Music videos are so 80s/90s, right? They belong with the era when MTV screened wall-to-wall vids instead of 'reality' TV? Try telling that to the millions who bought Gangnam Style; were they really simply loving the music? 1.6bn (and still climbing) have viewed the video on YT, not to mention the many re-makes (school eg, eg2), viral ads + celeb link-ups (even political protest in Seoul) - and it doesn't matter how legit it is, this nightmare for daydream Beliebers is making a lot of money, even from the parodies + dislikes. All this for a simple dance track that wouldn't have sounded out of place in 1990 ... but had a fun vid. This meme itself was soon displaced by the Harlem Shake. Music vids even cause diseases it seems!
This blog explores every aspect of this most postmodern of media formats, including other print-based promo tools used by the industry, its fast-changing nature, + how fans/audiences create/interact. Posts are primarily written with Media students/educators in mind. Please acknowledge the blog author if using any resources from this blog - Mr Dave Burrowes

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Anti-X Factor FB Campaign: Nirvana for Xmas no.1

SamB raised this, and I'm sure many of you are aware of the 2009 campaign which successfully propelled the industrial metal group Rage Against the Machine to the no.1 spot instead of whatever dreck won Cowell's show that year. Not just any band, this was one with a distinct history of radical, counter-hegemonic lyrics and actions, including various campaigns
My interest was briefly drawn again last year when it was proposed that the avant-garde composer John Cage's piece which consisted of silence (conductor's baton raised and orchestra putting instruments down the only sound if I remember right) for 4mins be the anti-Xfactor single. Now that would have
been a truly radical action.
This year, the same campaign group, largely centred on its FB page, are pushing Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit.
There's a superb analysis of the vid for this in Austerlitz's Money For Nothing book!
Forget the genre, though: this is relevant to ALL of you. You're mostly repackaging older material for a youth aud, and here's a prime example of this in action - it will be primarily teens who download this track, one which was being blasted out across the halls of residence when I first went to uni back in the day! This is also about the uses of new media, and the evolving place of music vids in our culture, plus a growing sense of frustration with and opposition to the globalisation of our culture and the iron grip of multinational corporations on this...
...which is why I won't be downloading this track - benefitting one such corporate giant to supposedly stick two fingers up at another?! really?! Kurt Cobain's supposed suicide was, after all, widely seen as due to his own discomfort with the corporatisation of his artistic endeavour. I'd be interested to hear your views on this. Who's with me in thinking they should have been truly counter-hegemonic and gone for the Napalm Death classic, 'Scum'? Now that would make for interesting radio broadcasts!

FURTHER READING: Nice analysis with illustrative stills of Smells Like vid:
From the same site, a good example of the ridiculous hypocrisy of conservative censors who also want to prioritise commercial concerns:

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