Jon Reed Goes Off On... May 2006
Wednesday, May, 31 2006
Papa Roach Code Blue Sellout Alert
If Pepsi has their way, we'll be downloading songs off the top of a bottle soon. Recently, Pepsi "teamed up" with numetal bozos Papa Roach to release a Pepsi/Papa Roach "music video" in conjunction with the product launch of Pepsi Blue. The mood in the Pepsi marketing department? Triumphant. Fed up with tour sponsorships, Pepsi was looking for something a little more intrusive. And bands like Papa Roach and Sev had no problem delivering for Pepsi's corporate needs. No longer is Pepsi relegated to having Madonna or Wacko Jacko stroll through an ad. "We're out of that game," said one Pepsi executive with smug satisfaction. And why not? If Pepsi can find wet noodles like Papa Roach to chug Pepsi in their videos, more power to them. I guess when Papa Roach boldly proclaimed "I can't go on....living this way!!!!" they meant they were in dire need of more corporate sponsorships. Congratulations guys! Congratulations is also in order to hip-hop for doing its part to make selling out cool (be a player - put that check in the bank like you just don't care!). As Michael Ostin, president of Dreamworks Records, told USA Today, "There's a certain immediacy that exists now. Hip-hop and the Internet changed all that." In the Papa Roach ads, their new single was timed with the debut of Pepsi Blue. As Ostin says, "it's all about the mix." The only possible ingredient missing from this "mix" is artistic credibility. But we are reassured: the ads for Sev and Papa Roach both end "with a light-hearted twist." If you're going to go about undermining your own creative integrity, you might as well be light-hearted about it. These days, anyone who doesn't take the money just isn't cool. It's no fun to hang out with a critical sourpuss who can't afford to buy the next round of Rocky Mountain Flavored Coors Brought to You by Papa Roach. Yeah, we'd all drink the Pepsi Blue if we had the chance. Keep telling yourself that guys.
Tuesday, May, 23 2006
Cold Pizza is Bad Breakfast
Cold Pizza is stale, a dried up dud of a show that fully lives up to its name. It started out as a funky hodge-podge hosted by the quirkiest hosts ESPN could find. Cold Pizza was the morning show nobody understood and nobody watched. But it was good to know that ESPN2 had something on in the morning besides a bait and tackle show. Current Co-host Dana Jacobsen actually has some talent in a more freewheeling radio setting, but aside from the occasional probing interview, her talent is irrelevant here. There is something so off-putting about the smug presentation of Cold Pizza. It is strange to see a show so arrogant and obscure at the same time. The "First and Ten" sports "faceoffs" between Woody Paige and Skip Bayless are unwatcheable. It's embarrassing to see two people with less chemisty and less ability to create good banter than Skip and Woody. Oh, they always disagree, how cute. Opinions over Insights is the motto of First and Ten. It's pure junk, but not like a Big Mac - more like a carnival corn dog left out in the rain, or maybe some really cold pizza. They used to call Skip "The Cobra." I think of him more like "The Hamster." He's annoying and he's better off running around in a wheel than talking to you. As for Woody, you would never know that he is actually the same guy who brings irreverent fun to "Around the Horn." "Old Yeller" became a childhood classic because they weren't afraid to bring the dog outside and put him down. But when "Mike and Mike" (thankfully) pushed "Cold Pizza" out of its early morning time slot, ESPN didn't have the decency to put Old Yeller down. Instead they pushed "Cold Pizza" into the 10am coffee-and-poor-ratings slot, and forced Mike and Mike to do stupid promos for the show. ESPN has some pretty bad programming, but even the worst of it, like "Barry on Barry," has a kind of sick fascination due to the manic energy of the marketing hacks determined to push it through. The only thing fascinating about Cold Pizza is why it's still on the air. It's an empty container, a show with no identity, no soul, no humor, no personality, and no purpose. It's a frantically promoted waste of American time. Heat the pizza up or throw it out.