Thursday, October 20, 2016

Episode 275: Sound Alike Songs

Episode 275: Sound Alike Songs
Pat and April play pairs of songs that they think sound very familiar. Lawsuits will ensue and Kyle Dodson produces.
From October 20, 2016

With your hosts:

Pat Francis

April Richardson

00:00:00 Pat, April, and Kyle welcome us to the show. It's been some time since April has been resting her keister behind the co-host microphone, but by golly she's back and better than ever. Pat kicks off the pod with a list of people who have donated to the podcast. Thanks, everybody! Your hard-earned shekels keep the podcast sounding great and the pockets of the hosts.... well, empty. Nobody makes any money with this thing, they just do it for the love and the attention.
00:05:00 Today's topic is an April Richardson creation: Sound Alike Songs. Or as April wrote in the email, soundalike; which Pat doubts is a word, but it is indeed a word. Pat thinks April should write her own book of April-isms, and April wants to write a book of some sort, but she can't get into the groove of writing a book--even when she has nothing to do. Ten years ago she submitted a proposal for a book about Billy Bragg, but she got the big N-O. Pat believes that now, ten years later and with more experience, April can get that proposal approved.
00:10:00 A picture was recently put out with April doing stand up in front of a picture of Steve Harvey. April's mom LOOOOOOOVES Steve Harvey. Can't get enough of him. What about April? "She thinks I suck, she doesn't think I'm funny." :( Pat tells a story of being the opener for a sold-out stand up show back in the day. Afterwards, his dad comments, "You should really have more jokes like that last guy." Pat and April (and the Fresh Prince) agree that parents just don't understand how the comedy business works. You can't just do or have whatever you want.
00:15:00 You can't just get a TV show, you can't just be a headliner, you don't know everyone in show business, and work is really hard to come by. April's mom simply doesn't get what she does. She only watched one episode of her TV show (Almost Genius on TruTV) and stopped because it was "a stupid show." She just doesn't care. Pat wonders why the apathy.
00:20:00 Therapy Solid continues. April contends that her mother disagrees with her life choices as a standup comedian and the language she uses as a standup; not being very prim and proper with good manners. April knows that her mother loves her, but it's ultimately a stalemate. It's hard for them to get along. Ever the paternal figure, Pat invites April over for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Am I smelling a Planes, Trains, & Automobiles reboot, perhaps?! Well, that's all for another time. Therapy Solid is over. Rock Solid begins again. The topic is Sound Alike Songs and these are two songs that sound very similar to each other, obviously. The original song will be played first, then the sound-alike will be played second.
00:25:00 Pat kicks things off with the two songs that inspired the episode. First up, the original: 1983's "Tell Her About It" by Billy Joel off the album An Innocent Man. The sound-alike: 1986's "Bobby's Back" by Brian Setzer off the album The Knife Feels Like Justice. April points out that both songs sound like "Town Called Malice" by The Jam. Similar vibes all around. But not lawsuit worthy... those are coming later. April finds that if she hates a band and hears a similar-sounding song, she goes Hulk. But if she likes the band, then baaaaaaah, we'll let it go. Influences, nothing more.
April's first duo is up. The original: 1968's "Sexy Sadie" by The Beatles off their self-titled album. The sound-alike: 1997's "Karma Police" by Radiohead off the album OK Computer. Kyle's thoughts: "Definitely inspired by." Okay, no true guilty verdict yet. The gavel has yet to be struck down.
00:30:00 Pat's next begins with an instrumental called 1968's "Taurus" by Spirit off their self-titled album. Then we hear some song, I don't know it, something called "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin off the album Led Zeppelin IV from 1971. The judgment? GUILTY. "That's a tough one," admits Pat. Spirit did sue Zeppelin FORTY YEARS after the song came out and Zeppelin won the case. "They probably shouldn't have," opines April.
The next two for April concern two of her favorites. Up first, the original: 1970's "Ride a White Swan" by T. Rex off the album Greatest Hits. Then the sound-alike is her boy, Morrissey and his 1992 song "Certain People I Know" off the album Your Arsenal. Sounds alike, yes, but April is not going to chide Stevie Mo over it.
Pat has a story. In 1997, The Rolling Stones wrote "Anybody Seen My Baby?" for their album Bridges to Babylon. During the mixing process, Keith's daughter pointed out that the refrain sounds alike to "Constant Craving" by k.d. lang off her 1992 album Ingénue. So before the Stones album came out, they gave songwriting credit to k.d. and Ben Mink. Cool for the Stones to admit their (most likely unintentional) fault.
00:35:00 April's next one is an on-purpose sound-alike. The original is 1975's "Shoes" by Reparata. The intentional sound-alike was created by our pal Stevie Mo and his pal Johnny Marr for The Smiths. The song is 1987's "A Rush and a Push and This Land Is Ours" off of Strangeways, Here We Come. "Okay, guilty," mutters Kyle. Pat is bemused by Kyle's easy-peasy verdicts. No cross-examinations, no private quarters discussions. Just a go-along kind of judge.
"You make Lance Ito seem tough."
- Pat, on Kyle's "okey-dokey" judgment

