Friendship Never Ends for One Writer’s Codependent Spice Girls Obsession

I’ll never forget and have yet to fully recover from my first breakup. Sure, it’s been nearly two decades. And I was a (not-fully-realized gay) tween. But you’d be perma-traumatized too if your spirit animal/other half/soul sis/etc. called it quits. It was May of 1998 and I had once again snuck downstairs onto my father’s computer to get my daily dose of inappropriate chat rooms and jamming the printer from my Xena: Warrior Princess print-a-thons. I was computer banned after my family blamed me for the Gateway 2000’s slew of Trojan Horses. But my other half always taught me to make my own rules, to believe in Girl Power! Pro platforms and anti-panties! To pinch Prince Charles’ bum! During my tween years, hearing AOL’s “You’ve Got Mail!” (actually, I learned how to customize it to be my own .WAV file, which meant mine was the opening platform-stomping/giggle bit of the Spice Girls’ iconic smash, “Wannabe”,) usually provided euphoria, but on this dark day, I squealed as if my hamster died. The AOL inbox subject line read: “Ginger Spice calls it quits!”

Yeah, the bitch broke up with me via email.

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I hid my Union Jack dress-clad Ginger Spice doll (still in its case!) behind Sean John hoodies in the corner of my closet. I discontinued my very own “e-newsletter” aka ‘The Spice Gazette’ complete with a typo-ridden (I WAS 12!) dramatic exit letter. And I went back to that grating “You’ve Got Mail!” sound default. In other words, this was my life:

But, as Scary Spice croons on the Spice Girls’ RIP Ginger tribute (“Goodbye”), “Look for the rainbow in every storm!” YAS BITCHES: ‘Twas a Spice World once again in 2007 with the gals’ worldwide reunion tour. All was right in the world. Especially the tour costumes designed by Roberto fucking Cavalli, apparently secured by the now fashion world heavyweight Victoria “Posh Spice” Beckham.

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But then, heartbreak #2 happened. It started at the 2012 Olympics with the Spice Girls “surprise” performance, which resulted in a viral GIF of Scary, Baby, Ginger, Sporty bouncing around like school girls at recess whilst a resting-bitch-face Posh Spice strutted to the side away from them. Friendship never ends, Vicky?


Then there was the premiere of the short-lived Spice Girls musical, Viva Forever, in which Vicky passed on a group photo with her bandmates on the red carpet and opted to arrive late with her hubby and kids for a non-smiling family portrait. Mrs. Beckham officially put a high heel in my heart in January when confirming she’d NEVER reunite with the Spice Girls again via her Vanity Fair Italy cover story. I’m not so sure about this “first cut is the deepest” shit. Once again, I am bloody gutted.

C’mon Vic: give us what we want, what we really, really want. (And not those expensive fucking dresses, dammit.) Posh might want to forget about the BEST YEARS OF HER EXISTENCE, but I’m here to remind her why she’ll always be a Spice Girl. My heart is very forgiving. Come back to us. Please.

Okay. Here’s the best #TBT you’ll ever witness: The Spice Girls circa ‘94/95 (??) pre-fame and performing at a showcase. Posh’s vocals (and that Adidas t-shirt) slay!!!

Posh hasn’t smiled since Spice World. I wonder why???
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Here’s the ONLY time Victoria was on the cover of American Vogue. #FunFact
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She’s not that innocent. (POSH SPICE SOLO CAREER!!!!)

Um. Do we remember Posh for Rocawear?!
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Also, remembs when Posh was FUNNY?
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I’d like to thank Victoria for teaching me how to talk/sing/seduce with my hands.

Synth-Pop Singer-Songwriter Charli XCX Talks True Romance, Tasting Sweat, & Lena Dunham

Charli XCX is no newbie to the music scene, though her age might indicate otherwise to those not in the know. The 20-year-old Brit, born Charlotte Aitchison but recognized by her hotly debated stage name, has been making people move since she was an adolescent.

At 14, XCX was already on the radar, albeit far from mainstream, discovered on MySpace and invited to play raves at the weekend. An only child, her parents would drive her to and from performances—sometimes staying, watching on like ever-adoring chaperones—then take her to school come Monday. What might have remained a fond memory or a passing phase, however, evolved into a career, with a capital “c,” her warehouse party past giving rise to a girl who knew her pop hooks and dance beats.

The past half-decade has seen her morph from girl to woman, as well as release several solid songs, among them one of her best, “Nuclear Seasons.” At 16 she signed a record deal, catapulting the former club kid from promising act to legitimate artist with a single signature. For the past four years she’s worked towards today, which sees her major label release of True Romance. Her lyrical prowess and knack for catchiness continue to impress with this sweeping and anthemic debut, a 13-track album featuring favorites like “Lock You Up,” “What I Like” and “Cloud Aura.”

