Genuine acts like Britney Spears aren't shifting the units they used to; fake bands are in ascendance. Now, I know that just because Britney doesn't play any instruments or write her hits or sing very well, folks usually think of her as inauthentic. But what is more real--more tangible--than bad costumes, truckloads of lights, shrieking fans, and astounding sums paid to songwriters and beatmakers? And what's faker than kids who form a band to be cool? The Yeah Yeah Yeahs were Karen O's joke side project until hipsters and the press bought in. Kings of Leon started their band after hearing the Strokes--rather than after hearing, say, Television or the Ramones. For a minute, Brooklyn hipsters listened to something called "electroclash," invented by the man who wrote Ru Paul's hit "Supermodel (You Better Work)." And Jack White thinks he's a badass bluesman! (Just last night at a bar, I started a band called Thirty Eight Year Olds Special, inspired by Rick Rubin and post-millennial flash-in-the-pan rock bands. Once I write some concert... More >>>