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Off Notes: Artists Loving Artists

Off Notes, paula abdul

Hopefully by now you know we’re celebrating #SongwritingWeek here at Soundfly, and we’ve seen loads of brilliant original submissions from friends, followers, and fellow artists showcasing their voices and sounds in an inspiring show of collective creativity. This got me thinking… most of us have so many incredibly talented friends writing and making music, and I love to shout from the rooftops when someone I know has done something noteworthy.

As it turns out, I’m not the only one. This week we found evidence of artists supporting other artists all over the web. And it’s awesome. Let’s get together and give each other more praise and props for inspiring us to do better, be better, and find our own sound.

Here are some examples of artists loving other artists’ work we found this week:

Old, Serious Men Reciting Taylor Swift Lyrics

Billboard: Silver screen stars and knighthood besties Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Patrick Stewart delighted many with their respective readings of lyrics from songs off of Taylor Swift’s most recent record.

A Musical Marvel 500 Years in the Making

Sydney Morning Herald: Polish pianist extraordinaire Slawomir Zubrzycki loved Leonardo da Vinci’s concept of a cello-keyboard instrument crossover so much that he built one — bringing the instrument to life for the first time ever, 500 years after its conception.

Can You Spare Some Rhymes, Please?

Facebook: Beatboxer Shockwave (Chris Sullivan) took to the streets of Manhattan to show some love for the artistry of passersby.

This is What It Looks Like to be Moooved

Farmer Derek Klingenberg
: The cows of this fair meadow loved this trombone playing so much they flocked from hillsides far and wide to see the spectacle of a cowboy in a lawn chair laying down some Lorde:

Beat It, Just Beat It

Got Rhythm: Spread the love and appreciation for Ringo’s ability to lay down the beat with this test-your-rhythm game. Can you beat our in-house rhythm master Arthur’s high score of 928?

Got Rhythm, off notes

Love Them So Much, You Just Want to BE Them

NPR: Sometimes, if you love a musician, you cover their songs. Other times, if you really, really love them, you steal their songs, upload them with new (or barely varied) titles, and slap a new name and a stock photo of a model on it, and there you have it! You are Jessica Simpson. Oh, wait, that’s not how music or copyright work at all! Whoops.

You need to know about the bizarre, true story of Lucia Cole, who successfully uploaded and sold Jessica Simpsons 2001 album, Irresistible, on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, and Tidal convincing not only the streaming services but bloggers, and even Shaquille O’Neal of her veracity.  She (or he — we may never know) might consider reading up on How to Write a Song if You’ve Never Written a Song Before.

Lucia Cole, off notes
A screenshot of the now-removed page for Lucia Cole’s album, Innocence, on iTunes. (NPR)

Covers We Love

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, these bands are showing some major love for their biggest influencers.

The Terrifying RAGE of Youth

Youtube: George Mason University band took covers to the next level with a medley of Rage Against the Machine’s “Killing in the Name Of” and “Bulls on Parade”. Played with blaring brass and a full rhythm section, the energy shown by these kids through this cover is infectious.

Seinfeld’s Darker Side

Youtube: Showing some love for the bizarre juxtapositions of the world, someone infused the vocals of the classic Limp Bizkit track “Break Stuff” into a brilliant mashup with the Seinfeld theme song. We’d like to assume this was done out of a love of both songs, but we suspect it was mainly out of a love of comedy.

Yes, of Course We Love the Beatles

Youtube: On the complete opposite side of music, here’s a beautiful, classically-tinged tribute to The Beatles’ “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” played on the Chapman Stick, which truly illustrates how the masterful songwriting of the Beatles remains transcendent — played well, it will shine in any context. Consider using it as a base of analysis if you’re looking to learn to Write a Song on Guitar (in 10 Simple Steps!).

When You Love a Paula Abdul Love Song

Youtube: We also, of course, love love songs. And doesn’t everybody loves 80s music videos featuring cartoon cats? Of course they do! But the Late Late Show with James Corden took that show of love to the next level by recreating a real-life version of the video on live TV, with Paula herself.

And, if you’re unfamiliar with the original, well, you’re welcome:

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Martin Fowler

Martin composes and produces music for commercial, educational, and artistic media for several companies, and records and performs with many NYC-based artists. He also produces original electro and house music and remixes as MDFX, plus trap/jungle/bass music and remixes as WNNR, and will release his debut solo record later this year. His favorite cloud type is the lenticular cloud.

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