Wednesday, 22 October 2008

13 Music Trends Whose Return We Fear

(Update: Thefty #1 got fired from his paper. Damn straight!)


Here tis, the original article! To my consternation, the two aspects of the article that garnered the most negative comments were bits that didn't come from me; they were put in the updated version.

That is, the comparisons from Idol to Eurovision - surely Americans know what Eurovision is, Cracked already have whole articles about it?! The other is including UB40 in the 'Numbers' section. Being that UB40 are the third worse band of all time, I already know they named themselves after an unemployment benefits form.

* Worst bands:
3. UB40
2. The Fine Young Cannibals
1. Scissor Sisters.

Anyway, article after the jump! Enjoy.

13 Music Trends Whose Return We Fear

Like fashion, music goes in cycles. In the last few years we’ve suffered through fluro tee shirts, designer mullets and god-awful electro music, a la the mid 80s. Before that, Wolfmother dragged out their amazing impersonation of ‘1970s Led Zep without the passion or artistic merit’.

Popular musicians tend to hone in on a trend from yesteryear and exploit it for their own nefarious purposes. And by ‘nefarious’, we mean ‘sex with underage groupies and having the money to buy a fine crystal toilet seat’. It’s not that we have anything against people wanting to get laid and have money (though we at Cracked have chosen the more noble pursuit of writing for the love of weird internet shit and clammy hi-fives from likeminded nerdlingers). It’s just that many people creating music today are of an age where they find nostalgic comfort in the music of the 80s and 90s. And we’re about to show you why finding inspiration there might be a bad, bad idea.

Music Trend Thirteen: Child Exploitation in Rap

While you were having your first wet dreams about April O’Neil (or, in our case, Krang), some kids your age were actually making something of their pubescence. Perhaps due to the tragic post-80s decline of the Jackson Five, the world just needed children rapping. And, if possible, wearing their clothes backwards.

Examples: Kriss Kross. Another Bad Creation (ABC). Lil Bow Wow (who ran out of ‘Dog’ puns after his third album). Hanson in their seldom-seen ghetto pimp phase.

Evidence of the Trend Coming Back: As for children rapping now, the daughter of Steve ‘Crikey!’ Irwin’s given it a bash. Here is the face of an illin’ new generation, yo’:

[picture of Bindi Irwin]

How Else it May Be Exploited in 2008 Nostalgia:
We’re legitimately shocked that none of these acts have their own reality TV show; so we propose a fly-on-the-wall documentary about all of them preparing for a revival tour, using their old material. Cue uncomfortable scenes of re-learning lyrics about playgrounds and holding hands, juxtaposed with one rapper getting high and trying to round up three hookers for a fourgy. Really cheap, filthy hookers.

Music Trend Twelve: Dudes as Ugly Chicks

Every so often a gender-bending guy comes around, blurring the line between ‘man’ and ‘woman’… though for some reason they’re always busted messes.

Examples: Boy George. Marilyn (the Poor Man’s Boy George), Marilyn Manson (the Scary Man’s Boy George) Honourable Mention: Alice Cooper: Not a lady, still ugly, but also awesome. Sometimes.

Evidence of the Trend Coming Back: Aziz, a Bulgarian pop star who is so huge in s/his native country that s/he represented them in Eurovision 2006. But Transvestism? He’s kind of doing it wrong:

[Dude’s got a beard. Pictures]

How Else May Be Exploited in 2008 Nostalgia: It’s a well-established fact that 94% of contestants on reality TV singing contests are deep in the closet. Allegedly. So perhaps throwing in a few wigs and some makeup would render the show not only more honest, but make for better viewing, as the male contestants fight to be the first to perform ‘I’m Every Woman’, scratching each other to shreds with poorly-applied press-on nails. Strangely hot, once you think about it for a while. We have.

