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The inevitable sell out post


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#1 Good Old Neon

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 07:23 AM

I’m sorry, with all due respect to those who think to the contrary – but this is a really depressing development for a band that has always claimed it is in it for the music. And you’re right, this isn’t twenty years ago, and it is a different time, and everything is for sale, including Wilco – and that, I’m afraid is really sad. Two months from now these songs will cease being songs and start being annoying commercial jingles – and that is really sad too.

But what the hell right, everyone’s doing it – what’s the big deal? I got’s to get mine - right? Ugh….

I lost a ton of respect for the band as a result of this development.

I would understand if the band all drove VW’s and really, just like, really loved their cars – but I doubt that is the case. This was a crass, marketing decision.

Thank you Tony Margherita – such a shrewd marketer.

Wasting away in Margheritaville – on a nice big pile of salt.

I’m sure the band researched the company carefully to ensure that all their parts and labor are purchased from outside contractors who have their workers best interests in mind – and pay them accordingly - right down to the cigarette lighter – but probably not.

They should at least have the balls to add VW to their list of links on their website – maybe right up there on the front page – so we can see where the band really stands.

I’m know, I’m ranting – but go and read of some of Jeff’s recent interviews, and then come back and tell me it doesn’t start to sound like so much bullshit in light their move to advertising.

Ugh….

#2 bobfrombob

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 07:32 AM

Should be "due"

#3 Good Old Neon

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 07:39 AM

Should be "due"


Thanks for the grammar check - I was in a sort of huff when writing it.

#4 Scalzunfield

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 07:46 AM

I’m know, I’m ranting – but go and read of some of Jeff’s recent interviews, and then come back and tell me it doesn’t start to sound like so much bullshit in light their move to advertising.


I have read a number of these interviews and fail to see this "commercial development" you seem to refer to.

Also, I have listened to Sky Blue Sky roughly 100 times by now and nowhere in there did I hear anything that screamed at me "Car Ad." Also, "Is That The Thanks I Get?" was a song Jeff wrote for another singer to sing, if I remember the story right.

None of these songs were written specifically for a TV commercial, but you seem to think they were; that this is an album filled with car jingles. I think you're wrong.

Your bitching and moaning that they've "sold out" is completely outdated. So what? They have a few fucking songs in commercials. Why does that get your panties in a bunch?

And, most importantly, how exactly does Wilco's music being in a commercial effect your life in such a negative manner? Don't like it? Ignore it and go on your merry way.

And if it makes you hate the band so much you refuse to buy the albums or go to the shows...good. One less person I have to battle with for tickets.

#5 LouieB

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 07:49 AM

Having a discussion on this is certainly within the bounds of this board, but first of all I am curious why this would be someone's first post on this board??? Maybe the poster can explain that before we express our righteous indignation about this?

LouieB

#6 Good Old Neon

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 08:02 AM

I have read a number of these interviews and fail to see this "commercial development" you seem to refer to.

Also, I have listened to Sky Blue Sky roughly 100 times by now and nowhere in there did I hear anything that screamed at me "Car Ad." Also, "Is That The Thanks I Get?" was a song Jeff wrote for another singer to sing, if I remember the story right.

None of these songs were written specifically for a TV commercial, but you seem to think they were; that this is an album filled with car jingles. I think you're wrong.

Your bitching and moaning that they've "sold out" is completely outdated. So what? They have a few fucking songs in commercials. Why does that get your panties in a bunch?

And, most importantly, how exactly does Wilco's music being in a commercial effect your life in such a negative manner? Don't like it? Ignore it and go on your merry way.

And if it makes you hate the band so much you refuse to buy the albums or go to the shows...good. One less person I have to battle with for tickets.


Go back and find me the part in which I claimed these songs where written explicitly for car commercials – that’s right, I did not. But after today, the songs that will be featured in car commercials – are just that – commercial jingles.

Of course selling out is no big deal, we’re constantly being beaten over the head with this excuse, usually by people who’ve already sold themselves out – sort of like a way in which to justify their own compromises – their own slide into irrelevance.

Whether you chose to believe it or not – music matters – art matters – it means something, and in today’s world – it’s all we have left.

In many of the interviews I’ve read Jeff goes on and on about how they could write a more commercial album if their only goal was to sell records and make piles of cash – that at least, would be an honest way to make a buck. Instead, they chose to sell their songs to the highest bidder – via the backdoor.

In light of these developments, please explain how they are more viable than say, I don’t know – Brittany Spears – Jennifer Lopez – or any other band or “artist” who sells their songs to advertisers?

No worries, you won’t be fighting me for tickets, but you will be competing with thousands of others who just love that song in that there commercial. They’ll be easy to spot, their lighters and cheers will go up as the first chords of “The Thanks I Get” float above the crowd.

The type of folk who consider music so much background noise.

#7 Calexico

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 08:04 AM

Having a discussion on this is certainly within the bounds of this board, but first of all I am curious why this would be someone's first post on this board??? Maybe the poster can explain that before we express our righteous indignation about this?

LouieB



I got hammered here for my first few posts and I didn't say anything remotely upsetting.

