Line Out: Music & Nightlife

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I'm sorry, but this post bums me out a little. "Mountain Dew's music website"? Really? Guh.

Lately, I've been trying hard to omit brands from my posts on this blog—referring to mp3 players, when everyone knows which ubiquitous device I'm talking about, for instance. But then David Foster Wallace died, and in reading about him in the days following, I saw something about his relationship to brand entities in his writing. For him, these brands were just part of a realistic modern landscape—to omit them would be deceitful. He argued, not unconvincingly, that people today were somewhat inoculated or at least desensitized to the omnipresence of advertising.

So what to do when a band releases an mp3 via a sugar water corporation's website? Ignore the release until it comes through less compromised channels? Post it while shit-talking the corporate entity and/or bands involved ? Just post it as is and let the ad-savvy reader take what they can from the corporation while ignoring what they don't want? (These are not rhetorical questions.)

Obviously, this isn't black and white. Music writing is, by its very nature, about certain products—albums and concerts, mostly—and of course there are corporations involved on some levels. I just hate to see unrelated prodcuts piggybacking their way into our otherwise rarified critical discourse; no doubt I'd be just as pissed if I subscribed to a blog about soda pop and found myself reading about Matt & Kim there.

Posted by Eric Grandy | September 23, 2008 12:03 PM

It’s a good song—I liked it and I wanted to share it. The only place to get it (right now) is via that website, which happens to be sponsored by Mountain Dew. I could’ve omitted that information in the post, but why? At least by saying it is, in fact, tied to sugar water, people know what they’re “supporting” when they click the link. If someone is so insulted by the idea of a soda company hosting the song, then they could easily steer clear or try to find it via another outlet.

Posted by Megan Seling | September 23, 2008 1:09 PM

Of course posting a link to mountain dew's music campaign without identifying it as such would be even worse; I wasn't advocating for that.

Posted by Eric Grandy | September 23, 2008 1:16 PM

It occurs to me that perhaps I'm being so vigilant against product placemnt that I'm not even expressing my actual opinions about brands I may like. Because, let's face it, the Expedit bookshelf is a perfect, record-sized bookshelf in a world sorely lacking such things. And I like my ipod.

Posted by Eric Grandy | September 23, 2008 2:05 PM

Wait ... don't you guys post stuff *and* simultaneously shit-talk, like, all the time?

Frankly, I appreciated Megan mentioning the brand without resorting to snark.

(PS After about 10 seconds of additional thought, I guess the shit-talk is really more of a Slog thing than a Line Out thing. But still...)

Posted by huh? | September 23, 2008 7:13 PM

Oh please. Protect the poor corporations from blog snark.

Posted by Eric Grandy | September 24, 2008 10:05 AM

The lack of snark isn't for the "poor corporations" sake. It's for the readers (and myself, actually), who might want to be spared reading a probably-not-that-clever snarky comment from me, aimed at an obvious target.

The post is about the song, the focus is on the song. Not the corporation who offered up the song. I could've pointed fingers at Mountain Dew and called them evil sugar water suppliers and said some smart ass comment about them piggybacking the DIY music scene, but I didn't want to. I wanted to post about the song.

Posted by Megan Seling | September 24, 2008 10:47 AM

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