Posts Tagged ‘guilty pleasures’

I hate to admit this: I enjoy late 90’s boy bands.

I’m not a guy who sits back and cranks up N’Sync every day, but I’m not a massive hater of the genre, either. In fact, I appreciate a good song regardless of whether or not it was sung by a group of wannabe posers. A good song is a good song.

After bands like New Edition and New Kids on the Block redefined what it meant to be a boy band in the 1980’s, the genre died off a bit at the beginning of the 1990’s. In fact, a number of genres died off to make room for grunge and house music.

bsbcoverAs the decade rolled on, however, out came a band that nobody had seen before: the Backstreet Boys.

The first hit was “We’ve Got It Goin’ On”. I’ll be honest…I had no idea this song was sung by five teeny-bopper white boys until a couple of weeks after hearing the song for the first time.

Then the next slew of hit songs were released: “Get Down”, “I’ll Never Break Your Heart“, “Quit Playing Games“, etc.

nsyncThe next thing you know, boy bands began to pop out of nowhere with hit singles…most notably, N’Sync. With hits like “Tearin’ Up My Heart”, “It’s Gonna Be Me”, and “Bye Bye Bye”, they became the #1 boy band world-wide and (being a club DJ) I had another slew of songs that I had to play every single weekend.

But then MORE boy bands came out. Some of them…

…did better than others…

but almost all of them had at least one hit song that you could dance to and enjoy.

It’s now 2014 and that time has passed. It’s been long enough that you can go back and listen to “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)” and not get thoroughly embarrassed. You can listen to “Rock the party” and turn up the stereo just a little bit after your drop your kids off at school.

You can even still see a few of these bands in concert, garnering throngs of fans both young AND old.

one2Of course, it’s also been long enough that a new type of boy band has arrived in the form of One Direction. These guys are massive superstars on a level comparable to the heights reached by N’Sync. Add in other bands like XX and XX and you’ve got an entirely new catalogue of songs to enjoy.

Y’know…if you’re into that kind of music.

PeopleofWalmart_logo1

What is WRONG with people??

guilty pleasures, People of WalmartSeriously…why do people go out looking the way they do sometimes? And why do they always seem to end up going to Walmart? That’s kind of the point behind one of the most entertaining guilty pleasures on the internet: People of Walmart.

guilty pleasures, People of WalmartFor those of you otherwise uninformed, People of Walmart is a website that has turned into (seriously) a satirical social commentary of the extraordinary sights found at North America’s favourite store.

People of Walmart started back in 2009 by three friends and roommates after an inspirational trip to Walmart. The rest, as they say, is history. The website has become not only one of the most popular guilty pleasures anywhere online, but it has expanded to include other avenues (this 2013 calendar, for example).

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guilty pleasures, People of WalmartAs they point out on their website, the People of Walmart aren’t trying to be serious a-holes…they’re simply trying to have some fun with the people who, for one reason or another, decide to go out in public looking the way they do.  As they state:

“We are trying to have some fun here and there is a difference between someone who is mentally challenged and a person who has a fu Manchu and is still rocking MC Hammer pants.”

guilty pleasures, People of WalmartAhhhh yes…MC Hammer. That’s another guilty pleasure for another day. In the meantime, I think you all realize that this isn’t a website that you’d normally view at work or in front of your family. Hence, it’s the very definition of an internet-based guilty pleasure.

A Knights TaleA knock-off Gladiator-esque arena filled with people stomping their feet and clapping their hands to Queen’s “We Will Rock You”, and yet the story is set in 14th century Europe.

This just reeks of bad cheese, doesn’t it?

Yet that’s kind of the point. The creators of this movie realize that the music doesn’t quite fit the scene…and that’s why you should think it’s “cool”. What other movie has ever done such a thing? What other movie would have taken that type of chance?

What other movie has a “spur of the moment” dance sequence set to David Bowie’s “Golden Years”?

Well…you certainly don’t see scenes like that every day in movies, do you?

Heath-Ledger-Promo-Shoot-AKT-a-knights-tale-12062059-1547-2000But here’s the thing: the movie is actually quite entertaining.

