1) Genesis – “We Don’t Ask” The sheer might of Audra Mae’s vocals is what drives this spot. For years, Mae has been a contributing writer and vocalist for The All-American Rejects, Sons of Anarchy (TV Show) and Avicii. Nice to finally see her name on the marquis. Agency: Innocean USA – Huntington Beach Music: […]

How do you convince a Grammy-winning, household-name that writing a jingle for an insurance company isn’t compromising his artistic integrity? By letting him re-write it…any way he wants. That appears to be how ad agency Oglivy Mather got Brad Paisley to sing the “Nationwide is on your side” earworm. This is so cool: Nationwide Insurance […]

Dominique and I were recently watching videos of X-Factor auditions on YouTube when this pre-roll ad for French’s Jalapeno Mustard appeared: Clicking “Skip Ad” has become second nature for most of us by now, but this spot was the exception. It totally got our heads bobbin’. Congratulations to ADROC – the retail marketing agency for […]

Hearing Coltrane, Dizzy and Miles blow a solo in 1954 probably felt – at least to a layman – much like venturing out into metropolis currently feels to me. A brute force; all of it demanding my full attention and respect. Which explains why music lovers so hungrily consumed the relaxed, unhurried piano playing of […]

Grab a Kleenex for this one. In this scene from Truly, Madly, Deeply (1990), Juliet Stevenson plays an amateur pianist named Nina whose boyfriend recently died. As Nina is grieving at her piano, she’s imagining her late boyfriend (a professional cellist) playing his duet part in Bach’s Sonata No.3 for Cello & Piano. Suddenly, Nina […]

A gnarly industrial-pop song called “Guns Blazing” by Cobra Ramone was used to underscore the most erotic scene I have ever witnessed in a movie where everyone’s clothes stay on. In the 2013 independent film All the Wrong Reasons, our main female character (played by director Gia Milani) has a crush on a male co-worker. […]

From a purely musical standpoint, the most innovative Super Bowl commercial this year featured no music at all.

Carnival Cruise Lines won us over with grand ocean imagery that should have been accompanied by profound, epic music. So imagine our surprise when the huge, panoramic shots were underscored by the singular, crackling voice of JFK delivering this speech

As publishers we’ve observed that every year the music licensing world sanctions a list of tracks that
perfectly embody the emotions that really matter to a story (or a product purchase). Our congratulations to Album Leaf for getting on that list in 2012 and being responsible for the track we
think most beautifully expressed “poignant sadness” in 2012.

Non-musicians often guage the talent of musicians by asking them how many instruments they play. It’s an easy way to make conversation and an easy number to count. As a rule, I always refrain from saying what I really think. A gallon of water can be poured into several glasses or one big jug. Either […]

The song is “Clash” by Caravan Palace, a collective of DJs and producers based in Paris, France who
specialize in the genre called electro-swing. This is one of those brilliant song licensing choices
that works not because the singer sounds good; or the musicianship is stellar; or the composition is
clever; but rather because the singers’s voice just sounds interesting. It’s like seeing a shade of
blue on an Italian sports car unlike any shade of blue you’ve ever seen. You can’t stop looking at it.