A contagious joy among 17,000 people, impromptu dance parties from hipsters and blue-hairs alike, and two generations worth of upbeat, stick-to-your-brain hits. That’s what went down at the Foster the People + The Beach Boys show this past Wednesday at Blossom. Also, seventy-somethings continuing to sing about their attraction to young California girls. Gross.vom. But the real take-home was Mark Foster’s heartfelt thanks to his hometown (Cleveland!) for giving him the resources and drive to get where he is today. Which is to say, consistently at the top of the Billboard charts. The 28-year-old songwriter took what some might call a lame road to fame—a road that worked out astronomically well for him. A little road called… <> …advertising.

Yep. The Nordonia high school alum (go Knights!) moved out to L.A. and started out as a jingle writer. Leveraging what he learned, he created a Grammy-nominated album on his first try. And his songs have raked in cash from brands like Nissan and Cadillac, and continue to dominate my radio waves. Other currently beloved bands like The Black Keys and Vampire Weekend have also chosen the same path to popularity. Sell-outs no more! In fact, I took an official poll from the seven people within earshot to find out if they “fanned” any musicians after their commercial debuts.

Here’s what popped:

    • Feist – Apple iPod

    • Ingrid Michaelson – Old Navy

    • Fun. – Chevy Sonic

So nice work to these bands and brands! And to the next musical prodigy, we have this to say—help us help you.