Lucianin: The Joker and the Thief

By CHRIS LUCIANIN
Blog Contributor

Hellllloooooooo, Trax Pack! First off let me apologize for my long hiatus. I wish I could tell you that I was off doing worldly cool things, and not watching Netflix. But that would be a lie.

Two columns ago I wrote about the Foo Fighters and their upcoming album Sonic Highways. Since their single from that album, “Something from Nothing,” has been getting a ton of radio play, it has sparked some comparisons (aka accusations of riff stealing) to Ronnie James Dio’s “Holy Diver.”

Here are the two songs, you can take a listen and decide; the aforementioned riff takes place on the hook of “Holy Diver” and the bridge of “Something from Nothing.”

Personally, it took a second and third listen for the light bulb to actually go off, and I actually really like Dio, so I should’ve known better. This sparked another type of light bulb; if the Foo are sampling and copying riffs, does that mean they are out of ideas?

There is a direct parallel as to why music was so much better in the early days of its genre. Rock had the 70s and 80s. Hip-hop had the 90’s. All the greats have already done everything there is to do.

Guess what? Slash, Eddie Van Halen, Hendrix, BB King, Angus Young, Joe Perry, Eric Clapton, ETC (this list could go on for awhile; just had another column idea!) have done it already.

Now our generation is stuck mashing these together to try and sound original. (Insert grunge music here. Yuck.) It’s way more common in rock, because artists are typically inspired. That’s where their roots come from. Sometimes their inspiration turns into more of a copy and paste act, but I am here to tell you that, that’s okay.

Sampling is rampant in the music industry today. Jay-Z (actually one of my favorite hip-hop artists) is notorious for sampling. Camron actually made a diss inspired by Hov’s copyright infringement. I don’t necessarily agree with Killa on this one, but you have to admit that it’s a tiny bit suspect.

But no matter how you slice it, Hov is one of the best on the planet at his craft, and he got that title by “inspiration.” So take it as you will. Here is Cam’ron’s diss, “Swagger Jacker.” You be the judge.

“Talent borrows, and genius steals.”

Although Hov has been known to sample some of the greats, he still puts out original hits, with original beats. Almost everyone has needed some sort of push to get the creative juices flowing, and I can’t fault Hova for that.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, one of the most aggravating thieves of our generation has to be that mega-douche Robin Thicke. His hit single “Blurred Lines” is a direct rip off a tremendous Marvin Gaye song, “Got to Give it to Me” — so much of a blatant rip off that the Gaye family is suing Thicke.

Here are the two for comparison. First the original, “Got to Give it me” by Marvin Gaye.

Now “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke…

I know, I just vomited all over my keyboard, too.

So where do you draw the line? What’s stealing? What’s borrowing? What’s copying? What’s sampling? There is no right answer.

The more the industry develops, the dryer the pool becomes. Did anyone give a shit that Robin Thicke ripped off on of the greats? HELL NO. Everyone loved that jam. I even did. Everyone is always copying something; it’s in our nature and is subliminally everywhere. Guess what? I even copied this column! (Just kidding. Maybe)

MUST-LISTEN ALBUM OF THE WEEK
Sonic Highways– The Foo Fighters

Obviously I had to go with them. I have had this album pre-orded for months now and it doesn’t disappoint. They are story tellers that recorded all eight songs in eight different studios and you truly feel that when you dive in. Fun, lively and a great album.

MUST-LISTEN SINGLE OF THE WEEK
“Are You Listening” – Area 11

A little bit “New Found Gloryish” but so damn catchy. I heard this song on Faction a while ago and really dug it. It does a nice job of blending punk, alt rock and some pop. If you’re into the whole scene, this is an extremely catchy, fun, exciting driving song. Give it a listen.

SONG OF THE WEEK THAT MAKES ME WANT TO PUNT BABIES

While browsing the charts this week to see how certain songs were doing I saw something very interesting. The chart I was looking at was the most sold iTunes singles this week. “Rockstar” by Nickleback was on there. PEOPLE ARE PAYING MONEY FOR THAT SONG STILL! I know, I punched my computer in a fit of rage as well and had to finish this column from my laptop. But here you go guys, the sixth-most purchased rock song of last week… ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!

Until next time, Trax Packers.

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