There is a saying that goes, “You can talk about everything except, religion, money, and politics.” Of course, this statement is in regards to avoiding confrontation, arguments, and emotionally charged conversations. Therefore, if these topics are avoided, and you err on the safe side, everybody goes home happy.
As usual, Hollywood, and more specifically reality stars don’t play by those rules. In this case, Heidi Montag, star of MTV’s the Hills, has been tweeting about her personal faith in Jesus. She is a born again Christian, and there’s even talk of her releasing a Christian album, however, that’s not the point.
The funny thing is that online media articles related to Heidi’s faith question her being a born-again Christian because of her provocative dress in music videos and television. Now let me share that I am a born-again Christian, have been for over 11 years, and I believe very strongly that Heidi’s recent tweets show that she IS a Christian beyond doubt through her words. Yet, the online media is also correct in that it is by one’s actions that you can tell if someone is a Christian through his/her lifestyle and choices.
Media is too quick to judge and label people based on their past. I believe that change is possible, and that Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt can grow and change like anyone else. Interestingly though, it seems Perez Hilton felt he needed to jump into Heidi’s and Spencer’s tweets and diss them about their faith. So Heidi and Spencer are Christians, they like to tweet about it, do they need approval from Perez Hilton for how to tweet their faith on Twitter?
Sometimes I wonder, if Perez will ever stay out of the fray, and just leave some celebrities alone. He either loves or hates a celebrity, nothing in between. For crying out loud, Perez Hilton was invited to and went to Heidi and Spencer’s wedding on April 25th, 2009. Now, barely 2 months later, he is insulting both of them, their faith, and unfollowing Heidi on Twitter over her profession of faith! Perez Hilton, that is shameful and classless, but I guess you’re just being you?
The funny thing is I do have a small measure of respect (decreasing daily though) for Perez because I think he is actually being true to himself by dissing celebrities and having the guts to be confrontational with them through his speech and writing. If he were faking nice it would be worse because he be acting dishonest and not himself. I’ve thought to myself, “What is the appeal of Perez Hilton?” The best answer I could think of was that some people out there, who dislike celebrities and their status, enjoy seeing someone who has celebrity clout (Perez), lash out and put the celebrities in their places.
The thing is he is clearly abusing his power and celebrity influence by believing “whatever he says/thinks…is right!” I know for a fact that there was a “Unfollow Perez Hilton” campaign that was spreading on Twitter after his shameful insult of MJ at the time of his death, but it actually hasn’t changed anything with his twitter account. Checking tonight, I saw that he’s actually gone and added over 10,000 viewers in the past week! Sad that there isn’t any consequences for his behaviour!
In today’s internet online world, people seem to forgive and forget quite fast. In the past, individual celebrities were never bigger than the Entertainment industry itself, and there always seemed to be a class to Hollywood, even if it was an “old boys club”. Now, anything goes, with the advent of reality shows like punk’d, Jackass, Wildboyz, etc., braking down that notion of class. It’s no longer necessary for celebrities to have class or decency to become a celebrity or star. On the other hand, it’s the opposite with things like scandal, sex tapes, paparazzi moments as sufficient to rubber stamp celebrity status. It’s no wonder that I like covering musicians more…because they at least need to know how to sing (not a fan of autotune singers), play an instrument, dance, and write/compose music before anyone in the industry will take them seriously. I digressed, sorry.
Being a Christian does not mean you are perfect, as Perez is trying to fry Heidi and Spencer for not being, but at least I found a picture with Spencer and Heidi serving pizza to the homeless at the Union Rescue Mission in downtown L.A. (May 20th, 2009). I looked for pictures with Perez serving the community and only found pictures with him hanging out with celebrities…that’s it.
