I remember the outrage and strange surprise when it was revealed that Milli and Vanilli didn’t ACTUALLY SING those songs, or when it was revealed that Rob Van Winkle hadn’t actually secured all the permissions he needed to outright steal from John Deacon and the boys of Queen. I remember all that actual outrage, and so I find it funny that such practices in the music INDUSTRY have become so utterly commonplace and not even blinked at hardly.
I WAS at work outside today pulling bundles of metal fencing and hosing out of the former garden of our backyard, had my trusty Pioneer Airware clipped to my beltside, and I was continuing on one of my little music experiments. It’s called “what the kids are digging today.”
I’ve always been either a music snob or a music nerd, I’m not sure which or both. Blame it on Dad, who allowed me to listen to the Rolling Stones and Arlo Guthrie and Frank Zappa when I when I was very young, and on my Granny G, who somehow or other taught me that, yes, people WERE making music before 1968, and on all the band directors and music teachers who ever waggled a baton at me. Also, blame it on the fact that I am a contrarian pain in the ass by nature, and nothing comes more naturally to a contrarian pain in the ass then to assert that if it’s in the top 12, than it sucks.
Although that is generally true.
So I’m listening to XM’s “20 on 20,” which plays the top 20 songs in the order for which listeners have voted. And I’m listening, and raking and pulling and swearing, when I realize that the tune they’re playing sounds oddly familiar. The chords, the song structure, even the cadence. All of it. It is a song by a lady who for most of her career has been on my “sucks” list: Madonna. “Holiday.” Except, the lyrics are different. It’s as if they spread a new veneer on top of the old accompaniment and then had Ms. Simpson sing on top of it.
So color me surprised to find this confirmation of my observation in “Ireland Online”: “Jessica Simpson has confessed her latest single was accidentally influenced by pop superstar Madonna’s Holiday.”
If by “confessed” you mean “had to give because she got caught,” and by “accidentally” you mean “oops, we spread a new veneer on top of the old accompaniment and then had Ms. Simpson sing on top of it,” and by “influenced,” you mean “is an exact copy of,” um, okay. I’d buy that, then.
So it was at this point within this post that I was to have segued into discussing Mary Tyler Moore’s breasts, how I was watching “Mary Tyler Moore” and noticed that women back then didn’t hafta surgery themselves up just to be on the tv, and how now everything’s silicone, and such, and other grumpy old man sentiments, and etcetera and that why can’t these kids today listen to any good musicians, with real musicians, who make real music, dagnarbit?
Then today that very same XM station introduced me to KT Tunstall, who is awesome. It always happens that way. I become ubergrumpy about kids these days, and then someone fresh and new and rockin’ slaps me in the ear and reaffirms my faith.