Music News

Lite-rock band Train shills Drops of Jupiter, its

As occasionally sad as it may be when previously respectable musicians shill for products — like the time Bob Dylan pseudo-endorsed Cadillac by driving an Escalade around in the desert and giving off the unsettling sense of a homeless person who just stole one — if there is a redeeming quality to the intersection of rock and roll and commerce, it's the high potential for silliness therein. For an early example of that, set the wayback to 1964, when the Rolling Stones not only lent a song to Rice Krispies, they wrote a song about Rice Krispies: "Wake up in the morning/There's a krackle in your face," sang a young Mick Jagger with a surprising amount of conviction. Seriously, YouTube that. It's bizarre.

A more recent trend in the long and storied tradition of musician product endorsement, though, is musician product creation — for example, this last decade's fetid wave of pop-star-branded perfumes. Indeed: For all the fans who ever wanted the skink lines wafting off them to have some connection to their favorite singer, it's a bandwagon currently occupied by everyone from Britney Spears to Justin Bieber to P. Diddy (formerly "Swag"), whose fragrance's name, "Unforgiveable," comes off just a little menacing. And let's not forget Lady Gaga's as-yet-unreleased perfume, slated to offer a bouquet of blood and semen, because apparently that's what "an expensive hooker" smells like.

But that shit is old hat, because today, to that canon of vaguely classy-seeming cheap shit named after bands, we add a new product: wine. It's conceived and manufactured by Train, the band responsible for roughly one-third of all lite rock with such bland but infuriatingly catchy hits as "Meet Virginia" and "Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me)." Incidentally, that second one is what the wine is called, thus answering the question nobody ever wondered: "What would drops of Jupiter taste like?"

Evidently, friends, they would taste "absolutely delicious," at least according to Train guitarist Jimmy Stafford, who proudly made the announcement via the band's blog last week. "I like to say that the minute you uncork the bottle, the boysenberry fruit leaps from your glass!" he elaborated. "We'll chat together very soon about the specific ways to enjoy the wine, but just know in advance that it goes perfect with or without food. We wouldn't have it any other way."

In the meantime, while we eagerly await the physical assault of boysenberry fruit and Stafford's accompanying commandments for how it must specifically be enjoyed, Train's decision to go with a wine as opposed to a nice eau de toilette (the world will just have to wait to discover what odor drops of Jupiter exude) sort of makes sense, given the band's apparent emotional connection with various food items; recall, if you will, "Drops of Jupiter"'s odd lyrical shout-outs to deep-fried chicken and soy lattes.

And like those humble food items, Drops of Jupiter the wine will sell for a hobo-friendly ten bucks a bottle. If you need Bob Dylan, he'll be guzzling it behind an abandoned gas station, possibly with nachos.

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Jef Otte
Contact: Jef Otte