over the course of the woke 2010s. These boy band songs came out right at the beginning of the decade, before the avalanche of wokeness had really gotten rolling during the 2nd Obama term and after.

How can the culture industry go back on that, and make One Direction / Backstreet Boys / New Edition songs again? For the woketards, such songs are instilling in vulnerable young girls the notion that they're only worth anything via the male gaze. Wanting to be desired by a special guy, is just internalized patriarchy. Their sense of self-worth isn't supposed to react to whether, how much, or by whom, they're being desired.

Even worse, if girls react positively to such songs, they are not merely neutral bystanders on the sidelines -- they are enabling the toxic forces, and are thus guilty themselves of perpetuating the social pollution. So even if you felt like reacting positively, you have to keep a lid on it, lest the witch-hunters come after you, as a 2nd-degree troublemaker, i.e. as an enabler of the 1st-degree troublemakers (99% of the male population, who aren't gay and want to win over the girl they're crushing on).

This is like daughters who are raised by insane feminist parents, who have to play down their desire to play with dolls and bake pastries, since for the parents that's just the first baby step toward reproducing the toxic pollution of the patriarchy. Only now, it's not just a fringe group of insane parents -- it's the entirety of the culture industry, academia, and media.

The current situation is a radical break from all previous eras of our history, and contra lazy right-wing "minds", it is not only the latest in a series of such changes since The Sixties. Girls blew off the insane feminists and kept crushing on boys, and wanting to be the crush of those boys. The pressure from the culture industry was not simply lighter in degree, it qualitatively was not telling them to be ashamed for liking their crush and wanting their crush to like them back. That's why decades of boy bands were produced by that industry.

And the same dynamics are at play for the young guys listening to these songs. They're not supposed to be encouraged by such songs, because wholeheartedly and without warning letting a girl know how you feel, is non-consensual and on the slippery slope toward literal rape. If you do feel the urge to follow the model of these songs, clamp down on it, don't let it break loose where it could infect or pollute innocent victims.

Woketards pathologize what is healthy and natural, and normalize what is sick and twisted. They don't care if a guy Venmo's an OnlyFans girl some money after jerking himself off to her videos. That's transactional, financialized, virtual, mediated, and animalistic -- not romantic, fully-human, IRL, and part of the wide array of normal behavior that is not consensual.

The OF girl did ask to get paid by coomers, whereas the average high school girl does not ask for any ol' guy, perhaps someone she doesn't even know, to reveal his feelings toward her. But it happens, it's natural, it's permissible, and dealing with awkward social experiences like that is part of growing up.

* * *


So where does that leave girls' desires? They can't unabashedly express them in their natural way, because that would be enabling toxic masculinity. Well then, how about if they got horny for other girls? That would seem to be compatible with the anti-hetero agenda of the 2010s, epitomized by the gay marriage Supreme Court ruling of the 2nd Obama admin.

Per se that case was not anti-hetero, but huge decisions like that are never standalone things, they're part of a broader cluster of things happening. And in this case, it was the jihad against toxic masculinity, all those rape hoax stories in Rolling Stone and the like, Slutwalk, mattress girl, #MeToo, and by now the trans agenda.

Not only are young people feeling pressure from the culture industry, schools, etc. -- but from the very highest levels of the government, who are weighing in on one side of the culture war. And about something as non-political, and biologically basic, as feeling crushes and wanting to be crushed on by their crush.

This is what's behind the cohort of girls born after roughly 1994, frequently mentioning how hot they find other girls, etc., while keeping a lid on any feelings they have for guys. They are not actually going to eat another girl's pussy, fall in love with another girl, introduce another girl to their parents as "my new girlfriend," or get married to / raise kids with another girl.

Lesbians cannot stand this trend, since they feel like they're being led on and faked out -- oh great, yet another performatively bi-curious, yet 100% straight girl, only fooling me into thinking we could have shared something together.

But we have to understand why this is happening, and it's very understandable. These girls are straight, but they can't express those desires without painting a target over their heads for the woketard witch-hunters. You want to get into a monogamous relationship with a guy whose reciprocation of feelings would mean all the world to you? Wow, someone's suffering from internalized patriarchy, internalized misogyny, not to mention enabling toxic masculinity instead of breaking the cycle of pollution.

I reject the idea that it's these girls acting like badass girlbosses and not wanting to make themselves vulnerable or weak in any way. We've had girlboss careerists in this society for many decades, and they didn't trigger a widespread trend of silencing your hetero female desires in favor of performative bi-curiosity. If anything, they wanted to be wooed as well. They wanted to have it all, the '80s yuppie woman's dream.

And if it were about not wanting to appear weak, then that would apply to expressing desires for their fellow girls as well. After all, the other girl might reject you, might laugh in your face, might gossip about the whole deal with the other girls.

However, if the desire is not genuine, and the intention to reveal her feelings to another girl is not truly there inside of her, then there's nothing to worry about. She can call other girls hot, since they know nothing is actually going to happen. It's just the only outlet they have for expressing their desires, during a jihad against toxic masculinity.

Female sexuality may be more plastic than male sexuality, but not that much. If these changes in overt expression were reflecting a deeper change in desires, then what's stopping these girls from getting it on with another girl, dating another girl, or marrying / raising kids with another girl? If anything they're being encouraged to do so.

And yet, as lesbians will testify, these girls are not genuinely bi-curious. Lesbians can't even get the initial stages started, where they're hanging out, going on dates, and getting mildly physical, despite the bi-curious girl calling it off after a bit. That was from the old days. These days, 99% of girls who talk about other girls being hot are not even bi-curious in behavior. They just need a societally sanctioned outlet for their sexual and romantic desires, in a climate of oppressive wokeness.

So blame the woketards, not the performative bi-curious girls, who have forced others to channel their expressions in this way, however misleading it is to everyone.

I think the late '90s births are the last generation to have gotten to enjoy unfettered, natural sexuality during their formative adolescent years. As evidenced in part by the One Direction craze. That may have changed as they got into their late teens and 20s, but they at least enjoyed it during their high school years.

Girls born in the 2000s imprinted during their formative years on a different environment, where the jihad against toxic masculinity had been launched. They're never going to enjoy that crucial early round of validation from a chart-topping boy band. There won't be any more, and boys IRL and online are not going to step in to fill that gap in pop culture. I mean, I will, but I'm not from their generation.

It looks like core cohorts of Millennials, the late '80s and early '90s, will be the last generation to go through both adolescence and early adulthood under natural circumstances, before the jihad against toxic masculinity, which only struck by the time they were around 25 and fairly done with forming impressions. They imprinted instead on the 2000s, defined by America's Next Top Model and American Apparel ads. If those girls talk about other girls being hot, they truly are horny for them, and they may very well act on it.

That would seem to be the last cohorts of guys who are comfortable revealing how they feel to girls, not just mutually swiping right on an app. That includes One Direction themselves (even though some of them are gay, they were still comfortable in the role of serenading a girl).

What remains to be seen is whether these trends ever reverse, like the backlash against feminism by the late '70s and '80s -- but that was when we still had a cohesive, resilient society. During imperial disintegration, we can't rely on society's immune system kicking in when needed. In that case, the plummeting birth rates, indefinite celibacy, and performative bi-curiosity will be hallmarks of our population contraction during societal disintegration.

May 8, 2022

"I Just Blogged To Say ::I Hugged You::" (content-creator gratitude, Stevie Wonder parody)

I don't know how else to set this one up, other than to say that when it feels like the universe is trying to punish and degrade you, you have to restore balance by capturing it and inverting it. Direct the vibes back outward, and change them to rewarding and uplifting.

Or maybe you'd have to be born during a manic phase of the excitement cycle like me and Stevie Wonder to cope with things that way, instead of stewing in negativity (vulnerable phase births) or numbing yourself through wild-child hedonism (restless phase births).

So what better non-occasion to send some love and gratitude to all the content-creators out there, large and small? There doesn't need to be a special occasion, like all those detailed in the song below, for you to flash them a smile, give them headpats, thumbs up, or otherwise let them know you appreciate their presence. It's all the more honest of a signal of your friendship, camaraderie, or whatever, when it's not required by the occasion.

I'm addressing this to a composite of all sorts of creators, so everyone can identify with it. I'm drawing primarily on my special frenship with Aimee Terese, though I'd include Anna Khachiyan too, the Hololive girls I watch who may know about me (Gura and Fauna), and even those like Pokimane and Wolfabelle who probably don't even know I exist.

But most people out there can imagine someone singing this to them, if not me personally. It's not so narrowly tailored to those specific individuals, they're the inspiration for something universal. You've got your humble deep appreciators as well, and if they're too shy to say so, or can only do so on special occasions, let them speak through me.

