What's up doc, can we rock?


For every Fiona Apple, Ginuwine, and Shakira on its roster, there’s a Cheyenne Kimball and any number of flunkies from Rock Star: Supernova; there’s also Peter Gallagher. But it would probably still be pretty cool to say you had a record deal with Epic, so if you’re in a band, maybe you should check out Music Nation.

According to the press releases I keep getting, Music Nation is a “new artist development company” that offers “urban, pop-star up-and-comers a new way of gaining recognition through an innovative online video music competition.” It continues:

“Music Nation is really focused on music and finding true talent through the online space, so they’ve established a platform most easily described as ‘American Idol meets YouTube’

with the public taking the roles of the judges. And the payoff? A recording contract with Epic Records.”

I took a look through some of the clips under the site’s “Most Viewed” tab, and there seemed to be a pretty even mix of hip-hop, AAA, Top-40-aping pop, the random weird entry and conventional rock. The latter category was mostly populated by what I’ll call “post-grunge pop” — too far removed from grunge to be playing post-grunge, these groups base their look and sound on the post-grunge generation. In other words, they’re baby bands weaned on Incubus and Hoobastank records, which is kinda revolting. Can’t someone just iTune-bomb Pearl Jam’s Ten into the digital devices of 17-year old guitar players everywhere? At least then they’d have the source material that their source material stole from, before they went off to college and smoked a joint for the first time, at which point they started spending long nights in dorm rooms listening to Pearl Jam’s source material and experimenting with wearing long underwear under cutoff fatigues for a semester.

Maybe on the other side of all that, the hopefuls on Music Nation wouldn’t all seem to fall so easily into predetermined categories. Of course, maybe they wouldn’t — if I’m reading the site’s press releases right, all of its videos have been uploaded by the bands and artists themselves, meaning that looking and sounding predetermined was a conscious choice.

So wassup rockers and the rest: style points count when you’re uploading your shit.


Also: Apparently Music Nation is free until 1/1/07 (first time I’ve written that date); after that there’s a registration fee of $25. That seems like a dealbreaker to me, but what do I know? I’m not in a band, and will probably never have the chance to drink Veuve with Peter Gallagher in the Epic Records green room.