I have mentioned ringtones before, but they just won't leave me alone. Here is an article in the New York Times (subscription required). Apparently, people are composing music specifically for ringtones and there are people who consider themselves ringtone DJ's? Really? This is the best part:
“In Britain, the heavily advertised Crazy Frog ringtone - based on a Swedish teenager's imitation of a revving engine - topped artists like Coldplay and U2 on the singles charts just last month. And the remix is already out.”
I see this as a continuation of a trend started with TRL. They use show only about a minute of any song on their countdown Now we have distilled every song to the 10-20 seconds that it takes to answer the telephone. All you have to do know is come up with like four bars of something catchy to have a hit. This is a world where the jingle writer is king, and that terrifies me.
I must confess that I hate telephones, and cellphones in particular. Maybe my bias is making me miss something totally awesome about ringtones, so I implore you to explain this phenomenon to me. I know that Timberland creates these monstrosities to get paid, but why are people buying them?
To make matters worse, there are people who have perform something called Dialtones (A Telesymphony)*. They way it works is that people register their cellphone numbers, then get free ringtones. The “musician” then dials the numbers to create a “symphony” that sounds like electronica without the heavy bass drum that induces dancing and thus justifies the existence of the whole genre. Do we really want to make it artistic to irritate your neighbor? You really have to go over the link and download tele2330.mp3 where they use a phone on vibrate. Now you hear of people who call their phone just to have it vibrate, but not for reasons having to do with a symphony. They also have the audacity to sell cd's; 26 minutes of dozens of people refusing to answer their damn phones, sounds great. Enough, my head is going to explode.
*By the way, my spell check refuses to accept that telesymphony is a word, and I have to say that I agree with it.