Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Let Everyone Smoke 'em If You Got 'em

The Replacements were the greatest 'alt-rock' band of the '80s.

During the '90s, former frontman Paul Westerberg deserved a Remy to go with that cigar for his three solid, solo efforts: 14 Songs, Eventually and Suicaine Gratifaction.

In this decade, he lost me with this sell-out tune.



Last week, I saw the new commericial for Boston Market. It features the song, "Eat Steak," off Reverend Horton Heat's rockabilly-and-a-betty-on-top-of-that '91 gem, Smoke 'em If You Got 'em.

Good for them.


Here are the lyrics to a favorite song of mine. It's about pickling.

If you want to make some pickles

Take your time make some brine

Put all those little things you love

In vinegar and wine

It ain't Chinese algebra

It's easily done

Why you can pickle anything

Pickling is fun

A lot of people I know use dill weed

But, why donĀ¹t you be more adventurous

I'll give you exactly what you need

Gonna fix your ass up real nice

Give you pickling advice

Let your intuition be your guide

Results are all that matter

Are you happy with your yield?

Oh, come on you can tell me

I'm an expert in the field

Please don't be discouraged if your first batch is a bust

Give your ego time to heal

Preserving is a must

For your ears, I offer this clip of The Gourds' "Pickles."


Write because you want to write, sell because you can.


With that, I am now going back to writing a short story entitled, Jameson's Irish Whiskey.


At 10:29 PM, Blogger jsbankston said...

I was running around with a buddy yesterday and he played me a CD by Austin band "The Recliners," which included a lounge version of "Anarchy in the UK."

Do you wonder, Triple J, that some generations have stronger and more complicated emotions regarding their music than others? It seems that some musicians could not "sell out" because their music is from the git-go inherently a plastic, corporate product rather than a work of art.

I mean, is anyone gonna feel betrayed when they hear the Backstreet Boys' "Larger Than Life" used to advertise hemorrhoid cream?

And at the same time, some of the people I know in Austin who are strongly into the indie scene seem to obsess over all sorts of rules, regulations, and protocols over what makes music "genuine" and musicians worthy of "respect." (Both big terms for them.)

Some of the stuff I've heard from these people reminds me of the legalistic nit-picking of the cliques of my high schools days, when we were told you couldn't be cool if you didn't wear jeans with a certain label. So with these indie types they turn up their nose if you admit you like certain bands they've declared taboo.

At 10:41 PM, Blogger TripleJ said...

The first time I saw The Gourds, it was a free show at bakery in Hyde Park. There were nine people there. The Gourds' Jimmy Smith -- still one of my favorite Austin frontman/bassists -- mentioned it was their third show. It remains one of the best shows I've witnessed.

This was around '95.

For financial reasons not soley attached to my wallet, they're still producing great music 10 years later. Whatever force is responsible, I am grateful. And personally, I am hoping a pickle company steps up to allow me to hear them 10 years from now.

At 11:11 PM, Blogger Luke said...

TripleJ: what if that pickle company comes with, say, a swoosh for a logo? Is that still cool? Just wondering out loud...

At 11:12 PM, Blogger Luke said...

(PS: The Gourds rock.)

At 11:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a excellent blog. Keep it going. Here's the resolve a lot of people are searching for; how to buy & sell everything, like music on interest free credit; pay whenever you want.

At 11:47 PM, Blogger Satisfied '75 said...

My thoughts on a band "selling out" are purely selfish. What I mean by that is whenever (insert band here) license their tune for a hamburger/car commercial it loses it's personal meaning for me.

One example with film placement: This can wreck a tune for me just as easy. I was sitting in my hotel room last Spring half-watching the awful "the girl next door" on HBO. Out of left field comes a poorly placed Josh Rouse song (Sparrows over Birmingham). Now whenever that tunes pops up at the end of the 1972 album I imagine Elisha Cuthbert. Ok, maybe thats not such a bad thing after all.

