Posts Tagged ‘controversy’

You may not feel much sympathy for her because of her lifestyle, but the events following her death are disturbing.

Found this great piece from David Martin @ The Faster Times. Seems he found the immediate “marketing” of Amy Winehouse’s death as disgusting as I did:

The news of Amy Winehouse’s death on Saturday no doubt triggered a range of emotions: Misery and grief among her familyand relatives and sorrow and shock (although many will have anticipated it) for her fans.

But, sadly, for some organisations who thrive off the Winehouse brand, sentiment was quickly overridden by the potential for  big bucks.

Microsoft has come off the worst in trying to market the “Rehab” singer’s death. The computing company’s  UK-based Xbox PR branch tweeted, “Remember Amy Winehouse by downloading the ground-breaking ‘Back to Black’ over at Zune…”.

After receiving enraged replies, @tweetbox360 was forced to backpedal, apologising for the “commercially motivated” tone of the tweet, presumably asserting that it was purely compassionate.

However, while Microsoft is feeling the brunt of a gross error in shamelessly marketing Amy Winehouse’s death, neither Apple nor Amazon can exactly claim to be perched high up on the moral pedal stool.

The iTunes Store has its own “Remembering Amy Winehouse” banner, while Amazon’s MP3 store has what at first seems like an obituary for the singer whose career was invested with drug addiction, but quickly sours into an unconvincing marketing pitch and a link to just about everything she ever released, vinyl and deluxe editions included.

Disgusting lack of compassion shown by Corporate America in my opinion.

Marketing the death of an icon is no new practice for any media organisation involved in music, print or whatnot.

But now, in the era of Web 2.0 and social media, where companies are appealing directly to those who are willing to be appealed to, consumers don’t need to bear witness to the cold and emotionless marketing ploys in exploiting an artist’s death.

Sure, everyone will want to use the “Winehouse” name to their marketing advantage now – in some respects, this article included –  but if not done tastefully you risk coming across as the gleeful distant cousin who only turns up at a grandparent’s funeral because their name was on the will.

Tweetbox360’s Twitter feed wasn’t the only one having a bad day, however. Fans also lambasted the magazine Esquire, after its  style blog implored its readers to “Meet the stylish man who inspired Amy Winehouse” via Twitter. The “stylish man” being Blake Fielder-Civil, Winehouse’s abusive ex-husband, who, the article maintains, “will be great, even if he’s still a bit fked up…”.

It’s one thing trying to market the music that made Amy Winehouse great and earned adoring fans the world over. It’s another when you try to market an article that glorifies the trendy clothes worn by the man who beat her and reportedly introduced her to the hard drugs that inevitably led to her death.

I was pretty much taken aback with social media coverage of her passing. I had immediately noticed the distasteful marketing blitz sites like Amazon engaged in.

Anyone who has ever read my blog knows full well that I don’t think highly of corporate entities. I pretty much think of them as heartless, soulless beasts with no allegiance to anyone or anything other than the “bottom line”.

This behavior has done nothing to change that.


If the weave don't fit you must acquit!

The hip hop world’s version of Ms. “Firecrotch” herself was at it again this week. Lindsay Lohan may be a one-woman crime spree, but Foxy Brown suffers from friggin’ Naomi Campbell disease.

One is a sad state of being while the other is a serious affliction, but both have caused each celebrity to serve jail time.

Wait, check that. Is Foxy Brown even a celebrity still?

Anyway, she decided to take some of her dwindling fame and evaporating money and go work on a cruise ship.

Somewhere the brothers Sprouse are crying inside.

Not that I have anything against cruises. My parents go on a cruise each year. They usually go for two weeks and come back 20 pounds heavier and forced to count carbs for the next three months to shed the extra weight.

Furthermore, I can’t help but have my mind wander and start imagining that scenario where this chicken-head and my folks get stuck at the same table for the “Captain’s Dinner”. Talk about the makings of a Seinfeld episode.

Anyway, while on board, Foxy decided she needed a manicure. Well, don’t we all.

