Universal Deems Be Your Own Pet’s Best Tracks Too Violent For America

Controversy aplenty this a.m. First, we talked about the Web Sheriff’s oddball mission and now we have good ol’ fashioned censorship (yeah, this shit happened even before the Internet was invented!). If you’re a Be Your Own Pet fan, or a just a fan of freedom, you’ve likely already heard about the three songs missing from the brand new Get Awkward, out on Ecstatic Peace/Universal. We first noticed it last Monday via Fluxtumblr:

Can someone out there please explain to me why the official version of the new Be Your Own Pet album does not include the two best songs on the record, “Becky” and “Black Hole”? I mean, I have another pre-release promo that includes those two songs, plus another one called “Blow Yr Mind.” What gives? It’s especially baffling cos “Becky” and “Black Hole” are two of the most obviously commercial tracks on the record.

A commenter there then copied and pasted BYOP’s MySpace explanation, which now seems to be down, though you can find it elsewhere on the Web. It’s hard to erase things from the internet…

Via The Culture Of Me, for example:

I know everyone is super confused with the three missing songs on the US album. We didn’t choose for this to happen and we’re not trying to fuck anyone over with giving them an unfinished album.

Universal decided that “Becky”, “Black Hole”, and “Blow Yr Mind” were “too violent” to be released. Talk about a bummer time! They gave us the choice of changing the lyrics and rerecording the songs, or to have those three songs removed from the album. We decided to remove the songs, because we don’t think there’s anything wrong with the lyrics in the first place!

We are going to release those three songs on a special EP that’s going to come out this summer. Sorry we didn’t make an announcement sooner. We’ve been doing so much press about how the album got fucked in America that I guess we assumed that most people already knew.

Well, hope that clears some things up.


Today, P4K’s got a more detailed story. They point to an interview with NYU’s Washington Square News that Universal won’t be able to undo, a la the MySpace post:

Pearl played up her personality too much for Universal suits on three removed “Get Awkward” tracks. They were rejected by Universal lawyers for being “too violent.” Pearl sighed when recounting this circumstance. “When I found out that the songs were going to get taken off, I was just like, ‘Is there anybody I can talk to?’ ” Pearl said. “It’s like, I don’t even really know who these people are. There’s no one you can talk to to try to argue your case. Other than that, Universal has been great. But I guess that’s just what happens when you decide to have something to do with a major label. They’re going to be scared of anything that’s not completely cookie cutter.”

The P4K piece also notes that Ecstatic Peace is obviously less than ecstatic about the whole thing. Anyway, weird. There are obviously way more violent lyrics out there on other albums, a number released by Universal (50 Cent and Marilyn Manson, to name a couple). So, is the issue here that it’s a young female who sometimes dresses up like a nurse doing the vocalizing? Maybe. At least, that seemed to be the case when Jemima had to duck a drunken fan at their Mercury Lounge gig a few weeks ago. So, yes, gender might be a part of it, is our point. Regardless, you can still hear “Black Hole” at the band’s MySpace. Their website, which houses “Becky” and “Black Hole,” is currently down.