Friday, September 21

Polysics Play Milwaukee; CDP Rants On Music.


When I found out that POLYSICS, the Greatest Band In The World, were coming to play a show in Milwaukee, I laughed it off. After all, this is a band that has never played anywhere near Wisconsin, let alone venture within the borders to permanently rock our Midwestern faces off. The Japanese powerhouses were far too busy selling out baseball stadiums in Tokyo and releasing genre-defining albums to pay us doughy losers lip-service. It made no sense to me; I rolled over and went back to sleep under my cubicle at work. Don't tease me like that, Wrinkled Hand of Fate.

I then remembered that POLYSICS recently signed a distribution deal with MySpace Records (unfortunate, but effective) in the United States, which meant a US tour would follow. Hmmm, maybe this was about to become a reality.

Say what you want about MySpace, but it knows how to make money and pander to a specific demographic. And regardless of if the MySpace crowd understood the brilliance of Polysics, at least they would be able to sell a lot more records in the US than they used to. When I bought the first 3 POLYSICS albums, I had to order directly from Japan at a cost of over $50 an album. That's about a billion Yen, I think. With this new deal, POLYSICS albums would be $10 at Best Buy, wedged in between Peter Gabriel and Prince albums. I could roll with this.

So, as part of their new contract, POLYSICS get to hit the road on their biggest United States tour ever. Hitting clubs all over the country (including Milwaukee and Chicago), thousands of kids now get a chance to see sheer brilliance that they probably would have never known existed otherwise. I was pleased as punch, and very happy for my favorite band.

However, because they're virtually unknown to the US mainstream this point (sadly), POLYSICS will be opening the show, with HelloGoodbye and Say Anything functioning as co-headliners. You'd think that this would bother me, but it's actually pretty cool. This is a good gateway for POLYSICS to infiltrate the target US demographic that throws tons of cash at their favorite bands. They're sitting on a potential goldmine here, even though they are globally more rich, respected and famous as HelloGoodbye and Say Anything combined. No bother, I know that most people think music begins and ends in the States.

Still, I'm going to the show(s), and I'll stay to watch everyone play. HelloGoodbye doesn't bother me too much. Sure, 'Forrest' is kind of an idiot that got extremely lucky when it came to a record deal (the prowess of Drive-Thru Records has fallen from grace faster than Britney Spears and Whitney Houston combined), but he writes catchy tunes and they know how to market their stuff. In fact, I think that 'Shimmy Shimmy Quarter Turn' is a pretty awesome track, but then again, I really like Prozzak, too. Take from that what you will.

Say Anything is a bit more annoying, but I like Max Bemis because he's an insecure asshole with some crippling emotional problems. I can relate to that, and he also says that Saves The Day is his favorite band. It's nice to see bands like Say Anything reference that fact that Saves The Day already did everything that needed to be done with this particular style of music, and everyone else is just attempting to parody them. I appreciate honesty.

However, it's always sad when a wildly respected and popular band opens for a younger band with a younger fanbase during a tour. They're out of their element, nobody knows who they are and nobody cares. I remember seeing Ash open for Saves The Day a few times in 2005, and I was shocked to see that none of the kids knew who they were. Same deal when The Velvet Teen opened for Minus The Bear. You'd think that one or two of 'em would have stumbled upon them by now.

Seriously though, HelloGoodbye and Say Anything have no idea what they're in for. POLYSICS will take the stage every night and destroy everyone. No shoegazing, no taking it easy for a night, no drugs or bouts of depression. They know one speed and one speed only: Murder. The kids in the crowd won't have any idea what hit them, and POLYSICS will be selling out of merch every single night. Soon, POLYSICS will be on MTV, J-Pop will invade the United States mainstream and all the scene kids will be wearing matching jumpsuits to school.

At least I can dream, right? Whatever, dude.

When I was in a band at the end of the 90's, the birth of internet file sharing had barely begun. Before MySpace, MP3.com was the only place for an up-and-coming band to get exposure, and it was so primative at the time that you couldn't 'stumble upon' anything. You either already knew the band beforehand, or you weren't going to be listening to music. We were on the cusp of having to tour to gain fans, versus recording something in your basement and releasing it for the world to hear the next day.

Today, there's more ways to share and create music at a hobo's cost than ever before. From an artistic point of view, bringing previously-expensive methods of expression down to consumer cost is always a good thing. YouTube and MySpace have led the revolution to killing the notion of 'celebrity;' people now want to be entertained by people just like themselves. That's rad, especially for reclusive writers like myself that hate authority and love money.

Let's start New Wave Jacket. Have a good weekend.


Comments:
You complete bastard. Like I needed another extremely obscure band to obsess over and bore my friends with. [You have to listen to this!] I'm struggling to acquire Polysics discs as we speak, you heartless bugger.

I'm afraid I am susceptible to the siren call of J-pop. My fancy got tickled when I saw Kill Bill, and The 5.6.7.8s blew the top of my skull clean off. I got the one album I could afford [import prices suck]. Then we got a PS2 and Katamari Damaci thinking it would be a nice clean game for our toddler to play/watch being played. It has the most infectious, syrupy-sweet J-pop allowed by current law. I can't play it anymore because I'm afraid I'll have to find a way to get the soundtrack ripped to my iPod.

And then I'm afraid that if I die while I'm out running and all they have to identify me by is my iPod, then how are they going to interpret gigabytes of music that sounds like gay Teletubbies on helium meet the Ramones?

Issues upon issues, dude.

Seriously, though, thanks for turning me on to this band. I'm a convert.
 
You got it, and don't be a stranger to the comments section!

