Monday, December 7, 2009


Used to be, if your song appeared in a commercial then you were called a sellout. These days it's a common practice for smaller bands, and as frequent guest writer, Kendra Rubinfeld, argues, a viable way to hear new music.

As I do not often read Pitchfork, Spin, or Rollingstones, most of my "new music" info comes from TV commercials, as I watch plenty of those. I know what you are thinking. By the time a band sells their song to a company, they are no longer "new," and are definitely not underground, however, for people like me, there is no denying this is how many bands get their popular start. For this reason, I take a look at songs, and therefore bands, that have made it thanks to our country's love of capitalism.

#5. Justin Timberlake-"I'm Lovin' It"

Perhaps by the time this song came out, Justin Timberlake was already quite popular, but I figured I would give it a mention just to give you another reason not to like him. Didn't realize this was a JT song? Check it out. I'm not lovin' it.

#4. Of Montreal- "Wraith Pined to the Mist"

Many of you may recognize this catchy jingle as being Of Montreal's fantastic song "Wraith Pined to the Mist." If you don't, you may want to check this out. Let's pretend the jingle doesn't exist.

#3. Air- "Surfing on a Rocket"

I couldn't find this commercial anywhere on the intertubes, however this French band didn't hit my frame of reference until its presence on Nissan's Armada commercial back in 2005. I didn't get the car, but I did listen to the CD in my car. Thanks, Nissan.

#2. Yael Naim- "New Soul"

Remember this one? Not only did the thinness of the Macbook blow our minds, Israeli singer/songwriter, Yael Naim's cheerfully depressing song did as well.

#1. Nick Drake- "Pink Moon"

Usually when an artist dies is when they get popular. It's not quite as often that they die, then get their song played on a major car commercial and then get famous. Poor Nick Drake.

BONUS ROUND: AT&T "You Will" Ads

Although I have no idea who composed the score for this commercial, while on the topic of commercials I thought I would ask...does anyone remember these? I remember being a child in awe of the future technology being promised me. Looking at them now gives me the chills. They were a little off on the need to have a video screen at phone booths, however. When was last time you saw one of those?


  1. Hey, good eye, you're totally right on this one. I "discovered" a great band and it was because of a car commercial. The band Phoenix, they're from France (I think) and I heard that car song on satellite radio and it was amazing. Great band, I used to lose respect for bands that did that, but now I don't blame them because half of these bands don't own their own music anyway.

  2. Couldn't agree more, and I think Kendra meant to write something about Phoenix actually but Grad school called. My assessment is that these days it's only selling out if your shelling for someone evil, like an oil company or something.

  3. AT&T really wasn't that far off. Sure, the video screen isn't in phone booths (because phone booths hardly exist), but we do have skype!

  4. Anonymous8/12/09 16:53

    AT&T wins for best commercial ever!!!!!!!!

    JT wins for worst.