Working For The Man: How Selling Out Saved Indie Rock

Tegan and Sara want their music used in advertisements.

I remember when the idea of a musical artist letting one of their songs be used in a commercial was the end of the world. Neil Young wrote a song about it called “This Notes For You,” in which he sings:

Ain’t singin’ for Pepsi,
Ain’t singin’ for Coke,
I don’t sing for nobody,
Makes me look like a joke,
This note’s for you.

Not any more.

Jessica Hopper wrote a fascinating story on indie rock and advertising.

“A tiny sliver of bands are doing well,” says Tegan and Sara’s Sara Quin. “The rest of us are just middle class, looking for a way to break through that glass ceiling. The second ‘Closer’ got Top 40 radio play, we were involved in meetings with radio and marketing people who said, ‘The next step is getting a commercial.’ I can see why some bands might find that grotesque, but it’s part of the business now.”

Read the whole story at Buzzfeed.

About Michael Goldberg

Michael Goldberg is a distinguished pioneer in the online music space; Newsweek magazine called him an ‘Internet visionary.’ In 1994 he founded Addicted To Noise (ATN), the highly influential music web site. He was a senior vice-president and editor in chief at SonicNet from March 1997 through May 2000. In 1997, Addicted To Noise won Webby awards for best music site in 1998 and 1999, and also won Yahoo Internet Life! awards for three years running as best music site in 1998, 1999 and 2000. Prior to starting Addicted To Noise, Goldberg was an editor and senior writer at Rolling Stone magazine for 10 years. His writing has also appeared in Wired, Esquire, Vibe, Details, Downbeat, NME and numerous other publications. Michael has had three novels published that comprise the "Freak Scene Dream trilogy": "True Love Scars," "The Flowers Lied" and "Untitled" which can be ordered here. His new book, "Wicked Game: The True Story of Guitarist James Calvin Wilsey," can be pre-ordered from HoZac Books. In November Backbeat Books will publish "Addicted To Noise: The Music Writings of Michael Goldberg," which can be be pre-ordered here.

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