American Idol covers Modest Mouse

This is perhaps the most succinct snapshot of mainstream American culture in 2007. The Top 12 finalists from American Idol, dressed as hippies and breakdancers, sing a snappy little version of Modest Mouse’s “Float On” in a commercial for—who else?—Ford Motor Co.

Absolutely perfect. This spot has it all. In just 44 seconds, they manage to co-opt and emasculate (at least) three generations of anti-Establishment counterculture: hippies, hip-hop, and indie rock. Welcome to the future! And you thought postmodernism was played out…

5 thoughts on “American Idol covers Modest Mouse”

  1. Not quite on point, but…has anyone else gone green around the gills upon hearing the Violent Femmes and The The being used in recent commercials for burgers and the like? I get that the 80s punk rockers are now advertising executives, but this is terrifying!

  2. I know I have defended using songs like this for commercials in the past. I think my problem with this one is less them co-opting a great song to simultaneously sell mediocre autos and mediocre singers (hey, I hope Isaac Brock cashed a big fat chunk of Ford’s money for this), but do the Idols have to look like such douchebags doing it? Geez, how can they have any self-respect after participating in that?

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