30 May 2007

Our country, but your stupid song

Non-conformist musician Dan Bern, best known for his great song "Tiger Woods," has recently come out criticizing musicians who sell their songs to companies for commercial use. That's nothing new, of course, as Neil Young scored a minor hit with "This Note's for You," a song based on the same principle.

But what's interesting, to me, is that Bern says that when Mellencamp sells "Our Country" to peddlers of pickup trucks, it not only cheapens the song, it cheapens music in general.

He told McClatchy reporter Len Righi: "It's just about the notion that when people see these songs -- the ones they've given their hearts to, given a special place in their lives -- see that same recording used to trick them to buy some vehicle, or sugar water or whatever. What does that do to the psyche the next time a good song comes along? ... You're compromising the (music) form itself and the connection between listener and performer. If you're the listener, it's like you fell in love with somebody who has eight (spouses) in four different states."

Of course, the flip side is, look at how many people discovered Nick Drake because of the "Pink Moon" Volkswagen commercial. And, of course, the flip side to the flip side is, a car commercial also made Sting's "Brand New Day" album a hit. Ugh. Now I hate Sting and Jaguars.

(Oh yeah, go track down that "Tiger Woods" song.)


Shannon said...

If history proves correct, we'll be listening to that damned Mellencamp song for years and years ala Seger's "Like a Rock"...Of course, maybe the drummer from Kansas should check out the Seger song.

Brad Barnes said...

Lyrics aside, I think that song might've caused the drummer's problem.

stingfornolte said...

"I hate Sting" - may be able to help you there.

Try this as therapy...


HumourJunkie said...

Hey, that site is great, pretty random but most amusing! I'm going to have a go at entering the competition.

confused said...

I had a look at the site and although it is very funny and imaginative I can't seem to find the competition?!