Despite the Australian government’s assertion that musicians are largely filthy, abhorrently rich, the reality is that we live in a world where illicit downloading means that artists are no longer enjoying anywhere near the sweet, nourishing scrilla that album and single sales have traditionally brought them. They are instead forced to turn to other means to increase their revenue stream and get those reasonably attainable government tax benefits.
To that end, artists have cranked it up in other avenues such as touring and advertising, as well as their music merchandise, to make up for the cash they’re missing out on. Some nail that last one. Others, as we’ve delved into briefly before, fail in ways that push outtheydamnmindedness levels to dizzying new heights. Like:
5: Grimes – Pussy Rings
Aaaaaand we’re off. Canadian singer Grimes usually peddles in a largely inoffensive brand of ethereal electro-pop that indie girls seem to all really enjoy but that I simply don’t get. What I also don’t get is her blatant disregard for both good taste and also Jesus with her attempt at starting a jewellery line back in 2012.
These look like trivia prizes that would get passed around at a hen’s night in Hades. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good old-fashioned vagina as much as anyone, but jeeeeez there are much more subtle ways to promote female liberation and your love of Grimes than this. I’m certainly not looking at anyone crass enough to wear one of these and thinking ‘oh look, there’s a Grimes fan!’, I’m looking at them and thinking ‘oh look, there’s someone with very awful taste. In everything!’.
Not only that, but wearing even one of these just looks unnecessarily impractical, let alone running with three as whoever that is above is living dangerously enough to try.
4: Keane aprons (with lyrics)
This one isn’t quite as over the top outrageous as the rest of this list, but it just blew me away in cosmic fashion in the ‘who on the fucking planet would even buy this?’ category. Are there really people who are enamoured this much with Keane, just one of England’s many, many contributions to cardboard-boring, mediocre wuss rock?
If Buzz Killington put together a mixtape, it would be Keane’s greatest hits album. Their fanbase would have to be the most non-descript, stuffy people imaginable, which is probably why they’re able to, in all seriousness, hawk them crap like this and describe it as ‘natty’.
What better way to tell your dinner party guests that the food they’re about to eat has been prepared by somebody who doesn’t love themselves enough. Honestly, who do you buy an apron with handwritten Keane lyrics (from a song so bland and English-y that it’s about a cafe) on it for? People who have lost the will to live?
This is a gift that would destroy friendships and sever family ties alike, because you would just know that the person giving it to you secretly hates you and doesn’t think you worthy of experiencing any kind of joy, ever, but chances are that you are also a Keane fan and were probably never destined to anyway.
3: Deadmau5 cat headphones
Ugh, I already couldn’t stand Deadmau5. Nothing shits me worse than artists who intentionally spite-fuck my beloved spelling and grammar in the name of their music, and that ‘5’ instead of a simple fucking ‘s’ is so deeply, unshakeably irritating. That he’s also a terrible practitioner of utterly soulless house music, possibly one of my least favourite genres ever to assault my ears, makes this even worse
I hate cats. They’re creepy little gits who lie around doing nothing all day and then have the stones to be irritable about everything. They’re dicks, but even I wouldn’t do this to one of them. Not that I even could really. There’s absolutely no chance that cat up there hasn’t been stuffed and mounted already in order to capture that moment. There’s simply no feasible way you could get a pair of headphones on a live one, let alone then blasting music directly into its ears, without being murdered in a flurry of claws and hissing.
Only ten ‘Meowingtons’ as they’re dubbed were ever made and they retail for the fuck off immediately price of $999, but the sad thing about psychotic cat people is that there would be well over ten of them out there shitrat insane enough to spend that kind of money on a new way to make their pet hate them unconditionally.
Apparently all of the proceeds go to the ASPCA, but the absurdity of raising money for animal cruelty by perpetuating more animal cruelty can’t have been picked up by only me, right?
2: U2 ‘Achtung Baby’ condoms
U2 are probably your dad’s favourite band (if your dad is terrible) and Achtung Baby was one of their more mediocre albums of the early 90s. Aside from One, which Mary J. Blige turned around and straight swagger jacked from them, there weren’t many memorable songs on this album at all.
Apparently though, someone’s hilarious father in marketing heard the title of the album and decided to come up with a corkingly good dad joke of a product.
Nobody with a soul has ever had sex involving anything U2, let alone removing and donning a raincoat from a box with weird robot infant faces covering it and a phrase on it that roughly translates to ‘Warning! Baby’. It doesn’t even make sense as a joke. Are U2 warning us that these condoms are so ineffective that they will result in an unplanned baby? I’m not willing to risk it.
They could have just gone the obvious route and called them ‘Bondoms’ but anything sexual involving Bono’s likeness is sure to result in her screams being the exact opposite of pleasure.
This is not how normal people have sex. At all. If you took an Achtung Baby condom out and suggested using it in the middle of a one night stand, you deserve every one of the zero phone calls you’ll ever be getting back from the person whose sex drive you have just permanently murdered. People would probably rather have sex with actual, decrepit 2015 Bono while he shouts about starving children than with someone possessing the kind of miserable sense of humour required to spend money on dad joke birth control.
1: KISS Kaskets
KISS, those Juggalos before Juggalos were a thing, have been emblazoning their greasepainted faces onto obscure products since before you were conceived in the back of a Kingswood to Love Gun. Bladed weapons, Babushka dolls, bike shorts, toilet seats, these crafty bastards know exactly how unhinged the KISS Army is and know that they will buy literally anything with their likenesses plastered on it in some way.
The most exorbitantly awful of all the KISS merchandise you can buy though, and there is a butt-ton of it out there, are KISS goddamn Kaskets.
What kind of life has someone lead where their last wish is to be interred in one of these? They’ve either lived such a full one that they’ve simply run out of earthly shits to give or, the sad and probably more likely alternative, KISS are their entire lives.
Just $3000 of your dollars (that you can’t take into the grave anyway) will get you one of these, including exactly none of the subtlety or gracefulness that should come with a casket, only poorly photoshopped flames and everybody getting douche chills at your funeral.
Worse was Gene Simmons low-key plugging these things by revealing that Pantera guitarist and all-around no-fuck-giver extraordinaire, Dimebag Darrell, was buried in one after his tragic onstage murder.
Damn KISS, just learn some chill and stick to merchandise that isn’t this creepy.