Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Dear Britney, just get on with it

Is your heart rate elevated? Do you have sweaty palms? Are you on pills for your nerves?

If so, I think the record industry might be to blame. Over the last two years, they've kept us in a constant state of heightened awareness, regularly releasing "teaser videos", "buzz builders" and "impact tracks" for people with the attention span of... Oooh, look, a sausage.

Take Britney Spears. She's putting out fourteen - fourteen - teaser clips to build anticipation for her Hold It Against Me video. Hold It Against Me, the single, is out now and in the charts. But the video won't be unveiled until 17th February, by which point we'll presumably be so overcome with excitement that our mindgrapes burst.

Here is one of the clips in question, which contains the unexpected revelation that Britney Spears' new video will have dancers in it.

Meanwhile, Lady Gaga is over on Twitter posting lyrics for her new single in a carefully orchestrated link-up with tastemaking websites like Perez Hilton and Popjustice. Fans are devouring, debating and deliberating over couplets like: "Don't be a drag, just be a queen". The artwork was leaked last night. The song will premiere on Friday. Lady Gaga will perform it at the Grammys on Sunday.

Even the Foo Fighters are getting in on the act, showing off a new, 30-second guitar riff before they'd even bothered to give their next album a title.

I might be wrong, but aren't we supposed to be excited by the music itself, rather than the anticipation of the release of the music on an undetermined future date?

There are two outcomes here:

1) By the time the actual release comes around, we'll all have lost interest and moved on to something new.

2) One pioneering artist will eventually dispense with the need for full-length singles and albums altogether, releasing a series of 30 second song fragments that never amount to anything more than a hyperactive iTunes playlist for people with ADD.

So, here's a plan. I'm "unfriending" Lady Gaga for the next 48 hours; I'm refusing to look at Britney Spears until 17th February; and if Dave Grohl so much as glances in my direction, I'm sticking my fingers in my ears and singing 10 Green Bottles.

Because if I don't extract myself from this state of constant excitement and arousal, there's a very real danger I'll turn into Zane Lowe.

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