Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Oh Peacock, You're So Fine...

So, Katy Perry's new album, Teenage Dream dropped. It has a few songs I'm obsessed with, and a few I am sure I will be obsessed with once the DJs I work with jam it, club-style, straight into my brain via my buzzing ears.

One song that has installed itself in my frontal lobe and commenced snacking on my gray matter would be "Peacock." In the vein of "If U Seek Amy" by Britney Spears, this song doesn't even try to obscure its "hidden meaning." Clearly it is Katy's businessman-created, written, tested, and executed ode to Russel Brand's gigantic throbbing member. Katy isn't winking at us so much as holding up photos of penises as she sings the catchy beat.

I'm not saying there is anything wrong with this. I am saying, however, why bother? It's not like she'll be pulling a fast one on us. While it can be argued that Sara Bareilles successfully duped us into thinking an attack against a record executive was a vengeful anti-love tuner, there is no argument to be levied on behalf of the "hidden" meaning of Peacock.

At least If U Seek Amy expected us to spell (which Britney can't even do, so plaudits go to her for challenging herself). In this song, Katy goes ahead and says Peacock once before saying "cock" four hundred more times. And, unless we find out that Russell Brand has an aviary in the backyard of his mansion that houses extremely large birds, an aviary that he has yet to let Katy visit despite her pleas, I'm pretty sure we can close the book on this song.

Does anyone else catch themselves thinking of the song "Mickey" (as in "Oh Mickey you're so fine, you're so fine you blow my mind") when they hear this song? I know I am. Whether this is an officially sampled beat, or just something that's uncanny-valley close to what I'm associating with, I do not know.

It makes sense, then, when given how bluntly this song cockslaps you in the eye over and over again, that Gay Softcore Pornographer and Music Video Director Ryan James Yezak has tackled this video as a sequel to his sexy (and New York bashing) California Gays video.

He certainly doesn't disappoint. He has come a long way in 1 month's time. His number of on-camera, barely clothed twinks has near doubled. He's gotten his hands on a number of sets (versus a beach, boardwalk, and street). These sets include a bright white bedroom set (I feel really bad for whoever got stuck with THAT cleaning bill). He's also now lined up a sponsor in American Apparel and somehow gotten his hands on a live peacock-cock-cock.

His editing, as always, is stellar. I still take issue with some of Christian Beasley's choreography. Sometimes it doesn't fit in the frame, and sometimes it just looks silly (and not in a sexy way). Why are they back-flapping fake arm-wings? I don't know. Also, the black paint on white sheets, for some reason, makes me think Lady Gaga, whether it's actually a Gaga trope or not. And when the music pauses for a brief dialogue scene, the microphone makes Beasley's weakly delivered line, and this video sound a lot lower in quality than the rest of it looks. And finally, I think I may be growing tired of Yezak's use of the "three guys dancing, now I'll transition to them doing the same dance but in a different arrangement" editing trick. It was impressive in California Gays, and it's smoother and better executed here. But perhaps when he makes his next video, he can branch out to other camera trickery.

But don't think my criticism is saying that this video is subpar. It certainly is not. I have already watched it twice, gritting my teeth through the shitty resolution and choppiness of YouTube. That says a lot. This is a great, high-energy, scintillating, and visually explosive project. And I imagine they did it in a very short period of time. His use of typical "fantasies" including the football locker room and the doctor's office are executed with a nice mix of sexiness and cuteness, making you laugh and suppress your arousal at the same time. I also found myself a fan of his "white outfits on white background" portion, basically showing his dancers as a group of free-floating limbs. Bonus points for the "letter play" with the t-shirts - did American Apparel print those on demand?

Also, I think the people who are saying that this video is "terrible" over at PerezHilton.com can go get trampled by non-metaphorical peacocks. Get over it, boys. Whatever deep-seeded issues you have that drive you to pee all over this peacock, they have nothing to do with this fantastic homage to a hotter than hot pop goddess.

And now this leaves me to wonder: what will Yezak do next? I haven't listened to the Perry album enough to levy a guess. Maybe he'll step away from Katy and do another artist? Ke$ha perhaps? I'll tell you this much: I'm excited to find out. I'm also curious to see if Yezak can parlay this into something else - television, or a legit directorial gig. Eyes are certainly on him (even though they're probably mostly gay eyes.)

And of course, I have a hard time critiquing Yezak's work simply because I cannot do what he does at all. I am a jokester with a flipcam who occasionally video tapes go-go boys licking each other's sternums. As is evidenced by my most recent video project, a video highlights reel of BoiParty.com, Pepper Mint, and Dougie Meyer's booze cruise this past Sunday night, which is shamelessly included below. If I deserve any credit at all, it's for finding a good reason to re-use Andy Samberg and T-Pain's "I'm on a Boat."

Either way, I am critiquing Mr. Yezak because I am not-so-secretly rooting for him to make it big. To get more of these videos out. To let me see more and more of those ridiculous cuties, Joe Lauer and Spencer Titus. And if you boys end up reading this and come to NYC any time soon, I will happily talk Alan Picus into having you perform at our parties all week long. You'll find a healthy fan following here, I can assure you of that.

I wanna see your emu-moo-moo...
- J.


  1. Oy. I cannot get on board with "Peacock," it's so obnoxious. (I won't blame it for being totally derivative of "Hey Mickey," because that's hardly musical artistry at its finest either.) But it DOES make slightly more sense than Britney Spears' "FUCK ME!!", which I also couldn't get into because it made zero sense. Katy Perry is saying she wants you to display your metaphorical rainbow-colored tail, aka your freaky side...yes, aka your penis. But there's a metaphor there that actually makes sense.

    The video is...about as good as you'd expect such a thing to be. Some parts are actually clever, others just trying waaaay too hard to be artistic. Give me a camera, a few locations, and a small platoon of gays willing to make an ass of themselves, and I will best it.

  2. Also, did you love how you wrote about a peacock and I wrote about a turkey??

  3. I've got the platoon of gays at the ready. Send me a shooting script and I'll send you the go-gos!

  4. Seriously. Our brains function in parallel I think... cluck cluck.

  5. Justin, I love your review! Thanks for taking the time to evaluate my work :-)