Memo To Arcade Fire: Fuck Your Dress Code and Fuck You!

Posted by The G on November 21, 2013 under The G Spot | 4 Comments to Read

Photo by G.

Arcade Fire

Arcade Fire

[Editor’s Note:  This is not a vomit inducing ‘open letter,’ so don’t get it twisted.]

Dear Arcade Fire,

Your band represents everything that is wrong with the rapidly decaying music business today.  It’s awesome that you’ve gotten to a level where you can fill stadiums and congratulations for that, but I’ve heard about the memo you’ve issued to your fans requiring a fancy dress code for your upcoming tour in addition to your douchey VIP packages [see below for details], and I just wanted to have the opportunity to tell you to take your dress code request and your music and go fuck yourself.

Being less than 10 years old as a band and after releasing only 4 albums, you’ve certainly got a handful of good songs in your arsenal, but you are FAR from being legendary.  Because people don’t know any better, they read hipster sites like Pitchfork, who are little more than press release regurgitators, and as a result,  the extent of people’s musical palate is based upon the current list of bands who were named “best new artist of the minute” in the 2 second attention span generation that we live in. If there were greater competition in the music world, most likely your music wouldn’t be completely ignored, but at best, you’d be headlining medium sized venues.  It’s one thing to be popular with hipsters and writers who write for Facebook likes instead of art for art’s sake and who are unaware of what really constitutes memorable music, but this is the world we live in.  It’s evidenced by the fact that you never hear actual legends saying “Arcade Fire broke new ground with their latest record.”  Why aren’t people saying it?  Because it hasn’t happened!

If people in the indie scene supported the indie blogs/music sites, the corporate machine that everyone allegedly claims to hate would fall, but yet a band will stop at nothing to get their 2 seconds of fame on a site like Pitchfork and ignore the blood, sweat and tears of people who really work hard to get the word out. Once you’ve earned the respect of a fan, you will always have their respect whereas the corporate machine is only interested in the current flavor of the month, and if you haven’t noticed, even the big bands these days are disposable once the next shiny object appears.  As an indie blogger fighting for my slice of the pie, I’ve seen it happen to me a zillion times where I am denied freebies and perks in favor of a larger site and no I am not bitter (a bit puzzled, confused and frustrated, but not bitter) and why?  Because I can get better access on my own than go through moronic PR agencies that tell me “free tickets, a camera pass or a meet and greet with the band is completely out of the question because your site isn’t big enough” and then on my own, somehow, someway, I’ve not only gotten excellent photos and had my meet and greet, but I’ve practically exchanged phone numbers with the band!!  Again, call me a whiner but this has happened to me HUNDREDS of times and if you look at my track record of doing things “renegade style,” instead of “going through the proper channels,” on average, I’d say I’ve been successful about 95% of the time, being very conservative in that estimate.

They always say you shouldn’t meet your heroes for fear of being disappointed, but I disagree.  I like to know if the attitude matches the art.  I need to know who is authentic and who is a fucking liar before I fork over my hard earned cash, my love and my devotion.  I’ve spent the better part of my life loving singers such as Prince and Madonna (and I could name tons more) who sing publicly about love, respect, peace and all that bullshit and when they are not in front of a camera, they are up there with some of the biggest assholes on the planet.  They don’t practice what they preach and if the tables were turned, people would say “that person is a hypocrite” and not support me.

During promotion for the “Reflektor” album, which saw a “legalized street art campaign,” it made me wonder how come none of these corporations are being held accountable for graffiti when “renegade” street artists doing the same thing are known by police as criminals? But I digress… I met the band during an appearance to promote the record and in a crowd of SIX people, each member of the band gave an excuse why they couldn’t stop and appease their fans.  It’s their prerogative, nobody owes me anything, they could have been having a bad day, weren’t in the mood, blah blah blah, et cetera, et cetera,  sure –  but let me just ask you a question – when Lady Gaga, who is arguably one of the most famous people in the world, can be super cool towards fans, how on earth could Jeremy Gara (Arcade Fire’s drummer) dare not be nice?  He should be kissing the ground we walk on that anybody even gives a shit!  So should each member of this band.  Would it have made a difference if we told them we worked for Pitchfork instead of just being fans?

