MySpace: A Place for Drama

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If I can find out more about your band from your MySpace page then I can from your official website, there is something inherently wrong, and chances are you suck. Independent bands just starting out with no web-page other than MySpace are obviously exempt.

If you haven’t been able to tell from my snide remarks so far, I’m not really the biggest fan of MySpace. In fact you might say I have nothing but contempt for the place. First off it wasn’t an all that original and innovative concept. It’s really poorly put together and coded and to top it all off it’s teeming with whiny emo teenyboppers who revolve their lives around how many people they can get to fill out their “how hot am I?” surveys. I like to call it a petri dish for publicity whores and a cesspool for drama.

That being said I’d be a fool to deny the marketing potential of the place. I first signed up for MySpace back in 2003 when I was booking and promoting shows back in Ohio. Out of a sea of shady sharks and ignorant assholes who were in the business for every other reason you could think of except for the music, I found camaraderie in a guy they call Punk Nite Mike who put together these kick-ass showcases called Punk Nite. We both saw how much each other really gave a damn about trying to save the scene in our area and would often recommend each other to bands who were tired of getting fucked over. One of those bands was Legbone.

Legbone – Swallowing Razorblades

(and because I can’t pick just one from these guys)

Legbone – Drunk Favors for Beer

 

So when Mike told me a lot of bands were starting to hook up with gigs and whatnot on Myspace I didn’t think twice about signing up for an account. At the time it was still pretty quiet over there. It wasn’t unheard of to link to a page with someone who wasn’t already in your “extended network”. In fact I don’t think Tom was even automatically put on my “friends” list to start out. If I did get a friend request it was usually from somebody I already knew or had heard about me from running in the same circles I did. Either way I could easily recognise or figure out who they were right off the bat. Another such band was Broadzilla.

Broadzilla – Ecstasy

That was a far cry from the monster it has become today. I don’t have to get into what goes down over there, you already know. Now don’t get me wrong, there’s definitely positive stuff about MySpace. I have reconnected with a lot of old friends from real life who I wouldn’t have found otherwise. A friend of mine who does public relations work got distribution for a movie she’s working with through MySpace. Most importantly if it weren’t for MySpace I would have never come across great bands such as Ouija Radio. Like I said, I’d be an idiot if I didn’t realize how effective Myspace is for getting your presence known, but come on people what’s really going on?

Ouija Radio – Old Victrola

(these guys are damn good too)

Ouija Radio – The Devil and the Witch

 

Of course there are those that criticize MySpace for being owned by News Corp, A.K.A. Fox News, A.K.A. Rupert Murdoch but they’re just a corporation out to increase profits for their shareholders. I can’t hate a dog for barking. I mean if it wasn’t them it would have been Viacom, or eventually somebody else. That’s why it comes off as little more than whiny attention whoring to me to find out that Brad Greenspan is now upset because he feels he was cheatedwhen he sold MySpace (and you thought Tom did it all himself). I didn’t bother to read the whole exposition because it was whiny and boring to me, but from the details I gathered he’s pissed off he got a million dollar signing bonus instead of higher yields on his stock shares. The MySpace negotiation was an unprecedented maneuver at the time it went down and nobody knew how much the site would come to be worth. Don’t be upset now because you took the money and ran then. That’s the definition of sell-out and what happened to thousands of other companies in the dot-com era. I bet in another six months our buddy creates a MySpace alternative to try and lure away as many people as he can from the cesspool. That my friends is drama in peak form. Something I’d expect from the 12 year old girls who steal each others boyfriends by taking “oh so coy” self portraits in the mirror with their camera phones. But I thought I could’ve given a pass to the creators of the site for not knowing what it would become. Now I know the type of bullshit it was weaned on from the start. Just remember kids:

 

YOU ARE A TARGET MARKET

meeting people is easy

 

Another thing most people probably don’t realize is that the rights to any intellectual property you post on MySpace goes to them. To me this sounds like standard cover your ass legal mumbo jumbo in the terms of use, but the way it’s worded in this instance leaves a lot of room for abuse… if one so desired. (Update: aparently they’ve re-worded that section with an in-depth explanation because of the hullabaloo that was raised over it recently. The point I make next is still relevent though.) I hear you saying that your not worried about it, because why would someone take your pictures, music or other creative outputs that you post when there are a lot of artist who are more profitable than you who don’t seem to care? Well we all know that the most devious things are always pulled off below the surface, just under where they’re really noticeable. I’m wondering how much of this reasoning was behind Universal Music Group’s decision to sue Myspace just a couple weeks ago. Besides just being unaware, a lot of your favorite bands have their stuff posted without prior knowledge. Take the case of Dntel (known to most of you as the half of Postal Service that is not in Death Cab For Cutie). His record label set up a MySpace page for him without his knowledge trying to promote his solo stuff. My man didn’t find out about it until later, and while he does check in on the account at this point, I’m pretty sure the day to day management is probably maintained by someone from his label who’s job it is to sit there all day and accept friend requests, read messages and pass on the relevant ones so that it looks like you’re actually talking to “Jimmy” all the time. Of course that’s just speculation on my part. Don’t be butt hurt.

Dntel – (This Is) The Dreaming of Evan and Chan (Barbara Morgenstern Remix)

I mean this is pretty much me just ranting because I had to come up with an update at the last minute today. Look at what I’m doing here right now. I have absolutely no right to be giving you these songs that I’m posting here. But I have no ads, I’m not making profit from it and in fact, I could justly be sued for copyright infringement because someone gets, well… butt hurt. What it comes down to for me is I think this is great music and you guys need to hear it. If I didn’t tell you about it, you might not stumble across it on your own. Anyway like I said there is some good behind the concept of MySpace, I just think the execution is all wrong. Do I have a better suggestion… no. But at least I’m doing my part to try and present you with an alternative.

While we’re at it here’s two more artists I’ve only been turned onto solely because of their MySpace pages. I think that you should check ’em out.

Muneshine (give him a break his albums not out yet)

Suicide HolidayTogether We’re Alone

I mean there’s worse things then MySpace whoring. When you go there at least you know what to expect. This final group unfortunately has some terrible management, but I’m not going to hold that against them. Apparently their promoter thinks it’s good marketing to wait until the day of their shows to send unsolicited spam to email addresses he’s stolen from other bands mailing lists. I sent him a friendly message to let him know that’s really more a strike against them than motivation for me to check out the band, and he sent back a reply writhe with mispellings saying that I don’t know what I’m talking about because the Alternakids didn’t have enough Myspace friends to be relevent. Nevermind the fact our MySpace page has only been up for one day. You’d think a band that features members of the Distillers would be able to do better when it came to management.

Darker My Love – Hello Traveler

 

In closing let me just say Tila Tequila so that maybe we get a GOOGLE hit or something. By the time you read this I’ll be at DETOUR… if you won last nights tickets you’re there with me. Pictures later… maybe video. Bring it bitches!!!!!!

 

Update: Now this is what I’m talking about. (Hat trick to our MySpace liason sondh)

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21 Responses to “MySpace: A Place for Drama”

  1. PunkNiteMike Says:

    thanks for the mention man! i think im one of the few people out there who actually uses Myspace for what it was intended for, and being a promoter & doing what i do i pretty much HAVE to be on Myspace! i actually have 3 different accounts, its crazy. and if you EVER want me to recommend some more bands for you to check out, lemme know as i got some new ones i don’t think you’ve heard yet! holla!!!

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