Carly Rae Jepsen Just Wants To Have Fun — Thank God

Inevitably, there will be a person who won’t care that I was there last Saturday when Carly Rae Jepsen performed her 2015 album Emotion live with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. He will think it is somehow less cool, less important than the time he saw LCD Soundsystem’s ostensible goodbye show at Madison Square Garden. This will most likely occur while we are on a date, and he will probably be wearing a Strokes T-shirt he bought on Amazon. This dude sucks, and I would like to take the time now to tell him to go fuck himself.

It is this general need to prove myself, I think, that led me to buy a round-trip ticket to Toronto for a mere 32 hours just to bear witness to Jepsen’s one-night-only appearance at Roy Thomson Hall backed by some of her home country’s finest musicians. Maybe, I thought, a night with Carly Rae Jepsen would make the world feel like less of a horrible place. Maybe everything would be a little less serious for a few hours. At the very least, I knew I would have fun.

To varying degrees of success, recent pop music offerings have attempted to tap into America’s political urgency. It does not always make for the kind of Leave It All on the Dance Floor catharsis that so many of us look for in pop music. The most blatant attempt to create a “woke” pop album came a couple weeks ago with Katy Perry’s Witness.

In an attempt to be palatable to an even wider audience, Perry tried to assert herself as someone who makes “purposeful pop” instead of the Teenage Dream–era bops we all actually like. It was a horrible misfire. “Perry seems like she’s throwing everything at the wall in an album marketing meeting and waiting to see what sticks,” wrote Ira Madison III for Vulture. “Katy Perry’s Witness Has the Inherent Appeal of Spectacular Failure,” said Spin. Though the album debuted at No. 1, Perry’s public persona grates on our national consciousness. She wanted to move forward as an artist and, I guess, a person, so she dropped the artifice of Katy Perry and tried to introduce us to Katheryn Hudson. Suffice it to say, we didn’t like Katheryn.

To be fair, most people don’t like Carly Rae Jepsen. She’s still known as the “Call Me Maybe” singer to a vast swath of the population. Emotion only peaked at No. 16 on the Billboard 200. It received positive reviews from critics, but gained little traction outside word-of-mouth endorsements. My guess is that if you chose a stranger at random, they would not know that listening to “Making the Most of the Night” at full blast is a scientifically proven way to get over even the most acute malaise. They are missing out.

A motif of Jepsen’s oeuvre is “The Feeling.” “Oh baby / Take me to the feeling / I’ll be your sinner in secret / When the lights go out,” the chorus of “Run Away With Me” goes. Her latest song, which came out last month and is the sonic equivalent of the exact moment when ecstasy hits, is simply titled “Cut to the Feeling.”

“The Feeling” is, roughly, one that resembles love, or maybe just lust, but certainly exuberance. Jepsen’s music, for those of us who have claimed her, is a refreshing offering from a pop star who has abandoned pretense. While Katy Perry insists that we view her as an artiste, Jepsen just wants you to dance with your friends. There is only one slow song on Emotion, the Dev Hynes–produced “All That,” and even then, the chorus demands to be sung at full volume and accompanied by dramatic hand gestures. Jepsen takes having fun very seriously, and as a result Emotion is an album that could be played straight through without clearing the dance floor.

Despite what I just attempted, “The Feeling” is hard to put into words. However, it can be encapsulated in an experience. You will understand “The Feeling” the moment you hear a classically trained saxophonist performing the opening notes to “Run Away With Me.”

This is how the concert opened, and just like that, there was no turning back. All 2,630 of us were ready to experience joy.

With her short blonde hair reminiscent of a mom who decided to “change it up” and a floor-length sequined evening gown, Jepsen looked her age. She is 31 years old, which one might not guess from a song like “Boy Problems,” whose Petra Collins–directed video features a bevy of young women bemoaning the boy (and he is definitely a boy, not a man) who has caused them so much strife.

Constricted by both her attire and the fact that this was an event that imbued a certain kind of decorum, Jepsen stayed in one spot for most of the show. Her minimal movement reminded me of what it’s like to watch a Barbra Streisand or Bette Midler performance from the last 20 years. It felt as though we were all there watching the great comeback tour of an artist we had all spent our adolescence obsessing over, instead of someone performing an album that had debuted almost exactly two years ago.

A Streisand or Midler comparison feels apt if only for the sake of describing the audience that attends a Carly Rae Jepsen concert. It was summed up best by a woman I overheard at the end of the show, who declared the evening “gayer than Pride.”

She wasn’t wrong. The demographic that, based on a rough estimate of concertgoers, makes up the majority of Jepsen’s most rabid fanbase is queer white people ages 25 to 35. At intermission, the group of men next to me debated who was a better live performer, Jepsen or fellow gay icon Robyn. The answer was resoundingly Jepsen, who sounds almost exactly like she does on a recording.

