Tag Archives: music

12 Days of Christmas: ON THE 12th DAY: A SHIRTLESS NORMAN REEDUS

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It will be a blue Christmas without any Daryl Dixon on your TV screen, fangirls (and fanboys). But…what if Norman Reedus was shirtless on loop, instead?

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AMC’s The Walking Dead midseason finale has come and gone and your favorite shaggy-haired, crossbow-bearing (well, not for a while now), and seemingly shower-aversive redneck will not be back on that motorbike until mid-February. Lil Gripes found the perfect medicine for Daryl/Norman (Normaryl?) Withdrawal. For the gentlemen seeking to hook the women in their lives on the gory, zombie-heavy post-apocalyptic drama, here is your answer as well:

Um… Hot damn.

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Norman Reedus, for much of his acting career, has starred in numerous music videos with artists of both the indie and mainstream pop variety. Never, though, has he steamily removed his shirt and romped naked in bed in a seductive ode to the art of the orgasm… until “It Just Feels” by NYC singer JiHAE (his lucky costar in the video who also co-wrote the song with Dave Stewart and Leonard Cohen). I mean, she literally is thanking him for his sexual prowess.

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Not even many diehard Reedusites (whatever they call their own version of Beliebers) knew about this, so enjoy… and well-done, JiHAE and company 🙂

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LIL GRIPES DASH

Never has Norman Reedus steamily removed his shirt and romped naked in bed to an ode to the art of the orgasm… until this music video.

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Afterthought: Our other 2 favorite bangers starring The Normski is “Creatures” by Blakhat:

and “Judas” by Lady Gaga:

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The Mysterious Case of Taylor Swift


FIRST OFF, allow me to assert that I never wanted to be one of those bloggers so attuned to the life and professional times of Taylor Alison Swift that he/she wrote an entire article about her. Unfortunately for me, this girl doesn’t quit speaking to me. What can I say? I relate to Swiftie. Personally, aesthetically, and even professionally.
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  • Swift is the ultimate overachiever (just peep her discography, award collection and album sales)–I understand, Swiftie. It is a double-edged sword. Accomplishments this multiplied always come at great mental, emotional and probably physical costs. I know for sure that Swift right now isn’t sitting in her new SoHo penthouse counting cash money. Talent and fame are nothing unless rivers of sweat ceaselessly flow with it.
  • Swift is a dichotomy–the overachieving hottie with wads of insecurity still constantly percolating inside of her. Early in her career, she crooned about growing up the ugly duckling, always losing the hot guy to the cheerleader. Her first radio hit, “Teardrops on My Guitar,” begins with the verse:

“Drew looks at me, I fake a smile so he won’t see
That I want and I’m needing everything that we should be
I’ll bet she’s beautiful, that girl he talks about,
And she’s got everything that I have to live without.”

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Meanwhile, in the then-17-year old Swift’s music video, the burgeoning songstress shimmered and glistened with the very radiance she craved so much. Decorative, glittery eyeshadow accentuated her baby blues as she laid with the titular guitar on her bed, long blonde locks styled just so that it fanned out all over her pillow. The girl looked like a freakin’ fairy princess.

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Another hit single, “You Belong With Me,” told almost an identical story of Taylor finally getting noticed by her hot platonic guy friend for the swan that she is. All it took was…
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…her removing those ugly frames.

Now, in what may be the peak of her career, she still sings from the perspective of an authentic underdog. Swift now acknowledges that she is capable of landing the quarterback hunk, like in 2014’s “Style,” where she pinpoints her beau’s “James Dean daydream look.” Her recorded problems, however, still remain largely amorous and largely a questioning of her own romantic capabilities. Swift’s self-doubt is very much intact in her mid-20s.

In 2012’s ode to former boyfriend, actor Jake Gyllenhaal, “All Too Well,” Swift ramped up to a histrionical bridge in which she asks herself, “Maybe we got lost in translation… maybe I asked for too much?” In 2010’s “Better Than Revenge,” she is, once again, happy playing the victim after her man is swiped off by another woman. Swift delightfully laments on the record:

“Soon she’s gonna find
 stealing other people’s toys
 on the playground won’t
 make you many friends”

and

“She looks at life like it’s a party and she’s on the list.
She looks at me like I’m a trend and she’s so over it.”

