Sunday, August 26, 2007

Car Tunes

There was a time when I discovered new music by listening to the radio. That time was about 30 years ago. Now I watch TV, particularly car commercials. I hate it when classic songs are used in ads (who wants to associate Led Zepplin with Cadillac, or Iggy Pop with some tacky cruiseline?). But I love it when I hear a great, obscure song and I can pull up Ad Tunes and find out what it is.

Some great ones over the past few years:

"Pink Moon" by Nick Drake (VW Cabriolet)
"Struggle" by Ringside (Dodge)
"Here Comes the Sun Again" by M. Ward (Cadillac... believe it or not)
"Ladyshave" by Paul Oakenfold (Mitsubishi)
"You Only Get What You Give" by The New Radicals (also Mitsubishi)
"Days Go By" by Dirty Vegas (Mitsubishi again... they're good at picking music)

And VW has apparently contracted with Wilco for their entire new album, "Sky Blue Sky".

While car commercials have been a musical goldmine for me, there are other ads that have driven me to download as well:

The Geico caveman on the moving sidewalk is serenaded by a Norwegian group called Royksopp, to the tune "Remind Me". I dare you to get that one out of your head.

Korbel champagne grabbed Bitter:Sweet's "The Mating Game" (which I also associate with Sara Ramirez's character, dancing in her underwear on Grey's Anatomy, another terrific source of new music)

"The W.A.N.D" by Flaming Lips (Dell ... ew... )

"All Will Be Well" by the Gabe Dixon Band. It was used on a promo for some very short-lived tv show about young lawyers. I don't remember the show, but I'm enternally grateful for finding the song.

Grey's Anatomy, as previously mentioned, is a great source of music (I've discovered Joe Purdy, Mat Kearny, The Ditty Bops, and Kate Havenvik there) as is "Six Feet Under" ("Breathe Me" by Sia, and various tunes by Jet, are standouts) and "Nip/Tuck" (who can forget Christian Troy caring for his little boy to Rufus Wainwright's "Vibrate". Or the season finale that ended with Art Garfunkel's "That's All I Know"?)

According to my daughter, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Veronica Mars are also musical treasure troves.

Who needs a radio when you've got TV?

**Edited to add that yesterday, while watching The Golf Channel, they prefaced showing the current leaderboard by identifying the background music as songs from the new album by the Arctic Monkeys! To quote Jackie Gleason in "Smokey and the Bandit", "What is this WOYLD comin' to?"