Most Repulsive Site of ’11: Is Anyone Up?

 

Our band could be your
life… or at least those naked clowns on your computer screen!

 

By Fred Mills

 

This ain’t your grandmother’s social networking, that’s for
sure. As 2011 comes to a close, one of the year’s big success stories has to be
Is Anyone Up?, an oftentimes (though not always) XXX website operated by a California
twenty-something named Hunter Moore. It’s basically a twisty – some might say, “twisted”
– version of a social network whereby users upload naked photos of themselves,
of their friends, and sometimes of their frenemies or outright arch-rivals.

 

Clearly NSFW, you can take a look at it here; a casual
scroll down the front page will unveil all manner of boobs, butts, cocks and
cunts, sometimes in, er, “repose” mode, sometimes “in action” (translation:
poking something or being poked). It would be nice to say that Is Anyone Up? is
in some way shocking, but the only thing that will truly give you pause is the
realization how un-porn – in the traditional implant-centric sense – the images
are and how routinely unappealing most of the people are. That the median age
appears to hover around 18, 19 or 20 is only disturbing if you happen to be a
parent and suddenly spot your little Amber or Josh there on your computer
screen, poking her tits or waving his dick at the mirror while holding a digital
camera or phone with the other hand.

 

Well, that, and also if you happen to be some gal who had a
nasty breakup with your boyfriend and he retaliated by posting those “private”
photos you sent him to the web…

 

 

Ultimately, Is Anyone Up? is just numbly repulsive, since
there’s not really a whole lot of reason to look at naked pictures that ain’t
gonna arouse you, unless you think of them as art portraits, which is unlikely
in the case of most iPhone-generated images. Maybe social psychologists will figure
out a way to extract research data!

 

Still, this would be apropos of nothing, since at this stage
of the game we’re way beyond gnashing our teeth over “that younger generation’s
sense of morality and decency” (they did, after all, invent sexting), except that among some of the more intriguing music news
of 2011 was the notation that rock ‘n’ roll musicians have apparently
discovered Is Anyone Up? as a new, “edgy” means of marketing themselves and
their “brand.”

 

Earlier this month the L.A.
Times
profiled the site
and founder Moore, accurately noting that, “Far
from being an issue, some artists are viewing Is Anyone Up? as a way to get
their bands heard – and seen. The 1-year-old site generates more than 1.6
million unique visitors per month, according to Google Analytics stats provided
by its proprietor, and has posted hundreds of nude photos of band members from
the middle and lower echelons of hard rock. The photos are often paired with
promotional images from Facebook or the band’s own websites.”

 

That’s a lot of potentially free publicity. Several
musicians as well as record label owners and music publicists are quoted in the
article as saying they view it as an inevitable part of the evolution of the
internet, and therefore something that might as well be exploited rather than
be resisted. “On Warped Tour,” said musician Melissa Marie Green, “when
you’re in a band and you drink, you show these [photos] to your friends as a
joke. When you’re in a band, you understand why these pictures are up. To the
general public, it might be extreme, but to people in the industry, it’s not
uncommon.”

 

 

Added Josh Grabelle, of indie label Bullet Tooth, “Would I
like a site like this to not exist? But it does exist, and this is the world we
live in. I’m marketing to kids aged 16 to 30, and that’s the site they’re going
to. I know that because I cannot go anywhere – anywhere – without this site
being brought up.” (Grabelle bought ad space on the site.)

 

Fascinatingly, Wikipedia notes, in its entry on the site, that a German “metalcore” band, Eskimo Callboy, and that a New York pop-punk
outfit called Forget Me In Vegas” have releases singles about the site, each
titled “Is Anyone Up?”

 

Anyhow, you can check out the site at the above link (there
are separate sections for Girls, Guys and Bands, plus some very enlightening
editorials penned by Moore, who apparently is enjoying making money at this and
“getting my dick sucked”). For that matter, just enter “is anyone up” into
Google images and you’ll see way more than you probably need to see. Also read the
entire LA Times story – and watch for all this to snowball in the new year as
more and more bands decide that getting ones name (and image) out to the
public, no matter the method or the long-term effects, is paramount while
pursuing a career in music.

 

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