Member after member made their excuses only to sit on their tour van for 15 minutes waiting for lead singer Win Butler to get in the van.  I’d seen Win Butler about 30 minutes prior to the band departures and he told me that he had to do a few things and just to hang tight and that he’d be back to sign autographs.  When the moment came, not only did he not stop, but after I reminded him that he promised to stop for us, he told me that the desperation in my voice is what is going to make him not sign.  Desperation???  I don’t think so.  It was at that moment that I went from being an Arcade Fire fan to literally despising them.  How dare this fucking asshole say that to me, when I was holding Arcade Fire cds in my hand that I had purchased with money that I worked hard to make!?  He may make more money than I do and have a little more fame than me, but at the end of the day, we are both human beings and he effectively told me that he is better than me! This from a guy who is a new parent.  Yikes!  I feel sorry for his kid.  I’ve also seen pictures of his autograph on the internet and he only writes his first name, so you are trying to tell me that this guy is too important to scribble THREE LETTERS on a person’s cd?  Give me a fucking break!  I don’t have many regrets in life, but I truly regret not telling Win and the other members of his band that they lost a fan forever, not that any of them would have cared.  Although I am not thrilled by the fact that photos of me with Win Butler, Régine Chassagne, Richard Reed Parry, William Butler, Jeremy Gara and
Tim Kingsbury do not exist, photos of me with Bono of U2, Amy Winehouse and Oprah Winfrey (and I could go on a thousand times) do and I’m sure if I were to ask someone – would you rather have a picture with Richard Reed Parry or Oprah, it’s quite certain that 100 percent of responders in every territory in the world, day or night would choose Oprah.

I got home that night to find their album leaked over a week before its release date.  That also begs the question – since EVERY album leaks in advance of the official release date and all labels are crying “poor us, we’ve been stolen from,” why aren’t people looking into the hiring managers at these labels and finding and eliminating the source of these leaks?  Clearly, this stuff is being purposely leaked for reasons unknown but if you shout loud enough in the press, maybe you can gain some sympathy for your cause.  So curiosity got the better of me and I listened to the album.  I found 2 interesting songs (out of 13), which were greedily stretched out across 2 cds to try and squeeze more money out of fans.  One of those tracks that necessitated an extra disc is an 11 minute song that is literally just white noise.  Good thing this band is not getting another cent from me because I would have been extremely pissed off if I’d spent money on this.

While doing promotion for this record, the band did a handful of “secret shows” in various cities that were written about on all the popular music websites well in advance of the show date thus causing a ticket frenzy and thus not really being secret shows, but instead press release worthy events.  For all of Prince’s flaws, when he announces a secret show, you find out about it about 6 hours or less before it happens, word of mouth builds to an orgasmic climax and THAT is what makes it an event.  In spirituality, if you want to do something truly spiritual, do it for pure reasons, not for the accolades you may or may not receive. Moving on… Formal costume attire dress code were required for these “press release secret shows,” but I don’t think you were turned away at the door if you didn’t dress up.  At the New York events, the band tricked everyone whereby everyone stood and waited for the show in the obvious spot where the show would be taking place, but alas, it was the wrong spot and then the band appeared in another part of the venue so people that waited for hours to have the best sight line suddenly had the worst spots in the place.  Talk about being all dressed up with nowhere to go.  There were even quotes from Win Butler saying that he is not sorry about how things turned out at these shows.  DICK MOVE!

The inevitable arena tour was announced 8 months in advance of some of the shows and a dress code memo has been issued.  In addition VIP packages have been announced:

GOLD General Admission Package
– One general admission standing ticket
– Early entrance to the venue
– Pre-show Bar with beer, wine, and appetizers
– Arcade Fire lithograph (limited, numbered)
– Exclusive Reflektor tour gift bag
– Reflektor Tour Program
– Commemorative VIP Reflektor laminate
– Crowd-free merchandise shopping
– Parking (where available)
– On-site VIP host

SILVER Reserved Package
– One reserved P1 ticket in the lower bowl
– Early entrance to the venue
– Pre-show Bar with beer, wine, and appetizers
– Arcade Fire lithograph (limited, numbered)
– Exclusive Reflektor tour gift bag
– Reflektor Tour Program
– Commemorative VIP Reflektor laminate
– Crowd-free merchandise shopping
– Parking (where available)
– On-site VIP host

BRONZE Fan Package
– One reserved P1 ticket in the lower bowl
– Arcade Fire lithograph (limited, numbered)
– Exclusive Reflektor tour gift bag
– Exclusive Reflektor Tour Program
– Commemorative VIP Ticket
– On-site VIP host

Don’t fall for these tricks, hipsters!  The band doesn’t care about you.  They care about your money.  How is “crowd free merchandise shopping” a perk?  You are not getting “free merchandise” but just the opportunity to plunk over your cash without the next impatient merch purchaser breathing down your neck, thus not having to rush your decision on whether you want a key-chain or a set of buttons.  Are you really that dumb?  Why would you pay extra money to eat shitty appetizers and have watered down drinks at a concert venue?  Go across the street and eat at a real restaurant and have a nice dining experience for less money than you’ll be spending!  What exactly are you going to do with your commemorative VIP ticket anyway?  Pass it along to your kids who will ask you “who the fuck is Arcade Fire?”  Why do you want to get dressed up to hear over-hyped songs that really are not all that exciting?  Do what you will, but when you look back in time on your favorite concert experiences of all time, I guarantee you, the Arcade Fire show will not be on your list.

