Trend-tracking firm announces IPO, future of Har Mar Superstar

San Francisco, Calif. (AP) -- Started by longtime friends Jason Baker and Michael Sachs in 2001, Baker Sachs Trend Tracking Ltd. has made a respectable profit plugging data into a magical machine and correctly predicting our collective pop-culture fate. Last Wednesday the company announced its plans to issue an IPO.

The firm, which will be listed as TTLBS on the NASDAQ, predicts what the rest of us will be reading, playing, listening to, and watching in the future. Just this year the group forecasted that a 23-chapter R&B opera starring an alleged sex offender would make waves, while many trend industry insiders sat on the sidelines laughing.

The remarkable ability to pinpoint pop-culture trends started with a top-secret computer formula Baker and Sachs developed while ripping bong hits in college.

It wasn't until the now-infamous 2003 "Har Mar Superstar" query that the two started thinking there was something to their program. "We couldn't believe it," Baker remembers. "This Ron Jeremy-looking guy made horrible music, just terrible: canned Casio bleep-blop coupled with an awful parody of Stevie Wonder. When the machine told us he'd be huge, we assumed it was broken." They ran the tests again to the same results, and filed the report with Warner Bros., which quickly signed the portly white crooner. Now Har Mar plays to packed houses, hangs with Kelly Osbourne, makes cameo appearances in movies, and is paid a boatload to DJ in Ibiza.

"That's when we were like, 'This (expletive) really works. We need to go public.'"

Har Mar's newest effort, The Handler, is soaked in irony, sight gags, and embarrassingly forced sexual innuendo. It hasn't managed to thwart his ever-growing popularity.

Baker and Sachs don't see Har Mar's star dimming anytime soon, a theory many might doubt were it not for the company's startling record.

"Those shitty knockoff bands like the Bravery getting big?" Sachs says. "We called that!"

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