The Customized Landscape

Lemme be serious for a minute. So I’m in the car driving to work a couple months back and I’ve got Z100’s morning show on because I, like so many working stiffs before me, need things to be dumbed the fuck down on a Monday morning. Anyway, Miley Cyrus comes on the radio. The song is “Party in the USA.” It’s infinitely catchy and infinitely disposable. But that’s not why it’s important -which it clearly is.

I said I was going to be serious, and trust me I am. Just follow the bouncing ball/flaming skull harbinger of apocalypse.These are the lyrics to Party in the USA if you were to buy it on iTunes or acquire it in a similarly unclever way in which a fool and his money were parted:

 The taxi man turns on the Radio and a Jay-Z song was on… and a Jay-Z song was on… and a Jay-Z song was ON.

The morning that I heard it on the radio, however, the lyrics were different.

 The taxi man turns on the Radio and Z100’s on… and Z100’s on… and Z100’s ON.

Frankly, I wish I could say I was more surprised than I was but I’ve come to expect gross -emphasis on the ick- commercialism in popular music. Don’t let my jaded apathy dull the point though. This is terrifying stuff. When a song can be formatted to fit the listener’s needs, the world is indeed looking more and more like the shiny future of Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report where advertisements show you what you need based on who you are, where you are, and how you acquire things. Mind you this isn’t a live recording, this was tailor made for the station and mixed into the studio recording.

For a few feverish paranoid hours I saw this as the beginning of a very disturbing trend which would culminate in a re-release of the Beatles “I wanna hold your hand” in which John Lennon wants to hold your hand, Sally Frontporch from Deluth, Mississippi. Also wouldn’t the new Coldplay song be better if it was an ad for Coke zero? I’m just saying.

Of course,  nothing came of it. Maybe Miley was just a fluke. Clearly I had exaggerated the phenomenon to suit the rather nefarious purposes of disguising praise for a Miley Cyrus song in the polite company of my elitist friends…

Enter: Ke$ha

The radio version of Tick Tock (or Tik Tok if you’re a goon) works in shout outs to New York and z100 too practically guaranteeing airplay. Gotta show some love to the opening of the above vid though. Lol.I wanna know if this customizing trend is going on anywhere outside New York City and what, if any, the reaction has been. Keep your ears open. Two more and the floodgates to hell are open, folks.You know, come to think of it there was this guy talking about “needing somebody“… “somebody… LIKE ME!” Help!


  1. b-chan

    I see what you did there with that title.

    By the way, the last link tells me the video is not available in my country.

  2. I guess whoever’s responsible is banking on Z100 listeners hearing the offending songs exclusively on that station, because even the biggest consumers of pop music with product placements probably wouldn’t LIKE that the lyrics were changed just for commercial reasons. Somehow Jennifer Lopez singing about her Louboutins (lobotomy?) and Katy Perry plugging Cherry Chapstick (Strawberry is better, anyway) seem less harmful.

    Party in the USA sux, but I did see this random band perform a funny indie rock version of it.

  3. @bchan – And what country do you hail from, Galaxia?

    @V – Cherry Chapstick I get. It’s like Americana. But how old was this girl who Katy was kissing, exactly? I get weird Lolita vibes from this song.

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