Sell Outs?

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Sugarcubes Forever
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Postby Sugarcubes Forever » Wed Nov 17, 2010 5:17 pm

miss carol wrote:I always thought that "selling out" applied to artists who held on to a belief that they were different than the norm, alternative, if you will. Sting and Phil Collins never sold out; they bought in at the start. Collins is a Tory for crying out loud! He is for all intents and purposes The Man.

X has reunited countless times. Are they sell outs? Some would argue yes, but consider that Exene has MS and medical bills to pay. Are they still sell outs?



As far as Phil Collins goes, "sell out" is indeed an inaccurate label for him. You're right, you can't sell out if that's what your MO was from the beginning. If you never pretended to be 'authentic' or somehow above the business of big media, you can't be accused of selling out. I propose we just call him a god damn fucking asshole instead.

Neil Diamond, though. What about him? I once sat in an arena luxury box with Jake at a Neil Diamond concert. And it was good.

Maybe the "sell out" standard is different depending on which school of rock you birth from. I remember getting into fights with very good friends of mine back in the day over Henry Rollins, for god's sake! For the punk school sell outs are any bands that actually make enough money to live on.

For the indy set that punk ideal is still in the backs of every body's mind. You're cool if you're on Merge. But if you cross the line and end up on a "major" label you're a sell out.

I think that when talking about bands like Pearl Jam, Nirvana, The Pumpkins, Soundgarden, etc. fans too often apply the punk or indie standard to them, because those bands sprouted from the post punk and alternative indie scene. But it just sounds stupid today to call any of those bands sell outs. They all kicked out some great rock records (classics by now).

I'd be happy to chuck the "sell out" slur altogether and just swear at shitty bands.

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Postby miss carol » Wed Nov 17, 2010 5:44 pm

I'd be happy to chuck the "sell out" slur altogether and just swear at shitty bands.


Perhaps we should rethink what selling out means. For instance, the guys from ABBA recently took legal action against a Swedish right-wing party for using their song without permission. The songwriters were morally opposed to the party, so the infringement was their tool to use against them. Do you see what I mean? I think Peter, Paul and Mary took similar action. Neither artist took the money and ran, but they still make money playing nostalgia show. Ok, ABBA might be a bad example, but the guy (forget his name) recently gave a bucket-load of money to a feminist organization. That is not selling out, regardless of the metal on his wall.

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Postby DJMurph's lazy alter ego » Thu Nov 18, 2010 12:17 am

creepy wrote:I dunno, my opinion on the matter's gonna change depending on whether or not I give a shit about the band, what I perceive their intentions to be, the venues they're playing, and the price of a ticket. At least I'm aware that I'm a fickle asshole...

Kind of hits the bullseye for me here. I refuse to think that My Bloody Valentine is just phoning it in, even though the smart money is that Kevin Shields will never release that new record he claims to have in the can. Their concert put me through amazing changes, yet it was all "old" stuff. So hard to tell.

Yet at the same time, I think the Pixies thing was a cash in. But in their case, I really don't begrudge them that cash-in. They didn't have enough success during their lifetime, in the sense of the ratio between financial remuneration vs. their influence on others. Then again, I don't have anywhere near as soft of a spot for the Pixies that I do for MBV. Both reunions, considering how unlikely each was that they even got back together, are just as important to each bands' respective fans.

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Postby Greenwood The Sock Monkey » Thu Nov 18, 2010 2:05 am

I think it's a lot easier to take the high road and live by your "principles" when you don't need the money. Corgan never has to work another day in his life. I doubt that most of the alternative bands out there taking a victory lap can say the same thing. It doesn't really matter if they need the money because of prior mismanagement, or getting screwed for years by their record company, or because they blew it all on coke & antibiotics. I'll never begrudge a dude who needs a payday from earning a payday.

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Postby Mixmaster Shecky » Thu Nov 18, 2010 2:11 am

Speaking of which, there's a new Subaru ad using a Pogues song, specifically "If I Should Fall From Grace With God". It's about a hockey mom ferrying the kids around.