Just before the intermission, Jepsen stopped to tell us that she felt so incredibly happy, it verged on being uncomfortable. “It’s like a painful happy, you know,” she posited. This was not usual concert banter. It’s easy to see through an artist when they say, “This has been the best crowd yet!” But Jepsen, surrounded by only people who had very purposefully chosen to be in her presence, had to be believed. She then launched into her virtually unknown 2008 single “Tug of War,” a Vanessa Carlton–esque ditty that is mostly chorus. The applause was thunderous.

Throughout the show, I could not stop thinking about one particular line in Susan Sontag’s 1964 essay “Notes on ‘Camp.’” “In naīve, or pure, Camp, the essential element is seriousness, a seriousness that fails. Of course, not all seriousness that fails can be redeemed as Camp. the proper mixture of the exaggerated, the fantastic, the passionate, and the naīve.”

To call Jepsen’s concert “the proper mixture of the exaggerated, the fantastic, the passionate, and the naīve” amidst a night where seriousness had failed feels almost too neat. And yet, looking back on it, that’s what it was. What was intended to be a night at the orchestra to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday quickly became a thrilling gay dance party helmed by an artist a majority of people consider to be a one-hit wonder. It was two hours of pure bliss, surrounded by people who understood, completely, what we had all come to do.

Saying “I was there” is one of the great prides of a music fan. It’s kind of bullshit, because most of it is just luck anyway. No one who went to Woodstock or, regrettably, Altamont knew that they were going to be part of history. But I like to think that everyone at the Roy Thomson Hall last Saturday night knew what was happening. We were all there. Carly Rae Jepsen was there. And in a world where everything is terrifying — especially if you are a woman, a person of color, queer, or any combination of the three — for a brief two hours, we got to go to The Feeling.

Olivia Craighead is a freelance writer based in Brooklyn, New York.

Owl City Has Finally Answered An Age-Old Question About The Song “Fireflies”

In a Facebook post that’s gone viral, Young said that he was “the recipient of 1,000 hugs from 10,000 lightning bugs for a grand total of 10,000,000 hugs.”

“As the lyrics of the song clearly state, the average layperson would not believe their eyes if 10,000,000 fireflies were to illuminate planet Earth, nor would the average person conclude by natural instinct that 10,000 lightning bugs, acting as a collective group, are capable of embracing a human being 1,000 times without difficulty,” he said.

“By the same token, a gathering of lightning bugs in such vast numbers form a sort of ‘swarm,'” the singer further clarified. “And a swarm can collectively surround a human and deliver a ‘hug’ that a single firefly, acting according to the dictates of his own conscience, simply cannot.”

Young acknowledged that this “may seem inconceivable due to the firefly’s soft-shelled body, which is common among all winged beetles within the Lampyridae insect family,” but that he “can testify to the accuracy of this exchange.”

“I can furthermore add that while each individual hug took place, each firefly participated in the chemical reaction commonly known as bioluminescence in which the enzymes within the firefly, in the presence of oxygen, magnesium ions and ATP, emitted a chemically produced light or ‘glow’ because they were happy to be hugging me,” Young concluded, along with a reminder to stream the song on Apple Music and Spotify.

Kim Kardashian And Kanye West Are Having A Third Child Via A Surrogate

Kardashian has publicly discussed her pregnancy complications with both her daughter, North (who’s now 4 years old), and her son, Saint (who’s a year and a half). In a blog post titled “High-Risk Pregnancy,” the reality star wrote about how she has preeclampsia, which makes the birthing process more difficult:

We induced my labor and I had North soon after. Right after delivery, the placenta usually then comes out. Mine did not. My placenta stayed attached inside my uterus, which is a condition called placenta accreta. This is a high-risk condition that happens when the placenta grows too deeply into the uterine wall.

My doctor had to stick his entire arm in me and detach the placenta with his hand, scraping it away from my uterus with his fingernails. How disgusting and painful!!! My mom was crying; she had never seen anything like this before. My delivery was fairly easy, but then going through that—it was the most painful experience of my life! They gave me a second epidural but we were racing against time, so I just had to deal.

This story is developing and will continue to be updated.

Kate Aurthur contributed reporting to this story.

Did Tyra Banks Hint That Lindsay Lohan Is Returning To The “Life-Size” Sequel?

In the film, Casey casts a spell in order to bring back her mother who’d recently passed away — but it goes wrong. Instead, she finds that she unknowingly brought her doll Eve to life, who then teaches Casey a ton of life lessons and gets her out of the funk she’d been in since her mom died.

Banks appeared on the daytime show The Talk in May, and said, “Yes, and I want [Lohan] to come back and I think that she does too.” She continued: “Actually, I know she does. So I really hope that she can be in it.”

