The Dim-Post

December 22, 2009

It’s a festivus miracle!

Filed under: general idiocy — danylmc @ 6:34 am

There’s a tradition/marketing gimmick in the UK about the honor of having the chart-topping single at Christmas time. (I never heard of this tradition when I lived in London, possibly because most of my friends were too incapacitated by drugs to tune their radios.)

Apparently for the past few years this contest has been won by Simon Callow and the winner of the latest season of ‘The X Factor’ with some loathsome ballad and this year was doomed to the same, with X Factor winner, Joe McElderry churning out a cover of a Myley Cyrus song. Until the internet kicked in and a grass-roots campaign on Facebook sent Killing in the Name of by Rage Against the Machine to number one, selling over half a million copies on iTunes.

RATM are donating the windfall to a charity for the homeless. They were interviewed on BBC radio and performed their song, which the BBC (rather foolishly) assumed they would self-censor. (Sample lyrics ‘Fuck you I won’t do what you tell me, Motherfucker!’.)

The coup-de-grace is this interview from the runner-up, Simon Callow’s creature Joe McEdlerry (pictured above) and his reaction to the song:

“They can’t be serious!” he said. “I had no idea what it sounded like. It’s dreadful and I hate it. How could anyone enjoy this? Can you imagine the grandmas hearing this over Christmas lunch?

“I wouldn’t buy it. It’s a nought out of ten from me. Simon Cowell wouldn’t like it. They wouldn’t get through to boot camp on The X Factor – they’re just shouting.”

They sure are. Not really safe for work, but Hey! It’s Christmas!

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36 Comments »

  1. “They can’t be serious!” he said. “I had no idea what it sounded like. It’s dreadful and I hate it. How could anyone enjoy this? Can you imagine the grandmas hearing this over Christmas lunch?

    “I wouldn’t buy it. It’s a nought out of ten from me. Simon Cowell wouldn’t like it. They wouldn’t get through to boot camp on The X Factor – they’re just shouting.”

    This is why the song still has currency 18 years later and in the same time frame Mr McEdlerry will be remembered for what exactly (I can only conjure up a Garry Glitter style of fall from grace), he only has 11,000 sales in the linked article 65,589,254 Britons chose not to buy his single? Classy of RATM donating the money.

    I get the feeling this was all very lucrative for Mr Cowell, who games the chart system with his high exposure TV show and owns the rights to the song. So he clips the ticket all the way along. Hence the ground swell.

    most of my friends were too incapacitated by drugs to tune their radios.

    Heh, always a white Christmas in London :)

    Comment by andy (the other one) — December 22, 2009 @ 7:07 am

  2. ah. my youth.
    with the small alteration of Fuck you I won’t buy what you sell me.
    brill

    Comment by ConorJoe — December 22, 2009 @ 7:14 am

  3. That’s freaking awesome. Merry Christmas folkes.

    Comment by Adge — December 22, 2009 @ 7:22 am

  4. Charlie Brooker is also chuffed RATM has relegated Simon Cowell’s protege to number 2 on the chart, describing Cowell’s output as “shit for ears.” Prize comment on the thread:

    “Simon Cowell has a massive number 2.”

    I remember playing this album in the car a lot back in 1993, which horrified my boss when he rode in the car with me once and here’s Zack de la Rocha bellowing out “You’ll get a bullet in your fucking head!” Ah, good times.

    Comment by Psycho Milt — December 22, 2009 @ 7:37 am

  5. There have been some abominations in the past – for a full roll call, look no further: http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/features/not-quite-top-of-the-pops-stuck-at-number-two-for-christmas-1845917.html

    Comment by Rob Hosking — December 22, 2009 @ 7:55 am

  6. Its an ugly noise. The rythm keeps time I suppose and the drummer must be mildly competent, but there is no melodic structure, and the whole ‘song’ goes nowhere. It doesn’t develop into anything tonally or lyrically – it is simply a solid wall of hate.

    This is shit music and frankly I am surprised that this ‘band’ ever found a manager willing to take them on, let alone an audience for their revolting garbage.

    Comment by Dave Mann — December 22, 2009 @ 7:57 am

  7. Its an ugly noise. The rythm keeps time I suppose and the drummer must be mildly competent, but there is no melodic structure, and the whole ’song’ goes nowhere. It doesn’t develop into anything tonally or lyrically – it is simply a solid wall of hate.

    This is shit music and frankly I am surprised that this ‘band’ ever found a manager willing to take them on, let alone an audience for their revolting garbage.

    Well yes, the Cowel/McEdlerry track is a cover of a Mylie Cyrus song!

