Thursday, April 12, 2007

saddle creek presents kirkland signature indie rock

[like OMG, he's just WOW. i'd totally drop 9 hunny for this slab o' man]

This morning, Pitchfork and Absolute Whatever (who probably co-opted the story from Pitchfork) reported that Costco, the mega-giant corporate supplier of bulk food items and really awesome pizza, is selling a Conor Oberst guitar. Actually, I found out about this a few months ago when I was looking for a reasonably priced acoustic guitar (FYI, you can also get a Pete Wentz-signed Fender bass from Costco, too; or was it Sam's Club?) on Costco's website. Honestly, I wasn't at all surprised.

Despite the report that Oberst's lawyers are "investigating," I'm pretty sure that a huge company like Costco simply doesn't have the power to sell $900 autographed guitars without the signer knowing about it. Let's face it, Oberst's popularity has been moving more towards Middle and Suburban America. Yes, the scary big city folk love their Bright Eyes and whatnot, but the kid's been playing theaters and large scaled venues for some time now, so the notion of some chick who works at Forever 21 being an Oberst fan isn't completely out of the ordinary.

As much as the elite would like to dismiss this notion, Oberst is on the same level as Fall Out Boy's Wentz and G. Love (who also has an autographed guitar at Costco), maybe not topically -- since even I will admit that Oberst's rants are way more relevant than singing songs about how famous you are -- but in social sense. These three guys represent a certain sect of popular culture:

Wentz has taken the Billy Corgan route of being a self-aggrandizing, ego maniac, whose sole purpose is to write catchy tunes, get millions of teenage girls to love you and to crush their collective hopes and dreams by bar hopping with a former reality TV starlet.

G. Love is the frat guy who wants to be Dave Matthews, but not really. He is beloved by stoners and guys who got into gangsta rap in the early 90s and then discovered Ween.

Oberst, obviously, is a self-important hipster. He believes that he can take on the government, one folk song at a time. All the while, he revisits his previous loves of power-pop (Desaparacidos) and new wave ("Digital Ash in a Digital Urn") with either high praises or cheap jabs. He is, in essence, everything to love and hate about the music scene.

Which brings me back to this whole Costco debacle. Again, I'm not surprised that Oberst would shill for the man, I mean how many cool kids would shop at Costco anyway? [1] So it's not like they'd find out and revoke his coolness card, especially since he's done more for youth culture other than snorting rails in some dude's bathroom while people are puking Sparks all over the place. Is it really that big of deal? Because if Conor Oberst should be speaking to any one, it should probably be to the people who shop at Costco.

[1] I'm too broke to afford a Costco Membership, but that doesn't mean I can't tag along with my mom if I need new tires or bulk mac and cheese.

EDIT: Costco has removed the "Collectibles" page from their site, so you can't find any of these guitars for the time being.

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