The Nitty Gritty

But more than all of those I am an entertainer. I carry around a ukulele with me for the same reason a gangster carries a gun; better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. Stage or sidewalk, Your Pal Pete shows are just where they happen.
Currently, I'm working on a musical, RagnaPOP(or she's got the bomb), set to premiere at this year's Capital Fringe Festival. I'm also working on music, comedy, and musical comedy; for kids and/or adults.
The fruit of these projects will be available on this site, so check back regularly!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Beatles or Beatlesque?

(Commercial Message: The book that I blanked out my life to write, Surviving Retail, has it's own blog where I post excerpts from it. You can get there here)

As I have said, I love the Beatles. I was watching something on the TV on and there was a feature about popular music combo Panic At The Disco, who I have made it clear I hate. The story was about how "Beatlesque" their new songs are. I had heard their song and it was OK- although the frontdouche's mugging that he does in all their videos makes me turn the channel before I hear too much- but it didn't strike me as sounding like The Beatles.

This got me thinking about inspiration vs. influences; when musicians put up ads to gather other musicians, they say who their influences are. Then they put some of the same ingredients as their favorite bands, both the kind of instruments they use and the way the songs are structured. But the factor that is missed 99.95 percent of the time is actually being good or at least good in the same way their "influences" are. It's that spark that so many musicians chase; every guitarist can play the G and C chord, but not everyone can write "Every Rose Has It's Thorn".

Being inspired is another thing. You can take elements from what moves you to make music that tries to move the listener the same way. This is by no means a guarantee that you'll be successful at it, mind you.

So using trumpets and descending chords-like the Panic lads- might make you sound "Beatlesque", but it won't give listeners the impact that the Beatles still provide after more than 40 years.

Just ask Oasis.

No comments: