Monday, October 1, 2007

musical monday: commercials

One thing about indie music is that it's cheap. That means that lots of companies are willing to pay the cheaper prices to use indie music in their commercials. And -- though I hate to admit it -- I kind of enjoy hearing great new music that way. So today's post is about some of the great music I've gotten to know from commercials in the last year or so.

Ingrid Michaelson: The Way I Am This is being used currently in an Old Navy commercial ("If you are chilly, here, take my sweater"). I love Michaelson's vocals, with the light but commanding tone of her voice. Can't get enough of it.
  • visit Ingrid Michaelson's website, where you can watch a YouTube video of her performing "The Way I Am" on Carson Daly's show and read the lyrics to the song

Feist: 1234 This is the song being featured in the Apple commercial for the new iPod nano with video (and, according to Wikipedia, in many other commercials). Though I don't love this song (I would rate it 4 out of 5 stars), it always reminds me of Feist's most familiar song, "Mushaboom," which I do love (5 of 5). Feist -- who also performs with Broken Social Scene -- has an ethereal, almost dream-like sound, and her lyrics always evoke for me early 20th-century domestic scenes. Maybe that's just me. "Mushaboom" was apparently quite a hit in the indie world, though, and several other artists have covered it (inlcuding the Postal Service).

Shiny Toy Guns: Le Disko I had already downloaded and fallen in love with this song (offered for free on iTunes) when I heard it used in some commercials for the TV show So You Think You Can Dance? and then, later, for Motorola's fancy-shmancy Razr2 V8 cell phone.

Iron & Wine: Such Great Heights I discovered this song when it was used in an M&Ms commercial, about a year ago. It stuck in my head, even though I didn't know it, and I loved the lyrics (the little of them I could hear in the commercial). So I had to Google it and find out what it was. As it turns out, Iron & Wine's version was a cover of a Postal Service song, and I prefer the original these days. Mostly, though, I love the lyrics in this song: "I'm thinking it's a sign that the freckles in our eyes are mirror images and when we kiss they're perfectly aligned; and I have to speculate that God himself did make us into corresponding shapes like puzzle pieces from the clay." They're great!
  • visit Iron & Wine's website -- which frankly doesn't have anything that great; well, OK, you can launch a music player, but it only has three songs (none of which are "Such Great Heights")

  • visit The Postal Service's website, where you can download "Such Great Heights" (go to Downloads in the menu) and check out the Such Great Heights EP, which inlcudes Iron & Wine's cover (Discography in the menu)

Of Montreal: Wraith Pinned to the Mist and Other Games I haven't actually heard this song in a commercial itself, but when I first listened to it as an IndieFeed podcast, I found that I couldn't give it a fair chance because the tune is used in Outback Steakhouse commercials these days -- and annoys the crap out of me. I also don't much care for the rest of Of Montreal's music and mostly just find them weird.

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