    Comment by andy (the other one) — December 22, 2009 @ 8:08 am

  8. Made my morning.

    Comment by Sam Finnemore — December 22, 2009 @ 8:20 am

  9. Dave,
    You seem to equate “music” with “melodic structure”. I’d have thought that, post-Stravinsky, this was a somewhat problematic postion.
    That said, while I fully approve of anything that f*cks with Simon Cowell’s life, there’s something a bit naff about using a Sony-BMG band to knock another Sony-BMG band off the top of the pop charts. I’d have liked to see the movement adopt a Fugazi song … maybe “Merchandise” (“Never mind what’s been selling/It’s what you’re buying/And receiving undefiled”). But I guess that as they don’t sell their individual songs via corporate label, they couldn’t get used in this way. Ironic, no?

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — December 22, 2009 @ 8:21 am

  10. Given his name is right in the quote you’d think it wouldn’t be too hard to get it right in the rest of your post.
    Not to be pedantic or anything, but I quite like Simon Callow (the rather fine actor), as opposed to Simon Cowell (the producer of shitty music).

    Comment by housemonkey — December 22, 2009 @ 8:28 am

  11. Hi Andrew. I suppose one could call this ‘music’ in much the same way as one could call monkeys defecating on a mattress ‘art’…… so as an example of its genre, this hideous noise might well be a wonderful example. As an amateur musician and a photographer I really couldn’t comment.

    Comment by Dave Mann — December 22, 2009 @ 8:50 am

  12. That should teach them a lesson, those cultural vandals at Sony. Oh hang on a minute. RATM are with Sony as well.
    Top effort though. The Callow (liking that name) creation still sold 450,000 copies though, which apparently would have been number one without the facebook campaign and is expected to hit number one next week.
    The xmas edition of top of the pops was always a major event and the top spot was usually swapped eacvh year between Cliff Richard and Slade when I was growing up. It is nice to see that the tradition of overhyped utter shite is still alive and well in the brit music business.
    I arrived late to RATM, I first heard that song walking past my (then) 13 year old sons bedroom door. It was confiscated along with the Eminem show immediately.
    Both albums have needed to be replaced a couple of times due to being permanently nestled within the CD shuttle of MY car.

    Comment by Barnsley Bill — December 22, 2009 @ 8:56 am

  13. “You seem to equate “music” with “melodic structure””

    Fully awaiting a guest appearance by Lindsay Perigo in light of this blasphemy.

    Comment by Sam Finnemore — December 22, 2009 @ 9:02 am

  14. Err… “melodic structure” is just another way of saying “tune”…..

    Comment by Dave Mann — December 22, 2009 @ 9:19 am

  15. That quote from McEldry made me inordinately happy, and then the comment thread was even better. Andrew, I see you Fugazi and raise you some Einsturzende Neubauten. Love to see some german industrial at the top of Christmas charts.

    And Dave Mann, you’ve made my week. Merry Christmas :).

    Comment by Eddie C — December 22, 2009 @ 9:26 am

  16. It doesn’t develop into anything tonally or lyrically – it is simply a solid wall of hate.

    Dave, you say that like it’s a Bad Thing…

    RATM are with Sony as well.

    Yes, but only one of these Sony acts is donating the proceeds to charity. The people downloading RATM’s Xmas song are doing two good deeds at once.

    Comment by Psycho Milt — December 22, 2009 @ 9:47 am

  17. If I could be fucked ranting my cynical way through this argument all over again, I probably would.

    But let’s just say that someone at Sony is, at this very moment in time, lying in their office, stark naked, covered in $10 bills and slowly wanking themselves to death at the thought that this campaign helped them sell four times as many units as they sold last year, at a much higher price, and guaranteed that Simon fucking Cowell, Joe fucking McEdlerry and the X fucking Factor would be plastered all over every available TV station and newspaper across the fucking world.

    What a giant fucking ball-ache that the Christmas number one, something that no-one gives a fuck about anymore, can suddenly be used to generate huge profits and publicity for Simon fucking Cowell because a bunch of cabbages decide that buying RAtM helps them fight the fucking powers that be.

    And before anyone says anything, yes, a lot of money did go to Shelter. But if people wanted to give money to charity, they should have bought this one and really screwed the pooch.

    Bah fucking humbug. It’s not Christmas unless I’ve slipped on ice.

    Comment by Chris C — December 22, 2009 @ 9:55 am

  18. I say a lot of money – RAtM are donating their penny per unit to Youth Music. Which is a worthwhile cause, because the youth of today just aren’t involved in music enough. And Shelter got £60k, which pales in comparison to the money that Sony would have raked in from the sales. And that’s less than 0.15% of their annual income… just to put the figure into comparison. Giving the money directly to shelter would have given them over half a million.

    Comment by Chris C — December 22, 2009 @ 10:00 am

  19. Chris @ 17

    Second paragraph = EPIC

    Comment by Phil — December 22, 2009 @ 10:06 am

  20. If the ‘youth of today’ (hahahahah) think that RAtM’s crap is music and wanna ‘get intoi it more’, then maybe the best ting would be to give them all razor blades and let them just slit each other’s throats.

    Comment by Dave Mann — December 22, 2009 @ 10:10 am

  21. @Dave Mann

    The RATM track is 18 years old, as Mr Henry says ‘start a group’.

