I had started a post last night about day one of All Points West, but record label Island Def Jam and that silly whore, and I use that word for reasons that will become clear in this post, Mariah Carey had to make news: the liner notes for the upcoming record Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel will feature the launch of the next step in advertainment: placement of brands, and ads for brands, that fit into the garish brand that is Mariah Carey. Tear-away-parachute-pants for when you go on TRL and give that outside-the-highschool-pervert Carson Daly a quarter-assed striptease? Pills for when you go into rehab the next day? The contact info of the genius screenwriters of Glitter? There couldn’t be a more empty vessel that’s still slightly marketable like Mariah Carey is right now.
Lord knows that CD inserts havn’t been clean in years. Even the holiest of holy in hip hop, OutKast, had kennel ads inserted in their albums. This, though, is the full fledged on-the-street, Bristol-Palin-At-The-Convention, absolute whoring of the liner notes, or the libretto, if you’re my dad teaching me a term I’m not sure about anymore. I still buy CD’s and I probably would support artists whose labels weren’t forcing this cockamamie nonsense on them, but I have to say, if an artist who puts a lot of effort, be it masturbatory or not, into their liner notes, like Carey’s record label mate Kanye West does, I’d be saddened. Check this quote:
Carey was “very open” to the concept when Reid showed her a mock-up of the booklet in a magazine format that included brand imagery synonymous with her lifestyle. “I wouldn’t want to do Mariah Carey and Comet abrasive cleaner,” Reid said, laughing. “I wanted things that really reflected her taste.”
If you think of Carey like I do, that jar of Comet makes sense, for when you’re scrubbing your junk trying to avoid getting whatever Eminem must have given her. I get the fact that this is a dying industry, and that we’re all capitalists and dirty commies need to be put down, but if you really want to save the CD, here’s a simple three propositions:
1. Put out great music that lets the Artist speak for themselves.
2. Make the record look like a piece of art. From what I’ve learned in the book industry, a lot of what sells now is what’s packaged to look collectable. And a Mariah Carey cover’d Mini-Elle magazine isn’t collectable, it’s probably something at the bottom of the magazine stack that’s been growing since the nineties.
and, most importantly of all,
3. Respect the audience, and by respect the audience, I mean: do not sell them on crap they don’t need because it’s similar to the genre, by some stretch of the capitalist imagination that used to be the responsibility of MTV back when they showed music in their shows. I remember TRL to be a product pimp as much as 30 Rock jokes to be today.
If this takes over, I’m really going to have strong odds on taking to whatever Jobs has been working on with the record labels, unless those are just as bad with product placement, which, since they’re digital, and that means hyperlinking and popups are completely possible, I wouldn’t put past anybody.
What I’m getting to here is that I think one of two things will happen: 1. I will only acquire music by means that a competant RIAA would scare me from doing, or 2. I’m finally taking the plunge on vinyl.