The New Glam (Is the New Punk Is the New Hip Hop Is the New Dance)

I have seen the future of popular music. You’re probably not going to like it, you guys.


Combining the lyrical excesses of rap with the tuneless yowling of nu metal, the self-centered whininess of emo, the repetitive beats of techno, and the carefully groomed image of a boy band, then feeding the whole thing through a totally crunk auto-tuner, these guys are like what would happen if the most unwanted song got a visit from the Blue Fairy. If they found one more kid whose power was mainstream country they could summon the Captain Planet of pissing off rock critics. So far beyond any meaningful canon of good and bad they make Gary Sullivan look like F. R. Leavis.

The Millionaires

The perfect storm of MySpace music, these girls literally got famous by posting their homemade tracks on the site in 2007. Since then they’ve been rerecording and repackaging the same material, and weathering a backlash so relentlessly misogynistic (just try Googling “Millionaires + ugly + whores”) you have to think they’re doing something right. As perfectly talentless as they could possibly be while still producing audible sounds—yet as perfectly calculated to sell as they are to annoy—the Millionaires are like Madonna for the post-YouTube age, or is it Le Tigre, or maybe just t.A.T.u., or maybe there’s no way to tell a difference anymore. So ideally bad for you, so unselfconsciously anti-human and anti-aesthetic, they make Lady Gaga look like Joan Baez.

Yet if rock and roll is music by the kids for the kids, if the internet was supposed to change everything and jolt us with the shock of the truly new, well here it is and be careful what you wish for I guess. Born inside the matrix, these kids (there are more of them) are so fully immersed in humanity’s new atmosphere that they make the previous generation look like lungfish flopping on the beach.

I for one welcome our new post-ironic overloads.