As can be gleaned from my recent blogging activity, we’re having quite the cold snap here in the American Midwest, which of course pits me as quite the wimp seeing as I live in Terre Haute, Indiana, one of the Southern most cities in the entire region.
But it’s still the sort of weather that gets you demolishing the idea of doing a lengthy feature on Jimmy Eat World and Incubus , two inspired, catchy bands which just this year did a tour together. Their tour drew one of my favorite bartenders to an Indianapolis show, I think of them both as future members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and in general I was glad to see them together and doing their thing (which speaks to and of the gen-Y-er in me, obviously). But da**, one hails from Mesa, Arizona and the other, LA. It’s just not the type of music you can frame against this streak we’re having of every night dropping below zero degrees.
Marcy Playground calls Minnesota its stomping grounds, and sure enough, something about those unceremonious riffs which open debut leadoff “Poppies” actually resonated with me, on a recent frostbitten walk to work. Coincidentally, just that night I was as usual putting up with someone ELSE’s music at work, and it was that god-awful Death Cab song that’s like “Gotta spend some time / Love” or whatever… well I noticed that he says “so elegantly bound” and it’s EXACTLY the rhythm and verbiage of John Wozniak on “A Cloak of Elvenkind,” the song I look to stoned for some seriously textural vocals. Now, far be it for great CULTURAL ICON Ben Gibbard to ever name Marcy Playground as an influence at all, let alone even be self-aware enough to pinpoint this particular song as something that therein emanated, but I give you a fool-proof demonstration of his plagiarism, albeit probably subconscious, right before your eyes here. Marcy Playground was also hated by Cracker frontman David Lowery in stage banter one time: he sort of sarcastically said they sucked. Ah, it’s lonely at the top, that’s for sure.
My other typical example is Fastball and I haven’t been listening to them THIS WEEK seeing as they’re from Texas and so ill equipped to soundtrack our arctic tundra, but how about that spine-chillingly bad pop faux-cover of “Out of My Head” lately? I mean I’m not even kidding you: that’s like the ninth-best song on All the Pain Money Can Buy. Does anybody ever give Fastball credit for SH**? They’d probably rather be dragged behind a pickup truck through broken glass by the testicles.
You will find commentary on both Marcy Playground and Fastball at your leisure here: http://dolbydisaster.com/?p=20526.
 It’s noteworthy here to mention that The New Pornographers, much to cultural reversion, copy off of Incubus’ “Warning” for their albeit commendable track “Failsafe.”