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Friday, March 25, 2005

Commercial Music Redux

The realization that Jay-Z's S. Carter collection, the name of his shoes, are the "S dot tennis shoes" from Flip Flop Rock makes me want to get them, in addition to the Gucci flip flops the song also describes. Which one is more expensive?

Anyway, I've continued thinking about music in commercials being good. Why has this happened recently? I thought of three possible reasons:

a) Marketers everywhere suddenly realized that bad music sucks, and good music makes people buy things.
b) I've gotten much more tolerant of music in my old age.
c) There's more good music out there these days.

They might be true to some extent, but the fourth, real, reason hit me today: I am their target. I am a male ages 18-35. I have the most potential disposable income to spend on whatever it is they're advertising. Since I am the driver of the capitalist economy, I am cool. Video games were uncool when I was a kid. But kids played them. They are now cool. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs doing the soundtrack for a shoe commercial? I'm theoretically down with that. That iPod commercial with the cool song? It knows that one day soon, I might have the money to purchase an iPod, and that song being stuck in my head - and now, on my computer - and known to me as an iPod commercial song will keep the iPod in my thoughts.

It's kind of cool to know that my (potential) funds are driving the culture of the country. Part of me wants to reject it, though. Wouldn't it be better if everyone suddenly got good taste in music? But I know that can't be true. There is no real "good" in aesthetics. I've become cool only by default. In 10 years, I'll be playing retro video games nobody's heard of or cares about, and listening to 99.5 - your classic indie rock station! and complaining about how there's no good new music around these days.

As ever, I blame capitalism.
- Rowan Kaiser, 5:16 AM
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