Posted in music on June 5, 2007

WilcoAs reported on Sunday, Wilco songs are playing in the new Volkswagen commercials. Wilco sent out this message:

As many of you are aware, Volkswagen has recently begun running a series of TV commercials featuring Wilco music.

Why? This is a subject we've discussed internally many times over the years regarding movies, TV shows and even the odd advertisement. With the commercial radio airplay route getting more difficult for many bands (including Wilco); we see this as another way to get the music out there. As with most of the above (with the debatable exception of radio) the band gets paid for this. And we feel okay about VWs. Several of us even drive them.

If you're keeping track, this is not the first time Wilco has licensed a song to or even been involved in a commercial -- most recently a TV spot for Telefonica Mobile in Spain used a Wilco song and some years prior Jeff Tweedy appeared in a campaign for Apple Computer. Wilco have licensed hundreds of songs to television shows and films worldwide... from festival-only indie films to major motion pictures and weekly TV shows.

Thus far the songs in the VW campaign are "The Thanks I Get" (a bonus track from Sky Blue Sky sessions, available for download via the Enhanced CD and via iTunes) and "You are my Face". We expect to have more details re: other songs shortly. The current plan (subject to change, like everything) is for 5 or 6 songs to be used.

That's it. Don't believe everything you read unless you read it here.

Commercial below...


are the The National like Wilco???

Watch Willco AOL Music sessions HERE.

Wilco - 2007 Tour Dates
Jun 13 - Adler Theatre Davenport, Iowa
Jun 14 - Aronoff Center Cincinnati, Ohio
Jun 15 - Murat Theatre Indianapolis, Indiana
Jun 17 - Bonnaroo Manchester, Tennessee
Jun 19 - Chastain Park Amphitheatre Atlanta, Georgia
Jun 20 - Ovens Auditorium Charlotte, North Carolina
Jun 21 - Merriweather Post Pavilion Columbia, Maryland
Jun 22 - Count Basie Theatre Red Bank, New Jersey
Jun 24 - The Pines Northampton, Massachusetts
Jun 25 - Hammerstein Ballroom New York, New York
Jun 26 - Warsaw Brooklyn, New York
Jun 28 - Bank of America Pavilion Boston, Massachusetts
Jun 29 - The Green at Shelburne Museum Shelburne, Vermont
Jun 30 - Massey Hall Toronto, Ontario
Jul 7 - Kongsberg Jazz Festival Kongsberg
Jul 8 - Roskilde Festival Copenhagen
Jul 11 - Montreux Jazz Festival - Stravinski Hall Montreux
Jul 13 - Latitude Festival Suffolk
Jul 14 - Indian Summer Festival Glasgow, Scotland
Jul 15 - Dour Festival Dour
Jul 17 - Spazio211 Festival Turin
Jul 20 - Festival Internacional de Benicassim Benicassim
Sep 14 - Austin City Limits Festival Austin, Texas

* Wilco's Sky Blue Sky = Volkwsagon commercial soundtrack
* more Wilco posts



Tags: Volkswagen, Wilco

Comments (31)

Wilco is a mailstream band. Has been for years.

Posted by Anonymous | June 5, 2007 4:02 PM

sell out? wilco has all the right in the world to tell everyone to go suck it. good for them.

Posted by cranky | June 5, 2007 4:03 PM

haha. The old "it's a way to get the music out there excuse." Priceless. it's about money, period. No need to explain.

Posted by Anonymous | June 5, 2007 4:04 PM

oops. meant mainstream

Posted by Anonymous | June 5, 2007 4:05 PM

They make good music AND they are a typical commercial band looking to make a buck. Yes, they are in it for the money. so what?

Posted by Anonymous | June 5, 2007 4:08 PM

I could care less what bands do with their music. The only reason I care is because I don't want to get tired of hearing Sky Blue Sky. I really like the album, but don't want to get sick of hearing it from the VW ads (which seem to be running everywhere these days). Guess I need to just turn off the TV for a while.

