Tag Archive: glee

According to a report from NME, the reason My Chemical Romance agreed to have their song “Sing” performed on Glee was to be “subversive” within the pop world.

Frontman Gerard Way explained, “We wanted to get in that pop world and do some damage.  ‘Sing’ is an anthem attacking corporate society, and there it is on Glee.”

It seems unlikely that the band has completely non-commercial reasons for the move, as there’s no doubt a hefty payment for licensing your music on something as big as Glee. That being said, I don’t think selling music on a popular platform like Glee for significant monetary gain is necessarily a bad thing.

What music snobs, hipsters, or whatever-you-want-to-call-them often fail to understand is that bands need a way to make money.  Especially in times like these in which people steal artists‘ work all the time anyways.  If artists can’t make money off their music, then they’re not going to keep making it.  TV and commercial licensing is one of the best and most profitable places to sell songs and earn the money necessary to continue making music.  This argument is nothing new, as we’ve known about the ethical dilemmas surrounding the concept of “selling out” for years now.  In the digital age, however, things have gotten even more complicated.

No matter MCR’s true motivation behind giving the popular show permission to use their song, Way’s explanation is at least a little refreshing.

The whole situation calls the film SLC Punk to mind.  In that movie, the main character is an anarchist punk living in Salt Lake City, defying his parents’ wishes for him to attend law school by living a relatively reckless lifestyle.  By the end of the movie, however, (SPOILER ALERT!!!!) he realizes that his rebellious lifestyle isn’t getting him anywhere, and the best way to beat the system is by corrupting it from the inside.  The last scene of the movie is a shot of him in his suit at law school, flashing a devilish grin.  We get the sense that he’s going to maintain his punk attitude despite becoming everything he used to hate… but at the same time we feel as if his rebellious outlook on life is losing out to the inevitable force of “the system.”

If that brief explanation did the film any justice, you should see at least a slight comparison to My Chemical Romance and their upcoming Glee debut.  Even though the band might enjoy a large pay day when the episode debuts, they’ve still managed to put a song that’s true to their musical style and political outlook on a show broadcast to thousands.  More people need to realize that sometimes punk isn’t just about clothes, musical style, or blatantly rebellious action.  It’s about attitude, and it works best as subtle subversion— attacking institutions from the inside.

 

Every once in a while a form of media comes along that introduces a younger generation to older music that they might have never paid attention to otherwise.  Right now, whether you like it or not, that form of media is Glee.

If you don’t believe me, take this example.  When Girl Talk’s All Day came out last year, I explained to a friend that the man behind the album was a mashup artist.  Her response?  “Ohhh mash-ups?  Like from the show Glee?”