Sunday, June 17, 2007

Musical Pandering

First, let me say how disturbing I find it that Wendy's chooses to advertise it's fast food with the guitar riff from "Blister in the Sun." Maybe it's just me, but I think it's a very strange decision. I hear that riff and my mind floods with lyrics like "I stained my sheets"... and, well... that really doesn't make me want to run out and get chili and a potato bathed in cheese.

But it's indicative of the musical pandering directed at people my age, more or less. Advertisers are aiming for the big fat wallets of peeps of a certain age, and they are trying awfully hard to lure us with nostalgic music. Wendy's went the wrong direction. A seriously wrong direction.

Just now, Ms. Insomnia saw another sad attempt to suck money out of 40-something pockets with a strange musical choice. This time, it was for, God help us, a Cadillac SUV. Perky rich couple (with ginormous house and nanny) and their school-uniformed perfect children ride through horsey country in their overpriced gas guzzler to the sounds of... The Pogues.

The Pogues?

I think The Pogues are the musical equivalent of the anti-Cadillac. They're like a musical beater-mobile, with rust and dents and no a/c, but lots of character, and someone trying to get high by sniffing the leaded fuel through its broken gas cap. But a Cadillac?

I don't even think that the 40-somethings that buy Cadillacs now listened to The Pogues back in the day. They probably spent all their time togged out in pastel Izods, madras shorts and Top Siders, white man dancing to "Rock Lobster." The Pogues may have popped up on someone's mix tape at the country club kids room, but that was likely long after Muffy and Chad passed out from all those G&Ts. Maybe some of it seeped into their subconscious minds. Who knows?

The Pogues played the spring dance at one of the University of London colleges while I was there. Holy moley, it was the most dangerous spring dance I've ever attended. Never before and never since have I seen so many broken bottles flying on the dance floor. Scary. Much like Shane McGowan's teeth. Damn! Hell of a thing.

Maybe the royalties from the Caddy ad will cover dental work for Shane. We can only hope there is a higher purpose in this particular pander-fest.

If I see anyone riding through Bethesda in one of these behemoths with "Rum, Sodomy and the Lash" pouring out the windows, I'll eat my hat.

(Frankly, I think my hat is pretty safe.)


Heather Meadows said...

hahaha :D When I hear "Blister in the Sun" I think of watching Grosse Pointe Blank in the theater with my boyfriend at the time, and hearing him gleefully singing along.

I don't actually know the other song. But wow, what a commercial. I'm not sure who that would appeal to. My first guess was that it was trying for something along the lines of "look, fellow rich people, we may be stuck in a rut, but we are still TOTALLY BADASS". But since most people who watch TV aren't rich, is it instead supposed to be yet another carrot dangled before the have-nots? Like, you can bring your "real life" into the "American dream"?

It fails either way.

Reminds me of a recent article over at Violent Acres wherein V postulates that the American Dream has changed from working hard and living a good life to having as much prestige and as many possessions as possible, and how the average person spends his life being jealous of celebrities and simultaneously looking down his nose at them. It's a good piece.

My American dream is not to keep up with the Joneses (though I am of course susceptible to bouts of jealousy) or to be famous (at least, not while I'm alive). I just want to be free to have fun.

Sudiegirl said...

OH man...I didn't even discover the Violent Femmes until college (and thank GOD...I might have needed counseling or something because of the sheltered midwestern life I led.)

I can't imagine "Blister In The Sun" as a burger jingle. "Add It Up", MAYBE.