Posted by Steve | June 5, 2007 4:12 PM

Only hipsters give a shit if bands get money from commercials and TV and movies. Guess it's cooler to take it from mommy and daddy.

Posted by Grog Master | June 5, 2007 4:15 PM

So what? It's not like they painted themselves as Fugazi or anything.

It's for money the same way that making a profit from tickets or records or T-shirts is. It allows the band to make a good living and continue doing what they do.

I also like VWs....well, apart from that Hitler unpleasantness of course.

Posted by Chris | June 5, 2007 4:19 PM

Let's be honest, the people who care enough to bitch about them "selling out" for money are the same people who steal their music by downloading it illegally.

Regardless, Tweedy/Wilco has stated numerous times that they don't care about the $$. This is the same band that streamed their fourth album (Yankee Hotel Foxtrot) for free on their website after refusing to cooperate with their record company. Keep that in mind before you call them "sellouts"...

Posted by Drugs Delaney | June 5, 2007 4:23 PM

i luv me sum wilko

Posted by indie rock crackhead | June 5, 2007 4:31 PM

Anon 4:23pm yes i agree and as well they let fans tape their shows and trade them even some off the board. Wilco has always been a fan friendly group and pretty damn good people. So what that they can make a buck or 2 from corporations.Good for them. Who watches commercials anyway anymore. With Tivo I can scan through the shows on my own time completely obliterating any commerical. With live events i put on music or mute the sound and commericals and their posion go away effortlessly. Now if i only could find a way to mute the idiots who call any genuine band who tries to make extra cash by licensing their songs sellouts life would be grand

Posted by Anonymous | June 5, 2007 4:37 PM

Grog Master hit the nail on the head.

Posted by Anonymous | June 5, 2007 5:09 PM

great for them. i don't give two shits. i'm still there at both hammerstein and warsaw later this month and i'll still play the shit out of SBS and any other wilco record.

the best is the headline on the news story on their site.
"Breaking News: Wilco music used in advertisement in an effort to sell records"

Posted by headline | June 5, 2007 5:10 PM

Here is a good post on the whole "selling out" issue.

Posted by Lee | June 5, 2007 5:13 PM

are we still talking about bands selling out and fetishizing authenticity? I mean I have a great deal of respect for Fugazi and co., but come on, its Wilco, you like the music then stop bitching, and if you don't you don't, stop worrying about this shit, it takes away from everything that matters, like actually doing something to make the world better, and keeping music as a source of inspiration, rather than worrying if everything last thing you do is authentic. everybody is corrupted, so do the best you can.

Posted by Anonymous | June 5, 2007 7:24 PM

Because everyone I know who is in a band would never ever want to be famous or make money or anything of that nature.

Posted by Kurt C. | June 5, 2007 7:48 PM

Yesterday's bands are tomorrow's jingle writers...

Posted by Anonymous | June 5, 2007 9:11 PM carries ads on this free website that we all use to our benefit, yet some of you are criticizing wilco for making money through do you spell hypoctrical?

Posted by Anonymous | June 5, 2007 9:25 PM

There's always the optio of doing what BRMC did recently, they licensed a track for a Pontiac TV spot and donated the money to charity.

In any case, bitching about it makes no sense.


Posted by juepucta | June 5, 2007 10:00 PM

anon 9:25

when i read that, i went "there are ads on brooklynvegan??" i scrolled up and there sure are. i never noticed! guess that means they're tasteful. or i'm clueless.

Posted by josh | June 6, 2007 12:30 AM

It's appropriate that Wilco songs are used in VW commercials... both have seen their better days long long ago.

Posted by Anonymous | June 6, 2007 8:55 AM

"Yesterday's bands are tomorrow's jingle writers..."

And vice versa.

Posted by Anonymous | June 6, 2007 9:21 AM

So all this discussion has made it quite clear that this is the generation of those who would sell their soul. No one even cares about Wilco, really. Where is the "sellout" accusation? There was nothing to sell.

