Tag Archives: Black Eyed Peas

Just Try Not to Listen

The level of commerce that is associated with rock and roll is something that is best not thought about. It’s sort of like the old line that you never want to go into the kitchen of a restaurant—regardless of whether it has three Michelin stars or it is a McDonald’s—because you’re likely not to have much of an appetite as a result of what you’ll discover.

So it is best that we enjoy the filet—or the Filet o’ Fish—without much consideration beyond the object itself.

It is best that we enjoy the work of our performers without knowing what it is that has gotten them in front of us, assuming, of course, that the performers in question are those who have visibility that is perceptible beyond a small group of like minds.

But sometimes it is bracing to see how things are.

Case in point: the boiler plate description of Clear Channel Radio. This is how that company describes itself:

“With 237 million monthly listeners in the U.S., Clear Channel Radio has the largest reach of any radio or television outlet in America. The company’s radio stations and content can be heard on AM/FM stations, HD digital radio channels, Sirius/XM satellite, on the Internet at iHeartRadio.com, and on the iHeartRadio mobile application on iPads, and smartphones, and used via navigation systems from TomTom, Garmin and others. The company’s operations include radio broadcasting, online and mobile services and products, syndication, event and promotion creation and operation, music research services and national television, radio and digital media representation. Clear Channel Radio is a division of CC Media Holdings, Inc. (OTCBB:CCMO), a leading global media and entertainment company. More information on the company can be found at www.ccmediaholdings.com.”

Sort of sounds like that Skynet from the Terminator movies. Or, to take another science fictional analogy, the Borg. Resistance is futile.

This past weekend Clear Channel launched iHeartRadio, its competitor to Pandora. And it just didn’t hold a press conference followed by a cocktail party.

Rather, it held a two-day event at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. It calls it the “inaugural iHeartRadio Music Festival.” A music festival in a stadium in a casino seems a bit odd, but there it was.

The event started with the Black Eyed Peas. It closed with Lady Gaga. And in between there were performers ranging from Jay-Z to Sting, from Kelly Clarkson to Jeff Beck, from Jane’s Addiction to Kenny Chesney. It was hosted by Ryan Seacrest.

That’s entertainment circa 2011. Sure, it’s long been this way. Just not so widely and well packaged.

My advice: Stay out of the kitchen.

Pay to Slum: A hologram at the end of the world and other tales.

The Dead Weather

Josh Groban might make the closed captions sing, but it’s Will.i.am‘s world to steal. Did you hear the news? i.am and his band, Los Angeles-based underground Tybo fighting champions and dance-pop vocal trio the Black Eyed Peas, have with this week’s activity on the Hot 100 been officially canonized by the ruling order of their native Mars. Their jerseys were also retired. But don’t switch off your hologram machines just yet, Midwestern children — “I gotta feelin'” your product placement party visionary and beloved spin move endorser is still gonna hologram his way across the nation. Will.he.WILL!

Between Fergie-offs at the local Y and keeping up with all Will’s tweets from the gaseous fog near Phobos (“I don’t even know where that is, but it sounds hologro-mantic!“), it can be difficult to remember that there’s a real rock ‘n’ roll band behind the digitized neon smoke and bedazzled mirrors. That’s right, and they’re called the Dead Weather.

Continue reading Pay to Slum: A hologram at the end of the world and other tales.

Pay to Slum: Black Eyed Peas, "I Gotta Feeling"

Video: Black Eyed Peas – “I Gotta Feeling”

Visualize world Peas? Not on this planet. While will.i.am is definitely a universalist — that’s been a tenet of his group from way back, way before the moon missions and Ferginomics — his gospel has grown suckier. It has no flags. All horizontal dance moves and platitudes, it spends mountains out of the coffers underneath Black Eyed Peas Multi-Platinum Capital & Savings to become what is essentially ad copy for the BEP brand. (apl.de.ap is gonna ride on that missile they’re shooting into the moon. His money clip is a spaceship.) Not incredibly, will.i.am’s own turn as a pitchman for Pepsi assured the soft drink giant’s sugary bauble of a renewed logo would be even more boring than it already is.

Dude’s like Hardee’s.

And yet, it only takes 249,000 people to make a hit like this possible. That’s not a lot. Across America, right now, there are at least that many people smiling and nodding at one another in shouty entranceways, having decided that 30 minutes is a perfectly reasonable amount of time to wait for a table at TGI Friday’s. There are at least that many kids who’ve at least thought about maybe downloading Brokencyde‘s new album. These facts are a signal of the Rapture, as you know. It’s that one day very soon when we’ll join together around the methane burn-off cone at the nearest landfill and combine the precious metals we didn’t already mail to Cash4Gold into a melty totem that looks like Fergie. It’ll be fried, and you’ll be able to eat it. But those same facts also prove that somewhere, right now, there are a bunch of parties going on, and they’re all as boring as BEP’s video starter kit promised. The will.i.am-o-gram strikes again.

Hmm, symmetrical energy fields are in balance this morning. That can only mean one thing, America. Taboo got up on the right side of the dancefloor.


Each week Johnny Loftus will select a song from your hit parade to explicate, celebrate, or humiliate.

Black Eyed Peas: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki

Pay to Slum: Black Eyed Peas, "Boom Boom Pow"

Video: Black Eyed Peas – “Boom Boom Pow”

Taboo is a fellow in Black Eyed Peas. Also known as He Whose Name Has No Periods, the rapper, dancer, and top notch haberdasher is apparently also a galactic ambassador, a dude who filled the Sea of Tranquility with asparagus dip just so he and apl.de.ap could chomp on planets and taste rainbows. It has to be this way. BEP are popular vertically, horizontally, and every which way but loose. Their digital downloads come with extra ones and zeroes to handle the breathless overflow. They break periodically into television broadcasts with messages of faith and power in the form of easy-to-read beats and language without sentence structure. This is easy when you have a summer house on SPACEWAY-1.

But let’s get back to Taboo. He’s on a supersonic boom, you know, and when you hear that spaceship zoom, that’s when he steps inside the room. Or so it sort of goes in a later verse of “Boom Boom Pow,” BEP’s current chart topper and the lead single from The E.N.D. Taboo continues, forsaking English in favor of the jargon spit on the showroom floor at the Alpha Centauri Best Buy: “That low-fi stupid a bit,” he glitters. “I’m on that HD flat.” Taboo knows what he raps. That Best Buy has the greatest deals in the universe.

Fergie, of course, is also along for the Peas’ latest meteoric ride to the jutting tip of the Billboard Hot 100. Warning: she dismisses the world as “2000 and late.” We’re all dead like Duchovny in The Rapture. But she offers us solace, too — while we’ll never stalk the stars and rings of Saturn like the quartet, whose great space coasting jeepney is tricked out with lazers, we must only declare that we’re friends with Peas. Presto, it’s salvation.

“People in the place,” the Fergalicious Lady of Fatima bellows. “If you want to get down, put your hands in the air.” And then she gets will.i.am to drop the beat that will save us. Because In BEP’s universe, the day the earth stood still was also the day it danced contentedly toward revolution.


Each week Johnny Loftus will select a song from your hit parade to explicate, celebrate, or humiliate.

Black Eyed Peas: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki.