Back in June, no less an authority than Thom Yorke of Radiohead predicted the imminent death of the music industry. Following such a dire forecast, you almost can't blame an underground group like L.A.'s Imperial Stars for using unorthodox means to get their name out there. Specifically, on Tuesday morning the band parked a truck across two lanes of L.A.'s 101 Freeway, climbed on top of the truck, and performed their song Traffic Jam 101 for bewildered commuters.
The band was arrested, whereupon police learned that the driver had already fled the scene and taken the keys with him. The 101, reportedly the busiest freeway interchange in the world, was jammed for most of the day while authorities tried to get the truck off the road. Meanwhile, after posting $30,000 in bail, the band members were released from jail on Wednesday, though they will face charges of misdemeanor conspiracy.
On the Imperial Stars Web site, the band describes itself as "committed to benefiting the displaced children of America through the voice of music." They don't seem to have won many admirers with this stunt. "An entire city is probably wishing for your death," Jon Bershad writes to the band at Mediaite. "Horrible band causes horrible traffic jam to promote horrible song," sums up The A.V. Club's Sean O'Neal.
That song, a rap-metal party anthem, can be heard in the video below. Interestingly, the band seems to think of a traffic jam as a place where wild and fun things happen. The chorus includes the line "No one better get in my way," about which the Wire reserves comment.
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