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In what they are calling "an advertising first", car maker VW has licensed the brand new album Sky Blue Sky (iTunes) by the alternative rock band Wilco for use in their new Volkswagon TV commercial ad campaign. According to VW: "This is the first time anyone has ever used one album as a soundtrack for an entire TV campaign." Although it's not exactly clear how many different Wilco songs will be used in upcoming VW spots, roughly half of the new album's tracks are headed for VW commercials.

So far, the new VW Volkswagon commercials have featured the Wilco songs "The Thanks I Get", "Either Way", "Sky Blue Sky" and "You Are My Face".

As expected, this Madison Avenue music licensing deal has created the usual fan backlash. Coming to the band's defense is everyone from lead singer Jeff Tweedy's brother-in-law (writer Danny Miller) to the band Wilco itself:

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.

It can be puzzling when some music fans are quick to repeat the "music industry is evil" mantra, but then turn around and criticize their favorite musicians for trying to make a living from their own music while that same music industry is in such turmoil.

Sky Blue Sky
by Wilco

Download from Amazon iTunes