The Academy Is . . ., Hello Monday, & We the Kings

MTV has a lot to answer for. Killing the radio star to force-feed us hair bands in the '80s. Re-imagining punk and grunge to be all those lousy bands that filled two entire CDs of "buzz cuts" in the '90s. Inventing the reality show and, in reality, gutting music from the music channel in the new millennium so that a whole generation of kids would grow up thinking rock and rap were just things that get piped in behind the scenes when someone gets voted out of a beach house/RV/date with someone's mom. All the while, any kid who might've benefited from accidentally hearing bands like Wilco, Flaming Lips, Radiohead, Modest Mouse, or The Arcade Fire find they can't listen to more than 20 seconds of music without being distracted by a shiny object dangling nearby. And now this, mtvU: a kind of street team for a music channel that doesn't play music. They want to inundate college kids with all the branding, promotions, events, ad sales and commercials they used to have running 24/7 on the old network, now piped in exclusively in institutions of higher learning. Except that now, college kids give less than two shits about supporting music and the bands that the cratering record industry is trying to shovel down their throats, like The Academy Is . . . and Hello Monday. That's not a knock on these bands — you can support the troops and still hate the war. Both young bands are fighting the wrong battle. Their irresistible, hook-laden power pop is head and shoulders above the Camp Disney shit that's being marketed to high-schoolers, and that's who these bands seem more likely to appeal to, not colleges. Look on most campuses and you'll find that people are still listening to Dark Side of the Moon and learning how to operate newer and more complicated bongs. fU, mtvU!


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