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.
Continue reading “The 10 Best Uses of Pop Songs in Commercials”
The rogue western figure has been making its way back into pop culture recently, not only with musicians like country artists like Jamey Johnson and Kacey Musgraves, but also in television and movies, most notably with the Elmore Leonard (RIP) adapted FX series Justified. Between Justified’s season finale Tuesday night and the Archer season surrounding Cherlene turning into an outlaw country star (“OUTLAW COUNTRY!”), here are our 10 favorite country outlaws.
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We caught up with Taylor Goldsmith, front man of the Americana L.A. band Dawes, post-Bonnaroo to discuss playing with legends like Robbie Robertson and Jackson Browne, songwriting, Occupy Wall Street, and going head-to-head with Ludacris.
LxL: Bonnaroo was my first time seeing you, and I was able to catch part of both your sets. I thought you guys sounded great, but my real question about the show is what was it like going head-to-head with Ludacris?
Taylor Goldsmith: (laughs) That was actually sort of a relief. Not that he is not incredible, but we were more worried about playing at the same time as a similar artist who we might share fans with. At Hangout Fest, we played at the same time as M. Ward. We have played a bunch of shows together and we are all buddies at this point. So we thought “Ahh that is inconvenient” where as someone like Ludacris, with all the people he is playing to, which I am certain was a much larger crowd than ours, I doubt they would want to see Dawes anyway even if Luda wasn’t playing.
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After the painful experience of reviewing Neil Young’s new cover album, Americana, we decided to go back to some of our old favorites, and create a list of the top ten cover albums. It was surprisingly difficult to find a comprehensive list of cover albums that have even been released, so I am certain we are missing a couple of classics, but also was very happy with strength of the list we came up with. Another couple items of note is that the album needed to be 75% covers to be considered and a lot of 1950’s and 60’s albums were not considered. A lot of early Beatles, Rolling Stones, etc. albums were comprised mostly of covers because that’s just the way the music business was run back then. Somebody would have a minor hit, then ten artists would cover it to bandwagon and try to copy its success.
So what makes a great cover album? There are a lot of opinions on that, but we firmly believe it is not enough to simply mimic already great songs. What we like to see is an artist keep the feeling of the original but substantially change the arrangement. Also great is when an artist manages to rescue a song from obscurity and make it completely their own. There is not absolute formula to a great cover song or album, but as with most of our list the following selections hit us the hardest. On to the list.
10. David Bowie – Pin Ups
Bowie’s lat album with The Spiders from Mars was a tribute album to some of his favorite tracks from the 60’s. Pin Ups contains classic songs from The Who, a lesser known track from Pink Floyd’s most underrated era, a Kinks track for the ages, and some lesser-known bands that I probably would have never been turned onto otherwise such as The Pretty Things and The Easy Beats. All of these things fused with the Bowie twist means it is a sure-fire instant eargasm.
Continue reading “Top Ten Thursday: Best Covers Albums”