Saturday, March 26, 2011
Here are the latest stats on the viral video hit "Friday" - sung by 13 year old Rebecca Black, and written and produced by Patrice Wilson, Clarence Jey and Maverik. The video is about to hit 55 MILLION views. The song is at #13 on the iTunes Chart , ahead of Cee Lo Green, Britney Spears, Pink, Avril Lavigne, Diddy, Katy Perry and Bruno Mars.
The video has about a million Likes and DisLikes - about 9 DisLikes for every Like. The comments are in about the same ratio. Why so many negative comments? Maybe "herd mentality", maybe Schadenfreude, maybe honest opinions. In any case, it is very interesting to watch this Sociological phenomenon.
What do we know now about ARK Music Factory? Yesterday, ARK started a new YouTube channel, ArkMusicFactory300. The first video on this channel is a 6 minute interview with Ark owner Patrice Wilson. Patrice talks about his European background, what Ark is, how much they sometimes charge to make a video, how their goal is to make catchy pop music and their plans for the future. Ark will be going out to different places, holding auditions, and looking for the next viral video star. His final comment is that you should follow your dream, no matter what anyone says.
Patrice says not all artists pay for their videos, and the ones that do pay are charged $2000 to $4000, which is a good price for all they get - a song, video, photo shoot, image consultation and promotion. What a musician pays for their song and video package depends on if they elect the "Full 360" or the "Partial 360" plan. Rebecca Black paid for her video and got all rights to it. The song is marketed on iTunes as ©Rebecca Black, which means she should get all of the 70 cents per sale that iTunes pays the artist. From that amount, she may have to pay Patrice and Ark 9.1 cents per sale for a "mechanical license" or there may be some other agreement of payment to Patrice and the writers of the song. Other artists might choose to pay nothing for their song and video, but they may have to assign all rights to Ark. By the way, on her Jay Leno interview at 5:20, Rebecca Black said she will be giving some of her profits to her school and to help Japan.
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH ARK MUSIC FACTORY. FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT: PATRICE WILSON
As for the song itself, it is true that the lyrics don't rhyme and they are a bit cheesy. But they were written mainly for a tween and pre-tween audience and were intended to be fun and wholesome. Who says all lyrics have to rhyme and make absolute sense or be deep and profound? The goal of Ark was to create a catchy fun song, and it can be argued that they succeeded in this!
One last observation... "Here's another clue for you all"... After the title shot, the very next image in the "Friday" video by Rebecca Black references the song, "Another Pleasant Valley Sunday". Pause it at 3 seconds and see. What does this mean? Maybe the producers of Friday were giving a wink to those in the know - they realized their song could be seen as another "satirical commentary on middle-class society".....
Monkees - Pleasant Valley Sunday (watch the video)
Written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King
The local rock group down the street
Is trying hard to learn their song
Seranade the weekend squire, who just came out to mow his lawn
Another Pleasant Valley Sunday
Charcoal burning everywhere
Rows of houses that are all the same
And no one seems to care
See Mrs. Gray she's proud today because her roses are in bloom
Mr. Green he's so serene, He's got a t.v. in every room
Another Pleasant Valley Sunday
Here in status symbol land
Mothers complain about how hard life is
And the kids just don't understand
Creature comfort goals
They only numb my soul and make it hard for me to see
My thoughts all seem to stray, to places far away
I need a change of scenery
Ta Ta Ta...
Another Pleasant Valley Sunday
Charcoal burning everywhere
Another Pleasant Valley Sunday
Here in status symbol land
Another Pleasant Valley Sunday...
Here are a few videos related to Friday by Rebecca Back:
'Friday Too' (based on 'Friday' by Rebecca Black) - AlFord Acoustic Cover
Here is a touching song by a really nice guy and talented musician. It is based on the Friday lyrics, but sung from the perspective of someone who is either shunned or bullied. It describes how it feels to he hated. This is the comment I left on this video at YouTube:
Interesting variation on the Friday song. I'm a supporter of Rebecca Black and ARK Music Factory. I think the song is catchy and realize it's targeted at tweens and younger who really like it. I've heard from parents who like it too because the lyrics are wholesome. Who says every song has to have deep rhyming lyrics? Its a fun song, Rebecca sings it well, the video is well made. If a person doesn't like it, of course that's their right, but why attack an 8th grader the way some have?
REBECCA BLACK OBSESSION!
Michael Buckley does a comedy series on his WhatTheBuckShow channel. Here, he talks about how he is obsessed with the song and video. He says that when a video goes viral, you have to have a thought something like "what just happened?" after you see it. He appreciates the non-sexual content where kids are just having fun. "Low brow brilliant!" "A cute little anthem for kids!" "You made my day!"
Important Message to Rebecca Black From Comedian Kyle Cease
Stand up comedian Kyle Cease gives encouragement to Rebecca Black. He says reactions like this come with success. He says their anger is not directed at Rebecca, they are just trying to find a place to direct it. "It's so much easier to knock down other people's building than to build your own." "What does 'best' or 'worst' even mean? It's just an opinion." A very insightful video; check it out!
