Sit down, my babies – I’m going to tell you a story.
Back in 2008, I was at the Tower Theater in Upper Darby, PA on the night that the Phillies would end up clinching the World Series title. A dangerous day to be out in that city for sure, what with the local sports fans’ penchant for setting cars on fire. But no matter. I was there to see the band I’ve loved since I was but a preteen – live. For the first time. Ever.
Between the opening band and the main act, two couples in their early 20s walked in. These dudes were bros to the max, and completely decked out in Phillies gear. They’d almost certainly pounded a few beers already. As they walked to their seats two rows in front of us, the guys would periodically get into someone’s face and ironically yell, “HANSON, YEAH!” My friend Becky and I were rolling our eyes, sure that these morons were about to ruin the night for everyone. Their girlfriends clearly dragged them here, when they’d much rather be in a bar, covered in wing sauce and watching the game.
And then, something magical happened. The lights dimmed. The band walked out. The music started. Taylor Hanson started singing.
And so did the bros.
For the next two hours, our dudes sang every word of every song from Taylor, Isaac, and Zac Hanson’s flawless, career-spanning set. They twirled their girlfriends and high-fived strangers. They were having the TIME of their LIVES. My heart grew 3 sizes that day.
If you want to see my head explode, go ahead and talk shit on my favorite band. My desert island band. I mean, I will get UGLY.
I’m having a hard time starting this post, because I’m so distracted by this gif. He closes his eyes. HE CLOSES HIS EYES. Sigh. My OTP is more beautiful and star-crossed than yours.
Last week, the fangirl wife and I touted our respective favorites in the only 90s boy band standoff that matters: *N Sync for me, and BSB for Kimmie. In keeping with the theme, this week’s Rose and Ten Playlist picks are all teen pop oriented. I’ll take my gut-wrenching tragedy with a side of cheese, thank you.
“What could I give when you’ve got all you need?
And she looks at me like, ‘all I want’s a little free’
Every time I’m here with you it makes me see
That it’s alright, yeah, it’s alright
We’ll get away, be in love, we can make it better
All I need’s a little time for us to get together
Happiness is just a step away
When it’s alright, yeah, it’s alright
Just a girl like you, and maybe just a
Just a guy like me, maybe we
Could take a walk on the wild side
Take a look and see
Get up and go.”
We focus on the sads a lot in these posts, but let’s not forget the good times. In between all the slutty French ladies, aborted love confessions, and wretched goodbyes, Rose and Ten were just having a ball, boppin’ around the universe.
Remember that time they were more concerned about getting the Queen to say, “We are not amused,” than catching the GIANT WEREWOLF that was ripping people to shreds? And how Ten almost collapsed laughing when he realized that Pete’s World Rose was a yappy dog? And how they got all greaser-ed up in matching outfits for the 50s? And when Rose referred to her first trip as their “first date” and the Doctor didn’t argue? And the way they flirted like sexy, unrelated Hardy Boys in “Fear Her”?
This song makes me imagine what it must be like to go on history’s longest road trip with the one person in the whole universe you have the most fun with.
Also, Hanson is perfection.
How I feel about this playlist on a daily basis.
Between yesterday’s Black Friday shopping trips and Thanksgiving leftovers, I was gleefully scrolling through Twitter to follow the social media smack talk between current reigning Brit boy bands One Direction and The Wanted. It’s not that I’m a rabid fan of either. Okay, so I’ve had One Direction’s Take Me Home on repeat for a week and Max from The Wanted could totally get it. (I mean…) BUT. I don’t know all their names or birthdays or favorite movies. My investment was almost purely nostalgia-driven. After all, there was a time not so long ago when two American five-member boy bands tangled daily over the top TRL slot and the hearts of fangirls all over the world.
If you were a kid, pre-teen, or teenager in the late ’90s/early aughts, you had two choices:
You were either a Backstreet girl or an *N Sync girl.
Guess which one I am.
