Music, Pop Culture, Television

The Voice is a bullshit vehicle for stars with dead careers

image from an episode of 30 Rock

Image via an episode of 30 Rock

I do not watch shows like The Voice or American Idol. I think they are lame. I’m all for entertainment and shit, capitalism is whatever, but the false hope that these shows instill in the thousands of forgettable people who are featured season after season makes me sick.

It’s true that SOME people have come out of singing competitions like American Idol with a successful singing career. Kelly Clarkson had a good run. That bald guy from American Idol is doing okay I guess. Clay Aiken was on an episode of 30 Rock once. Out of the 13 seasons of American Idol, Carrie Underwood is by far the most successful. But that’s 13 seasons and only 4 people that are only kinda-maybe culturally relevant today.

As for “The Voice”, I can’t even tell you one person who has had mainstream success. That’s because it’s a pretty transparent vehicle to launch the stagnant careers of its already famous, millionaire coaches.

Exhibit A: Gwen Stefani’s new single “Baby Don’t Lie”

As you may or may not know, Gwen Stefani is a coach on the current season of “The Voice.” Which is weird, right? Because she hasn’t been relevant in the music industry since her solo albums in the mid 2000s. Sure, No Doubt tried to come back in 2012 with their album “Push and Shove” but it didn’t really land anywhere mainstream.

But wait! Today (October 27) she just released a new solo single called “Baby Don’t Lie,” while she is currently serving as a coach on “The Voice.” What a coincidence. Where does she find the time?! I mean, when’s a better time to try and restart your music career than when you’ve been hired to “coach” a “singing competition” on network television?

Exhibit B: Rotating judges on “The Voice” and subsequent releases

Christina Aguilera? Dead career. Usher? Pretty sure dead career, but maybe I’m just not aware of his phantom hits somewhere. Cee Lo Green? “Fuck You” was cool 4 years ago. Shakira? Released a song with Rihanna called “Can’t Remember to Forget You” in between her season 4 and season 6 coaching duties.

Don’t even get me started on Maroon 5. (PLZ for the love of god stop howling at the moon on the radio) I don’t even know what a Blake Shelton is so I won’t go there.

In addition to using the show to promote their own music careers, the fact that the coaches actually perform on “The Voice” chaps me to the core of my chapable human parts. It’s not about you, famous people. JESUS. 

Take this video, for example, of Gwen Stefani performing her biggest solo hit ever “Hollaback Girl” on “The Voice.” I love Gwen Stefani, really. But she is not a singer that I would regard as being able to give anyone a whole lot of singing tips. Especially when the song she chooses to perform on the singing competition show is one where she is talk-singing over backing vocals. Which is totally fine, I ain’t no vocal performance snob. But it’s a singing competition show. The point of it is singing well, not getting by with what ya got. That’s called real life.

Exhibit C: The music industry has been wearing sweatpants in its mom’s basement for over a decade

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Look, we all know the music industry struggles everyday to make money. Small artists definitely struggle, and big artists struggle to make millions off of their music, not including the 7 perfumes they launched this year and a fucking clothing line a Kmart.

Blame it on Napster, blame it on people not respecting time-based art, blame it on the rain. Probably blame it on MTV somehow too.

Let’s not be idealistic idiots. Money is fun. These coaching gigs pay a fuckton of money, so I understand why someone would want to be a coach on a huge show like “The Voice.” They not only get a sick paycheck but they also get to promote their brand. Neat. But taking advantage of these idiot nobody singers (I say with love!) trying to make it big in a show that will never make them big is fucking rude.

Let’s get real: most of these nobody singers are not going to have a singing career after their stints on “The Voice.” They are used as props to fuel viewer engagement and promote the artists telling them they’re “great” and they “love what ur doing” and “ur gonna b a star.” As sickly entertaining as it is to watch people’s dreams get crushed on shows like these, can’t we find another way to promote music on primetime TV that doesn’t involve monetizing false hope in the hearts of starving singers?

COMMENT BELOW and tell me what you think.

