SoCo Music Experience in Tempe

A lot has been said about Band of Horses licensing a song for Wal-Mart, an issue I’m still not totally for or against. It’s complex to say the least: Wal-Mart is evil, but indie bands need to make money, too.

I’m not here to rap about it too much or take a stand one way or the other. But I was surprised to see a pretty excellent lineup – if not the epitome of “blog buzz” – for an Oct. 20 show at this new mega-mall, Tempe Marketplace, opening later this month (OMG, they’re putting an H&M there!). The Southern Comfort (“SoCo” to me and you) Music Experience: Cold War Kids, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Girl Talk, Sick Puppies and Architecture in Helsinki.

Even better: It’s free. That can only mean one thing: Southern Comfort must be kicking in a shit-ton of cash (and booze) for the bands. I guess we should be up in arms about this? Does it even matter? Wilco licensed songs for VW then felt the need to defend the decision to do so.

My thoughts are a bit half-baked at the moment, but the whole holier-than-thou attitude toward this type of thing irritates me. I suppose 10 years ago I would have cried sell out, too. But now that I own a house, have bills, car payments, etc. … I can better understand the decision.

So, seriously, SoCo, if you’re reading … I’ll totally rename this blog – SoCo Much Silence? – for the right price. In the meantime, I’ll be at the show, drinking SoCo, of course.

What the hell … Cold War Kids video for Hang Me Up to Dry:

5 thoughts on “SoCo Music Experience in Tempe”

  1. I actually said “WHAAAAAAT” out loud upon reading this.

    SoCo did right by me re: free drinks at the FADER mega-party during SXSW. The taste in bands here is so impeccable that I think it speaks for itself – I’d go regardless of sponsor, unless it was like the U.S. Army or something (it’s happened before!)

  2. The lines are too blurred anymore to call anyone a straight-up sellout. (Anyone remember MC Hammer getting chided for dancing in Kentucky Fried Chicken commercials?)

    That said, Wal-Mart *is* superevil … it’s a tough call for an indie band.

    I like his justification for the Ford commercials. That’s a bit more solid as a rationale.

    – jose

    P.S. I really stopped by because I saw your posting at the other site today on Bobby C’s. I ached because I was about to head down there after a show, but I was just too wiped out. Next week, I suppose …

  3. As we are fortunate enough not to have the prolapsed innards of the belly of the beast here in Australia – yet – i can’t really say i make this comment upon a physical entity that sits amongst my day to day setting.

    But, WalMart’s rep is a example of caution throughout the international community against balls-to-the-wall uber capitalism.

    Anyways, AIH are australian.

    Though I think it somewhat harsh to suggest that they assume an austere / camel hair clothing approach to their careers, to assume an absence of political shape upon the WalMart stage , lolly water (SoCo)in hand, is little more than an free acceptance of things most of us would rather not happen to ourselves and our families (wage suppression, union stomping, etc etc).

    The parallel over here would be a concert supporting Pokie machines (slot machines) in live music venues!

    As a wise mind once said to me, “you can’t have your cake AND stir the punch with your d##k.”

  4. Argh – I wish I could edit my comment above.

    I forgot to mention that the Cold War Kids are on Leno tonight with poet Derrick Brown. Brown is amazing.

    Also, tonight at Trunk Space is Lucky Dragons (, who are supposed to be amazing. Their music is super-interactive with sounds being created by audience members (with various devices) being incorporated into performances.

    – jose

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