It’s the music, stupid. Part I

Everyone knows how big a difference music can make. The right song can make a movie scene unforgettable, or turn a commercial about two dudes driving around in a car into a classic. Here’s my favorite new example of how radically music can alter the tone and meaning of picture (a tad long, but makes the point):

Traditionally, the music is the responsibility of the copywriter (though I’ve worked with many art directors and producers with encyclopedic music knowledge, which is awesome). But it’s one of those things that you don’t learn about in ad school.

What I’d recommend to any aspiring copywriter (and art director, for that matter), is that if you’re not into music, get into it. Force yourself to listen to types of music you wouldn’t normally listen to. Expand your musical world. There are tons of great resources out there to help you do this. Read Pitchfork. Listen to the podcast of Sound Opinions. Listen to Pandora. Or check out one of my favorite Internet communities, the International Mixtape Project.

The point is that, as Greg pointed out in an earlier post, you need to be able to communicate with your vendors. This includes musicians. Having a decent working knowledge of music types and being able to speak the language makes the process a lot easier. You don’t need to know the difference between an 8- and 12-bar blues, but be able to give direction to a musician in a general sense. Like whether you want Johann Sebastian Bach or just Sebastian Bach.

Those of you who are into music, where do you find new stuff?

2 thoughts on “It’s the music, stupid. Part I

  1. A couple places I like to find new music…1) “The Hype Machine” –– this is the blog of all blogs, literally, they collect songs from every music blog on the internet and put it on their blog, huge database on unknown/well known music.2) Every single band now has their own myspace page, we all know this, but a good way to check out new tunes is to look at the bands that your favorite bands are friends with, you can spend hours just clicking through and you’re bound to come across something new and intriguing.Also, these are some bands I’m currently listening to that you may or may not have heard…The Republic Tigers, South (early stuff), Rogue Wave, Ultra Sonic Edukators, Editors, The Album Leaf, The Doves, MGMT, Bear Hands, Supergrass


  2. The iTunes New Music Tuesday podcast is okay. I rarely find anything I really like on it, but it’s nice to have a weekly synopsis of what’s being released.I’ve heard a lot about Pandora. Several friends have recommended it to me. I need to check it out.I like to listen to soundtracks a lot. Even (or especially) for movies I’ve never seen. It’s very visual music (not surprisingly).


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