News and notes from Reston (tm).

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Pop Shocker: Reston Indirectly Responsible for 'California Gurls,' Other Cultural Masterworks

File:Benny_Blanco_Big_Piano.jpegIt's always great to learn that a Reston native has done good, even in those instances when "done good" translates into "more Katy Perry on the radio," as the Washington Post recently discovered.

You may not know Benny Blanco, but you probably know his songs. At the age of 24, the Reston native has co-written and produced 15 Number One songs, including “Moves Like Jagger” and “Payphone” for Maroon 5, “California Gurls” for Katy Perry, “Dynamite” for Taio Cruz and “Tik Tok” for Ke$ha. Those were all massively huge hits.
Wow. Does that mean that Bob Simon (or, as he should now be called, Bob $imon) has Moves Like Jagger?
He’s gone from Reston now, living in New York, according to this Los Angeles Times piece which ran in The Post Sunday. When he was in Northern Virginia, he was known as Benjamin Levin, and he took his stage name from a character in the heart-warming family classic film “Carlito’s Way.”

Where he grew up and where he went to school around here are unclear, but he told Vibe magazine in 2012 that one of his formative experiences was going to a neighborhood cassette tape store when he was five or six years old, where someone would sell him and his brother “Parental Advisory”-stickered material. (Sounds like Compact Discount in Lake Anne Plaza. That guy would sell anyone anything.)
That makes us feel pretty old. But we're not the only ones who don't seem to be enjoying the noise the kids today listen to, if the comments on the Post article are any indication:
On behalf of all Restonians I apologize for putting him in an environment to write pop songs, I am ashamed, unless he is a hipster doing ironically then it is kind of funny.
All of which just gives us an excuse to post this, which has now surpassed Reston: The Opera as the pinnacle of our community's contributions to the world's cultural canon:

You're welcome, rest of the world. You're welcome.

Update: In its own profile, The New York Times confirmed that Mssr. Blanco did, in fact, attend South Lakes High School. Credit our favorite correspondent, The Peasant From Less Sought After South Reston, who asks: "In honor of DRB regulations regarding approved color palettes, shouldn't he have changed his name to something like Benny Quasi-Blanco or Benny Semi-Blanco?"


  1. Forget building a time machine and to prevent Hitler's birth, we need to go back in time and make sure that dude is never born.

  2. Tik Tok
    Don't Stop
    DRB on the Clock

    Gonna Write
    A Citation for a Door
    That's a Bit Off White

    Tik Tok
    Don't Stop
    Property Values Gonna Drop
    Once That Golf Course
    Is Put Up on the Bourse

    Oh oh oh oh

  3. The party don't stop 'til...

    Oh, wait. It's Reston. The party never starts.

  4. "Even with his reputation on the rise, Blanco retains all the energy that drove his earliest hustles. “Dude, I’m still waiting for the day when someone’s like, ‘All right, Benny, the jig is up—your job at Burger King will be available next weekend,” says the producer, whose extramusical activities include being a frequent guest lecturer at NYU’s Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music and the Get Well Soon Tour, a charity that Blanco started designed to bring superstar musical performances to sick kids in hospitals. “I always knew I’d do something with music if I just kept at it and was annoying enough. But every day I thank my lucky stars it turned out like this.”"

    Sounds like a good kid.

  5. Too much autotune.

  6. I wish they all could be California Gurls


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