XCX, who also co-wrote Icona Pop’s “I Love It,” (which, if you’ll recall, was a huge hit following a particularly entertaining episode of HBO’s Girls) is currently touring Europe and the U.K. with Ellie Goulding, and will touch down in the States come May. New Yorkers can catch her supporting Marina and the Diamonds at Rumsey Playfield on May 29 and alongside Little Daylight on May 31 at Glasslands Gallery.

In the meantime, hear from the hard-hitting goth-pop princess herself. She’s got plenty to say, from her outlook on love (which she’s in, with Ryan Andrews) to her fantasies surrounding calling all the concert shots (think outlandish creative direction as it pertains to set design, à la Girls dreamboat douchebag Booth Jonathan).

You titled the album True Romance. Is this record the embodiment of “true romance,” to you? It’s such a bold statement to make. To say, like, Here it is. This is the definition.
This record is, for me, what true romance is. I’ve been writing the record for the past two to three years, but one song I wrote when I was 16. So, I feel like I’ve been writing this album as I’ve been growing up. Your views on love and life change over time. You experience different relationships, that kind of thing, and I think the record is kind of about that. It’s about love from different angles. Different periods of your life. There’s a bratty breakup song, when you went out with a bad boy. Then there’s a song about falling in epic, amazing, real, true love. And I feel like that’s what happened to me during the process of writing this album. I feel like I’ve fallen in love, massively. I feel like the record looks at how you can be on this love trip, in this dream state, but at the same time you can feel lonely and isolated. I think it’s interesting how schizophrenic love is. And that’s what the record is to me. It’s schizophrenic. It sounds that way. It sounds like love.

Did the title come at the end?
The title came last, actually. It was kind of, like, a reflection. I never wanted to make a concept album and come up with the title track and write songs around the title. I wanted to write the songs as naturally as possible and as naturally as they came to me. It just so happened they were about love. Once I started writing them, I supposed that was an appropriate title.

Makes sense. Can you tell me a bit about being so young coming up in the music scene?  
It was kind of crazy. At the beginning, I was very, very excited about everything. I was 15, signing a record deal. I was so elated by it. So, whenever there were highs and lows—which there definitely were, and still are—I took them really personally. It was a quite traumatic experience making this album, especially when I was younger. It can be emotional making an album, putting all your thoughts and feelings on a CD. I found the industry very difficult. There were so many expectations I thought I had to live up to. I was unsure who I was. I wrote the song “Stay Away” then. I began to find myself and what kind of music I wanted to make. I feel like I’ve changed a lot. I realized I don’t have any criteria I need to meet. I’m just doing my thing. I’m not feeling like I have to please anyone.

Even with the tumult, it had to have been a blast.
It was really fun. When I was younger, I’d go to raves, and that was crazy. Then, I’d go to school on Monday, and that was weird. But, it was cool. I kind of feel like I got sucked into that. I’m glad I left that scene and started making real music on my own.

Oh, yes. You’re talented, your debut’s a gem and, on top of that, you’ve traveled the world touring in support of Coldplay, Santigold, Ellie Goulding. Was it difficult to adjust to the limelight? MySpace and late-night raves are one thing, but stadiums are another thing all together. That’s rock star status.
For me, I can’t think about going on stage as the “limelight.” I think about it as playing my songs for people and losing my mind. When I’m on stage, I feel completely free. I feel completely inspired. I’m not thinking about anything else. I’m getting lost in the moment. It’s like one big trip.

Speaking of trip, do you have a favorite place to play?
I love America. I love L.A. and I love New York. And I haven’t been there yet, but I know I’m going to love Tokyo so much when I go. It sounds so magical.

It does. So, which one: New York or L.A.?
I don’t know. People compare them, but they’re so different. It’s so difficult to compare the two. I feel like L.A., maybe, for me, just because it’s so different from London. Whereas New York is so similar.

Aww, shucks. So, do you have any down time when you tour?
Never. It’s constant. But, that’s fine. It feels good to play shows and have people come listen to my music. That’s really nice. I mean, it’s weird doing promo every day. You have to talk about yourself all the time, and I don’t really like doing that. It’s just strange. I’m starting to get used to it. It’s all right.

You’re adjusting. How’s tour going so far with Ellie?
It’s fun. The crowds are big. She’s cool. I think I managed to convert her into a platform shoe-lover. She tried on my Buffalo platforms and was like, Oh my god, these are amazing!