Jesus already won!!!!!!! Eternal life is what we need to worry about! not this life!!! I pray Jesus will protect you all!!!!!1:22 PM Jun 28th from web
“Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one7:23 PM Jun 28th from mobile web
Jesus loves you and was sent from heaven to die on the cross for you sins so that you may have eternal life!!2:21 PM Jun 29th from web
He answered, ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind.9:06 PM Jun 29th from web
And love your neighbor as you love yourself.'” Matthew 22: 379:10 PM Jun 29th from web
You can make a difference! Follow your dreams, with God all things are possible!!9:27 PM Jun 29th from web
Im going to start a woman’s biblestudy!9:30 PM Jun 29th from mobile web
good morning! im so excited to be alive today! Praise the Lord!!12:55 PM Jun 30th from web
Romans 12:21 “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”2:07 PM Jun 30th from web
the churches are being taken over! Christians speak out!! spread the news about Jesus before its too late!3:23 PM Jun 30th from mobile web
praise Jesus! life is such a blessing!9:20 AM Jul 1st from mobile web
Jesus loves you!about 4 hours ago from mobile web
eres no king but King Jesus!about 4 hours ago from mobile web
A few tweets from Spencer Pratt: @spencerpratt
i’m on fire for the Lord! It hit me like a bunker buster how much evil this planet is up against and i am no longer standing in the dark9:18 PM Jun 28th from web
i want the peace of Christ in my life overflowing to others! so if it bothers you on all my tweets i just said a prayer for you!9:29 PM Jun 28th from web
Seek God’s will in every decision. Pray. Turn to the scriptures. Seek the advice of godly friends. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you.9:33 PM Jun 28th from web
starting today i am living my life 180 degrees different then i have for the last 25 years!1:52 PM Jun 29th from web
i deleted any bookmarks on my computer and iphone that take my focus in life away from what matters!1:53 PM Jun 29th from web
i have wasted so much time and energy on fame and pop culture with nothing but millions of haters to show for it!1:54 PM Jun 29th from web
i hope i can inspire anyone to realize that at any time in your life its not to late to change your direction and purpose1:56 PM Jun 29th from web
i hope all my followers can forgive me for all the negative energy i put in the media with all my evil quotes and statements1:58 PM Jun 29th from web
my life from here on out is the LORD, my wife, and my country!!!!! For me these are the only things worth living and dying for!2:00 PM Jun 29th from web
~ Jason Chu (@Chodidees)
Yes I know that Ashley Tisdale is as mainstream as you can get for pop music, however, I always review music first and not popularity. Lest I remind you all, that I hardly listen to popular radio stations, and not for what you probably think. I just got bored with all the commercials and radio DJ’s incessant chatter. I never had a problem with popular/mainstream music itself.
But I digress, back to Ashley Tisdale’s upcoming sophomore album “Guilty Pleasure”. It will be released on Tuesday July 28th, 2009 to much fanfare. The nature of a celebrity of Ashley’s stature (@ashleytisdale), who has already exceeded over 1,000,000 twitter followers making her one of Twitter’s top accounts. This alone assures her a probable strong showing in sales. Also, the fact that her fans and followers are strongest in the teenager demographic, only helps her cause. She has built this strong fan following primarily over her role in the Disney T.V. show “The Suite Life of Zack & Cody”, her appearances in the “High School Musical” movies, and of course her music/debut album.
What’s also interesting with this 24 year old pop singer/actress, is that she attempting to doing a “double feature” with her upcoming projects. Not only is her album releasing July 28th, but her new 2oth Century Fox film, “Aliens in the Attic” opens Friday July 31st. Smart marketing and P.R. as she will get a ton of publicity in the next few weeks, that the majority of other musicians could only dream of.
Her corporate/music label advantages aside, the album’s not too shabby on own merits (in the summer fun way). First of all, I would definitely class her in the Avril Lavigne pop/rock genre with a few interesting tracks in varying music styles. The cool bit is that Ashley isn’t trying to pretend to be an “artiste/musician”, but is just having fun, making catchy pop tunes that her fans will dig. Her vocals are tinged with a sweetness, that is fun, and sufficiently strong. The backing band/musicians sounds decent, and don’t try to overplay, but hit all the catchy hooks with aplomb.
