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Music & Film Wed Jul 02 2008

Chicago Film, Slow Down

This is the trailer for the new Matthew Broderick film, Diminished Capacity:

Much of the action takes place in Chicago, and the trailer makes prominent use of the song "Slow Down Chicago" by Canasta -- it comes in about halfway through. Trouble is, the band had no idea it was going to be used.

"We're excited to be involved... although I'm actually having trouble figuring out how it was licensed," said Matt Priest, Canasta's singer. "We definitely didn't know about it until a friend saw the trailer. So I'm looking into that right now."

Priest said he didn't even know if the song was in the movie itself. He'll be able to find out on Friday, when Diminished Capacity opens in theaters nationwide. Watch for a review in our own Steve at the Movie's column this week.





UPDATE:
Mystery solved! Details after the jump.

From Matt Priest:

So Canasta has two official licensing representatives. One is Minty Fresh Records. They're a great label and nice people, but so far, nothing has come of that relationship. And I just checked with them regarding this and they were not involved. For the record, our contract with them is non-exclusive.

We also have our music in the Rumblefish database. Are you familiar with them? It's kind of interesting. But with Rumblefish, they cut out the red tape for ad agencies, but in exchange you (the unsigned band) don't get any say as to *who* licenses your music, nor what for. Basically, you submit your music to Rumblefish. And if they like your music, then you become a member and upload high quality MP3's of your stuff to their site. Then you then enter tons of search terms for each tune, based on instrumentation, moods, themes, lyrics, etc. Then there are a bunch of ad agencies who also belong to the site. And they can search for appropriate music to license, using search terms. Once they find a track that fits their search terms, they can listen to it and if they like it, they fill out this online form that asks all these specific questions about exactly what it's being used for (30 sec. sitcom theme song, 20 sec. dog food commercial, 2 min. film background music, etc.), how much of the song they need, for how long it'll run, how widely it'll be distributed, etc. Then, this complicated computer formula gives them an exact and immediate quote. If the price is right, they can buy it and download it immediately for the approved use without any say from us. Sounds scary, right? But for an unsigned band like us who doesn't have an agent out there looking actively for licensing opportunities, we're willing to take the risks associated in order to get stuff like this.

It was easy for Priest to find out whether the licensing went through Minty Fresh — it just took a phone call. But it was much more difficult with Rumblefish. They weren't sure at first — which struck Priest and me as odd, since you'd think the super-fancy technology would keep efficient track of whether a song was purchased. But eventually they were able to determine that "Slow Down Chicago" was in fact licensed through their system. So fear not, Canasta will be paid for their fine songwriting.

 
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Erin / July 2, 2008 1:56 PM

You know, ever since I heard them perform that song, I've always thought it was the quintessential Chicago song, and wished it received more attention and play.

But not like this! Lord. Let this awesome band make some money!

Mike White / July 2, 2008 7:24 PM

Uh oh. I hope y'all have some kind of "buy off" via BMI or whatever. That is, I hope you're getting royalties!

Mike White / July 2, 2008 9:42 PM

Woops, my bad. Didn't see the second half of the piece. I missed "the jump" somehow.

Andrew / July 2, 2008 10:32 PM

You didn't miss anything, Mike, the update wasn't there when you posted the first time.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »

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