A week later, after a haircut the price and duration of which I refuse to share, I met Marcel Floruss and Nathan McCallum, two of Socialyte’s professional clients, at Lord & Taylor to borrow some outfits. The two men are opposites in almost every way. McCallum is compact and favors ripped jeans and piercings, and Floruss is lanky and clean-cut. Both are cartoonishly handsome, and both (I noticed this later when I checked out their Instagram work) have amazing abdominal muscles. “Constantly,” Floruss said, when I asked him how often he takes pictures of himself. “You sell part of your soul. Because no matter what beautiful moment you enjoy in your life, you’re going to want to take a photo and share it. Distinguishing between when is it my life and when am I creating content is a really big burden.”
By dinnertime, I’d posted a second picture and had acquired a few dozen likes and roughly three followers. That’s actually not bad for somebody with an almost nonexistent presence on Instagram, but it was discouraging to me, because I would need at least 5,000 followers to have any hope of making money. That night, I signed up for a service recommended to me by Socialyte called Instagress. It’s one of several bots that, for a fee, will take the hard work out of attracting followers on Instagram. For $10 every 30 days, Instagress would zip around the service on my behalf, liking and commenting on any post that contained hashtags I specified. (I also provided the bot a list of hashtags to avoid, to minimize the chances I would like pornography or spam.) I also wrote several dozen canned comments—including “Wow!” “Pretty awesome,” “This is everything,” and, naturally, “[Clapping Hands emoji]”—which the bot deployed more or less at random. In a typical day, I (or “I”) would leave 900 likes and 240 comments. By the end of the month, I liked 28,503 posts and commented 7,171 times.
There is another story surrounding Maps though. One that very rarely gets told.
The story of how – despite it only getting to No.26 in the UK Charts; and barely even scraping its way onto the US Billboard Hot 100 – the Yeah Yeah Yeahs have recorded and released what may well be the single most influential song of the 21st century so far.
Its impact has been quiet but undeniable. Since it was released (first in 2003, on the album Fever To Tell; then as a single in its own right in early 2004) practically every last part of that song has been sampled, covered or copied in a number of other artists’ work.
Three songs in particular, each released five years apart, have used Maps in three very different ways. Each of those songs has arguably defined (or helped to define) the era of pop in which they were released. One of them may even have altered the course of pop music forever.
The only other thing to add to the ‘Since U Been Gone’ section would be Ted Leo’s masterful strumming medley: