Monday, June 19, 2006

Plagiarism is the new Creativity

Everywhere i look lately, famous songs are being ripped off. I thought that i was reading a bit too much into this, until Entertainment Weekly called out two of the songs that i had recently thought were too similar for comfort. Well, folks, hopefully i can illuminate you to some of this tonight, here at the Rant.

Case #1

"Mary Jane's Last Dance
Dani California

First of all, titling your song a person's name, and then throwing in an alternate spelling (I'm looking at you Ms."Sk8r Boi") does not make you cool, hip, or anything other than what you are, which in the RHCP's case is washed up. Second of all, do we need another RHCP song about California? "Under the Bridge" was enough for me, and i have never once dreamed of Californication.

But the real insulting part about this is how close their new hit really is to the Tom Petty song of 13 years ago. The chord progression is damn near exact, and the vocal melody, down to the mentioning of a location in verse 1, is eerily close as well. Basically, Anthony, Flea and co. are getting lazy. I hope Mr. Wilbury sues the fuck out of them.

Case #2

Is She Really Going Out With Him?
Steady, As She Goes

I first heard the Racounteurs on my recent trip to Los Angeles, and upon hearing this single i said "Somewhere, Graham Maby is pissed off." My friend Scott had no idea what i was talking about, but Maby was the bass player for the Joe Jackson band, proprieters of the hit "Is She Really Going Out With Him?," which Jack White and co. completely steal for "Steady As She Goes." For reals. Listen, to the introduction of the bass line and tell me it's not nearly a note for note rip.

Case #3

Wendy's Commercial
"Take Me Out to the Ballgame"

Ask Erin, this one is going to drive me to an early grave. In a series of new Wendy's commercials, there is this whistling melody that is notes # 2-7 of "Take me out to the Ballgame." That is frustrating enough. But in all the commercials, this is randomly placed and played multiple times throughout the commercial, seemingly for no good reason. A guy is ordered food, CUE WHISTLE. Squirrels steal a car, CUE WHISTLE. Not once, but 3-4 times. It feels like the government put a chip in my brain that says "eat Wendy's Brian (which has worked well for the past 10 years or so)," and then whenever the commercial starts, some sort of electromagnetic field from my brain and the TV triggers that noise in my skull to remind me that i'm hungry for a #4 with a coke. Over and over for the remainder of the 30 second clip. I literally freak out when this comes on it bothers me so much. Fuck you, Dave Thomas. You haunt me from the grave you corpulant bastard.


At 2:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps they are going for a simple Pavlovian Paired-Association. If the next time you get to the middle of the 7th @ Shea and you think of Wendy's they have succeeded.
-Scott Baietti

At 10:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

great post, bri. you had me in stiches. yes, you're venting your pain here, but you've also written something quite entertaining. xo kiki

At 11:54 PM, Anonymous Jaypolka said...

Late comment, but I am so glad someone else feels the same way about this Wendy's commerical.

I have tried so hard to figure out how the whistling fits in with the background music and came to the conclusion that it's put there purposefully in places that make no sense to stand out.

UGH! It's annoying because I can be in another room and here nothing but the whistle and I know EXACTLY what it is. Damn Wendy's.

At 5:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep I was wondering if anyone else was annoyed with it as much as me. These commercials make me want to kill myself-- I literally just change the station if one comes on.

At 12:20 AM, Anonymous sleepypie said...

I Googled "Wendy's take me out ballgame" and your site was the only relevant site that came up. Yet I noticed the similarity between the jingle and the original song the first time I heard the Wendy's ad. Thank GOD that I have yet to SEE that ad, since I mostly listen to the TV in the other room on headphones while I sit here on the internet. Listening is bad enough.


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