Slumber Party: stars kill rock
Slumber Party Girls: rock kills stars
Once upon a time, killing off the rock star was just a crazy, indie-grrrl dream. But since American Idol hit it big, the idea has become popular with major record labels, who have realized that rock stars are expensive, not to mention a pain in the ass. They command better royalty rates, they take too long to make records, they don't make the records the labels want, they inevitably begin to think of themselves as "artists" . . . who needs 'em? It's become much more expedient to build groups ad-hoc -- the members are easily upgradeable and replaceable, and they can be fed interchangeable material by an ever-shifting array of songwriters and producers (minimizing the chance that, should the group actually get a hit, they don't grow outdated, as stars inevitably do). In rare cases (see Beyonce), a group member slips through and graduates to star status, but in such cases the labels are quick to funnel C-list material to the "artist" in an attempt to kill her career softly (see B-Day). (It is impossible to get rid of stars entirely, which is why the industry has invested millions in R&D to manufacture a solo entity that generates millions in text-messaging and ringtone revenue, then quickly fades from the picture: its first attempt, Kelly Clarkson, ended in ignominy -- after failing to fall out of favor with the public to make way for the next model, she is currently adding insult to injury by recording a "blues" album. More recent attempts have proven quite successful.)
The younger and more impressionable a group is, the more receptive they are to the integrated, cross-platform marketing schemes that have become integral to the new media economy. A group of young girls can be programmed to propogandize for text messaging, a new and high-profit revenue stream that could save several international cellphone conglomorates from tanking. Text messaging also allows corporations to gather very specific information about consumer behavior -- far more accurate and atomic than could be gathered online or from mere cell-phone talking alone.
The dream, envisioned by rockist revolutionaries, has come to pass. The rock star is dead, and teenagers are speaking in strange binary-like codes transmitted by devices that adults barely comprehend. We are happy to report to the board that this may be the most profitable trend of the decade.
DOWNLOAD: Slumber Party, "10-9-8-7-6-5-4" (mp3)STREAM: Slumber Party Girls, "Bubblegum" (wma)