From the NY Times:
My 2 cents:
This stinks more than a teenager’s 9 month-old pair of Converses! Selling out used to mean allowing your music to be used to advertise brands but to have the brands themselves pay for the recording is beyond cynical. It’s great that artist’s will get to own the rights to the music but how exactly are the bands who apply online going to be chosen by the Nike/Converse marketing department? No doubt a band’s potential, based on demos, their website and so forth will have an influence and thus bands will get to learn what \”works\” for Converse and what doesn’t. A demo full of anti-corporate, anti-sweatshop content would likely be looked over. So the Converse label is not likely to produce the next iteration of The Clash. While one would like to think that this could backfire I’m afraid that is wishful thinking reserved for the over-30 set. The horrible truth is that with job prospects worse than ever for young people a favored fantasy for them all is a \”career\” in music by whatever means necessary. Gone are the days where rock and pop was edgy, which is to say it offended the established adult order. Who takes music seriously anymore as a vector for transgressive political or philosophical thought? The social value of music as an agent of change has been debased and thanks to QE2 the USD is next. Can a citizenry that no longer produces anything physical get by on simply selling empty dreams to each other? Methinks we are about to find out.