ENJOY THE GENIUS 8: Anyone Can Get A Record Deal

And if the world does turn, and if London burns, I’ll be standing on the beach with my guitar. I want to be in a band when I get to heaven. Anyone can ENJOY THE GENIUS and there won’t be nothing anymore…

You know, my mom’s been on my case lately about getting a haircut. What she doesn’t understand is that if I grow my hair, then maybe I could become Jim Morrison…

FAT! UGLY! DEAD!

So it’s been a while since the last installment of ENJOY THE GENIUS, a post that remains the most popular on this site by a ridiculously lopsided margin — it’s at 264 views as I write this and no other post on this blog has reached the century mark yet. I attribute all of the success of ETG7 to my remarkable writing skills and promotional savvy and not to that picture of Keeley Hazell that I linked to as a joke. I mean, I posted links to five or six girl pictures in one of my more recent posts and that hasn’t racked up nearly as many hits! It MUST be my writing!

So what have we learned today? Never underestimate the power of boobs. And also that Thom Yorke used to have the same hairdo as my Spanish teacher from my freshman year of high school. (To help you make sense of this comparison, this one guy I know once referred to her as “the dead Barbie.”)

Dear Mr. Yorke: I am so very, very sorry if this image brings back painful memories. Im sure youre just as surprised as I am that once upon a time people thought piss-colored hair was cool.

Dear Mr. Yorke: I am very, very sorry if this image brings back any painful memories. I'm sure you're just as regretful as everyone else that back in 1993 people actually used to think that piss-colored hair was cool. Can't wait for LP8! Sincerely, Colin.

Anyway, this edition of ENJOY THE GENIUS will focus on artists that I can’t believe actually have record deals, as evidenced by the title. In other words, it’s a typical ENJOY THE GENIUS post. And despite what my recent posting history will suggest, you won’t find anything about Soulja Boy or the Jonas Brothers here. No, they’re pretty easy targets. I’ll dig a little deeper this time… but not too much deeper than usual.

Prepare to be depressed, undiscovered musical geniuses of the world, because these people have (or had) record deals and you probably never will. The fun continues after the jump!

We begin today’s shenanigans by taking a look at that bastion of musical self-promotion and future unwilling guest stars on To Catch A Predator. I speak, of course, of Myspace. Never mind the fact that Facebook does just about everything Myspace does, only better. If there’s one great thing about Myspace, it’s that the site has played a big role in helping musicians have a better chance of getting discovered than ever before. I mean, if not for Myspace, then these people never would have become famous!

Ah, yes. The wonderfully charming screamo-crunk compositions of Brokencyde — or as they write it, BrokeNCYDE. Why? I don’t know. Is it supposed to signify two separate words? Then why not just call the band “Broke Inside,” which is a great description of the band members’ heads?

As Warren Ellis so perfectly put it, “It’s a near-perfect snapshot of everything that’s shit about this point in the culture.” The screaming sounds incredibly out-of-place when juxtaposed against dancey hip-hop music. It’s like Justin Timberlake becoming the lead singer of Slayer. Sure, nobody else is doing anything like that… but there’s a reason why nobody else is doing it. At least the screaming is a human voice, though — all the “singing” vocals are AutoTuned to death. Where’s Doc Brown’s DeLorean when you need it? I’d like to go back in time and prevent people like T-Pain and Cher from making this cool, because now every other song has this AutoTune stuff. If you want to listen to robots sing,  listen to Daft Punk. That’s what I do. Now do as I say because I told you to.

So is there any redeeming quality to this band whatsoever? Yeah, I guess…

  • I think it’s a remarkable test of your musical endurance — how long can you bear to listen to this? I rarely get past the minute mark.
  • I love all the girls in the music video up there because they’re so obviously pretending to enjoy this song. How do you keep a straight face with some idiot going BLAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH in your ear for three minutes?
  • I like the guy in the pig suit. It reminds me of this one time in high school when my class was putting on a talent show, and these guys did a puppet-show retelling of “The Three Little Pigs” that ended with another guy coming out in an inflatable pig suit and body-slamming the wolf puppet. No, I am not making this up. It was probably the funniest thing I’ve ever seen.

Brokencyde is so fucking bad that people are actually starting to protest their inclusion on the Warped Tour roster. Bands like Senses Fail and Thursday have publicly spoken out against them. When people are actually willing to boycott an entire music festival because of your band, you’ve got one amazingly shitty band!

And here’s another group of Myspace maestros who have somehow risen from obscurity. They call themselves Millionaires, which apparently is something they aspire to be (song titles include “I Like Money,” “Hey Rich Boy,” and “Just Got Paid, Let’s Get Laid”).

“Let’s get fucked up! Gimme that alcohol!” Yeah, these sure sound like the kind of girls you can take home to Mom and Dad.

If Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian, and *insert name of any girl from The Hills* formed a rap group and considered Lil Jon and Soulja Boy to be among their chief lyrical influences, and then they all got lobotomies, you might get something like this. Or better yet, it’s Brokencyde without the screams and penises.

