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Call Me Maybe: Viral? Totally
May 7, 2012 10:02 AM   Subscribe

4 (to 6) easy steps to viral fame through pop music: 1) write and record a catchy pop song, 2) get radio play for your song, and 3) get Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez to hear your song, so 4) they tweet about enjoying your song. Bonus steps to further fame: 5) make a video that has a twist ending, which 6) people (including Bieber and Gomez) cover and remake and share online for further fame and fortune. Thanks to all this, Carly Rae Jepsen's pop dance song has moved beyond Canada, and is charting all over the world. If that's not enough, NPR's Ann Powers has further thoughts on the pop hit and its video.

The fluffy, poppy-ness of the song lends itself to plenty of lip-synching videos, including James Francoa and a friend, and Katy Perry and friends. Then there are the covers, and parodies a-plenty.
posted by filthy light thief (48 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
You buried the lede. The NPR story is the best link, especially for those of us who don't want to listen to any of this stuff and want all of you kids off our lawn.

Francoa can't wait.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:14 AM on May 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


My daughter and I heard this in the car recently, and came up with the Pop Song Fight Club Theory that the song is really being sung from the point of view of Maeby F√ľnke to someone who refuses to call her by her somewhat silly name.
posted by Rock Steady at 10:15 AM on May 7, 2012 [5 favorites]


Hm. I'm thinking there are actually a lot of steps before your Step 1 and lots of sub steps and further detail with all the other steps, including he having placed third in Canadian Idol, tourd with the resulting concert tour, had been supported and promoted by labels, producers, songwriters, publicists, and teams of people whose job is to make her successful, not to mention the handlers and teams of decisionmakers who instructed Bieber and Gomez to cover and tweet about the song.

The greatest trick the devil ever played was convincing people that the word "marketing" is not part of the term "viral marketing."
posted by The World Famous at 10:15 AM on May 7, 2012 [18 favorites]


I first heard this on the radio when vacationing in New Zealand last month and instantly assumed it was some local (or Euro) artist I'd never hear again, since it was way too saccharine to make a splash back home in the U.S. Oh, how wrong I was.

Moral of the story: Saying "I was on vacation in New Zealand" is an amazingly flexible way to preempt others' sympathy, yet remains deliciously addictive.
posted by psoas at 10:20 AM on May 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


And I think that might be the most typo-filled comment I've ever posted. Drat.
posted by The World Famous at 10:24 AM on May 7, 2012


Ms. Jepsen is a little old for this shit, don't we think?
posted by ReeMonster at 10:24 AM on May 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


It helps that it's insanely catchy. Like...addictive, even.
posted by moviehawk at 10:26 AM on May 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Ms. Jepsen is a little old for this shit, don't we think?

She's 27, so nah. I am, however, impressed that the credited producer and writer of the song is also only 27.
posted by The World Famous at 10:29 AM on May 7, 2012


For perspective, Donna Summer was 27 when she released Love To Love You Baby. 27 is not "old" for breaking as a pop/dance star.
posted by The World Famous at 10:31 AM on May 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


Catchy, yes -- but horrible, horrible lyrics. Call me, "maybe"? What lazy rhyming.
posted by drinkcoffee at 10:33 AM on May 7, 2012


This sort of music drains the life force from my body.
posted by bonobothegreat at 10:33 AM on May 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


She's 27, but Canadian, which is only about fifteen in human years.
posted by Greg Nog at 10:34 AM on May 7, 2012 [12 favorites]


27 is certainly not old to write a pithy simplistic pop song. Seriously, a 15 year old with a year of music theory training could do it. Or an 8 year old for that matter.
posted by ReeMonster at 10:37 AM on May 7, 2012


I mean young.. I mean.. you know what I mean.
posted by ReeMonster at 10:37 AM on May 7, 2012


As far as the twist ending goes, I imagine anyone who hasn't seen Physical might find that to be a novel twist. Me, not so much...

As far as the music itself goes, it's not bad for what it is. There is certainly much worse topping the charts the last few years.
posted by inthe80s at 10:38 AM on May 7, 2012


I was getting my hair cut at Supercuts or a similar place and mixed in with all the shitty pop songs was Rebecca Black's Friday, being played as if it were just another shitty pop song and not some really amazingly shitty thing that only ever got popular because it was so much shittier than regular shit.

Humans sure are dumb.
posted by bondcliff at 10:38 AM on May 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


One of the guys from LMFAO is 37, but good for him. I can't imagine being 37 and dancing in speedo singing "Sexy and I Know It".
posted by bobo123 at 10:39 AM on May 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


The World Famous: Hm. I'm thinking there are actually a lot of steps [missing]

That's the trick with any [x]-step program: there's a lot of detail left out. There's no appeal in a 372-step program.

I'm sorry, everyone. I'm a sucker for really poppy music with a background story (prior example: Rebecca Black's Friday and Ark Music Factory). To atone, here's Oliver Tank's "Dream" EP, and a companion remix EP. New music that isn't saccharine pop.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:39 AM on May 7, 2012


Metafilter: 37 and dancing in a speedo singing "Sexy and I Know It."
posted by joe lisboa at 10:47 AM on May 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


having placed third in Canadian Idol

Canadian Idol is possibly the worst show I have ever seen. It would be better for everyone if we all pretended it didn't exist.
posted by Hoopo at 10:51 AM on May 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


I just can't put my reaction to that Ann Powers NPR piece into words. I understand my reaction is at least partly colored by the fact that I didn't like the song. I barely made it through the first chorus before I clicked on "Close Window". I know it's her job to overthink things like this, but… In her mind a fairly run-of-the-mill dance-pop song is actually a transformative force teaching tolerance to adolescent boys who are, "utterly comfortable acting out same-sex desire." Seriously?

