Say It Isn’t So, Ben.

After posting yesterday on the Violent Femmes song “Blister In The Sun” being used to sell hamburgers, I saw another favorite artist’s work being used to shill for Hilton Hotels: Ben Folds’ song “Landed.”

It was only a snippet of the song and the commercial itself is an animation of line drawings, so I think my memories of the song will not be damaged as badly as, say Marvin Gaye’s “Heard It Through The Grapevine” and those goddamned California Raisins.

Still, this is a painful event. I like to think that I “discovered” Ben Folds. Ben Folds Five appeared on the second stage at the Lollapalooza show that played at the State Fairgrounds in 1996–with big names like the Ramones, Rancid, Soundgarden and Metallica. I went out and bought their first album and my friends and family haven’t stopped hearing about him since. I’ve seen him play twice since and bought nearly everything he has put out–EP’s, strange side project with William Shatner(!), soundtrack for animated movie “Over the Hedge”.

I’ve done my part, why does he need to sell out his artistry so some corporate twit can claim that the advertising campaign attempts to “reinforce the ability of travel to serve as a trigger to the special moments in one’s life.”

James Poniewozik, who writes a blog for Time on popular culture, was having a similar problem. He found a way to save his fond memories of Ben Folds and his music–the amateurs who post their renditions of his songs on YouTube.


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