“I got twenty-one concepts, but a hit ain’t one.” ~”21 Concepts,” The Graduate
Thanks for doing my job, Lars.
Lars, a recent Stanford grad whose 2004 EP sold roughly twice as many
copies as his alma mater has undergraduates, is a laptop rapper who
samples daringly popular music, attracts high-profile guests from
winners such as Bowling for Soup and the Matches, and offers more
pop-culture wisdom than Yahoo! News can provide in a year. For someone
who makes me want to stab myself in the face, he’s given himself a
pretty important role to fill.
(Andrew Nielsen to his former schoolmates) has great taste in punk rock
and drops the names to make sure you’re aware of that. Hell, half of The Graduate
is dropped-name after dropped-name. The other half is that
aforementioned wisdom: bet you didn’t know that Tupac incense burners
are not punk rock, or that it’s not normal to have an Internet girlfriend, or that Hot Topic uses contrived identification with youth subcultures to manufacture an anti-authoritarian identity and make millions.
But getting back to the real issues. MC Lars doesn’t and shouldn’t
have a target audience; he satirizes the labels that promote emo bands,
yet he’s touring with the Matches this spring. He prides himself on
snarky humor but doesn’t offer a lick of real wit. Everything about The Graduate,
not to mention Lars’s earlier work, is overused and overexposed: from
pro-downloading arguments to criticizing punk poseurs, from poorly
attempted humor in rap to labeling children of the ’80s the
I-N-T-E-R-N-E-T generation. It’s almost as though he was influenced by
second-rate news sites rather than other musicians.
what to say about the iGeneration’s poster boy? That getting Ill Bill
to criticize censorship on “The Dialogue” and sampling “The Passenger”
give him some sort of cred? That you should tune into his show on
Sirius radio every Tuesday night to hear his weekly tribute to Weird
Al? That if you’re looking for an album to name-drop, this’ll be the
one that nobody already owns?