The label M.O. for drumming up media attention usually involves sending journalists shiny CDs wrapped in shinier press releases then crossing their fingers and praying to the God of publicity. Occasionally this process gets turned on its head and the press release will be inside the cover. Other times it’ll just be a CD. In the most unimaginative of cases it’ll just be a press release littered with words like shimmering, brooding and transcendent.
The rarest and incidentally most effective of all the methods however, involves a deft combination of imagination and ingenuity. It’s like the Moby Dick of music marketing and the package I received yesterday definitely falls into that latter category. Why? Well it ended with an experimental sauce bottle and started with a personalized letter which you can have a read of below:
Whoa! Suspend that disbelief! Fictional characters can’t write letters can they? Can they even pick up pens? How did he know my name? Which Gorillaz member is Murdoc? Is he the dude that hates pants? Are personalized USB sticks like really, really cheap? So many questions, so many things to like. In particular the “now go and tell your bloggy minions” part and the allusions to Satan of course. Rad.
But it wasn’t just ego-stroking letters and lols – we also received a conceptual sauce bottle from Gorillaz guitarist Noodles and Sydney artist Jane Gillings. According to Murdoc’s letter it’s constructed from “the endless flotsam on the island here” which leads me to believe that Noodles did most of the work. Jane Gillings is a real human being however so my theory may prove to be false. The work is currently sitting on my desk – it looks like a National flower of Planet Recycle.
Then there was the USB stick. That little puppy had epic gems like happy snaps, a track by track analysis, teaser videos, a Gorillaz Surveillance report and two fictional pirate radio shows hosted by members of the band. Lights out. Gorillaz radio. Turn that shit up! You know, because Rage Against The Machine had that track called “Guerrilla Radio” and the word “Guerrilla” sounds like “Gorillaz and The Gorillaz hosted a fictional radio show as I just mentioned before…
Anyway we had an office listening party this morning and the album, Plastic Beach, is dope. Anyone who’s ever attempted to make music in the history of humankind is on this album. Snoop Dogg? Yep, dude’s on track two. Lou Reed? Skip ahead to track nine. Lance Bass of N’Sync? He contributes hand claps and a remarkably tasteful bongo solo to the album’s closing track*.
You can check out the album’s tracklist and impressive list of collaborators below. But if you really want to feel impressed check out the video for “Stylo” below that because Bruce Willis is being a total badass. Yippee-Ki-Yay, Motherfucker.
01 Orchestral Intro (ft. Sinfonia ViVA)
02 Welcome to the World of the Plastic Beach (ft. Snoop Dogg and Hypnotic Brass Ensemble)
03 White Flag (ft. Kano, Bashy, and the National Orchestra for Arabic Music)
04 Rhinestone Eyes
05 Stylo (ft. Bobby Womack and Mos Def)
06 Superfast Jellyfish (ft. Gruff Rhys and De La Soul)
07 Empire Ants (ft. Little Dragon)
08 Glitter Freeze (ft. Mark E Smith)
09 Some Kind Of Nature (ft. Lou Reed)
10 On Melancholy Hill
12 Sweepstakes (ft. Mos Def and Hypnotic Brass Ensemble)
13 Plastic Beach (ft. Mick Jones and Paul Simonon)
14 To Binge (ft. Little Dragon)
15 Cloud of Unknowing (ft. Bobby Womack and Sinfonia ViVA)
16 Pirate Jet