If you can't fight, my Mum used to say, wear a big hat. This, loosely translated into music terms, is "if you're a bit rubbish, come up with a big gimmick."
Meet Cartel. They're recording their second album in a giant bubble on Pier 54 in New York. They think it's about them, but it's actually a bid to try and persuade people to buy Dr Pepper, which is sponsoring the event. Dr Pepper's advertising used to be built around the question "what's the worst thing that could happen", illustrated by people getting caught in terrible, embarrassing, public situations. We can see how being in a third-string emo act making a record in a big bubble like some sort of de-evolved zoo monkeys could fit with that message.
Still, let's not forget there are real people involved here, real people, with real emotions and almost half a clue between them. William Pugh has been explaining why they're doing this to USA Today:
A microscope that's a whirlwind - a crazy one - in a fishbowl. And that's the perfect way to create a "good record", is it? Rather than working on songs in a rehearsal room, then moving into a studio to record them?
The band, of course, will be cut off. Sort of:
Goodness. Limited internet. It'll be like being in Portugal or something. Or in an office where they limit your internet. Almost unthinkable, isn't it?
Yes, it must be better than going to college, although it's hard to imagine your teachers are going to miss your contributions over much.
I'm not sure having a group of bouncing hormones sealed in a large weather balloon really does convince me that "real bands still exist" - when did real bands need stunts to draw attention to their work?
The person behind this - and her official job title doesn't include the word "Evil", so let's assume she really does think she's doing Cartel, and the world, a favour, explains more:
Nothing is artificial or staged. Which would mean that even if Dr Peppers hadn't ponyed up the cash, this band would still have been making a record in a giant sphere on Pier 54, then.
Still, good to discover that there is still, apparently, a "traditional marketing bucket". We feel the stirrings in our lower stomach that suggests we're about to fill one.