Strategies in moneymaking, or musical cannibalism | Music Feature | Indy Week

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Strategies in moneymaking, or musical cannibalism

A corpse in your machine

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In his 1991 book Dead Elvis: A Chronicle of a Cultural Obsession, Greil Marcus compiled a collection of artifacts and analyses concerning the death of Elvis Presley and the commercial, corpse-splitting craze that followed. One section, later republished by Duke University Press in 1992's Present Tense: Rock & Roll and Culture, examined the (invented) sensation of Elvisburgers, in which the singer's corpse had been processed into delicious patties and sold. The real implication, though, concerns our relationship with artists whose output has ended but whose spirit (and carcass) we'd like to plunder for our own uses. Quoting Lester Bangs, Marcus offers, "My ambition is to become a parasite on saints, which shouldn't be too difficult, I mean they're supposed to get holier through physical mortification and all that, right?" On that note, four of the countless bands who've ravaged Kurt Cobain's 15-years-dead body—Nickelback, Hinder, Papa Roach and Saving Abel—for the benefit of their own bottom lines play Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion Saturday, Aug. 1, at 6 p.m. They might not have blood on their hands, true, but they sure do stink.

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