I like getting away from strictly romantic themes, from time to time. Most people online are looking for simulations of non-sexual / non-romantic relationships that are dwindling IRL, as all behavior goes virtual. So it wouldn't be true to the times to only adapt old songs to the romantic aspects of online.

Although yes, I am mainly thinking of girls being addressed -- they need appreciating more than we do. Maybe some day I'll put myself in a girl's mind and write a guy-appreciating song (no homo). "Let's Hear It For the Groyp" or something, hehe.

Original lyrics here.



* * *


No trending take to congratulate
No perfect-angle pic that indie darlings fav'd
No one-line zing, no next big thing
I'd say this even while you took a month-long break

No check of blue, no front-page news
No special guest who drew a million extra views
Though not real life, it's no less true
And so for you this song, a long time overdue

I just blogged to say ::I hugged you::
I just blogged in thanks for all you share
I just blogged to say ::I hugged you::
Still I feel it, from our timeline's very start

No thousandth like, no follower spike
No A-list cross collab for brands to synergize
No clever meme, no all-night stream
No fan-art feed so full, it needs a separate site

No hater mob, no shotted screen
No long cathartic thread to beat back the NPCs
Though not real life, our bonds renew
No shadowban could keep these words from reaching you

I just blogged to say ::I hugged you::
I just blogged in thanks for all you share
I just blogged to say ::I hugged you::
Still I feel it, from our timeline's very start

I just blogged to say ::I hugged you::
I just blogged in thanks for all you share
I just blogged to say ::I hugged you::
Still I feel it, from our timeline's very start

Very start
Very start

May 7, 2022

Physical anthropology of orchestral musicians: jocks, not nerds

It's been a very long time since I got to see a professional orchestra IRL, probably the first time in adulthood. And in a Roaring Twenties picture palace, no less, where I could see them fairly well.

I was simply amazed at how corporeal their body types are -- perhaps not surprising if you think of playing a musical instrument as a kinesthetic activity, but I don't think most people do. And if they do, they don't think of a symphony orchestra as "that kind" of musical performance -- so much more brainy, therefore the performers should look the part, right?

All the women were butt women, not boob women -- and not just like they had relatively more around back than up front, we're talking bubbles and thighs so thicc you couldn't help but notice them from 50 feet away. I thought it was a group of gymnasts, dancers, shot-putters, and field hockey players. They were built like jocks, not nerds.

Some were more heavy-set, some more slender, but all were butt people. The strings section was more corporeal than the brass or woodwind section -- bigger butts, more corpulent bodies overall. Still, even the wispy French horn player was conspicuously bending over to arrange things on her chair, with her back to the audience, just like the butt girls in high school bend over their desks to get attention from boys (or the hot guy teacher).

I attribute that difference to how physical the activity is -- strings involve larger / longer motion of the limbs, namely the arm used for bowing. Brass and woodwind motor activity is more fine than gross, you can barely see them moving around at all.

I didn't notice any big difference within the strings section, as though the ones with a cello between their legs had to have more developed bodies than the violinists, or as though the upright bass players needed more leg & butt muscle to put into their standing activity. All of them have the same range of gross motor activity, i.e. their dominant arm that's bowing. Sitting vs. standing doesn't involve motion, and neither does opening vs. closing your legs while sitting.

Naturally the harpist was a meaty butt woman -- that instrument is huge, and requires full extension and contraction of both arms. While executing a glissando, she looks like one of those women who can start a pull-cord lawnmower. I'm guessing the women who play a lyre, which fits on your lap, don't look like they hang out at the squat rack in the gym.

I couldn't help but think of a certain WASP-y Twitter persona who mentioned how much she wanted to learn the harp, and also mentions her weightlifting activities and being a dumptruck ass-haver, all of which are out-of-place on the cerebral platform. (Except for being a Millennial, she'd fit in better with the TikTok accounts.) I won't name her because she probably blushes easily, this is just to provide further confirmation of the correlation. She would stand out as the blonde in the orchestra, though, so maybe she would opt for small cozy recitals, as blondes are evidently more prone to stage-fright.

The guys were similar to their female counterparts in the section, with a fair share of the cellists and bass players -- and the conductor himself -- having pot bellies, while the flautist looked like a twink. This is the only respectable profession that suits fat people.

Hardly any blondes, and this is the Midwest, so there's an ample supply of them in the general population. At least one fiery redhead, although I couldn't make out some of those toward the back, so there could have been another here or there. Blonde hair reflects a recent domestication event in Europe, so brown and red-haired Europeans are the wilder back-to-nature type. Neanderthals had red hair, too. I'll bet that, just like the case with popular music, the elite orchestral musicians in Sweden are way more brunette than the highly-blonde population at large.

Music is inextricably linked with dance, and both of those activities are kinesthetic and put us back in touch with our grug-brain past. Even the forms of it that are intended for -- and performed by -- an elite stratum of society, and are more graceful than lumbering, reflect the animal side of human nature, not the cogitating symbol-manipulating side.

The symphony and the ballet are ways for the modern commercial / financial elite, who are supposed to suppress their brute ancestry, to still indulge their animality -- on occasion, and provided it has the all-important gracefulness to keep the libido from getting out of control once it's started up.

To end on, after figuring out who was present, I was struck by who therefore was absent -- skinny queens, big-naturals, nerds, and all the other people who populate 95% of online platforms. Specifically, the type who if they do make or listen to music, it's always something with minimal musicianship behind it, and never danceable / moshable / headbangable -- indie, punk, lyrics-heavy rap (as opposed to crunk), etc.

Who also makes up 95% of music critics at any media outlet? Yep, the same two-left-feet-having cerebral type who sneer at fat people (anyone with a BMI over 20) as morally unclean and creatively bereft. So delusional -- but what else would you expect from people who are literally lost in their own thoughts for their entire lives?

May 4, 2022

"Neko's Candy" (Fauna x Gura ASMR tribute, Marcy Playground parody)

Developing a proper post (not just comments) on ASMR, but felt like taking a little detour to write some lyrics about it first. ASMR ties into synesthesia, and that made me think of the psychedelic freeform combination lyrics for "Sex and Candy" by Marcy Playground (here).

A chart-busting one-hit-wonder back in the '90s, it seems like more of a deep cut from that decade today. Most of the YouTube comments are from people who heard it at the time, not post-X-ers who had it passed down to them, or who discovered it on their own and made it go viral on TikTok or wherever.

Although the original has a frankly sexual context, ASMR is more about sensory stimulation as a form of therapy to provide a flatlining patient with life-support. Not too much stimulation that would overload someone in a refractory state, but enough to keep their brain and body engaged, while they get through that refractory state.

The particular ASMR video that inspired these lyrics is this one made by Fauna and Gura from Hololive, for Valentine's Day 2022. They're playing the role of cat-girls operating a cafe / salon / spa, stylized as cute anime girls, so I made the lingo weeb-themed instead of hippie-themed from the original. Neko is a cat or cat-girl, nyaa is the Japanese onomatopoeia for a cat meowing, and moe relates to youthful ideal femininity in a character.

As usual around here, themes on the blurring of virtuality and reality, nature and technology, etc.

Pronunciation guide: "lychee" in the British way, LIE-chee, for assonance with "skies". The "in" for "in-ear" is unstressed, sliding in just before the stress on "ear" -- in-EAR. "Moe" as MO-eh. The "nyaa" is two beats, like the "mmm" in the original. "Archive" stressed on the 2nd syllable -- ar-KIVE.



* * *


Scrolling 'round, lurking on my alt
And I was too-online, sick of haters finding fault
And there she was, in telephonic sighs
Yeah there she was, like New Age lychee skies

I taste neko's candy in-ear (nyaa)
Who's that kneading out my cares? (nyaa)
Who's that purring electric air through my connection?
Moe, it's more than just a stream, clip it
Yeah moe, it's more than just a stream

Scrolling 'round, lurking on my alt
Within my own archive, wasting hours finding fault
And there she was, in rainforest holo-glaze
Yeah there she was, like whole-milk cathode rays

I taste neko's candy in-ear (nyaa)
Who's that kneading out my cares? (nyaa)
Who's that purring electric air through my connection?
Moe, it's more than just a stream, clip it
Yeah moe, it's more than just a stream

April 27, 2022

"Daki Girl" (Aqua parody, body pillow analysis)

Somehow I clicked on the YouTube video for "Barbie Girl" by Aqua today, and couldn't get it out of my head. It's been stuck in my head off and on since high school, when it came out. It's just too damn catchy (original lyrics here).

