Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Oh, we got Troubletones

You guys, you guys. I am in love with a fictional high school glee club. No, not those darn New Directions. I mean, I used to love them but we were all so young and things were so different then. No, I’m in love with the new girls on the block. I’m in love with the Troubletones.

In a few spectacular numbers, this all-girls phenomena has not just won my heart but wrapped it around my finger and made me beg for more. In all seriousness, I would camp out overnight like a crazed Twilight fan to buy tickets to one of their shows. I have my sleeping bag ready. I am only partially kidding.

When I first saw their” Candyman” performance, I clapped and grinned. So much fun, so much energy. And then came the epic Adele “Rumour Has It/Someone Like You” mash-up. I couldn’t stop watching it and I’ll never stop loving it. So here comes the big Sectionals performance of “Survivor/I Will Survive” tonight. And I think the only way to describe it is to say “Oh, the house that was here? Yeah, it’s gone. The Troubletones brought it down.”

Oh, kittens. Second 53, Second 53.


But what is more extraordinary, what is more sensational, what makes them not just another group that sings and dances is that this is a group fronted by an amazing African-American young woman and sensational out lesbian Latina young woman and her fierce out bisexual girlfriend. And they’re proud and loud and OH MY GOD, YOU SAW THE BRITTANGO PART, RIGHT?

Also, important sidenote, the choreography they perform during “Survivor/I Will Survive” is known as “waacking,” a style that originated in gay black and Latino disco clubs in the 70s. I ignorantly called it “flail-y when I first saw it, which I apologize profusely for as I know basically nothing about dance history. Kids today are still doing the Charleston, right? I am, clearly, the last person on this Earth who should be commenting on complex choreography. If you really want to see flailing, just watch me dance.

So, in that context, having the Troubletones waacking to a mash-up of a popular gay anthem (and a kick-ass Destiny Child number) is really pretty awesome nod to both minority and gay culture for “Glee.” It’s an organic and empowering way to showcase ethnic communities many probably aren’t familiar with.

Which is why it pains me all the more that the Troubletones will probably lose. Now, stop throwing Slushees at me. I have NO IDEA whether the Troubletones will actually lose. I have no spoilers. I have seen no screeners. I know no insider information whatsoever. But, I do have a brain and eyes and a sense of history. This show is about Mr. Shue’s New Directions, not Shelby Corcoran’s Troubletones. This show is about Finn Hudson and Rachel Berry, not Mercedes Jones and Santana Lopez. So, there is really no way the Troubletones can beat New Directions that works into the narrative Ryan, Ian and Brad have created. Much to my continued chagrin, they are not the heroes of this story. We all know that.

So, again, we pretty much know the Troubletones won’t win. Or they will win, yet somehow still lose. Or there will be some sort of tie, yet somehow still lose. Bottom line, our sassy sisters of song will eventually be folded back into the New Directions. Could I be wrong? I guess anything is possible. But, I fear, tonight will be the last we see of these girl-power, minority-empowering Troubletones.

So, then, I will let them have their mighty swan songs. A look back in wonder.

Rumour Has It/Someone Like You

[region-free link]

Candyman

The petition for a Troubletones spin-off starts here.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Actually 'flail-y' is more correct, because waacking is way more precise than what they were doing. Except during the tango, they looked like their bodies had no idea what their arms were doing.

Voo said...

Oh Ms Snarker, I couldn't agree with you more - it's been awhile since glee cast performances made me feel so much as Troubletones do efortlessly...it's a dream cast where they got rid of everybody who was annoying. So powerful, so fierce. Go ladypower!

Norma Desmond said...

I'm sure you're 100% correct about us nearing the end of our time with the Troubletones, a fact I find kind of tragic. They're actually about the only part of the show I'm enjoying right now... other than Brittana in general, of course.

Anonymous said...

I kind of thought they might win. But then with the terrible Puck storyline they end up losing their coach and have to go back to New Directions for Regionals. The I will survive/I'm a survivor mashup makes my day every time I watch it.

danamitey said...

