'I'm a Mac' music

Could it be the background music?

In the perennial Mac vs. PC debate, the Mac is coming on strong, moving into the No. 3 spot among U.S. computer manufacturers and growing sales eight times faster than the personal computer industry average (according to Gartner). Technical merits aside, those "I'm a Mac" ads are probably having an effect--or, if not, they're certainly entertaining, and occasionally brutal. (I wonder if Apple has any PR people and what they thought of this spot.)

But what you may not know is that the composer of the music in those ads--that happy little loop that you sort of notice without noticing--is Mark Mothersbaugh. Name doesn't ring a bell? How about Devo?

Since Devo's 1984 demise, Mothersbaugh has made music for films (including Wes Anderson's output), video games, and advertisements, and has admitted to putting subliminal messages in some of those pieces. He's also one of the few musicians in the world with a career-long unifying theme to his work: de-evolution.

Read this week's L.A. Weekly feature on Mothersbaugh and company, and I bet you'll listen a little more carefully the next time one of those ads comes on.

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Rosoff is an analyst with Directions on Microsoft, where he covers Microsoft's consumer products and corporate news. He's written about the technology industry since 1995, and reviewed the first Rio MP3 player for CNET.com in 1998. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network. Disclosure. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattrosoff.


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