By Gili Malinsky
By Bob Ruggiero
By Hilary Hughes
By Peter Gerstenzang
By David R. Adler
By Devon Maloney
By Brian McManus
By Jessica Hopper
May 4, 1999: Last Saturday night: a "live" performance on the Nickelodeon Kid Awards. Well. The camera was dead-on frontal the whole time, and Miss B had no jacket on, so let's just say her appendages were, uh . . . protruding. Could it be she kept all her old clothes which fitted a rather smaller, uh, chest? Did it cross her mind that she was performing for preteens?
September 30, 1999: What do you call the beat that's on the radio remix of "Drive Me Crazy"? I keep waking up with the damn thing in my head. It's really metronomic, i.e., not hip-hop. . . . Can the word "funky" be pulled out of its normal genre and used on other styles?
November 29, 1999: I was dubbing my niece a copy of the Britney Disney-TV live special (from about three or four weeks ago), and toward the end there's a short segment I didn't notice first time around: Her dancers have a day off, so they and Britney go to the closest indoor mall. Second or third stop is a record store, and before you know it Britney's holding/pointing at a Best of Otis Redding CD and going, "I grew up in Louisiana, so I like the blues a lot." Before you start to worry that aliens have got her brain, though, she's back on earth turf, gushing about Madonna.
December 16, 1999: I've got the radio on in the bathroom while I'm shaving at 6:30 a.m., and they're goofing on Britney because of her 18th birthday, calling her Britney "Legal" Spears. And then they say she's presently working on her next album (knew that) with Max Martin (presumed that) and MUTT LANGE (??!?!!???). Now THAT is one unholy marriage. I bet Britney might actually know who Mutt is (re: "Pour Some Sugar on Me"), unlike the clueless Canuck Shania of six years ago. I'm actually having a mini-revival in my head this month of Britney's five songs I likedistance now permits proper appreciation of "Baby Hit Me" as the best single of the year. And second hit "Sometimes" is already some sort of E-Z-listening recurrent on department store Muzak, and the song is doing a cute Carpenters vocal vibe for me. But that great Max Martin song ("I Will Be There") had better be the fourth/last single, or I will be cheezed.
It's a shame Britney and Mutt won't be coming up with songs like "Shania's a Skankin' Ho" (a rap, obviously). Or "I'm Half Her Age but Twice the Skank (Love Song to Shania)." She's 18, let the girl be a skank if she wanna.
Last I read, Brit's Dawson's Creek episodes were to tape in December, although Popular would be a more cutting-edge series right now . . . has the wheelchair girl from last year's great mid-season sitcom Zoe, Duncan, Jack & Jane; this year (diff show, same network), she's a cheerleader. Those wacky TV kids!
Last Britney quote on some awards show the other night was "If people think I'm sexy, hey, that's great!" Her official PR stance on the quite modest implants has been "I gained a whole lot of weight since summer '98." (True.) Uh, and all of a sudden your bosoms radically changed direction and started sticking straight out. Hey, I'd be excited too if my tits weren't all saggy anymore.
I think what everyone is forgetting in all the Britney confusion/commotion is that she is a FAR BETTER DANCER than Madonna ever was, and enthusiastic too (maybe Madonna should've been a Mouseketeer; it might've improved her attitude). And another encouraging Britney career sign (#1: minimal touring) is that she isn't hooked up with that management shark that the Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync got ripped off by. (He's still trying to plug Innosense, gag! Everybody around here calls them Innosluts.)
January 14, 2000: I don't have any of those Stax/Volt sides on hand to prove this, but aren't the first two lines in "Baby Hit Me""Baby, baby how was I supposed to know/That something wasn't right here"sung in that very fractured Otis Redding manner of clipping words off? Is there a Redding couplet somewhere that has a similar phrasingmaybe even an identical "baby, baby"? All I know for sure is that the dead soul guy did not do no sides in Sweden. What I guess is that Brit's much older brother had a Redding CD a million years ago and she swiped it in order to see if what they say about black guys is really true (that they sing better'n Michael Bolton).
February 4, 2000: Peoplemagazine cover story on the stands today verifies that Brit and Melissa Joan Hart actually call each other on the phoneI think Brit-Brit is digging in for the long haul when she solicits girl-stuff advice from a 23-year-old compadre!! My only plausible theory about this totally wack MelissaJH-Britney alliance (MJH looked like she was about to slug Britney, big sis to little sis's nose, the whole time on the MTV "male loser makeover" show) is that Britney watched Clarissa(on Nick) back in grade school. And would probably feel honored if Missy Joan DID break her nose (as a fraternal expression of love, not an artistic comment), much less tolerated her presence. My female friends who saw the same show theorize that MelissaJH is insanely JEALOUS (of Britney's huge success); only, fire signs (which both are) aren't exactly prone to pondering their motives, since that involves introspection, which could actually require thought, not action. So MJH is simply fascinated by Brit on the surface. And maybe a little leery of all those photos of Britney as ball-handling jockette . . . little sis could hit back. But I would sure not put them in the same band, unless you wanted to re-create the Davies brothers.