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  • Justin Bieber looks undeniably cute in a new holiday commercial for Macy’s department stores, but the spot also represents one of the down sides of music these days. It’s all about selling. It wasn’t always that way.

    Back in the early days rock in the ’50s and ’60s, musicians survived on their music alone.

    Neither Macy’s nor General Motors, for that matter, would think twice about trying to sell a product with a rock song.

    The music was shunned by everyone except the teens who made it and played it. A still young Paul Simon did a memorable “Saturday Night Live” skit.

    He played an older version of himself. He gets into an elevator and is horrified to hear one of his songs as the background muzak.

    Jon Lovitz suddenly appears as Satan and informs him he’s in hell and this is his punishment.

    Simon really is old now, and the generations that have followed have grown up on rock and roll and all its various incarnations. And, today, Pop music is synonymous with commercialism.

    Thanks to downloading and general incompetence, the music industry is a shadow of its former self and no longer generates the revenues it once did from music. That’s forcing today’s musicians to rely heavily on touring and television commercials among other things.

    Back in the day it was called selling out. Today, it’s called branding. Check out the video below and click here to follow TheImproper on Twitter for more Justin Bieber updates.