Monday, June 15, 2009

Leaving The Lights Off

So, here we are, another Monday morning. It's 9:30 and already blisteringly hot out in this Florida weather. There's something like 200 football players here on the fields down from me and a ton of people just milling about. Way hot for that jazz, I'm working in a nice air conditioned office. Well seeing as it's Monday, that means another weekend down with time spent finding out about sweet music. And I definitely spent some time listening to stuff this weekend. And creating! My personal band spent some time recording a pretty hilarious Taylor Swift "Love Story" cover. But I'm pretty sure it's not ready for the public ha.
Anyway after an interesting conversation with a man at Radio Shack on why cables were being colored hot pink (and how some men have to deal with their sexuality and wear it sometimes..or something) I bought a 1/8"-1/8" cable and hooked up my computer to a Sirius boombox. Man, feeling like I'm in the 90's but bumpin' great tunes pretty much rocks. (speaking of which, I saw a kid walking with a Macbook on his shoulder blaring music a few weeks ago, now this could be because of how horrible the speakers in those things are, OR he could be re-inventing the boombox in post-2000 hipster style. Either way, hat-tip, Sir.) So, what I'm getting at here is that I blared music all weekend long and it was great. But the most interesting thing I heard this weekend was presented by the ever hip JOSIAH on SiriusXMU. It seems that Vampire Weekend's Rostam Batmanglij and Ra Ra Riot singer Wes Miles have taken both their taste for 808 beats and electronics and collaborated for a summer project called Discovery. Discovery has a record due on July, 7th called LP. I don't think much of their music has hit yet. They've got two songs up on their Myspace. But their song Orange Shirt is available for free download here. Or you can just listen to it here as of course I'll put it up for your ear's enjoyment.
Discovery - Orange Shirt

Alright, well onto the meat of this blog post. Tyce and I have been semi-arguing about something for the past few days. It all started when Tyce saw the new Bacardi commercial that features the awesome Matt and Kim's single; Daylight. Here's the commercial

So yeah that spurred interest in the idea that indie as a whole might be beginning to become "sold out". Now in music, as I'm sure you know, hearing the words "selling out" are as frightening as hearing a gorilla is running around with a bazooka. It's just not something you want to hear. Now, I know Ra Ra Riot had a song featured in a commercial a few months ago, and I'm pretty sure Modest Mouse was in a commercial a while ago. To perpetuate this a little, while in the mall on Saturday I heard our recently blogged about Does It Offend You, Yeah? blaring from Aeropostale. Now that struck me as odd seeing as that store has, as of late, started to carry clothing only 9 year olds can appreciate.
So that leads me to a hypothesis on this. I mentioned this to Tyce the other night and I've been thinking about it a little more so here I present this to you. I don't think that indie music is selling out. I think that companies and more"mainstream people" are being turned on to the music like what we blog about on here because they (the companies) have realized what a large sector of people there are that live in this "hipster realm". And due to this realization, I think that "hipsters" are being hired to find music for commercials, and stores and etc. This in-turn pulls in people, like myself, who hear DIOYY? and stop outside the store (before remembering it's Aeropostale) or it pulls in a new group of people who listen to Matt and Kim and now drink Bacardi because they heard "their" band on the commercial. And yeah, it does suck to hear the music we've all been listening to for a while hit the mainstream (somewhat) because it's amazingly fun to have our own quiet culture, but I really stand by my little American consumerism hypothesis that these companies are reaching out to this quiet culture of people. I mean we know Mcdonalds could care less, I don't even understand what they're trying to appeal to with their rap-esque break dancing adds? So, I say at least our boys and girls who have been working hard are getting a little publicity, right? And if this is true, then maybe it means we can be guaranteed jobs when these places realize that they need some good music. Maybe American mainstream is taking a turn towards better taste?
Then again, maybe our bands really are just selling out and buying Ferraris with the money their making. Whoa, wait. That was tough to say. Truthfully, I think that it's almost inherently impossible for a true "indie" band to sell out. I don't think Modest Mouse or Vampire Weekend started playing music for the express purpose of becoming rich and famous and hearing themselves all over. Maybe I'm speaking a little from experience here as well. I've played on the radio, made a little money, and had some fun drumming with my band, but we never planned for any of it. It just kind of happens. And if a car company came to us saying "hey your song really rocks, I want to put it in a commercial for my XXXXXX" We'd probably be overly excited. That would rock. Anyway That's my side of the argument. I believe Tyce, who is most likely going to shame me will weigh in on this later on but yeah. Check out that song Orange Shirt and why don't you reply here and let me know what you think!
I wanted to leave you with one song I found last week from N.A.S.A. I believe these guys are from Brazil, and they have a sweet sound. Here's the video for Gifted featuring Kanye/Santogold/ and the amazing Lykke Li. Such a great line up!


  1. For me the worst ad sellout was Band of Horses' "The Funeral" on a damn Ford commercial. Oh it was funeral all right.

  2. Man, Haven't heard that one..I'll have to give it a look up. Thanks for the comment man! I hope ya keep em coming