MTV’s Return of The Rock
by Scott Hefflon
Rage Against the Machine! Funny cuz the one time I watched MTV’s Return of the Rock, I saw most of A Perfect Circle and thought “They finally get it! They bowed to the pressure and we’re entering a new era of shitty-ass MTV occasionally redeeming itself by playing heavy videos! Whoo-woo!” But after a couple more videos of the wanna-be name-brands sportin’ their new hair styles and clothing sponsors (packaged like boy bands and glam, in case you never made the not-so-great leap), I realized it was only a fraction of an inch deeper into the underground than usual, and therefore worse than if they’d done nothing at all. Great, now people are gonna think they’re getting the best of metal there is when they watch this fuckin’ thing, when all they’re really getting is STILL the over-hyped surface-skimmers with a mind-boggling amount of money at their backs.
To really drive the point home, the video of Rage ATM that has “kids vs suits” back-fired when everyone realized, “Hey, wait, the suits like them!” That’s right, kids, enough aging rockers have bought into the corporate machinery (hell, haircuts, tats, and all the latest CDs cost fuckin’ money, buddy!) that we’ve reached a point where “kids” are suits, and the last few years have had so much anti-corporate sentiment (wallowing in self-loathing, but not enough to quit, know what I’m saying?), even suits hate the suits… So like white kids at a Public Enemy show, the suits were dancing alongside the kids in Rage’s video, thus destroying the “us vs them” idea (except for careful editing, which, when you get right down to it, is the same selective perception “they” use).
So Return of the Rock? Geez, MTV is opening saying they’d turned their back on you and your passé music, but now they’re back to sell you back what you already should’ve considered Heavy Music 101! As if MTV introduces anyone to anything anymore, understand? And we’re celebrating MTV’s savvy move? Christ, are we all that fuckin’ stupid? While I feel bad for the people with so little exposure to the real world that they think Real World has anything to do with the real world, I think people oughtta unite and say “Look, MTV, we don’t need your goddamn patronizing show to show us what rocks. Go brown-nose ‘N Sync and Brittany Spears and stay the fuck away from our music. I will never watch your lame fuckin’ network, so don’t try to pander to me cuz it’s too late, get it?”
OK, so I’m pissed (gosh, that’s new)… I just hate being sold what’s already mine. And I hate come-latelies who still don’t get it pretend they’re here to help… I’m all about the flattening of the playing field, everyone doing their little piece and realizing that we don’t need shithead corporate accountants choosing what we see and hear. WebTV, WebRadio, RealAudio, MP3s, tape-trading, CD-burning for friends, ‘zines, cheapee label comps and free samplers in mags and stuff (OK, so someone’s still buying the tracks, but the scale ain’t no MTV heavy rotation), THAT’S the way to discover new music, see the big picture, and figure out whatcha like and what’s garbage.
Bands on this thing (some decent, some the worst of the worst, all completely obvious if your into nü metal even just a little): Kid Rock, Slipknot, Methods of Mayhem, Korn, P.O.D., Staind, Machine Head, System of a Down, Kittie, Incubus, Coal Chamber, Full Devil Jacket, Static-X, Boiler Room, Sevendust, Papa Roach, Liquid Gang, Powerman 5000, and Dope.
(902 Broadway New York, NY 10010)