Music Trend Eleven: Warbling Diva + Menacing Dude Rapper = PROFIT

Seriously, the nineties were utterly retarded for this formula. The black Diva would sing the verses, usually about music, freedom, love in the night, passing love, or loving love, do a bit of chorus gear, and then, BOOM: the man would stomp in and do some tuff-as-guts rapping about yearning, or love, or being stern like a terminal illness. And people everywhere would go fucking nuts in their parachute material pants. Also, it helped if you were from Europe and had a fake Brooklynese accent.

Examples: The Real McCoy. Snap. C & C Music Factory. Black Box. Culture Beat. And Michael Jackson when he got a rapper in for the bridge of ‘Black or White’ you know, before things got really weird for him.

Evidence of the Trend Coming Back: From the bands themselves. Snap, knowing nostalgia was imminent, re-released most of their singles in 2002-03. Inexplicably, The Real McCoy are still going, and in 2007 released the single ‘People Are Still Having Sex’ (though not to The Real McCoy anymore). And Culture Beat are also still at it, with songs like ‘Can’t Go On Like This (no no)’ (…).

Warbling Divas are like the final boss on a crooked arcade game: no matter how many grenades you throw, they refuse to die. And it gives you a headache.

How Else it May Be Exploited in 2008 Nostalgia: Some DJ will inevitably sample a few of the divas’ lines, omit the tuff rap, and do an uninspired mashup while hipsters suck in their cheeks and dance ironically while wearing ironic Vanilla Ice T-shirts and getting their hair cut into flat tops. Ironic flat tops. It’ll be the designer mullet of 2008-9, and you’ll have to deal with it.

Music Trend Ten: Madonna Getting Her Junk Out

For the longest time, she just wouldn’t put it away.

Examples: Every Madonna film clip from about 1992-96; her book, Sex (which was mostly her paragliding naked, climbing a brick wall naked, and some other stuff we didn’t understand then, or now).

Evidence of the Trend Coming Back: Her new album’s called Hard Candy.

[picture of super-muscular, haggard present day Madonna]

How Else it May Be Exploited in 2008 Nostalgia:

[same picture of super-muscular, haggard present day Madonna]

Oh, God. See, kids? Often nostalgia’s best left in the past.

Music Trend Nine: The Swedish

Once Pulp, Blur, Oasis and Supergrass came out, everyone was talking about Britpop. Whole editions of NME were devoted to Damon Albarn’s left shin. But truly, it was the Swedes who made like Parker Louis and couldn’t lose.

Examples: The Cardigans. Ace of Base. Roxette. The Wannadies. The tallest third of Placebo, Stefan Olsdal. Eagle-Eye Cherry and his Buffalo-stancing sister, Neneh Cherry (not to be confused with Senator Craig, whose stance was more wide than Buffalolike).

Evidence of the Trend Coming Back: It never left: The Hives, Shout Out Louds, The Knife, Amanda Jenssen, The (International) Noise Conspiracy, Robyn, The Soundtrack to Our Lives, Jose Gonzales, Millencolin, Peter Bjorn and John, Suburban Kids with Biblical Names, Eric Prydz, Razorlight. We’re forced to assume that Swedish high schools are like the ones in Fame: All singing, all dancing, all the time.

How Else it May Be Exploited in 2008 Nostalgia: In these current times of product placement and marketing saturation, we’re thinking some kind of Ikea-cross promoted DVD, featuring the music of Sweden’s best, re-written as assembly instructions. For example, Ace of Base singing ‘rough surfaces are demanding/if you’re under sanding’. Or The Cardigans can do ‘Alan Key, Alan Key/say you’ve an Alan Key/Assembly, Assembly/For desk assembly/I can’t make up this desk without you’.

Music Trend Eight: Charity Songs

There was a time pop artists cared about the world’s plight. And every so often, they’d look up from their gold-plated plate of gold-plated coke, turn to their busty companion, and realise that dammit, all is not right in the world. And they could do something to help: they could have a sing about it.

Examples: Do They Know It’s Christmas?, We Are the World, Feed the World.