If you are simple minded enough to get caught up in this non-event and have a miserable time, you deserve everything you get.  To all these websites that don’t have off the record experiences and promote these people sight unseen, you are less of reporters and enablers of bad behavior!   Call me what you want but again, I have thousands of pleasurable experiences to look back on and because of that, I have one final thing to say to this band, please come off your high horses and come back down to earth because you are musicians who have only recently tasted from the success tree and have already forgotten your roots.  There are people out there that struggle to find their next meal and there are people who get bombarded for photos and autographs after a gig.  Where would you rather be?  Until the day comes where you realize this, take your dress code, your over-hyped music, your VIP packages and go fuck yourselves!

With love,

G

P.S.  No response is necessary.

 

You Got (Daft) Punk’d – A Commentary on the Hype Machine

Posted by The G on May 14, 2013 under The G Spot | Read the First Comment

Photo by G.

Daft Punk'd

Daft Punk’d

When the 90’s house music French duo Daft Punk announced a new album, the blog-o-sphere was tilted on its side.  Releasing teaser posters, commercials featuring 30 seconds or less of new music and a sound-byte a day to the music press, you realize that whoever does Daft Punk’s publicity should give up their day job and run for political office.  They took a non-event and turned it into a media blitz.  The press as well as the fans seemingly could not get enough and for over 3 months, very thin news with hardly any meat about Daft Punk clogged up everyone’s news feeds.  The funny thing is, I actually like Daft Punk, but as the weeks rolled on, I got so fed up about hearing about them, I started rooting for them to fail just so the press and all the fans would once and for all shut the fuck up about them!  The daily news on this band made me realize that while I’ve bought their albums consistently over the years (and there aren’t many), I like very few of their songs.  Sure their debut track “Da Funk” made me shake my ass on a dance floor many times, but upon further inspection, it’s really a song featuring one minute of different music looped together over and over for 6 minutes!   They pulled off the same trick for their next big single “Around The World” too.  Take a serious listen if you think I am hating for the sake of hatred.

The music industry has changed a lot since Daft Punk first came on the scene and in 2013 the record labels leak the album in full and then are forced to “stream it” ahead of its release date.  This gives the label the perfect excuse to account for dubious sales numbers by blaming the bootleggers on an album’s failure instead of the fact that many times, the biggest failure of the record is the record itself!  Also, don’t these labels wonder that if an album is under lock and key and somehow it gets out, why don’t they question the hiring managers of these departments.  There’s seemingly no accountability when you can loudly shout out in the press “we’ve been robbed!”  Why nobody speaks about this very obvious fact is beyond my comprehension, so if you think of the last few years of blockbuster albums and how they’ve all followed this pattern, you can thank me later for being the true voice of a generation.  You certainly can’t rely on press release regurgitating blogs because they are never going to jeopardize losing their perks by speaking the truth.  Since I do things renegade style and 99 times out of 100 get better access on my own than going through the “proper channels,” the time has come to break the silence!  So spread the word!!!!

Back to Daft Punk.  I’ve given their new album “Random Access Memories” a couple of spins and I could not be any more underwhelmed with the record.  However, I’ve noted that it follows the same pattern as their other albums – 2 or 3 decent tracks with a whole lot of filler.  Obviously the best tracks are the ones that feature Nile Rodgers producing.  The man knows how to craft a hook and has done so successfully for over 30 years.  The tracks he is featured on should actually be called Nile Rodgers tracks featuring Daft Punk and not the other way around, but we can save that for another time.  The vocoder is ever present in many of the songs ruining great cameo appearances by Julian Casablancas of The Strokes and the majority of the album features completely forgettable songs.  The album hasn’t even seen the official release date and I am already at the point where if I never hear any of the album again, you will not see one tear fall from my eye.

The hype machine has already labeled this album a “game changer,” and for those who really believe that, I urge you to get a better education in dance music because if you do, you will find yourself (probably to your dissatisfaction) agreeing with me 100%.  I didn’t come here to make you hate the Daft Punk record. I hope that you like it.  I want you to stop allowing the media to force feed you what you “should” like because I am starting to find that with so many big time releases, people only like them because they read somewhere that they should.  6 months, or hell, in the one second attention span generation we live in, 2 weeks from now, I am quite sure once the buzz has died down from this record, your enjoyment of it will have as well.  Think for yourself!!!

If you believe the hype, you’ve been Daft Punk’d!

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