I thought of setting some Gura-themed lyrics to it, like "Sharky Girl" or "Virtual Girl". Then it hit me -- daki, short for dakimakura, i.e. those body pillows with a character printed on both sides, which began in Japan but have since been adopted by other alienated societies like our own.

I had always assumed these were little more than blow-up dolls for coomers, which I'm sure they are in some cases. But after tuning in to the streamer culture over the past two years, I've seen how different they are from that function. For one thing, even girls have them -- Wolfabelle has hers prominently displayed in the back of her streaming room.

It's more like a child's security blanket, treasured stuffed animal, and imaginary friend all wrapped up into one item. A regressive defense mechanism, perhaps, but you can understand their motive for coping -- they don't have a steady romantic partner, and may not for a long while.

It's like the soft cloth substitute monkey mommy in those Harry Harlow experiments, where monkey babies separated from their mothers still cling to the closest thing they can get to the feel of her fur. They only visit the cold metallic milk dispenser to feed, and then immediately go back to cuddling the soft fuzzy one.

Obviously the dakimakura is not for replacing familial physical bonding, like a newborn and mother. But it's still meant to tie physical bonding with emotional and social bonding, like a substitute long-term steady girlfriend or wife, not a one-night stand, fuck buddy, bar slut, or cum dumpster.

The owner goes back to the same individual, who "lives" with them, they have a distinctive likeness (unlike the generic blank template of a blow-up doll), probably a specific name, etc. A substitute one-night-stand or fuck buddy are the girls in porn videos -- faceless, nameless, interchangeable, viewers go through one after another with no attachment. They get the simulation of being a provider and caretaker for their daki, vs. no such role for the girls they look at in porn.

If they were intended to stimulate the genitals, for masturbatory purposes, they would be rigged with a fleshlight or a vibrator. But they're not -- they're made to feel good while embracing.

I've never had one of these, and never will, but the psychology is worth portraying, since the kneejerk interpretation is totally wrong. And the causes underlying the phenomenon are all too relatable for many people these days.

So I wrote some lyrics to naturalize and humanize what's going on with this seemingly twisted pop cultural practice, taking inspiration from the movie Lars and the Real Girl (2007). That strikes a different tone from the original lyrics, which are inspired by kitsch, but I think it makes for a nice clash of surface vs. underlying substance.

Casual observers think these pillows are just like empty-headed blow-up dolls for purely sexual purposes, and that matches the upbeat bubblegummy music. But the reality is different, and is reflected in lyrics that clash with the perky hedonistic music. However, the music is written in a minor key, so it does work better with lyrics that are less rosy.

Pronunciation guide: "prickly" is PRICK-uh-lee. Owner's lines in italics.



* * *


Honey, I'm home
Hi, Degen!
Wanna cuddle on the couch?
Sure, Degen!
Hop on

I'm a daki girl, in a daki world
Your friend in satin, everlastin'
We can be a pair, and share your favorite chair
Simulation, emotional relation

Come here daki, share my Pocky

I'm a daki girl, in a daki world
Your friend in satin, everlastin'
We can be a pair, and share your favorite chair
Simulation, emotional relation

I'm a soft, supple girl in a prickly world
In a hard-landing time, I'm your cushion
You've got soul, not a hole, you're all ears when I'm thrilled
Hold my head, in our bed, cozy-wozy


You can hug, feel my curve
Till your nerve has been restored
Uwuuu

I'm a daki girl, in a daki world
Your friend in satin, everlastin'
We can be a pair, and share your favorite chair
Simulation, emotional relation

Come here daki, share my Pocky
Mmm, mmm, mmm, yeah
Come here daki, share my Pocky
Uwuuu, uwuuu

I'm your rock, round the clock, I can never deceive
You can let down your guard, even though I'm 3D
Let's stay in, have a gin, do a dance with a spin
'Cause your form's made for more than just stuffing


You can hug, feel my curve
Till your nerve has been restored
You can hug, feel my curve
Till your nerve has been restored

Come here daki, share my Pocky
Mmm, mmm, mmm, yeah
Come here daki, share my Pocky
Uwuuu, uwuuu

I'm a daki girl, in a daki world
Your friend in satin, everlastin'
We can be a pair, and share your favorite chair
Simulation, emotional relation

Oh, you treat me so special!
Well, daki, our bond's just beginning
Oh, I love you, Degen!

April 26, 2022

"Groyps" (Aimee Terese tribute, Sabrina Salerno parody)

On the news that Elon Musk has bought Twitter and may allow back all the victims of the rolling woketard ban wave of the past 5 years, here's a little tribute to them and to Aimee Terese, one of the few honorary female groypers (original groypers, not the gay copycats).

It's written in her voice to them, about how excited she is for them to come back, set to the tune of "Boys" by Sabrina Salerno from 1987 (original lyrics here). Aimee prides herself on practicing "digital hijab" -- no selfies, no video, no thottie behavior, etc. However, her formative experiences include going to "pimps 'n' hoes" parties in college during the late 2000s, and she doesn't brand as a tradwaifu.

So, at least for this special festive occasion, I think a little bimbo-fication of her persona is needed. Just a bit spicy, and in a playful crowd-rousing way like the original song. Her model is a fellow mega-mammary Meddie, only fitting for the queen of the Accounts That Bounce.

Thanks for always being such a good sport, special fren -- all the lads really appreciate your give-and-take repartee. I'm sure your large gay following will appreciate this one, too, as the original song became a gay anthem (apart from being a mainstream chart-topper around Europe).

Someone photoshop a Red Bull can over the glass she's sipping from while in the pool. Hehe.



* * *


Groyps, groyps, groyps...

Censors down, reclaim your account
Let your content breathe
Come and flex, on all bluechecks
Let them cope and seethe

Every froggy, frenlytime club
You're more than just a meme
Every froggy, frenlytime club
Be my anonny, be my favey

Groyps, groyps, groyps
Come rowdy up my timeline
Groyps, groyps, groyps
Get edgy for me now
Groyps, groyps, groyps
Come rowdy up my timeline
Groyps, groyps, groyps
I'm edging for it now

World of clown, this battleground
Ride off with your bride
No more "can't"s, we're free to bantz
Taking back the site

Every froggy, frenlytime club
You're more than just a meme
Every froggy, frenlytime club
Be my anonny, be my favey

Groyps, groyps, groyps
Come rowdy up my timeline
Groyps, groyps, groyps
Get edgy for me now
Groyps, groyps, groyps
Come rowdy up my timeline
Groyps, groyps, groyps
I'm edging for it now

April 25, 2022

On the non-role of social media in imperial collapse, whether its cultural or political symptoms

I wrote an in-depth thread responding to Jonathan Haidt's new article in The Atlantic about social media's purportedly crucial role in the political unraveling of the past 10 years. That's tech-determinism, which I have always rejected. It's about imperial rise and collapse instead. I elaborate why in that wide-ranging thread. Would you expect any less from here?

Also, would you expect a proper standalone post to treat such a topic? Of course not, especially if it's react content that I have already discussed earlier. That stuff belongs in a long series of comments to a totally unrelated post about rhythm, dance, and female singer-songwriters from the early 2000s. :)

But since I know some of you weirdos won't read it unless it's in a post of its own, I'll at least link to it, beginning with the comment here and on. Add any comments to this post, not the original one.

April 22, 2022

Rhythmic complexity in "Ordinary Day" by Vanessa Carlton, for feeling swept off your feet and then landing back to Earth

Let's return to a recurring theme here -- that you should ignore the musical takes and tastes of people who can't dance. Music & dance are as inseparable as smell & taste. We ignore food critics who are nose-blind to all smells, and we ignore art critics who are color-blind. So too do we ignore music critics who have two left feet.

A previous post looked into the use of 5-beat measures in Balkan pop music (really, a 2-beat unit followed by a 3-beat unit), tying this unusual time signature to its use in the dances that accompany it.

Several comments beginning here on "Call Me Maybe" by Carly Rae Jepsen looked at the use of empty beats, an out-of-phase shift between lyrical and musical rhythm, and a call-and-response use of empty beats in the chorus, all of which evoke her stubborn plodding hesitancy to approach her crush, and needing an external shove to push her right into his space, if she couldn't muster the will all on her own.

I will never discuss unusual rhythms or time signatures in the context of prog rock, out-there forms of jazz, or anything cerebral like that, where it's mainly being done for its own sake, just to sound novel and cool -- rather than to support a dance that requires such a rhythm, or to evoke the bodily motions of the characters in the lyrics. That disembodies music from dance, and music that is unmotivated corporeally is a no-go.