OK, so not me. I’m no Bernie Mac ( man) and I am paranoid about getting some kind of disease like Paula Abdul says she got.

So Foxy made an appointment and when she showed up a whoppin’ 3 hours late for said appointment she went all Broad Street Bully on the salon employee when they could not fit in her in.

You see, what had happen wuz...

She freaked out so much that the people in charge kicked her off the ship. Yeah, the people who were paying Foxy said “enough is enough” and kicked her ghetto-fabulous ass right the f#@k off the boat.

Foxy was so outta control, security was called, and removed her from the salon and sent her back to her room — where she remained under supervision until Wednesday (March 23), when the ship dropped anchor somewhere in the Cayman Islands.

This is where she was reportedly kicked off the ship according to TMZ.

She and her publicist attempted to spin this as hype, hitting Twitter and even getting Joyner to go on the air and claim it was all “misreported”, but as recent as 12 hours ago the incident was verified by people who were passengers on the ship.

Sadly, this wasn’t the first time Brown was involved in some sort of salon related frackas.  In 2007 she was charged with simple assault and resisting arrest after assaulting a beauty supply worker with weave glue.

Yeah, you just can’t make shit like up.

According to police, the Brooklyn-bred rapper became involved in a disturbance at the Queen Beauty Supply Store last night.Police said that Brown was sampling beauty products in a bathroom of the shop, when a store employee told her it was closing time.

Brown became irate and threw hair glue at the employee, a man named Hayssamn Ghoneim. Ghoneim called 911 during the fracas, when Brown allegedly spit on him. When an officer responded to the 911 call and found Brown still in the shopping plaza, he attempted to bring her back to the store to address the issue, but Brown allegedly refused.

According to the police report, when the officer attempted physically escort back to the store Brown by placing his hand on her arm, she allegedly swatted his hand away and resisted.

The officer said Brown resisted so much, he had to “use a takedown maneuver to gain control” of the rapper. Brown, born Inga Marchand, was charged with battery and obstruction of justice.

That incident followed up a mani/pedi gone bad in 2004 (I smell a pattern here) involving the, gulp, I use this term in the loosest sense possible, artist.

There just ain’t no getting around it, girl is bat shit crazy.

I still remember when she got out of prison in 2008 for breaking her probation after those incidents where she’s attacked manicurists and beat a couple people with cell phones. (Hell woman. You can’t even come up with her own original ways to beat “peasants”? Throwing phones is Naomi’s thing!)

Anyways, I digress.

Bla bla bla...

When she got sprung from Rikers in ’08 she cried out “I did almost a year in prison, a year in prison, just because my name is Foxy Brown.”

Sweet merciful Lord. She’s this generation’s personal Nelson Mandela!

Please. Note. The. Sarcasm.

Is it just me or is it sad that people celebrated that day like she was Tim Robbins and this is the Shawshank Redemption? I’m fine for all that fanfare when it’s some poor guy or gal who was wrongly accused and imprisoned. Go nuts when you get out!

But Foxy committed a crime. Well, several of them. Why the fanfare? She should have been ashamed, sneaking out the back door with her tail tucked firmly between her legs.

But wait, we’re talking about Americans right?

Never mind. We got rid of shame in this country a long, long time ago.

Like the man said…”we’re all stars now in the Dope Show.

Garth Brooks is no stranger to weird decisions in his long decorated, multi-platinum wrapped career.

To quote myself, “Garth’s not content with just playing the role he’s given and being a Country music star. He’s a true artist, a rebel, a maverick, a… bad decision maker.”

His latest “wtf moment” comes in the form of an alter-ego, painfully cliché, alt-rocker by the name of Chris Gaines.

Paramount Pictures and Brooks’ own company Red Strokes Entertainment are in the process of creating a film that Brooks will have the leading role in.

This film, entitled The Lamb , is to revolve around rock-star Chris Gaines and his experience of the “trials” of being famous.

The film is set to feature Brooks starring as the fictional figure. As part viral marketing and part publicity stunt, Brooks has brought the Gaines character into our “reality”.

