Thursday, January 17, 2008

Angels and rogue waves

Last week I talked about some cool side projects that I was aware of from some of my favorite bands and some worthy of wider recognition.

I mentioned Angels and Airwaves which isn't a side project but whose frontman had launched the moderately successful Box Car Racer just after the turn of the century.

Well, this week I've been hearing alot more of the sophomore effort from Angels and Airwaves entitled "I-Empire" and after checking out their extraordinarily-produced intro video on their website I am full of this feeling. Hell, my body is tingling and it's not because I just got back from the grocery store. The general feeling of their music is so mature and full of hope. No, it's not like their praising Jesus but it's weird to see the 31 year-old Tom DeLonge just a couple years removed from Blink-182, a band who thrived on sex jokes and bodily function references, having such a genuine tone to the songs of his new band. Check out the video for "Everything's Magic" below and read below for more.

Often times at the office some of us discuss music. We revel in music because we use it as a tool to shut out the general office noise around us. We have iPods and stereos at our desks and we generally love music.

One day last week we were discussing how bands are turning to licensing their tunes to commercials to shill products. From cars to clothes, I am guessing hundreds of bands have gone this route.

I have heard the following song on a daily basis on the particular radio station I listen to and caught a snippet of the band's single during, of all things, a Zune commercial. Yes, that Zune. The iPod knockoff Zune. The music player from the antichrist of computer congolmerates.

Yes, the very much indie Rogue Wave licensed their surreal and trippy single, "Lake Michigan" to a company with very deep pockets. It begins to make up for the piss-poor CD sales prospects and the fact that only about a dozen radio stations across the country will actually take a chance on this much-deserving Bay area band. At least, though, their creative efforts and overall musical talents will gain some greater exposure. It's just a shame, though, that Microsoft didn't take a cue from Apple and show a portion of the video and incorporate the surreal qualities of such a serene and gorgeous song into their marketing scheme this time around.

With that being said, what other commercials have prominently featured music which you later recognized? Did it make you seek out the music and transform you into a fan?


Adam said...

you know what's funny is i have run into an inordinate amount of proponents for the zune. makes me wonder if i would choose it if in the market for an mp3 player again. and you should be going to thief river damn you! btw- check out the local band parts for all makes. good stuff.

Hill said...

I cried when Michael McDonald sold out.

Now, it's The Fabulous Thunderbirds.

When I hear "Stairway to Heaven" on a commercial, I'm gonna have myself drawn & quartered.

Jeff said...

No, it's always the opposite for me. As soon as I hear a song I like being used on a commercial, it makes me hate the song from that point forward. The converse is true too. If I hear a song on the radio that I've only ever known from a commercial, I'll turn the channel.

The first time I remember a good song being ruined was back in the 70s when they overplayed the Beach Boys' Good Vibrations for Sunkist orange soda.

Brendan said...

I'm with the crowd on this one. Eric Clapton almost pulled it off by redoing "After Midnight" for a beer company, admittedly, but the horror of Led Zep's "Rock 'n' Roll" on a Cadillac commercial and the cluelessness of (guess who?) using Janis Joplin's "Mercedes Benz" flat-out repulsed me.

I will admit that I've gotten to know a little about classical music from commercials, but Bugs Bunny still remains the go-to source for that part of my education.

justacoolcat said...

I still like a lot of the songs I've heard on commercials. Massive Attack's Angel and James Brown's The Big Payback are good examples.
Usually a commercial song turns me off for the same reason as any other; it over played.

I could only listen to about a minute of "Everything's Magic" because their's some loud music cranking in the other room, but it sounded pretty good.

H said...

The Feist song "1,2,3,4" grew on me after it was on the iPod commercial, and the Ingrid Michelson song "The Way I Am" song that was on the Gap commercial or JCPenney or Old Navy or whatever commerical it was. However, I just heard the Band of Horses song "The Funeral" on a Ford commercial and I am beyond disappointed.

Sornie said...

Even though I had heard "Funeral" by Band of Horses numerous times before, pairing it with something visual -- even though it wasn't a music video -- added something for me.