The 10 Best Uses of Pop Songs in Commercials

LxL_TopTenThursdays_02_900x300harry crane

Who watches commercials anymore?  I certainly don’t.  Unless it is a live sporting event, there is just no reason to subject yourself to them.  Luckily though, when we are a captive audience, there is once in awhile a commercial worth watching.  For the list this week, we decided to celebrate the return of Mad Men with a top ten list of pop songs used in commercials.  So, let’s celebrate Harry Crane’s commercial magic and delve right in.  As always, let us know what we missed.  Enjoy!

10. Volkswagen:  “Pink Moon” – Nick Drake

The vehicle in this commercial is the only thing remotely dated.  Nick Drake’s “Pink Moon” is a lovely accompaniment for the midnight drive portrayed throughout the beautifully filmed ad.
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Top Ten Thursday: Folk University – A Primer in Folk Music

folk music

Today, we are looking at the top ten folk artists of all time.  I think at the end of piecing this list together, none of us were particularly happy that some of our individual favorites didn’t make it.  But that’s what happens when three individuals make a list this comprehensive.  Setting that aside, let’s venture into the wonderful world of folk music through a little exercise I like to call Folk University – or Folk U.  Sorry about the bad pun, but I couldn’t help myself this time.

Folk music has a lot of definitions, so we tried to stick to artists that have a wealth of material that would widely be considered “folk music”.  This cut a couple borderline people out, but thus is the process of trying to form these lists.  Each of the next ten artists holds a special place in our heart for one reason or another.  Let us know who we left out, and who some of your favorite folkies are.  Enjoy!

10.  Nick Drake

nick drake

Nick Drake burned extremely bright for a few years before dying of a drug overdose. He remains mysterious in almost all ways except for his talent, highlighted by his breathy vocals and vocal style that Trey Anastasio has clearly taken a few cues from.

Folk U Mandatory Listening:  “One of These Things First”
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Iron & Wine Review: Ghost on Ghost

Iron & Wine

Ghost On Ghost

Iron and Wine Ghost on Ghost album cover art

Carolina-born former art school professor Sam Beam aka Iron & Wine started his music career over a decade ago making whispery Southern bedroom folk for all to enjoy being pegged as the modern-day Nick Drake, but since his first few albums, Beam has shape-shifted as well as any modern musician tagged with a label. On 2005’s Woman King EP, Beam picked up the pace a bit with a frantic bluegrass spirit that held it all together. The Shephard’s Dog followed, which I still believe to be his masterpiece, went in an astounding range of musical directions, from muddy blues to dub reggae to romantic calypso all held together by Beam’s beautiful voice and songwriting. Finally his last album, Kiss Each Other Clean found Beam turned from Nick Drake to Steely Dan: a polished, jazz-influenced soft rock sound that worked surprisingly well with his voice. Now, his latest, Ghost On Ghost, picks up where Kiss Each Other Clean left off but here, Beam takes the soft-rock smooth jazz sound to a new extreme which unfortunately smooths out some of the rough lo-fi edges that made his music so interesting in the first place.
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LxListening: Brand Spankin New

2012 New Singles

2012 is still fairly young, and there hasn’t been many great album releases yet, but there are a ton of great singles for upcoming albums coming out daily. The five songs below are from a mix of emerging artists and reliable mainstays, but all are worth your time.
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