Saturday, September 22, 2007

Saturday Morning McArdle: "Music! Wiki! And Lazy!"

MCardle finally got off her ass, deleted a few comments on the Jena 6 boards, and got down to the hard business of having no real opinion.

I've now listened to the new Beirut album four times, and it's disappointing. Not bad, exactly, just . . . fine. The sound's evolving, which is always interesting, but the direction in which it's evolving isn't, very. I'm all for more listenable style--I have too many albums right now that I can't really listen to at work, because it's too distracting--but somehow, it doesn't quite make it. If after four plays nothing's leaped out at me, it seems rather likely that nothing will.

"Actually, I've been dissuaded from listening to music at work by my colleague Marc Ambinder, who threatened to catapult poo into my cubicle if I played Tegan & Sara again."

On an unrelated note, I listened to Hem's Rabbit Songs for the first time in months, which was a great album.

"I'd be mightily entertained if someone challenged my claim that these sequential musings on bands I enjoy are unrelated. It seems clear to me that, given that one band is named Beirut and the other band is named Hem, with one being slightly better than the other, these notes are entirely unrelated. But soft."

And as I was listening to "Half Acre", it suddenly occurred to me that I've listened to a lot of hard-core copyright advocates complaining that "fair use" might let someone ruin a song by, for example, turning the Ride of the Valkyries into a laxative commercial. How come none of these sensitive-eared music lovers get upset when bands ruin their own songs by, say, licensing them to egregiously overplayed insurance commercials?

Those sensitive music lovers probably aren't in your orbit, Megan. If they do number among your friends, they keep their feelings to themselves, with good reason:

Obviously, I'm a libertarian; I think the latter should be legal. But can't we at least make fun of them, hard?

"Hmmm. I wonder if there's anything on Wikipedia about..."

The truly shocking news is that Wikipedia claims the insurance commercial gave Hem a boost. It couldn't have happened to a nicer band, of course, but do people really buy music off commercials?

"Of course, Wikipedia entries should be taken with a healthy dose of skepticism, as I've maintained all along."

Cue McArdle's commenters, who have indeed purchased music licensed to commercial advertisments. With a bit more research, McArdle might even have located Adtunes, a site devoted to charting the use of new music in advertising and the effect such use has on music sales. To wit:

Responding to "popular demand" for the previously unreleased Chevy Cobalt song, Lily Frost's Aporia Records label has released a compilation album of her session songs called Flights of Fancy, with the Chevy ad song "The Two of Us" included as a hidden track on the release.

Man, Wagner's Walk├╝renritt is such a great song.


Anonymous said...

I'm probably not the first to say this, but this much vitriol about one person who, let's face it, is not that terribly important in the grand scheme of things, seems more than a little pathetic and stalker-ish.

Adam Eli Clem said...

Oh, hi there, Jim. We've heard it before, phrased in nearly identical ways. Is there a form?

Anonymous said...

Possibly, but not that I'm aware of.

This reminds me of the old joke about the person that repeatedly marries and divorces. After doing this many times they start to think, "Maybe it's me."

Anyway, it's your life, so do what you gotta do.

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