Some quick Doc Talk: the documentary Holy Hell about the Buddhafield cult. April and Kyle have seen it and recommend it, if only to observe how strange the leader looks with his male plastic surgery and speedos. "He looks like Leona Helmsley," April says.
Pat has THREE songs to feature, all focused on the opening guitar riff. The first is 1977's "He's a Whore" by Cheap Trick off their self-titled album. Then in 1981, we get "The KKK Took My Baby Away" by Ramones off of Pleasant Dreams. Oh yeah... GUILTY!
00:40:00 BUT WAIT! The third song is 2000's "I Wanna Be Famous" by Samantha 7 off their self-titled album. GUILTY all around. But bravo to Rick Nielsen for writing such a great riff.
April, April, April. Once again, The Smiths are on trial. And once again, it's an "intentional sound-alike." First up, the original: 1961's "(Marie's the Name) His Latest Flame" by Elvis Presley off of ELV1S: 30 #1 Hits. Then in 1985, The Smiths, wanting to emulate the song, release "Rusholme Ruffians" off their album Meat Is Murder. And once again, April lets The Smiths skate because they admit that it's an homage and "because it's The Smiths." It's a band that she loves. If it were a band she didn't like, things would be a different story. 311? "Guilty." Train? "Convicted." Rob Thomas? "Death penalty."
Pat's next duo is interesting because both songs have the same producer, Rick Rubin. First up, 1993's "Mary Jane's Last Dance" by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers off their Greatest Hits.
00:45:00 The sound-alike is 2006's "Dani California" by Red Hot Chili Peppers off of Stadium Arcadium. This is a tough one. April doesn't feel like it's that close. Tom Petty himself doesn't think the Chili Peppers ripped the song off. Kyle isn't 100% sure either. But Tom Petty does know that The Strokes ripped off "American Girl" for their song "Last Nite." We hear both. April and Kyle agree it's a total steal, while Pat isn't sure.
00:50:00 April is then reminded of Jet ripping off "Lust for Life" for "Are You Gonna Be My Girl?" OOOOOOOOH YEAH. We all knew that one. "And that sounds like 'Town Called Malice,'" notes April. Kyle plays both songs at the same time and it's just a beautiful, cacophonous mess of Australian garage rock and shirtless American abs. We go back to April for her next picks. Up first is 1979's "Boys Keep Swinging" by David Bowie off the album Lodger. Then the sound-alike: 1997's "M.O.R." by Blur off their self-titled album. "I think we've heard enough," says Pat. Guilty. Very guilty.
Okay, lawsuit time. Pat first plays the original, 1971's "I'm Eighteen" by Alice Cooper off of Love It to Death.
"Is the culprit geese, for honking the same way?"
- April, on the harmonica in "I'm Eighteen," with the line of the episode

