Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Day in the Life: Being Unique

One of the most mysterious and infuriating parts of being in a band is originality.
For one thing, there are thousands and THOUSANDS and MILLIONS of bands in the world constantly writing new songs every day, so there is constant pressure to be different. Different. Hmmm. What a funny word!
You can either take that and roll in a litter box full of glitter like Lady Gaga, or you can embrace it logically by utilizing unique and forgotten sounds like current hit bands Arcade Fire, The National, Vampire Weekend and Mumford and Sons.

Wearing Muppets as clothing is different, right? Or is it frog-icide?

Unique doesn't have to be weird! Someone please tell Miss Gaga that. Or don't. She has certainly made a name for herself that way. And if she doesn't evoke controversy for wearing meat on her head, then who will???? Rihanna ain't at that point yet, boys.

So here are some DO's and DONT'S for bands. Things that are working and not really working these days.

1. Enlist the help of an A-list song writer/producer to help. 
Ryan Tedder, The Sexy Teddy himself!
Let's face it, sometimes you need a little help. I mean, yeah a lot of bands out there ARE unique and talented enough to self produce an album BUT when you are competing with a billion other bands, getting Brian Eno (Coldplay, U2), Markus Dravs (Arcade Fire) or Ryan Tedder (One Republic) to help you out is generally speaking, A GOOD IDEA! Ryan Tedder for instance has co-written and produced songs with Kelly Clarkson, Leona Lewis, Jordin Sparks, Pussycat Dolls, Blake Lewis, Backstreet Boys, Jennifer Lopez, Chris Cornell, Natasha Bedingfield, (SHARP INHALE) Train, Carrie Underwood and a couple of songs like "Halo" by Beyonce, and "Apologize" and "All The Right Moves" by One Republic. See where I'm going? You've heard of all of them, right? I think I've made my point.

                                                  2. Utilize folk sounds and instruments in your music.
These guys look like Bob Dylan's paper dolls.
Mumford and Sons.
So out of the Grammy award nominees this year, several indie bands have been nominated. Bands like Mumford and Sons, Arcade Fire, The Decemberists and The Avett Brothers are all the rage right now because of their catchy melodies and sounds. Why? Teenagers and yuppie indie rockers are going crazy about these bands because of their 'fresh' sounds when in fact this kind of music has been around for a long, long time. But, it's a good sound! Mainstream people are noticing the banjos, mandolins and fiddles now. YAY FOR THE FIDDLE! Yes. As I write this blog, The Decemberists are getting ready to play on Jay Leno. Ha. I rest my case.

3. Make a specific group of people mad. Wait, DON'T!
It's easy, really. M.I.A. made gingers really mad with her music video for "Born Free". I would post it so you could see, except it is graphically violent and features nudity and red-heads being shot in the head and blown up. Wow. Or Kanye West, making people that aren't Kanye West mad. Generally, that is a very large specific group of people. But he is a d-bag and generally makes everyone mad because he is so arrogant. It is a shame because he is so talented, but his public opinion has plummeted. Especially after humiliating Taylor Swift last year.
I think Kanye thought Taylor would agree with him.
4. Write songs about your failed relationships.
Speaking of Taylor Swift, here is the track listing from her latest cd. (and who they are about)
1. "Mine" -about her breakup with a seagull from Finding Nemo.
2. "Sparks Fly" - about her breakup with Robocop.
3. "Back to December" - about her breakup with the Time Traveler's Wife.
4. "Speak Now"  - about her breakup with a French mime.
5. "Dear John"  - DUH. Her breakup with John Mayer.
6. "Mean"  - about her breakup with the Grinch.
7. "The Story of Us" - about her breakup with Adam Lambert.
8. "Never Grow Up" - about her breakup with Peter Pan.
9. "Enchanted" - about her breakup with Shrek.
10. "Better Than Revenge" - about her breakup with Darth Maul.
11. "Innocent" - Not about a breakup, the chick just felt guilty at this point.
12. "Haunted" - A song about George Lucas and Jar Jar Binks. 
13. "Last Kiss" - This one I can't figure out.....
14. "Long Live" - Or this one...
So..... See what I mean? It's gold for a best-selling record.

5. Be (or don't be) Justin Bieber.
If you can play your cards right, or bribe a witch, or hire a good plastic surgeon, you might be able to pull this off. There is no denying that Bieber was born lucky. Because he just has no talent whatsover. But somehow tween girls everywhere scream his name and throw their Hannah Montana undershirts at him on stage. And his voice is NEVER going to change, so that's a plus too. Right? There is nothing more unique than being the only one of your kind. If you ARE Justin Bieber then you cancel out the Bieber that currently exists. And he writes songs about Babies apparently. WHAT'S CUTER THAN BABIES?
I mean, who can resist? His glasses are just SOOO endearing.
So there you go.
I hope you young and upcoming musicians are enlightened now. 
If you need more advice, message me and I will put you on a career path so perfect that you are gonna leave Ryan Seacrest in your dust.

Signing out.
The REAL Bowman

1 comment:

  1. This was GREAT! Especially the Taylor Swift Break-Up songs.