How about a little music with your lunch?

One year ago this month, Portland’s Wieden & Kennedy agency started Lunchbox, a series of daytime concerts in their building that aim to bridge the gap between performing artists and those who license their music.

Says Brianna Lowe, the organizer of Lunchbox: “The concept of Lunchbox is to bring emerging national acts to Wieden & Kennedy to play a four to six song set followed by a short Q&A. This gives bands an opportunity to showcase their songs for a crowd that not only is very receptive to new music, but also opens the opportunity that their songs could potentially be used in an advertising campaign.” Bands that have played the Lunchbox series have been Art Brut, Cold War Kids, Ladytron, The Rapture, Cut Chemist, Lyrics Born, Pigeon John, Kevin Michael, G. Love and the Special Sauce, Pete Yorn, Ratatat, Son Volt, The Roots, Juliette and the Licks, and Elvis Perkins in Dearland. Upcoming Lunchboxes will feature The Shout Out Louds and Matthew Dear.

The venue is small and intimate, and nothing compares to the experience of seeing up and coming bands performing for a small crowd like this. I’ve been to several and they were all equally amazing, and I got to check out types of music I normally wouldn’t have been exposed to.

Showtimes are typically 12:30-1:00 and shows are free, but you have to RSVP in advance and if you do RSVP, please try to show. You can do so by hitting the Lunchbox website, and send an e-mail to the info link provided. Make sure you mention you saw this post on the metroblog, as these events are small and intimate and the organizers don’t want things to get too crazy, and like to know how people heard about it. Enjoy!

11 Comments so far

  1. Superinkygirl (unregistered) on October 10th, 2007 @ 12:35 pm

    Wow!! This is great. Thanks for posting.


  2. dieselboi (unregistered) on October 10th, 2007 @ 1:45 pm

    Yeah, I subscribe to their RSS feed, yet usually get notified after the fact. I think even the Beastie Boys did a performance when they were in town for WK’s anniversary. Thanks for posting.


  3. The Guilty Carnivore (unregistered) on October 10th, 2007 @ 1:48 pm

    “This gives bands an opportunity to showcase their songs for a crowd that not only is very receptive to new music, but also opens the opportunity that their songs could potentially be used in an advertising campaign.”

    Kill me.


  4. divebarwife (unregistered) on October 10th, 2007 @ 3:04 pm

    Guilty Carnivore – sounds like you agree with my husband, it just hurts him when band that he likes have songs in ads – where I LOVE it – it makes me a little proud that “my people” are now in charge of the big accounts and get to use the music we love in major ad campaigns. Full disclosure – advertising major in college :)


  5. Mike (unregistered) on October 10th, 2007 @ 3:44 pm

    I’m with Divebarwife on this one: sometimes the way I hear of a musician is because of a commercial. Most recent example: Feist on the new iPod Nano ad. Saw it, heard it, loved it, bought all her stuff on iTunes that night. See how that works? The day before, despite having three albums out, I had no clue who she was.

    Artists lending their voice to a product is arguable for sure: they are often labeled as sellouts or money whores, but rarely does anyone put a positive spin on it. I for one, IMHO, think it’s a good thing.

    It’s when singers try to act and actors try to sing that I usually take umbrage. :)


  6. The Guilty Carnivore (unregistered) on October 10th, 2007 @ 9:11 pm

    I don’t fault the artists for trying to make a living. Great for them. They deserve it (though ask Hutch Harris from The Thermals about when Hummer wanted to use one of their songs in a commercial).

    And I admit I’ve heard songs on commercials that have spurred me to action. A few years ago an old Kinks album I hadn’t touched in years was in heavy rotation for a 6 months after I saw an HP commercial. Also, I picked up an album after seeing an Intel ad, and it has been a constant, guilty electro-clash pleasure of late. I even downloaded that Swedish band/Iggy Pop song that was the soundtrack to a Cadillac (of all things!) commercial. (As an aside, using Iggy Pop’s “Lust for Life” — a paean to the pleasures of heroin abuse — as sing-along to a car commercial has always amused me on many levels).

    It’s just that statement is so crass and reductive, as if the sole raison d’etre for any musician is to somehow commoditize your art into something that can be safely packaged for consumption.

    /soapbox


  7. dieselboi (unregistered) on October 11th, 2007 @ 8:02 am

    Yeah, the whole sellout question is tough. If my favorite band showed up shilling for Exxon or the Republican Party, I would have a serious issue. But if it is for soap or the latest ipod, I don’t really care that much. I remember reading a story about an up and coming indie band in the early 2000s. They had gotten an add spot with their first song and that money allowed them to keep on keepin’ on instead of struggling through a self supported tour and maybe selling out to a devil record label.

    So, off the topic of selling out and back to the post – who’s going? I am! Woot!


  8. george (unregistered) on October 11th, 2007 @ 8:22 am

    playing live, merch, and licensing are the ways that musicians make money. some tiny and shrinking minority of musicians actually get paid for record sales. its hard for me to imagine many musicans making dollar one for selling recorded music in 20 years.

    the concept of “selling out” made sense in the 60’s when records cost like $25 in 2007 dollars and were the ONLY way to hear lots of bands.

    its an outdated concept now, and i wish people would get over it. if i were in a nutty suburban right wing band, i would be happy to license to hummer.

    fans should be happy to see people make money so that they can continue being musicians.


  9. Superuncoolgirl (unregistered) on October 11th, 2007 @ 8:55 am

    My biggest problem with my favorite bands “selling out” is that suddenly their music gets all sorts of exposure and they get a spike in their popularity and then I’m not the cool chick that turns everybody on to an obscure band; everybody has already heard them on the Gilmore Girls or a Volkswagen commercial… thereby homogenizing my “obscure” and “eclectic” taste. C’est la vie. Worse things can happen.


  10. dieselboi (unregistered) on October 11th, 2007 @ 10:30 am

    Well, alas, the lunchbox has been canceled. I just got a note from WK that the band is stuck in California with a broken bus. Oh well, maybe next time. :(


  11. Mike (unregistered) on October 11th, 2007 @ 11:39 am

    Ah, that bites! Well, there will be another one soon enough! I was looking forward to this one too…



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