Evidence of the Trend Coming Back:
There was a whole mess of songs devoted to Hurricane Katrina, but pop stars hate each other so much these days that not even Bob Geldof could shoehorn them all into a studio to record one song. They all needed their moment, man.

How Else it May Be Exploited in 2008 Nostalgia: Nowadays, people are so disaffected by pointless wars and continuing famine, a feel-good tune about togetherness won’t cut it. To raise awareness, we’d have to kick it up a notch. So prepare for Lionel Ritchie’s comeback track, ‘You Know, In Some Parts of the World Ten Year Olds Are Sold as Sex Slaves, For Old Western Men to Sodomize Them, And Babies Get Shot in The Eye Like it’s No Big Thing. It’s So Messed Up, Man’ featuring the vocal stylings of Will Smith, R Kelly and a cast of dozens of other celebrities eager to promote new films and albums.

Music Trend Seven: The New Romantics

The eighties loved a wussy man in a frilly shirt, fopping about the place like Oscar fucking Wilde. And you know what? These dudes got more vadge than you ever will. Well, the ones who liked it did.

Examples: Adam and the Ants, Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, A Flock of Seagulls, Ultravox, Falco. God, the 80s were gay for that shit.

Evidence of the Trend Coming Back: So we’d need some fey men in lots of eye makeup and idiosyncratic dress, moaning about sadness and pouting for the camera… oh, hang on:

[pictures of Fall Out Boy, My Chemical Romance and 30 Seconds to Mars]

Ok, so that actually happened.

How Else it May Be Exploited in 2008 Nostalgia: As above.

Music Trend Six: Numbers 4 Group Names

It was a simpler time, friends. No1 askd if u wantd 2 4get ur trbls n b happy. Words were words, numbers were numbers, and never the two met. Until some record company execs thought the very definition of ‘hip’, ‘urban’ and ‘now’ was to throw a number in, parading as a word… like a low-rent he-she out on the piss in a straight club on a Wednesday night, with a new weave to ensure s/he totally passed. Numbers are whores, man.

Examples: 112, 3T, All 4 One, Boys II Men, MN8…

Evidence of the Trend Coming Back: Maroon 5, Zero 7, +44, B5, Day 26. Though with all the cuts to the music industry, some bands can’t even afford numbers, and in an effort to cut printing costs, have to forgo vowels altogether. See MSTRKRFT and Fall Out Boy (Thnks fr th Mmrs).

How Else it May Be Exploited in 2008 Nostalgia: Ever asked yourself why there aren’t any 1337 pop groups yet? No? Well, here they come. Here they fucking come. Perhaps a girl group called Cr4zii B4b3z? Or a Christian Rock act called J3sus’ So1d|3rs? Or a DJ act named 411 Ur B34tz R B310ng 2 Us? Are your eyes vomiting blood yet?

Music Trend Five: The Supergroup.

When a group of artists from a few awesome bands get together and make music, the gods weep with the awesomosity of it. Sometimes.

Examples: Cream, Asia, The Travelling Wilburys, The Highwaymen, Bad English, Fantomas, Audioslave; and retrospectively: Genesis, Pink Floyd and Queen.

Evidence of the Trend Coming Back: In the mid-00s, we already had Velvet Revolver, and if the members manage to get off the gear for more than five seconds they might even tour again.

How Else it May Be Exploited in 2008 Nostalgia: Who would be a part of the 2008 super group? Oh, god, it would be made up of American Idol rejects, wouldn’t it? Or, worse yet, the dregs of 90s boy bands, the saddest one from every group, forming one big, puffy, flaccid, quiffed a Capella act.

Music Trend Four: Handsome Black Men Roaming in Packs

In the nineties, if you were a handsome black man with a smooth set of vocal chords, you typically roamed in packs with up to four like-minded individuals. From there, you would act as a black hole for all the quality vagina in your town, forcing pasty, clammy white boys to flock to the internet in droves, and create a market for web-based pornography as they sat lonely in their bedrooms. How do we know this? We just do, ok?