Dozens Of Celebs Have Recorded A Charity Single For The Victims Of The Grenfell Tower Fire

He told ITV’s Good Morning Britain a couple of days after the fire, which killed at least 79 people: “For all of us who live in the vicinity, we have the ability to do something and that’s what I’m hoping will happen with the record is that it pricks a few people’s consciousness and then other people decide to do something else… I think it is the right thing to do.”

He told the show that he lives in the area and has seen the volunteer action by the community. “The song is important because it obviously has to be sincere, it has to have the right message and it most importantly, for me, it has to mean something to the people affected by what happened.”

Jenny Slate Might Be Dating Jon Hamm And Her Life Really Is A Dream Come True

“I don’t mind talking about him at all. He’s a lovely person,” she told New York Magazine in March. “I don’t know. It feels like such a huge thing. Last year was a giant, big year for my heart. I’ve never, ever thought to keep anything private because that’s not really what I’m like, and now I’m learning those things, and they’re weird, kind of demented lessons to learn.”

People Are Sharing Which Celebs They Met Who Are Actually Nice And It's Pretty Surprising

1.

Matthew McConaughey:

“I was a TSA employee. Genuinely nice, we had a great chat for about 15 minutes. After he was set, we shook hands, and he had his kids all thank me individually and shake my hand as well.” — tst3c

2.

John Cena:

“John Cena was really cool when I met him at a mall thing. Stayed for eight hours to meet all the people lined up to see him.” — SpurlieBird

3.

Taylor Swift:

“I wasn’t even a fan until I met her. I went to a concert with my friend, who is a super fan, We got picked for the T-Party, which is like a backstage party after the show. She came around to everyone there and spent a few minutes talking with each person. You can tell she genuinely cares about her fans.” — princessblowhole

4.

Sarah Jessica Parker:

“Ran into her in a deli in NYC. My work partner and I were in uniform on break. We are city workers. She started a conversation with us. Even signed stuff for us. I’ve met quite a few celebs in NYC. She was by far the nicest. — Ant95ny

5.

Mike Tyson:

“Through a strange series of events, my dad became friends with Mike Tyson for a few months. This was fairly recent. He came to our house a few times, and we got to go to his house once. I would describe him as humble, funny, and genuinely nice. He never wanted to talk about his own boxing career.” —WenttoMikeTysonsHous

6.

The Rock:

“My cousin took his son to a WWE event for his birthday and then fishing the next day along the river. While they were fishing, The Rock appeared out of nowhere, ready to go fishing with his cousin. The four of them spent the entire day together, the Rock bought them lunch, hung out. It was an epic experience especially for my cousin’s son who just turned 12.” — Earimo

7.

Steven Tyler

“I walked by this linen clothing store that was blasting music at around 10 p.m., and he was the only one inside, dancing and talking to the employees. He came outside to sign an autograph for two girls and as he turned to go back in we made eye contact. All I could think to say was ‘Y-y-you’re Steven Tyler!’ and he just replies ‘Fuck yeah I am!’ I asked him for a picture and he said ‘Hell yeah,’ and pulled my friends and I close and snapped one.” — Lucan8ter

8.

Bill Murray:

“I met Bill Murray once and asked for a picture. He responded with, ‘Who the hell do you think you are?’ I kind of had a shocked look on his face, and he finally told me he was kidding, gave me a handshake/bro-hug, and took a picture with me.” — iStankonia

9.

Tom Hanks:

“My friend is an Uber driver and told me one day that he was sitting at a stoplight and saw Tom standing on the sidewalk. For some reason he decided to shout “Hi, Forrest!” at him, and Tom gave him this wave”: — strengbt

10.

Willy Nelson:

“I met Willy Nelson briefly when I was 16. I was pouring liquor at an auditorium he was playing at when he walked up, bought a pepsi and slid a crisp $50 into my front pocket. He winked and said “to the unsung heroes helping me look good on stage.” — platyviolence

11.

Luke Wilson:

“I met him by accident as I was running to catch my ride after my shift, around 3 a.m. He was coming down the hallway at the same time as me, but neither of us were paying attention. I ran smack into the middle of his chest and fell on my butt. He was incredibly drunk but super friendly and apologetic as he helped me up.” — Almost_a_Full_Moon

12.

Whoopi Goldberg:

My wife met her in London, having a smoke outside the hotel we were attending a wedding at. After sharing a smoke together, Whoopi came in and had photos with the bride and groom (my wife’s sister and brother-in-law), finally uttering the line of the day ‘It wouldn’t be a Jewish wedding without a Goldberg.'” — ringo_24601

13.

