A weekly spin on the web
Cracking Up In an impressive bit of Web techfoolery, the band Cracker rejiggered the message boards on its website so that any posting about Napster is invisible to all but the person who wrote it (crackersoul.com). The site used to be set up to change the word Napster to ”the bulls— hippie capitalist corporation” automatically, says the band’s lead singer, David Lowery. And that caused an influx of angry letters. ”It was just inflaming people more — which was fun.”
Ears Wide Shut When the Kryagenic Krack Babies recorded ”Ode to Nicole (Leave Tom Cruise)” in 1999, it was simply a humorous emanation of lead singer Meven’s obsession with Nicole Kidman — and the fulfillment of his dream to write a song that included the titles of nearly all her movies (mp3.com/kkb). Now that the Hollywood couple have split, the Nashville-based garage band’s song sounds downright prescient (”If you’re bidding for a Batman forever/Babe I’m sold/But only if you leave Tom Cruise”). ”I never anticipated a real breakup,” says Meven, who tried to send a copy of the song to Kidman last year. ”I hope that somehow Nicole hears this and thinks ‘That’s cute. I’m flattered.”’
Fame There is something Andy Warholian about the site for the new Robert De Niro action flick 15 Minutes (15minutes movie.com) — and it’s not just the title (which is a play on the artist’s ”everyone will be famous for 15 minutes” quote). It’s a quirky game that asks you to identify famous people and things — from the Pets.com Sock Puppet to John Wayne Bobbitt — based only on a silhouette. The artistic approach is almost worthy of the One Stop Warhol Shop, an inspired multimedia tribute to the Pop-art master (osws.artmuseum.net).
Web TV Camp Chaos, creators of the Napster send-up MetalliCOPS, has landed a pilot on VH1. If successful, the half-hour animated sketch-comedy show — which lampoons the music industry and popular recording artists and which is tentatively titled Camp Chaos — could be signed for a 13-episode run. Chaos has competition in the Web-to-TV space race from MediaTrip.com’s Gary the Rat, featuring Kelsey Grammer, and Mondo Media’s Thugs on Film, which aired this summer on BBC America. While some flailing Net companies — like Icebox.com, which is now as dead as the characters in its show Zombie College — are looking to TV as an escape pod, Camp Chaos founder Bob Cesca says his company just got lucky: ”We’re always going to be a creature of the Internet.”
Two Turntables and an Ad Campaign Add Super Greg (supergreg.com) to the list of advertising-age copycats supping on the success of Turkish Internet stud Mahir — and fooling loads of Netizens in the process. Super Greg, a DJ from ”El Barrio,” is part of the same Fallon-designed Lee Jeans ad campaign as the musta-chioed race-car driver Curry (rubberburner.com) and proto-caveman Roy (borntodestroy.com). ”He gets really obnoxious amounts of e-mail even to this day,” says Paul Hoffart, an assistant media planner at Fallon. ”A lot of people don’t fully understand that Mr. Super Greg is not a real man.”