 

 

 

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Fashion

Dream shoes: Jeffrey Campbell will murder ur life in these platforms

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Yeah these are pretty weird which means they are cool as fuck. It’s good to wear weird shit though because weird shit starts conversations and makes you feel like a billion pennies. PLUS, these platforms by shoe god Jeffrey Campbell come with a secret door where you can hide candy, weed cigarettes or your business card when you’re out on the town and trying to spread your game.

P.S. I don’t know what kind of actual psycho would stuff them with confetti instead of snacks. Total freaks, that’s who.

Jeffrey Campbell Jadis-Door Platforms, $255

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Fashion, Uncategorized

Fashion: Favorite Comme des Garçons outfit

Comme des Garcons, Ready to Wear, Paris, Fall Winter, 2012,

 

This is the best outfit I’ve ever seen in my entire life. I want to wear it, plus the wig, and eat candy while running through the city. My fingers will be sticky, my face will be stained with corn syrup and my heart will be full.

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Etiquette

This is how you respond to a group text

 

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If you’re a human being with cell phone contact to the outside world, you’ve surely come across a group text. You know, the kind between your roommates updating each other on visiting guests or griping about how dumb it is to pay rent. Or the ongoing thread between close friends where you share ridiculous posts of people you used to go to high school with. But there’s another kind of group text out there lurking behind the matrix: The Event.

The event group text is something you get informing you about-DUH-an upcoming event. Maybe your friend is coming back in town and has texted you along with 9 other numbers that are foreign to your phone’s contact book and thus your IRL social network. There’s nothing wrong with sending or recieving a group text like this: the sender wants to get a quick, informative message out to a select number of people. Efficiency at its best in the modern age. However, it’s how the recipients act that can make this particular group text a pleasant stroll in heaven or a boiling soup of textual hell.

group text

Most of the time, it is an unwritten rule that you don’t have to respond to a group text of this nature. “Hey everyone. Party tonight. 11pm. My place. BYOB. PEACE SUCKAZ” is pretty straight forward. But there’s always a couple of dinks who responds to the entire anonymous group of folks with either a useless “wooooo” or a vacant “k”. Stop it. Stop it now. You’re flooding the inbox of people you don’t know with useless responses, and setting them up for the falsest hope we could ever imagine in this cold, dark, dependent technological world.

When I hear my phone sound off with a text, it sends me into endless possibilities of heavenly plans. Maybe it’s that sexy beast asking me out finally. Maybe my mom sent me a picture of the family dog. Maybe my friend Jeff is finally out of his existential funk and wants to get some cheese fries! But no. It’s still the empty responses from the group text sent an hour and a half ago about the party that had all the information possible in the lead text. The same empty group texts that transform faces around the globe from sheer excitement into gray-tinged smart phone-induced disappointment.

Of course it’s not the end of the world to recieve these kinds of texts, but that doesn’t mean it’s not annoying. If anything in this world full of murder, chaos and Kim Kardashian: Hollywood addicts, lets try to bring the daily annoyances down a little. Who knows, you might save a murder someday by refraining from texting “k” to a group of strangers. So next time you get a group text, do the right thing. Either accept it with a symbolic nod of your IRL head, or open up a new little text to the OT (original texter) and send your jubilations or follow up questions there. You could be saving a life.

 

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Gross, Uncategorized

5 WORST things about summer

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“Summer is great” they say. “We can go to the beach” they say. “Shorts are fun” nobody they say. Sure, summer has its beautiful moments when you’re finally breaking free from winter’s weakening death grip around your pale, chubby neck. But now that we’re in the thick of it, I’ve got some griping to do because I’m charming like that. Holla atcha winter baby. Here are the 5 worst things about summer.

1. NIGHT SWEATS suck

So your winter cuddle and Netflix partner didn’t get fucked off the second your seasonal depression subsided. How great 4 U. But what are you supposed to do in the summer when laying in bed next to each other is about as appealing as sitting next to a bonfire at noon with a humidifier in the dead heat of July? It’s horrible. All you wanna do is snuggle up to your person of choice, but your A/C bill is more than your paycheck and maybe you don’t really need love anyways.

