Posts Tagged ‘Originality’

Trends repeat themselves. We all know this. We try to hold on to things that seem classic and may come back with full force in the future but marked up in price x10. (Beanie babies never got there and never will) Some things I question. Like overalls. I was a real overall girl in the 90s. I had corduroy overalls for the winter and denim overalls I wore to death that my mom put star shaped patches in to cover up the holes. I was even in the trend of not fastening one of the straps and letting it flop around. If you wore both straps buttoned, you were unfashionable. How ridiculous!  Now, they are charging hundreds for a pair of overalls and adults are wearing them! Okay. This isn’t a post about overalls. This is a post about music, so how is this all relevant?

The line between creativity and “genius” and “copying” or having been influenced within music is a thin one. It’s hard to be really creative with music. It’s easy to say ‘Oh this sounds like this band or that band.’ If a band sounds similar to another band does that make them unoriginal? Should things we once like be repeated and proliferate?

Popular music these days sounds like ___(you fill in the blank)___.

So when we hear music that doesn’t sound like today’s music we get a little shocked. It’s original for mainstream, but in the scheme of things, its kind of been done before.

Lately I have been listening on repeat to two artists who sound “old.” I’ve also been listening to Fleetwood Mac and the Beatles as per usual, but I still go back and listen to these two songs because although they sound familiar and like they could’ve been written in the 60s, they’re different.

Here’s a brief background on each:

Foxygen:  This is a band that started in 2005 out of Westlake Village, California by two guys–Jonathan Rado and Sam France. The song I’ve been listening to is called “San Francisco” and it comes from their album fittingly titled: We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic. I really like the chorus.

Tame Impala: Kevin Parker from Perth, Australia leads this band, and although I like the whole album Lonerism, the song “Elephant” is probably the most accessible. By the way, fun fact of the day, Impala is a medium sized antelope.

overalls in middle school

overalls in middle school. not repeating that trend.

Stolen from
Q: Why do people steal ideas from other people?
A: People steal ideas because they are lazy, uncreative, and lack the aptitude to dream and act on their own dreams. It is much easier to copy that to rationally think of something on their own.

“I object!” –that’s the lawyer in me speaking.

Did you see Beyonce’s performance of ‘Who Run The World Girls’ at the Billboards? Old news. (But, I’m just getting around to writing about it. It’s been a busy couple weeks.) It was a pretty crazy cool performance, though, right? I know some people are up in arms about her copying off of this 2010 performance by a woman named Lorella Cuccarini, but I’m arguing that it goes back further than that (see below)! Okay, I’m not arguing. I don’t really care to argue about where someone gets their inspiration from; after all, “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” (cliche vomit). C’mon folks…it’s not like there is any unprecedented form of art left. We are mimicking others (that we admire); more importantly, we collage multiple artists, add a twist and ‘voila!’ our recipe for fame and the wow-factor (a.k.a Beyonce at the Billboards). The most important part of “stealing” is grabbing the entire concept fully, so that you can mold it into something that you believe is better.
You may not like them as much as “the original,” but here are are some famous copy-cats:
Mr. Brainwash copies Banksy
Shakespeare copies commonly told stories
Windows Vista copies Mac OS
John Williams copies Stravinsky, Holst, etc…

T.S Eliot says it best:

One of the surest tests [of the superiority or inferiority of a poet] is the way in which a poet borrows. Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different. The good poet welds his theft into a whole of feeling which is unique, utterly different than that from which it is torn; the bad poet throws it into something which has no cohesion. A good poet will usually borrow from authors remote in time, or alien in language, or diverse in interest. “Philip Massinger,” The Sacred Wood

The original…or maybe not.
Fred Astaire

Lorella Cuccarini

Beyonce (OMG. She not only stole from Fred Astaire but also a major part of the song is Major Lazer’s!!)

Gasp! The Italians do it, too. Stealing it and taking it to another level

p.s I didn’t write this post. I stole it. ;]