The next song in the series will be "Ordinary Day" by Vanessa Carlton (2002).



This analysis will be pretty in-depth formally, and you might wonder why? It's just a pop song. Well, this one is a contender for being a pop masterpiece, not just radio filler. And almost no aesthetic criticism does formal analysis these days, to clearly uncover what is going on with a work of art. You can cry about it being like ruining a magic act by explaining, in mechanistic detail, how it was done. But we need to understand how the components of a work, and their interactions, make it what it is at the holistic gestalt "like it or hate it" level.

Otherwise, we can just stick with writing one-line reviews with a thumbs up or down, to recommend it or not to potential audiences. But that's a whole different function of a reviewer / critic, and not one that leads to any deeper understanding or appreciation of the work.

* * *


Although at first you assume a slow-tempo piano ballad by an introspective singer-songwriter is not going to have much going on rhythmically, this song will stick in your mind until you figure out why. And it's mainly the rhythm that's catching your attention, whether you're aware or not. I just happened to hear Fauna from Hololive sing this in karaoke, and it wouldn't get out of the back of my mind. So I gave the official release a few listens, and the unusual rhythms stood out. We will investigate the rhythm at increasingly higher levels of structure, or groupings of rhythmic units.

The time signature is 12/8, rare in pop music (or high music, for that matter). In this compound meter, there are 4 main units, each of which consists of 3 smaller units -- a heavy one followed by two weak ones. The initial heavy unit carries extra weight. The duration of each of these 12 tiny units is an 8th-note long. To help saying it aloud:

1-and-a 2-and-a 3-and-a 4-and-a ...

Those two weak notes trailing after the heavy note give this rhythm a feeling of weightlessness, gliding around, and floating. Heavy beats coincide with the delivery motion for the body, such as a foot landing on the ground, the leg reaching max extension during a kick, an arm reaching max extension when punching the air, and so on. Weak beats are for the winding-up motions that set up the delivery motion -- taking a foot off the ground, winding up a kick, winding up a punch, and so on.

With two weak notes, instead of only one, until the body becomes grounded again on the next heavy note, the legs stay in the air longer until landing. So the body feels more suspended in air, and there's more tension that builds up due to the feeling of floating further away until becoming grounded again. This reflects the mood of the singer, who feels somewhat carried off of her feet just from pining for her crush from afar, perhaps beginning to daydream about him, her attention drifting away from reality as much as her body is from the ground.

At the next level up in the rhythmic structure is the grouping of those 4 heavy notes -- but in fact, for most of the song, the 4th and final heavy note is silent (written as [X] below). Listen to the piano and the bass, which emphasize heavy notes 1, 2, 3, -- and then nothing on 4. They do come back in for the two weak notes after the silent 4th heavy note, though:

1 2 3 [X] and-a ...

The silent 4th beat corresponds to leaving the foot on the ground that was supposed to have been raised and landed on that beat. Since it has missed its intended beat and remains planted (written as [X] below), it lands on the next one in sequence, namely the 1st and heaviest beat of the following measure. Supposing you were doing a simple walk or march, and began with the L foot, then the steps would be:

L R L [X], R L R [X], L R L [X], R L R [X]

This empty beat at the end of each measure is therefore a bodily hesitation, leaving your foot grounded, as though unsure whether to continue pacing forward toward your destination or not. This mirrors the singer's emotional hesitation, about whether she should fully commit to approaching her crush, or keep her pining and daydreaming distance.

That foot is only frozen temporarily, though: it does land, albeit after a full beat of hesitation, but continuing her trajectory forward nonetheless. This shows that her emotional state is only wavering, hesitant, and anxious -- not that she's going to wimp out and close herself off altogether.

Each of these empty beats is like a little cliffhanger at the end of the measure -- oh no, what happened to her pacing? Will she carry herself forward, or is she going to just stay put, maybe even retreat? Great way of building tension at this level of the structure.

This also shows that the time signature is 12/8 rather than 6/8, which would be 2 main units of 3 notes, rather than 4 main units of 3 notes. There can be no cliffhangers with two units -- there has to at least be a beginning, then a middle, then a possible end. Cliffhangers and building tension assume there has been some change or direction before the empty spot -- and there can be no change, direction, or dynamics located within a single point. The cliffhanger empty beat after 3 present beats implies that those 4 are a cohesive whole and cannot be subdivided at that level.

See also someone else's old post showing that it is 12/8 rather than 6/8, looking at the chord progressions in the bass line. There are transitions after 4 beats, not after 2. Like me, that guy is not mainly into singer-songwriter piano ballads, but after he heard his daughter playing her CD, this song stuck in his mind and he had to figure it out -- turns out it was the rhythm that was so puzzlingly fascinating to his ear. His was the only post I found when googling to see if anyone else had noticed this song's unusual rhythm (and some database sites incorrectly categorize it as 3/4).

Now, what about those two weak notes that come back in after the empty 4th beat? That corresponds to the body movements needed to pick your frozen foot off the ground in order to make the next available heavy beat. Usually these weak notes don't need to be sounded, if they can assume you're walking at a normal uninterrupted pace. That's why they only play the heavy notes 1, 2, 3, not the "and-a" weak notes after them. Your mind and body can fill in the gaps between the heavy notes with those trailing weak notes.

But when your foot is frozen in hesitancy on the ground, you need to give it a little prodding and cajoling, just to pick it up off the ground. That's why those two weak notes get an overt sound -- what had gone assumed before, cannot be assumed now that your foot is frozen, and you need to say the quiet part loud to wake up that sluggish foot.

This bodily sensation mirrors the singer's emotional state, where she has to consciously will herself into going forward with her plan to talk to him, after a temporary hesitancy. And yet, this on-again / off-again pattern repeats every measure, showing that her emotional resolve is not strong enough to just slap herself once and go gung-ho -- she repeatedly feels too anxious, and repeatedly needs to will herself to commit to the plan. A one-time shot of courage would be reflected in a single burst of sound, or maybe a solo or bridge (a passage that only happens once).

At the next level up in the structure, these measures are arranged into passages, like a verse or chorus. Each verse is split into two halves, with 4 measures each, for 8 total. During the first 4 measures of a verse, the usual cliffhanger measure is used. But for the second 4 measures, this is only used for measures 6 and 8, while 5 and 7 now have their final beat filled in. This requires several listens to pick up on, but you must be noticing it unconsciously at first, you just can't pinpoint it precisely.

This progression over the course of a verse shows that she is gradually hesitating less and less as she approaches her crush. Maybe she simply finds more resolve from within, but given how crucial distance and proximity are in this song, it feels more like she's gaining confidence from him -- he's the strong guide she looks up to, and the closer she steps toward him, the more that his confidence rubs off on her.

During the chorus, there are 4 measures, and the cliffhanger rhythm is used for 1, 2, and 4, while the 3rd one has the final beat filled in. Similar effect as in the second half of the verse -- as he begins addressing her, and making her an offer to accompany him, her hesitancy is still there but is waning. She hasn't yet flown off with him, she's only being made an offer -- but that is enough to reduce her anxiety.

Then there is the brisk instrumental passage after the 2nd chorus, in which every measure has all beats filled in -- no more hesitancy, at all. And yet, no lyrics either -- this corresponds to her feeling whisked right off the ground by her crush, gliding around with no inhibitions, physical or emotional. Because they're soaring through the air now, the heavy notes are not matched with feet landing on the ground, but some other delivery motion -- imagine they're doing a darting movement, like a breaststroke swim through the air, and the heavy notes indicate each major sweeping-back motion of the arms and full extension of the legs kicking back. But still, no heavy note being missed, no hesitation, whether physical or emotional.

The bridge is another passage where every measure has all 4 beats filled in. This is just picking up on the instrumental passage's theme, only now there are lyrics because he's making a different degree of an offer -- not to leave the ground, they've already done that, but to soar off to some specific star or other, to fly through the clouds, or some other decision that she could not have pondered while still back down on the ground. Something she can only commit to now that she's already chosen to leave the ground. She still feels no hesitation, physical or emotional, during this stage.

Then the 3rd verse seems to bring her crashing back down to the mundane realm -- that same ol' cliffhanger hesitation rhythm from the earlier two verses. And the next chorus is pretty similar to the others, only there's a repeat of the final line, so there are 5 measures. Only the 3rd and 4th measures have the final beat filled in. Now we're seemingly back to where we began, mirroring her doubts about whether the soaring climax of the instrumental and bridge sections was only just her imagination. And yet, he's back at her door, so it must have been real.

