Cash In Now, Honey: The 11 Best Uses Of Music In Commercials This Year

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Right now in a record store (probably in Seattle or maybe in Austin), two people are flipping through used vinyl and talking about music. Inevitably, one of them will turn to the other, pick up a record and accuse that musician or band of having "sold out" at one point.

Yes, even in the age of rampant downloading, there are still begrudged idealists who resent an artist making a paycheck, as if banking off a recording and inadvertently assisting in the cycle of commerce is almost as bad as commissioning will.i.am for a remix. This is 2011; the very notion of selling out is preposterous. Unless you're Steve Albini or Ian MacKaye, I'm pretty sure you're a sell-out too, Mr. Cubicle.

In the list below, I've picked my favorite 2011 song usages in a commercial and the format is like this
Product: What is the musician or band hawking to the masses?
Song: Who is that band and what is that song?
Will It Sell The Product? How successful is that song in winning over the skeptical consumer?
"Sellout" Scale: Notice the quotes.

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Live: Willie Nelson, Wynton Marsalis, and Norah Jones Take Lincoln Center, Display One Long Septuagenarian Braid

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Photo via Stillisstillmoving

Two Men With the Blues with Norah Jones
Rose Theater
February 10

When trumpeter Wynton Marsalis admonishes a member of the audience for only flying a Texas flag but not one from Louisiana, someone yells back "Laissez les Bon Temps Roulet!" bringing a smile to his face. It's the second and final night of Willie and Wynton's stand at the Rose Theater, and Marsalis' button-up style belies his obvious mirth. His braid down to his septuagenarian ass, Willie strides out, his longtime riding partner/ harmonica player Mickey Raphael augmenting Wynton's quintet of tenor saxophonist Walter Blanding, pianist Dan Nimmer, bassist Carlos Henriquez and drummer Ali Jackson into a septet.

What with the breakout success of the duo's live album for Blue Note, Two Men With the Blues (to date selling over 100,000 copies) it was a no-brainer to have this not-so-odd couple duo reconvene. And on Blue Note's 70th birthday, it couldn't hurt to add the heavyweight sales/ featherweight pipes of Norah Jones to the mix. Recorded for both an upcoming CD and HD concert special, there's little doubt that the trio will soon rack up even gaudier chart positions. Add the fact that both concerts were a celebration of Ray Charles's music and all of its genre fence-busting (and color-blind) proclivities, and the synergy was palpable.


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