Tokyo Damage Report

music scandals

Just once in my life I’d like to see a “music scandal” that actually WAS ABOUT MUSIC.  “Miley Cyrus’ new song is all in 13 / 7 polyrhythms. . . and it’s 27 minutes long!”  “ASAP Ricky’s new song only uses a jaw harp and musical saw, nothing else!” “Lady Gaga’s new song consists entirely of samples from Youtubes of crimes used in courtroom proceedings. . .AND it’s 19 BPM.”  To me, THOSE qualify as “music scandals.”  But in our dumb media world, the more “shocking” the performer is, the more conservative and middle of the road their song is. Garun-fucking-teed.

Compare with Stravinsky: when he debuted Rites of Spring, there was a full-on riot in the classical music venue.  Like for real, old white Euro dudes in tuxedos all punching each other in the monocles, old white ladies all choking each other out with their own pearl necklaces and shit. That is a funny visual, but if you think about it, AT LEAST THEY CARED ABOUT THE MUSIC.

And isn’t it pathetic how predicatable “scandals” are? For guys:  drugs! Groupies! Arrests at Customs!  For ladies: sideboob OMG!  Makes me nostalgic for the ‘80s when you’d have a scandal like TITLE OF SONG IS A DOUBLE MEANING or  PRINCE SAID A CUSS.

Let’s face it: the entire, ritualized world of media scandals is less than 1% of ACTUAL shady  showbiz behavior, so why should the audience settle for that year after year?!? The REAL rock/showbiz scandals are the ones THEY NEVER TALK ABOUT.

 

How about a ROLLING STONE-type magazine that dealt with the REAL rock-stars of the industry:

The Crooked showbiz lawyers, bootleggers, managers, record label people. . . and the massive industry-wide organized-crime presence that makes it all possible.

Articles like: “top 10 record labels which only exist in order to launder drug profits (with full-color pie charts of where the money goes!”

Or: “Can You Match the Label (or promotion company, management company ,etc) With The “Family” of their “Secret Investor? (answers on page 95!!)”

You could have a pull-out section: real-estate ads listing foreclosed former MTV cribs.

Instead of TOP TEN HIGHEST-SELLING SONGS, you’d have TOP TEN HIGHEST-GROSSING SCAMS. Like:

“Guess Which Of Your Favorite Stars Doesn’t Own Any of Their Own Songs? (special bonus round: Guess Which Of Your Favorite Stars Didn’t WRITE Any of Their Own Songs?)”

Cult leaders! Complete with before-and-after photos (before: saffron robes, giant beard, holy pious expression. After: snorting coke off of a tax-shelter lawyer’s ass, wearing Oakleys, yelling “Can you fucking BELIEVE how much cash I got off of  Don Henley?!?!? Hey Don! Just keep chanting, buddy! Hahahaha!!! You’re almost there!!! HAHAHAAHAHAHAHA *snort*”)

Accountants:  “I not only screwed the band, but I kept it hidden from the much more expensive accountants that the record label hired to double-check on me! (Part 5 of 6)”

Drug dealers : “I Got A Yacht Named Eminem And A  Hovercraft Named DMX, And  I Can’t Even Rhyme”

Do a weekly Label Executive Irony Challenge:  Mr. “I bought controlling interest in a shotgun company with royalties I scammed from Nirvana” vs Ms. “Stealing the rights to Pink Floyd’s WE DON’T NEED NO EDUCATION paid for my daughter’s entire tuition at Harvard”. Who will win?  (Answer:  Ms. Pink Floyd, because her daughter majored in copyright law).

This Week’s 5 Most Outrageous Nuisance Lawsuits (and how much the stars settled out-of-court for!) (“Calling Kanye A ‘Tardbanger’ Bought Me This Dune Buggy!”)

“the 10 Cheapest-payola DJs . . . AND the 10 most overpriced ratings-fixers”

“the ten most mobbed-up clubs in Louisiana”.

