Friday, August 29, 2008

Its Not Selling Out if You're stuck in a Paralyzed Temporal Distortion for the rest of your life

So somebody at the record label decided one day that what they needed was a stable of expendable talent. They were tired of having to pick the IT department's brains every time they needed a new song for a car commercial, or an opening theme for a primetime soap. It was demeaning and time wasting, their considerable talents needed more room to grow, without worrying about the public's mediocre taste. This particular person, who was nothing if not resourceful, took their summer vacation in Switzerland that year. When they came back, surprisingly tan, they had a plan.

They rounded up an army of 27 yr olds, and gathered them in the conference room of a Los Angeles Mariott.
"Here is what you are going to do..." they said.
A room of shiny Puma clad feet shuffled.
That night, 234 gray hoody sweatshirts departed into the mist on Mega Buses.

The recruiters scoured the land, coast to coast. They paid special attention to Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, the Dakotas. They drank 50 million cherry bombs in bars with women twice their age. They consumed 750,000 pounds of chex mix. They collected 200,000 radio station bumper stickers with funny sayings " The Dawg Pound never sleeps!" and " f--- you, I'm tuned to 106.9". They visited 500 wet t-shirt contests in post college suburban bars.

The result of all this tireless labor was that 365 sleepless nights later, they had signed every classic rock cover band (but they really write original stuff too) with members under 40 in the United States of America. Signed them to contracts that none of them had read, but really, they didn't care to anyway. A contract was a contract was something to tell their girlfriends right before they dumped them, moved to L.A. and started dating Kate Bosworth or that girl from The Hills.

Somebody rubbed her fingers together in secret glee as she surveyed the auditorium, filled to breaking with baseball caps and foil pattern t-shirts.
"We are going to invest in a timeshare" she said.

Not a few weekends in Boca a year, but a bubble of stasis in the 9th dimension where they would spend the rest of their lives frozen, paused like a scratched xbox game. And she would take them out, band by band, as she needed them. They would record an album, the same album, again and again. And as they lived out their usefulness, she would throw them back in the bubble for another 5 years. The market never even knew their names. But they knew that background rock sound, the sense that this was a hard rocking number for a band that usually did ballads, that there was a mention of love or god or country in there somewhere, that the lead singer would always sound like the guy from Third Eye Blind. Muted olive dress shirt, black leather pants, stringy shoulder length blonde hair or maybe buzzed black crew cut. Lots of vines, abandoned houses, flaring suns in their videos. Or maybe some t-shirts, skinny ties, one ugly guys. A video of sentimental pictures from some girl they dated right after college.

I knew a guy who escaped from it. He said he had been trapped there for fifteen years. I asked him how he escaped. He said that she gotten lazy about putting the musicians back in, that if you made a break for it, she no longer cared to chase them. He was going to try and reach the next chosen band, to bring a message back to the others. He was going to devote his entire life to freeing the rest. Except the FireFlies. "Those guys are screwed," he said in a haunted whisper,"she'll never let them go."

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