Thursday, 7 July 2011

Rock Star Clichés That Must Die (part 1)

Note: This topic is so immense, I'm going to have to do it in sections. Feel free to add your personal pet peeves in the comments section below, and I can add 'em next time around!

Destroying Your Instruments
When Jimi Hendrix smashed his guitar and then set it on fire while plugged in (and feeding back) at the Monterey Pop Festival - it was completely original, shocking, extreme, and what people talked about for months around the 1967 version of a water cooler.
Pro tip: Fire retardant pants crotch recommended. Also wait until instrument cools to room temp before playing remainder of song.

But for the rest of you, if you don't want it, give it away to some kid who desperately wants (but can't afford) a guitar you douche!

I remember seeing a local band (who shall remain nameless) support an international act at the Auckland Town Hall, and at the end of the set the drummer kicked over and smashed his drum kit in a fit of ‘Wild Rock ‘N’ Roll Abandon (tm)’.

But what was hilarious was when the house lights came on to swap the gear over, the roadie-less drummer sheepishly returned to gather his scattered drums, at one point holding up - and frowning -  at a cracked Paiste cymbal that probably would’ve taken him (at least) another 6 weeks, slaving away at a dreary (and un- rock n roll) day job to replace. Nice going, dumbass!

Self-Righteous Preaching
If there’s one thing that irritates me more than anything, it’s musicians that become obscenely rich and famous by being rebellious and living life ‘by their own rules’ - suddenly become expert sages on topics like world politics, environmental issues, and poverty. 
Then, they sanctimoniously boss everyone around, telling them how they should live - all the while, flying around the world in private jets, owning multiple (empty) mansions, and still charging fans their first-born sons for extravagant live shows that leave a Godzilla-size carbon footprint. (No doubt to cover up the inadequacies of their bland, drug-addled, paint-by-numbers, crappy new album they expect you to shell out for)

"If anyone needs me, I'll be in my Boeing 767 eating Panda steaks."

Finding Sobriety/ Religion... and then telling us all about it
Don't expect us to have watched you party to extreme levels of debauchery for years (and boast about it) ...then expect me to pay for the privilege to hear you repenting and whining about your issues once you've been freed from rehab. Just record some acoustic songs on your guitar and hand the CD to your case worker. At least he's paid to care!

Want to show that you’re a ‘real musician’ and ‘sensitive’? Why not play the same song with the same notes and chords... but on acoustic instruments!
Remember all those MTV unplugged shows? Instead of showering the band with insults/ beer bottles, the elite industry-only $1000 a ticket crowd expresses themselves with polite, reflective, golf clapping.

 No caption necessary.

Hip-Hop Star Bonus Supplement!

Shameless Product Placement
Hip Hop superstars are often shamelessly whoring products like Timberland boots, Cristal Champagne, and Lexus automobiles. I mean – are we seriously to believe that the first choice of a multi-platinum selling artist, with unlimited funds at his disposal for a status-climbing, head-turning ride is a Lexus? Or, a 2-tone Ford Explorer?
Well, I guess they are way cooler than Cadillac’s, Ferrari's, Rolls Royce’s and gold-plated Hummer's after all.

A Lexus. So gangsta.

Repeating Your Own Name Throughout The Song
This has always perplexed me - Can you please clear up that this is to:
  • Remind the listener that the overused clichés tumbling out of your mouth are yours?
  • Reveal your 'God complex' by constantly referring to yourself in the 3rd person?
  • Give us the impression that during sex, you scream out your own name?
Whatever the reason, it's really annoying. Please stop.

Self-Righteous Preaching
After spending years bragging about your notoriety on ‘tha streets’, and visibly accumulating wealth by:
  • Selling drugs to teenagers (Hustlin’),
  • Killing people with an array of automatic weapons (Gangbangin’)
  • Profiting by forcing drug addicted women to degrade themselves and sell their bodies for your financial gain (Pimpin’)
- you suddenly accuse ‘The Man’ of turning your ‘people’ into whores, junkies and murderers?

 Remember kids, it's all about the music!

Tha Club
It's pretty hard to find any Hip Hop/ R&B video not involving going to this place called 'Tha Club' at some point. Surely, just once, someone can come up with a music video that isn’t simply:
  • Getting chauffeured to the club in expensive (but hired) limo
  • Sitting in a VIP area section of said exclusive club
  • Counting piles of money
  • Wearing designer shades
  • Sipping your favourite drink (good opportunity to name drop Chivas Regal, Cristal, Hennessey)
  • Nodding your head slowly - as hundreds of gorgeous, shapely fans models hired by the record company compete for your attention.
Congratulations! You now owe your record company 3.5 million dollars!!Now that's gangsta!

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