Thursday, April 02, 2009

I Don't Wanna Grow Up ...

I know, two posts in a week. It's like the old days.

Idolator linked to this post on Tripwire about a super-indie band called Team Robespierre and their recent, failed, efforts to get one of their videos played. The video has a very, um, “home made” quality to it – but apparently MTV was allegedly going to air the clip on Subterranean. The post is a blow-by-blow of how the band got the run around and felt abused by ‘the system.’

Here is a quote from the Tripwire article:
So a year after the record came out, over six months after the video debuted on Pitchfork, three months after it’s initially scheduled MTV2 air date and lots of wasted money we were given a “maybe” in early 2009. That was until we got the news that the person we had been dealing with was laid off in December. Now, not only was the status of the video up in the air, but we had no one to talk to about it.
Most of the commenters on Tripwire and Idolator have ripped the writer, who is not in the band but somehow helping them get their video not played. This does come across as some pretty spoiled baby stuff and it made me think of lots of articles I have been reading about employers, back when the economy had ‘employers,’ needing to adapt to deal with the self-absorbed attitude of recent college graduates.

This is from the Daily Mail:
Others expect to be pandered to and lack initiative, according to the report, based on responses from 217 graduate employers including investment banks, law and accountancy firms. In one case, a new recruit to a transport company was overheard on the phone to his mother saying: "I have got to go to London tomorrow and they haven't even told me how to get there."

Certainly the band misunderstood many, many things about the video airing process. All videos on television must be close captioned. Mean ole MTV didn’t make them do that – the FCC did.

The MTV programmer that liked the video enough to push it forward was replaced and the new person was not enthusiastic. Oh well, sometimes you drop your ice cream cone on the sidewalk and Allah/Jesus/Iovine doesn’t magically grant you new one.

Yes, there were silly standards and practices edits that seem hypocritical coming from he network that airs Tila Tequila. But you know what kids? Your Mommy and Daddy say you shouldn’t drink – but they (gasp) do it themselves. I could go on and on about how these kids don’t get it (too late, I know).

Obviously, Team Robespierre has already gotten more attention off this ‘scandal’ than they would have if their video had actually aired on MTV. So good for them, despite their ‘poor little hipster’ whines.

The larger issue, in my eyes, is this intersection of the amateur and the professional. Getting your band’s video up on Youtube is easy – you just post it and it is there. Granted, even YouToogle has Standards & Practices and rights issues. Once the video is there, who says it will rack up any more views than grandma’s birthday party.

As long as artists want the benefits of the professional end of the music industry – they are going to have to play by the pro’s rules. And with AMTV suddenly showing (shocker!) music videos on MTV – there might be more opportunity there.

The recent crumbling of the music label empire has made going amateur the rule – in recording music and in making music videos as well. We could argue about whether or not Team Robespierre would ever get signed to a ‘real’ label, and I am sure that the band might reply with, ‘We don’t want your smelly label, old man!’ But when the young punks want their precious video on the old man’s MTV, a label might come in handy.

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hey there, Derek Evers here -- the person who wrote the editorial and owner of the "fake" label that Team Robespierre is on. Just to clarify, the article never questions the specifications or requirements to get aired on television (and I was clear to say "for Television consideration", not "MTV consideration"), the editorial was driven based on the fact that after all of the runaround they gave us, not only did the video not air, but the proceeded to post it with a very un-recommending editorial. It was like a double slap in the face.

That being said, if you truly feel this is whining, or just your chance to condemn a very hard working band on the merits of them being "hipsters", then this is your forum to do it. I just wanted to clarify that part as people seem to be under the assumption this is about anything more than a very unique and shitty situation the band was put through.
terrible clip
tha video:
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