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Sunday, October 14, 2007

Selling Out

Quick pop quiz....which is the most egregious example of commercial sellout by a respected band/artist?

a. Bob Dylan, Victoria's Secret ads
b. Iggy Pop, Carnival Cruises
c. "London Calling" by the Clash, for Jaguar
d. Led Zeppelin for Cadillac

No, this is not an essay test, because now mathematics has come to the rescue to definitively address this important subject with a complicated theorem.

In Sunday's Washington Post, former NPR arts editor Bill Wyman presents a scholarly article on The Shilling Effect designed to assist you in determining the heinousness of the infraction, or as he calls it, the Moby Quotient of a particular commercial sell-out. You are encouraged on the site to add your own examples to further fine-tune the results.

And please, while we're on the topic, help yourself to an eminently dancable recording by the immortal Slim Gaillard on Selling Out, from the David Bowie movie "Absolute Beginners".