Pop Life

Fails Of The Week: Insane Clown Posse Hates Science, No Dylan In China, Rihanna & Ke$ha's Auto-Tour

If you're reading this, you're either on the Internet, or else you've mastered multi-dimensional thought-projection processes that would make Michio Kaku cry like a little girl. We'll assume the former, and just in case you don't already know, the Internet has decided that the word "failure" is too long by three letters. You are now only allowed to say that a failure is, in fact, a "fail," or else you have your Internet license revoked. All caught up? Great! Here are this week's most monumental fails from within the music community.

Insane Clown Posse Are Not Theologians: If you haven't seen the video for the new Insane Clown Posse single "Miracles," oh dear sweet Jesus Mary Buddha Zeus do you ever need to watch it right this second.

ICP are enough of an icon to where the music really doesn't matter anymore, but in case you're curious, the song suffers from the same problem Crazy Town's "Butterfly" did about ten years ago; it's got a good beat and catchy production that makes you wish they'd gotten somebody to rap over it, as opposed to whatever you'd call what these guys chose to do. So of course the flow is terrible, but that's no surprise.

And we're aware that the ICP boys are being intentionally funny in much of this song - the part about the pelican that almost eats Violent J's cell phone has to be intentional, it just has to be - but the best/worst/most failure-intensive parts are the passages wherein the clown-gurus dip into sincerity. For much of the song, they really are staring in wide-eyed wonder at various marvels of the universe ("Look at the mountains, trees, the seven seas/ And everything chillin' underwater, please!"), yet instead of attempting to relate to these wonders on an intellectual, human level, they simply dismiss them as "miracles," beyond explanation or understanding.

Never mind that the explanations behind some of these "miracles" makes them even more amazing; Violent J and Shaggy prefer not to hear from scientists, who are "motherfuckin' lying and getting me pissed." It's all perfectly harmless until you realize that both of these guys are fathers and will be raising their children to show similar disdain for science and curiosity, a fact that adds a twinge of sadness to an otherwise hilarious epic of fail-pop. Sure, let the kids swear, listen to rap, and wear makeup and Juggalo clothes all they want; all that stuff is fine with us. But at least encourage them to learn about things, ICP.

Bob Dylan Won't Be Freewheelin' Through China: This item isn't really surprising, but it's still sad: rock and roll icon Bob Dylan will not be allowed to play anywhere in China on his upcoming tour. This is a massive fail on the Chinese government's part, once again denying its people art and music because of their megalomaniacal need to control any and all expression that comes into their country (you know, the same shit the American government tries to do and are, lucky for the rest of us, terrible at). Still, it must feel pretty badass to be Bob Dylan, pushing 70 years of age and now forbidden to even enter the borders of one of the most powerful countries in the world due to his status as an "icon of the counterculture movement." We hope he doesn't require one for a long time, but when Dylan does eventually get a tombstone, we nominate "Icon of the Counterculture Movement" for the short list of what should go on it.

The Emptiest Tour of the Summer: This week we learned that Rihanna and Ke$ha will be touring together this summer, bringing their generic earworm dance-pop to 25 different venues. Of course the real stars will be Auto-tune and ProTools, both of which sadly arrived too late to save Milli Vanilli, but which are the newest production methods available for squeezing every last ounce of humanity out of music until every artist sounds exactly like every other artist. We think all of the Auto-tune-addicted pop artists should be rounded up into one supergroup called The Nterchangeables, and forced to wear masks and perform in silhouette only. Then their fans can write in and guess who performs on each song, and the first person to correctly attribute all of the songs on the first album will receive one million free downloads, but only for songs featuring real instruments played by real people. We know, it seems old-fashioned of us, but we suspect the computers used to make this hypnotically formulaic music are starting to slip hidden messages to you guys via inaudible code embedded in each mp3. That is currently the only explanation we buy for the continued popularity of Dancing With the Stars.

Springsteen's Mistress No Longer Possesses Spark With Which to Start Fire: You just can't trust anybody anymore, can you, ladies? As the world continues to be astounded by the revelation that any man with any kind of drive tends to have his penis at the wheel, the shenanigans of another revered star have come to light. Yes, Bruce Springsteen cheated on his wife, and now his mistress is divorcing her husband. It's probably for the best; we don't know how hubby is supposed to compete with The Boss. Marital relations just wouldn't be the same once you'd been with a man who could thoroughly moisten your panties simply by softly singing the first few lines of "I'm on Fire" in your ear while you were on the treadmill. We really feel sorry for the kids. Not only are they having to suffer through the pain of a divorce, but they'll never be able to enjoy "Born in the U.S.A." or "Glory Days" without thinking of the man who fucked their parents apart. Maybe they can get into Dire Straits instead? Oh, who are we kidding, nobody is into Dire Straits.

Win of the Week: Epitaph is releasing a deluxe version of possibly the greatest hardcore album of all time, The Refused's The Shape of Punk to Come. Perfect for planning your party program.

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John Seaborn Gray