There's no money left in music. Sure, many musicians make money left and right, but the last time someone made serious dollars off of selling their CDs—in a store, to human beings—it was like 1802. This is (quite obviously) because, at some point, everyone decided that music ought to be free, which is probably correct. But if you're a musician and want to make money off of selling your music, you're kinda boned.
So, what do you do? Well, you sell your fans something that can't be obtained by opening a google search and typing in "(album name) mediafire." There are shows, obviously, which are shows, and then, there is merchandise—t-shirts and shit. It’s the “and shit” that this post is chiefly concerned with. Thanks to the magic of Google, I found some weird stuff that musicians are trying to force into your vile, commerce-resistant hands. Check it out!
Item: Plush Doll
How stupid is it? 8/10
Remember when Rivers Cuomo freaked out after The Blue Album came out and retreated to Harvard, walked with a cane, and generally looked/acted weirder than shit? I don’t, but when I turned fourteen and started becoming obsessed with the Weez, I read about it secondhand. I’m not sure if Weezer meant for me to immediately forge that connection as soon as I looked at this plush doll, but I did. Bonus points for the hair, which is kind of what my hair looked like when I was super into Weezer.
Item: Baby on Board sign
How stupid is it? 4/10
Most of Ween’s weirder merch makes sense: they’re from Pennsylvania, so it makes sense that they’d sell their fans scarves and shit, because that place is cold. But amongst the stickers, watches, and Ween 33 1/3 books they’re slinging, there’s this curio, which is meant to denote that you have a child. In your car. That belongs to you. (Though I'm pretty sure that if you slap this in your car window, you’re implying your child is really, really ugly.)
Band: Taylor Swift
Item: Perfume and stuff
How stupid is it? 1/10
If you haven’t heard, Taylor Swift kind of rules. She writes songs that are good, and seems like she’s skirting the whole “young person star turning into young person black hole” thing that we’re currently watching Justin Bieber go through. Good for her! However, asking her fans to pay fifty dollars for basically a charm bracelet wrapped around what looks like something Harry Potter would hide secrets in seems a bit disingenuous—how could someone, as an "artist," ask their fans to pay fifty dollars for anything? For what it’s worth, I tried clicking the link that says “SHOP NOW” and got an error page. Somebody on #teamtaylor’s IT squad should probably get on that, unless this is Taylor’s way of saying “DON’T BUY THIS Y’ALL!”
Item: GWAR FUNNIES
How stupid is it? 5/10
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TO A GWAR CONCERT? IT’S A TOTAL SYSTEM OVERLOAD, MAN! THEY SHOOT BLOOD AND STUFF ON THE AUDIENCE AND I ALMOST DIED IN THE PIT, DUDE! THIS RED T-SHIRT I’VE GOT ON? IT DIDN’T USED TO BE RED. WHY AM I TYPING IN ALL CAPS? SORRY I CAN’T HEAR YOU I JUST WENT TO A GWAR CONCERT.
The above is my approximation of the humor quality of GWAR FUNNIES based off of the fact that I went to a GWAR concert one time and then saw many people from GWAR at the Insane Clown Posse show I attended approximately two weeks later.
Band: Insane Clown Posse
Item: Sheriff’s Badge
How stupid is it? N/A
Speaking of! If I had more time and were, like, actually in grad school, I probably could write a dissertation on all the random shit that ICP sells on their website. Though I had a medium-sized Wallgreens’ worth of stuff to choose from, I went with the sheriff’s badge, because the image associated with it implied that if you gave them five dollars, ICP was going to print out and laminate the above design, and then mail it to you. Also, when I clicked the image to enlarge it, it literally took up my entire screen and I couldn't figure out how to make it go away. So take that, Nedenheads.
Band: Waka Flocka Flame
How stupid is it? (1.)0/10
Have you ever wanted the cold, dead eyes of Waka Flocka Flame on your face? Look no further than this tasteful black-and-white number, released in the fall of 2010. It’s a perfect addition to your “Creepy Paper Mask” collection, which also probably includes facsimiles of the visages of Dan Auerbach, Merzbow, Glen Danzig and Chet Haze!
How stupid is it? 9/10
Proof that Nathan Williams never bothered to learn the definition of “on the nose.”
In closing, maybe we should just go back to buying fucking CDs already.
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