Six '90s Hits One Direction Should Cover Next

Nate "Igor" Smith
They're all the cute one, don't you know.
Saturday afternoon I spent some time at the Beacon Theater for a matinee performance by the British boy band One Direction, who played three shows (two at the Beacon, one at the Izod Center) in the area over the course of the long weekend. It was an extended version of the opening set they played at Radio City Music Hall earlier this year—the 75-ish-minute set was padded out with a bunch of seasonally themed videos that looked like chillwave-inspired ads for a super-preppy clothing line (the room went absolutely silent when any romantically interesting women appeared on the screens showing these clips, in a stark reminder that boy bands' fantasy-object status is paramount at all ages). (Well, the bras and underwear—multiple on both!—that were thrown were probably stark reminders too. But I digress.)

Also padding out the set, since the boys only have one album under their belt: Cover songs. The still-curiously-mature "Use Somebody" cover that united mothers and daughters back at Radio City got a prime spot in the backend of the set; there was also a medley of hits earlier in the show that included "I Gotta Feeling," "Stereo Hearts," and—in another sap to the parents—"Torn," the Ednaswap song made inescapable by Aussie soap star Natalie Imbruglia in the late '90s. The breezy guitar and sad-confused lyrics fit in perfectly with One Direction's scrubbed-schoolboy-who-can-still-be-bad aesthetic, and perhaps most surprisingly, every member of the audience, even those who weren't even eggs when the song hit big in 1997, knew every word. Which got me thinking: What other songs from that halcyon era could One Direction, whose sound borrows much more from the alt-leaning radio pop songs that would later become adult-contemporary staples than it does the likes of 'NSync and the Backstreet Boys, remake into their own, cherub-cheeked image? Six suggestions below.

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Six Songs Michele Bachmann Could Have Signed Off With That Weren't Train's Beejers-And-Burning Man Ode "Hey, Soul Sister"

After a dismal showing at yesterday's Iowa caucuses, one-time Republican Presidential front-runner and "interesting person" Michele Bachmann announced today that she was ending her campaign to be sworn in as Commander-in-Chief next January. Once the brief press conference disseminating the news ended, Bachmann walked off the stage... to the strains of "Hey, Soul Sister," Train's wistful song about hummers and hot chicks at Burning Man that was voted by Chris Weingarten and me to be the worst song of 2010. Perhaps Bachmann was seduced by the idea of seeming "soulful" as she accepted her defeat, or maybe she just really likes ukuleles, but the song choice was most unfortunate—as the opening line that not-so-subtly references a lipstick stain on Pat Monahan's genital area should have told, I don't know, anyone who was working on her campaign and understands the uttered English language? Sure, it was good for a laugh or two, but the six songs below might have been better choices—at the very least, they (for the most part) save the oral-sex references until after the chorus has been run through once.

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What Cheryl Cole's X Factor Dismissal Means For British Pop In America


Deep at the heart of Cheryl Cole's abrupt dismissal from the American edition of X Factor earlier this week is a twisted take on My Fair Lady. Here we have a pop star who takes leave from her U.K. homeland--where she's a household name thanks to her tenure in the hit-making girlband Girls Aloud--because she sees a chance to make her career global. She uproots her entire life, moves to L.A., presents herself with poise, and avoids getting into any trouble really. And then she gets axed, allegedly over reasons that would make people in traditional workplaces would call up a lawyer--having a thick accent, not connecting to a co-worker whose reputation for self-medicating precedes her.

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