Nick Offerman:

“When I met Nick Offerman, he was nothing but pleasant, funny and polite. We had a little chat about Toronto (where I live and where I met him). He mentioned his wife and he loved Toronto.” — Flimflamsam

14.

Hayley Williams:

“I met Hayley Williams a couple of years ago. She was lovely.” — skyepilotgurl

15.

Alec Baldwin:

“Alec Baldwin was really super nice when I met him at a Hollywood Hampton’s baseball fundraiser. He gave my sister and I his autograph and was warm and open.” — newsdaylaura18

16.

Kanye West:

I was at a store, buying shoes. Next thing I know Kanye walks through the doors. I’m in disbelief, I’m stanning out and going crazy inside, but I play it cool. I continue picking out shoes and glancing over as Kanye AND Kim are looking at coats and some shirts. He glances over at me and nods his head. At this point, I was glad to be acknowledged.

Next thing I know I hear footsteps and a ‘Hey, man.’ It’s Kanye. I just said ‘Hi, holy shit, I cant believe this is happening”. Kanye laughed and we talked for about a minute when he called Kim over. We all talked for about 10 minutes. He was really interested in what I was doing with my life and my interests. He asked if I was going to his show the next day and when I said yes,yeah he was so excited to explain the intricate details of the show and his passion for preforming. Without me asking he said we should take a picture and he had Kim take the one of me and him. He said it was really nice talking to me and WE BRO HUGGED! He was incredibly interesting to talk to, and he is one of the nicest and genuine people I have spoken to. Here is the picture.” — Richard1018

Check out more submissions here!

Responses edited for length and clarity.

69 Things The New Barbie Ken With A Manbun Is Definitely Into

1. Texting “haha and then what?”

2. Listening to OAR in 2009

3. Saying “well, I had a bun before it was cool”

4. Yelling Chainsmokers lyrics after a two drinks

5. “Showering… can I come?”

6. Majoring in Sports Medicine or Criminal Justice

7. Ironically using the boomerang feature on Instragram

8. Alternating between calling Instagram “Insta” and “The Gram”

9. A little man named Davey Matthews

10. Wearing an old Detroit Pistons basketball jersey to a concert

11. Wearing a green Red Sox St. Patrick’s Day hat to a concert

12. Wearing a backpack with no shirt on, also at a concert

13. Wearing a tank top with huge block letters that says, like, “I LIKE TO PARTY” in giant letters, again at a concert

14. Talking about how good Rugrats was

15. Having an extensive collection of flannels

16. Shoes with no socks

17. Showing up at the bar in a Romphim “just for laffs” but secretly liking being like “Hell. Yea.”

18. Texting you to see if they can buy weed off you

19. Splitting the check with Barbie on a first date

20. Asking Barbie to borrow her conditioner

21. Talking about that “I love bacon” phase they went through six years ago

22. Picking up a guitar and just riffin’

23. But only knowing how to play The General on the guitar

24. “Bringing back” Hawaiian shirts

25. “Bringing back” short shorts

26. Having two older sisters

27. Saying “yo you see Barstool yesterday?”

28. Owning 4-5 deep V necks

29. Arguing about Wonder Woman

30. Still complaining about the ending “Lost”

31. Sugar-free Red Bull

32. Ironically using that flower crown Snapchat filter but really loving it

33. Watching Bravo shows

34. Really, really trying to talk about Bravo shows to prove they watch Bravo shows

35. Not being afraid to wear pink

36. Ignition (Remix)

37. Wearing leggings at the gym

38. Taking pics of himself wearing leggings at the gym

39. Sometimes wearing shorts OVER his leggings at the gym

40. Tribal print shirts

41. Animal print shirts

42. Scoop neck tank tops

43. Talking about how his wireless headphones “grew on him”

44. Having a tiny dog

45. Giving that tiny dog a matching man bun and ‘gramming it

46. Being unafraid to use emojis

47. Wearing shorts to work

48. Having an “octobeard” after No Shave November

49. Saying “it’s not a man bun, it’s just a bun!”

50. Having juuuuuust not enough hair for a man bun

51. Wearing some beaded bracelets

52. Ankle bracelets

53. Artisanal coffee

54. Artisanal cheese

55. Artisanal spectacles

56. Toms

57. Going to spin class

58. “Getting into yoga”

59. Tiny bathing suits

60. Trying the newest Starbucks Frappuccinos

61. Telling the barista at Starbucks that Barbie’s drink is “on me”

62. Cracking their iPhone screen and never getting it fixed

63. Liking Bernie Sanders but forgetting to vote in the primaries

64. Studying abroad in Australia

65. Shotgunning a beer after already drinking, like, four

66. Tagging their friends on thefatjewish posts

67. Passionately arguing that Mexican food is wayyy better in California

68. One Republic, probably

69. Always asking “You hear the new Drake?”