Wavves is selling cheap plastic weed grinders. Not a big surprise. More shocking? That Nathan Williams beat Cannabis Corpse to the puff. (Their vocalist’s name is Weedgrinder.) True, CC dropped the bong (thanks, Amrit), but could save face with a signature “Skull Full Of Bong Hits” water pipe. After all, nobody buys music anymore: It’s the age of band merchandising, so hop on it. Maybe you already have. Maybe you want to post .jpgs to some examples of silly merch tie-ins in the comments.
We were thinking about this when we offered that fetus and Snuggie-filled Gift Guide For Music Fans last December. (And never forget those GG Allin And Tesco Vee Bobbleheads, Celebrity Hot Sauce, Wanksta Rubbers, etc.) Oddball band merch is also the subject of Rob Walker’s last Consumed piece in the Times, which covers Skeletal Lamping’s multiple formats, a Matthew Dear sculpture, fucking Snuggies. The key section’s the reprinting of a quote Sub Pop vice president Megan Jasper gave Seattle Weekly:
We used to give many of these tchotchke items away for free in an effort to entice people to pay for the music … But we’re considering flipping our strategy so that people pay for the toy and receive the music for free. Just a thought.
A fairly depressing one. Though a smart one. Or is it? Are you really that enticed by band merch? For example, would that Owl City Adult Onesie convince you to listen to Owl City? (Owl City Adult Diapers?) People definitely need an angle, though. Just ask Rammstein. What’s the weirdest merch you’ve seen? Did it work? Would you “pay for the toy” before the music?
Think about that. I’ll be here here sipping a cool glass of Mansinthe.