    Comment by andy (the other one) — December 22, 2009 @ 10:28 am

  22. I’m just waiting for Dave Mann to challenge Zach de la Rocha to the Feats of Strength. He’s certainly living up to the Airing of Grievances tradition…

    Comment by garethw — December 22, 2009 @ 10:32 am

  23. Dave – its nice to see someone embracing their crotchety-old-man-ness rather than pretending to be down wif da yoof.

    Comment by Helen — December 22, 2009 @ 10:32 am

  24. Barrack rolled

    Comment by andy (the other one) — December 22, 2009 @ 10:37 am

  25. Dave,

    If the ‘youth of today’ (hahahahah) think that RAtM’s crap is music and wanna ‘get intoi it more’, then maybe the best ting would be to give them all razor blades and let them just slit each other’s throats.

    Do I need to take you back?

    To the 50s: substitute ‘RATM’ for ‘Elvis’ or ‘Jerry Lee Lewis’.
    To the 60s: substitute ‘RATM’ for ‘The Beatles’ or ‘Bob Dylan’.
    To the 70s: substitute ‘RATM’ for ‘The Clash’ or ‘Jethro Tull’.
    To the 80s: substitute ‘RATM’ for ‘Michael Jackson’ or ‘Guns n Roses’.

    Course, RATM isn’t even today’s music. So you can add a decade to each of the above and have it still hold true. But you know this, right? You’re not so old you can’t remember liking music that your (grand)parents didn’t like, can you? Can you?

    L

    Comment by Lew — December 22, 2009 @ 10:39 am

  26. hahahaha…. so hey must have already slit their throats then? You mean the moment has passed and I’m too late….? :-)

    Comment by Dave Mann — December 22, 2009 @ 10:55 am

  27. If they really wanted to piss people off, and really wanted to have something obnoxious in the charts at number one, then they should have gone for something like Venetian Snares. Die Winnipeg Die Fuckers Die Die Die. Partly because Planet Mu and Sublight aren’t anything to do with major labels anymore. But mostly because it’s really really offensive on so many levels.

    Comment by Chris C — December 22, 2009 @ 12:21 pm

  28. Everyone knows that the best festive song ever is Chaotic Dischord’s Fuck the World (Let Them Know it’s Dinnertime).

    Unfortunately doesn’t appear to be on Youtube, though you can find such non-seasonal favourites as I Bonked the Pope.

    Comment by joe W — December 22, 2009 @ 1:32 pm

  29. I still think of RATM as modern and current. I remember their debut album coming out like it was yesterday.

    Crap. I’m old.

    Comment by SHG — December 22, 2009 @ 1:36 pm

  30. [...] Dim-Post celebrates Rage against the Machine topping the UK charts. No TweetBacks yet. (Be the first to Tweet this [...]

    Pingback by Blog Bits | Kiwiblog — December 22, 2009 @ 3:32 pm

  31. I still think of RATM as modern and current. I remember their debut album coming out like it was yesterday.

    Crap. I’m old.

    Comment by SHG

    I saw them on the UK tour to promote the album. The were supported by Tool. And Wool.

    Of course, we never heard of Wool again…

    Comment by Chris C — December 22, 2009 @ 3:40 pm

  32. Putting aside the bland sanctimony of RATM (“fuck you I won’t do what you told me!” could just as easily be “fuck you I won’t tidy my bedroom!”- christ, they make Fugazi seem like fun guys), and the fact no matter what happens, Simon Cowell wins (given his interest in Sony), and putting aside the fact that it isn’t that uncommon for the UK Xmas #1 to be an old song, and indeed has happened on a few occasions, it does show how monumentally chaotic the charts have become. Thanks to downloading and a little bit of promotion, anything can become #1. At least in theory. Of course, in reality it’s as rigged as it ever was. Still, it’s been an interesting social experiment, for sure.

    Comment by Matthew Littlewood — December 22, 2009 @ 10:03 pm

  33. No real fan of RATM, but rather them that reality TV.

    Merry Christmas Danyl and all of you other posters (Exccept the would be KKK member Barnsley Bill and the child beater Milt), and enjoy 2010. I wont be posting as much on the blogosphere as I used to, so you guys would probably be overjoyed…

    Comment by millsy — December 24, 2009 @ 5:35 pm

  34. BB,KKK,WTF! I can believe Milt being might be a child beater though. The man has some bright red shoes.

    Thanks for providing so many laughs this year Danyl.

    Comment by Barnsley Bill — December 24, 2009 @ 6:04 pm

  35. I can believe Milt being might be a child beater though. The man has some bright red shoes.

    Those red shoes mean nothing. I also pre-emptively reject any possible future claim that I fitted my house with chicken legs.

    Comment by Psycho Milt — December 24, 2009 @ 6:22 pm

  36. festivus ftw

    Comment by somewhatthoughtful — December 26, 2009 @ 10:10 am


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