00:55:00 The sound-alike is 1998's "Dreamin'" by Kiss from their album Psycho Circus. Definitely guilty, and Kiss eventually settled out of court. Love It to Death was produced by Bob Ezrin. And guess who executive produced Psycho Circus? Bob Ezrin. April doesn't want to lay complete blame on Bob because you can't expect a producer to remember every single riff he's heard over a multi-decade career.
April's next pair begins with the original, 1983's "Shake It" by David Bowie off his album Let's Dance. The sound-alike is 2007's "Acceptable in the 80s" by Calvin Harris off his album I Created Disco. April doesn't consider it a rip-off, rather something Harris wanted to make that had the same vibe as that song. 80s Bowie is April's favorite Bowie. Pat enjoys that era quite a bit too. Kyle's verdict on the songs: Innocent!
01:00:00 Who's got the next case? Pat plays the original, 1982's "The Metro" by Berlin off the album Pleasure Victim. The sound-alike is from one of Sara Dodson's bands: 2015's "It's a Hunger" by Say Hi off their album Bleeders Digest. April feels the same way about this as she does Calvin Harris and Bowie. Kyle doesn't consider it guilty, not when hearing both back to back.
April read Bernard Sumner's book, where he reveals that one of his songs became an original sound-alike. His song is 1985's "Love Vigilantes" by New Order off the album Low-Life. The sound-alike is 1990's "Pure" by The Lightning Seeds from the album Cloudcuckooland. Guilty, but admitted guilt. Ian Broudie, the lead singer and guitarist for The Lightning Seeds, admitted to Bernard that he took the riff from "Love Vigilantes" for his song.
01:05:00 Pat and April chat briefly about the cover of Low-Life and Stephen Morris' comparable likeness to both Lurch and Renfield. Then Pat goes back to the music. First up, the original: 1965's "If I Needed Someone" by The Beatles off of Rubber Soul. The sound-alike is 1988's "Let Go" by Cheap Trick off of Lap of Luxury. Cheap Trick, noted Beatles fans.
April moves towards a more modern sound with her next batch. The original is 2004's "Take Me Out" by Franz Ferdinand off their self-titled album. April's sound-alike is 2008's "Shut Up and Let Me Go" by The Ting Tings off their album We Started Nothing. Kyle says guilty, albeit sheepishly. Kyle Ito indeed.
01:10:00 With his next one, Pat admits that he doesn't hear the similarity that much. First up, the original: 1983's "I Want a New Drug" by Huey Lewis and the News off of Sports. And we all know it, the sound-alike is 1984's "Ghostbusters" by Ray Parker Jr. off the Ghostbusters Soundtrack. "How can you not hear it?" questions April. "You gotta clean the wax out of your ears." "Okay, I hear it," responds Pat. Good ol' Huey took Ray Parker to court for copyright infringement. The details of the settlement were supposed to be confidential. Confidential! About Ghostbusters! "That is Benghazi levels of secrecy," claims April, prompting Pat and Kyle Trump to make an appearance. "Those were private containment units. Egon Spangler is a liar, he's a terrible person. I have yuge respect for women, unlike crooked Peter Venkman."
01:15:00 April's last pairing is due in court. The original is 1977's "Three Girl Rhumba" by Wire off the album Pink Flag. The sound-alike is 1995's "Connection" by Elastica off their self-titled album. Very obvious guilty verdict. Wire took Elastica to court and the writing credits were re-written. The trio talk about the new Ghostbusters movie. The verdict on that? They didn't mind it.
Pat's last duo is now up. The original: 1968's "Picture Book" by The Kinks off the album The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society. Then the sound-alike is 2000's "Warning" by Green Day off their album Warning. Yup, yup, yup, yup. Throw the book at Tre Cool and the rest.
01:20:00 Pat gives thanks to future guest co-host Dave Hansen for bringing gifts (like a big sack of candy for April). Pat also finally saw Urgh! A Music War. His summation: Don't stand next to a ripped Sting on stage. "Don't stand so close to him," advises April. Hey now!
01:25:00 We end with one of the most famous plagiarism songs out there. It's George Harrison with "My Sweet Lord" off the album All Things Must Pass.
Time Song Album Artist Who
00:25:00 Tell Her About It An Innocent Man Billy Joel Pat
00:25:00 Bobby’s Back The Knife Feels Like Justice Brian Setzer Pat
00:25:00 Sexy Sadie The Beatles The Beatles April
00:25:00 Karma Police OK Computer Radiohead April
00:30:00 Taurus Spirit Spirit Pat
00:30:00 Stairway to Heaven Led Zeppelin IV Led Zeppelin Pat
00:30:00 Ride a White Swan Greatest Hits T. Rex April
00:30:00 Certain People I Know Your Arsenal Morrissey April
00:30:00 Anybody Seen My Baby? Bridges to Babylon The Rolling Stones Pat
00:30:00 Constant Craving Ingénue k.d. lang Pat
00:35:00 Shoes Single Reparata April
00:35:00 A Rush and a Push and This Land Is Ours Strangeways, Here We Come The Smiths April
00:35:00 He’s a Whore Cheap Trick Cheap Trick Pat
00:35:00 The KKK Took My Baby Away Pleasant Dreams Ramones Pat
00:40:00 I Wanna Be Famous Samantha 7 Samantha 7 Pat
00:40:00 (Marie’s the Name) His Latest Flame ELV1S: 30 #1 Hits Elvis Presley April
00:40:00 Rusholme Ruffians Meat Is Murder The Smiths April
00:40:00 Mary Jane’s Last Dance Greatest Hits Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Pat
00:45:00 Dani California Stadium Arcadium Red Hot Chili Peppers Pat
00:50:00 Boys Keep Swinging Lodger David Bowie April
00:50:00 M.O.R. Blur Blur April
00:50:00 I’m Eighteen Love It to Death Alice Cooper Pat
00:55:00 Dreamin’ Psycho Circus Kiss Pat
00:55:00 Shake It Let’s Dance David Bowie April
00:55:00 Acceptable in the 80s I Created Disco Calvin Harris April
01:00:00 The Metro Pleasure Victim Berlin Pat
01:00:00 It’s a Hunger Bleeders Digest Say Hi Pat
01:00:00 Love Vigilantes Low-Life New Order April
01:00:00 Pure Cloudcuckooland The Lightning Seeds April
01:05:00 If I Needed Someone Rubber Soul The Beatles Pat
01:05:00 Let Go Lap of Luxury Cheap Trick Pat
01:05:00 Take Me Out Franz Ferdinand Franz Ferdinand April
01:05:00 Shut Up and Let Me Go We Started Nothing The Tings Tings April
01:10:00 I Want a New Drug Sports Huey Lewis and the News Pat
01:10:00 Ghostbusters Ghostbusters Soundtrack Ray Parker Jr. Pat
01:15:00 Three Girl Rhumba Pink Flag Wire April
01:15:00 Connection Connection Elastica April
01:15:00 Picture Book The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society The Kinks Pat
01:15:00 Warning Warning Green Day Pat
01:25:00 My Sweet Lord All Things Must Pass George Harrison Pat

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