I realize it has been quite a while since my last post. Trying to get me to produce regular entries seems to be a bit like trying to nail jello to a tree. Not for lack of ideas though. My latest excuses include being away working at my employer’s annual convention in Florida and then returning home to a very sick husband. I was exhausted and my immune system must have been at an all time low because it wasn’t very long before I got sick too. After being really sick for a week, it turned into a sinus infection and I finally got some antibiotics. I’m not back to normal yet, but it no longer feels like someone hit me in the face with a brick.
I’ve been thinking lately about the cyclical nature of music styles and trends. It has been said that there are no new ideas, that everything is reused. The romantic, idealistic side of me believes that creativity and originality are both alive and well somewhere. The realistic side of me acknowledges that nothing is ever created inside a vacuum. Everything is inspired by something else. But sometimes pulling from the past can be stifling rather than stimulating.
Case in point: Beady Eye. Maybe you’ve heard of them? The first few time I head their single, The Roller, they were distractingly familiar. The sound is tight and the production values are slick, hinting at some good label connections (although with the equality and economics of recording equipment these days, good production is hardly a distinguishing mark). I’d sit in the car listening really hard and wracking my brain as to where I’d heard them before. I finally figured out who they sound exactly like. Have a listen and see what you think? If you were aware of music in the 90s at all, I’m sure you’ll get it.
Obviously, that’s not the official video. I can’t make this too easy for you, can I? But I’ll bet you’ve figured it out by now. It sounds exactly like…. wait for it…. Oasis! That lovely Beatle-esque Brit band that was pretty much everywhere in the 1990s. If you weren’t listening to their music, you probably at least knew that the band was fronted by Noel and Liam Gallagher. And a more volatile, bombastic, and British swear word infested musical relationship there has never been. Well, there’s a reason why Beady Eye sounds exactly like Oasis – they are Oasis… minus Noel Gallagher, that is. Apparently he couldn’t take dealing with his brother anymore and split in 2009 (I didn’t even know they were still producing music that late! I lost track of them in the early 2000s. Go figure). The rest of the band decided to keep going and chose to change their name to reflect their new make-up. But as far as I can tell that is the only thing they changed.
Maybe I’m judging too harshly, but I feel like they really passed up a good opportunity here. They sound exactly the same. For all I know, Noel could still be lurking in the background. You can’t even tell he’s left the picture. They could have taken his exit as a cue to shake things up and actually be a new band. With some creativity and experimentation, they could have produced something truly new and worthy. Instead, they keep pulling out songs that could have been living in their backlog for a decade. The ironic thing is that it is the first time in years I’ve head their current material played on American radio. This disappoints me even more because it rewards them for playing it safe. Maybe it’s more a reflection on me than them. I’ve grown and changed over the years, and my musical tastes have expanded and evolved accordingly. The 30-year-old me craves something new from them and is having a little temper tantrum for not getting it.
So it really appears to be true: everything old is new again. Oh well, they used to be a favorite of mine when I was 14. In honor of that (and to appease 14-year-old me for bashing one of her favorite bands), here’s my favorite old Oasis song. Ironically it’s one of Noel’s songs and, given my little rant, it feels oddly appropriate here. I remember being really excited when I first saw this video in 1995. Looking back through their catalog, I remember now how much I was into them in those days. And given their strong influence from the Beatles, I guess I shouldn’t really be surprised. Any way, here you go:
Have any of your old favorites come back to haunt you?