No, It's Completely Absurd That MTV Gives Awards For Music Videos But Doesn't Air Any

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Signifying nothing.
So here is Slate economics blogger Matthew Yglesias explaining why it makes sense for MTV to hold a ceremony called the Video Music Awards, even though MTV doesn't play music videos:

Realizing that people would watch a music video channel is hard. Starting a music video channel is easy. And once your music video channel is succeeding, the idea isn't proprietary anymore. If you insist on continuing to fill your network with easily replicable commodity content, you'll end up facing ruinous competition. So a smart network does exactly what MTV's done over the years. You take your audience demographics and your programming niche and you try to build more original less commoditized content around it.
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MTV, The VMAs

Vinyl Copies of Daft Punk's Random Access Memories Are Nearly Sold Out in S.F.

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Cross your robot fingers if you hope to get a vinyl copy of Daft Punk's new album Random Access Memories, which was released today: Many local stores are sold out, and the ones that aren't had only a handful of copies as of this afternoon.

"They're just selling really quickly," said a clerk at Rasputin Music on Powell Street in San Francisco, explaining why he wouldn't put a copy on hold for us. The store only had two vinyl editions left as of 3:45 this afternoon.

It was a similar story at the giant Amoeba Music on Haight, which had only four copies left at the same time. A clerk there offered to hold one for us if we could run over to get it, though.


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This IS It: A Letter to the Perfume-Shilling Julian Casablancas

Categories: Selling Out

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Something stinks, and it's you.
Dear Julian Casablancas,

Remember how the Strokes were good that one time in 2001? Yeah, we're ready to forget that ever happened -- but then again, we're pretty sure you already have.

Once upon a time, you brought us the bouncy, gritty swagger of "Last Nite" and helped herald in the garage rock revival. We had hope for you, Julian. Maybe it was a mistake, but we looked to you and your classmates (the Hives, the Whites Stripes, etc.) to save us from the Limp Bizkits of the world and prove that rock could be great again, that rock didn't need anything other than brilliant songwriting -- and it certainly didn't need rapped verses.

Even while the last few Strokes albums underwhelmed us, we were hoping that maybe, just maybe, you were still a dirty New York post-punk at heart, teasing us with sub-par albums only to blow our minds again in a few years. But we're pretty sure you can't do any of that when you smell like "The essence of rock."

Yes, we're talking about Azzaro's new French perfume for douchebags, Decibel, and how for some reason you, Julian Casablancas, are its poster boy.

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Grab Miguel Migs' New Single "Everybody" Early, Courtesy of a Certain Vodka Company

Categories: Selling Out

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Miguel Migs in his Polk Street studio.

For some reason, a certain Swedish vodka maker recently introducd a special San Francisco-branded edition of its product. To pique the interest of locals (read: to market to them), it's holding some sort of get-involved thing on Facebook, where you can advertise yourself and your city preferences via photos and votes.

Because vodka and house music go together (duh?), the company has partnered with S.F. house producer Miguel Migs, and is releasing his new single, "Everybody," early on its Facebook page. (It's due for public release on July 12.) You can do it that way if you want -- go through and see pictures of Migs in his favorite S.F. locales before you find the download. Or you can simply go to the jump, where we've included a widget to download the track for the price of an e-mail.

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Here's What Would Happen If You Remade Ice Cube's "It Was a Good Day" in S.F. Today

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Angry Birds on the iPad. Does this look familiar?

We can say with near-total confidence that Jello Biafra will hate the people in this video. You tech-employed, indie-pop-loving Twitter users might just love it, though. This none-too-subtle advertisement for a new wireless speaker is a music video spoof of Ice Cube's immortal "It Was a Good Day," recast in San Francisco in 2011. There are taco trucks, bougie lofts, Steve Jobs, Angry Birds, organic produce, bike riding, Twitter and Instagram references, and even -- vom! -- beer pong. Yuppie scum: Kind of hurts to see your whole life summarized in a three-minute video, eh*?

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Dear Dr. Dre, Please Stop Trying to Sell Us Things Other Than Detox

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Coming soon to your dad's new car.
Is it greed? Does he need the money? Or does Dr. Dre really not know that the world would much rather receive Detox -- the album he's been promising us since 2004 -- than his endorsement of the speakers in luxurious new Chrysler sedans?

