Friday, April 29, 2005
As a fan, I have never equated signing to a major label as selling out. That is just naive. But if a band signs that contract, they better hope they move some fucking units regardless of what they say in CMJ or AP. That should still not compromise their output.
Along the way, other bands I have loved have popped up in ads and I could rationalize each one. Elastica owed Wire some money. The Verve owed some money for sampling a symphonic version of a Stones track. But hey, they got World Cup tickets. Blur put "Song 2" in a shitload of ads. But Damon Albarn is a shrewd little prick and I have never believed that Blur had a soul between them. But I still love 'em. You know Iggy Pop got fucked along the way and that a lot of people have made money off of him. Fuck it, let ads for cruise lines and a SUVs give him the financial stability he will need as he edges closer and closer to 60. Oasis and Bob Dylan were featured in Victoria's Secret spots. That needs no rationalization.
To make matters worse, the Counting Crows, whom I loathe, appeared in a Coke ad. I came across an article in which serial Friends fucker Adam Duritz stated why they said yes to the real thing. Again I am paraphrasing but he said, "We have a new album. So do we spend a million dollars making a video no one will play or do we do a commercial for a product we actually like and make some money." God damn it. He was exactly right because MTV would never make precious time for a video by a band that was hot way way back in the 1990s'. No, no, no. MTV is too busy pimping rides, raiding rooms and chronicling the Simpsons. I mean the ones with ten fingers. And VH-1 is too busy doing, I don't know what the fuck it is they do know? The Fabulous Lives of Celebrities' Aborted Fetuses. Something like that.
And I have not even mentioned radio. But in all fairness, I have not listened to radio in about ten years. Well, I do listen to ESPN. But radio is to music what professional wrestling is to sports. Someone once asked me why I did not listen to radio and I told them, "Because I like music."
It is indeed an indictment on the state of music when the most adventurous music being made is being heard in tv ads. An action I condemned years ago is now the only opportunity a lot of my favorite bands will ever have for exposure to a massive audience. One of the great ironies of my life is that you have to turn on the tv and wait for the ads to hear good music. But if it allows great bands to do things on their own terms, so be it. So go ahead, sell the fuck out.
P.S. The Jaguar ads that featured "London Calling" did piss me off but not as much as the Pontiac ads with "Should I Stay or Should I Go." But Clash did say “He who fucks nuns will later join the church.” Truth is advertising, I guess.
That's my brother, ladies and gents. But I bet you could tell that.
(I'm not sure there's any way to link directly to a Myspace blog without signing up first, but it's a really fucking quick sign up, and it's worth it for the reading.)