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MONDAY, JULY 04, 2011
 

FEIST IS NOW A SELL-OUT.

ALAMIR

Arts & Entertainment

You know you're a sellout when you've had more songs in commercials than songs played on the radio. Clearly if she sells her songs to Apple, Lacoste and other companies it's a sign that she wouldn't mind playing for more radio/video play either. Even if it's radio's fault for not being open enough to accept her songs, she's still famous enough to sell albums and such without having to try get airplay by selling me spring coloured gator-logo-shirts and a chocolate coloured phone.

Let me make this clear, I didn't hate her songs before she started making commercials, even though I did find them annoying. And I actually liked her stuff before she branched off as "Feist" when she was part of Broken Social Scene (well I liked Broken Social and Feist just happened to be part of it back then) ..and, to my knowledge Broken Social have never made a commercial.
So here's a list of some of the times that Feist has sold-out (And by sell out I mean sell a song to a corporation to sell a random product thereby removing any powerful meaning behind the song.. how much closer to the definition of "sell-out" can one be?):

Feist's 1234 sells
iPod Nano:


Feist's My Moon My Man sells
Verizon Wireless cellphone:


Feist's Mushaboom sells
Lacoste Essential Cologne:


Feist's sound is so easy to replicate that when the Mac Air commercial had first come out I had thought it was her again. Well, the singer for the Mac Air commercial wasn't Feist but some other girl that I don't care to mention by name but I personally know of few people who thought it was Feist as well. My point is that simplistic song arrangements are hard to tell apart but easy to clone by anyone; Just like TV jingles. Maybe Feist has a future in writing jingles? It's not like she doesn't already have a history of popping up in commercials on the few times I watch TV to try to sell me some random product.

And just for kicks, here's Feist as a clown:
SAMAEL

SAMAEL

This reminds me of Giles's column on Feist (the column was about Pop Music, not Feist alone). You both point out that "Feist's sound is so easy to replicate," however Giles took it one step further and pointed out that the dangers of this: people will copy her. This easy-going female singer sound will flourish and eventually it will become something that is closely akin to Canadian pop-culture, which will get annoying for those of us who don't like her.

I recommend that you (and anyone else) read Giles's thoughts on it: http://capcourier.theorem.ca/2008/03/03/music-jerk-4/ Title

Alamir

ALAMIR

Giles... You know, I actually like Giles' taste in music from what I've heard the few times I've spoken to him about it. I agree with most of what Giles says too in his article, but the one thing I disagree with is whether it's Feist's fault... I think it is. It's Feist's fault she left an amazing band like Broken Social Scene (I thought their second album was pretty good ) and it's Feist's fault that she makes simplistic music with a fake accent (yes I hear a fake accent when she sings, please tell me you do too!)

wordup

wordup

as simple as it sounds she drove the industry to replicate her- she created a buzz and a trend of what's cool. she's an influence. people will continue to copy others' work to improve their own craft and if it sounds good i'm all for it.
there are a lot of and a lot of musicians. if u don't like what she's evolved into then move on and discover other great artists.
p.s. as far as i know Feist never left BSS. BSS is a collective of almost 20 artists and their roster only gets bigger not smaller.

alishahnovin

alishahnovin

Is it just as bad for a musician to give their song to a movie and collect royalties from that? Sometimes a song suits a particular mood in a movie, and it really works...and the artist gets a hefty paycheck. The musician's already done their part, and they're just selling their song for the money at that point. So, is it just as bad?

I don't think so. I have no problem with artists selling their songs for ads. Sometimes the song fits well in a movie. Sometimes a song suits a product as well. Feist's simple 1234 fits the simplicity of the iPod. The colors in the video suit the colors of the Nano. The iPod is a music machine. Feist makes music. It makes sense to me.

Even with the Lacoste commercial - the product doesn't have to do with music, but the commercial does.