Then again, what else should we expect from someone who puts spaces around her em-dashes?
posted by ob1quixote at 10:57 AM on May 7, 2012


I can't imagine being 37 and dancing in speedo singing "Sexy and I Know It".

You're forgetting about the endless fire-hose-spray of money constantly threatening to tear off your Speedo.

Anyhow, "Call Me Maybe" is reprehensible, lyrically, but with a hook so big and perfect that I can forgive it (very much like "Somebody That I Used to Know," actually).
posted by uncleozzy at 10:58 AM on May 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


There's a lyric at the end, lord help me I'll watch it again if I have to...

OK, it's Before you came into my life, I missed you so bad.

She says it over and over and over and over and over until it just makes my brain go POIT!
posted by carsonb at 11:03 AM on May 7, 2012


In her mind a fairly run-of-the-mill dance-pop song is actually a transformative force teaching tolerance to adolescent boys who are, "utterly comfortable acting out same-sex desire." Seriously?

I think she wasn't saying that the song teaches tolerance, but rather that the videos display the increasingly tolerant attitudes of the teenagers who are making them. They're not driving the culture, they're relics of it. The song just happens to be a convenient flashpoint because it's so playful and light that it practically begs to be goofily lipsynced to.
posted by Copronymus at 11:08 AM on May 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yet Cathy Richardson auditions for the voice and can't get past the screeners.

The music industry just blows.

Let me know when The Beibs goes nuts or something. Then I'll pay attention (he totally looks like a Ted Bundy-like persona to me. Don't trust the kid).
posted by stormpooper at 11:25 AM on May 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Someone's been reading up on The KLF, it seems.
posted by 40 Watt at 11:26 AM on May 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, so how about that song? Sure is catchy.
posted by blue t-shirt at 11:37 AM on May 7, 2012


Humans sure are dumb.

And contemptuous!
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 11:52 AM on May 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


I can't imagine being 37 and dancing in speedo singing "Sexy and I Know It".

Maybe you should work out.
posted by kenko at 12:01 PM on May 7, 2012 [13 favorites]


I can't imagine being 37 and dancing in speedo singing "Sexy and I Know It".

Maybe you should work out.


*sigh*
posted by nooneyouknow at 12:12 PM on May 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


LMFAO's next hit: "Sorry for being 37 and dancing in speedo singing 'Sexy and I Know It.'"
posted by zippy at 12:25 PM on May 7, 2012


EVERY DAY I'M SHUFFLIN' DEALING WITH LOWER BACK PAIN, HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE AND AN OVERDUE MORTGAGE PAYMENT
posted by 40 Watt at 1:03 PM on May 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


BUT I'M SHUFFLIN' WHEN NO ONE IS LOOKIN'
posted by filthy light thief at 1:38 PM on May 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


How can you say no to the lines "Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, yeah! Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, yeah!"? In the comfort of your own home, apartment, car, or office cubicle, you don't need the self-confidence of a fit young lad to wiggle wiggle wiggle, yeah!
posted by filthy light thief at 1:42 PM on May 7, 2012


Ha! I knew that was going to be Spandy Andy!
posted by psoas at 2:02 PM on May 7, 2012


I don't believe she's Canadian.

I'd trade my soul for a wish,
Pennies and dimes for a kiss


No pennies in Canada anymore!
posted by Metro Gnome at 2:40 PM on May 7, 2012


That's why she's so eager to trade them.
posted by The World Famous at 2:59 PM on May 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Dude, this is exactly the kind of music I hate, but DAMN that is one great hook. A grudging thumbs way up.
posted by Phreesh at 3:10 PM on May 7, 2012


The funniest part of the video was her failing horribly at sexy!car washing.
posted by nooneyouknow at 3:49 PM on May 7, 2012


I heard an interview with Santigold on NPR today, and all I could think about was whether she's older than I am (the answer, which I had to look up: yes, but barely).
posted by box at 5:50 PM on May 7, 2012


Could not get past the second paragraph of the Ann Powers article, which kicked off with this particularly inept description:

Every note vacillating between major and minor chords along the tonic; every slice of a string section that seems real but's just a synthesizer dream

Journalists, STAY AWAY from the music jargon you don't understand, it only makes you look stupid.
posted by speicus at 7:44 PM on May 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's all over the radio in the UAE.
posted by ambient2 at 8:22 PM on May 7, 2012


This video was linked around a while ago. It's three women dancing to the song with a Papa Johns' delivery guy. It's either four people having fun messing around or a failed viral video. I haven't decided yet.
posted by nooneyouknow at 8:29 PM on May 7, 2012


Regardless of the actual music, my goodness is that a tight, tight mix. Surgical. Sounds great.
posted by bz at 12:40 AM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I pulled some muscles around my ribs while "shuffling" last year. I was in pain for weeks. I'm 27. I have nothing but respect for that 37 year old.
posted by minifigs at 2:46 AM on May 8, 2012


Catchy pop song but that band behind her is not playing that song.
posted by judson at 7:54 AM on May 8, 2012


I pulled some muscles around my ribs while "shuffling" last year. I was in pain for weeks. I'm 27.

Most likely the problem is lack of practice; this is why LMFAO encourages it Every Day.
posted by Greg Nog at 9:03 AM on May 8, 2012 [7 favorites]


ambient2, The UAE is where I first heard this song. I don't tend to listen to the radio at home in the US, but I did over there, and now I have all manner of pop songs stuck in my head. This may be why I've been in a much more lighthearted mood in the couple of months since I returned home.
posted by LiliaNic at 7:44 PM on May 8, 2012


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