If you experienced the worst Christmas of your entire life in 2010, it was either because you were too broke to buy gifts, or you watched a lot of television. If it was the latter, you undoubtedly encountered one of three Hyundai commercials featuring the Bay Area duo Pomplamoose covering Christmas carols like "Up on the Housetop" and "Deck the Halls." These encounters grew ever more frequent as the holiday season wore on: Ultimately, Pomplamoose's Hyundai commercials proved so ubiquitous that a basic cable subscriber could find one on some station or another every minute of every day. This compelled some viewers to become infatuated with Pomplamoose, while greater numbers ventured into the streets looking for Hyundais to smash into.
POMPLAMOOSE Triple Door, 216 Union St., thetripledoor.com. $16â€“$19. 7:30 p.m. Wed., Oct. 26. SOLD OUT
It wasn't just the commercials' ubiquity that rubbed listeners raw, however. Nataly Dawn and Jack Conte, the real-life couple who make up Pomplamoose, seemed to epitomize everything about too-ironic, too-precious, too-self-conscious indie pop. If creating cutesy YouTube videos of club staples like Beyonce's "Single Ladies" and Lady Gaga's "Telephone" made the band an Internet sensation, it also betrayed an annoying propensity for holding the wink a little too long, musical talent notwithstanding.
But there was undoubtedly another emotion at play in the Pomplamoose backlash: envy. Not only did Dawn and Conte make a mint from a foreign car company, they'd actually managed to carve out a comfortable living without signing to a label, releasing physical albums, or even touring—in large part due to paid Internet downloads of their music that stemmed from their YouTube popularity. In so doing, they found themselves among the first to the finish line in the race to make ends (more than) meet in the Digital Age—part of the one percent if there ever was one.
Now that they've decided to mount their first proper tour, however, Pomplamoose must face the 99-percenters. And for the 99 percent of those 99 percenters who lost hair to hands over Pomplamoose's Hyundai commercials (foreign corporatism!), the proper response is not simply to boycott their show (it's sold out anyhow), but to shadow Dawn and Conte throughout their trip to Seattle, singing squeaky Christmas carols on loop until they lose their shit. Only then will Pomplamoose feel the pain they've inflicted upon the masses.