There's a theory circulating among culture pundit that the way bands become commercially successful these days is no longer via radio play or touring, but ad placements. There's some truth to the idea. Turn on the tube and wait for a commercial break, and you're bound to hear a hot new indie band or two being used to plug a Kia or Target superstore. In fact, music from every act nominated for a Grammy in the "Best Alternative Rock Album" category appeared in a commercial hawking something in 2010.
Typically, ad folks will pull just a catchy tune from a band's catalog to suit their Don Draper-esque needs. But what if companies commissioned bands specifically to write, or rework an existing jingle?
Coffee giant Folgers recently put out a call for musicians to rework their well-known jingle for a chance at $25K and an appearance in a Folgers commercial. Rutland indie-folk outfit Split Tongue Crow answered the bell. Here's their entry:
Ignoring the most obvious question — which is of course, "Why?" — here's a vid from the kids at the Ben & Jerry's flagship scoop shop on Church Street. It's a, um, tasty send-up of Lonely Island's "I'm On A Boat."
What's crackin', Solid State? I trust you're all enjoying yet another edition of Jazz Fest.
Speaking of which, I caught two pretty killer shows over the weekend. I dig into both shows a little bit in tomorrow's column, but the Parker Shper-led yoUSAy Placate at Radio Bean on Friday with local sax colossus Bryan McNamara sitting in was absolutely scorching. If you've yet to catch them, I'd recommend it if only to witness the sheer awesomeness that is drummer Phil Melanson. Holy hell, that guy is good.
Saturday, I dropped by the alley at American Flatbread for an early evening set by Anna Pardenik and the Holy Smoke-Off, who might just be my current favorite local band. For the uninitiated, the group is kind of a pared down spin-off of the rambling Vermont Joy Parade that made the rounds at Bonnaroo last year. AP&HSO boast a similar vagabond aesthetic and mix vintage jazz tunes with Pardenik's own indie folk(ish) originals. Also, they have a musical saw. (BTW, I'd forgotten how much fun it is to see music at Flatbread. That alley is really cozy. And as a friend pointed out, the stage kinda looks like it belongs in a nativity scene. Nifty.)
Anyway, here's some random stuff for your Tuesday afternoon:
The big news of the day is of course that Grace Potter & the Nocturnals are playing a free show, not on a rooftop, but on the Church Street Marketplace at 5:30 p.m. to celebrate the release of their new self-titled album, which comes out today. Say what you will about GPN — and I have — but giving a free outdoor concert in your hometown is still a pretty swell thing to do for your fans.
Less swell is how Yeasayer's recent free show at Governor's Island in NYC went. Apparently, the unprecedented deluge of hipsters descending upon the ferry to the island evolved into the seventh circle of hell, leaving those who made it stranded on the island, and thousands who didn't stuck on the shore. On the plus side, it led to this hilarious blog post from Village Voice music ed Rob Harvilla, which chronicles the experience via random Twitter posts.
There hasn't been much written about the eTown Radio Show at the Flynn MainStage tomorrow, which seems odd given that the lineup features Anaïs Mitchell, Allison Moorer and Steve friggin' Earle. In fact, I had a recent email exchange with a pretty savvy local musician who had no idea Earle was even coming to town. In part, I imagine that's because the show's organizers scheduled it smack in the middle of Jazz Fest, making it easy for local press to overlook. Also, I haven't been able to touch the show, press-wise, because my brother, Tyler, is in the house band. Something about conflict of interest. Whatever. I'm pretty sure Ty gets paid the same whether anyone shows up or not. And really, this is all just an opportunity for me to remind you that I interviewed Earle last year. Moving on …
BTW, if there's time after the eTown show, I plan to stop by Manhattan Pizza to catch The Persian Claws, The Fatal Flaws, and these guys:
Last but not least, here's a shameless plug for a 7D sponsored event, also on Wednesday: The Cooler at the Firehouse Plaza at 6 p.m. The cocktail party will feature music from Queen City indie band Villanelles, who will have just wrapped up their live recording session as part of Burlington City Arts' Jazz Lab project.
As the well-known Bible story goes, Jesus pulled the world's greatest party trick by turning water into wine at a wedding that had run dry. Talk about a savior, right? Anyway, it turns out JC's trick was kid's stuff, at least compared to Maynard Keenan's efforts to legitimize northern Arizona as world class wine country.
The hard rockin' Tool front man is the subject of a new documentary film called Blood Into Wine that chronicles his journey from splitting eardrums with Tool and Puscifer to smashing grapes with Caduceus Cellars. The flick, directed by acclaimed filmmakers Ryan Page and Christopher Pomerenke (Moog, The Heart is a Drum Machine), has been lauded by critics across the country, including a scribe at FilmCritic.com who called it, "a rock ’n' roll version of Sideways." High praise, indeed.