Midnight Oil

[Powderworks] Re: Selling Out (NMOC - Long Post)

Tom Davies tdav@wam.umd.edu
Wed, 09 Oct 2002 22:37:43 -0400

Seems to me that the real problem with bands that "sell out" by using their 
music to sell products is the same as the basic problem with having a mass 
media industry (music, movies, magazines, whatever) dominated by big 
corporations. Some messages get through, some don't. Ever wonder why so few 
bands make a living singing about the sort of thing Midnight Oil deals 
with? And the Oils aren't even all that radical compared to some bands. The 
close ties between music and commercialism inherently favor songs that 
aren't threatening to corporate power, don't question the whole consumerist 
escapist sort of worldview that most of us in the industrialized world 
have... There are some very good artists who have used their music in 
commercials -- I really like Desert Rose, for instance, and if it took a 
car ad to get that song known, then I'm glad that happened. But that 
strategy only works if you make music that is fundamentally safe and 
nonthreatening. So the reason why we should view this advertising strategy 
with deep cynicism, and perhaps make a point of not buying those products, 
is because we want a world with as much interesting music as possible. 
Y'all do want more bands like Midnight Oil to be able to be successful, right?


Tom D