There is another brief instrumental passage, where once again all measures have the final beat filled in -- no hesitation. This is a concrete musical token of the reality of the previous climax. Without saying it in lyrics, this shows that it was real after all. She's not having another daydream, she's being taken through the air again, to reassure her that it was real. It's not as long and intense as the climax, because it's not a second climax -- just a brief reassurance. A less intense token that proves that the more intense climax was real.

Finally, just as she had to come down from the climax into the 3rd verse, she comes down from the reprise of the instrumental, now that she has been convinced that the climax was real. She doesn't need to experience this reassurance forever -- a brief demonstration will do. And now that she's back down on the ground again, the cliffhanger measures return -- and therefore, so has her tendency to hesitate, notwithstanding the rollercoaster of confidence she has been taken on.

That's more evidence that she got her major boost of confidence from him taking her on a ride. Now that she's on the ground by herself again, the most she can do is plod forward (better than staying frozen), rather than go full-steam-ahead as she could only have done with him guiding her along, radiating his nonchalant confidence onto little ol' (partially) anxious her.

* * *


I'll bet you never thought there was such a dazzling rhythmic rabbit-hole to go down in the realm of pop music -- just a song, just an ordinary song. But complex enough to inspire two unconnected writers to go in-depth about its rhythmic structure, after only a happenstance playing by a younger girl fan (usually written off as having pedestrian tastes). And yet you don't have to be able to explain analytically what its je ne sais quoi is, to appreciate it -- its YouTube video is one of those where all the comments are glowing, "most underrated song ever," and so on. One of the most memorable and enjoyable, for sure.

April 21, 2022

Uwu-ful song lyrics, inspired by Gawr Gura

I have a hunch that the content here that originally piqued the curiosity of the sharky princess Vtuber was the song that replaced "uwu-ful" for "beautiful" (to the tune of the James Blunt classic).

It makes me think I should just do a whole series on "uwu-ful" replacing "beautiful" in song lyrics. Maybe, but for now, more of a medley of fragments, to riff on the concept. Three for now, perhaps more later in the comments.

Is it too gimmicky to do so many songs with that same phrase, or does it only add to the absurdist charm of the concept? Perhaps a bit of both, hehe.

* * *


Every account on the 'Tube will tweet it,
Every account but you

Sharky, you bring out your fans from their shrimpy shells
The way you bantz with the chat, now they're under your spell
But when you blush while yabe, it just sells itself

You don't know, oh-oh
You don't know you're uwu-ful

If only you scrolled my daily feed
You'll understand why I follow your every stream
Right now I'm tuning in live, and I "omg"

You don't know, oh-oh
You don't know you're uwu-ful, oh-oh
That's what makes you uwu-ful

Nya nya-nya nya, nya nya nya nya-nya
Nya nya-nya nya, nya nya nya

* * *


You're way too uwu-ful, girl
So hypnotized by your quirks
You'll have me parasocial, parasocial
When the stream is over

Damn all these uwu-ful girls
Won't follow-back, but only lurk
They'll leave you parasocial, parasocial
When the stream is over

* * *


You are uwu-ful,
Your haters fake and gay
The herd can't vote you down, oh no

You are uwu-ful,
In all the content you create
The herd can't vote you down, oh no

So don't you vote me down today

April 14, 2022

The Brazil mania of the 2000s (and its place in the history of multicultural globalism)

I was reminded of the mania for all things Brazilian during the 2000s (some of which have continued through today), while tuning in to a recent karaoke stream by Kiara, Hololive's in-house choreographer. She was covering a song that used to be a standard in the dance clubs in the late 2000s and early 2010s -- "Hey Mama" by the Black Eyed Peas.

This was always a personal fave of mine, and I danced a modified samba. The tempo is way too fast to do both the fancy footwork of the samba and get a lot of motion or range at the same time. And when you're up on the main stage, hyping up the whole crowd, they want to see you take up lots of space and move around, not just do footwork in one place. So I would land each foot heavily on the main beat, and then instead of lifting and re-landing my feet on the half or quarter beats in between, I kept each foot fairly grounded, but pushed my legs up and down off of the ball of my feet on those off-beats, to simulate the fast-paced footwork of the samba.

That allows you to keep your feet close to the ground, and glide from side to side in wide strides that end on the main beat, to get more range over the floor. It's a sleight-of-hand -- most of the crowd won't notice, and they're convinced. And it frees up more of your body's energy to get your upper body, arms, and facial expression into the whole performance, rather than the relatively stiff upper body that comes with an emphasis on fancy footwork.

Anyways... I always wished there had been more songs like to get crazy to, but as far as I remember, that was the only samba-friendly staple of the clubs back then. However, after hearing Kiara singing that song, my mind opened up like a volcano, and ancient subterranean MySpace memories came flowing to the surface of my consciousness.

I knew that rhythm sounded familiar, but it wasn't from "Hey Mama" itself -- they sampled the beat of their own song when they released an enhanced re-mix of the '60s samba classic "Mas que Nada" by Sergio Mendes, in 2006. Although I never heard it in the clubs, it did hit #13 on the Billboard Dance Club Play chart here, and made the year-end charts in several European countries. I mainly remember it from the MySpace music player, where it was popular enough that I saw it on someone's profile, and started playing it over and over myself. Pretty sure they had the video for it, not just the audio.



However, the Brazil craze was not limited only to dance-focused genres like rap. Sidebar: it may sound strange today, but rap during the 2000s was at its most dance-crazy -- from crunk, to the Latin dance crossovers ("Hey Mama," "Hips Don't Lie," etc.), to the electropop of "Lollipop". Even mellow pop rock songs like "She Will Be Loved" by Maroon 5 borrowed from samba rhythms and Latin sensuality:



On the less mainstream side of things, samba and bossa nova were prevalent in the Thievery Corporation's lounge music, although it was not strictly focused on Brazil, but including Brazilian music in with other world genres.

Instead, the main rejuvenation source was the indie group Nouvelle Vague, whose concept was to record bossa nova covers of late '70s and '80s new wave icons. This hit so many different 2000s trends all at once -- the '80s revival, Brazil mania, and the whimsical "is it ironic or sincere?" tone of the indie crowd back then. It risked becoming a gimmick, and certainly their live performances got way too self-aware and hammed-up to be sincere tributes to the original, and more "look at how friggin' whimsical we are" contests for the spotlight.

And yet that doesn't detract from the recorded versions, which were popular enough that I heard the one below, "Teenage Kicks" (from the Undertones), as part of the in-flight music during a plane ride. The pining for a girl who doesn't know you exist, really resonates with the original bossa nova classics, like "The Girl from Ipanema". That keeps it from sounding too discordant tonally, which would make it too annoyingly self-aware -- like, "woah, get a load of how wacky we are, doing bossa nova covers of death metal" or something.

Even though a female voice is singing, I still hear it as being about a guy who is pining for a girl, narrated in a third-person by a different girl who has a crush on the guy in the lyrics.



* * *


As a music & dance guy, those are the examples that really stand out to me, but Brazil mania was not confined to music. I'll briefly survey some other domains of culture now, but I'll add any other examples in the comments later if I think of them. Readers feel free to as well.

In food & drink, there was the birth of the obsession with the acai berry. Yeah, I'm sure it has good nutritional value, but so does food from all over the world. This particular berry only became popular because it rode the wave of Brazil mania. Brazilian barbeque restaurants also took off like crazy during the 2000s. Why not something closely related, like Argentine cuisine? Because Argentina is not Brazilian. Gen X club-goers were so saturated in Braziliana that they knew their national drink -- the caipirinha. Any ol' normie could've known about the related lime cocktail, the Cuban mojito, but the trend-setters ordered caipirinhas.

Even the babes in commercials for food & drink were part of the Brazil craze. "Wanna Fanta -- don'tcha wanna?" It was the 2000s, so one of the Fantana girls had to be Brazilian (Andrea De Oliveira, the purple one).

Brazilian models Adriana Lima, Ana Beatriz Barros, Gisele Bundchen, and Alessandra Ambrosio were familiar to both the lad-mag readers and runway audiences of the 2000s.

Brazilians in general were the It Girl exotic ethnicity, from mainstream ads to porn and everything in between. Brazil-themed sexuality was so prevalent that assmen not only learned the Spanish word "culo" but the Brazilian Portuguese counterpart, "bunda". Britney Spears' hanger-on husband, Kevin Federline, released an album in 2006 that went nowhere, but whose first attempt at a single was titled "PopoZao", after the Brazilian term for "big ol' booty".

Brazilian waxing took off during this decade, and it could have been named after any place where women removed more hair down there than had been the norm in America. But those other countries were not Brazil.

