Sunday, September 12, 2010

Cheapened by Commercials

Nothing drives me nuts more then a band I love cheapening itself by selling out to corporations through commercials. I understand that at the end of the day musicians are trying to make a living too, but once you start associating a song (and by that your music) with a product, people tend to associate it with that. "Hey, that's the Kia song", or "Those are the VW guys", and now it's hardly even worth listening to, it's lost all traces of authenticity.

WEEN: I mean I love you either way, and you still have the largest cult following in the world, and you still don't sell out in the top 100, and, and, and....Shit. Somewhere there's a joke to be gotten' here, but I don't know what it is yet...

Dude, M. Ward. I mean right, I know that over the years he's gained increased popularity, but come on....

I might be wrong, but I think Wilco sold out it's entire last album to VW. Amazing band to be sure, and definitely the last band that needs the advertising. As long as these guys have been around it's sort of a punch in the face to see stuff like this. Finally, you can hardly escape the irony of the words, "is that the thanks I get for lovin' you..." Funny, that's exactly what I was thinking; this is the thanks all of your fans, including myself, get. Bastards, can't wait for your next album though, I am a whore to you music.

Modest Mouse - Kryst, I've been listenin' to you since what, 1994, something like that, are you really that hard up for fans, you've made it this far haven't you. Crap I think you even got a spot on Kids Bop, how embarrassing... So let's close like this commercial does, "Bands are selling out to commercials. Shouldn't you?" DOE!

This is almost worthy of a pass from Black Sheep since, well, it's from 1991. As for the commercial itself, it's, as they say, slammin'. Well, until about 20 seconds into it when a toaster starts heading down the street. Then it completely falls off....

If all that wasn't enough, The Who played in the half time show at the Super Bowel, and I couldn't help but think to myself, how many people are watching this right now thinking, "Hey, these are the CSI songs!" It's sad.


  1. What has helped me is to not watch standard TV. I miss the commercials, and am allowed to cut my favorite bands slack for having to pay the bills.

    If I were seeing the commercials all the time, I'd probably get pissed off. But on the other hand, I've never been a big fan of the I-was-first-on-the-bandwagon source of self-esteem. What does make me unhappy is when a band starts to suck musically: as far as I can tell, Wilco made a turn downhill with Sky Blue Sky that became only truly apparent with Wilco (the album), though can be traced to the eminent A Ghost Is Born. It has nothing to do with them selling some of their songs for commercial use, and everything to do with a musical shift precipitated by a personnel change.

    Make money however you can, I don't care: the art's the thing, and if the art goes, it goes, and that's the sad part, not the grubbing of a few dollars.

  2. "Wilco made a turn downhill with Sky Blue Sky that became only truly apparent with Wilco (the album)"

    Oh no doubt. But I would say that on it's own, Sky really was a great album. And if it wasn't for "The Album", it wouldn't be so evident that they were sliding anywhere. Not to mention I tend to personally consider the difference between Foxtrot and Ghost to be a coin flip.

  3. I think we agree exactly about Wilco. Foxtrot and Ghost are equally, in two different ways, ground-breaking albums. Sky is a good album that I enjoy, but it only harnesses the new energy that Ghost released in three or four songs. I would've been content to see Sky as a blip, or the necessary fallout from any stunning piece of work (the demanding "What do I do for an encore?" that is astonishingly difficult for people that make their bread pushing the envelope), or like a stutter step on the way to endzone, or the clutch going in as you change gears. But sadly it wasn't--it was their actual arc.

    We'll have to see how Modest Mouse handles the same problem. I have friends who are unforgiving about Ship, and consider Good News the top of the arc after Antarctica. I think they may have found a new level for themselves, but only their next album will confirm.