Sunday, April 13, 2008

ROCKIN' across the burnin' desert with alt-rockers Panic At The Disco and a borrowed 23-window

(above) Panic At The Disco, aboard their borrowed 23-window "split-type,"
the classic "original" VW bus type built between 1950 and 1967.
(above and below) between Los Angeles and Panic's roots in Las Vegas,
across the Mojave Desert, via Barstow and Nipton, CA


(above) a trick shot

(above and below) the critical crossroads at Nipton

(above) somewhere in the middle of the burnin' desert
(above and below) "omigod we have a breakdown . . ." (maybe)
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Those of you who follow this blog may or may not watch MTV frequently, but currently running is a sort of song-cycle set to a 7-set visual travelogue, as produced by MTV, Atlantic Records, starring a relatively new band with aspirations towards Radiohead's success . . . Panic At The Disco.
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Honestly, I'm not familiar with their music, so I can't quite say which of their songs actually fuel this expedition across the Mojave Desert (possibly en route to L.A., possibly returning to their hometown of Las Vegas, but definitely referencing Barstow, Nipton, and points in between). As the band's second album, PRETTY. ODD was released on March 25, 2008, and the album's first single, "Nine in the Afternoon," preceded the album, likely that's the focus of the promotion.
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Kinda nifty, actually. Great camera work. And the bus itself is cherry, as well as the snippets of the music. The bandmembers, seems to me, would seem awfully appealing to teenage girls in the way all the great pop bands do.
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Panic At The Disco (previously known as Panic! At The Disco, and often shortened to merely Panic! or Panic, or PATD) is an alt-rock band that originated near Las Vegas (in a suburb, Summerlin, NV, specifically). As Wikipedia notes, "their sound incorporates elements of pop, electronica, dance, and rock, along with many other genres."
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Panic was formed in 2004. The current bandmembers include Brendon Urie, Ryan Ross, Jon Walker (who replaced Brent Wilson), and Spencer Smith. Ross (guitarist) and Smith (drummer) are the two who founded the group. Wikipedia also notes, "Panic [has been] known for old-style circus shows, where they bring an entourage of contortionists and dancers on stage with them as they perform." However a new variety of "backgrounding" themes apparently has emerged, one possibly involving this VW bus odyssey.
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The bus itself was loaned for the 7-cycle videoshoot by a person posing as "lasvegas13window" on http://www.thesamba.com/, which I believe is a site specific to VW devotees. Here's some of the dialogue I saw on-site (warning: these are not teenage girls dialoguing here):
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LASVEGAS13WINDOW: "[These] are some clips of my 23-window [split-type] bus, with the band "Panic at the Disco." They've started playing these clips on primetime to promote [MTV and the band]. Tell me what you guys think!!! I'm so excited with the coverage they have of my bus!!
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JHUNG1977: "Very nice 23-window you have there! Love the color, and the band is actually very good!"
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///MINK: "Cool. Did I sell you the driver's seat in that bus?"
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LASVEGAS13 WINDOW: "Yes, Mink, I think you did sell me that seat! I don't remember if I got it from you or from a guy in New Zealand!?! Either way, pretty cool videos, huh? Make sure you check out all seven of the clips, because my bus is in more than one clip!"
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STANAGON: "Tell us what it was like to let the "talent" drive your bus. Hopefully they were upfront about this from the beginning and paid you well to use and drive such a nice bus."
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MYSAMBA: "Love the bus shots, not so keen on the band though . . ."
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DSTEFUN: "The band sucks, but the bus is cool. Or in the words of my wife, 'Too much band, not enough bus.'"
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LASVEGAS13WINDOW: "I guess there aren't very many Panic At The Disco fans in these forums. Unless there are a bunch of 12-16-year-old girls who are restoring and driving VW buses these days. At least the band didn't try to use a "Bay-type" bus in their video . . . . haha!"
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PYROMAN: "Kool score on the much air time your bus got!"
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SUEBUG: "Ummmm, excuse me. I like Panic At The Disco and I'm old enough to be their mother. This video was just their acoustic version. You were brave to let 19-23-year-olds play with your bus. Now you'll be followed in Vegas by groupies. Nice reward! And sweet bus!"
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'64CALLOOKDUB: "I've been seeing that bus on MTV a lot, and knew it couldn't have belonged to any of those guys."
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LASVEGAS13WINDOW: "I actually was on the [traveling] set the whole time and I supervised all the bus stuff. I've been trying to catch as much of the MTV coverage that I can, and they show the clips either the first 30 or the last 30 seconds of the commercial break. You can see the entire video they put together at http://www.mtv.com/overdrive/?vid=223365.
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FYI, for those of you unlikely to visit Nipton, CA anytime soon, it's an unincorporated town two miles across the stateline from Searchlight, NV in eastern San Bernardino County. It's effectively the gateway to the Mojave Desert National Preserve. Nipton was established as Nippeno Camp in 1905 with the advent of the San Pedro/LosAngeles/and Salt Lake Railroad, as a place for gold miners and itinerant ranchhands to reside. For many years, Nipton had the most lottery ticket sales in the state for the California State Lottery (as many Las Vegas residents made the relatively short trip down to get their tickets). Cuttently there's a small (5 room) hotel, originally constructed in 1910, and an even smaller general store. Of course, you could also visit http://www.nipton.com/aboutnipton2.html to tuck in and learn more.
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In my next blog, I'll explore the VW "split" and "bay" types relative to Dead Heads, hippies, and Woodstock attendees, all covered in a marvelous new book TRAVELING WITH THE VW BUS & CAMPER (Abbeville Press, NY, 2007), that I just received from the publisher.
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special thanks to MTV, Atlantic Records, and Panic At The Disco, for the use of these (low-res) stills, and to www.thesamba.com for the dialogue.

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I've been flicking though music books about this musicians... their rhythm isn't bad enough and most of the lyrics are unusual, specially if we're talking about the last CD, you mustn't add anything else about this band because is like a free advertising.

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Panic At The Disco is my favorite song, specially because you should see th video is amazing the costumes they use.

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