I absolutely hear you. Nobody- I repeat, NOBODY does pop like the Japanese. It should have restrictions on listening time, because it's the closest thing to musical medication that I can think of.

Then again, they should have restrictions on a lot of things they manufacture in the entertainment realm, but we don't need to get into that right now.

The thing about POLYSICS is that they're beyond pop. They take the catchiness of J-Pop, the futuristic image and sound of Devo, the insane screeching of a hundred jet engines and the songwriting and instrumental sensibilities of absolute geniuses.

I don't know why other bands bother to exist.
 
Yeah, Polysics are pretty cool. Even I'm pretty excited to see them live---their singer contorts himself so much when they play, I'm not sure he was a spine.
 
Your amount of spelling errors is starting to rival Ben. Of course he's not a spine! He's a man! A living man!

I hope this all works out, because POLYSICS are on a very short list of bands I still need to see before I die.
 
"Gay Teletubbies on helium meet the Ramones."

Very nice. But what does "Let's start new wave jacket" mean? I don't speak teletubbie. Or Engrish.

But I hope you get to come see the show and have a blast!
 
Don't you mean have a brast?

I think that video gave me a seizure. Or, at the very least, chlamydia.
 
"It's 'Fa-La-La-La-La,' not 'Fa-Ra-Ra-Ra-Ra.'"

I lol'd, JT.

I don't know what a New Wave Jacket is, but I would like one in a size small, please.
 
CDP, what did I say on Lost Friday about Locke that one time when I didn't proofread that was so damn stupid and funny? Oh, "life riddle." haha. I love when I don't proofread.
 
"Life Riddle." Thanks to the Internet, I have the power to put that on a t-shirt.


Bless you, Internet. Blinternet.
 
Weakerthans have a new album?? I really have been practically living under a rock. JUST bought the new Shins CD, which isn't bad. I can dig J-Pop to a point, but doing a random search by genre (any genre) for artists/bands from Japan yields interesting results (buddhistson isn't bad, I like The Pillows, and who doesn't love Shonen Knife??). Say Anything is okay, in my book, but there are bands I'd pay money to see before them. I'm shelling out for tickets to see Tori Amos at the end of the year (really only because that is something on my list of "Things to do Before I Die" left over from my teen years that were full of grand aspirations and big dreams - and I think I should try to do at least a couple of things on that list before I'm too damn old...)
 
Yep, it was officially one of the dumbest things I've ever said. Probably my top 3:

1. "But how do they all fit?"- in reference to a car sharing program started in Madison, where people share a common car.

2. "Tinker is morbidly overbese."- trying to describe how fat one of our Siamese cats is.

3. "I just realized something about Lost and real life...you know how all the philosophical-type character sometimes speak in little riddles, metaphors, and life riddle?"- trying to explain how the characters on TV shows sometimes have dialogue that is not very realistic.
 
Yes, the Weakerthans' new album (finally) drops Tuesday. In preparation, I've been listening to their 3 other full-lengths and becoming fully confident that John K. Samson is one of the greatest lyricists I've ever heard. Cannot wait.

The new Shins was a bit of a disappointment, but you can always listen to Matt Pond PA if you want some solid indie music. His new album also arrives Tuesday.

Believe me, the only reason I'm paying to see Say Anything is to see POLYSICS. Hell, I'd sit through a Creed reunion show to hear those guys destroy the place.

I've never seen Tori, but it goes without saying that she's pretty much an institution. Have fun!

This chat has made me want your mix-tape all the more.
 
I've tried to work 'morbidly overbese' into my daily routine for the last 3 years.
 
I know. It makes me sad because I still think that you honestly believe that I thought "morbidly overbese" is a real, medical term and that I didn't just combine two words together accidentally.
 
I don't know what to believe anymore. I just ate an egg salad sandwich from the vending machine, and I think it gave me brain damage.

I ain't smart. It's almost as if I wanted to spend all afternoon in the bathroom.
 
I don't believe egg salad should ever be eaten unless it's been prepared directly in front of me. Otherwise, all bets are off.
 
I agree; I don't know what I was thinking. Even when it's prepared perfectly, you're still bound to pay the price.

To buy vending machine Egg Salad is just insane. I think the package had a 'Buy War Bonds!' sticker on it.
 
I don't know...Fty ate an egg salad sandwich out of a bathroom vending machine on Futurama and the parasties in it made him super-intelligent and increibly strong.

It happened on TV, so it must be real.
 
Bathroom vending machine....man, when is FOX bringing that show back?
 
Not soon enough.

By the way, the Human Volcano video is working now.
 
So they have a Wheel of Death prepared food dispenser at the CDP Workplace of Doom, too? Rad. We usually stand around ours as we make it spin chanting "No e-coli...no e-coli...STOP!"

And my mix is actually based off of other CDs I've made for friends - each CD had a particular theme, so you're getting several "mini-themes". It'll be getting sent out to you. I SWEAR.
 
In the 3.5 years I've been here, I have never purchased anything from the Wheel Of Death until today. For some reason, I was really hungry this morning, probably because I hadn't eaten in about 15 hours beforehand.

Like a drunk guy at Bar Time, I was feeling mighty desperate, and that Egg Salad was looking mighty good. We know how this story always ends, though; someone's going to be face down in the toilet at some point.

Mini-Themes, Maxi-Themes, Themie-Themes, I just want it! Then I can start listening/reviewing the 13 mixes and over 200 tracks I was fortunate enough to receive. Rawk.
 
So does the egg salad come on the bread? How does it not get soggy? This whole idea is foreign to me.
 
I guess I really AM holding up the process.
 
I don't know...Kenny's staying pretty quiet on the subject, so I don't know if you're the only one :)
 

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