I am very much enjoying their performances...having said that I don't however think that is the best one. I thought candyman was flawless and Rumour has it was the best mashing of songs ever. However Mercedes doing the "flaily" looked really painful to me. Let me say she is my favorite voice on the show but that is not the dance for her!

Elin said...

I very much agree with you. Usually I never listen to this type of music, but these girls have got me hooked.

I don't think the worst part is that they'll end up back in New Directions. The worst part is that they probably will go back to being in the background and not shine like the stars that they are. Oh, tragic world.

Kristan said...

I have long abandoned the show, but thank you for sharing these great songs with me. The I Will Survive/Survivor mashup was so good it brought me to tears.

Also, I agree with what both Anonymouses have said so far.

Vic said...

Did anyone else notice how Santana looks toward Brittany's direction when she sings "without you by my side?" I don't think they'll go back to the background. iTunes sales have gone up since Naya's increased role.

Vikki said...

The Troubletones are amazing and their performance of I Will Survive/Survivor is the only thing that has soothed my soul since the I Kissed A Girl mess of last week. I hate to see them go but I agree - this is it for them.

Sora Ryu said...

I'm going to keep some kernel of optimism and say somehow The Troubletones will persevere or continue to thrive somehow.

Seriously "Rumors/Someone Like you" sold the most MP3s all season so if RIB know what's good with them they will stop sabotaging Brittana's latest exploits.

Also I've seen the clip of the New Directions' performance and it's nowhere near as good. Plus their costumes - one word ugh.

Brittany and Santana are the only reason I still watch the show. Naya can act and both Naya and Heather are so funny - yet getting them to have any real roles has been like pulling teeth with RIB for all three seasons.

I don't understand the appeal of Finn. Cory's seems like a nice guy in real life but he can't even act. Naya and Agron, on the other hand, are destined for Oscars after Glee. Yet they get delegated to the background. How does that make sense in any universe?

kat said...

long time reader, first time commenter- I'm just gonna say it, Naya Rivera's voice puts me in that gut-wrenching, soul-smashing place comparable to Amy and maybe even Billie and Nina. I know she accredits her raspy soulful voice to cigars (albeit fictionally) but I swear can FEEL Santana's struggles and inner conflicts when she belts those notes. I just hope they keep letting her shine throughout the season.

Anonymous said...

How can ANYBODY not love the TTones?!
Thanks for that - quite a pick-me-up!

Anonymous said...

A Tuesday tank top adorned with an olive branch and the legend; ‘Quid pro quo’!

(Or is it a ‘muscle shirt’? Lord knows! I am certainly no expert when it comes to such attire…)

Right darlings, would the Gala fans please raise their hands! No, not bloody Gaga, *Gala*!!! Yes, I rather thought that would be the case; not so many North Americans and not so many under the age of-
Anyway! Seeing as darling Snarks has been so good to us over the years, I thought we might introduce her (and any curious bystanders), to a particularly memorable sleeveless shirt. (Do excuse me Snarks darling if you are already acquainted?) Said shirt being filled to perfection by the alluring curves of one Gala Rizzatto! Una bella ragazza! Molta bella! If that is not enough to pique your interest, there is also the fact that the woman can sing and dance! Oh, how she can dance! Long before Madonna thought of taking flamenco lessons, Gala and her boys were bringing us sexy Iberian inspired moves! So, despite our many differences, perhaps there is a bit of common ground to be found here?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bZgT6gd1Ko&ob=av2e

Tell me Snarks, does she ‘ping’ for you? She most definitely ‘pinged’ for me all those years ago! :D As to whether or not she’s ‘on the team’? Ah now, I never do anything so gauche as to betray a lady’s confidence! Not one I’m fond of at any rate. ;)

“Come, come, come into my life!” :D
As you well know Gala darling, I came into your life a long time ago! ;)