Then there was the interest, if not much of the practice, of capoeira -- the mixture of martial arts and dancing. Far more popular was specifically Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, as the UFC rebranded and took over the youth sports culture. What other sport had the under-30 guys watching a reality TV competition to choose its next star athlete? Commentator Joe Rogan introduced this massive audience to the Brazilian pronunciation of Portuguese, every time he referred to "Hoyce" (Royce) Gracie, leader of an influential school of BJJ.

For established high-profile events, it took longer for Brazil mania to result in that country being host to the World Cup (2014) and the Summer Olympics (2016), but both of those decisions were made during the late 2000s planning stage.

Not many movies crossed over to American audiences; City of God was about it, and only indie / art house audiences knew of it. But foreign movies are also a tough sell, since audiences have to read subtitles to understand the plot.

* * *


I haven't said anything about why it had to be Brazil, and why this time period. The main goal here is simply to catalog this phenomenon, which does not show up under simple Google searches for Brazil craze, Brazil mania, Brazil 2000s, etc.

But briefly, I think it was trying to present an optimistic and exciting vision of the future of globalization led by the American empire. The nasty reality was something entirely different, as NAFTA de-industrialized our economy, and most of the heavy-scale immigration here was not from culturally vibrant middle-class Brazilians, but de facto slaves from Central America who aren't very exciting. The global depression that began in 2008, and never ended for most people, also put an end to the rosy view of globalism's future.

During the woke 2010s, there was very little interest in culturally integrating the Third World with the American empire. The Brazil craze had some momentum behind it, but that impetus came from the pre-woke 2000s. Elite culture-makers and lay audiences alike found no interest in the rest of Latin America, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, India, China, or sub-Saharan Africa. Maybe some interest in shawarma, hookah bars, and MENA baddies, but that's about it.

The primary focus of multiculturalism was other advanced nations in the empire, namely Japan and South Korea. Obsession with the culture of those nations had never been a fraction of what it exploded into during the 2010s, and that trend continues through the 2020s so far. Approaches to global integration have taken something of a step in the realistic direction, seemingly after the dividing line of the 2008 depression, which blew up the untempered end-of-history optimism of the Nineties.

April 11, 2022

Suburban archaeology, 10 years later

I'm putting together in one place, all the various posts on this topic I wrote roughly 10 years ago -- which might as well be an eternity, lying on the other side of the dividing line, before the Web 2.0 era degraded into the social media era.

Below are the links, with brief descriptions. They're in chronological order, but you can browse them in any order without missing out on background. New posts on the topic will come when I get some old images cleaned up for presentation. Until then, reacquaint yourselves with the topic, or dive into it for the first time.

This is what you come to the ruins of the blogosphere for -- long trips wending through secret passageways of online, far from the beaten path of the 24-hour take-cycle. How fitting that the topic of decaying environments once part of vibrant living communities, can only be explored within a region of the virtual realm that is itself lying in ruins. But I am still here, tending the grounds, and serving as a guide for those curious souls who wander by.

* * *


Wet cement carvings

They're not an "I'm so awesome" display, but like signing the guestbook of a party, or signing a communal yearbook, to memorialize your social group. In the comments, newspaper articles on the police crackdown against the practice during the helicopter parent era of the '90s and after.

Suburban archaeology overview

Big-picture thoughts about doing archaeology in the suburbs, how much life has changed so quickly and how that is reflected in visits to functionally-ancient sites. Mostly about the social changes from the outgoing era of roughly 1960-1990, to the cocooning era of 1990 to present (or is it turning around circa 2020?).

Lamp post carvings

A site visit with pictures (taken with, I believe, a crappy early 2010s iPhone camera -- am trying to clean up the pics from that excursion, including a whole bunch on tree carvings and beverage containers, and will post those later). Since the early 2010s were still deep in cocooning territory, the empty desertedness of suburban spaces is on display in the shots of the location. I took those pictures on a sunny summer afternoon -- no way a public place with athletic fields, playgrounds, and open grass areas, would have been devoid of people back in the '80s or early '90s.

The school rock phenomenon

Schools used to have a school rock, which kids decorated, signed, and otherwise left their imprint on. Similar to carving your name in wet cement, or signing a communal yearbook. As communities collapsed, the practice died off, and nothing has taken its place, whether IRL or virtual.

Suburban woods reclaimed by nature

There was a trend in the late 2000s and early 2010s of documenting the reclaiming of urban ruins by wild nature, mainly focusing on the collapse of Detroit proper (not the 'burbs). This post extends the approach to the suburban woods, which used to be far more tamed due to people hanging out back there so frequently. But once everyone abandoned them, they became so overgrown that they're hostile to anyone wandering around there these days. I was really shocked wandering trails that I had been used to in the early-mid '90s, 20 years later. Part of what inspired me to make a part-time job out of DIY trail maintenance -- I couldn't stand seeing those woods getting so unwelcoming.

Follow-up on the above

Further observations on that change in the woods, after spending more time there on trail maintenance / reconstruction.

Families replacing friends in graffiti

Graffiti overall has plummeted off a cliff since the '80s and early '90s, but there is still some here and there. But in the 'burbs, where it would have been a group of friends leaving their mark before, now it's the nuclear family leaving their mark. As communities collapse, the only social group left standing is the nuclear family.

Booze and drug use at middle-school hang-out

Site visit, though no pictures. I was just passing through, not intending to do any archaeological documentary work, so didn't bring a camera. But committed it to memory to write a post about it. We all know high schoolers and college kids used to be more wild in the good ol' days, but for a brief time, that encompassed middle schoolers as well. Namely, when the late Boomers were in middle school, during the '70s. They would shortly become the Fast Times at Ridgement High generation, but they were already on their way there in middle school. Actual ancient beer cans present, plus tree carvings about being high on pot.

April 8, 2022

Virtual parties hosted by streamers cement bonds of virtual social communities, unlike performer / audience relations of podcasting

Returning to the post about streamers being (celeb-)reality TV for Gen Z, and how it's different from the podcasting format dominated by Millennials, I've noticed that the streamers host a lot of themed parties.

Several Hololive girls have had birthdays recently, and they have an entire stream whose point is, "Hey you, scrolling alone over there -- you're invited to attend my birthday party and join my other friends!" During the b-day stream, other streamers make appearances, wishing happy b-day, joking around, etc., the way that a party host hobnobs with their various higher-profile guests. At the same time, the b-day girl is still interacting with her chat.

Podcasters don't do that for their b-day, if they do anything special at all. They might reflect on getting one year older, express their views on b-day parties, etc. It has to be takes on a topic, not just fly-on-the-wall vicarious experiences as though you were there at their party.

AFAIK, only Red Scare does something sim-ish, where they give each other presents, discuss them, say thanks, and so on. But it's not simulating a party with other guests in attendance -- just the two ladies themselves. Zoomer streamers have to create the sense that their entire audience is attending one great big party for a special occasion.

Streamers also host special online parties for major holidays -- Halloween, Christmas, and New Year's (national ones like Thanksgiving are not as likely). Something you don't see in the podcast medium. Podcasters may give their takes on a topic that is related to the holiday, but it isn't simulating a party held on that holiday, with the audience vicariously experiencing that social gathering.

These virtual parties provide the glue for online communities to feel like actual *social* communities, which is distinct from the ideological fellow travelers who make up the audience of a podcast. Every social community has its special occasions that call for festive activities, where everyone joins in the carnivalesque merry-making. How can an online community hold together without some simulation of those communal bonding events?

Early in the podcasting format, a common joke was "Oh yay, now I get to feel like I have friends" while imagining yourself among a group of friends who are just shooting the breeze, riffing on jokes, and the like. And now, another common joke is "Podcasters are not your friends," i.e. they're just simulating friendship for ulterior motives.

But sometime around 2020, the podcasting format had already evolved away from parasocial friendship simulation, and became online talk radio programs, whose hosts are branded as truth-tellers, gift-of-gab interviewers, hilarious shock jocks, and other personas familiar from the heyday of talk radio over the literal radio waves, during the '90s and 2000s.

The parasocial friendship simulator model took root instead in the streaming format, which was still an immature platform in the late 2010s (basically only Twitch, which few were even aware of, outside of video game addicts).

I don't think the primary hurdle was technological, but generational, as I emphasized in that post on Gen Z being an echo of Gen X, while Millennials are an echo of Boomers. In order to feel like the hosts are your simulated social circle, they have to be laid-back and not spotlight-seeking. On the other hand, if you're looking for maximum stage presence from entertainers, you want the hosts to be spotlight-seekers who don't interact intimately with the audience.

