Saturday, October 13, 2007

Master Plan and Pet Rock

Unreleased Track

A metaphor for the music industry, “Master Plan and Pet Rock” is the story of two rappers who embody the great divide between business-savvy acts who tirelessly work to push their *usually* less-inspired work to as wide a demographic as possible (and I’m not just talking about the concept of “selling out” here either—most people who are successful are genuinely trying to make original music that they truly love) versus the myriad of talented, inspired musicians who have little to no concept of how to market their often ground-breaking music, especially against a resistant major label system that wants all music in neat piles of pigeon holes to maximize profits and create a profitable (and predictable) music market.

For example, the Kings of Leon hail Nashville as their hometown, but they are often scorned for doing so because they only played about two shows here before circumventing the local music scene and acquiring international success. They cozied up to major-label suits, and within two years they were “indie rock” darlings opening for U2.

Meanwhile, the Features, a band whose former employees claim that anything good that happens to them happens accidentally due to gross mismanagement, played locally for ten years and fought hard to get a record released on a major label, only to become the opening act for Kings of Leon before being dropped by their label shortly thereafter.

The biggest difference? Business savvy.

Come to think of it, anyone ever involved with Spongebath Records probably falls into the latter category.

The first rapper we meet in the song is Master Plan, whose name sounds like that of a successful rapper. He has his business degree and is entirely uninspired in all that he raps about, spewing clichés but still categorized as “promising.”

Then we meet Pet Rock, whose name is terrible in any music circle, who knows how to rap. People can’t get enough of him, even if he’s working a day job and living in a trailer park, probably signing away some of his profits by becoming a “registered trademark of Master Plan, LLC.”

Departing from the typical Fluid Ounces song structure, this demo features a keyboard and some very un-Seth guitar leads, and I think its biggest shortcoming is the way that it fizzles out at the end, simply repeating, “Why don’t you throw that demo on after this song?” I often wonder what would have become of this song if it had gotten the full-band treatment in any Seth Timbs project (though I’m not sure with which, if any, of them it would have fit at all).

Download mp3

2 comments:

Soymilk Revolution said...

i always heard "throw MY demo on after this song." as in like, "okay, once the master plan hit is done playing, please play my song?"

also, can i get a copy of the disc i gave you with this on it? i lost it in some harddrive switch long ago and now i don't have any of these tracks, including a really beautiful instrumental that i loved...

as for this song particularly, i actually really really like it. it's cute and quiet and simple, but really cool and different for seth. he and mahaffey should collaborate on giving this the "real" treatment sometime, this is something that's definitely more in self territory than fluid ounces...

Juan Horsetown said...

As different as it is, I really really like this track too.

I don't think I have all the tracks off of that one anymore, and I know I don't have the physical CD. The two best original instrumentals were on Awkward Middle Phase, and there was also a Gershwin tune that I kept.

Purchase Fluid Ounces mp3s Directly from the Band!