2. Bugs are fucking lame

Seriously. Yeah yeah yeah, the ecosystem, squirrels need to eat, something needs to look gross on my windshield so the powerful gas station squeegee lobby can control the weather with their billions. I get it. Bugs are still the most annoying thing on planet earth.

3. Hot Dogs are weird

‘Nuff said.

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4. TV reruns are killing me

I know you’re supposed to be outside or whatever in the summer, and maybe it’s some government conspiracy with Hollyweird to get the kind folk of the nation into the outdoors for vitamin D and fresh air. I say whatever. These reruns of Ellen on tv all the time are sending me into an existential crisis. You can find me in the club / drowning in the screams of middle aged women at a live taping of Ellen.

5. Summer clothes are ugly

the powerful dumb hat lobby is stronger than u think

the powerful dumb hat lobby is stronger than u know

It’s like the fashion world takes a vacation in January to screw you over for decent summer style. Maybe nobody cares what they look like in the summer because you’re sweaty and frizzy anyways. And don’t get me wrong, I LOVE crop tops. But the cold months definitely have a leg up on better clothing choices. RE: LAYERS. LEGGINGS. FUR COATS. Hats that don’t make everyone around you wish they had a stabbing knife for hat murder.

Honorable mention: Calvin Harris’ “Summer”

Pander-y bore tunes made for bros and basics. PUKE

 

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7 Questions in Heaven, Uncategorized

7 Questions in Heaven with Vacation Dad

7 Questions Vacation Dad

I first heard of Vacation Dad through a friend named Elliot (who plays in killer MPLS band Dial-Up). I was immediately blown away by the imagery of the name Vacation Dad: the zinc nose sunblock, the sunglasses with the string hanging around his neck, the Hawaiian shirts that smell vaguely of old cologne and corn dogs. I have probably thought about the name “Vacation Dad” 2 or 3 times a year for the past 3 years, yet I’ve never managed to get on top of my local show shit together enough to make a performance of this elusive name genius. 2014 goals: get a real job, clean the basement, see Vacation Dad live. Until then, feast on the Vacation Dad interview that had me fangirling.

1. Your name is so brilliant. How did you come up with Vacation Dad?

mmmmm its kinda hard to pin down.  i first heard the term when my friend pat told me to stop being such a vacation dad.  i think i had told him to put on some sunscreen.  but the project started when i was laid off and just hanging out in my bathrobe and recording when i wasn’t on tour.  so i kind of became this ridiculous, slightly embarrassing but mostly fun party animal.  vacation dad seemed to fit pretty good.

2. If your music could be described as an animal, which animal would it be and why?

it’d be probably be some kind of psychedelic snake that flies.  can’t say why, thats just what came to mind.

3. What projects are you working on right now?

well, i run MJ MJ Records and am a main organizer of FMLY FEST MPLS so right now i don’t have much time for VD.  but i swear to god i’m going to finish something soon as i can (its been like a year and a half since i released anything).  i’m working on a concept album called “AFTERLIFE”.  it’s a funky odyssey of sorts – a psychedelic journey that takes you from your death through the afterlife and eventually into the heavenly bliss of absolute nothingness. its also going to be a fully interactive video game.

4. Who would you rather have play “Dad” in the family comedy feature film “Vacation Dad”: John Candy or Dan Aykroyd?

dan akroyd for sure.  honestly i never thought john candy was all that funny, he just tends to be in funny movies.  like a better version of david spade.

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5. How does a song come to you?

usually starts with a beat, then a groove, then the hook.  i dont fuck with words.

6. What is one international city you’re dying to play a live show in?

i’d really like to go back to nicosia, cyprus.  i played there a couple years ago and it was just the best fucking thing.  kinda want to tour hawaii too.  or anything tropical, i’m not picky.

7. What’s next for Vacation Dad?

i’ve got a show coming up at 7th street with hundred waters, fort wilson riot and har-di-har (which is a fucking insane-o bill) otherwise just trying to get FMLY Fest together, then hunkering down to finish AFTERLIFE.  probs not gonna go on tour again till i finish it.
LIKE VACATION DAD ON FACEBOOK 
DOWNLOAD VACATION DAD MUSIC HERE
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