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'.