Here in 2012, the rivalry has cooled off to the degree that me (*N Sync forever) and Kim (Backstreet Boys 4 lyfe) can actually hang out and run this blog together. Our friend Angel, that powerful musk ox, knows which side of the boy band fan line we each stand on and suggested we each write a post defending our choice. The point of this exercise is to share our never ending love for our chosen boys and not to bash the competition. Because we are ladies, goddammit, and will conduct ourselves accordingly. Look for Kim’s Backstreet post later today.
I didn’t choose *N Sync. *N Sync chose me.
XOXO to Kim for taking over my last playlist post while I dealt with day-job craziness. The storm has passed and I can now again focus on what’s really important: soundtracking the romantic relationship of fictional characters.
The Doctor is such a rich character to analyze. He’s constantly dealing with all the realities of the universe and the turn of time, but with some very familiar and human emotions. And he’s almost completely undone by his love for this girl. All of my playlist selections today are from the heartbreaking POV of the Doctor.
“Looking through the photos you find in my drawer
Laughing so hard you’re rolling around on the floor
At all the bad haircuts and smoking cigarettes
The lustless romantic trying hard to impress
Well that’s just me before we met
Well that’s just me before we met
Putting down the photos you look up at me
Enjoying the thought of the person I used to be
The things I was proud of
The things I regret
Some things I remember
Some things I forget
Well that’s just me before we met
Well that’s just me before we met
Well I’ve always had a wild imagination
And a see through heart
Which I know can be a wild combination
Like a flame forms from a spark
But don’t be shy
Be brave little champion
It’s better to live than to hide”
“Just Me Before We Met” is one of those songs that just tackled me when it came up on shuffle one day. I had to stop on Astor Place, hit replay, and lean against the K-Mart while the feels washed over. It could speak to the Doctor’s relationship with any of his companions, but there’s something very Rose about it to me. I can picture them doing this, probably right after “School Reunion” – him showing her pictures of what he used to look like and the silly things he used to wear; and her wanting to know absolutely everything.
Rose is the only modern companion to have known more than one regeneration of the Doctor, so I think that she understands him in a way that Martha, Donna, and Amy don’t. (Every companion has a unique relationship with him, after all.) She’s had to come to terms with the fact that Nine is both always there and never coming back. I imagine that, once she understood the circumstances and came to trust Ten, he would regale her with stories about all of his past selves: mistakes, triumphs, and tragedies. What a relief for the Doctor that Rose accepts and loves this very alien part of him.
Like any fully functioning fangirl, when I hear certain songs, I will immediately associate them with one of my flawless TV pairings. I can’t help it. I’m sure this comes from the countless hours I have wasted on YouTube watching fan videos.
I regret none of that time.
One day Sage and I were gChatting, as per usual, and she says to me, “If I were making a Rose and Ten playlist, I would put Matt Nathanson’s ‘Room at the End of the World‘ on it.” “YES,” I replied. Because it totally IS a Rose/Ten song. The chorus is “If the sun don’t light and the moon won’t turn, we’ll get a room at the end of the world. And we’ll rewrite all the wrongs we’ve learned, safe in our room at the end of the world.” It also goes on to say “One heart is never enough alone…come on and dance with me, love.” Yep. This is a Doctor Who song. I can see it playing against a montage of epic Rose/Doctor moments…because it applies to Rose and Nine as well.
Then we continued to come up with other Rose/Ten songs…”Time after Time”…”The Scientist”…David Tennant’s personal favorite “(I’m Gonna Be) 500 Miles”…you get the picture. Finally, I enacted the main tenet of our friendship: “Screw it, we’re doing this.” So we made a Rose and Ten playlist. By the end of that day, we had over 150 songs compiled (I did a LOT of work that day. Whoops). Compiling a playlist that rips your soul apart with emotion is way more important than working on spreadsheets anyway.
