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From the beginning, SPAM® was unique—it stood alone in its low price, convenienc

Christmas 09 Nº1 single: Killing in the name of

Killing in the Name of I just found out won by selling half a million copies in a record 100% downloads to sell 50,000 £1 repeat downloads over some X factor crap which everybody by now knows not to listen to for fear of your brain freezing over & imploding violently under the pressure of vacuum.

Even though you could bit torrent it, too.

That actually rules. Haha. Rage Against the Machine for christmas, what a pleasant surprise.

But wait...

Both the X factor and RATM are owned through various forms of licensing by... Sony Corporation of America.

You might think that Sony is a japanese company, but the canon of modern japanese companies is hardly asian in tradition. Much of the pioneering work done by japanese companies has been done by and with european business experts looking to get away from the regulations. Sony Corporation of America, mind you, it's american through and through these days. Trans national. Industrial production capacity.

Sony are the second largest music company. They're basically CBS, although the CBS brand was sold off for some money and is now somebody else's. CBS are america's classic fat record label. Big fat corporate label. Michael Jackson etc. Everybody from Jeff Beck to The Clash to Suicidal Tendencies. They can put a disk in every shop easy, they're like FedEx. Back in those days you got worse stick from the public for being MC Hammer than you did for political lyrics or zany behaviour.

Some suggest that the RATM vs X Factor race was even a cunning stunt run from the inside, maybe even Simon's office. To make money, introduce some competition, bump up the sales. A cynical ploy.

The proclaimedly independent member of the public people who put the rage campaign together, they tried last year to Rick Roll the X factor by getting Rick Astely as Nº1. It didn't work, but they're not Newbs at this it would seem. But does that suggest that they're tied into either Stock Aitken & Waterman, or that they're using it for trolling 'cos it's so bad? Well it didn't work anyway. Last year for the fourth year running everybody was looking somewhere else at christmas, and the X factor ran on rails to a faux victory against...

I'd suggest that the reason why that didn't work last year is 'cos Rick Astley fuckin' sucks. It's not actually at all funny, which is why repeatedly emailing somebody the video is a comedy way of torturing somebody. They get f'ing angry quickly, Rick Astley is not a laughing matter.

Stock Aitken & Waterman, their output is economically motivated, musically shoddy, finding a creative position close to the 50s hit parade, tin pan alley, and also to the X Factor. Manufactured pop which really is as much about the circus spectacle, a sport to see who'll win, a form of gambling, or sugar-mint racing. You take 5 equally sweet mints, and roll them down a slide. First one out the bottom is a winner. They all taste the same though. It's got little to do with the content. Actually content would distract from the message of "who wil win this time?", it'd unbalance the game. The marketplace is already owned, standardised, controlled. The contestants won't make the money, that's the company's, but the little sniveller will get fame for 5 minutes and to be buffed up by our fame-engineering backroom team. The factory method.

SAM (stock aitken & waterman) were the perfectors of the converyer belt cheapo pop phenomenon, they really finished the game: no musicians, tiny studio with programmable generic backing tracks, and zero cultural credibility. In it for the money. The first people to do it with just machines, no slaves but for the figurehead stars, all done on machines. Rick Astley is one of theirs. So is Kylie. They'd work in shifts, most of their tracks would be done on a 24 hour turnaround working in shifts in their seedy little soho studio.

Ironically, the scene or production talent pool SAM belonged to also includes... a lot of 80s punk musicians and the KLF. At first I found this preposterous, but I realised that the link is close, it's about sampling, new economical ways of making music, combined with a new form of cynicism.

The KLF, whose escapades are *legendary*, a serious force of rave counterculture, they used many of the below the belt methods of Stock Aitken & Waterman to troll the public and get number 1 singles, although with quite different intentions. I checked the billboard charts from 1992. No RATM, but the KLF... were there. Next to Michael Bolton.

The secret to SAM's success? Rip off NY's underground rave scene, and water it down for the suburban public, get it squeaky clean. The KLF? Doing the same thing, but in a different way, as real hardcore ravers messing with a suburban audience.

The KLF regularly got one over on the "dumb masses" by involving them in their pranks, often by getting them to buy stuff either in the knowledge or ignorant of the fact that the KLF were basically running like a comedy-musical Al-Quaida terrorism & insurgency scene.

One track which the KLF got to the number one slot: Mu Mu land, featuring a country singer called tammy, satirising the schlock pop of the time:

All bound for Mu Mu Land
All bound for Mu Mu Land
(hey)
(hey hey)
All bound for Mu Mu Land (justified)
(hey hey)
All bound for Mu Mu Land
(Bring the beat back!)

