Songs about the Music Business & Opinions on The Warlocks

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.

Subscribe via iTunesDownload This Episode

Music News

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:

reviewSkull WorshipSkull Worship available on iTunes

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.


Featured Songs

  1. Pure Sunray, Caramel, Pure Sunray, self-released, 2013
  2. The Rolling Stones, The Under Assistant West Coast Promotion Man, Out of Our Heads, Decca, 1965
  3. GoldieBlox, Girls, from“GoldieBlox & Rube Goldberg ‘Princess Machine’”video, unreleased, 2013
  4. Beastie Boys, Girls, License to Ill, Def Jam/Columbia, 1986
  5. Santigold, Disparate Youth (from 2013 Honda advertisement), Master of My Make-Believe, Atlantic, 2012
  6. Alex Clare, Too Close, The Lateness of the Hour, Island, 2011
  7. Robbie Williams feat. Rufus Wainwright, Swings Both Ways, Swings Both Ways, Island/Universal, 2013
  8. A Tribe Called Quest feat. Diamond D, Lord Jamar, and Sadat X, Show Business, The Low End Theory, Jive/RCA, 1991
  9. Graham Parker and the Rumour, Mercury Poisoning, Squeezing Out Sparks, Arista, 1979
  10. Public Enemy, Caught, Can We Get a Witness?, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, Def Jam/Columbia, 1988
  11. The Buggles, Video Killed the Radio Star, The Age of Plastic, Island, 1980
  12. John Fogerty, Vanz Kant Danz, Centerfield, Warner Bros., 1985
  13. Aimee Mann, Nothing Is Good Enough, Bachelor No. 2 or, the Last Remains of the Dodo, SuperEgo, 2000
  14. Patti Smith Group, So You Want to Be (A Rock ‘n’ Roll Star), Wave, Arista, 1979
  15. Blackalicious, Deception, Nia, Mo' Wax/Quannum Projects, 1999
  16. Local H, Laminate Man, Pack Up the Cats, Island, 1998
  17. The Sex Pistols, E.M.I., Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols, Virgin, 1977
  18. Pink Floyd, Have A Cigar, Wish You Were Here, Columbia/CBS, 1975
  19. The Warlocks, Chameleon, Skull Worship, Zap Banana, 2013
  20. The Warlocks, Dead Generation, Skull Worship, Zap Banana, 2013
  21. The Warlocks, Silver & Plastic, Skull Worship, Zap Banana, 2013
  22. Damu the Fudgemunk, Brooklyn Flower, Brooklyn Flower (Single), Slice of Spice, 2010
  23. ABBA, Ring Ring, Ring Ring, Polar, 1973
  24. The Police, Invisible Sun, Ghost in the Machine, A&M, 1981
  25. The Velvet Underground, Rock and Roll, Loaded, Cotillion, 1970
  26. Lou Reed, Intro/Sweet Jane, Rock ‘n’ Roll Animal, RCA, 1974
  27. Lou Reed, Dirty Blvd., New York, Sire, 1989

Footnotes GoldieBlox Vs. the Beastie Boys GoldieBlox great for girls? The Beastie Boys' open letter Shazaam ties songs to products Robbie Williams' U.K. hit Jac Holzman on Sound Opinions Aimee Mann on Sound Opinions Greg's Warlocks Review The Warlocks' band page Sound Opinions on Shoegaze