That's why Boomers never made for good reality TV -- too attention-whoring, and too "on" in a stage performance way. Gen X is more down-to-earth and welcoming of others as social equals, not as fans bowing and worshiping the star performer. That also made Boomers better entertainers than X-ers, whether pure entertainment or info-tainment.

Zoomer content creators, and Zoomer audiences, were looking for something more like reality TV in their online consumption, which began as "hang out with me while I play video games". But they couldn't carry that out on platforms long dominated by Millennials for performing entertainment purposes, such as Twitter discourse or podcasting repository sites. Twitch was not over-colonized as a platform, nor was it colonized by the older generation, and live-streaming was perfectly suited to bringing the reality TV concept to online media.

There may be a handful of podcasts hosted on Twitch or YouTube, and a few "day in our life" reality vlog accounts who upload to podcast repository sites. But by and large, the two formats have split into their own separate platforms.

More importantly, though, they have separated who has social-sim content, and who has pure entertainment content. By this point, it makes no sense to refer to podcasts as a parasocial phenomenon -- that is just about exclusively taking place on live-streaming platforms.

Even the non-streaming platforms used by a streamer's community are dependent upon the stream itself to provide the virtual social cohesion. There would be no subreddit or discord for the fans to interact amongst themselves, outside the presence of their usual party host, if the streamer did not stream in the first place.

For that matter, the term "fan" is not very accurate for the members of a streamer's community, since the streamer is not a pure entertainer. A podcast has fans, but a stream has virtual community members. And unlike a podcast's fandom / groupies / hangers-on, they have their own demonyms -- "chumbuds" for Gura's community, "saplings" for Fauna's community, etc.

The Chapo Trap House podcast tried to make "gray wolves" catch on as the name for their fans, but fans (of any entertainment product) don't deserve their own demonym -- they don't live anywhere in particular, don't interact with a regular community in particular. They just show up to the same performance space hosted by the same entertainers on a regular basis. The closest IRL thing would be a "scene" based on some nightclub or close network of them, still derived from entertainers and their fans.

So you could describe an online scene, with a catch-all term like "the dirtbag left," in the same way you could refer to hippies, punks, metalheads, or emos / scene kids.

But a community is always specific, and it has a specific name to identify who is on the inside vs. the outside -- this town, not that town. This group of residents, places, and institutions, not some other residents, places, and institutions.

One final observation on large special events, and the two formats -- going on tour. Big podcasters go on a literal IRL tour to perform for their fans, such as Chapo or Pod Save America. Even the Red Scare ladies have embarked on a few small-scale IRL events over the years. This is what entertainers do for fans.

But streamers, no matter how big, could never go on tour. It's totally beside the point, since they're not performing entertainers, and their community is not an adoring fandom. They're in the social-sim business, like a reality TV cast. No one would go to an IRL tour of the Real Housewives cast, but they would attend an IRL tour of a band or stand-up comic.

That's not to say there's zero overlap -- Gura is a skilled singer, and could grow a fandom for her musical performances, while the Red Scare ladies recorded a "hang out at the zoo with us" episode. But for the most part, streamers don't tour, and podcasters don't host virtual parties.

April 7, 2022

'90s alterna-soul classics for Gura's fan-request karaoke stream

As a quick placeholder post while I'm putting together the series on suburban archaeology and photography, here's a list of suggestions for Gura's next karaoke stream.

She mentioned tonight that she wanted to do a set mainly from fan requests and songs that were new-to-her. The fans loved her cover of "Creep" by Radiohead, a '90s alternative classic, and she wants to work in songs with more edge. I chose ones that also preserve her talent for more mature, moody, and soulful tones.

Why am I putting the list here? Well, in case readers are interested in these songs themselves, to revisit some familiar faves, or to jump into the '90s revival for the first time. But also because I'm a blogosphere guy, and don't have social media accounts, don't have a reddit account, etc. And I think one of her fans must read here, and relay items to her -- or maybe the sharky princess herself lurks from time to time? I definitely attract fellow "content creators" more than does the standard blogger or social media poster, so y'never know...

I think of all the groups, Gura would resonate most with Mazzy Star. I only included their biggest hit, but she could do great covers of "Blue Flower," "Halah," "Be My Angel," "Disappear," "Flowers in December," or "Look on Down from the Bridge". How many are on karaoke apps, I don't know. But she would love their music, whether she could slot it into a karaoke stream or not.

* * *


Straightforwardly soulful

"I Touch Myself" by the Divinyls

"Nothing Compares 2 U" by Sinead O'Connor

"Under the Bridge" by Red Hot Chili Peppers

"Why" by Annie Lennox

"Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover" by Sophie B. Hawkins

"What's Up?" by 4 Non Blondes

"Fade Into You" by Mazzy Star

"Come Undone" by Duran Duran

"Sweet Jane" by Cowboy Junkies

"Bizarre Love Triangle" by Frente!

"Sour Times" by Portishead

"A Girl Like You" by Edwyn Collins

"Sick of Myself" by Matthew Sweet

"Lovefool" by the Cardigans

* * *


Angsty, could be made soulful

"American Music" by Violent Femmes

"Stutter" by Elastica

"Only Happy When It Rains" by Garbage

"Tonight, Tonight" by Smashing Pumpkins

"You Oughta Know" by Alanis Morissette

* * *


New Age soul, technically y2k

"Only Time" by Enya

* * *


Not soulful, but bouncy quirky & you'd like it

"Spin the Bottle" by the Juliana Hatfield 3

April 5, 2022

Suburban photography (no pictures yet, just musing on the topic)

In the early 2010s I wrote periodically on the topic of suburban archaeology -- discovering what life was like during a largely vanished civilization, from the material traces left among the ruins in the present. And here I am, still inhabiting the ruins of the blogosphere in the 2020s, like Beast waiting for a Belle to stumble upon my castle and ultimately choose to live here with me. ("She's not gonna delete social media to post on your blog, bro.")

The next post will review those old entries in the series. For now, some thoughts on the topic of photographs of suburban settings.

I was rummaging through some folders on another ancient artifact, my 2006 ThinkPad -- which still works perfectly -- and found a whole bunch of images that I never got around to posting during the suburban archaeology series. I had already made the main points, these were just supplementary visuals to document what I was talking about.

But they were things most people already know about in general, like tree carvings, so the specific images weren't that important. And the image quality is not good, I must've grabbed someone's early iPhone since dedicated digital point-and-shoot cameras were supposedly outdated. Wow, I compared images from my 2003 digital p&s to the ones I took with this early 2010s iPhone, and the phone camera is just terrible. I don't think the iPhone camera caught up to the run-of-the-mill p&s from the 2000s until the past several years. I'll try to clean them up somehow, though, and upload them here for historical memory's sake.

I did manage to shoot some tree carvings when I got a proper film SLR camera a few years later, and if I can get a good quality scan of those, I'll upload those as well. I want to upload others from that little trip around the interesting places of the 'burbs, like the cemetery, the woods, the grounds of the historical sites, and so on.

I'm just sick to death of looking at images of cities, and of city dwellers, especially in America where they're so unrepresentative. They just don't resonate, connect, or land -- that's not who Americans are, and those places are not what America is. Like it, hate it, whatever, it's the truth. I can't stand the trend of American photographers LARP-ing as Europeans and only shooting the one little neighborhood in their city that looks quirky, quaint, and European, when the rest of it feels like the typical bland lifeless sprawling American city.

Not because I think the 'burbs are superior aesthetically or morally or anything, it's just not true to the setting and the people and the history that are supposedly being captured in a slice-of-life reality way.

TV cinematography has been the only bastion of suburban or small-town scenes, and most of the examples I'm thinking of are pretty old by now -- Desperate Housewives, Mad Men, Vampire Diaries, Pretty Little Liars, Stranger Things, and Riverdale. Also in that period, Gossip Girl was one of the few looks at New York City that was fresh and exciting and relatable and organic, because it wasn't narrowly zoomed in on a bunch of boring hick 20/30-something transplants LARP-ing as cool sophisticates.

As for still images, though, I can't remember the last time I saw places other than the densest parts of a city center. Nature or landscape photography doesn't count if there aren't signs of human presence. I mean, a place where people are living, but outside of dense downtowns.

I wish I were a pro photographer so the pictures looked better, but over the past decade, the creative class has completely turned its back on its society, and only navel-gazes about their boring decadent little nabe in an every-city dystopia. So it falls to those of us who at least took some pictures of real life to put them out there, however amateur they may be technically.

April 1, 2022

"Follow and Fave Me" by Sharky Bae Jepsen (online crush anthem)

What better follow-up to the previous post than another parody of a Carly Rae Jepsen song, while still adapting it to our entirely-online era. This time it's set to the tune of "Call Me Maybe", also from the early 2010s manic phase of the excitement cycle that our inspiration, Vtuber idol Gawr Gura, is so fond of. Original lyrics here. I made it for a slightly older life stage, sometime after graduating college, as opposed to the high-school or college tone of the original.

