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Tuesday, June 21, 2005

I Love L.A.

My wife and I were driving home from the video store this evening when we spied a Microsoft billboard with a picture of the Kaiser Chiefs on it. “BrandNewWave,” it read. We thought it was funny because neither Microsoft nor the Kaisers are that “Brand New,” and while we love Bill Gates, his sound is somewhat—if not very—similar to some of his Brit-pop predecessors. (And the Kaiser Chiefs blatantly ripped off their operating system from Xerox, if we’ve learned anything from Anthony Michael Hall’s portrayal of them in the made-for-TV Pirates of Silicon Valley.)

Even if they’re not BrandNewWave, however, the Kaisers are certainly successful. The only other band I’ve heard of in a high-profile computer advertisement are U2, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they’ve sold as many records as Apple has iPods. This begs the question: Are the Kaiser Chiefs as popular as Windows? (The computer operating system, not the thing you open to let the stink out.) Or an even better question: When is a band really, really big?

These quandaries are suprisingly easy to answer. I phone my mother.

“Mom, have you heard of U2?”
“The rock group?” she asks.
“Mom, have you heard of the Kaiser Chiefs?”
“Not here,” she says, “but we have bagels.”

So it’s settled. The Kaiser Chiefs are incredibly popular, but have yet to take residence on Olympus. (Their less-than-godlike status has not prevented me from cuffing my jeans like Ricky Wilson, though. I mean goddamn, it looks wicked awesome.) Why any of this matters remains a mystery.

Our friends at recently invited me to give their readers a rock 'n' roll tour guide of Los Angeles—the bestest city in the States—and I enthusiastically obliged. It includes a few priceless quotes from our Zachary, as well as a night-by-night guide of things to do in our hometown, so I say it's well-worth a reading (and maybe even a leeds).

I've also written the definitive TBA biography for City Rockers Records, which can be found on their site: The page has a sparkling new message board as well, so it's sure to keep you occupied, off the streets and away from those people your mother is always warning you about.

The entries for the 'blog redesign contest have been nice, but not exactly what we're looking for, so I'm extending the deadline to this Friday. (Don't worry, everyone who's entered already will still receive a mix-CD.) For details see the "Contest!" entry below. Got it? Do it!

It's summer and it's beautiful outside, I'm off to the beach!

-Ben Lee


Anonymous Anonymous said...

in the beach you have your mind... the blog and an accumulation of every thought. find that perfect thing that makes you happy!

11:41 PM  
Anonymous my_scenicroute said...

its purely a maketing skeem -- to get into the ipod generation -- its just a ploy to gather more revenue from the 'younger' people -- i meen think about it if is was u2 on that billboard youd have my dad going and buying windows... its just a cheap trick to con the hairgel/tobacco/alchahol people of today modern consumerist society..

11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love my iPod

4:26 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

If I were to ask my mom who U2 are she would answer "I do what?"
I was looking for a photo of Pete Doherty smoking crack and you came up in the results, eenteresting. Dig your sound :)

9:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

new blog... come on. how does one say withdraws?

11:10 PM  

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