All that ice cream was paid for with Time Warner money.

We’ve already gone over this: People who accuse others of “selling out” are just pissed that no one’s waving a check in their faces. These whiners are simply bitter hacks. If you do something really well, someone should come along and give you a bag full of money because, well, you’re really fucking good at something. Nice job.

I bring this up because of a trailer that I recently saw. It’s for some new show on HBO, How to Make It in America, and it features Japanther’s song “Challenge.”

Now, Japanther are a fucking great band who deserve all the money, recognition and pussy that comes their way. No beef for getting paid. The only reason this irks me is because of Japanther’s ostensible political rhetoric, which is alluded to in these lines from their song “Um Like Yer Smile Is Totally Ruling Me Right Now”:

So get on our bikes
Ride downtown
By the Clear Channel billboards
Tear them down!

Angst, direct action, anti-establishmentarianism, anti-corporatism, environmentalism — it’s all there in a passionate anarchic call to arms. But let’s get this straight: Clear Channel is a villainous corporation and Time Warner, owner of HBO and the fourth largest entertainment conglomerate in the world, is cool to do business with? How do you square that? This almost as bad as when the song “Tho You Are Gone I Still Often Walk With You” by A Silver Mt. Zion — another band with anarchist sympathies — was featured in a trailer for LOST.

Go ahead and make your music and your money, but you can’t expect be all anti-establishment, pro-anarchy, then go and collude with monstrous corporations similar to the ones you’re deriding as evil and not expect to get shit for it. Either tell those ruinous capitalist pigs to fuck off when they come around offering their fat stacks because, like you said, “[you] believe it,” or just make all your songs instrumentals.

P.S. For the record: I fucking LOVE Japanther.

“Japanther Aren’t Sell-Outs — They’re VHS Collectors (Japanther’s Response)”

… So Gavin sent my last post over to Japanther, who wrote a point-by-point rebuttal (the parts in bold) dropping me on my ass. Enjoy.

“Playboy please, don’t be mad at me…” -Ninjasonik

“The only reason this irks me is because of Japanther’s ostensible political rhetoric, which is alluded to in these lines from their song ‘Um Like Yer Smile Is Totally Ruling Me Right Now’:

So get on our bikes
Ride downtown
By the Clear Channel billboards
Tear them down!

It’s “CLIMB the Clear Channel billboards,” actually. Rosa (Houston, TX) wrote this song. With the permission of these young anarchists, we did an electric version for Tut Tut Now Shake Ya Butt. Bands like Rosa and Defiance, Ohio, Against Me! and Ghost Mice are part of the Plan-It-X label with whom Japanther has enjoyed a long standing alliance.

“Angst, direct action, anti-establishmentarianism, anti-corporatism, environmentalism — it’s all there in a passionate, anarchic call to arms.”

Didn’t music journalists try to crucify Tom Gabel and Against Me! for roughly the same thing?

“But let’s get this straight: Clear Channel is a villainous corporation and Time Warner, owner of HBO and the fourth largest entertainment conglomerate in the world, is cool to do business with?”

Hahaha, “villainous”? Really? It’s the smaller “cool” companies who often times don’t honor agreements and steal our music out right. HBO has been really great. Our song “Fuk tha Prince a Pull iz Dum” is on the first season of True Blood.

“Go ahead and make your music and your money, but you can’t expect be all anti-establishment pro-anarchy, then go and collude with monstrous corporations similar to the ones you’re deriding as evil and not expect to get shit for it.”

Japanther doesn’t “expect be all” anything. We sing, dance, paint, travel and sometimes ride our bikes to meetings in Manhattan. Fluidity is an important aspect of our survival. Labels like “anti establishment” and “pro-anarchy” are your assignment.

“P.S. For the record: I fucking LOVE Japanther.”

Thanks! We both love the old TV Carnage VHS tapes.

-Japanther

P.S. 10 Deep stole “Challenge” to sell clothes and claim beef with the HBO spot too. When we offered this much older similar video, but it fell on deaf eyes.

Originally published on Street Carnage.