MORE Links from people who have been visiting the chat room at ArkMusicFactory. This list is a continuation of the list I started, here.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Our dear friend and popular guest blogger, the lovely CelestialSam (picture above)
is back with another interesting and insightful article! This time, Sam writes about Jetty Rae, a talented musician that she says brings to mind Regina Spektor.
Sam recently saw Jetty Rae live, along with musician A. Micah Adams. Here is a video Sam just made, about that show.
Below, we present Sam's thoughts about Jetty Rae, along with 2 very cool videos by Jetty Rae.
But first, The News!
This week's Featured Video on our Top 100 and Top 200 Charts is a music video that the entire family can enjoy! Steffi Ledbetter made this to show Berklee School of Music what she can do. It is an uptempo scat singing jazz rendition of the classic "I Got Rhythm" - a song composed by George Gershwin with lyrics by Ira Gershwin, published in 1930. Watch and hear a fun and different kind of music! Check out our Top 100 and Top 200 Charts of the Most Subscribed YouTube Channels every week!
Now, here is CelestialSam's article about Jetty Rae!
I met "Jetty Rae" at a quaint café in Monroe, Michigan last weekend beneath the most colossal full moon in nearly twenty years. A friend of mine, A. Micah Adams had invited me to his show, and I am ever-so-glad he did!
I'll admit to being absolutely thunderstruck by the power in this young lady's sweet, unadulterated and soulful voice as she, with unflagging intensity, sang to a café of predominantly empty tables. My heart sank as I thought about how rough and utterly discouraging it must be to stand up on that stage in relative stony silence before a handful of mostly indifferent strangers.
I watched as her faithful husband, Jason devotedly documented his wife's stellar performance from a front row seat with his camera off to the side, so as not to obscure anyone else's view of his beautiful wife.
Being that the café was so scarcely populated, I had little difficulty in approaching her after the show, and was afforded the great privilege of speaking to this gifted gal, that is of course, after she finished chatting with a little 8-year-old fan who had been listening attentively as she played.
In our brief, but amiable discourse, I lauded her lovely voice and confessed how she reminded me of Regina Spektor, the Russian-American Baroque pop artist. And when I expressed my dismay at the poor turnout, "Jetty Rae," beaming a mega-watt smile, responded with grace, and seemed genuinely grateful for such an "attentive audience" and the opportunity to perform without being cancelled last minute, as she had been some time ago when booked at the Blind Pig in Ann Arbor.
As she and her husband packed up, they gave me a free CD, which I accepted reluctantly, having no money with which to proffer my support. And with that, we exchanged a warm embrace and many well-wishes before departing, with the hopes of crossing paths once more on this terrestrial ball.
As I walked back to my car, I took a moment to glance down at the CD cover, and could not help but to smile at the matryoshka doll rendered there. It occurred to me that "Jetty Rae," like the Russian nesting doll, was just as beautiful on the inside as she appeared to be on the surface.
PS Jetty Rae has also entered the 2011 Fogers Jingle Contest with Dan Henig! Voting begins March 31st, and if you like what you hear, I encourage you to lend your support!
Here is another excellent video from Jetty Rae which has cultured cinematography and a metaphorically complex message. This is "Bad Apples Music Video by Jetty Rae."
CelestialSam has made many artful and entertaining videos over the years, including "Darkness on Her Cell Wall" and "Je ne veux pas travailler...". Recently, Sam has been vlogging. Enjoy "How I broke my clavicle..."
Friday, March 18, 2011
Its been a fun fun week, watching the Rebecca Black "Friday" video go from 1.5 Million views when I wrote about it on Monday, to over 17 Million views on Friday! I am here to follow up on the story.
We now know a bit more about Rebecca, the song, and the company that produced it. Rebecca is 13 and goes to a charter middle school in Orange County CA which provides "technological skills, fine arts and health exploration and multi-cultural awareness." She played the lead role in her school play, "Oklahoma." She contacted ARK Music Factory, which offered her a choice of two songs they had written, and she chose Friday to record and make into a music video.
Some have said that the song has non-rhyming lyrics that make no sense, too much autotune was used and the green screen video effects were poor. I have kept and open mind and decided after I had heard the song several more times that I like it! The video is good too, for what it is; it is fun to watch! Friday is being market on iTunes, classified this way: "Genres: Pop, Music, Children's Music Released: Mar 14, 2011 ℗ 2011 Rebecca Black" In the past three days, I have seen it go from #68 to #54 to today at #31 on the iTunes Top 100 chart, so obviously people are buying the track.
If you can understand that this is a children's song, written by a very new production company, and sung by an 8th grader - then you may be able to appreciate it for what it is. Rebecca Black, and ARK, are just starting out, let's see where they go! Rebecca has already been a Trending Topic on Twitter all week, had millions of views of her video and been on Good Morning America - thats a pretty good start!
There are some nice people at ARK's website, as well as a fair share of trolls that come into the chat room and act outrageously for attention. The ARK site is powered by the Ning Social Networking engine and has the ability to post pictures, music, and video, and there are blogs, forums and a chat room. You can Friend people and message them, just the same as any other social site.