I wouldn’t go so far as to call it “great” or “awesome”, but it’s certainly “good”. It’s the fact that the movie isn’t actually “bad” that makes this cheesy movie so much fun (the excellent cast certainly helps, too). If it sucked, then the whole concept would fail. Because it’s good, you’re sitting back watching it and wondering just why in the world the movie’s soundtrack includes Thin Lizzy and Bachman-Turner Overdrive.

But it does. And you like it. And people around the world like it.

5085_headingYou really shouldn’t…the concept, in theory, doesn’t work. Yet here it is…a movie that made over $110,000,000 worldwide at the box office and continually plays on television every year, over a decade after it was released. It’s become a modern-day version of a fairytale filled with action, romance, true love, and a scene featuring “Low Rider” by War.

Obviously, this movie has become the very definition of being a “guilty pleasure”.

A-Knight-s-Tale-Wallpaper

Vanilla Ice

Posted: November 2, 2012 in Music
Tags: ,

Okay…I’ll be the first to admit that there’s not a whole lot out there to love about Ice after you’ve heard “Ice Ice Baby” a couple thousand times, but you gotta admit that there’s something lovable about the guy that just keeps him going more than the Energizer bunny (do they even DO those commercials anymore?).

For those unaware, Vanilla Ice was the first artist to take a rap song to the #1 position on the Billboard 100 charts. That, one would think, would be enough to cement his position at the top of rap’s “all time greats” list, right?

Well…not really.

There were many reasons for Ice’s lack of respect. One would be that he dressed like this:

Yeah…that pretty much eliminated any credibility he’d get with the black/hispanic/pretty-much-everybody-else community. I mean, can you imagine a bunch of kids on some street corner in Brooklyn thinking it was the coolest damn thing in the world to crank out “Ninja Rap” on their ghetto blaster to psych themselves up for a drive-by?

And people thought that Ice had pretty much disappeared after 1993 came to a close. Oh, I think not, people. This guy has been on television more in the last ten years than in the height of his popularity. Seriously.

Don’t believe me?

The Surreal Life — This was pretty much his “comeback” performance. He went around trashing the place and telling the world just how much he hated being Vanilla Ice and acted like a big  douchebag, yet went on to say afterwards that it was all just an act to make for interesting television. He then went on to perform “Ice ice baby” all around the world for years afterwards in front of some pretty impressive crowds…

Vanilla Ice, Jann Arden, and some other chick who comprise the judging team on “Canada Sings”.

Canada Sings – This is an…umm…interesting concept. Basically, a bunch of co-workers at some Canadian company get together and come up with a Glee-esque performance. Three judges (of which Vanilla is one) will then give some opinions  and decide which team of co-workers get to earn $10,000 for the charity of their choice. I mean, it makes sense, right? Whenever I think of “judging the singing ability of others”, I think of Vanilla Ice. Immediately.

Dancing on Ice – I honestly don’t even know where to begin or WHAT to tell you about THIS one…

The Vanilla Ice Project – You would think this was a joke until you actually saw it. Apparently, one of the things that Ice was doing all these years was flipping houses…and doing it well. So now he’s got his own show on the DIY Network where he gets to show off his reno skillz while still dressing like a home-boy from 1991. Nothing like watching a guy wearing a wife-beater and side-locked wide-brimmed cap talking like Snoop Dogg about how the interior needs a waterfall to make it shizzle.  Or something like that…

Oh…and don’t forget that Ice had a pretty substantial part in Adam Sandler’s wildly successfulThat’s My Boy“:

Any way you slice it, Vanilla Ice is still a part of today’s mainstream culture in some shape or form. You want to hate the guy, but he pops up all over the place and makes you want to pay attention.

And really…you still LOVE to hear “Ice ice baby”, even if you won’t admit it. That’s okay…I won’t tell anybody.

ABBA

Posted: October 4, 2010 in Music
Tags: , ,

Please…don’t try to tell me that you’ve never once tapped your foot to the smooth grooves of Dancing Queen at least ONCE in your lifetime.

Bjorn, Benny, Frida, and Anna…the four Swedish songbirds known for being the very definition of disco in the late 70’s. And if you were as lucky as I was, you were also re-introduced to them back in the early 90’s with the release of ABBA GOLD.

Good times.

From their catchy melodic hooks to their incredible fashion sense, there is few other musical acts that can come close to matching the pure awesomeness that is the guilty pleasure of ABBA.