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Band in a Bubble: Cartel Pulls a David Blaine

Well, this has to be one of the weirdest examples of music promotion I've ever heard. Starting May 24, generic alterna-rockers Cartel will climb inside a giant bubble at the Hudson River Park in New York, where the band will spend 20 days recording its second album. In keeping with the bubble theme, Dr. Pepper is sponsoring the so-called Band in a Bubble event, which will be streamed live on Web cams before airing as a four-show reality series on MTV.

According to the band's web site:

Cartel will enter the bubble during a live MTV broadcast on May 24 and live there with no escape until the bubble “bursts” on June 12, when they will perform new material in a concert event on the pier. ... "This is huge for us," says Cartel frontman Will Pugh.

If by "huge" he means "huge as a giant bubble," then I suppose Pugh is right on. But I don't know if this media event will really be all that major, so

While I'm interested to see this giant transparent bubble when it's erected May 11, I can't imagine that I'll be transfixed by watching Cartel lay down tracks. Recording is a fairly tedious process to witness, and I don't think I'll be the only person lacking enthusiasm for this David Blaine-like stunt. In fact, the whole thing just makes me a little sad, though I can understand the band's motivation. For an interesting read, check out this letter by Pugh, where he admits the whole thing is a marketing stunt and goes on to bemoan the sad state of a music industry that makes bands resort to this type of marketing. What do you guys think?

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