We spent some time in the chat room this week, using our Ning "TJ" account name and met some enthusiastic musicians at all levels of development of their musical skills. There was a wide range of opinions exressed in the chat room about RB, Friday, ARK, and the other ARK musicians. Just like the video, people seemed to either love or hate the song, the video and ARK. Most were able to act civilly and provide their opinion respectfully.
Here now are a bunch of YouTube videos from some of the people who visited ARK this week and put a link to one of their YouTube videos in the chat.
Here are many more links of musicians who were at ARK this week, talking about their music. Click a few and have a listen to them!
http://soundclick.com - Beats
http://BeatsByMarkus.com - Beats
http://audacity.sourceforge.net/ - Free recording/mixing program
If you want to be added, or deleted from this list, or if you need to make a correction, please email Kenny at Kenny@YouTubeStars.com - thanks!
Monday, March 14, 2011
It is the middle of the night, Sunday night or Monday morning. Then comes Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and then FRIDAY! Yayyyy!
What? Have I lost my mind? No, I've just watched some reaction videos to a slightly strange but catchy pop music video I saw a few days ago, by 13 year old Rebecca Black. Don't know who Rebecca is? Well, she's trending right now on Twitter!
I'll show you the "love it or hate it" music video for her song, "Friday" as well as two videos inspired by it, below.
But first, The News!
This week's Featured Video on our Top 100 and Top 200 Charts is a music video for a 60s inspired Indie Rock tune from 2007 that never got many views. I happen to LOVE this kind of music! It reminds me of 60s Garage Rock and modern bands like the Dandy Warhols and Blur. Excellent harmonies and trippy reverb fuzz guitar, have a listen! The video is sparse, just the band playing and cameos of the girl who is "my new source of fascination." #WhosThatGirl ??? Dig this groovy music video for The Cons' "You'll Be My Baby"! Check out our Top 100 and Top 200 Charts of the Most Subscribed YouTube Channels every week!
Now, here is Rebecca Black's Video and 2 related vids...
A few days ago, I came across this video for the song "Friday" sung by 13 year old Rebecca Black. It was uploaded on 2/10/11 and it already has 1.5 MILLION views. The tune is decent; it is fairly bland but not the worst pop song I ever heard. The chorus, "Its Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday" vaguely echoes Justin Bieber's "Baby, Baby Baby oh." Other lyrics include, "I see my friends kickin' in the front seat, sittin' in the back seat, gotta make my mind up, which seat can I take?", "partyin' partyin' yeah! partyin' partyin' yeah! fun fun fun fun lookin' forward to the weekend" and "Yesterday was Thursday Thursday, today it is Friday Friday, ... tomorrow is Saturday and Sunday comes afterwards..."
Two and a half minutes into the the 3:48 video, after we get the recitation of the days of the week, the song switches to an older black man (singer Pato) cruising down the highway rapping to the beat. ItsKingsleyBitch, see below, asks if he is heading to the teen party where Rebecca and her friends are. "This is just not acceptable!"
The song is released on the trizzy66 YouTube channel, which seems to belong to ARK Music Factory in L.A. - a label that mostly signs young female artists. Yesterday, 3/13/11, they released a rap mix of Friday which seems to poke fun at the song. It riffs on lyrics like "which seat should I take" and "Fried Eggs".
So what is going on with this song and video? Is it all a spoof, an internet gag? Is it a new teen singer's first try at fame, with awkward results? After all, she is ONLY 13! I think this will continue to blow up on the net this week - it is already becoming a meme with people putting up parodies, speeded up and slowed down versions, reaction videos and commentaries. This reminds me of previous YouTube controversies, like the Lonelygirl15 debate (real or actress) and the reaction to misguided young video girl Jessi Slaughter. It will be interesting to see how this plays out!
Rebecca Black-Friday (OFFICIAL VIDEO)
Rebecca Black - Friday (Groundhog Day Remix)
Looks like mseales is not a fan of this tune. He made this mashup of a clip from Groundhog Day backed by this audio track.
Description: "Even Phil can't escape the burbling inanity of the internet's latest mockery. If Purgatory is Sonny and Cher, Hell is surely Rebecca Black."
Comments: "This is why Bill Murray kept killing himself later in the movie." "i almost did this to my computer when i first heard the song" "Funny how all the teeny boppers have to use auto-tune these days. Can anyone sing anymore?" "I dont think I can watch this without cracking up!"
OVEREXPOSED: REBECCA BLACK
Comedy, satire, commentary, or hater? Here's an f-bomb loaded discussion of Friday by ItsKingsleyBitch who seems to like calling Rebecca a bitch. Do you think a 20 year old man calling a 13 year old girl a bitch is "acceptable"? Do you agree or disagree with his opinion of Rebecca and this song?
Description: "It's not TOO Overexposed yet, unless you have a Twitter or Tumblr, so this will only make sense to certain people. If you're lost, watch Rebecca Black's stupid ass "Friday" video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CD2LRROpph0"
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