In which I admit to being a l4m3r

How lame am I? So lame, apparently, that I now discover gorgeous pop music primarily from…television commercials. This is admittedly some kind of new nadir for hipness, beyond even the feared Hilfiger threshold; nevertheless, I defy you to find any of the following anything less than thoroughly charming:

Brazilian Girls, “Lazy Lover” (Axe Body Wash, a product I devoutly hope is neither purchased nor used by anyone within two degrees of separation of me.)
The Icicles, “Sugar Sweet” (Motorola)
Joy Zipper, “Go Tell The World” (Nike)
The Speedies, “Let Me Take Your Photo” (HP)
Stereolab, “OLV 26” (can’t remember, sorry)

This doesn’t even count the times I’ve heard the increasingly ubiquitous Goldfrapp turn up on the soundtrack, let alone utter anomalies like hearing Mark E. Smith-uh shilling for Nissan (the uncompromising and curiously apropos “Blindness”). About all I can deduce from the above is that, for those of us d’un certain age, McCann, Grey and their ilk are likely to function better than Pitchfork as a means of discovering new music. Sigh.

6 responses to “In which I admit to being a l4m3r”

  1. Enrique Ramirez says :

    It works the other way as well .. sometimes I hear songs I love being culled for commercial purposes. For example, I remember in the late 90s, hearing minutemen’s D’s Car Jam on a Volvo Commercial.

    But I have made many purchases in the past based on snippets I heard on TV commercials. Back in 2001, for example, I heard an Ivy song in an Izuzu commercial. At the time, I had no idea who it was, and I was like, “Man, who wrote that song?

    Back in 1989, I went to the River Oaks theatre in Houston to watch Claire Denis’ Chocolat. And I heard this song in the movie that I really wanted to own. Several months later, during my freshman year at Northwestern, I would listen religiously to WNUR’s jazz show in the morning. I kept hearing this song that began with high-hat and bass, but always dozed off before I could hear the artists’ name.

    That Christmas break, I went to a Sound Warehouse in downtown Houston, and saw the Chocolat soundtrack. I remembered liking the soundtrack, and bought it. I went home, heard the first track. And then the second track began: it was a hurried duo with a high-hat and arpeggiated double bass. And then the horns came in … it was that song I heard on WNUR … I could not believe I found it.

    The song? African Market by the wonderful Abdullah Ibrahim (AKA Dollar Brand)

  2. Jamie says :

    Enrique, I had an uncannily similar experience with that particular track by Dollar Brand.

    I heard it once during the early 1980s on a late-night jazz program on a college radio station (probably out of Columbia U.); jotted down the almost uselessly scanty information provided by the DJ as to the source; discovered that the recording’s arrangement and melody somehow seemed instantly, indelibly implanted into my brain’s wiring; and sought for years to identify and obtain the record, with success only years later.

    As you probably know, the entirety of DB’s 1980 album of the same title is fantastic and almost as addictive.

  3. speedbird says :

    (You realize that I am now impatiently scouring the P2P nets for African Market.)

  4. eric shinn says :

    Adam, please forgive my ignorance. When I moved back to the states (L.A. from Tokyo), I picked up some Axe body wash. Why? The container was different, black, I’d never heard of it before and I needed to buy something. It didn’t turn out to be so great so I bought something else a few days later but kept it as back up.

    2 months go by: I find Axe commercial on tv.
    30 seconds go by: I find Axe product in bathroom.
    1.67 seconds go by: I find Glad product lining bin.
    …end of story.

    Just for the curious: The answer is ‘no’. I was never tackled by scantily clad mud-wrestling women. End of digression.

    I completely know the feeling: bobbing your head, likely, to a commercial rather than seeing it on an Mtv “buzz-clip” as back in the day. But it’s…

    *wow this hole’s getting deep*

    It’s not like ad agencies were anything of a debut platform for anything other than royalty-free jingles in the 20th century. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe they did have the Polaroid Swinger released on vinyl or 8-track.

  5. eric shinn says :

    And I’d just like to add that I shake my fist at you for bringing back the memory of said consumer product. :[

  6. speedbird says :


    I forgot one, BTW: The Concretes’ gorgeous “Say Something New” (which I first discovered via Target’s advertising). This dreamy Swedish unit sounds like Hope Sandoval fronting the Velvets circa ’65 – and that, my friends, is tasty indeed.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s