Sunday, March 05, 2006

Jack U Off

(That subject line is from a Prince song, lest you question my potty mouth.)

Okay, I simply must write something here soon or you will give up on me altogether if you have not done so already. Believe me, I have posts aplenty in mind, but all of them seem to require more time and energy than I've had in a while. So here's an easy one: two links I discovered from folks who have posted comments or e-mailed me about this very blog..:

1. Jacked Tunes (which I have a funny feeling I've already written about here) is a site devoted to "musical plagiarism"--i.e., songs that sound a whole lot like earlier songs. (Example: the debt that Taproot's "Poem" owes to Boston's "Peace of Mind.") This is presented more or less as a consumer guide against ripoffs, but from another perspective that's pretty much the history of popular music: Artist A unwittingly "echoes" Artist B, who knowingly "rips off" Artist C, who consciously "pays hommage to" Artist D, who heard a song by Artist E when he was growing up, who learned a version of it from his mama, and so on, and so on. Isn't it part of the nature of "popular" song that it belongs to "the People"? It's only when royalties come into play that this really starts to matter--and the one getting ripped off is less the listener/consumer than the artist/producer, when you get right down to it. Anyway,if you're intrigued by the complex links between familiar melodies, Jacked Tunes is worth a visit.

2. The Great Plotnik is the blog of a songwriter who wrote me after I mentioned hearing a couple of his (now 20-year-old) songs on internet radio during the holidays. Not so much music writing here, necessarily, as some candid, amusing observations on everyday life as seen through the G.P.'s eyes: food, flowers, the agony of reviewing bad plays featuring people you know. (The last of these is an ethical dilemma I too have faced.)

Chew on those 2 for a while, and I promise you more entries, soon.

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