Monday, January 4, 2010


You already know about the rage against the machine business, yes? Some “rock” types have decided they don’t like the X Factor, but rather than accepting that a lot of people do and therefore it makes sense that it should get to number one, they’ve decided that they should start a facebook campaign to get “Killing in the Name” to number one.
Now, I’m not going to do a lengthy blog going over what I think of the campaign. Though I will say that I think a song released 12 years ago that is taken from an album that has sold 3 million copies is hardly championing underground music. It’s still platinum selling major label music. Just platinum selling major label music with guitars. I enjoy the music more, but there’s no ethical distinction like this Facebook campaign is trying to make out.
What I’m going to get at today is Rage Against the Machine’s appearance on Radio 5 Live. They were discussing the campaign- obviously- and then they played Killing in the Name.
Turns out they were asked not to say the “Fuck you I won’t do what you tell me” part. But, naturally, Zack De La Rocha did not do what they told him.
I saw the youtube video of their appearance, and read some of the comments. One of which said “I salute this band, we need more bands like this”.
Well, I’m sorry that this is coming from a rather biased stand point- what with wanting to go into radio broadcasting and all- but this isn’t something worth saluting. This wasn’t them making a stand and putting up with the consequences because they won’t compromise their artistic output. There will be no consequences for the band.
When there’s swearing on air, the person who does the swearing isn’t the one who gets punished, it’s the broadcaster (like on Alan Partridge). So basically this is how it works. Rage Against The Machine are a popular band with very loyal fans, who are wanting them to be at the top of the charts. This means they want popular exposure for a band they love. Fair enough.
Rage Against the Machine get NO media attention normally. So 5 Live were brave enough to give these fans what they want. A LIVE PERFORMANCE of what is apparently THEIR FAVOURITE SONG! If Flaming Lips (my favourite band) were on the radio playing one of their songs I’d be kissing the radio and thanking the Lord for 5 Live. But how do 5 Live get repaid? They now have to pay a fine. And the RATM fans are cheering this.

5 Live do not represent the “machine”. They are a station that went out on a limb to give a VERY COOL thing to music fans, and in response they now get punished. This is not something to be happy about.

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