#8 Good Old Neon

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 08:04 AM

Having a discussion on this is certainly within the bounds of this board, but first of all I am curious why this would be someone's first post on this board??? Maybe the poster can explain that before we express our righteous indignation about this?

LouieB


I’ve been a fan since Uncle Tupelo’s – “No Depression” – I still have the cassette. I posted because I love the band, and I am depressed by this decision.

#9 LouisvilleGreg

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 08:15 AM

As someone who was reared in the punk community close to twenty years ago, let me say that what you're accusing Wilco of is ridiculous. This isn't akin to Jawbreaker signing to a major after years of publicly bashing them or Chumbawumba, an anarchist collective first and band second, writing a pop hit about drinking adventures. Wilco/ Tweedy has been on a major for thirteen or fourteen years, tickets are sold through ticketmaster, they appear on shows like Leno and Conan and Letterman. I don't see where they've ever explicitly stated that they wouldn't do something like this. Sooner or later it happens to most every major artist, morals or not, see the Clash, Dylan, the Stooges, are Wilco above those bands/ artists? If you're worried about follwoing a abnd with strict ethics maybe Fugazi should be your favorite as they've outlined their principals regarding being a band since 1987, Wilco most certainly has never done so.

#10 guitman

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 08:22 AM

Don't forget -- being musicians and artists is their job. Call it selling out, call it making a buck, or whatever...they do what they do so they can put food on the table. What do you expect? Do you want them to give their music away for free so they can work the checkout line at the grocery store?

That being said, I don't expect you'll see any of the bandmates showing their house on MTV Cribs anytime soon. (Ok, is that last sentence even relevant? Is that show still on?)

Even Dylan did an ad for Victoria's Secret.

#11 Good Old Neon

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 08:22 AM

As someone who was reared in the punk community close to twenty years ago, let me say that what you're accusing Wilco of is ridiculous. This isn't akin to Jawbreaker signing to a major after years of publicly bashing them or Chumbawumba, an anarchist collective first and band second, writing a pop hit about drinking adventures. Wilco/ Tweedy has been on a major for thirteen or fourteen years, tickets are sold through ticketmaster, they appear on shows like Leno and Conan and Letterman. I don't see where they've ever explicitly stated that they wouldn't do something like this. Sooner or later it happens to most every major artist, morals or not, see the Clash, Dylan, the Stooges, are Wilco above those bands/ artists? If you're worried about follwoing a abnd with strict ethics maybe Fugazi should be your favorite as they've outlined their principals regarding being a band since 1987, Wilco most certainly has never done so.


Just curious – where are Jawbreaker and Chumbawamba today? Jawbreaker broke up shortly after signing – Chumbawamba have gone on to have their song become just one more – We Are The Champions – playing at a football stadium near you.

There is a grand canyon-sized difference between signing with a major label, and selling your song as a commercial advertisement.

#12 Scalzunfield

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 08:23 AM

No worries, you won’t be fighting me for tickets, but you will be competing with thousands of others who just love that song in that there commercial. They’ll be easy to spot, their lighters and cheers will go up as the first chords of “The Thanks I Get” float above the crowd.

The type of folk who consider music so much background noise.


Do you REALLY think that because "Is That The Thanks I Get?" is in a car commercial, it will "drive the kids mad" and send them running to the concert for that song?

I highly doubt it. It's not on an album and, from glancing at set lists on this tour, they're not even playing the damn song! Also, I notice that nowhere in the commercial does it even say "Wilco," at least, not in the version I saw on the computer.

If they're selling that song out there specifically to drive people to the shows, this strategy ain't gonna work.

Frankly, you come across as a cynic of the worst kind. As Greg pointed out in his post, bands like The Clash, Dylan, and the Stooges have all (in your words) sold out as have Zeppelin and other bands. I sincerely hope your record collection has none of those artists or any others who have songs in commercials.

I wouldn't want you coming across as a hypocrite.

#13 Good Old Neon

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 08:25 AM

Don't forget -- being musicians and artists is their job. Call it selling out, call it making a buck, or whatever...they do what they do so they can put food on the table. What do you expect? Do you want them to give their music away for free so they can work the checkout line at the grocery store?

That being said, I don't expect you'll see any of the bandmates showing their house on MTV Cribs anytime soon. (Ok, is that last sentence even relevant? Is that show still on?)

Even Dylan did an ad for Victoria's Secret.


Dylan is exactly my point – his politics now look somewhat ridiculous given that many of his best songs now adorn commercial advertisements.

And, I'm sure he needed the money. He must be living in squalor.

#14 Good Old Neon

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 08:29 AM

Do you REALLY think that because "Is That The Thanks I Get?" is in a car commercial, it will "drive the kids mad" and send them running to the concert for that song?

I highly doubt it. It's not on an album and, from glancing at set lists on this tour, they're not even playing the damn song! Also, I notice that nowhere in the commercial does it even say "Wilco," at least, not in the version I saw on the computer.

If they're selling that song out there specifically to drive people to the shows, this strategy ain't gonna work.

