A Look At Music's Odd Couples

Odd Couples

Indie musicians and corporate giants team up -- Fendi, Tylenol, and Toyota find common ground with independent artists in company-sponsored music releases

Indie artists and corporate giants go together like, well, mustard and strawberry jam, but lately they've been finding common ground — in company-sponsored music releases. Clever marketing or sloppy sellout? You decide.

FENDI

Known For Luxe Italian clothing; handbags that cost more than a used car.

Musical Goods Mother Inc.'s droll electro musings, courtesy of New York social heavies Yvonne Force Villareal and Sandra Hamburg.

Sponsor Shout-out? ''I know I'm divine — head to toe in Fendi/Silk lingerie, I feel so hot.''

The Hookup ''Fendi's sensibility works with what we're trying to do — sophisticated but lighthearted,'' says Hamburg.

TYLENOL

Known For Curing minor aches and pains; invalidating ''Not tonight, dear. . .''

Musical Goods The Tylenol-issued EP, Songs of Hurt and Healing, features eccentric indie-folk outfits White Magic and American Analog Set.

Sponsor Shout-out? ''And now that you want to know/Why it hurts worse than when it first hurt/'Cause it never lets you go'' (from Am An Set's ''Immaculate Heart''). Sounds like a migraine to us!

The Hookup ''They called me in the middle of recording 'Play Hurt,' asking for songs about hurting and pain,'' says Set frontman Andrew Kenny. ''The timing seemed too perfect.''

TOYOTA SCION

Known For Midpriced coupes for Gen-Y; kooky lozenge design.

Musical Goods A 30-track hip-hop sampler mixed by Peanut Butter Wolf and DJ Jazzy Jeff and an EP by the daKAH Hip-Hop Orchestra.

Sponsor Shout-out? Yes, it seems — just not for Scion. Pete Rock and Pharoahe Monch's ''Just Do It'' would make Nike very happy.

The Hookup ''If we don't support a talented 70-member hip-hop orchestra, who will?'' quips Scion's Jeri Yoshizu.

Originally posted Apr 11, 2005 Published in issue #815 Apr 15, 2005 Order article reprints
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