Published May 22, 2008If anyone is in need of friends right now it's the major record labels (okay, and maybe poor Speed Racer). Sure their sales have taken a severe beating and their rosters have been reduced dramatically, but by using archaic practices they're quickly losing any sympathy record buyers would have to spare on the once powerful conglomerates.
Okay, hardly anyone has or will ever have sympathy for multi-million-dollar corporations that would rather invest a few hundred grand in a video for the fifth single by Nickelback than spend half that funding new albums by three up and coming artists that built followings in the underground.
So it doesn't help their case when they choose an overexcited yet absolutely harmless young band and make them an example in the crack down on violent themes. The band in question is Nashville, TN's Be Your Own Pet, whose average age is 18.5 years old, and count their imagination as the only weapon they pack.
As we reported earlier this year, Universal, the parent company of the band's label Ecstatic Peace!, chose not to include three songs on the North American release of Get Awkward, the second Be Your Own Pet, despite the fact that their European label XL issued it the day before with those same songs. The reason? Well, apparently one or more Universal executives felt the lyrical content of "Becky," "Black Hole" and "Blow Yr Mind" were "too violent" for American audiences.
Here are some sample lyrics:
Doesn't matter anyway, 'cause I've got a brand new friend, OK
Me and her, we'll kick your ass
We'll wait with knives after class!
If only what you wrote in my yearbook was true
Then I wouldn't be stuck in fucking cell block 2
But I don't regret what I've done,
'Cause in the end, it was fun!
Drinking Coca-Cola all night
Ooh, baby, wanna get in a fight!
Breaking glass bottles is oh-so-fun
Let's go and kill someone!
Living in this city, I get so bored
Wanna kill myself on a telephone cord
When you compare these songs, which were written like any good teenage diary entry, to something like Eminem's "Kim," another Universal recording (sample lyrics: "Don't you get it bitch, no one can hear you?/Now shut the fuck up and get what's comin' to you/You were supposed to love me/*Kim choking*/NOW BLEED! BITCH BLEED! BLEED! BITCH BLEED! BLEED!"), it hardly seems like anything of concern, let alone censorship.
Thank god then for XL, which has now announced it will release the three songs as an EP called Get Damaged on June 3 digitally, and then via CD and double gatefold seven-inch on June 24. Till then, if your copy of Get Awkward bears a Universal emblem and is three tracks short, you can hear what all the fuss is about by checking out them out on the NYLON tour with She Wants Revenge, the Virgins and the Switches on the dates below or by clicking here.
6/2 Montreal QC, Club Soda
6/4 Toronto ON, Phoenix Concert Theatre
6/17 Vancouver BC, Commodore Ballroom