The lyrics are again light and geared straight to the heart of the topics all teens like to sing/hear about (i.e. rebellion, relationships, gossip, etc.). I guarantee her singles will play heavily on all radio playlists because her popularity and her music is so catchy (i.e. easy to remember/sing-a-long to). And that’s her point, as I think she knows her music is good enough to be a “guilty pleasure”. What I mean by this, is that her music will probably transcend age demographics on this album because she most definitely has the cross over appeal of an Avril, Miley Cyrus, and early Britney Spears. Ashley Tisdale has that wholesome “girl next door” quality that parents are accepting to, however, let’s just hope she doesn’t go down the “Britney” sexual musical path (Ashley doesn’t need to, her popularity is already immense).
Her producers did a great job and the sound quality is top notch, however, a little too much treble/tinny (I prefer a strong rhythm/bass bottom end in the mix). I like the fact that she tried to mix up her album songs with tracks with a R&B flavor, Hip Hop, ballads, etc. Mixing it up definitely shows she’s isn’t afraid to try new things to grow and mature with her music.
In summary, a good effort, a fun album with catchy pop hooks, clean/sweet vocals from a rising star – and potential superstar in the music industry. Have a great summer Ashley, you’re report card was alright, it’s O.K!
My Favorite Tracks on “Guilty Pleasure”
Acting Out, Switch, What If, Me Without You
Tell Me Lies (Performance)
What If (Performance)
Hot Mess (Performance)
It’s Alright, It’s OK (Performance)
It’s Alright O.K. (official video)
Ashley Tisdale’s Youtube channel
Ashley Tisdale’s Myspace
Ashley Tisdale – “Guilty Pleasure”
The tracks are:
1. Acting Out
2. It’s Alright, It’s OK
5. Hot Mess
6. How Do You Love Someone
7. Tell Me Lies
8. What If
9. Erase & Rewind
11. Delete You
12. Me Without You
13. Crank It Up
~ Jason Chu
Name: Rubberheadbanditz (Hovedstaden, Denmark)
Overall Rating (out of 4): 3
Musicality – They produce a very rhythmic sound, with thudding punchy basslines, weaving guitar lead licks, and catchy vocals. I love the variety of sounds that mix together from real instruments to synthesized sounds. For example, they use the tambourine (works well!), in other tracks they use monkey sounds and even a cash register opening closing. Very creative songwriters!
Singing – Clear vocals make all the lyrics simple to hear. They have strong singing vocals, but not only that, they mix it up with rap rhyming, talking, and even a little beat boxing. You will not be bored by the vocals.
Lyrics – Entertaining, humorous, and witty. These guys sing about regular issues that everyone deals with (i.e. money problems, stress, etc.), however, these guys put a fun spin on these themes. Just listen to a their songs, you’ll know what I mean.
Flow/Rhythm – Rubberheadbanditz definitely have a funky groove that is very catchy. I’m sure it would get a whole lot of people dancing, jumping and partying to.
Freshness – Oh yeah, they have a fresh sound. I would say their sound is pretty unique and the closest similar musician that I can think off the top my head would be: Fatboy Slim and maybe Beck. It calls down to would listeners want to listen to their music repeated times, and I’m pretty confident they would playing it over and over in their Ipod’s.
Technicality/Recording – A very professional sound, especially considering all the effects, samples, and real instruments that they had to mix together.
Visuals – Rubberheadbanditz are just beginning their marketing and branding on the internet. They have a good Myspace page, however, they could spruce it up with some more graphics and visuals, but a good start. As well, they just started their own Youtube channel in April 2009. So, they are getting their music out there, it’s just a matter of time before people catch on. I just encourage them to keep performing, writing new music, putting more music on the internet, and maybe start an internet “street team”.
Top 2 Songs:
1. Revolution! (Crazy beat boxing with funky sonic jumping track, with Zack de la Rocha sounding vocals) Unfortunately no videos or live performances of this song yet!
2. Stress (Super catchy tune, rhythmic bass & beats, and the vocals tell an interesting story)
2. Remember Me (Funky synth bass groove, catchy vocals, and of course tambourines!)
~ Jason Chu
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.