But, much to Brooks chagrin, the Chris Gaines character is just a terrible representation of what Brooks and his team seem to perceive as “alt-rock”. This especially being the case when they dressed him like a stand-in for a member of Marilyn Manson, Rammstein or any industrial metal band.

Love him or hate him, Garth Brooks knows how to write chart topping songs. To be blunt, he should have stuck with what he knows. Sadly, he didn’t and we are left with this poorly executed publicity stunt. It has done nothing but lead people to question Brook’s mental health rather  than garner interest for The Lamb.

The main reason the Chris Gaines scheme failed isn’t just because it was probably a bad idea from the beginning but because it was done totally half-assed (which is STILL better than being four-assed…but I will get to that later).

There are a couple of possible ways this could have been handled differently. Option #1 is that Garth could have tried to keep his Clark Kent identity a secret. This record was released on Capitol Records. Capitol could have promoted him as a new artist, put all the backing you need to get on MTVH1 and Clear Channel radio.

They could have pushed for late night talk show performances and interviews. He could have played smaller venues and record store performances.

Once Chris made a name for himself, they could have pulled back the curtain and it might have actually been kind of “slick”.

Option #2 is Garth could have just said “I’d like to make a pop album.” He could have released it under his own name and promoted it just like his country albums. It’s not as much fun, but it could have expanded the world’s view of him as just a country artist.

However, had he gone with either of these instead of the lukewarm middle path, there is still one hurdle to get past.

In order for option #1 to have worked, the songs would have needed to not suck. In order for option #2 to have worked… the songs would have needed to not suck.

Here’s the thing with the music on this album. It’s not all that horrible by most commercial standards. I bet your average soccer mom would find some stuff on here that she likes. They listen to Michael Bolton and Bonnie Raitt and this crap could fly just well as that crap.

The biggest problem with the thing is its utter lack of continuity.

The first single, a sappy Sade-type ballad called ‘Lost In You’ is not what one would expect from either country music hero or an aging rocker.  Maybe if it was more like a rock ballad, it wouldn’t have been such a stretch.  But it’s more like adult pop, in the vein of Eric Claptons recent hit ‘Change The World’ (same writers).

The B-side is some kind of rap redux of The Youngbloods ‘Get Together’ called ‘Right Now’, that left more people scratching their heads than grooving. Seriously, Garth Brooks trying to spit a few bars?

While there are worse things in life than being told than your song is as emotionally haunting as the ones put out by Sade, that isn’t exactly a glowing endorsement for a “rocker”.

This stuff is the most boring, we-need-a-song-in-the-background-of-a-restaurant-scene-in-a-soap-opera music that’s ever been written.

It’s not worthy of being one of the long blond pubic hairs that comprised Michael Bolton’s former flowing mullet. So while it’s not all that horrible, ninety-nine percent of it is.

Beyond the fact that the music was not very good in general, there is another glaring problem with the songs here and it would have been even more noticeable had the movie been made. The songs on this CD are supposed to represent the entire career of the artist formerly known as Garth. Chris had released 5 albums in his career and this CD, being a greatest hits, collected 2-3 songs from each of these albums.

So why do the songs recorded in 1986 sound so much like the ones he recorded in 1999? Of course we know why; because in reality they were all recorded at the same time. But when you’re trying to create a work of fiction, you have to pay attention to the details.

The music of 1986 does not sound like the music of 1999. The music a person makes when they are 19 is not the same music they make when they’re 32. Recording the “old” songs with a current sound is sort of the equivalent of Moses wearing a Members Only jacket when he parted the Red Sea because that’s what Charlton Heston wore on the set that day.

This lack of attention to detail is indicative of the half-baked nature of this whole project and in the end leads to its downfall.

My entire reason for existence as a music critic is to inform you about, and recommend to you, albums which I think you should listen to or avoid like they carry the bubonic plague.

So let me be perfectly clear on this one.

Like Doctor Alphonse Mephesto’s infamous four-assed monkey of South Park fame, this album is an abomination and has no place in the world of man.