The rest, as they say, is history. The playlist is now 453 songs. It’s over a day long, and it’s still growing. An epic playlist for an epic love story. There are a LOT of songs about time, stars, space and lost love out there, y’all. And I have strong feelings about all of them. –Kim
Playlist collaboration usually goes like this:
“You’re going to hate me, but…”
“HOW DID WE NOT THINK OF THIS ONE?”
…followed by a Spotify or lyrics link. Sometimes we’re actively searching for relevant songs, and sometimes shuffle cruelly strikes with tragic OTP feels at the gym or walking down the street.
I think I speak for both of us when I say that composing this masterpiece has been cathartic. It’s got sad songs, happy songs, REALLY sad songs, country songs, pop songs, rock songs, showtunes, and standards. I’ve fallen down many Spotify rabbit holes and fallen in love with albums and artists I’ve never heard before. And the beauty is, it will never, ever be finished. So the moral of the story is: the next time Russell T. Davies or Stephen Moffat or any other sadistic showrunner steamrolls your heart, channel your rage and sadness into a project. It helps, I promise.
But really: all of the kudos to RTD, Billie Piper, David Tennant and the writers for bringing to life a relationship that, in a mere 18 or so episodes, inspired heaps of fan art and rivers of tears. You broke us, but we love you for it. Quite right, too.
Every week on Head Over Feels, Kim and I will break down and analyze 5 Rose and Ten playlist selections for you. Get a head start by subscribing to us on Spotify right now. And if you have any additions, by all means, leave them in the comments! — Sage
While the rest of the country got hammered on the VP Debate drinking game (“Every time Biden says ‘Malarkey,’ drink!” “Every time Biden makes a Jim Halpert face into the camera, drink!” “Every time Ryan says something completely insane about beans or whatever, drink!”), I was slowly making my way into Radio City Music Hall, behind streams of be-sequined college students. Being an amateur anthropologist of and willing participant in teen fandom culture, I wasn’t surprised by any exhibited behaviors: painfully loud group singalongs, taking countless selfies with marquee, “Omg, is Demi here? What was her last tweet?” The excitement was palpable. The Jonas Brothers are back, ya’ll.
Hi everyone. I’m Sage, I’m 29 years old, and I love the Jonas Brothers.
You remember them, right? Former Disney darlings, beloved by the First Family. Nick, the youngest – a serious-minded prodigy. Joe, the middle – goofy/swaggering frontman. And Kevin, the oldest – earnest and endearing. I started fangirling them during their period of ubiquitousness: late 2008/2009. Luckily my roommate felt the same way and our DVR quickly filled up with talk show appearances, performances at awards shows, and more Disney Channel than anyone should ever watch. I think they’re funny and good-hearted. Their music is catchy, and has clearly grown and developed with each album. They work incredibly hard and kill it live. Oh, and fine. They’re also pretty cute.
They’re all in their 20s. Please don’t call the cops.
If we’re IRL friends, then you probably know this about me already. I refuse to be embarrassed about liking a band just because I could have babysat every member. Isn’t that also true of my peers and every boring-shit, indie outfit out there?
Is it because we’re girls? Because we’re girls who sometimes like to dress sparkly and singalong to pop love songs? The extreme hatred of bands like Jonas or One Direction and the people who love them has always had the whiff of misogyny. And the most common “insult” thrown at these guys is usually, ding ding ding!, you guessed it: “THEY’RE SO GAY.” We don’t begrudge you your toys and comics and video games and formulaic, juvenile action movies. They’re a callback to your childhood, right? And something you share with your friends? Fucking great then! Enjoy, with my compliments. I came to last night’s show straight from New York Comic Con, where it warmed my cold, dead heart to see so many fanboys and girls in their element. Real life very often sucks. Even if I don’t get it, I support your escapism, wherever you find it.
The Jonas Brothers played for nearly 2 straight hours last night. New songs, old songs with new arrangements, covers, mashups. With longtime band members and new ones. My ears are still ringing. And for that two hours, I was blissfully unaware of my problems and in the moment. And if you have a problem with that?