Monday, October 23, 2006

A couple months ago I was sitting in front of the television when an incredibly familiar song came roaring out of a Rogers commercial. That familiar song was The Deadly Snakes' Everybody Seems To Think (They got some kind of hold on me). Sadly, The Snakes are no longer. One of these days I might get around to a proper eulogy post, but I digress. I'm not one of those types that has a big problem with bands selling their music to companies who in turn use the music to sell goods. I've never called a band a sellout and I'm not entirely sure I ever will. There's a growing contingent of folks who have no problem with so-called Indie bands hocking their music to pay a buck. Obviously the record biz is exactly that, a business. No one is gonna fault anyone for trying to make a living. Part of me thinks this is somehow connected to the fact that the term "indie" no longer solely refers to bands who are on small labels. "Indie," today, refers more to a wide and varied sound. More and more it is being used as a lazy catchall of genre identification. The biggest indie band in the world, the Killers, is on the Island record label, which is a subsidiary of Universal music. Also on the Island roster: Mariah Carey, Lionel Richie, and Sum 41. Clearly not independent.
The commercial I previously mentioned was the World Cup one where the trio of backpackers run around Europe. If you can't remember which one that was the song should jog your memory.

Deadly Snakes - Everybody Seems To Think (They've Got Some Kind of Hold on Me)

The song is off their beyond phenomenal 2003 release Ode To Joy. Your soul is not complete until you've heard it.

A month or two back my brother Derek started up a conversation that went something like this:

Derek: Hey have you seen those Yaris commercials?
Me: Absolutely.
Derek: You know that song they play in it? I think it's a Deadly Snakes tune.
Me: I don't think so. Just sounds like a little riff. I'm sure someone just hammered it out solely for that commercial. It's kinda funky though.
Derek: Oh Ok.

Fast Forward a few months later and D sends me a link. Turns out he was right. The "riff" is from The Deadly Snakes' Graveyard Shake off their second album I'm Not Your Soldier Anymore. Although the first two Snakes albums aren't immensely hard to find you do have to do a bit of legwork. I hadn't so I'm using that as an excuse for my not recognizing it. Thanks to Derek for following through and proving his brother wrong.

check out the Yaris riff here...
And compare it to the song: Deadly Snakes - Graveyard Shake

When it was reported that Jack White would be writing a song for a Coke commercial it created a bit of a stir. The usual "sellout" shouts were leveled. At the height of the "The" bands hype The White Stripes were famously offered a cool million
to appear in a Gap advertisement. This was turned down. Jack's involment with Coca Cola strikes some as hypocritical. As Jack sees it "To be asked to write something particular along one theme of love in a worldwide form that I'm not really used to appealed to me." The advert aired in Australia this past Spring. It is doubtful we shall ever see it played in North America. Regardless, it is on Youtube to check out for yourself. I personally enjoyed both the advert and the song. As you'll see the advert employs some of the same techniques as seen previously in the video for the Stripes' video for their song The Hardest Button to Button. The song is very Jack White and quite beautiful from my perspective. If your background is in the punk or ultra indie hipster ethos then your immediate disdain is duly noted.

Jack White and Coca-Cola

Jack White - What Goes Around Comes Around (Mp3)

Ever been sitting in front of the tv and heard a song you would never expect? Ever seen a company take a song and use it in some way that completely misses what the song is all about. Leave a comment and let us know.


The other hawker said...

Yeah that commercial is pretty cool. Only poor use of a song I can think of is Jesus Walks in trailers for Jarhead. This was mainly due to the fact that the movie sucked and having Kanye's best song associated with it.

Dewick Hopper said...

Depends on the circumstances. Hearing the Deadly S. in a GenXYZ-whatever Pepsi commercial would ruin it for me. and it bugs me that I think of milk whenever I hear that one Beethoven symphony.

It's hardest when the first time I hear a song is the commercial. I can't make that song my own if I remember the commercial everytime I hear it. A great song for me will play its own little movie while I listen. From my experience, hearing it initially in a commercial either torches the projector or sneaks porn frames into the film.

Glen said...

There is a really wierd version of Of Montreal's "Wraith Pinned To The Mist (And Other Games)" on an Outback Steakhouse commercial. I saw it today. It definitely sounds like the band singing, but the chorus is completely different -- nothing about fake nonexistence and Antarctica. It's a little too wierd for me to shout, "Sell out!"