Friday, March 9, 2007

Cashing in: Tapes 'n Tapes

My Oregon Ducks looked super pretty in their first game of the Pac-10 Tournament yesterday, which was thankfully shown on Fox Sports. During an early commercial break, right after the just-plain-sad Hooters ad with ESPN's Dick Vitale, came a spot for my alma mater itself that used "Crazy Eights," one of the instrumental tracks from the Tapes 'n Tapes album "The Loon. (For the non-sports fans, it's pretty common for schools to have commercials during playoff or nationally televised games.)

Tapes 'n Tapes were The with a capital T blog band of 2006. Self-released album. Sounds like either the Talking Heads, the Pixies or Pavement. A daisy chain of blog support. Eventual Pitchfork support. Eventual backlash. You know the drill. The main complaint is that they're "boring" live. I saw them last summer while visiting Seattle and I don't know if I just caught them on a good night, but they were far from a snoozer. (A "My City's a Sucker" side note: Tapes 'N Tapes' only San Diego show has been a Street Scene slot.)

Tapes 'n Tapes — Crazy Eights (MP3)
Tapes 'n Tapes — Insistor (MP3)

"Crazy Eights" fit the ad nicely, but it's hard to do worse than the debacle known as ... "Mandrake." Nike founder Phil Knight went to U of O, so we've been the testing ground for a number of Nike design ideas, most recently our football uniforms with their 180 color combinations, all of them silly. But nothing was as silly as when Nike designed a new mascot to accompany. It rode a chopper, thrusted its hips wildly and seemed to scare Donald. It was originally called Roboduck, though later changed to Mandrake, which only added to its already massive homoeroticism.

It was as unnecessary as New Coke and disappeared just as unceremoniously. But some photos still exist. Look at it! LOOK AT IT!!

Here's the really scary thing: Our new athletic director is a well-connected booster (from San Diego) with no A.D. experience, brought in solely to secure funding for a new basketball stadium and then leave after three years. So, to get that money, we could see more Mandrake ideas in the near future.

I miss the days when my school was just known for pot and Pre'.


The Architect said...

I miss Mandrake... Though something tells me he's buried in a shallow grave somewhere on campus.

catdirt said...

i visited portland a couple of years ago and was a little suprised to learn that hating southern california has been part of the state ideology since the 70s. as a native northern califorinian, i know the feeling, but it always suprises me to meet all the lovely oregonians who move down here and who never seem to mention the fact that a southern californian moving to oregon risks being lynched. if oregon is so totally awesome, why don't natives and graduates of it's fine school of higher education stay in oregon instead of moving to california?

The Architect said...

Dear Mr. Dirt,

I'm not entirely following your chain of thought. How did you get from a beleagured and missing homoerotic school mascot to Oregonians having a less than stellar view of Californians who move up here? The fact of the matter is that we don't dislike the Californians themselves so much as their values and ideals. We, Oregonians pride ourselves on forward thinking and individuality. Californians, particularly the Southern variety, seem to value conformity and convenience. The rift occurs when Californians move up here and attempt to push their "convenient" ways upon us. We don't like long commutes, big box stores, strip malls and pavement as far as the eye can see. We'd rather search something out at a boutique or walk a couple of extra blocks in the rain. These are things Californians don't seem to grasp, and as such, they want to change them. We don't move down there and try to change California, so why should you be entitled to move up here and change Oregon? Many of the alumnus of our "fine" institutions are forced to move out of state in order to find work. This is a shame, but it is due to our outdated tax structure and biennial legislature which is not condusive to large corporations, not a lack of desire to live in this state. Most of the ones I know want to move back, and I have heard of very few who are aching to move away.

There is also no danger of being lynched if you should move up here, we are happy to share our fine state with you, just don't try to change it.

The Architect