Oh my god you guys, remember the late 90s? Remember when it was all about boy bands and preening pop princesses and JLo’s trials and tribs? Remember when Bill Clinton was prez? Remember when (white) men frosted their hair? Remember all the hemming and hawing about shitty pre-fab pop music? Remember how outspoken Eminem was about the rise of boy bands? God, he sucked. And not just because of the homophobia. Because his songs blew and all sounded exactly the same, with the exception of a very short list. He got so mad at ridiculous things! Oh, Eminem, what will you think of next? Recently he had the very STREET problem of an Ambien addiction. Which reminds me, I totally have to seek help with my monocle addiction. Oh, and my top hat addiction. They’re both KILLING me! On the inside.
In my day we had boy bands, but simpler less annoying ones like New Edition and New Kids on the Block. Or NKOTB, if you were a fan. I wasn’t. At the time, I was all like, NKOTB Suck! Give me Warrant or give me death!
Ok, I know you won’t, so here it is.
I thought only dumb GIRLS liked the New Kids! I can only like the NK’s ironically with the distance of time. OK, I admit it, I am an ironic hipster when it comes to NKOTB. You now might find me ironically dancing to Hangin’ Tough, blowing an imaginary air whistle and whatnot. But not back then.
Anyway, out of the late 90s/early aughts trashheap, arose two standouts. And from that heap I give you today’s forgotten song, a parentheses song even, and it’s vintage Britney. Ladies and germs, I give you Britney Spears’, “(You Drive Me) Crazy.”
Let’s talk about the video, shall we?
You start watching the video, then Britney is all like, “What? Oh…who’s that? Oh that’s just teevee’s ‘Sabrina the Teenage Witch,’ Melissa Joan Hart, pouring (non-alcoholic drinks, cuz, ya know, I’m underage, tee hee! ) drinks at my late 90s soiree, hanging out like it ain’t no thang.” But not me! I’m all like, gasp! Clarissa Explains It All!
Na Na Na Na! Nanananana!
O.K., I know that Clarissa is a bit past my time, arguably, and I know you love to argue, dang it! But remember, I was a teevee addict until I left for college, so we’re still talking tail end of this period, peeps. Anyway, Clarissa was in that genre of 90s teen girls who were smart and probably listened to R.E.M. and had totally annoying brothers. Clarissa lived in Ohio with her long suffering family (her dad was a Jerry Spring lookalike) and her totally jerky lil’ bro Ferguson (OMG! I can SO relate!) and that dreamy boy who looked like a dyke who used to come to her window every episode. Yes, this is a Melissa Etheridge reference. I know. Brilliant.
There were plenty of jokes that Ferguson loved Reagan and Dan Quayle. God, the 80s and 90s loved this archetype: the fiscally conservative child. Again, Alex P. Keaton.
Speaking of comparisons and teevee copycats, how about Clarissa and Blossom, brilliantly portrayed by one Mayim Bialik (who I think is like a nuclear physicist now. Is that an urban legend?). Anyway, yeah, I know! Right? Which came first? Speaking of Blossom, Double S rocked Blossom hats! If you know her, I’m sure this tidbit thoroughly shocks you!
Woah, check this out!
Anyway, back to the forgotten song. I think that this video was pretty much Britney’s high point, the best Brits ever looked, IMHO. I like girls in glasses who snap their gum, alright?
The late 90s and early aughts was also the beginning of the overly enunciating singer movement. I think that Mariah Carey was the matriarch of this movement. And don’t talk no shit about Mariah, because I inexplicably love her. Remember how Britney and her ilk used to always pronounce the seemingly simple “ME,” as more like “may”? What gives? But seriously folks, airline food, what’s up with that?
I have a feeling that this video will be a little time capsule some day. Scene: Child sitting on his/her mother’s lap in front of a new, tiny or gigantic computer, whatever is the style at the time. Child: “Mommy, why are those boys and girls dressed like that?” Mom: “Oh,you mean those belly shirts on the girls and loose fitting but well coordinated sweatsuits on the boys?” Child: “Yeah. Why are those ladies dressed like Applebee’s waitresses? And why are those boys dressed like reality show contestants or aging personal trainers at Gold’s gym?” And, scene.
And course Adrien Grenier is in this video. Also known as that dude from that crappy overrated show Entourage that everyone seemed to love in 2006. Every dude had to make a “Hug It Out” joke. It was mandatory. Which brings me to crappy teevee. Why? Life’s too short. Watch good teevee, people, there’s a lot of good stuff out there right now. You want recs, email me!
Of course, this video was from the height of Britney mania. She had her downfall. Remember when everyone seemed to be obsessed with her crazy antics? Shaving her head, doing the MTV awards drunk and bloated, dating paparazzi, and so on. I’ll go ahead and make a dated joke. Woah, I tell ya, that large CRAZY sign in the background is sure fitting, I’ll tell ya what! Hi-oh!
The other star who emerged from the late 90s trash heap was Justin Timberlake. Remember when JT and BritBrit were a power couple?
Justin has moved on, of course, from Britney and his boy band days. Now we’re supposed to think either he’s total hip hop or an indie rock snob, depending on what shirt he;s wearing. As I write this and Google image search him, Justin seems to think he’s Alex P. Keaton (soon I should just rename this blog ohalexpkeatony.wordpress.com) or some shit with his suits and Harry Potter glasses, but I think he’s just a scared boy band artist hoping his cover isn’t blown, secretly answering Joey Fatone’s calls on the sly when he isn’t deciding between Jessica and Cameron. Am I right, people? I hope that InStyle and US Weekly have kept me up to date and made this reference timely. The nerd chic look he’s rocking right now seems forced. Am I right, people?
O.K., back to the topic at hand. I have three favorite Britney songs. The first is above. The second might be a future FSF (yes!) so I am not at liberty to reveal it. Suspense! Go ahead, try to guess it! You never will because it’s forgotten! The third is obvs.
Anyway, I did think that Britney Spears was onto something back in the day. O.K., she was kinda hot and her songs were catchy. It was the first time (and one of the few, gosh!) I experienced dirty old man-ness, at the ripe old age of 24, as I slapped a high five with someone in agreement about Brit’s hotness over a Contracts textbook in law school (Hey Stace! If you read this, that is. And it’s fine if you don’t, ok!?). Also, during this time I had to go around telling everyone that Catholic school girl uniforms were not actually attractive in reality. Unless you have a thing for knee length plaid wool skirts with Umbros underneath, and white socks with brown leather shoes to top off the ensemble. Brown leather shoes were required, friends. Ask your friends who suffered my plight of Catholic school…not sexy. Ah, the forgotten Umbro! If anyone ever indicates that they have ever thought Catholic school girl unis are sexy, I feel the need to bring up the Umbro. Preferred: two tone and florescent.
Umbros: The little secret of every catholic school girl in the ’80s and ’90s! What is now, probably some piece of yoga related clothing. I’ll always prefer the Umbros: One leg pink, one leg orange! Ya gotta hear that swishing sound or you must be just too poor to be wearing Umbros! Poor you!
It’s Friday. It’s spring. Slip into your Umbros and dance to Britney why doncha?