Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Back in the Day #12: Princess Superstar



Writing the words 'Princess Superstar' in my brief and inconsequential pseudo-rant on Liz Phair's novelty album (did we decide? are we laughing with her or at her?)  was dangerous.  What it did was conjure Princess Superstar.  What it did was make sure that the song "Bad Babysitter" would keep playing in my head for at least 24 hours.  Literally, in every short silence I've subject to an opening beat and some voice in my head begins chanting "I'm a bad babysitter / got my boyfriend in the showah / woop! i'm makin' six bucks an hour."  Just like that.  Cuz, you know, "babysitting sucks, but whatever..."  i'll stop there.  I feel like most ordinary citizens have likely not been subjected to the flip-flop rhymes & harmonies of the overtly kitschy Princess Superstar.  "Bad Babysitter" surfaced in 2002 as part of the Princess Superstar Is.  This was at a time where everyone in pop music was all about highlighted hair and wearing sunglasses on their album covers and Princess Superstar fit into the picture just on the edges, in a grayish pink area where Eminem overlapped with Anastacia.  I quite enjoyed this song towards the end of high school, and I say that as someone who never spent a single hour of her teenage life babysitting.  I'm so serious on both counts.  1. I kind of fear children.  2. I tend to encourage obnoxious, bad behavior in children.  3. There are a lot of horror films involving babysitting.  4. This song kind of felt more overtly teeny-bopper than most actual teeny-bopper pop songs, and it was mildly dirty with absolute intention. 

For some reason, "Bad Babysitter" reminds me of all that time spent sitting around doing very little in yearbook class. Yes, my high school offered yearbook as a first period course option.  Yes, it was as ridiculous as it sounds.  I don't believe I ever actually listened to "Bad Babysitter" in yearbook class, so I'm not really sure why the image this song is conjuring is of me in a glitter Bebe shirt (remember when those were all the rage? I'm proud to tell you I got over it...) sitting at a desktop, fiddling with an outdated layout program and suggesting the cover of this year's edition be sparkly silver (it wound up looking more like duct tape).  We did a lot of idle internet surfing and photoshop collaging in that 50 or so minutes, so maybe it felt like I was somehow babysitting my own consciousness blending the face of Clay Aiken onto the body of Cynthia Nixon in Photoshop.  I don't know.  Beyond that, though, I had a tendency to find most any song that involved the killer combo of obscure remixable electronic bits with laughable displays of sexuality instantly amusing (please see The Herbaliser - "Sensual Woman").  Oh how we laughed when these things were burned onto cds to play in the car on the way to the mall. 

So, I liked "Bad Babysitter".  A hell of a lot more than I like that Liz Phair song.  The real question we need to ask, though, is what Princess Superstar is a princess of.  I don't know, but I can choose from a list of options: the club, PETA, flip-floppers, novelty record makers, Mensa (of which she is a member), dyed blond hair, superstars.  I'm pretty sure the answer is Mensa.  This is mostly because I don't feel like many members of Mensa stake claims on princessdom.  I could be wrong about this. 

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