How would you compare the experience of performing at big venues versus small?
Playing big venues is always less personal. Like, when I was doing the Coldplay tour, there were, like, seven screens. Only the front, like, five rows can see you up close. But, in a club it’s wild. You can taste everyone’s sweat, which I really like. I feel so much more alive. You can really get in touch with the crowd and make it, like, an apocalyptic, end of the world party. So, I really like that. Obviously, it’s a dream to play in front of as many people as possible, so big stages are good. But, when I have my own massive shows, I want the walls and ceilings and floors to be made of screens. So you’re in a screen box. And it’s, like, my favorite videos and mash-ups of my favorite movies playing. It’d be a mindfuck.

Do you watch Girls?
Yeah! Like that artist [Booth Jonathan]’s thing. Exactly like that, except on a massive scale.

That’s also, as you know, the episode featuring the song you wrote, performed by Icona Pop.
That was really cool. I’m a big Lena Dunham fan. I feel like she’s this sexy, hilarious, fierce super-girl. So, it was really cool seeing her singing that song. It was quite funny.

Is Hannah your favorite character on the show?
I don’t know. I also really like Adam. And I really like Shoshanna. And I love to hate Jessa, because I know so many people like that and they’re so frustrating.

Do you have a lot of super-fans?
I do, actually. They’re all sweet, but they’re crazy. It’s cute, though. They’re all young. They message me all the time. Like, everyday. It freaks me out that my music can mean that much to someone. I didn’t have that. Even if I did, I wouldn’t have had the power to tell them, because I didn’t have Twitter. Now, everyday, you can build up this false relationship in your mind. It’s scary. It’s mad.

I’d agree with that. After all this, the journey so far, what do your parents think?
They’re proud. Whenever I’m in London they’ll come to my show. They’re really supportive. They took me to the raves when I was younger, came with me and were really cool. I’m really thankful for that, actually.

That’s awesome. I imagine a lot of parents wouldn’t be as nurturing when it comes to their young daughter rocking the sometimes seedy rave scene. You also dress pretty provocatively. From where does your aesthetic sensibility derive?
I’m really inspired by movies. The Craft. Clueless. Empire Records. I just love that nineties aesthetic. I like basics, grungy stuff. I’m a big fan of the Spice Girls. Some of their music videos are my favorites. Like, “Say You’ll Be There.” I feel like I came through the third wave of the club kids in London. I was watching Party Monster, finding out who Michael Alig was. Part of me will always be interested in that world. DIY, but high fashion at the same time.

So, do you have a dream collaboration?
I’d love to work with Bjork. She’s incredible. I admire everything she does. Her voice is like butter. So angry but so sweet and beautiful at the same time. I think she’s wonderful.  

Whose music are you really into right now?
Jai Paul. I’ve always been a big fan of his. Kitty Pryde. I think she’s really cute. I love her lyrics. I always listen to the same stuff on repeat. Like, Uffie, Kate Bush, The Cure. Robert Smith is, like, my hero.

Last but not least, what would you be doing if not this?
I’d be crying probably. 

The Olympics Had a Closing Ceremony?

Wait, really? It must be to celebrate the pointless debt incurred in the shortsighted pursuit of high-definition abdominal muscles. I don’t know if this happened at the same time as Breaking Bad’s new, pins-and-needles, great-train-robbery homage episode, but let’s call that the reason I didn’t watch. Won’t even bother figuring out if the Spice Girls were actually there or if that’s just a joke everyone made simultaneously.

I also didn’t see this because, face it, the Olympics—the summer Olympics in particular—amount to an internationally sanctioned freak show, and nobody sticks around at the circus long enough to see the freaks take a bow. The limitless mutability of the human shape is grotesque, I get it. Unless David Cronenberg is directing something on that topic, I’ll pass. I’d say go back to having all that sex, athletes, except you’re such poorly socialized beings that you don’t even know how that would work.

Let’s put this whole thing in perspective: my wife doesn’t even remember who Michelle Kwan is. (Michelle Kwan is an Olympic figure skater who medaled in 1998 and 2002 but never took home the gold, as she was tragically expected to do.) She said the name sounded familiar… sort of. I guess it’s better to be a forgotten figure skater than be Kristi Yamaguchi, who is among a meager handful of 2002 Olympians touting Mitt Romney’s can-do spirit in an ad from the Restore Our Future super PAC. Yes, these people truly go on to do great things after robbing themselves of an adolescence and competing for tacky necklaces. 

All The Spice Girls Videos You’ve Forgotten (Or Tried To Forget)

Fifty years from now, your grandchildren, sitting at your knee, will look up and say "Where were you when the Spice Girls reunited at the 2012 London Olympics?"

