Purely Hypothetical New Year’s Resolution’s For Today’s Pop Stars

Ke$ha in Washington D.C., December 2012. Photo: Paul Morigi/Getty Images

Music is ubiquitous and confusing. Twice a month, Eric Spitznagel stares into the bottomless chasm of new (and old) songs, albums and musicians that permeate our lives, and tries to pretend he has any idea what it all means.

“I have this goal that I want to do,” Tim DeLaughter tells me. “I want to build the world’s largest band.”

“You have a pretty big band now, don’t you?” I ask. DeLaughter is the founder, lead singer and only constant member of the Polyphonic Spree, which will be in Dallas this Saturday for the final date of their Holiday Extravaganza tour.

“Yeah, I have one of the largest touring bands,” he agrees. “But I want to make it bigger.”

“Like how big?”

He pauses, considering the question. “Well, to start I’d like to get every member that’s ever been with Polyphonic Spree, which is over a hundred people, and play a huge show. But that’s just the seed-planting. The big goal, the big plan is to get as many singers and musicians as I can to come to Central Park, to be in the world’s largest band, which I will conduct and orchestrate from a hot air balloon floating overhead.”

It is, as even DeLaughter admits, a ridiculously ambitious project, which could be the most awesome thing that ever happened in New York, or the music industry’s Jonestown. Either way, if he actually manages to pull it off, you won’t soon forget the name Polyphonic Spree.

Tim DeLaughter’s daydreaming demonstrates the power of New Year’s resolutions. 2012 hasn’t been a bad year for the Spree. Besides the tour, they released a Christmas album, and raised a sweet $136,000 on Kickstarter for their next record. But this is a man unwilling to rest on his laurels. DeLaughter wants to take his band’s strengths and build on them. And it’s strengths are “overcrowding” and “cult-like behavior.” When most people think of the Spree, they think of weird kids wearing robes who look vaguely like they’re in a cult. But after the Central Park gig, if and when it happens, the Spree will officially become the band that people are absolutely positive is a cult, and must be stopped before they recruit our children into their sing-a-long army.

DeLaughter is a weird exception in a music industry full of people who could stand to make a few changes. So why don’t they? In the weeks leading up to New Year’s Eve, why isn’t every pop artist and musician revealing exactly how they intend to better themselves? “There’s definitely people out there, other artists, that I wish would take on resolutions,” he told me. “It’s a great way to wipe the slate clean and start over. After all, you are the one holding the eraser. You can make it happen.”

A better writer than me would have picked up the phone and called every pop and indie star he could track down, asking them to reveal their big plots and self-improvement vows for 2013. But I’m far too lazy for that level of journalistic inquiry. So I made some educated guesses instead.

Cee-Lo Green

Photo: Art Streiber/NBC

Find the self confidence to be interviewed on The Voice without a parrot or a cat. I don’t need to look like a Bond villain to be taken seriously.

Reconsider whether I really want to be a judge for the Miss Universe pageant. It can’t be good for my street cred. Rick Ross cancelled shows in North Carolina because the Gangster Disciples want him dead, and I’m going to Vegas to help decide which lady is the prettiest?

If I cover more songs by former Beatles, try not to change the lyrics. Unless it’s a Ringo song or something. Then whatever.

Don’t give anybody ecstasy unless they specifically ask for it. And even then, don’t touch their boobies. Better safe than sorry.


Get rid of the dollar sign in my name without making a big deal about it. Don’t make a formal announcement or anything, which is just as stupid. Just stop mentioning it. And if people ask, say something noncommittal.

Cut down on the glitter budget. Maybe use the money to splurge on something nice. Like non-whiskey toothpaste.

If I absolutely have to urinate on a street, don’t take a photo of myself doing it. And if I absolutely have to take a photo of myself peeing on the street, don’t post it to Twitter.

Stop falling for the “what am I doing in your bed? Um … I’m a ghost?” line. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, YOU’RE TOTALLY NOT A GHOST, DUDE!

Stop being the spokeswoman for tasting beards.


Buy MC Hammer’s mansion. The one in Fremont with the bowling alley and 17 car garage. I can afford it, and now seems like a great time to make a huge investment based on my future in the music industry.

Get a pedicure before I do any more shoeless videos.

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