*Wilco in a VW commercial.
*TV on the Radio as dramatic background music at the end of an episode of Grey’s Anatomy.
*The Shins as the centerpiece of an awful movie by Zack Braff. (There, I said it-I hated Garden State)
*Sonic Youth's approval of a celebrity compiled “Best Of,” to be sold exclusively at Starbucks.
Given the current state of the economy it could be argued that most musicians no longer have the option of turning down a paycheck for the sake of their ethics. For those of you who don’t bother to open a newspaper every now and again, the global economy is in shambles. Inflation is rising, wages have stagnated, and numerous industries are failing rapidly. And this directly affects how musicians are making decisions on allowing their music to be used in movies, television advertising and video games.
Moreover, due to a number of factors (less disposable income, online downloading, poor marketing), CD sales continue to decline. People are no longer buying music in the same quantities or in the same mediums as they used to. As a result, many artists have had to make some difficult decisions. The licensing of a song to a commercial may or may not generate album sales, but those residual checks are guaranteed.
Part 1: The Ethics of Selling Out. Why Punk Rock No Longer Applies to Generation Y.