I realize it’s some times shitty to be in a touring band. You don’t really make that much money, unless your selling out stadiums the world over. Everybody’s downloading your album, so your CD’s just collect dust at the merch table. But, artists are supposed to have it rough. My sympathy only extends so far. But it seems that lately more and more people are relenting and actually feeling sorry for bands and their income plights, even overlooking the occasional blatant sellout. I’ve never been a fan of bands shilling for corporations. It’s just tacky. And it makes you respect the ones who you know will never let you down even more. Like Tom Waits. Total class act. The man wouldn’t dream of loaning his music to Target or McDonald’s. But some of the younger bands aren’t quite so discerning.
Band of Horses enjoyed a better year than most of its peers in 2006 with its debut record making a highly publicized, international dent. And now with its follow-up ready to hit shelves, the band has unfortunately chosen a few ill-advised corporate tie ins: Ford and Wal-Mart. Word spreads quickly when an indie band shakes hands with Wal-Mart, so the band has already issued an official statement, explaining its aw-shucks attitude thusly:
“My personal stance is that once that music is recorded and released to the world then I don’t really care where it goes. “The Funeral” has been licensed to death (ha, wretch) at this point and if somebody wants to throw down some duckets for it, then feel free. It also beats the hell out of stealing batteries from Wal-Mart to sell them back for 8 bucks.”
The explanation is neither here nor there. It doesn’t change the fact that Wal-Mart and Band of Horses are now officially business partners, which is as distasteful as it is embarrassing. It’s a slippery slope once you open that door, and before you know it your song could be as universally despised as John Mellencamp’s hideous “Our Country.”