March 8, 2012 by zdueck
While it has likely become obvious that I have a certain passion for music, it may not be as obvious that my passion for media spans virtually every medium and because of this I tend to watch a lot of T.V. Almost inveriably, every time I sit down to an evening with one of my favourite shows, I will come across an advertisement that puts a song in my head that is familiar enough for me to be convinced that I can find the song whether or not I’ve actually heard it before. Last week these ads starting airing and my musically saturated mind went into overdrive trying to place the song.
The problem is that while the song is familiar the band playing it is not the original artist… So I’m at a loss going down that line of thought. So I move onto the band itself and while the band sounds familiar, I had never heard them play this song before so I couldn’t actually place the band right away. Eventually I was able to piece the puzzle together when one of the voices finally clicked in my head as Gianni Luminati of Walk off the Earth (and if those names sound familiar it’s because about a month or so ago they hit viral fame with their cover of Gotye’s Somebody that I used to Know).
I, along with millions of others, discovered this band once this video went viral as a result of how incredibly talented these guys are… And once you stop to actually appreciate the entire video as opposed to just the song itself, it becomes clear why. I mean Sarah Blackwood is chording without so much as touching the strings that Gianni is playing lead on even though it is right in the middle of her chords. (Which may sound easy, but a lot of guitarists take shortcuts/get lazy and would accidentally mute that string without thinking… which she does not do). And then there’s the percussion on the body which is just fantastic (and lets not forget about the occasional strike of the strings above the nut by the mysterious bearded fellow). Anyone who can watch this video without letting their jaw drop at the jaw dropping talent here is crazy.
But back to my little brain spasm… As soon as I figured out who was performing the song I went in search of a video and somehow managed to come across ‘the making of‘ before I actually found the video below. But all my hard work eventually paid off with this fantastic addition of WOTE’s already extensive video catalog.
If after a first glance this video doesn’t look like anything too special I encourage you to watch it again. For starters none of the people fretting and making chords on the stringed instruments are strumming/fretting that same instrument (Gianni is rocking two separate stringed instruments while sarah is strumming and adding some rhythm with the shakers, and I have no idea what Marshall is doing, I see him hitting a mic encased with something, so maybe he’s providing the kick… who knows) which, from my experience, takes a considerable amount of mental co-ordination. The drummer also has a nice setup that involves striking the crash behind his head with some wicked class, and by far my favourite member of the band (simply because of how useless he seems to be in every video while still adding all these beautiful nuances when you actually bother to listen to him) is the bearded fellow smoking a pipe playing three keys of the piano with his feet and whipping a vibra-slap out of nowhere part way through the song.
Now I’ve never been the biggest fan of the Beatles (I don’t know why, I’ve just never been able to get into them (and I have tried)) but I can listen to covers of their music all day (as I do recognize that they are great songs even if I personally don’t get much out of them). And I’ve always been a huge fan of covers that take songs and make them their own. While WOTE tend to be pretty faithful in their audio renditions, it is how they arrange the songs in the visual realm that make these songs their own. I mean just watch some of these other covers, whether or not they were original in their renditions, how they chose to present the rendition is unquestionably original.