It’s Time to Make Fun of LBC Again

Oh wow, it’s the start of another semester. My favorite thing about second semester is its name; spring semester. Nothing makes the blisteringly cold mornings and 3 p.m. sunsets more unbearable than technically attending “spring” classes while you do it. Sure, winter has plus sides, but no number of old people slipping on ice could counteract the negatives. I could easily be categorized as a pessimist with the consistent cynical, misanthropic and crotchety content I write each week. But the world and its seasonal changes don’t make it easy to see the glass half full. And neither does TV.
I’m not talking about the horrible content making its way into prime time because of the writers’ strike. “Dance Wars: Bruno vs. Carrie Ann” actually has a lot of redeemable qualities. I mean commercials and, specifically, a new Extra gum commercial.
The new commercial features two young, attractive go-getters chewing gum in a crowded subway. The rush of minty freshness transforms the young urbanites into dancing machines. The song they dance to comes from everybody’s favorite crappy pop-punk band from Chicago. No, not Fall Out Boy, not Plain White T’s, not Alkaline Trio … it’s Lucky Boys Confusion.
Yes LBC — king of the rats, if you will. The rats being the bands that Brian hated hearing lame kids that loved “local music” talk about in middle school. It’s funny that at one time, LBC was seen as the Boss Man of these bands or at least the most popular, but they remain to be one of the few big names of suburban rock that failed to break into the mainstream. Fitting, I think, because they suck but very interesting regardless.
But LBC is staying in the game by having their “hit” song “Boss Man” licensed for a gum commercial. Maybe this will, unfortunately, keep them in the game a little longer. A ray of hope such as what almost happened to Spitalfield if their Kerouac-inspired song “I Love the Way She Said L.A.” had been chosen over Phantom Planet’s “California” as the theme for The O.C.
Instead, after a couple years of continued floundering, Spitalfield is officially over. Too bad LBC didn’t follow suit. Too bad Extra gum really wanted an anti-authority, reggae-punk song to back its new ad campaign.
Seeing a band achieve success shouldn’t make anyone upset. And I don’t wish harm upon LBC in any personal way, don’t get me wrong. LBC has come to be a symbol (see “King of the Rats” analogy above) of everything wrong in music. Their cocky attitudes, their obnoxious lyrics and their copycat, genre-bouncing songwriting all make the band utterly unlikable.
Their stagnant career solidified the music business and put some level of faith in the big wigs of the industry. Their lack of success was deserved because they simply weren’t good. This made the popularity of acts such as Hinder and Chicago’s own Plain White T’s somehow more tolerable.
But in a time when great acts are starting to get recognized or at least paid for making good music (Feist, Band of Horses, The National) and when the epitome of garbage (LBC) also gets paid for their music, it makes what’s good seem troubling.
Maybe there isn’t a musical revolution going on. Maybe LBC is a sign that the yin will always be balanced by the yang. Either way, I will never chew another stick of Extra mint gum again.

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