[Photo illustration: John Kuczala. Courtesy of Advertising Age.]
We'll spare you our soapbox diatribe about music artists selling out but we couldn't read the following comment in Charles Moran's "Indie Act Seeks Backup Brand: In Today's World, 'Selling Out' Is the Only Way to Cash In" on Advertising Age's website, and let it pass:
"They make music essentially as a promotional tool to make sure you want to dress like them and smell like them." - Technology and market analyst James McQuivey, author of The End of the Music Industry as We Know It
Granted, Mr. McQuivey was referring to the likes of Beyonce and Fergie, for whom music is seemingly more and more equivalent to the prize in the Cracker Jack box of clothing and fragrance deals held by those of their ilk, not indie rockers. But who's to say this sort of product placement, branding, corporate tie-ins, or whatever the fuck these pencil-pushing assholes call it, is not far behind for denizens of the Matador or Sub Pop labels. After all, it's not just managers, business managers, lawyers, accountants, and publicists anymore: these days, artists are also hiring so-called branding consultants to help them navigate the shark-infested waters of commerical endorsements and music for ad placement. How sad.