Saturday, February 11, 2012

Commercial Music

As un-American as it might seem, I have to come clean and admit that I have little to no interest in football. One reason is because my radio show, The Industrial Factory (on WZBC) is on Sunday nights. When it comes down to it, I'd rather be DJ'ing than watching football. But last week I gave in and watched some of the Super Bowl. I had to...it was, after all, the New England Patriots vs. the New York Giants and I have a little bit of interest in both teams. On the one hand, I grew up in Brooklyn and believe it or not, I was a Giants fan. Back in the days of Phil Simms, Phil McConkey, Mark Bavaro, and Joe Morris. How's that for a display of unexpected sports knowledge?! And I didn't even namedrop LT. On the other hand, seeing as I currently live in Boston, and again, being from Brooklyn, I enjoy seeing Boston sports teams lose (the Bruins are exempt from this rule.) Also, Tom Brady is a pretty boy and as I might have mentioned in this post, I'm very anti-pretty boy.

I only had time to watch the first quarter of the game and the last 8 minutes. That gave me a small window of opportunity to see if there were any cool commercials since Super Bowl Sunday is also synonymous with pretty much every company shilling their goods in the best way possible. Then this happened:



I swear, I thought I had gone into cruise control (so to speak) and just put on my Ocean Rain record without thinking. But no, it was real...the sound of Ian McCulloch supplying the soundtrack to an Audi commercial. In all honesty, I could've been convinced it was a commercial for a blood bank. Either way, I had a couple of thoughts instantly come to mind. First, it is kind of cool to hear Echo & The Bunnymen in an ad; hopefully people will be awakened and want to search out "The Killing Moon" - it is, after all, an amazing song. Second, seeing as there were vampires involved, this does mean that the song is goth, right?

And like a good music nerd, I almost always take notice when a cool song, be it something classic or something new, makes it into a commercial. "High School Brian" would have cried "SELLOUT" at the thought of one of his favorite songs trying to sell Budweiser or HP Printers. But now that I'm a bit older and a little wiser, it's easier to accept it. These artists need to make money and getting their music out there one way or another is a good thing...even if it is for a Target commercial. Naturally, I've put together a mixtape of some of my favorite "commercial songs." By my tally, it looks like ads for beer and cars are geared towards people with good music taste. Go figure.




As Heard On TV
Check out this mixtape on Spotify: As Heard On TV [Random Ramblings & Mxtapes]
(note: inexplicably, I was unable to find The Jesus And Mary Chain song on Spotify. Weird)

Tracklist: 
1. Echo & The Bunnymen, "The Killing Moon": Fittingly, we begin the mixtape with the Audi jingle that was a catalyst for inspiring this post.

2. Spiritualized, "Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space": The title track to the album that soundtracked my Summer of 1997. My guess is that someone involved in putting together the ad campaign for the Volkswagen Bug had impeccable taste in music. Stereolab's "Parsec" was featured in another Bug commercial. See? Impeccable.

3. The Cure, "Pictures Of You": Hewlett Packard used this one to hawk colored printers. At least, I think that was what they used this for. Really, I didn't care since the world would stop whenever I would hear a song off off Disintegration.

4. New Order, "Age Of Consent": What is weirder? The fact that this song was recently used in a Target ad or the fact that it's not on Substance or the Retro box set?

5. The New Pornographers, "The Bleeding Heart Show": The University of Phoenix, which I'm pretty sure isn't really in Phoenix, used this one. Extra music nerd points for me for figuring out the song instantly from the outro's "hey la, hey la"s.

6. The Kinks, "Picture Book": HP really did use good songs for their colored printer campaign. I actually had to look this one up when I kept seeing the ad. That got my "Obsession Wheels" spinning....next thing you know, I'm in a record store in the Village dropping $30 on a 180 gram vinyl reissue of We Are The Village Green Preservation Society. Turns out, it was money well spent.

7. Los Campesinos!, "You! Me! Dancing!": This one makes me laugh because Budweiser used this. I didn't even think the band was old enough to drink.

8. Holy Fuck, "Lovely Allen": I literally LOL'ed at this one, too. Chrysler featured this song in one of their ads and all I kept thinking was "Do they know the band is called Holy Fuck?"

9. Handsome Furs, "Memories Of The Future": Another Target commercial. I'm fairly certain that it's only the opening 5 seconds that are used. In my defense, this one was my favorite off their last album, Sound Kapital so it was easy for me to catch.

10. Sleigh Bells, "Riot Rhythm": Seriously, what is it with car commercials using kickass songs? This time it's Honda. Some honorable mentions have to go to Toyota for using The Buzzcocks' "What Do I Get" and to Cadillac for using Hum's absolutely awesome "Stars."

11. The Jesus And Mary Chain, "Sugar Ray": This was the first cool song I ever noticed in a commercial. I'm pretty sure it was a beer commercial - either Budweiser or Michelob. I remember sitting in my dorm room with the TV on in the background and being shocked that I was hearing the Mary Chain.

12. Santogold, "Creator": Another beer commercial, this time for Bud Light Lime...or something to that effect. Really, I hardly pay attention to what product is being hawked. With me, it's obviously about the music. And yes, this song came out prior to the slight name change to Santigold.

13. Skinny Puppy, "Pro-Test": Hearing Skinny Puppy outside of my radio show is capable of making my head explode. One time I went to see Tool at what is now the TD Garden and Puppy's "Death" played before the band came on and it made me giddy because when is Skinny Puppy ever going to play an arena that big. I had a similar reaction when I heard this song in a video game commercial for "LA Rush."

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