Has there ever been a band that’s risen to fame primarily through Myspace that was actually any good? I can’t really think of any off the top of my head. Help me out here, folks!

But for now, here’s Aiden.

What the hell is going on here? Why is the lead singer climbing out of a coffin? Does he think he’s some kind of vampire? All that lipstick on his face kind of looks like blood, so maybe he does. If he is one, he’s probably the gayest vampire ever. Way ahead of Louis and Lestat from Interview With The Vampire. He just barely edges out that guy from Twilight who sparkles in the sunshine. And what’s with the big muscular dude? And why are they trying so hard to sound like the Killers?

If there’s one thing this video has going for it, though, it’s that the lead singer has quite possibly the funniest facial expressions I’ve ever seen.

I dont think Im wearing enough lipstick!

"I don't think I'm wearing enough lipstick!"

I COULD HAVE BEEN THE ONE TO FILL YOUR DARK SOUL WITH LIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGHT

I SHOULD HAVE BEEN THE ONE TO FILL YOUR DARK SOUL WITH LIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGHT

Am I not irresistible? Give us a kiss!

"Am I not irresistible? Look at me. Look at what a sexy beast I am."

Must... have... the precious...

MUST... HAVE... THE PRECIOUS...

My personal favorite is the face he makes at about 3:22 after the bassist releases him from the headlock.

The lead singer of Aiden is a walking tour de force of comical facial expressions. I mean, this guy makes Jim Carrey look like Ben Stein. He needs to be in a movie. It doesn’t even matter what movie you put him in. If he’s in it, and he’s making faces like these, it would be the funniest movie ever.

But what makes this video even funnier is that this band typically looks like this…

WHY SO SERIOUS? Lets put a smile on that face...

WHY SO SERIOUS? Let's put a smile on that face...

And sounds like this…

So that one song where they sound like the Killers is the exception, not the rule. The rule is that they must sound like My Chemical Romance and AFI.

Also, what the fuck does “I’m going straight to hell down” mean? My God, that’s got to be the worst forced rhyme I’ve heard in a song since “Even more in love with me you’ll fall” in “Hey There Delilah.”

Now that I’ve spent an adequate amount of time making fun of Aiden, let’s make fun of somebody else. Next up we have a rapper from Hungary who calls himself Speak. And as you’re about to find out, never has there been a more fitting name for an MC.

The first time I heard this song I was just waiting for this guy to… you know… actually start rapping. Instead you get long spoken-word intros to rapped verses that never come, and then as the chorus begins you realize that those spoken-word intros ARE the verses. I mean, as much as I like to make fun of people like Soulja Boy and Reh Dogg, at least they try to flow. Shit, this guy doesn’t even rhyme any of his lyrics. It’s like he’s the hip-hop version of the Shaggs — someone being forced to attempt rapping even though he has no idea what rap is or what he’s doing. But since he gives a shout-out to Tupac Shakur, it’s clear that he has some kind of idea of what rap is and how it should be done. So there goes his only possible excuse.

At least Speak is intelligible, though. I can’t say the same for this next bozo.

How? How does something like this happen? This guy can’t even be bothered to deliver coherent lyrics, and yet here he is… making a professional music video. Slayer was right, man… this is proof that God really does hate us all. Talented musicians struggle to get by in obscurity every day while this guy mumbles and slurs his way to the top of the charts. He’s lucky this song is hilariously funny, because otherwise I’d be pretty pissed off.

Besides, there’s always a silver lining in every rain cloud, right? Of course there is. And for this particular raincloud, this is that silver lining…

Here’s a shorter version that features something other than Batman because apparently the people at YTMND (You’re The Man Now Dog) love to use it with everything. And I mean EVERYTHING.

And while we’re on the subject of brain-dead dance music…

You know what? Suddenly “Chacarron” doesn’t sound so bad. At least that song is funny. This might be somewhat tolerable if this dude at least tried to sing. Shit, he didn’t even have to do that. He could have just done some Speak-style rapping and it would have been an improvement. I mean, as if Detroit hasn’t had it bad enough — what with Michigan football having their worst season ever, the Lions going 0-16, the Pistons falling apart, American automakers declaring bankruptcy, being the face of America’s economic plight, and Kid Rock still being allowed to ruin classic songs make music — these fools had to put the city right there in their name. These guys once released an album called Galactic Ass Creatures From Uranus, for crying out loud. But cheer up, Motown — you’ve still got the Red Wings, right? And they’re about to win their zillionth Stanley Cup. And, uh… Michigan State made a nice run in the NCAA tournament. And, uh… um… give me a minute on that.

Okay, one more video and we’re all done. I leave you with some band from the UK called Radiohead, who apparently thought it would be a good idea to write a song about how weird fishes are or something.

God, how did those guys get a record deal? Seriously? I mean, they sound just like any other generic pop-rock/emo band clogging the airwaves on the radio and MTV and…

Oh, wait. That’s not Radiohead… that’s a Radiohead fan doing a clever parody of pop music. Never mind, false alarm! So until next time, keep on enjoying the genius.

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