Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Nurse the Hate: Hate V Squared

I read the New York Times on the weekends.  This is either a statement on how the Sunday Plain Dealer has now become little more than a pamphlet, or how I feel the need to have a vague idea about how the elections in Bolivia went wrong.  I will admit to having an unhealthy passive interest in the reporting on the New York social scene where impossibly good looking people in impossibly expensive clothes go to impossibly expensive parties that are covered like movie premieres.  It’s a very guilty pleasure that leaves me slightly ashamed.

Almost every Sunday there is a full page ad in Section A placed by a special interest group.  Usually it is someone really worked up about something Israel did, should have done, or is threatening to do.  These ads are always poorly done with a Russian novel’s worth of microscopic text railing on about an issue that guys like me turn the page on so quickly the fear of a paper cut is real.  I never care what the fuck these people are upset about.  This Sunday was different.  This caught my attention.  There was a full page ad placed for a band called V-Squared trumpeting their achievement at winning an astounding seven LA Music Awards.  Making this triumph even more incredible was the fact that they were 11 year old kids.  Upon closer examination of the ad, the text read like an amateur PR piece, with just enough professionalism to suggest that someone glanced at a “Public Relations For Dummies” website.   What the fuck was this?

I did a search on the web and found the LA Music Awards website.  As there are a shitload of talented bands in LA, I was sure I would know some of the names on the nominated bands list.  These 11 year old kids must kick some serious ass to beat Ty Segall, Nic Waterhouse, Thee Oh Sees, White Fence, or anyone else you can think of in the greater Los Angeles area.  The odd thing was I had never heard of any of the bands nominated, and noted most of the genres represented were definitely out of fashion.  A click on the site quickly revealed this to be a scheme where bands were “nominated” based on paying for a submission and seeing how many votes at .99 cents per vote they could accumulate.  Perhaps I am a bit cynical, but I assume that the LA Music Awards keeps this money for “operating expenses” and urges participating bands to drive votes to further their “career”.  This is the absolute bottom of show business.

I clicked my way over to the V Squared band website.  There I discovered that the full page ad was also purchased in the LA Times.  Holy shit.  Who the fuck is financing this Travel Soccer Team Gone Mad?  Who are the parents?  I clicked on a Rock News Around The Web “Red Carpet Interview” which appeared to be filmed with the intention of aping what a real red carpet interview looks like.  The whole thing is a circle.  The LA Music Awards take you to the V Squared site which takes you to a site called Rock N Roll University that is content exclusively dedicated to these 11 year old kids playing AC/DC covers like, well, 11 year olds.  Rock News Around The Web exists solely to post V Squared videos.  Who is paying for all this?  What do they think is going to happen?

My guess is the very excited fella in the white tuxedo behind the boys on their “red carpet interview” is probably their father.  He must be the bankroll and the “creative vision”.  Why do I say this?  I am guessing that 11 year old kids don’t stumble onto AC/DC on their own, or look to Jack Blades of Night Ranger as an influence.  I dare you to click onto the completely staged video for the fan reactions to their concert.  I double dare you.

That is exactly what an out of touch father thinks rock and roll looks like, as if it was still 1983.  There has been a mind bending amount of money thrown away on this vanity project.  For example, a full page ad in the Sunday New York Times is $175,000 or so.  LA Times must run about $50,000.  The video shoots for all of this probably run another $50,000.  Two full length albums recorded with a big name producer from their father’s glory days is probably $25,000.  We are at $300,000 right now and God knows what has been spent previously.  The good news is that all this media spend has netted results… Big results.  By clicking over to the VSquared Facebook page, I discovered a grand total of 173 people “like” the band.  Holy mother of fuck.  This family dropped a quarter million dollars on dinosaur media and the result was 173 “likes”?  “Honey, you know what?  Let’s blow enough money to send the boys to USC for four years to promote them playing AC/DC covers at low rent pseudo talent shows.  That will be awesome!”  Can you imagine how many t-shirts and boxes of CDs are in their garage?  And I thought I had a lot of “Think Link Vol 2” records…

I really need to know about the parents.  Who are they?  What do they think is going to happen?  How delusional are they?  I’ve met parents of gawky teens that swear their kid on second string at the shitty suburban high school is going to Ohio State on a football scholarship.  That seems grounded by comparison.  The amazing circle of Awards to Band to University of Rock to Rock News On The Web that yields no real information, only illusion is incredible.  Who the fuck are these people?

It’s great to have enthusiastic parents, but wow has this gotten out of hand…  I have some really bad news for Dad.  If you want your normal little kids to make it in rock n roll, they need to get some of their own ideas, get away from you, jump in the van, and get their teeth kicked in for a while.  A real long while.  Then, if they get really, really good and get a few breaks, they might get lucky and not make any money and get to make music for the sake of making music.  They can travel, pick up some bad habits, make some great friends, and have experiences they can write songs about.  There’s no short cut.  Your quarter million bucks just proved it.  I will admit though, it is completely fascinating.  I can’t wait for their next record release!    



At December 4, 2014 at 11:07:00 AM EST , Blogger The Aunt said...

Why did you make me watch this video? I am angry now. Also, I cannot find any information on the parents. I will keep pursuing.

At December 4, 2014 at 8:16:00 PM EST , Blogger Ken Miller said...

I am also completely sucked in by this mystery now.

At December 5, 2014 at 1:06:00 PM EST , Blogger old man taylor said...

the dad has to be the guy in the middle of the much did they pay those girls to lie like that?
this is the kind of hard hitting journalism i frequent this site for.

At December 5, 2014 at 2:14:00 PM EST , Blogger Greg Miller said...

Since 60 Minutes went soft, this blog is as good as it gets.

At February 13, 2015 at 7:47:00 PM EST , Blogger eatyourbeets said...

Thank god that there are others who share my obsession. I've been trying to crack this mystery since seeing that ad in the NY Times. (There was a third full-page ad in the San Francisco Chronicle.) I have to know who these parents are. Let's continue the quest!

At April 7, 2015 at 9:50:00 PM EDT , Blogger Liam McCracken said...

If you guys are really interested in , read the comments on this blog post.

At November 4, 2016 at 2:41:00 PM EDT , Blogger Soco Live said...


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