Monday, June 27, 2005

One To Piss Off The Blacksburg Folk

Whelp, I apologize for my apalling lack of presence on the blogosphere lately. I dunno, between the triple digit heat in my bedroom and my modest "social life"(i.e.getting drunk five times a week) I have just not been in the mood to whine at length. I intend to rectify this though with a couple of posts tonight. So let's get into the meat of this fucker.

First of all, anyone that knows me is aware of the fact that I have a fondess for digital cable. Actually, I should clarify that statement, I am not so much "fond" of it as I am intrigued by the fact that now since I have 100+ channels, there's usually at least two to three hours of genuinly watchable programming on every day. This is clearly up from the old days back when I was just glad that there was a different episode of "CHIPS" on every day(ahhh, the summer before 5th grade.).

One of the higher up channels that I frequent is Fuse. It used to go by the name Much Music USA, which of course is the Canadian version of MTV. Anyway, close to two years ago the channel changed name and perhaps ownership and is now part of a four channel wedge of stuff owned by the upstart Rainbow Media Holdings LLC(a subsidiary of Cablevision). They own Fuse, WE, AMC and IFC. They're no Viacom, but they're well on their way.

Anyway, Fuse's brand identity is mainly based on being the ONLY alternative to the aforementioned Viacom's chokehold on music television(for more info on what Viacom owns, check out: http://www.cjr.org/tools/owners/viacom.asp ). Basically, they try to niche market and specilize and just generally be COOLER than MTV2, their direct competition. This specialization includes more of a focus on metal(they have daily metal shows, compared to MTV2's weekly Headbanger's Ball), and a very specific targetting of the emo crowd. Fuse's show "Steven's Untitled Rock Show" is so painfully emo that often times the host even apologizes for having to "sell out" and cut to commercials.

As stupid as this sounds, people are apparently buying into it. Even the shitty Bouncing Souls who made a lot of statements early on in their career about hating MTV are now proud converts to the Fuse mentality and gladly let the channel show their horrible, horrible video's.

Now, at this point, you might be asking:Well Clint, if Fuse is all about shitty major label emo, why do you watch it? The answer to this is, well, I DON'T watch it, but I do DVR that shit and fast forward to the interesting/unintentially hiliarious parts. Fuse is clearly the enemy and if yer gonna properly make fun of the opposition, then you have to know something about it.

And what HAVE I learned about the enemy? Well, they are the EXACT same people that were on our side three years ago. Yeah, my former place of residence, the Solar Haus, hosted a LOT of the bands that are now attempting to make Fuse their home. On a nearly weekly basis I see another video, another commercial for yet another band that played in my living room. It should be noted that I didn't actually LIKE any of bands when they initually played Blacksburg I made fun of pretty much all of them, sometimes even to their face. But the fact remains though that not so long ago these bands were willing to play house shows and now, they have nightly guarentee's that are higher than what most of us make in an entire year.

I went to see those shows not because I liked those bands but because I believed in the community, I thought it was something valid and worthy of support. These aspiring millionares though, they played us all for fools and used our loyalty against us. For them, house shows weren't about taking part in a growing international community, it was all just a fucking stepping stone for them, a "farm team" until they were ready to step up to the big leagues.

I might be tempted to call some of these bands "sell outs" but I really doubt they ever had any souls to begin with. At this point in the game, it is VERY clear that that whole group has no integrity or ideals, they're about nothing more than bold faced ambition. They aren't the opposition to the mainstream, they ARE the mainstream.

Years ago, I caught a lot of flack for saying that these bands(and their fans) weren't noticably different than frat-jock assholes, and well, time has proven that statement to be more than true. Emo is the new grunge; a watered down version of punk rock with absolutely no merit.

That thought is nothing new, of course, but the fact that I keep on seeing more people on TV that used to play my living room is really fucking disgusting and more than a bit surreal