At 1:26 AM, Blogger jsbankston said...

For the sodomy scene in "Pulp Fiction" Quentin Tarantino had originally wanted to use "My Sharonna" because, as he put it, "It has a good butt-fucking beat," but sadly Ben Stiller beat him to it, getting the rights for use in that Winona Ryder movie of his. Still, I can't hear that song without picturing Ving Rhames getting corn-holed.

I always tend to associate certain songs with specific events, especially with trips, and they become, as it were, theme songs to those trips in my minds. For instance I'll always associate "Sweet Home Alabama" with my first trip to NO. I was sitting in a crowded restaurant/bar on St. Charles Avenue, and they had a TV tuned to CNN coverage of the Gulf War, which had just ramped up. But they had the TV's sound off and the song was playing over it on the jukebox. Ever since then the song has represented for me the more gung-ho, jingoistic elements of American culture and foreign policy.

At 11:47 AM, Blogger princessmalin said...

didn't we already have this debate? my point remains the same: go with what your soul inspires you to do. and if you can make a buck off your efforts -- your own soul-kissed work -- then good for you.

At 11:48 AM, Blogger TripleJ said...

Good point princessmalin.

Just wanted to work in a song that I sang for years before stepping back to realize it was just about pickling.

At 4:36 PM, Blogger CHW said...

I see absolutely nothing wrong with getting paid for your efforts. The artist owns it and can do as he/she pleases with it. S75 is right -- it's just us selfish fans who are taking liberties and thinking we're the ones who actually own the material. Don't get me wrong, I cringe at a few commercials, but in the end, the tunes retain their meaning for me, as I heard them first on that LP/Cassette/CD and not a commercial.

At 6:57 PM, Blogger jsbankston said...

One of the many burdens and regrets I bear on my heavy shoulders is that we all don't have personal soundtrack music that accompanies us wherever we go and in some cases precedes us.

The closest I ever came to that was in college. I had some friends who worked in the library stacks, and they always saw me coming before I saw them, and they'd start singing the "Darth Vader Theme" to announce my approach. Damn, that was enjoyable.

At 9:15 PM, Blogger Eric said...

No shit! I had no idea that "Eat Steak" was a RHH song. Pretty cool. As far as selling out goes I totally agree that the artist can (ans should) do as they choose. Many bands/artists make little money and I know that most who have stuff licensed for commercials aren't necessarily struggling, but they are entitled to "set up" their families financially. I was once a struggling artist and if I could have made a living and sold music rights for commercials, I'd have done it in a heartbeat.

At 12:35 AM, Blogger sasefina said...

I don't have a problem with bands "selling out," per se, but there are some levels of selling out that I just can't respect. I mean, I agree with S75 and CHW that when songs are used for marketing purposes they lose personal meaning, but ultimately it's not about us, it's about the band. (Although, if you think about it, it should be about us, because we're the people who are throwing down the money to begin with.) But anyway, here's a perfect of example of a sellout scenario that really left me disgusted. Sheryl Crow released that song "Soak Up the Sun" a few years ago and SOLD IT TO AMERICAN EXPRESS RIGHT OFF THE BAT!! You know, this was a catchy song that would have done well commerically anyway, considering her well established fan base and major label backing, so the fact that she would choose to sell it without even giving it a chance to sell itself really left a bad taste in my mouth. Granted, Sheryl Crow is not the be all end all, but up until then I thought she was a decent songwriter.

And speaking of sellouts, did anyone read that recently Paul McCartney signed on to be a spokesperson for Fidelitly Investments?? ISn't he the richest man in Britain or close to it? Sickening greed from a former Beatle. Absolutely sickening.

At 8:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always thought The Gourds' song "Pickles" was about tripping. But as it turns out, it's just about making pickles.

Still, The Gourds are great. They may have gone to a more "big stage" sound that I'm not as fond of, compared to their early (and possibly more poetic) days. But still... respect. Seriously.


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