The Five Songs I Cannot Escape

I hate commercials and thanks to DVR I rarely see them. The one exception is when I'm watching sports. And I've been watching a whole lot of NBA and NHL playoffs over the past couple months, so of course the following five songs have become a big part of my life. For better or worse? Let's examine.

Spoon - "My Mathematical Mind"

No complaints here. Life is always better with a little more Spoon in it. Even if it's the same 30 seconds, over and over. At least they get a segment that contains a nice Britt Daniel "oh!" Coming soon(ish) to this blog: Top 10 Britt Daniel Woo/Ow/Ohs.

Chris Knox - "It's Love"

This one really floored me the first time I saw it. Knox is a cult favorite for us New Zealand indie-pop types. Remember when I went to San Francisco and bought a reissue by a band called Toy Love at Amoeba? (What, you don't remember that? I'm appalled! [As were we at the time - Ed.]) Anyway, that was Knox's first band. I never thought he'd make the best beer pitchman, and I'm not sure he does. I've had multiple - er, both - friends tell me how much they hate that song. I don't think they'd drink Heineken anyway.

Apples in Stereo - "Sun Is Out"

There are certainly more annoying Apples in Stereo songs - pretty much anything on "Velocity of Sound" would qualify - but this one's up there. The "Lady Madonna" bass line is kind of catchy, but the big bouncy sound drives me crazy. And appearing in this ad for one of those "$2.99 gas for three years" deals is just irresponsible.

Grandaddy - "AM 180"

The big bounciness of the Apples isn't nearly as annoying as the keyboard part in this song by the California indie rockers. In the context of the actual song it's not too bad since the verse breaks things up a bit, but there's hardly a break in the commercial, just that piercing keyboard riff that lingers in your head until ... that Heineken commercial comes on.

Marlena Shaw - "California Soul"

This one has grown on me so much that if I ever find myself in a situation where I have to dress like an absolute tool, I'm going to buy me some Dockers. At first I thought it was cheesy and annoying but then I realized that this song owned its inherent cheesiness and that it really swings. I'll take that over mindlessly bouncy any day.

By David Malitz |  June 3, 2008; 4:54 PM ET Commercials
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I am so with both you and your friend(s) on the Chris Knox/Heineken tune. At first I loved it. Now, I'm so on-the-fence, my testes ache.

It's like I *want* to still like it, but it's getting annoying and it feels like I'm seeing it every third commercial or so.

And the Apples in Stereo chant-fest is kind of annoying, as well.

As for the others, eh. Neither ubiquitous or catchy enough.

Semi-on point, there is one other commercial out there (wish I could remember it) that starts with a guitar riff that's kind of recognizable, and it always gets me pumped up like I'm about to hear something I'm gonna' like, then it just falls flat. Sorta' the TV commercial equivalent of being in a bar/club & hearing the opening chugging riff to "How Soon is Now," then realizing it's that "Hippy Chick" song. Man, I hate that feeling.

Posted by: WoW | June 3, 2008 7:06 PM


You may be thinking of the cell phone ad that sounds like it's going to be a Strokes song, and then ends up a crappy-sounding Strokes-ripoff song. It's the ad with the "My hot romance... My big night out... etc." stuff. Awful and annoying.

Posted by: Steve | June 4, 2008 10:58 AM

don't forget the Britt Daniel Top 10 "Uh huh" and "Awlrights"...and the best one ever is the "Oh...AH....UHHH!" from "Merchants of Soul".

Posted by: robyn | June 4, 2008 11:23 AM

I can't see the clips 'cuz I'm at work - but I'm assuming you're referring to the car commercial with the Spoon song. Don't forget that they also used it in the previews for the movie "21" (heh- get it- "My Mathematical Mind"?). The overuse of songs in movie previews is a whole other story - I'd love to see an 'every day at the office' montage to something other than "Brazil."

Posted by: boston liz | June 4, 2008 1:51 PM

ALthough that Heineken commercial makes me want to change the channel, it is that Sprite (?) commercial of the kids jumping into the basketball court that I will stop everything to destroy. Why must they play only 5 commercials during the NBA playoffs?

Posted by: amanda | June 5, 2008 11:35 AM

Is that the "I'm falling away ... with you" one? Man that thing is waaaaaaay annoying. I thought it was Incubus or something like that but my Internet research shows that it's just some random band that recorded that song for the ad.

Posted by: David | June 5, 2008 12:05 PM

Man, I gotta start making a list of all these commercial songs. Maybe Landmark Theatres ought to make one of their next free CD's a concept release of the best of commercial sell-out music.

Posted by: T.D. | June 6, 2008 2:00 PM

I'll have my fingers crossed that at least one of the "ohs" from "Johnathon Fisk" makes the list.

Posted by: Connor | June 17, 2008 4:53 PM

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