Yes those lyrics are more than a little eccentric and yes those Euro beats are more than a little dusty. Laugh if you must. I don’t mind in the least! :) You see darling, those same retro beats were the soundtrack to many a blissful time spent whiling the night away in some notorious Euro disco or other! Preferably in the company of a few sweaty impassioned Mediterraneans whose hips could do things we poor self-conscious northerners can only *dream* of attempting! Phew! Suddenly I could be doing with a large grappa! :)

If you’re still with me and if you can deal with long sleeves, cringe worthy French rollerblading (WTF?!) hosts who can’t even be arsed to button up their shirts (hmm knowing you darling, I think you can deal with that just fine!) and the worst lip synching ever; here are Gala and co stomping their little feet for all they’re worth! Olé!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNiIJfcaYHM

PD

Anonymous said...

PS As for the high schoolers - looks like we will just have to agree to disagree. Quite frankly, I’ve seen better tangos in the back streets of bloody Bournemouth, never mind Buenos Aires!

“During the tango, they looked like their bodies had no idea what their arms were doing.” Hee! hee!

Perhaps if they had snuck in a quick kiss? Passed a rose from one set of gritted teeth to the other? :D

P(2)S Hey Glee! How about giving this a go, if you dare?!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ReslMb1Qx_U

Who in their right mind attempts a Sabar while trying to do justice to their hit song?! :) (Correct me if I’m wrong, but I as I recall TOTP had them sing live in the late 90s?) I say, the girl had pluck! Cute as a button too! Now be honest; which of you here wouldn’t have given the shirt off your back to be the one in charge of the reviving cold sponge backstage?!

P(3)S To be frank, this next one borders on the obscene!

“she's horny too much.” –YT commenter

To you “too much”. To me? Well… *Cough ahem* Crashing on! I must say though I do prefer her with the short hair. Note: An honest to God tank top features heavily in the video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=blA-S0aLC6g

So what if she’s in love with her own body! Can you blame her?! :)

P(4)S Some interesting lyrics from her (patchy) last album:

“You and me - a different kind of love…” –‘DKOL’

Exactly what kind of love would that be Gala darling?

“She really wants to try me, take me, touch me, taste me…” –‘She Really Wants to Try It’

Ah, *that* kind of love! :)

Then there’s this from her first single (circa ’95-‘96):

“Ye-yeah, uh, me and my girlfriend” ;)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPOLo9jfI5k

Si, si, basta! Basta! Arrivederci darlings!

Anonymous said...

Probably not the right place to highlight this but has anyone read this crazy review but didn't know where else to comment.
http://www.afterelton.com/tv/2011/12/glee-writer-matthew-hodgson?page=last
Art Reker should read this blog! Did he think IKAG was good?
... but I single out Matthew for praise because, I Kissed a Girl successfully re-jiggered most of the third season story arcs, ... 3rd para in.

One word - stunned!

sonje said...

Where did the ten extra kick ass Troubletone back up dancers come from? Seriously there were like three people in that group three weeks ago!

Also, and I suppose this is me and my picky ways, but Glee club performances (not the TV show, real ones) are supposed to have all the people singing and dancing with perhaps a solo. This was two people singing the entire song with back-up dancers.

But I did love that tango!

Anonymous said...

Aside from the brilliant Brittango...I like that Sugar gets to just say "What" throughout the whole number.

Anonymous said...

If Naya isn't at least nominated for an Emmy this year, there will hell to pay!

And it seems so obvious that Shelby and Puck will get ratted out so the TTones won't be able to compete at Regionals. Cgrrl

Anonymous said...

Uh. Why do the New Directions get THREE songs? Not right and not very good after the first.

Not related but Michael Jackson should have stopped in many ways at 'Off the Wall.' And a few of the 'Thriller' songs.

greenfrog12 said...

you were right the trouble tones lost,am so sad

Alice said...

I'm going to miss them so very, very much.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Snarker, I needed the Britango this eve.

Little Skunk said...

UGH. Its so boring having New Directions win, I kinda wish the other school had got it (though Trouble Tones would have been great.) Though Im glad theyre one big happy family again, I was getting sick of the 'rivalry' plot.