On "Thrillville" I'm doing a number of things including the role of Music Supervisor when it comes to licensed music. Essentially, this means that I've been getting lots of CDs and I've been going through them track by track and selecting the ones I want to use in-game. After I select them, the list goes to Legal where they find out how much it costs to license each track and inevitably some get kicked off of the list. I go back and find replacements, etc.
It's an interesting process. Apparently the way it works is that record labels send out either the album for the artist or a compilation disc of stuff broken down by genre and whether it's "up-tempo" or not. They then have documentation that comes with each disc in the form of a one-sheet artist description and a list of "focus tracks" - tracks that are essentially the singles.
It's been interesting to see, actually. Now, that's been the fun part. The not fun part? I've become the guy to which everyone now says "Hey, my [friend/mother/dog] has a band. You should totally check them out. They'd be PERFECT for the game!!!"
You know what? They never are. Aside from the fact that they're just not the right feel or genre of stuff that I'm looking for for the game, everything I've heard would need to be completely re-engineered to actually be able to use it. Additionally, how do we license the world-wide rights to a song from an unsigned band? Just bad news all around.
I've been getting plenty of practice though with my "Oh, yeah, sounds great. Not sure it's the right thing we're looking for." speech, which is always fun. And by "fun" I mean dream-shatteringly awkward.