Examples: Every band stated in trend #6, along with Az Yet, Dru Hill, Jodeci, Shai, Silk, Soul for Real, Tony! Toni! Toné!, Bell Biv DeVoe, and the pink-clad quarter of Colour Me Badd.

Evidence of the Trend Coming Back: We googled ‘Handsome Black Men’ and came up with, which, while they were indeed handsome, wasn’t… exactly what we were looking for. And ‘Black men roaming in packs’ came up with some results that are better unexplored, so we can’t really tell you. We’re going to go look at vagina and delete our histories now.

How Else it May Be Exploited in 2008 Nostalgia: Boy bands seem to be… much more limp these days. I propose we get the smoothest dudes from Silk, Shai and Boyz II Men, and the superior Tony/i/é, put them in a room and charge people $40 a piece to learn their vadge-nabbing secrets. Then turn it into a book, and sell it on late night informercials to the same pasty, clammy boys, still looking at web porn. Which, since furries are basically the internet equivalent of the Vicar next door, has become much, much stranger in the last 10 years.

Music Trend Three: Hair Metal

The 80s were a good time to be a man who loved makeup, hair spray, peroxide, bright pink spandex and (antithetically) women; in much the same way as now, when it’s a good time to be a man who loves unlimited access to all the world’s depravity via a plastic box, and sundaes heavy with edible gold.

Examples: Quiet Riot, Mötley Crüe, W.A.S.P., Dokken, Twisted Sister, Warrant, Cinderella, Poison.

Evidence of the Trend Coming Back: The Darkness tried. This guy is trying.

How Else it May Be Exploited in 2008 Nostalgia: As we pointed out in trend #8, people are more jaded now. They have that depravity-box thing. Subtlety is dead. So suggestively-titled albums like Open Up and Say.. Ahh (Poison), Cherry Pie (Warrant) and Girls, Girls, Girls (Mötley Crüe), will have to kick it up a notch to stand out from the crowd. Expect grown men in rouge, leopard print leggins and teased hair to start selling you their glam metal revival albums, entitled Defecate Over a Glass Coffee Table as I Relax Below and Open Up And Say ‘Ooh Uncle Kevin, Penetrate Me in My Vagina-Hole Whilst Wearing a Blue Power Rangers Costume’. Thanks, internet!

Music Trend Two: Filthy, Middle-Class White Boys

If you were a socially-inept white boy who didn’t have access to IRC, then you could just moan into a microphone. If you could play three chords while you did it, bonus! You just had to remember to never wash your hair.

Examples: Nirvana, obvs. Pearl Jam, Mudhoney, Soundgarden, Sonic Youth, Alice in Chains, L7 (for the femme equivalent), The Melvins, Stone Temple Pilots.

Evidence of the Trend Coming Back: The genre known as ‘Post Grunge’. Still mainly middle class white boys, still filthy. Though ‘usual rock star’ filthy now, not ‘I’m a junkie who knows three chords but not where to buy soap’ filthy.

How Else it May Be Exploited in 2008 Nostalgia
: As far as wangst-inspired boo-hooing lyrics are concerned, Emo has picked up the baton nicely. And Courtney Love pops in occasionally to remind us that she fucked Kurt Cobain. Pearl Jam haven’t yet sold ‘Alive’ to be used in an ad for health insurance, so that’s another way 2008 can really make things more shitful.

Music Trend One: Song-Specific Dances.

This is a trend that refuses to die. Every eight years or so a new song with its own dance pops up, and we’re not talking about the standard ‘hands in the air, chin jutting forward’ thing that frat boys do every time some shitty Nu-Metal band squeezes out a song.

Examples: The Twist. The Nutbush. The Bus Stop (though we do appreciate the ‘freestyle funk section’ at the end of the cycle). The Cabbage Patch. The Macarena. And, of course, the Lambada, which was so forbidden that no one actually bothered doing it.

