Fox News presents Chipmusic

Last Saturday, chipmusic was presented in these two ways by Fox News – perhaps the worst news channel in the world? Br1ght Pr1mate performed live and talked about chiptune. Although the music is not my cup of tea, I think the clips are definitely worth watching because the hosts are perfect OMG-WTF-LOL-journalists, with a target audience that think like this. The hosts seem to think that chipmusic is 10 people making music in Pacman, which was fun to laugh at for a decade but is pretty tiresome now, really. Somehow it makes me think of when John Cage appeared on TV in 1960, playing along with the role of being a clown instead of a pretentious composer (like this, hehe?). Br1ght Pr1mate are aware that they take a similar role in the Fox News show.

The thread at chipmusic.org has a discussion about the problems of appearing on Fox News. While Nullsleep points to the political agenda of Fox News, 8bitweapon asks “What evil will come from them performing on fox?”. Obviously the good aspects are that some people will open their eyes to low-tech music, and that Br1ght Pr1mate had a good time. They say that “Whatever politics aside, we can all agree that music should be awesome and fun” and that media are two-way streets that can be used to get your message across.

But I don’t know. Obviously it’s not very useful to have a die-hard 1968-style marxistic outside-of-the-system kind of perspective on the politics of music, since we’re all part of Google World and it’s more or less impossible to be fully non-commercial. It calls for a different kind of political activism, or abstract hacktivism, as done by for example Yes Men or the recently dissolved Piratbyrån. They are prime examples of how large institutions in their obesity, can easily be manipulated or hacked if you are clever enough. From that perspective, if you appear in über-commercial advertisements and motivate it with with situationist rhetorics about subverting the spectacle (eh), it is a bit vague, at best. At worst, it’s just a lame excuse to sell out.

I do not want to diss Br1ght Pr1mate. The point is to ask questions about how one avoids to succumb to a program’s dramaturgy, or a larger media logic, while still being constructive. It’s obviously not easy. But a live broadcast to millions of (conservative?) people is a brilliant opportunity to spread scandalous truths or play pranks that will shake some realities around. I really like how Br1ght Pr1mate ‘publically’ say that the hosts made dick jokes in the commercial breaks and also asked Br1ght Pr1mate for acid. It would’ve been great to have heard about that on the air…

11 Responses to “Fox News presents Chipmusic”

  1. Dauragon Says:

    I have a feeling that ten years from now, when I’m 32 and probably still doing this stuff, people will still say that chipmusic is this EXCITING NEW AVENUE OF MUSICAL EXPRESSION. I hope I’m wrong though.

    • chipflip Says:

      Hehe, maybe! It will still be a deviant way of making music I guess. So maybe chipmusic is forever young. Bääää.

  2. BLEO Says:

    Great thoughts, Anders. Reminds me of this rad clip of a TV show where this dude sang a song w/ lettuce attached to his face. ;)

    • chipflip Says:

      Yeah, I remember that too :) The question is what is most constructive – a rational-straight-forward appearance, or an ultra-bizarre silly way. Hmm..

      • Johan Says:

        I think the first – it’s hard to think of anything more straight-forward than lettuce – and makes for great television, too.

      • vim Says:

        I was gutted when the clip cut out when it did. The crazy crunchy drum solo was epic!

  3. vim Says:

    Situationist events? Fox News would doubtless term that “intellectual terrorism”.

    Part of the reason I love chip music is, despite all the efforts of the likes of Fox news or the late Malcolm McLaren or trendy music mags, it remains daring and genuinely off-the-radar. Most mortals get the computer game-ness of it but stop short of actually appreciating it for what it is. The media, including Fox News here, treat it like a curio, something to be mildly derrided and cast aside.

  4. glomag Says:

    nice post, Anders. I think it did no harm and maybe helped Br1ght Pr1mate a bit. And as you said, they had fun. Anyone tuning in who might be receptive to chip music would see the hosts as buffoons anyway.

    Lettuce = vege-terrorism.
    Mayo is the new radical-chic!

  5. brytburken Says:

    “really like how Br1ght Pr1mate ‘publically’ say that the hosts made dick jokes in the commercial breaks and also asked Br1ght Pr1mate for acid. It would’ve been great to have heard about that on the air…”

    I think that’s the productive way of going about it. Accuse the host of begging u for drugs. Mask yourself with lettuce. Or pull out a pipe, light it, and tell the audience that you are smoking hasch, like Swedish artist Öyvind Fahlström did on a talkshow in the 60s. Or do some acid, get ur wig on, get ur psychedlic polyester swag on, and try to get David Letterman to armwrestle you, right before you aim a sharp karate kick to his head.

    Then come back next month and do it all again.

    Cut to commercials!

    I guess my point is that we might call “productive interventions in the spectacle”, especially on big TV, is a sport that takes balls, some acting ability, and improvisation skills. Not for everyone. I would never be able to pull it off. And judging by the little I saw of Br1ght Pr1mate, neither would they.

  6. Fox into Chip music? : Steelberry Clones Says:

    […] Fox News presents Chipmusic « CHIPFLIP. var a2a_config = a2a_config || {}; a2a_config.linkname="Fox into Chip music?"; […]

  7. Harold Says:

    Admittedly, I am a bit on the older side, and thus likely more than a little out of the loop with today’s popular cultural icons. Until my 26 year-old boss recently told me otherwise, I thought that this was the group “The Insane Clown Posse”

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