Saturday, May 23, 2015

Bro-vice or Chicken Soup for the Bro's Mojo

You know how advice columns are all run by girls? Dear Abby, those others, and all the rest. Do any of them give advice from a bro's perspective? I don't know, that would require reading them. Instead I just assume that an idea that I have is cool and currently not a thing that actually exists and then full speed ahead.

So full speed ahead...

"Dude, how can I tell if that girl at the end of the bar is into me?"
Dude, she's TOTALLY into you.

"Dude, sometimes I just don't understand my girlfriend. How can I figure out what she's actually thinking?"
Dude, fuck if I know. Chicks are crazy, just send her some flowers.

"Dude, is this shit any good?"
Dude, this shit is awesome!

This edition of Bro-vice is sponsored by Axe Body Spray.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Song of the Day: "Renegades"

Once upon a time it wasn't cool to license your song for commercials. Songs like "Takin' Care of Business" in an Office Depot ad kinda make sense in that way that classic rock annoys me but also apparently has a place in the world.

When Whitney Houston appeared in a Diet Coke ad she was established as a great singer but not a songwriter, so I think she skated by on being a sell out for that. Ironically it would be regular coke that would be her downfall.

Michael Jackson, ostensibly a songwriter (Paul Anka might quibble with the relative efforts contributed by collaborators), helped break the stigma (oh, the stigma for commercials airing the US--American performers are shameless about appearing in commercials outside the US) with his... let's say $96 billion dollar deal with Pepsi in 1983 (DISCLAIMER: it wasn't $96 billion but I can't find one plain number and you can also look things up on the interwebz). Also his hair caught on fire. Later Neil Young would mock this era of the music business and win the MTV Video Music Award for Video of the Year even though MTV's advertiser's had them pull the video. Later advertisers would have the pull all videos and yet the Video Music Awards continue to this day.

Madonna outsmarted Pepsi by accepting $5 million to make a commercial. The commercial she made tied in very closely to her "Like a Prayer" song and video (which premiered the day after the commercial first aired [also the ONLY time it aired once Pepsi saw "Like a Prayer" which features, get this, a black dude pretending to be Jesus]) which she expected to create controversy. Unlike Whitney and Michael, she didn't sing about her beverage by name, and she got paid a lot of money for what amounts to a brilliantly devious publicity stunt for the Madonna brand.

But really, a black Jesus? Santa maybe, but Jesus?

Fast forward to whenever it was Apple introduced the iPod. MTV's shift away from play actual music videos in the 90s meant that America lost what passed for a national radio station/soundtrack. Apple used pre-up and coming artists like Propellerheads, the Ataris and Fatboy Slim and saturated television with these songs. When you combine this with the creation of radio station private label festivals (they're like Lollapalooza except the promotion station keeps all the money and the artists are paid through shameless overplaying of their music for months before and after... ever wonder why a mediocre band like Cake gets a lot of airplay despite having no new music of note from the last decade or so? They're booked at every fucking alternative radio station's day-long music fest. For reals). Invariably the iPod commercials I grew tired of hearing became the songs stations would overplay as a tie in to their day-long music festival. And that's why I stopped listening to radio.

And when I do listen to radio, I instantly change the station if an iPod commercial song comes on (yes, you, Jet).

So when I hear a new, not awful song used in a commercial, sometimes it's not the worst thing in the world. This is one of those songs. And Jeep has wisely used it again but not yet overused it. So good for them, showing restraint. Or something similar.

X-Ambassadors are a band. You know what, you also have the internet... look it up.

Song: "Renegades"
Artist: X-Ambassadors

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Song of the Day: "Turtles All the Way Down"

I credit J-Rod with introducing me to Sturgill. He's got a little Randy Travis, a little Dwight Yokum and a little Glenn Cambell in him, singing songs Nanci Griffith might have written.

You can see what I put this on my favorite 10 albums of 2014.

Song: "Turtles All the Way Down"
Artist: Sturgill Simpson