Commercials/Advertising is an art form, and a very difficult one at that. The ability to present information in a creative and interesting way - show a product in a way that tells you much about the product, without including a lot of text, etc etc. A lot goes into ads, and I generally appreciate them (aside from the annoying 'Click on the red spider' type ads, which have nothing to do with...anything really.)

If a movie is designed to evoke an emotion and can therefor include a song, why can't a commercial, which is equally designed to evoke an emotion? The artist gets a paycheck in both cases. And I don't think many people associate the song and artist with the product afterwards. The artist isn't selling themselves, just their work. The artist is selling the sound they produced that fits the tone of an ad that is for a product.

The Stone Temple Pilots' Wicked Garden was in a Jeep ad from a while ago. The song fit perfectly. I haven't bought a jeep, and I still like STP, but in addition - it made 30 seconds of a particular car commercial I'd otherwise ignore, better. I'd rather enjoy a commercial with a song I like, then sit through commercials by artists I already hate.

In shorter words: I'd rather watch an iPod commercial with Feist, a car commercial with STP, than with Nickelback, or Linkin Park, or Hedley, or Simple Plan. That would just be annoying.

chris

chris

i sorta agree with your sister (although the thought of advertisement as art makes me shudder), with a few more things to add (in point form b/c i'm procrastinating from working on this gigantic goddamn field school report):

the radio sucks.

artists write songs so people can hear them.

nobody hears fuck all on clear channel.

when she let lacoste and apple (i ahd no idea about the cell phone thing) use those songs she was relatively unknown to the mainstream public (like i'd place her on a level of indie stardom as maybe a sufjan stevens or of montreal, but not superstardom like the shins or iron and wine (who blew up cos they sold their songs to that shitty hollywood movie with natalie portman whose name escapes me now)).

so she basically used it as an avenue to reach a wider audience. mission accomplished. what the hells wrong with that? i can pretty much guarantee she's not still living off those cheques, like at the absolute most she maybe got a lump sum of 10k which she figured would help pay for her next recording.

now, i'm not a fan or anything by any means (her music bores me to tears), but i think you're being unnecessarily harsh. 5 years ago mogwai had this awesome q and a section on their site and at the time i had just finished watching the most godawful cliche teen B movie with that chick who used to be on popular mechanics for kids or whatever, just horrendous stuff, and at the cheesiest part of the movie they played 'christmas song' and i got kinda indignant about it and sent in a question along the lines of "do you guys screen, or does anyone even give you the gist of, the shitty movies and tv programs you lend your songs to?" and barry quipped back "we could give a fuck what it's about so long as it wasn't made by nazis; it's the only way anyone would ever hear our music apart from the john peel show on the bbc."

and who can argue with? contrary to popular belief i don't think there's many songwriters out there who find the notion of playing basement shows, not paying rent, and living off ramen very romantic. i'd say that most are looking for a balance between creative license and making a comfortable living. i don't really see how she compromised herself in that respect, at least not moreso than many other artists.

(note: i absolutely agree with you about the strokes thing you put up on facebook awhile ago though. there is a world of difference between letting a song you've already written be used to gain some exposure and writing a song about, for, and to promote a product (and for a company as shitty as nike jesus christ)).

also dude you'll have a really hard time enjoying any music nowadays if you employ the same blanket rejection to any artist allowing a song to be used in an advert. here is a list of other (mostly) indie bands worthy of your ire:

mates of state
new pornos
the hold steady
fugazi (ian mackaye would actually shit a brick no doubt but they use it a redskins home games to pump up the crowd)
the Fall
the thermals
of montreal
the magnetic fields
modest mouse
cat power
iron and wine
the beta band
pink reason
arcade fire
wilco
sonic youth
daniel johnston
m. ward
the flaming lips
mogwai
wire
band of horses
the books
radiohead (nba commercial apparently ran in the states a couple seasons ago)
royksopp
spoon
hum
throw me the statue

and that is by no means comprehensive.

so i dunno. i'm not exactly comfortable with some of my favorite artists being on that list, and am especially troubled by the recontextualization of a song from it's original intent to making people want stuff, but they gotta do what they gotta do i guess.

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