The song “Somebody That I Used to Know” by Gotye has been getting a ton of play on the radio around here (yeah I know, radio, how quaint, to which I say Radio is a sound salvation Radio is cleaning up the nation They say you’d better listen to the voice of reason … You better listen to the radio). Where was I? Oh yes, Gotye. The song is damn catchy. I poked around and as hipsters probably know that single has been huge overseas but only reached the States this year. Of course the video as more than 130,000,000 views on YouTube while also selling 600,000 copies in the UK and apparently almost the same number of digital download sales in Germany. Although I my guess is that few artists are making huge money or gaining big success with the blended model (FYI: the winner-take-all nature of copyrighted works is likely to persist), it is interesting to see that sales, free content, and success may be the way the new winners emerge.
Other fun things about the song came up while I poked around. I thought that the style and voice reminded me of something or someone, namely Sting. The voice and the lyrics “have your friends collect your records and then change your number” thorws me back to “I see you’ve sent my letters back and my LP records and they’re all scratched”. It turns out that others agree (per the great Wikipedia). (another video below Gotye vs. The Police apparently thought so too). The Goyte video (below) also has throw backs to Peter Gabriel’s breakthrough videos of the 1980s (like Sledgehammer and Big Time), and Gotye has been compared to Gabriel as well. Throw on top of all that source or inspiration a connection to Ba Ba Black Sheep which connects to Twinkle Twinkle little star (circa 1780 for the Mozart tune) (yet another video parodying Gotye and its source NOTE: this one is a little coarse) and holy copyinspirationcreation Batman! So on a rainysunny weekend, enjoy the music and try not to parse who, what, where, how copyinspirationcreation happens. Just revel.
PS the female singer, Kimbra is great. I pasted one of her videos below too. It’s called Settle Down. More on her in another post. Again just enjoy for now.