February 12th, 2010 / 4:59 pm
Behind the Scenes & Random

A lot of people wish it would rain. I know it might sound strange.

Some borrowing:


(I really love the “here’s one of my old 45s on a record player” genre of Youtube videos.)

More and so much more.


(Wait for MF DOOM to spit.)


UPDATE: Mayer Hawthorne, too.



So, recently, a music publishing company sued the Australian band Men At Work for using a melody from a children’s folk song in their song “Down Under.” And they won. (Note that it was a music publishing company who sued. Not the woman who wrote the original song. She’s been dead since 1988. She sold the song to the company years ago.)

Of course, traditionally, folk musicians borrowed melodies from popular songs, from each other, from anywhere they wanted. One might say that this is a case of irony, here, that a company that owns the rights to a folk song is suing someone for borrowing a bit of their melody. But it’s not ironic. It’s not ironic at all. It’s what happens when people who are not musicians decide they can make money owning someone else’s music. And when artists internalize this lesson.


They say when Charlie Parker was soloing, he be conscious enough of his audience to react to things that happened in the crowd. A pretty girl would walk by and he would play the melody to “A Pretty Girl is like a Melody.”


A seventeen year old German phenom author says she didn’t plagiarize, she was mixing.


Things people have accused the movie Avatar of ripping off: Poul Anderson’s story “Call Me Joe”, a series of Russian novels, Dances with Wolves, Pochahontas. Etc.

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