Many critics (both professional and not-so) accused this particular song of an action newly minted as “slut-shaming,” in which one female publicly embarrasses another for sleeping with too many men. After listening to every Taylor Swift album to date front-and-back, I can soundly state that while Swift may “slut-shame,” her primary mindset is still of the bullied victim in most situations. Even with supermodel friends, a Kennedy on her romantic résumé, and a Grammy-count worthy of the best divas, it still is not enough for Taylor Swift.

Talent and fame are nothing unless rivers of sweat ceaselessly flow with it.

Which brings us to her latest work, “Bad Blood,” off Swift’s 2014 album, “1989,” in which she, according to everyone, chronicles the explosive demise of her and Katy Perry’s friendship.
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Taylor Swift, as Catastrophe, a highly skilled assassin in the video for “Bad Blood”
Its video is the epitome of a T-Swizzle production (It is, in fact, produced by Swift herself). “Bad Blood” is overkill and, then, kills overkill itself. One imagines Swift and her team huddling around a conference table, working out the kinks of the video’s storyboard–daring one another to one-up the previous idea with an even bigger explosion and a bigger star. There are so many moments during this in which the viewer wonders what exactly Taylor Swift is overcompensating for, but these take the cake by far:
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 The Overstuffed A-List Cast
When Cindy Crawford takes time from selling towels and upholstery to crash a 3-second cameo in your music video, you know you have it made. As “Headmistress,” Crawford nails her signature killer strut as she brushes past Swift whilst decked out in leather with two katanas riding her back.
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The fact that the legendary Crawford was shoved in such a minor role in “Bad Blood” is THE proof of its striving for something much, much bigger.
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 “Bad Blood” is overkill and, then, kills overkill itself.
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9 OTHER A-LIST FEMALE CELEBRITIES crammed into similarly miniscule roles:
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  1. Selena Gomez as ARSYN, the spy bestie who betrays CATASTROPHE (Swift), in a VERY Katy Perry-esque wig:  Selena-Gomez-As-ArsynBetrayalBetrayalKicking

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  1. Karlie Kloss, supermodel du jour, as KNOCKOUT, a kickboxing expert:knockout
  2. Gigi Hadid, the rising and ubiquitous supermodel du jour as SLAY-Z, ninja-star slinger:GiGi-Hadid-As-Slay-Z-Bad-Blood
  3. Hailee Steinfeld, 2011 Best Supporting Actress Oscar nominee for “True Grit,” as THE TRINITY, a set of android(?) triplets: TheTrinity1
  4. Cara Delevingne, Supermodel du Jour-cum-Bona Fide Actress du Jour as MOTHER CHUCKER, a nunchuck-weaver (I friggin’ love this girl and cannot wait for her as The Enchantress in 2016’s “Suicide Squad”):MotherChucker
  5. Hayley Williams, lead singer of Paramore, as THE CRIMSON CURSE, another… ninja-star thrower?hayley-williams-bad-bloodHayley_Williams_-_Tay_Swift_video
  6. Lena Dunham [insert your own description here] as LUCKY FIORI… cigar-smoker:LuckyFiori
  7. Jessica Alba as DOMINO,  moto-guru:JessicaAlba
  8. Zendaya Coleman, Disney’s hottest new graduate, as CUT THROAT, a dagger-throwing coach:

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The CGI Budget
Q: How many explosions does it take to make a Taylor Swift video?
A: If you asked anyone two years ago, you would have been definitively told, “Zero.” Now, as if trying out for a lead spot in Michael Bay’s production company, Swift’s video ends with a blast backdrop that will make “Transformers” and “Pearl Harbor” proud.
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Hairstyle and/or Costume Changes by Swift
 In her earlier work, Swift only had a maximum of approximately two wardrobe changes per video. In “Bad Blood?” 13, each coordinating with the outfit of her various femme fatale cohorts.
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The Attempt at a Blockbuster Narrative
Underneath all this spectacle and intra-gender drama lies an actual attempt at a substantive narrative (sadly falls short of doing so). Gomez a.k.a. ARSYN a.k.a. Katy Perry betrays her partner, CATASTROPHE over a briefcase. There is a Next-Gen all-female assassin training facility and a possible android and/or bionic woman situation on our hands (e.g. CATASTROPHE being fixed by The TRINITY, who is “plugged into” the floor, after falling to her crippling near-death at the stiletto of ARSYN).
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THE TRINITY’s got this.
 As half-assed as the storyline may be, all signs in “Bad Blood” point to a culminating climax in Swift’s career. She may not be leaving her wholesome, country-girl image completely behind, but she is growing edgier on her own terms, her own over-reaching, ever-conversation-stirring terms.
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