Monday, April 25, 2005

Songs Ruined by Pop Culture

I don't know if that's an appropriate title, but bear with me.

"Transatlanticism" by Death Cab For Cutie just came on my iPod. I really, really like this song. A lot. It's so beautiful.

It was used on an episode of Six Feet Under last season in a scene where Claire and her art-school pals all took a bunch of drugs and sang the song's key line - "I need you so much closer" - to each other before descending into a presumed orgy.

It ruined the song for me. This message that I perceived to be very quiet, close and personal suddenly was tainted by the image of a bunch of kids warbling the line, too hopped up to perceive anything real and true. Is that fair? Probably not. I have no idea what Ben Gibbard meant when he wrote or sang the song, and the point of art is that it's subjective - it can be beautiful in so many different ways to a million different people. But either way, the Six Feet Under interpretation was not one that resonated with me; and now, when I get to that point in the song, I picture that scene, and the song is ruined.

On another note, whenever I hear the drum break in "Rock And Roll" by Zeppelin, I think of Cadillacs. (But this never happens to me with Who songs, for some reason.)

What songs have been ruined for you by TV, the movies, pop culture in general?


At 4/25/2005 7:15 PM, Blogger Michael said...

Every Who song that Pete "Lord of Sellouts" Townshend has prostituted including, but not limited to:

Happy Jack - That God Awful Hummer Commercial

Overture from Tommy - Clarinex (Clarinex? That kills me above all the others)

Who Are You, Wont Get Fooled Again and Baba O'Riley - Three iconic Who songs made the theme songs of the CSI series. Honestly, Does Jimmy Page ever allow this to occur? Mick and Keith? Paul and Ringo...and Michael Jackson? Loggins and Messina? Of course not, only King Sellout would do this. (Note however, that new bands even supposedly indie and punk bands have no compunction whatsoever letting there songs become theme songs or commercial jingles, cases in point C'Mon C'Mon by the Von Bondies which is a great song used as the theme for Denis Leary's Rescue Me and "Look at how punk we are" darlings the Mooney Suzuki doing a cover of Don't Fence Me In for a Nike Commercial.)

On a related note, Coors has been playing a commercial that uses a clip of "Mountain Song" by Jane's Addiction. Is Perry Farrell THAT hard up for money?

At 4/25/2005 7:18 PM, Blogger Michael said...

This is not to say however that songs can't be put to good use in films and commercials. I love the Starbucks commercial with Survivor (GLEN! GLEN GLEN GLEN!) and I can never hear Hands to Heaven by Breathe without thinking of the Lost Boys.

I guess its only when a film or commrecial uses a song that is either really iconic or ostensibly from "punk" or anti-corporate bands that I object to it.

At 4/26/2005 11:46 AM, Anonymous Jadey said...

zzzzzzzzzzz....... huh? wha? Was someone talking?
*snort* *grumble* *musicians*


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