They're Justified, and they're Ancient,
And they like to roam the land.
(just roll it from the top)
They're Justified, and they're Ancient,
I hope you understand.
(to the bridge, to the bridge, to the bridge now)
They called me up in Tennessee
They said "Tammy, stand by The Jams"
But if you don't like what they're going to do,
You better not stop them 'cause they're coming through
(bring the beat back)

(Hey hey)
All bound for Mu Mu Land (justified)
(Hey hey)
All bound for Mu Mu Land (justified)
(Ancients of Mu Mu)

Mu Mu Land
Mu Mu Land
All bound for Mu Mu Land

They're Justified, and they're Ancient,
And they drive an ice cream van.
(just roll it from the top)
They're Justified and they're Ancient,
With still no master plan.
(to the bridge, to the bridge, to the bridge now)
The last train left an hour ago,
They were singing "All aboard"
All bound for Mu Mu Land,
Then someone starting screaming "Turn up the Strobe"
(bring the beat back)

(Hey hey)
All bound for Mu Mu Land (justified)
(Hey hey)
All bound for Mu Mu Land (Ancients of Mu Mu)
(Bring the beat back)

Justified and Ancient, Ancient and a-justified,
Rocking to the rhythm in their ice cream van
with the plan and the key to
enter into Mu Mu
Vibes from the tribes of the Jams

I know where the beat is at,
'cos I know what time it is
Bring home a dime,
Make mine a "99"

New style, meanwhile, always on a mission while
Fishing in the rivers of life
Fishing in the rivers of life (hoi)
Fishing in the rivers of life (hoi)
Fishing in the rivers
Fishing in the rivers
Fishing in the rivers of life (hoi)

Voo-va-voolie
Za-shi-va-zom
Voo-va-voolie
(Bring the beat back)

(Hey hey)
All bound for Mu Mu Land (justified)
(Hey hey)
All bound for Mu Mu Land (Ancients of Mu Mu)

They have travelled the world
With the ice cream van
Their voyage, the bottom of time
They have entered the place
with the Mu Mu mate
And their children so pride
Mine as a "99"
(Bring the beat back)

Mu Mu Land (Ancients of Mu Mu)
Mu Mu Land (Ancients of Mu Mu)
All bound for Mu Mu Land

Mu Mu Land (Ancients of Mu Mu)
Mu Mu Land (Ancients of Mu Mu)
All bound for Mu Mu Land

Mu Mu Land
Mu Mu Land
All bound for Mu Mu Land

These are the same people who machine gunned the audience at the BRIT awards, and left a dead sheep at their afterparty, burned a million pounds in cash on live TV, vandalised billboards, drove a tank down oxford street, and plagiarised (remixed?) *everything* with their british build mid-80s sampler, lifting whatever they wanted, and started the whole copyright disaster zone by engaging in a copyright infringement war with ABBA, and also claimed they had a police car as their spiritual consultant which was telling them what to do. This is only tip of the iceberg of mayhem they're responsible for, and they had the ability to present this stuff in a way that would catalyse the establishment media and public demand, leaving schlock-pop manufactured 'artists' in their tracks.

Well, this year after many cold winters for the record industry who seem to have done little to warm the hearts of the record buyers to actually pay decent artists, seeming to have a lack of both money and talent.

This year the selection was:

Queen + the Muppets

Rolf Harriss & Rick Parfitt of Status Quo

The X Factor


and the public all wrote on the ballot paper under the "other" field:

Rage against the Machine.



Now here's the crux. I bought a copy. Fuck yeah! £1 for RATM vs X factor? For christmas?! Fuck yeah. No questions. I'll double triple dip on that! I paid not for any reason other than to register a track on the reduntant fixture of "the christmas charts" from the 50s 60s 70s 80s 90s when people bought 7-inch vinyl or CD singles, and watch the sales like horses racing. The dead phenomenon of which has lately has been paraded about by a prime time TV show. I think it's worth a pound, and if it's Simon Cowell cynically holding the UK's once esteemed charts to ransom with a freddie mercury's homosexual ghost grasping a muppet... levelled at Rolf Hariss and Rick Parfitt... the X Factor muahahahahaha, We have the Tesco's Deal muahahahahahahaaaa like some medieval dragon or grinch up a mountain with the magic charts. "I shall even beat the post-punk legendary status revival material, the X factor shall conquer even cult bands". TBH it does rather suggest that it's worth paying a worthless these days £1 for honour, alms for the record labels and the apparent absolute death of rock'n'roll, and really putting a stop to this mess, and remember 1992, when each record company released about 15 really groundbreaking albums a year. Which was a big deal. Worth a pound.

Ultimately it's all about waving flags, the people are free to not bother, or wave flags. I'm glad the british public bothered to turn out on this one hehehehe. It sends a £500,000 size message to the record labels for christmas: sort it out guys.

That's the point about record sales: it's not about the money, it's not about the record. It's about having a reason, being part of something, having your voice heard by way of support, and really, that's what has been utterly lacking in the commercial output of the music industry. It's not agreeable, there's nothing to be part of.

Unless of course it's a TV programme with a premium voting line. We'd like you to be part of that...

Rioting on itunes.

 

____

 

addendum: I've been having a think about this... and since the word went out through facebook, having the facebook server logs as a social networking profile to see how many people are "agitator compatible" is, well, you see what I mean?

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