For those of you new to Dre's latest outrage, let's recap: Dude has a headphone/audio company named after him. (He was the first; other rappers have followed; it's all pretty dumb if you ask us.) Dude's protégé white rapper Slim Shady did a Super Bowl ad for ailing Detroit automonster Chrysler -- which was, it must be said, rather cool. So far we're okay, right? 

But then Eminem sent his doctor to Chrysler. The legendary SoCal producer/rapper's "Beats ny Dre" label will be all over the fancy audio systems in the company's cars, starting with the new Chrysler 300S. 

Meanwhile, Detox doesn't yet have a release date.

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How Pomplamoose Made Me Hate Christmas, Hyundai, and Pomplamoose

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Just, please, make it stop.
UPDATE: For more on Pomplamoose, see our February, 23, 2011 cover story on the band.

Editor's note: Mike Seely, who helms a sister publication of ours called Seattle Weekly, has a problem. A problem, that is, with the Hyundai holiday ads that feature Marin County husband-and-wife duo Pomplamoose. In the heat of an "Up on the Housetop"-induced fury, Seely penned a fevered screed about the band and its infuriating cuteness. Out of sympathy for your jingle-damaged ears/eyes/soul, we have excerpted his diatribe here:

As car companies go, I've always liked Hyundai. They produce modest, reliable and affordable cars with little fanfare. I don't really have a problem with Christmas either; despite its over-commercialization, it tends to bring people together and send people into the new year with a renewed sense of optimism. Nor do I have a problem with independent music acts cashing in on corporate America's desire to "cool up" their image. And until recently, I didn't have an opinion of Pomplamoose, a Bay Area indie-pop duo best-known for its snarky cover of Beyonce's "Single Ladies" and selling its music exclusively online.

But now that Pomplamoose has produced a series of Christmas commercials for Hyundai, my opinions of all these entities have been forever altered.

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Pomplamoose Turns Its Talents on for Hyundai Commercials

Categories: Selling Out
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UPDATE: For more on Pomplamoose, see our February, 23, 2011 cover story on the band.

Marin County duo Pomplamoose is famous for its offbeat video covers of big-time pop songs, which rake in revenue on YouTube. Now it appears as though Jack Conte and Nataly Dawn have found another way to bring home the bacon: car ads. They remade "Up On the Housetop" and "Jingle Bells" in their signature style for Hyundai's Christmas-y clips, which look just like their normal videos -- except that they're in a big TV studio their own garage (!) with shiny cars, and their songs are given second billing to a throaty announcer's voice (who may be Jeff Bridges; see below).

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Five Bay Area Hip-Hop Stars Who Should Be Really Stinkin' Rich

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Is this what it takes?
On Tuesday, Forbes published its list of hip-hop's 20 highest earners: Jay-Z at number one, naturally, with $63 million, and Senegalese crooner Akon edging out Lil Wayne by a milli -- Weezy's cash-accruing steez have been impressively unabated by his recent jail sentence, but Akon owns a diamond mine. Most importantly: not a Bay Area cat among them. (Compton native Dr. Dre clocked in at number five with $17 million, but that's the farthest north we get on this fair coast.) So what's the deal? Armed with some hunches and no data to back them up, we've rounded up some candidates whose "diversified revenue streams" might, lord willin', qualify them for the top 50.


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No Operation Ivy Reunion? Thank You, Jesse Michaels

Categories: Selling Out
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Operation Ivy at 924 Gilman

Jesse Michaels, you have just earned yourself enough punk rock cred to fill a dirty van. (Or a four-door car, as the case may have been.)

In an interview  with Jewcy, Michaels, singer of the short-lived-but-much-mythologized East Bay ska-punk band Operation Ivy, frowned on the possibility of getting the band back together:

I don't think it would be a service to the legacy of the band to have a reunion, I think it would be more of a service not to have a reunion. People always want more, and I understand that, but sometimes less is more. Take Minor Threat, could you imagine a Minor Threat reunion? It would be such a fuckin' disaster.

Now, its easy to make the case for an Op Ivy reunion.


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