Where is the person who's favorite song is in that VW commercial? Is there one? The song that pulled them through some really hard shit, or made them want to play guitar, or was some thing so perfect to them that they never told anyone? See, that's whose soul Wilco is selling. The people who connect with the artist and the art and the message or whatever, and felt that elation that comes with being in that inner circle.

But the fact is, no one really cares about Wilco, or pretty much any of the bands these days. It's a celebration when your band is given the corporate nod. YAY! The OC! Yay! VW! Yay! Major Motion Picture! Yay, the horders of wealth, and those that got rich on the work of others (recap for any retard who hasn't read it yet. They take 90% of all record sales, and then make the band recoup all the debt for the recording and promotion of the record...including the $100,000s spent to get airplay on radio, etc...right, fair play) have decided to spray the blood money in our direction! Yay! I can get a haircut like that too! I learn to play like that! One two three disco! Strum on upbeats, like that guy in Moving Units!

Yea, the fact is you gotta make a living, and the fact is that you gotta do what you gotta do.

Microsoft approached R.E.M. with Microsoft money to use "It's The End of the World As We Know It" for the launch of Windows '95. They said "No, fuck you."

The Rolling Stones historically took the same offer, (14 million?).

Who's right? i dunno. but I respect REM more than the Rolling Stones on this matter.

But back to Wilco, really...they don't have any songs worth not selling. So tweedy really can't be a sellout, can he.

Posted by slim | June 6, 2007 10:10 AM

i definitely respect REM for that, and everyone knows the stones are sellouts. but what about iggy's songs showing up in everything? i think i have complicated feelings about it, because iggy pop certainly isn't a sellout, is he? i think you have to be an industry to be a sellout. the stones are a business, and REM easily could be, so that's why it's cool that they said no. but can iggy pop be a multinational juggernaught, with a listing on the NYSE? when his songs show up selling cruises, i just think it's funny, and that he's that much more punk for it.

am i making the issue more complicated than it needs to be? bringing my opinions to it?

Posted by josh | June 6, 2007 10:31 AM


Posted by Anonymous | June 7, 2007 1:58 AM

There are so many places to use music in the media, why wouldn't creative marketers/music fans work to pair artists with sales messages? I think I heard a bit of DeVotchka in a Gerber commercial this morning, and it was really sweet. Someone at the ad agency probably knew the song from "Little Miss Sunshine" or one of their albums and wanted to use it with their own work.

Posted by TitoP | June 7, 2007 11:51 AM

"holy shit, there's a company in my back..." yep. sellout. thank god for r.e.m., pearl jam & neil young - the last of the holdouts. screw commercialism of art, though according to most of these posts, not many really give a damn. too bad.

Posted by marl allen | July 16, 2007 11:57 PM

To Go Home is now on a mastercard commercial.

Posted by tim | July 17, 2007 7:38 AM

Theyre not selling out, they're just, to quote Bill Hicks, "Sucking Satan's Cock". Its unfortunate, theyre a great band and ill still listen to them, but it still sucks devil balls that they're whoring their music out this way.

Posted by enda | November 1, 2007 9:41 AM

M Ward's version of To Go Home (a Daniel Johnston cover) was NOT used in the MasterCard spot. They approached ward, he said no, so they recorded their own version, I assume using the rights from DJ.

Still, Wilco selling out to VW is not so black and white. I loved hearing a Buffalo Tom song on that Pontiac ad years ago. Those guys deserved the money, they deserved the four extra fans it gave them. They worked their asses off and got very little in terms of fame and money.

Bill Hicks was a genius, but what a fucking great example of self-righteousness. Pearl Jam and REM didn't have to sell out, the mainstream commercial machine made damn sure their pockets were too full to ever have to hock a song. Did Wes Anderson sell out when he did the MasterCard spot?

Maybe Neil Peart was right, integrity is an illusion. Maybe no one but you knows if you're a sellout.

Posted by maurer | March 2, 2008 4:23 AM

Everybody wants to make money. Why not? And Volkswagen is really a good brand. Great song and great match.

Posted by Eurolappen | January 11, 2010 6:43 AM

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