For teenagers too young to remember the height of the boy band era, it may be confusing as to why people hate major label pop rock bands as much as they do. Thankfully, a New York Times profile, and the subsequent rebuttal on Gawker, provides a helpful refresher course.
Once upon a time, there was a band called the Postal Service, who were very big among teenagers and college students in 2003. Many people have accused Owl City, a chart-topping band signed to Universal, of ripping off the Postal Service.
When asked about the comparisons/accusations, Owl City frontman Adam Young pulled off this doozy of a quote:
Mr. Young said the Postal Service was never a model yet he considered the comparisons an honor.
But he also wasn’t too shy to note that he has profited from the other band’s recent absence. “They released a record in 2003, and that was it,” he said. “There was really nothing to compare it to until some one else came along and wrote the next chapter. Maybe that’s this record. Maybe that’s this band.”
While this Young quote makes about as much sense as a Sarah Palin quote, the New York Times did not show the elite East Coast bias we’ve come to expect. Gawker, ever the media watchdog, harps on Times scribe Ben Sisario’s softball approach:
Instead, the New York Times profiles them with words like this:
“Fireflies” is pensive yet bubbly, with Mr. Young’s guileless voice expressing mom-friendly sentiments like “I’d get a thousand hugs/From ten thousand lightning bugs.”
Mom-friendly? Yes. Pensive?
pensive |?pensiv| |adjective| engaged in, involving, or reflecting deep or serious thought
Not so much.
So in other words, we have a chart-topping major label pop band ripping off the sound of an independent band, deflecting the rumors while sounding stupid without the protection of their PR team, and the major newspapers reaching to praise a band because it happens to be selling well this week.
The more things change…