Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Maniac/manic depressant

With all the ink currently flowing about Anton Corjbin's Ian Curtis biopic, Control, coupled with the fact it's snatched up armfuls of indie festival prizes faster than peel and eat shrimp at an early bird buffet, I felt it fitting to use Joy Division as a point of departure. To where, I'm not exactly sure.

In the realm of popular music, and art in general I believe there are no more original thoughts. No new ideas. No fresh innovations. It's all a matter of tweaking the existing. Re-purposing and repackaging the past. Albeit these new combinations are akin to 'new', but they are in reality, hardly original. Hey, don't get me wrong, I like the Editors, but they are not covering any new ground.

Rock and Roll is based on three chords and there are only 12 notes on the scale. Do the math, it is a finite number. Case in point, a little musical deja vu, Joy Division's 'Shadowplay' and Micheal Sembello's 'Maniac'. Here we have two songs, pop songs that couldn't be farther apart stylistically, yet if you listen closely, the tempo and guitar (especially the solo) are quite similar.

Was Micheal Sembello channeling Bernie Ian Curtis? It's as odd a coincidence as Chicago's Peter Cetera sporting a Bauhaus t-shirt in the video for 'You're the Inspiration'.

In addition to the songs, the videos are also somewhat alike. Mr. Curtis' dancing acumen is not quite on par with the french body double who performed in place of Jennifer Beals in the film, but I bet if you caught Ian during a real nasty, tongue swallowing epileptic fit, you might mistake the two.

I'm just sayin'.

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