When the music market gets rough, enough players use crazy marketing to justify a list of the best techniques in the industry. Double up with music’s best Internet gimmicks of oh-sev—here at PopMatters we’re the club hollerin’ “ay, meme,” as it were.
A kid I used to teach in the Bronx called viral hip-hop videos (Harlem’s “Aunt Jackie,” “Chicken Noodle Soup”) YoTube. I thought it was a local thing. Not six months later they were the subject of a critical essay in Slate (Rosen, Jody, “Six Degrees of Aunt Jackie,” 22 June 2007). Who calls Soulja Boy for the PhD?
Challengers, The New Pornographers
Carl Newman took inspiration from “Chicken Noodle Soup”, perhaps, when he challenged New Pornographers fans to set singles from their new album Challengers to an interpretive dance. For the moment it seems more of them might be watching YouTube user dancebuffet’s cover of “It’s Only Divine Right” in the key of Michael McDonald. Smooth enough to earn the praise of New York magazine, and Yacht Rock creator JD Ryznar. That, and inspired.
Flight of the Conchords
If Human Giant’s 2006 series “Clell Tickle: Internet Marketing Guru” was indie rock’s Iliad, then Flight of the Conchords is its Odyssey: more searching, more colorful, and ultimately more cohesive. If that made any sense. God knows the show doesn’t, which is exactly why we continue to listen, and watch.
RCRD LBL (www.rcrdlbl.com)
Trnd, r trmnds? Decisions, decisions. Share the wealth, and the exclusive tracks. Spoil the major labels with remixes of “D.A.N.C.E.”
Double Up, R. Kelly
Was it the R. Kelly hotline? The ringtone? That song about the ringtone? The Virginia Tech gospel tribute? The “Real Talk” video? “Sex Planet”? The Trapped in the Closet IFC premiere? For me it’s all about “R. Kelly TV,” the one-minute promotional shorts following Kells in quotidian tasks like eating cookies (“See, with this kind of stuff here, I be R. Belly!”) Kells is a polymath. And I’m sold.
The Broken String, Bishop Allen
Just two weeks after the new Trapped in the Closet chapters premiered at the New York’s IFC Center, the theater hosted “The New Talkies: Generation DIY”, an excuse to excuse all films “mumblecore”. These things include Bishop Allen, who also released one online EP a month this year, then compiled them as July’s The Broken String. And now “Click Click Click Click” is a camera commercial. Will they start using “Corazon” to sell heart transplants? They’ve come a long way from sending distributors signed copies of Charm School.
Bishop Allen - Click Click Click Click
If a Bishop Allen show is a living, breathing Wes Anderson flick, as a reviewer once remarked, then their Ivy League bretheren from Vampire Weekend and the Harlem Shakes are ripped from the pages of Non-Threatening Boys magazine. And what pages! What Oxfords and sweaters! The songs are pretty good, too.
Vampire Weekend - Mansard Roof
Ludachristmas came early this year. Under the pretense of Tracy Jordan hosting the Source Awards with “Ridikolus” (LL Cool J) and Ghostface Killah, 30 Rock secured its place as the most clever parodist of the medium. In its breakout hit “Werewolf Bar Mitzvah”, an absurd one-off in which boys became men, men became wolves, and 30 Rock became the most clever parodist of the medium since… well, when? You have two ears and a heart, don’t you?
The Minneapolis music scene has produced at least two prophets of import: Prince, what with his purple rain, and Tay Zonday in the key of… well, who cares? Chocolate rain, chocolate rain! With the endorsement of mentors as diverse as Jimmy Kimmel and Girl Talk, Zonday (ne Adam Bahner), an American studies PhD at the University of Minnesota, parlayed three minutes of inscrutable Porgy and Bess-by-Casio shtick into the most rigorous examination of race relations this year. Though Zonday has yet to match the success of the original—“Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” in four-part harmony with himself—he can sleep easy with 6 million views, a Verizon ringtone, and the hearts of the New York alternative comedy scene (including, natch, 30 Rock).
Chocolate Rain Remix: The Meaning
Why are there so many articles about In Rainbows? And what else’s on Thom Yorke’s mind? Someday we’ll find it, the In Rainbows answer: The lovers, the listeners, and me.