Friday, 10 September 2010

What took you?

One of my boring, tedious, holier-than-thou rules (channelling Bill Hicks) is that if a band licences its music for use on adverts, I don't buy their music any more. They don't need my money, because they've got lots fro allowing the music which previously existed as an autonomous work of art to support someone else's quest for money (I exempt bands who've lost control of their work from the rule).

One of the most painful losses was New Order, who've popped up on a Mars Bar ad, though with their complicated backstory, they may well not have any control over their catalogue.

But what really surprised me was hearing The xx on an advert yesterday. They've released one album, which won the Mercury Music prize a couple of days ago, yet they've already decided that what they do is simply a saleable commodity, rather than art.

I know, of course, that bands need to make a living and that the record industry is in flux, but this band is hugely acclaimed. They'll sell lots of records and sell a lot of tickets - there's no need to eke out a declining career, or to fund their pensions by licencing big tracks, as fading bands perhaps understandably do. Instead, they've taken the conscious decision to trade on their moment in the sun.

So farewell, The xx. You don't need me, won't understand me, won't miss one miserable old git's £10, but it matters to me.

Cue scornful response from Ben.


Benjamin Judge said...


I think you might like the website: Song of the Salesman

It is a helpful list of bands and the adverts their songs have appeared in. I particularly like this example. Belle and Sebastian - Teachers Whisky - 2004.

Checkmate I believe, Vole.

Ewarwoowar said...

Funny you say that, Benjamin, as one of my favourite websites is:

which is incredibly handy and has introduced me to several bands I wouldn't have otherwise heard.

You've lost this one Voley :(

The Plashing Vole said...

I haven't lost this one at all. It means that I've lost another band I liked a lot. Thanks for the website link Ben - I can see myself using it frequently.

Benjamin Judge said...

You're very welcome. Try this one:

It's Jonsi. With his advert for Dulux Let's Colour Walls

The Plashing Vole said...

Damn it. Everybody's a whore. Oh well. No more Jónsi. You're really enjoying this, aren't you?

Benjamin Judge said...

Absolutely loving it.

What about this one: Saint Etienne: Garnier and Esso. That is make up and oil Voley. Double header of all you stand against. Bye bye Saint Etienne.

The Plashing Vole said...

The utter bastards. Oh well, goodbye to them too. I'm genuinely grateful. You're doing the research I should have done a long time ago.

Ewarwoowar said...

Let's be honest, you're not missing anything there.

(Apart from Hobart Paving, which is splendidly beautiful)

The Plashing Vole said...

They're one of my all-time favourite bands. Though recent releases have been less than essential.

Benjamin Judge said...

Well you are welcome Vole. What a complicated system you lead your life by eh?

My system is simpler. If I like something then I like it. It is almost Zen isn't it?