I imagine this in her voice, appealing to all girls who have ever gone boy-crazy online (or girl-crazy: there's only one male term, and by now I think "chad" gets applied to girls as well). Unlike the earlier example, though, I don't think she's sung this one for a karaoke stream. Unless she felt a little urging from her fanbase to sing it for the next one... :)

Fun fact: Carly Rae Jepsen is only 5'2, perfect hummingbird short-girl energy for an uninhibited, bouncy, boy-crazy anthem. Gura's a shawty herself, so she'd have no problem channeling that persona. Neither would a certain former imaginary gf, but always-current special fren, hehe.

Let the dances of the mating season begin!

Pronunciation guide: to fit the rhythm in the chorus, "follow and fave" is "follow 'n' fave". Same with "try to engage" -- "try t' engage". In the verses, the lines start off unstressed, then stressed, so "after" is "af-TER". Only exception is the last line of the 1st verse, where stress is on "BUT I've PINNED...", since the unstressed word "me" is up at the end of the previous line, in a broken rhyme.



* * *


I sub'd and turned on that bell
So hyper, can't even spell
Why can't this be IRL?
And now I've pinned your page

I've never fallen so quick
Do anything for your click
Hope I don't post like a pick me
But I've pinned your page

Your karaokes
Lit memes, schizoposting
Content overflowing
Where you think you're scrollin', baby?

Hey, I just read you, and this may date me
But here's my tumblr, so follow and fave me
It's hard to outright @ you, baby
But here's my tumblr, so follow and fave me

Hey, I just read you, and this may date me
But here's my tumblr, so follow and fave me
And all the other boys try to engage me
But here's my tumblr, so follow and fave me

You touch my face through the screen
Take me outside my routine
And now I feel seventeen
After you pinned my page

Inspired to give it my all
A full account overhaul
All other loves uninstalled
After I pinned your page

Your karaokes
Lit memes, schizoposting
Content overflowing
Where you think you're scrollin', baby?

Hey, I just read you, and this may date me
But here's my tumblr, so follow and fave me
It's hard to outright @ you, baby
But here's my tumblr, so follow and fave me

Hey, I just read you, and this may date me
But here's my tumblr, so follow and fave me
And all the other boys try to engage me
But here's my tumblr, so follow and fave me

Before you brightened my timeline, I'd been so down bad
I'd been so down bad, I'd been so down down bad
Before you brightened my timeline, I'd been so down bad
Come claim your crown, chad, no longer down down bad

It's hard to outright @ you, baby
But here's my tumblr, so follow and fave me

Hey, I just read you, and this may date me
But here's my tumblr, so follow and fave me
And all the other boys try to engage me
But here's my tumblr, so follow and fave me

Before you brightened my timeline, I'd been so down bad
I'd been so down bad, I'd been so down down bad
Before you brightened my timeline, I'd been so down bad
Come claim your crown, chad, so follow and fave me

March 30, 2022

"Good Vibes" by Sharky Bae Jepsen and Owl Avi (tribute to streamer culture)

As it's fully dawned on me that the virtual has replaced IRL as people's primary existence, especially for Millennials and Zoomers, I've come to appreciate the role that streamers play in the online ecosystem.

Everyone refuses to leave the home, but everyone still feels the social need to hang out somewhere with someone. That's what the streamers offer -- they serve as hosts of a great big virtual party, or online chill-out session, where the viewers and chatters get the simulation of not being totally alienated.

I don't say that pejoratively: we live in a disintegrating society, and on top of that, the Millennials and Zoomers were raised by helicopter parents, in social isolation and sensory deprivation. They are coping as best as they can under the circumstances, with the actual resources that are actually available to them -- like those baby monkeys from the Harry Harlow experiments, clinging to a soft fuzzy mommy-monkey doll rather than the cold hard metal dispenser of food and material sustenance, after being deprived of their real mother or any other living companion.

The viewers are not looking for a simulated mommy (well, in most cases), but rather simulated friends. Still, the point remains: they feel stronger pangs of social-emotional hunger than material or physiological hunger. That's also why streamers are way more popular, and relied upon, than other simulations like porn -- that only satisfies a base physiological need, not the social-emotional needs.

The reason that the joke falls flat, about "she's not gonna fuck you bro", is that those guys aren't looking for a simulated fuck buddy. There's no truth there to sting the intended butt of the joke. That joke would only land if they were talking about a viewer of porn, but I'm pretty sure those viewers already know the pornstar isn't going to actually fuck them. Only the pathetic minority who do look to normie online content to satisfy their sexual urges make this joke, pure projection.

The real joke would be, "she's never gonna follow you back bro" or "she's only faving your post cuz you gifted her 100 subs". The gist of "she's not really your friend" stings a lot more because that's what the guy was truly seeking by engaging with her content.

In any case, having explained what today's streamer culture is really about, I thought I'd offer a tribute to it through song parody. I only check in on a handful of streamers (Pokimane, Wolfabelle, and most regularly Gura). But I think I've got a good enough idea to evoke the general tone of the phenomenon.

I'm imagining this being sung by the idol herself, Gawr Gura, but it could be her singing about herself, about some other streamer, dueting with one of her Hololive gen-mates, etc. It's not a super-specific song about her particular sub-culture and fandom.

It's set to the tune of "Good Time" by Owl City & Carly Rae Jepsen (original lyrics here). I know she can carry this tune because she's already sung it on a karaoke stream before (here).

So infectiously bouncy, so irresistibly upbeat, epitomizing the zeitgeist of the most recent manic phase of the 15-year cultural excitement cycle, namely 2010-'14. She really loves that period, imprinting on it during her second birth at age 15, and afterward carrying a sense of resilience and happy-go-lucky-ness throughout her life. Ditto for most of the other streamers, who were born between 1995-'99 and whose formative 15 year-old second birth was shaped by the 2010-'14 manic phase.

Quite a different mood than the sad girl types who were born after them, from 2000-'04, who imprinted during their second birth on the moody, touch-me-not, vulnerable phase of 2015-'19.

My mini-generation imprinted on the previous manic phase, namely 1995-'99, being born between 1980-'84. So "hanging out" with these streamers does feel like reconnecting with old schoolmates, in a way that I don't feel when engaging with content from the sad boys and sad girls of the 1985-'89 cohort, or the born to be provocative / wild-child cohort of 1990-'94. I can still be (virtual) friends with them, it just doesn't feel like we were classmates in a previous life.

Anyway... I'm really stuck on the shark-girl for inspiration, so expect a lot more of these -- without the longwinded preamble next time, hehe. Again I think they'd work for any streamer, but since I watch hers the most regularly, and she's sung so many pop standards to choose the tune from, it'll be more tilted in her direction.

This first installment is about capturing the party vibe that the viewers feel about the streaming experience. It's not simply mindless passive entertainment, it's more like going out to a concert with others, delighting in the anticipation, hyping each other up in the lead-up to the main event, and feeling carefree and walking on air until well afterward -- ready to do it all over again the next day, in as much of a party-hardy way as you can manage in the virtual realm.



* * *


Let's go-oh-oh
Here there's only good vibes
Let's go-oh-oh
Here there's only good vibes

Start off with a tease for the stream ahead
Write off all the noobs shitting up my thread
Sound off if you're on to log on tonight
Here there's only good vibes

Plugged in, sharing memes in my underwear
Sucked in through the screen, no longer self-aware
Join in if you're on to log on tonight
Here there's only good vibes

Good taste of the good life
We'll light up the timeline
Both chads and reply guys
We don't need no other site
Here there's only good vibes

Let's go-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh
Let's go-oh-oh
Here there's only good vibes
Let's go-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh
We don't need no other site
Here there's only good vibes

Camped out in the chat with the pregame friends
Jam out with our queen till the bitter end
Tits out if you're on to log on tonight
Here there's only good vibes

Good taste of the good life
We'll light up the timeline
Both chads and reply guys
We don't need no other site
Here there's only good vibes

Let's go-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh
Let's go-oh-oh
Here there's only good vibes
Let's go-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh
We don't need no other site
Here there's only good vibes

No matter what you spend
There's always a good-vibe trend

No matter what we share
There's always some good-vibe fare

No matter what you spend
There's always a good-vibe trend

Here there's only good vibes

Let's go-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh
Let's go-oh-oh
Here there's only good vibes
Let's go-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh
We don't need no other site
Here there's only good vibes