Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Moondoggies Being Honoured by Kia Songwriter? Or Ripped Off...

Photo (looking a lot like my young Dad's band) by Greg Lutze
One of my favourite songs of last year was by Seattle band The Moondoggies.  They're relatively unknown outside the Pacific Northwest, but I was able to buy their debut album at one of the little record shops on Queen Street here in Toronto.

So I was well chuffed for the lads when I heard one of the album tracks reworked in a new Canadian Kia commercial.  That the ad was for a vehicle that I'd sort of been considering buying was one of those lifestyle choice/consumer product convergences that I find pleasing.

For some reason, I wanted confirmation that it really was the Moondoggies.  But after looking around the ol' tubes, I couldn't find the easy answer I expected. The only reference to the ad I could find at the time was an unanswered question at Yahoo! Answers.  The songs are so obviously the same that I was getting suspicious, so I left a comment speculating about a ripoff.

The commercial was being played constantly on the soccer channel I watch, and every time it did, I'd think...'what the heck? Is this them or what?'  I checked the internets again...still no news.  Then, a week ago, I found that the commercial had been uploaded to YouTube with some interesting comments.

Notably, "The song is an original composition, written specifically for the Sorento commercial. It was written and composed by Steve Webster of Rosnick/Mackinnon of Toronto.
Regards, Gabriela Consumer Affairs Kia Canada Inc"  

Okay, so here was confirmation that the song was NOT written by The Moondoggies. I continued to see the commercial on TV and every (note:  it JUST PLAYED on the TV behind me as I write this...bizarre!) time I did, the feeling gnawed at me that the boys in the band need to know what's up.

So - time to judge for yourself.

First up, the car commercial:

Next, the Moondoggies song, 'Undertaker' (the first 30 seconds is the bit in question)

I was convinced, but I floated the idea to a couple people at work, just to see if I was crazy or not.  It appeared I was not...so I signed up for a MySpace account just so I could send the band a message.

It turns out they think it sounds like their song too.

I guess someone told two friends, then they told two friends, because in the day and a half since I sent the message, Seattle music blog Ear Candy reported the story, (note: in a easrlier version of the story, 'Canadian fans' are credited with tipping off the band) and New York/Chicago music blog Consequence of Sound has also seen fit to make mention of the similarities of the two songs.

You hate to tattle because no one likes a rat...but better a rat than a snake.

And because it was the song that I liked from them last year, and it's one of the best-quality videos I've ever seen, here's 'Changing'.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Are You Watching, Lady GaGa?

Glee is a very popular television program that I find both super hilarious and intensely annoying.  The writing is sharp, the acting is fine, Sue Sylvester is, as Suzanne says, one of the funniest characters in TV...but the musical numbers grate on my nerves something fierce.

That said, I happened to be watching a few minutes tonight with her at home when they started talking about resurrecting songs from the 70s and I sat up straight.  I thought they were about to trump me.

See, I watched the first episode or two before abandoning the American Idol-esque lip-synching horror, but at some point I realized that I had a song they absolutely HAD to do. 

It's not my song, but one I feel would be a perfect fit for the show.  I couldn't watch them Glee-ify it of course, but a turn in Prime Time would thrust a deserving Little River Band back into the popular spotlight.  After which I could smugly sit back and say, 'I told you so'.

So producers of Glee, when you're ready, a favourite song of Frank Sinatra, John Lennon and me...Reminiscing.