Okay, your grandchildren will not actually do that. In fact, by that point the Spice Girls may be utterly indistinguishable in collective memory from the Destiny’s Child, TLC and Pussycat Dolls. That’s why you will gather ’round the young-uns and show them all the Spice Girls music videos that YouTube has to offer.

Wannabe, an instant classic, which is recently occurred to me might be a song about orgasms:

2 Become 1, in which the Girls croon at various locations around pre-9/11 New York City:

Spice Up Your Life, which imagined the Girls as alien invaders careening through New York City in a spaceship:

 

The utterly forgettable song Say You’ll Be There, featuring Posh writhing in a skintight black catsuit:

 

Stop, which is also completely forgettable, but has the the craziest eye makeup I’ve ever seen:

And last but not least, Viva Forever, yet another utterly forgettable Spice Girls song about pixies that nonetheless has gotten chosen as the name of their forthcoming musical in London’s West End:

Brace yourselves for this evening. It’s going to be epic. Your future grandchildren are counting on you.

Spice Girls to Reunite, Close Out London Olympics

Yo, I’ll tell you what I want, what I really, really want: to see the Spice Girls reunion at the Olympic Closing ceremony! The fab five are officially confirmed to be performing at the London 2012 Olympics closing ceremony, and zig-ah-zig-ahhed onstage during a recent rehearsal at the historic Ford car plant in Dagenham yesterday to prep for their performance.

Mel C originally fueled rumors of a Spice Girls performance at the Olympics earlier this year. “I’d be really upset if the Spice Girls weren’t included in the Olympics, whether it be the opening or closing ceremonies or any other playlists, because I think we absolutely represented Britain in the 90s,” said C, AKA Sporty Spice.

“We literally flew the flag—and Geri even wore it—around the globe. We were proud to be British and to be successful internationally, and we were the last band probably to do that,” said C. “So I think it would be a real shame if we weren’t acknowledged in some way at the Olympics.”

Victoria Beckham had also added to speculation when she said she’d love to do a reunion performance with her fellow Spices. “Who knows, maybe some day we’ll do something else with the Spice Girls. I would love nothing more,” said Beckham, a.k.a. Posh Spice. “I don’t know about a comeback tour but I loved being back with the girls.”

“There was a lot of fun, we did so much together and we’ll see. If they’re up for something then I certainly am. We are so proud to be English and we are very excited about the Olympics,” said Beckham.

Other stars at the rehearsal included Brian May, the Pet Shop Boys, Jessie J, Annie Lennox, Tinie Tempah, and George Michael, who revealed the news of his performance via Twitter. The ceremony will also feature comedian Russell Brand, British supermodels Kate Moss, Lily Cole, and Naomi Campbell, and possibly Kate Bush. It’s sure to be a bloody good Brit-stravaganza, indeed!

Woohoo! Spice Girls Performing Together at Olympics Closing Ceremonies

Man, this summer has been great for Spice Girls-related news so far. First there was the announcement of Melanie C’s appearance as Mary Magdalene in an upcoming UK tour of Jesus Christ Superstar alongside Tim Minchin and Chris Moyles, then the word that the Spice Girls musical, Viva Forever, was a go.

But for those of us who continue to yearn for a zig-a-zig-aaaah (#rememberthe90s) and just can’t wait that long, some more news: despite the initially-reported reluctance of Victoria Beckham (who said in a radio interview she “loved being back with the girls”), the Spice Girls will be performing for a one-off reunion at the Olympics Closing Ceremonies in London on August 12th. Although the gossip rags were writing about inter-group tension in the days leading up to the news, it seems like this is really a thing that is happening. Baby, Scary, Ginger, Posh and Sporty will share the stage with fellow off-again-on-again British pop group Take That, The Who, George Michael and Jessie J.

If it’s anything less than the clip below, we’ll be hella disappointed.

Spice Up Your Life! Spice Girls Goodies To Be Sold At Auction

God only knows why anyone would want to own an outfit from the late, great ’90s girl group Spice Girls, but hey, you soon may be able to regardless. Oodles of such items are going up for auction this November to coincide with the Spice Girls’ new West End show, Viva Forever!.  

The Spice Girls — that’s Sporty, Posh, Ginger, Baby and Scary — will donate some of their old girl-power costumes for a charity auction, with donations going to Save The Children and Children In Need. Now-fashion designer Victoria Beckham has said she’d like to save some of her outfits for her young daughter Harper, though methinks Posh didn’t mean her skintight bustiers. Indeed, the UK’s Mirror reports Posh will donate black leather dresses, Scary will donate Adidas tracksuits and crop tops, and Baby will donate a babydoll dress. (Oh God, remember babydoll dresses?) Sounds like just the threads to spice up your life.