A collection of musically themed musings by Brendan Bush in Burlington, VT

Cars love indie rock (and you should too)

Filed Under: Random Thought
Written by Brendan
Tuesday May 25, 2010

One of the reasons I started this site is to hopefully introduce some folks in the Burlington area to good music that doesn’t come from a jam band, in the hopes of boosting show attendance and encouraging more bands to come through here. I have nothing against jam bands, btw, I just think that people can become blinded by the aura surrounding them, and not realize there is a ton of other good music out there.

It occurred to me last night that car companies might be trying to do the same thing, even if they don’t know it. It seems to be a rapidly increasing trend to use indie rock songs in car commercials, dating back a couple of years to Ford’s use of a Band of Horses track.

Below, I’ve compiled a few of the more notable uses of quality indie rock in car commercials. Find yourself humming these songs? Me too. Maybe you like indie rock after all?

Band of Horses – Funeral (Ford Edge 2008)

Phoenix – 1901 (Cadillac SRX 2009)

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros – Janglin’ (Ford Fiesta 2011)

Airborne Toxic Event – Wishing Well (Buick Lacrosse 2010)

Band of Skulls – Light of the Morning (Ford Mustang 2011)

Can you think of any others that I’m missing? Leave ‘em in the comments and I’ll add them to the post. And as a side note, I completely support artists selling their tunes to “the man” – it makes the bands money, which means they can make more music, and opens up a completely new audience, meaning more people will (hopefully) buy the music that they are making.

***

Late Update: Another example just got sent to me:

Grizzly Bear – Two Weeks (Volkswagen)


Note: All photos are copyright © 2010 Brendan Bush unless otherwise noted. You are free to copy, distribute and transmit them as long as proper attribution is given, in accordance with this Creative Commons policy.

This week’s music purchases

Filed Under: New Releases
Written by Brendan
Thursday May 20, 2010

It’s been a few years since the last Band of Horses release, so obviously I’ve been eagerly awaiting their new release, “Infinite Arms.” I was pretty disappointed in the first listen, but am slowly working my way into more rotations, and things are definitely looking up. I think my biggest complaint is that Ben Bridwell’s voice (and the accompanying reverb) has always so powerfully defined the band’s sound, but their latest effort seems to have toned that down. It’s not that they still aren’t making quality music — it’s that I feel much less of an emotional connection to it. You can stream the full album at the band’s website via the link above.

I also picked up “Brothers” from The Black Keys, “Revolutions Per Minute” from Reflection Eternal (Talib Kweli and Hi-Tek) and “Saul” from The Whitsundays. The Black Keys continue to prove that two people can make an incredibly diverse and expansive collection of music, and I highly recommend their new album. I’m definitely undergoing a bit of a hip-hop renaissance, and Reflection Eternal is proving to be a wonderful vehicle for my trip down memory lane. I’m actually just listening to The Whitsundays for the first time now, so not much to report there as yet.

Band of Horses - Infinite Arms Black Keys - Brothers Reflection Eternal - Revolutions Per Minute

The Whitsundays - Saul



Note: All photos are copyright © 2010 Brendan Bush unless otherwise noted. You are free to copy, distribute and transmit them as long as proper attribution is given, in accordance with this Creative Commons policy.

Strikes and gutters

Filed Under: Live Shows, Random Thought
Written by Brendan
Wednesday April 14, 2010

I often end up in discussion leading up to and after shows at the Higher Ground about the relative values of the music scene in Burlington.

On one hand, I get to stand up front with room to move comfortably at 90% of the shows I go to there. I’ve been to many shows in the Showcase Lounge (the smaller of the two stages) where a band that easily sells out the Black Cat or even 9:30 Club in DC doesn’t even have 50 people in the audience (see Band of Horses, Ra Ra Riot, Rural Alberta Advantage, Princeton…). So there’s a real intimacy that is more difficult to obtain in a bigger city.

I also rarely have to worry about obsessively following the web sites, twitter feeds and facebook profiles of bands I like and venues that are close by. Not that I don’t still do that, but I don’t have to, because even if I stop paying attention for a week or two, there’s still very little chance anything comes up that sells out that quickly.

On the other hand, bands like Band of Horses, Ra Ra Riot and Rural Alberta Advantage have to play to half- to quarter-sold shows. There always seems to be enough really engaged people in the audience at those shows, so the numbers don’t feel as meager as they could; but there’s also definitely something missing. Something like seeing Metric at Metropolis in Montreal amidst a crowd of Canadians who’d driven 3 times as long as we had to get there.

And of course the money for these bands has to be an issue, which makes me all the more gracious to the bands who do choose to make Burlington a stop on their tours (and the labels who support them).

To summarize: I’m glad that I got to stand comfortably, 15 feet from the stage at the Hold Steady show last week. And I’m glad that I didn’t miss them like some poor souls in the many cities they sold out before and continue to since. And I hope they and bands like them continue to come back.

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Note: All photos are copyright © 2010 Brendan Bush unless otherwise noted. You are free to copy, distribute and transmit them as long as proper attribution is given, in accordance with this Creative Commons policy.