Tag Archives: pop music

The Commoditization of Emotional Discovery

Feel like crying?

There’s an entire genre of movies, TV shows and music, explicitly designed to mollify you in your time of emotional distress. Plus, there’s a contrived ending that tells you everything’s okay. Or not. It’s basically sadness porn, after all.

Feel like laughing? Same deal. Entire blocks of television programming are devoted to laughter, loaded with disparate commercials for unhealthy items and services. You can “binge-watch” every stand-up special a comedian has produced, and then argue about a decrease in their edge, on the Internet. Isn’t that fantastic?

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Filed under Don't Know Don't Care, Eatable Things, Idiot's Delight, Nostalgic Obsessions, Robot Toy Fetish, Uncategorized, Worst Of All

“Tunak Tunak Tun”

I’ve admitted before that I am not fond of the medium of “music video”. I have observed it from its infancy; I lucked out and happened to be present when MTV started broadcasting in summer of 1981. If you enjoy being awkwardly sung to by a band, or like to be teased with sleazy, half-naked sluts, MTV was your White Knight, bubby.

Everyone wants to break into the movies, so it’s easy for a coked-up director to cajole an otherwise sensible group into painful, cringe-worthy antics. Then another director would react by crafting the most pretentious, arthouse video possible, all long takes and black-and-white aesthetics. “They’re like mini-movies,” say the line-toers, ignoring that music videos typically appropriate and condense everything meaningful about film. Some people will say anything to promote their clients.

But like Tijuana Bibles and Bumfight videos, there is still a vein of good under mountains of terrible. For every ten thousand glamor-shot videos of the latest solipsistic pop bimbo, there is one that reminds you why the medium exists in the first place. Maybe it’s not merely a quick-and-dirty promotional tool; it is like a “mini-movie”.


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Filed under Faint Signals, Late To The Party, Thousand Listen Club

Hate Proof: Adam Ant’s “Goody Two Shoes”

You probably won’t believe this, but when I was a stage actor in the late 90s, I hung around with an actual carny. A guy who really did run off to join the circus as a kid, name of D.C.; a character so colorful, the memories seem like legends. We used to cruise the streets of Savannah in his gigantic box truck and pick up chicks. It was every bit as great as it sounds. Who amongst you can say you’ve been a carny’s wingman?

I have no idea where D.C. went after the century’s turn. Probably somewhere fun and awesome, relatively close to a beach or a circus. Backstage when we were castmates in a production of Brendan Behan’s The Hostage, he would signal an impending night of debauchery by singing “pound note, pound note.”


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Filed under Bad Influences, Faint Signals, Nostalgic Obsessions, Thousand Listen Club