Evidence of the Trend Coming Back: Besides the Ketchup Dance and Soulja Boy’s Crank That dance, most are annoying memes, namely Peanut Butter Jelly and the Hamster Dance.

How Else it May Be Exploited in 2008 Nostalgia: Girl bands are getting more and more provocative with their look: think The Go Gos vs The Spice Girls… and then look at The Pussycat Dolls:

[especially slutty picture of the PCD, or indeed, any picture of the PCD]

Actually, that’s probably what will happen. The Pussycat Dolls, or similar, will have their new song, let’s assume it will be called something along the lines of ‘I’m a Strong, Independent, Brave, Surviving, Beautiful, Self-Assured Woman’ and the dance in the film clip will entail them just showing their vulva and moving it around a little. Which every female PDC fan from here to the UK will then copy. Which, all in all, might not be a terrible thing, really.

Lisa-Skye Ioannidis is a Melbourne-based writer and editor. You can find more of her barking like a pony here.

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Read more!

Sunday, 19 October 2008

What the Eff?

Here are two sites who have stolen my recent Cracked article, and put it up on their sites without crediting me. One's in Croation, the other's some BS American college paper (who has since taken it down, but not the dozen comments from Cracked readers).

Why do people do this? I don't know if this sort of thing happens to them often, but Cracked has a massive readership; how do these sites think they're not going to get caught?

By all means, spread my writing around like the filthy whore it is. But FFS, credit me and link to here. That's all I ask.

Still to come, the full version. I'll have it up next week.

Wish I could release my flying batmonkeys on them. But I hate monkeys. Read more!

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Hi, Cracked Readers!

Hope you enjoyed my article in today's Cracked: 7 Music Trends Whose Return Must Be Stopped.

Have a look around at some of my writing. There will be more spoken word and writing stuff up soon so subscribe to this blog for more updates as they happen... Oooh! Also, the original Cracked draft, 13 Music Trends Whose Return We Fear. It features handsome black men roaming in packs, among 5 other new categories! Also let me know what you think. Constructive criticism is fucking sexy. Read more!

Thursday, 9 October 2008


My first ever review!

It makes me feel like sparkly rainbows inside. Read more!

More Fringe Reviews

Go see Kale Bagdanovs is Cultured, and Felicity Ward's Ugly As A Child. Both feature funny and engaging performances from entertaining, hard working comedians.

Kale's show is about cultural snobbery, set in an intimate gallery (adorned with some lovely art at the moment, from an artist whose name I didn't get). Go a little early and gawk at the pretty pictures.

Felicity's show is an unashamedly personal show, filled with swearies and an It's a Knockout-styled showdown. Ask her why she doesn't drink anymore; I promise it'll be worth it.

See them before Sunday!

There is no more. I lied. Read more!

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Let Your Frange Swang Out

Yeah, the title, I don't know either. I think I just miss listening to Jonny McGovern's podcast (I've been listening to my show instead, to burn it into my human brain).

Anyway! I've not been able to see as many Fringe shows as I would have liked, what with the having my own one and all. (Have you got your tickets yet?) But here are two I've seen. Both are highly recommended.

In the Arms of a Lion is a powerful, fascinating one-man show about growing up gay in South Africa in the 1980s and 90s. Utterly heartbreaking at times, always engaging. The hour flew by; I was shocked when I felt the end coming. I knew Peter was a great writer and performer, but who knew he could act, too?

Just Me is Michael Connell's stand up show. It was great to see this after Peter Van Der Merwe left me so friggen devastated, heh. Connell is charming and I laughed continuously throughout his hour-long show. If you hated high school, this is the show for you. Also, if you grew up in the country (which I didn't, but still loled). I'll be watching out for this guy at the 2009 Comedy Festival.

So try to attend both. Garn.

I'll review the other ones I get to see when they happen.

Have you any endorsements for me? Read more!