Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Rage Factor

Is it that time again?

The Christmas charts. The inevitability of yet another X-Factor winner being auto-tuned into stardom with a hastily recorded cover of an existing popstar touted as the 'perfect Christmas single.' And that single will become number one when Christmas comes. Just as it had been, since The X-Factor came about in 2005.

But wait, what's this?

Rage Against The Machine neck and neck with Joe McElderry in the UK charts? How can this be? A 12-year old track protesting against bigotry against a Miley Cyrus cover about the tough path to fame? Fuck you, I won't believe what you tell me.

Jolly stuff

But lo, 'tis true. A Facebook group with the self-explanatory title of "Rage Against The Machine For Christmas No. 1" is attempting to take back the charts with defiant Rage. Yes, it is quite surprising to find out people are actually quite sick at Simon Cowell trying to manipulate the public's musical taste by churning out pop puppets every year with a massive popularity contest that, as shown by the presence of horrible singers Jedward (amongst many), has never concentrated on actual talent.

In fact, I quite loved Jedward because it exposed The X-Factor for what it is. A popularity contest. It showed that people with no musical talent can make it in the show. At first I thought Jedward was taking the piss of X-Factor, only joining to protest ironically by being as bad as possible and still get through to the next round. I haven't been proven wrong.

So what has Simon Cowell said about all this Killing In The Name fiasco? Well, he finds it 'stupid' and 'cynical.' He has remarked that this attempt 'robs' Joe of his deserved Number One. Wait, what? I know that Simon Cowell is quite conceited, but this just takes the cake. So let me get this straight. The twat actually is convinced that the winner of his reality show has the god-given right to get a Number One Christmas single.

Rage Against Rage Against The Machine

Whoa, Simon. Get over yourself. You are not the chartmaster. Whatever you produce isn't an automatic number one. Like usual, chart-toppers fight their way to the top. They don't 'deserve' it. "Killing In The Name" doesn't have the right either, but it is sure as hell fighting for it. Being Numero Uno is not a right, it's a privilege. And if you ask me, a privilege that's not been handed to the right people most of the time. But hey, if that's what the masses want, I'll get out the way and get back to my obscure band CDs and look at vinyls at the local record shop.

And now a large part of the masses want "Killing In The Name" for Christmas. If more want it than "The Climb," then great. I'm happy, because it shows I'm not the only one disillusioned at the state of the music industry. If Rage gets Number Two, I'll still be happy. It shows that the pop music factory cannot afford to be complacent anymore. They can't afford to be lazy and just expect a Christmas hit single. Rage Against The Machine. What an appropriate name for the campaign.

Do I have anything against the X-Factor contestants personally? Well, to be honest, no. The road to stardom is hard. And it's the likes of Simon Cowell that's manipulating the crowd, not the contestants. But I do find Simon Cowell's choice of song for the single really vomit-inducing. "The Climb" by Miley Cyrus? A song about how tough it is to make it in the music industry? I won't even get into the fact that I hate Miley Montana or whatever her name is. That's another story. But to make it seem like Joe McElderry's climb to fame as something 'epic' or 'tough' is just extremely laughable.

He went from being an unknown to a household name in 6 months in a reality TV show. That is not tough. You know what is tough? The effort put by bands who tour, rehearse, drive their own vans, set up their own equipment, give out their own flyers, sell their own merchandise, write their own songs, and sweat it out in the smallest venues in the most obscure places. Now that's tough.

Unless you're driving one of these

Joe McElderry's "Climb" is more like an escalator than a mountain compared to the bands who's got so much blood, sweat and tears invested into making the music they love.

Signing out

Over and out

Now playing: Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Maps
via FoxyTunes

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