“ten promoters that have not paid any band since 1994”

And my personal favorite category of scumbag: The sketchy relatives-of-relatives-of-relatives that crawl out the woodwork as soon as someone gets that first million. The Sketchy Relative is a huge part of showbiz folklore that never gets the attention they deserve – they always have some ridiculous business idea that “just needs a little start-up capital, garunteed double your money back.”  The funny part is, these scams are probably way more creative and original than the newly-rich Star’s music or movies or whatever!! For example: “A store where you punch chickens in the face” “like walmart but everything is made from alligators” “a line of tire-repair shops where bikini girls run a bingo game while you wait.” “FUCKING PRIME real estate on the river, dude! They’re going to run a freeway through there, build a derpity derp. Property values THROUGH THE ROOF my man! You’re lucky I’m even cutting you in on this deal!” Like, who do you think put more thought and effort into their hustle?  the scumbag  who has a “can’t miss idea for donuts with a fried egg in the middle” or the Star , writing lyrics for her new hit “Grind That Buttock (on the Dance Floor)”????

 

And it goes without saying that these articles would not be written  in a Steve-Albini-Fuck-The-Industry-Expose-Their-Fucking-LIES type way. This magazine would treat the scammers AS IF THEY WERE THE REAL ROCK STARS. Totally kissing their ass and promoting them as huge role models.  “Is it true that Stone Temple Pilots were begging you to stay even after you embezzeled all their tour money?” “How are you investing your Rhianna windfall? Any stock tips?” “Where are the offshore tax havens you’d recommend for next year?”

 

Instead of some handsome rock star surrounded by models, they photo shoot some pasty geek on the beach in his hideout in Bermuda, surrounded by spreadsheets. Total MTV CRIBS style.  “This is where the magic happens *points to stack of contracts with Page 29, Paragraph 3, Section 2a highlighted*”  “Here’s my garage with 4 cars that Sting paid for after knocking me up. Thanks, Sting!”

(insert random Gene Simmons quote where he talks like he is explaining the world to some dumb interviewer, then for contrast: insert a corresponding quote from the ACTUALLY smart guy who stole $4,000,000 of Simmons’ money while Simmons was face-down in a pile of drugs)

4 comments

4 Comments so far

  1. sephim September 29th, 2013 12:04 am

    Does this count?

    ‘Represented by Christopher Morrison at Jones Day and attorneys at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Lessig is seeking declaratory relief that use of “Lisztomania” was lawful and that Liberation Music is in violation of Section 512(f) of the DMCA because it “acted in bad faith when it sent the takedown notice, knowingly and materially misrepresenting that it had concluded that the video was infringing.”‘

    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/lawrence-lessig-sues-takedown-youtube-613549

  2. roger_camden September 29th, 2013 9:41 pm

    “I bought controlling interest in a shotgun company with royalties I scammed from Nirvana” sounds like an unused Anal Cunt song title.

  3. admin September 30th, 2013 3:04 am

    wait until the Collectors Platinum Edition Boxed Set comes out.

  4. C. October 4th, 2013 9:02 pm

    By today’s standards Albini’s rant is whimsically naive and Ye Olde Timey. You can add to your list of complaints:

    * Black Ops style publicists utilizing gossip rags to keep mediocre talent in the public consciousness with titillating stories of said celebrities naughty exploits.

    * Paid commenters and blog posters.

    * Ghostwriters; that is the people who /actually/ write the music and lyrics on pop records (rock, etc.).

    * Ghost… performers? That is the guitar-tech behind the curtain playing the solo on our favorite college-rock darlings new hit song when they play “live”.

    So? It’s all a con. Made more so by the fact that the money to pay off all the listed oopma-loompas is all it takes these days and thus Capital-A-Art’s become a class system just like business and tennis.

    If critics had even a modicum of music knowledge rather than a relative knowledge of records as they place on the consumer coolness scale – and there were standards – it wouldn’t be the way it is… but then again who’s innocent? Amongst those ghostwriters are some of the most respected underground musicians in the industry. The guys at the bottom gotta pay bills and the guys at the top… well, they have to fill the yawning chasm of emptiness because they’ve never had to struggle for anything I guess. AND – we keep buying records and lavishing our attention on scandals whether to denounce them or just to bury our faces in like coyotes at a roadside corpse. Just another religion. So it goes.

    But music is still amazing. Like most things it’s people who are the problem.

Leave a reply

Mexico