"Every Day Is Like Sunday"
If you haven't read "Songs from the Heart of a Marketing Plan," Jon Pareles' essay outlining how, basically, the only way for artists to sell their music these days is by licensing it to sell something else, in yesterday's New York Times, go ahead and check it out. Rocks Off detects a faint whiff of Boomer "It's about the music, maaan" sanctimony, but Pareles seems ultimately reconciled to this new market-driven musical climate, and admits many of his favorite songs from 2008 have already been licensed by one if not several companies.
Rocks Off has no problem whatsoever with musicians "selling out" to finance future endeavors, reach a broader audience or simply put food on the table. Music may be a passion, an art and a calling, but it's also a job, and its makers deserve compensation for their efforts. Besides, not being an especially big blog junkie, TV commercials and the like are how he found out about bands like Iron & Wine and the Postal Service.
Still, he had barely put down the Arts & Leisure section Sunday afternoon when he came across a hilarious example of how clueless some companies can be when choosing which songs with which to identify themselves: The NFL Network has adopted Morrissey's "Every Day Is Like Sunday" as its theme song for the upcoming playoff campaign.
Let that sink in just a bit.
Seriously, this is like something the John McCain campaign might have done. Let's see, which lines from Moz's 1988 alterna-hit do you think the NFL keyed on? The opening quatrain, perhaps?
Trudging slowly over wet sand
Back to the bench where your clothes were stolen
This is the coastal town
That they forgot to close down
Hmm. Probably not. What about these?
How I dearly wish I was not here
In the seaside town
...that they forgot to bomb
Come, come, come - nuclear bomb
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Despite the many parallels between football and armed conflict ("blitz," "draft pick," "guard," etc.), that doesn't seem quite right either. There's something devilishly ironic in such a prime example of Morrissey's tongue-in-cheek misanthropy being used to sell a sport whose practitioners, at least when Rocks Off was in high school, not only would not be caught dead listening to the Smiths, but went out of their way to inform those of us who did that the Manchester indie deities were "gay," as was the act of listening to them.
Somewhere, Moz (rumored to be coming to Jones Hall in February, by the way) is smiling. No doubt especially when he sees the size of that NFL Network check. - Chris Gray