There's a post on Everett True's Collapse Board about the destruction of indie rock's core values in relation to accepting the commercial buck. As this week's top track comes from a corporately run project it seems like a good time to take a look at this and perhaps offer a riposte.
The crux of the argument on Collapse Board is thus:
“The idea that a person should not allow a song to be used in a commercial comes from the unwritten rule that to do so would be to help move product, to debase the idea of Art, and to reduce your song to a mere jingle.”
Whilst this is a fair argument for the most part, it ignores completely that selling music commercially reduces the songs to “mere jingles” to sell physical/digital albums, t-shirts and gig tickets. To take this side of the argument already refuses to see popular culture as art by the fact that it exists in a capitalist society. This argument also sees the manipulation process one way. It refuses to see the sought-after music in a position of power and gives the artist no capacity for free will. It refutes the power it claims art can have.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that corporations are a force for good on this earth. But they have budgets that they're willing to throw at the counterculture, and there's critics saying we should turn this down. If not us then they'll give the cash to Ke$ha, who'll barely notice it. Why not let our bands take it so that they can eat well and record the music that they want to.
This brings us on to the Track of the Week itself. A newbie from the excellent Best Coast – that's been recorded for a Singles Project from US TV channel Adult Swim. The sponsorship comes from some sort of car (although I forget what) and is responsible for this song being recorded. It's a great song, and I'm thoroughly glad that it exists. It pushes Best Coast's sound into a more sophisticated direction (sounding at once like the most carefree of summers and the magical of Christmases) whilst slotting in nicely with what they achieved on Crazy For You.
Also, it's a free download. Yes, the corporate money means that you get a great new song from a fantastic band. So in the future, let's make our bands not take the corporate money and we can sit there without new songs, fully paid for by someone else whilst some vacuous pop star earns more cash.
Yeah, that'll show them.
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