13 September 2007
A PLACE TO BURY RIFFS
RIFFMARKET "STATE OF THE ALBUM" EDITION
Rather than dismiss A Place to Bury Strangers's S/T as a songless one-trick turd or call out its lone booster for becoming his site's most shameless autoeroticist, I'd like to point out that this record probably isn't that bad of a marketing tool for the effects processors the band's frontman apparently builds. There's not a song on here worth talking about, which is to say there's no song that will get in the way of the man demonstrating to us all the different settings and kinds and configurations of distortion pedals he can put together. It's sort of like the preset song on one of those Casio keyboards with a lot of buttons. Not the best song, but you're not buying the song, etc. Taking this a step further, it might be nice to see more equipment makers sponsor indie bands, with the obvious strings attached. A fair record deal in my mind would be the Equipment Maker gives its best equipment to the band, with a 50/50 on record sales after EM recoups production costs; album art that heavily features the sponsoring equipment; a complete equipment list in the liners or at the very least in the PR email whatever press monkey sends around on their behalf; the prices of the various equipment in the liners, and maybe some kind of discount for people who bought the album; a few songs with alternate equipment-referencing titles (e.g. Metallica's "Enter Ziljian," Jay's "(Can I Get A) Mexican Stratocaster"); none of the band's songs are allowed to be too good.
11 September 2007
IF 'AYO TECHNOLOGY' WAS CALLED 'YAYO TECHNOLOGY'
NEW VIDEO SYNOPSIS
-50 Cent and Justin are still dancing in that black room, but in the back corner of the room Tony Yayo is sitting in a leather desk chair, reading an instruction manual for programming a universal remote control.
-In the scene where all the strippers are voguing on Justin, cut to a conference room where a different stripper is unzipping Yayo's fly. Camera tight on Yayo's face. When the stripper gets the thing zipped all the way down, camera cuts back to reveal that Yayo has his hand in his pants and is now shining a red laser pointer into the stripper's eyes.
-A good portion of Yayo's verse is dedicated to complaining about how annoying it is when somebody calls his cell phone from a Restricted number.
-Timbaland's Ghost and Goblins beat would be peppered with the sound of Yayo screaming obscenities at himself for not being able to land a Benihana in Tony Hawk 3.
-All of the original video's Matrix cuts would be replaced by a lengthy scene in which Tony Yayo jerks off to Caddyshack.
10 September 2007
RIFFMARKET BACK TO SCHOOL EDITION
From afar I've watched two respectable scribes day-in-day-out for their muppet-looking thirtysomething nobody of a boss, phoning in daily gossipy industry schlock so entirely beneath them you just have to pray they know so or hope they're merely trying to pay the bills just like everybody else, playacting the muckracking whatever rebel-blogger of 2002 like it wasn't a parody of itself way back in 2004--I mean the Stuff-shilling queen of it, well past her own fifteen, turned her back on it in the big print format she so jealously criticized and (we guess) now returns to her inner cheese, wearing red lipstick that matches her A&F red cumberbund belts, jeans with stilettos, funky-colored thongs, the works, friends, the works--from afar I've watched them, and at the very least I'd expect one or somebody else out there to hit this Britney Spears VMA 2007 softball out the park, somebody who has the smarts enough to realize that the people creating pop culture are by/large far more intelligent than the people carping on it, that in 2007 these Creators' Creations often come designed with these very Carps in mind but lo I was wrong. If you scrawled jizz letters on stolen Getty images, you'd say as much and maybe get to meet a few celebrities too.
Who was playing who exactly? Viacom web2.0'd your ass, preying on the fact that most internet users are incapable of anything but the obvious reaction, turning Spears commentary into de facto the most subversive meme of 2007. Television, once a semi-live free-for-all where PiL can storm the Bandstand crowd or an 8-year-old can tell Bozo the clown to go fuck himself, everybody knows is scripted and post-produced to no end--and so the calculated manufacturing of the MISTAKE, of the absolute heinous can't-believe-that-happened goof, is really TV's last outlet for excitement. Mistakes are the new Road Rules van. We want impact, we want it raw, we want pornography and violence, and we want to be able to comment about how pornographic and violent and embarrassing it was, we arrogantly want the interactivity. Viacom delivered. Smart creative people want to get paid too. Big Media is not that stupid.
Thing is Spears didn't go out there trying to kill the thing either. She knew she couldn't, but you wonder what the backroom talks were like. My guess is everybody knew this was a stunt--I mean that outfit--but very few knew she'd be so listless, that the performance would be so cynical. That was all Spears. Reports of physical self-sabotage abound, but she's trying to kill off "Britney Spears" the icon as well--maybe the only decision she'll make in her career that's actually her own. Because imagine if she went out there and really gave it the good old high-school dropout try: She'd still be fat, listless, embarrassing, past her prime, lipsynching, publicly humiliated, Pinocchio'd, everything else. Can't condone the performance but my heart goes out.
If there's one thing I've taken from my few months off the Riffwagon, observing the fray but refusing to two-cent it, it's the dramatic speed with which the general intelligence of the internet has fallen to the level of the general populace. I remember it being a self-selecting crew, and almost like a "thing" to turn to the blogspot for a sweet dose of smart and sideways, the kind of thing Byron so brilliantly parodied from almost day one. The real thing runs so close to the parody anymore though, it'll be no surprise when we're all back reading just the Times and New Yorker and Dusted Magazine again, and maybe a few novels here and there, and maybe Weather.com until the hurricane finally hits.
Enon: Grey Geysers Carbon Clouds
Ricardo Villalobos: Fabric 36
James Murphy & Pat Mahoney: Fabriclive 36
Body Language 5
White Rainbow: Prism of Eternal Now
Felix Da Housecat: Virgo Blakto and the Movie Disco
Still Going: "Still Going Theme"
Omar S: "Dirty Distortions"
OLDIES BUT GOODIES
Fam-Lay: Grand Theft Ghetto
Frankie Knuckles: Choice (A Classic Collection)
Horace: "Odi profanum vulgus et arceo."