Posts Tagged ‘satire’


Anonymous: “The X-Factory”

March 20, 2009


Okay, these guys get full bonus points for intrigue (not to mention snark).

An excerpt from the e-mail I received today, from one Quentin Coward (all links are mine):

This year, as for several years, “The X-Factor” and its coven of related “reality” shows such as “American Idol” have been a subject of much debate, controversy and – in many musical circles – derision.

This year in particular, this began to rub a lot of people up the wrong way.

Hundreds of campaigns, backing alternatives from Jeff Buckley (whose version of Hallelujah in fact reached Number 2) to Rick Astley to Peter Kay to Terry Wogan to Chris Difford from Squeeze launched across social networking sites, radio and TV stations and press outlets.
“The X-Factory” is a response, from a group of musicians who are, for the time being, keeping their identity to themselves. They are also refusing to share their sandwiches.

The mission statement was simple and two-fold:
1.) The project budget must at no time exceed £15.
2.) Real instruments and players must be used at all times.

Also, it had to be fun. We had fun. And we hope you do too.

Can you guess who Anonymous are? There will be prizes and possibly hats.

Team Anonymous

I think it’s highly likely that the artists involved are not quite as famous as the ones they cited, and I appreciate this mostly as a creative and humorous guerrilla marketing campaign.

MP3: Anonymous – The X-Factory

If sarcastic folky Brits are up your alley, you may also appreciate Mitch Benn‘s musical takedown of James Blunt, which I think is rather wittier, both musically and lyrically (“he’s the only man alive who’s his own rhyming slang”).

MP3: Mitch Benn – I May Just Have to Murder James Blunt


Read: Dan Kennedy, Rock On

March 26, 2008

An Office Power Ballad</i>

Dan Kennedy is clearly a man who knows how to make the best of a bad situation. He realizes a lifelong dream of working in the music business, only to discover that he’s just gotten himself a deckchair on the Titanic. The year is 2002, the company is Warner, and the record industry is imploding. Warner itself is about to be bought by ‘the billionaire grandson of a man who made the family a fortune in booze and chemical dealings,’ resulting in hundreds of layoffs, including Kennedy’s. Fortunately for us, he turned his experiences into a acidly funny memoir, Rock On: An Office Power Ballad. This book certainly made me laugh, and it also made want to loudly cheer the ongoing demise of the traditional record industry. However, my favourite part of the book was a lengthy, loving account of an Iggy Pop concert, possibly because Kennedy was writing about something he loved, not about something he had to be self-protectively cynical about:

…Iggy is everywhere at once. He flies like a computer-animated god-beast deity in an unhinged and hijacked Lucas film. You suddenly realize every punk band you thought was blowing your mind back when you were sixteen was simply a cute little messenger delivering a wadded note to you from this man, wherever he might have been that night.

You can see a promo video for the book here, and Michael Azerrad wrote a review for the New York Times, here. You can also download audio of Kennedy telling a story from the book at a Moth gig in Seattle.

website amazon


Watch: Altamont Now

March 21, 2008

This looks awesome. Altamont Now is having its world premiere tomorrow, March 22nd, at the Boston Underground Film Festival. From the director: ‘it’s the story of a mysteriously square journalist who happens upon a cult of rock and roll revolutionaries living inside an abandoned nuclear missile silo with little idea of what they are “revolutionizing” against.’ Shot inside an actual underground silo, it’s an absurdist, satirical look at how youth rebellion borrows from its past.

Saturday, March 22nd, 5 pm at the Brattle Theatre, Cambridge [details]

If you can’t make it tomorrow, you can keep an eye out for future showings: website myspace