Thursday, December 08, 2005

Is London really burning?

The WaPo has an article today about independant bands/labels licensing their work to advertisers and corporations in order to make some cash (because their ain't much fortune in indie rock) and get the exposure that isn't going to happen on radio or MTV. The gist of the article is that such practices were at one time taboo (sell out!!) but in recent years there has been a paradigm shift in which it has been beneficial and acceptable for artists to license their work for advertising purposes. I never really had a problem with this as music is music and if under-the-radar artists can make some money in order to avoid quitting music and getting a day job, then that's a good thing. It enables the albums to keep coming. However, I did flinch at this bit in the article:
International bands are cashing in, too. Last year, Australian garage band Jet
got worldwide exposure when Apple Computer Inc. featured one of the band's songs
on an iPod television commercial. So did Italian music artist Nicola Conte with
a Kmart commercial for Joe Boxer showing a young man dancing in his skivvies.
Likewise with under-the-radar British band Dirty Vegas and its dance song, "Days
Go By," featured in a Mitsubishi commercial. Legendary British punk band
the Clash was paid $50,000 to have its anthemic "London Calling" used in a Jaguar commercial.

"Anthemic" is an apt description and I personnaly don't think that a luxury British automaker(well, Ford now) quite fits the context of that particular tune. I guess the marketers were caught up in the sound rather than the content of this song. Of course it's not nearly as bad a choice as Carnival Cruise using Iggy Pop's ode to smack-scoring, "Lust For Life."

On an odd note, it just occurred to me that I referenced a song with the lyric "phoney Beatlemania has bitten the dest" on the 25th anniversary of John Lennon's death. A strange coincidence only I assure you.


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