Songs about the Music Business & Opinions on The Warlocks

musicbusiness

The Business: What happens when artists take a look inward? Jim and Greg play the best Songs About the Music Industry. And they review the new album from the Los Angeles psychedelic rockers The Warlocks.

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You might have seen this viral video by San Francisco-based toy company GoldieBlox featuring a feisty reinterpretation of the Beastie Boys song Girls. The start-up is now enmeshed in a legal dispute over its right to use the song. The bizarre part? GoldieBlox started it. The company filed a pre-emptive strike against the Beasties claiming that the video, as a parody, constitutes fair use. (It reminds Greg of a similar lawsuit that Robin Thicke and Co. filed this summer. The Beastie Boys responded: As creative as it is, make no mistake, your video is an advertisement that is designed to sell a product. It looks like you gotta fight for your right to parody…

As GoldieBlox realized, a good ad soundtrack can really break a product (or a song for that matter) into the public consciousness. But these days, songs used in ads are often separated from their products, thanks in large part to Shazam, an app that lets smartphone users identify and buy songs they hear on TV, the radio or out and about. Now Shazam is teaming up with media-services giant Mindshare on a program called Audio+ that aims to really beef up the association of products and music. The details will be announced next week, but this news already has Jim questioning: where do we draw the line between art and commerce?

Admittedly, Greg has never really gotten the whole Robbie Williams phenomenon. But now the British pop star has released the 1000th number one album in the U.K. Back in 1956 that Frank Sinatra’s Songs For Swingin’ Lovers! became the Brits’ first #1. Now Robbie Williams’s Swings Both Ways has become the 1,000th.

Songs About the Music Business

Rock ‘n’ roll is all about railing against the man. And for musicians, there’s no bigger man than the record business. Some songs celebrate music’s great A&R men and women or label heads. Many more skewer the suits. Here are Jim and Greg’s favorites:

Jim

  • Pink Floyd, Have a Cigar
  • Public Enemy, Caught, Can I Get a Witness
  • Patti Smith’s cover of So You Wanna Be a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star
  • Local H, Laminate Man

Greg

  • Graham Parker, Mercury Poisoning
  • Aimee Mann, Nothing is Good Enough
  • Blackalicious, Deception
  • Sex Pistols, E.M.I.

Skull Worship The Warlocks

Skull Worship

Psychedelic rockers The Warlocks have undergone numerous shakeups and setbacks over the years, leaving many to wonder if the band would ever release new music. Yet, like a locomotive charging ever forward (a sound Jim likens to their music), The Warlocks just keep coming back. Jim is excited by the group’s newest album, Skull Worship, finding its drones and incessant rhythms utterly hypnotizing. And while he admits the Shoegaze sound doesn’t break any new ground, he still thinks nobody is doing it better. Jim says Buy It. Greg is less impressed by the album, feeling that the pace is too slow. He admits there are moments of greatness (mainly towards the beginning of the album), but altogether Skull Worship isn’t a complete success. Greg says Burn It.

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