Is it just me, or is that fucked-up?

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Postby jonas » Thu Nov 18, 2010 5:02 am

Mixmaster Shecky wrote:Speaking of which, there's a new Subaru ad using a Pogues song, specifically "If I Should Fall From Grace With God". It's about a hockey mom ferrying the kids around.

Is it just me, or is that fucked-up?


It's hard to imagine enough people connect with that song AND the urge to buy a Subaru that using a Pogues song makes sense. It may be more like "all my jingle writers suck - go find me a lively song!"

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Postby Sugarcubes Forever » Thu Nov 18, 2010 9:51 am

Mixmaster Shecky wrote:Speaking of which, there's a new Subaru ad using a Pogues song, specifically "If I Should Fall From Grace With God". It's about a hockey mom ferrying the kids around.

Is it just me, or is that fucked-up?


It will never top the Cruise Ship commercial that uses "Lust for Life." Cause when I think about heroine I think about all you can eat buffets on a giant hotel floating in the Gulf of Mexico.

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Postby Sugarcubes Forever » Thu Nov 18, 2010 9:53 am

Just to riff on the sell-out/TV commercialization thingy, The Pumpkins did just have a song on the Vampire Diaries soundtrack. I don't have the CW, so I just assume the show sucks.

God I miss The OC.

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Postby miss carol » Thu Nov 18, 2010 2:43 pm

jonas wrote:
It's hard to imagine enough people connect with that song AND the urge to buy a Subaru that using a Pogues song makes sense. It may be more like "all my jingle writers suck - go find me a lively song!"


I know what you mean, but remember that people have very selective memories. The people I went to high school with who thought I was wierd because of the music and radio I listened are now waxing nostalgic about say The Cure or The Clash. They fucking hated that shit; they were all about Madonna, Lionel Richie and Air Supply. But that's not cool now. And marketers know that, so they grab the "cool" stuff, and sell the former preps who are now minivan driving soccer moms memories they never had that they, in fact, disparaged back in the day. This makes sense, of course, because these people have either 1) much more disposable, or 2) the idiocy to rack up loads of credit to make like the Jones.

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Postby Sugarcubes Forever » Thu Nov 18, 2010 4:21 pm

miss carol wrote:
I know what you mean, but remember that people have very selective memories. The people I went to high school with who thought I was wierd because of the music and radio I listened are now waxing nostalgic about say The Cure or The Clash. They fucking hated that shit; they were all about Madonna, Lionel Richie and Air Supply. But that's not cool now. And marketers know that, so they grab the "cool" stuff, and sell the former preps who are now minivan driving soccer moms memories they never had that they, in fact, disparaged back in the day. This makes sense, of course, because these people have either 1) much more disposable, or 2) the idiocy to rack up loads of credit to make like the Jones.


WORD!

I've run into a handfull of old highschool classmates, people who in High School called me a [email protected] every day and regularly threatened to kill me because of my clothes, hair and music. And they've asked me if I go to "80s night" at a local bar that plays 80s alterna-hits on Sundays. One of them is a guy who threatened in 1988 to burn my car with me in it because of all the "queer" stickers on the back of it. Somehow, the fact that they all listened to Boston and Journey back then has been been forgotten, and instead they wax fondly of a time that never was, when we were all hipsters together.

#@$% them!

My old lady is about a decade younger than me. Since she was just a kid back then, she remembers the 80s as a time when everybody listened to The Cure and dressed really cool and MTV played hip alternative videos. I keep telling her that none of that ever happened. But she thinks i'm just being a downer!

I think it's a little like what happened to starting in the 70s regarding the way that older Boomers remembered the 50s. Like it was some golden era where everybody smiled, dressed neatly and listened to Elvis. Meanwhile, back in the actual 1950s, police were beating blacks with hoses, kids who listened to Elvis were called "hoods," and people only bathed once a week. I blame George Lucas and Fonzie for that.


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