Frankly, you come across as a cynic of the worst kind. As Greg pointed out in his post, bands like The Clash, Dylan, and the Stooges have all (in your words) sold out as have Zeppelin and other bands. I sincerely hope your record collection has none of those artists or any others who have songs in commercials.

I wouldn't want you coming across as a hypocrite.


I DO really think that – the band certainly does – or why else sell the song to VW? Just because they thought it would make a fine soundtrack to a boring commercial? Do you think they felt so strongly about the commercials message that they just HAD to be involved in some way?

Or.

Do you think they did it for the exposure and the immediate financial gain?

I do own some of those albums, and I do skip over the songs that have lost their relevance or meaning do to overexposure.

#15 shabba rich

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 08:40 AM

Whether you chose to believe it or not – music matters – art matters – it means something, and in today’s world – it’s all we have left.


Yes, but art only matters if it has access to an audience. Wilco is a brilliant artist that nobody gets to hear on the radio. How can it not be a good thing to give people access to even just 30 seconds of a great artist, whom they wouldn't have access to otherwise? That's 30 seconds of extra joy they're bringing into the world, what artist wouldn't want to do that?

"Selling out" is when a mega-star sells a mega-hit to a sponsor, which is greedy and unnecessary from the exposure perspective, and the song gets gets spoiled by being driven down people's throats. When a little, relatively unknown band like Wilco does it, it's not selling out, it's buying into a platform that will get them heard.

Did the Fratelli's sell out when they sold "Flathead" to i-tunes? No, they brought a great piece of music to my attention, and my life has been that teeny bit better ever since.

#16 Scalzunfield

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 08:43 AM

I do own some of those albums, and I do skip over the songs that have lost their relevance or meaning do to overexposure.


I'm sorry. I just listen to music because I enjoy it. It doesn't necessarily sway me one way or the other if the song is used in a commercial. In fact, since 99% of what I like doesn't exactly qualify as mainstream, when I hear it in a commercial or during a ballgame, I smile. I'm happy that band is being recognized elsewhere besides in my home and my car.

Frankly, I see your argument. I think you're a little over-zealous with it and almost a bit extreme. On the other hand, they're musicians. It's what they're doing for a living. If you're told at work tomorrow they're gonna give you a raise because you've been doing great work for your company, are you going to turn it down? Hell no. It's the same reason ballplayers try to cash in on the big bucks after they have one good season: it could all be gone tomorrow. Make what you can today.

The thing is, I don't see this "changing" Wilco's music. They're still gonna make the album they want to make and they're on a label that lets them do so. Whether a car company makes an offer for the songs or not, I think that's still the bottom line.

#17 Good Old Neon

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 08:46 AM

Yes, but art only matters if it has access to an audience. Wilco is a brilliant artist that nobody gets to hear on the radio. How can it not be a good thing to give people access to even just 30 seconds of a great artist, whom they wouldn't have access to otherwise? That's 30 seconds of extra joy they're bringing into the world, what artist wouldn't want to do that?

"Selling out" is when a mega-star sells a mega-hit to a sponsor, which is greedy and unnecessary from the exposure perspective, and the song gets gets spoiled by being driven down people's throats. When a little, relatively unknown band like Wilco does it, it's not selling out, it's buying into a platform that will get them heard.

Did the Fratelli's sell out when they sold "Flathead" to i-tunes? No, they brought a great piece of music to my attention, and my life has been that teeny bit better ever since.


I might agree with you if Sky Blue Sky did not debut near the top of Billboards list – right up there near the top.

In fact, I find it more disturbing that a band with such a large fan base would choose to sell themselves for commercial usage. I could understand if they were a new band, just starting out, attempting to get their foot in the door. But they are not, not only do they have their foot firmly in the door – they’re standing in the dam room.

Folks who truly love music will seek out the good stuff, everyone else just purchases what they are told to purchase.

#18 tblair

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 08:48 AM

I think, to accuse a band that gives albums away before they're released, permits gigs to be recorded, webcasts for free shows on a regular basis, of selling out, is one of the most 'selfish', narrow minded things I've heard in a while....

#19 shabba rich

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 08:52 AM

In fact, I find it more disturbing that a band with such a large fan base would choose to sell themselves for commercial usage. I could understand if they were a new band, just starting out, attempting to get their foot in the door. But they are not, not only do they have their foot firmly in the door – they’re standing in the dam room.


Well in the room i'm standing in, I've heard Wilco maybe twice on the radio in my entire life. There's large fan bases, and then there's much larger fan bases of artists that get all the radio play.

#20 Atticus

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 08:58 AM

This was a crass, marketing decision.

Thank you Tony Margherita – such a shrewd marketer.

Wasting away in Margheritaville – on a nice big pile of salt.

I’m sure the band researched the company carefully to ensure that all their parts and labor are purchased from outside contractors who have their workers best interests in mind – and pay them accordingly - right down to the cigarette lighter – but probably not.

They should at least have the balls to add VW to their list of links on their website – maybe right up there on the front page – so we can see where the band really stands.

go and read of some of Jeff’s recent interviews, and then come back and tell me it doesn’t start to sound like so much bullshit in light their move to advertising.

Ugh….


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