Apparently, this sort of thing has precedent Ė According to the article Jay-Z, 50 Cent and Snoop Dogg have all done similar musical product placements.
Am I insane, or is this Ö well, insane?
I totally understand the desire to make money, I mean everyone knows that hookers and coke donít pay for -themselves-. But shit, product placement within songs? What the fuck is the world coming to? I guess this sort of thing shouldnít take me by surpriseÖ but I donít know, I guess I thought that there were still certain lines one didnít cross, like blatant advertising within the music itself. I guess Iím wrong. I haven't forgotten Sigue Sigue Sputnik, but wasn't that done sort of ironically?
I think what I find most offensive about this is that it treats listeners as little more than marketing targets. Why develop an audience when you can develop a targeted demographic?
But hey, why tilt at windmills? I suppose that to properly honor the Almighty Dollar, I should embrace this new trend. Better still, I should try to expand upon it.
I guess Iíll change the name of the band to Amish insert-product-name-here Fight. You know, sell the name itself to anyone who cares to purchase it. I mean, why just pimp out the content of the material? Why not the whole band name?
Letís seeÖ Amish Subway Sandwiches Fight.
Or, Amish Wing Street Two-For-One-Tuesdays Fight.
Hm, those donít exactly roll off the tongue.
Miller Presents Amish New Cold Filtered Draft Rake Smooth Taste Fight. Lite.
Sizzler presents Amish Steak Fight?
Amish Shake & Bake Fight?
Oh, the possibilities are just endless. I can already hear the hookers and coke starting to pile up. And thatís what this is all about...right?
It's sort of funny, back in the Fall of last year I was asked by a producer friend to help out on a project as a freelance keyboardist, but I ended up doing nothing but sampled string arrangements. By coincidence there was a cello available, and so I recorded some live cello on top of the sampled strings to add some depth and realism. It sounded pretty good in the end, so I guess that for a keybordist, I make a passable cellist. Well, it's funny to me anyways.
Email: checked. News: read. Breakfast: eaten. I probably ought to get started on something. If I worked in an office Iíd be doing something by now. Maybe one more cup of coffee is what I need.
I know I should be doing something. Thereís a whole list around here somewhere. Ah, here it is, Iíd better review it. Well, I donít really feel like doing that one. Or that one. Those two items could wait. That other one isnít really all that important. Still, I know I should be doing something. Maybe I need more coffee.
Lunch, now -thatís- something I know how to do. I guess I havenít been very productive so far today, but itís only noon. Thereís still plenty of time left to do something important. Iím sure I can get something important done today.
Iíll bet Moby is doing something important right now.
I wonder what time of day it was when Roger Waters wrote the lyrics to ďComfortably NumbĒ? I should try working at that time of day, Iíll bet thatíd help. I wonder if thereís anything good on the History Channel?
Panic starting to creep in. Shit, I still havenít done anything today. Maybe thereís something interesting in the mail. No, just more credit card offers. Maybe I should make more coffee. Iím going to resist the urge to turn on the Xbox, because if I did that I wouldnít get anything done today.
This sucks. Why canít I get started on something? Maybe I should review the material I have so far for the new CD. Or should I just start something new, without listening to what I already have? Do I need more song beginnings, or should I just focus in and try finishing something thatís already done?
How the hell did I manage to get through this entire day without doing anything? Isn't there something I should be doing to ensure that tomorrow isnít the same?
There's got to be a better way to organize my time. I'll bet Moby organizes his time.
Maybe tomorrow's dayís the day Iíll make some progress on the new album. Maybe Iíll finally organize my CDs, clean up the studio, get the oil changed. Yeah, I could do just about anything tomorrow.
I wonder if thereís anything on the History Channel?
So Iím happy to report that the search is over, and noise.to.signal.05 finally has its wheels (I call it the Mystery Machine). Coming soon to a town near you (Great Dane and ghosts optional).
In other news, Iím just finishing up a remix for the song ďFrench ConnectionĒ, by Bay-Area group Simon Stinger. Tentatively titled the ďFreedom Fries MixĒ. More on that as it developsÖ
I call the seller in the morning, and make arrangements to go check it out. On the phone, the seller says that this was his wifeís van, but that she wants a convertible. This seems like a slightly odd story to me, but not all that strange. So I go to look at the van.
Now, the van itself is okay. Not too beat up, runs a little rough but not too bad. But the more the seller talks, the less his story adds up. Heíd said on the phone that has long been his wifeís van, but now he says heís only had it a few months. Odd. Also, the van has had the full ďused car lot treatmentĒ Ė which is to say, the interiorís been detailed and the engine compartmentís been steamed. Now, itís no big deal when someone has a car detailed prior to selling itÖ thatís pretty normal. But most people donít bother to steam clean the engine compartmentÖ except for used car lots. I guess that having a spotless engine compartment makes some buyers think ďoh, what a clean carĒ. But it makes me think, ďWhat are you trying to hide here?Ē
As the seller and I talk, he starts seeming a littleÖ oily to me. it comes out that heís a ďformerĒ used car salesman. Okay, no big deal, everyoneís got to make a living, and some do it by selling cars. But in the context of what Iím starting to learn, itís making me wonder if he's not a dealer who's just masquerading as a private seller. So now Iím a bit suspicious, but I decide that the vanís good enough that itís worth having it inspected. So I make arrangements, and meet the seller at the garage.
While Iím waiting for the results of the inspection, I run a CarFax report (which, for anyone thinking of buying a used car, is a really good idea). It turns out that this van was repossessed back in November of last year. So now Iím starting to ďget itĒ. This guy used to be a used car salesman (or maybe he still is), and now he makes money by purchasing repo cars, doing some basic work on them himself, then flipping them for a profit. Nothing necessarily wrong with that, but there are some reasons I was hoping to avoid buying from a dealership, and used car salesmen are one of the big ones.
A few hours and a hundred-or-so dollars later, I get the report. Itís not good; according to the garage owner, the van has never been properly maintained. It needs front end work, A/C work, ignition work, brake workÖ you name it, itís got problems. All told, the mechanic estimates the van needs about $2k worth of work. Not good.
When the seller learns about this, he tries very hard to convince me that a) it doesnít really need all that work, and b) his buddy the mechanic could fix it for a lot less. This is where the used car guy really starts to come out in his personality.
Lots of hemming, hawing, and general sales pummeling later, I decide to make him an offer, based on how much I think itíll cost to fix all of the vanís critical problems. My offer is quite a bit less than his asking price Ė but fair, based on what needs to be fixed.
So, what does he do? Does he try to haggle? Try to convince me that, no, my offerís not really fair and I should reconsider? Try to convince me that the vanís worth more?
Nope. He unceremoniously gets in the van and drives off, never to be heard from again. No handshake, no ďIíll think about itĒ, not even a ďI think your offer is low Ė how about XĒ. He just flat out leaves.
Which is pretty much what I would have expected a used car salesman to do.
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