Recycled Love Songs

Austin Concert Venues
Austin Concert Calendar
About

The DJ versus the Singer: How Donna Hightower Made Me Despise Sonny J (without knowing it)
Thursday July 31st 2008, 4:36 pm
Filed under: Indie Music 2008

There’s a lot of confusion as to what defines a DJ these days. Well, I’m confused anyways. The official definition says “a disc jockey (also known as DJ or deejay) is a person who selects and plays prerecorded music for an audience, evidently.” This would be a Samantha Ronson-style DJ, clicking a button on her Mac between tracks, Marlboro reds and Lindsay Lohan. Then on the other hand you have DJs like Girl Talk, who has been known to sport an “I’m Not a DJ” t-shirt. He plays prerecorded music, but it’s original music that he’s created by mixing together several pieces of other prerecorded music. On the other side of the spectrum you have DJs like RJD2, that are also musicians. He creates original tracks by using samples from other sources plus music that he’s created using various instruments. (Side Note: After seeing his sold out show back in April, it’s safe to say that the masses would prefer he spin, rather than sing). Where am I going with all of this? I’m not sure, but I’m angry and I have a bone to pick (and I’m not even a meat eater). If you’re using other music to create your own, then give credit where credit is due regardless of which type of DJ you are.

If someone uses a song to create their own track, it’s out of respect for the original creator that credit is given. All of the sources of Girl Talk’s tracks (see: Girl Talk Wiki) are cited, and some of these popular remixes include samples of over twenty songs. So why is it that when a single song is used, you rarely see any cred given to the original singer?

Case in point: I heard this song (below) a few months back and after watching the video my initial reaction was, “Who’s that white girl? Great voice, great lyrics, I want her albums!” (YouTube commenters seem to share the same opinion). If you haven’t seen this video in all of its MTV-style cheesiness (aka: a “funny” intro, a dramatic song pause and a “to be continued”), then take a gander and a listen to see if the same question enters your mind:
Sonny J : Handsfree (If You Hold My Hand)
from Disastro, 2008

After watching this, I did some digging (the word “some” being an understatement). I did a lyrics search only to find that the actual singer is not the hot white girl, it’s Donna Hightower. After checking the YouTube video page once more, along with Sonny J’s website and MySpace page, I couldn’t find a single reference to the original song that sounds almost the same, but even better (scroll to the very bottom to listen for yourself).

About a month after my findings, I checked Sonny J’s MySpace page again to see if any credit had finally been given to the singer only to find the following post:
Date: Tuesday, June 03, 2008
Subject: DONNA HIGHTOWER ROCKS MY WORLD

“big thanks to everyone who has supported sonnington through the power of myspace or wherever . you should be able to buy or steal ” handsfree” from most record shops from the 9th, just likes i dids with donna hightower’s tune. this is funk legit. so,git yo asses in gear n …. happy shoppin’ folks…”

So the subject line was okay, but I’m not digging his use of poor grammar and misspellings or the fact that he admits to stealing the song: “just likes i dids with donna hightower’s tune”. I also don’t dig the fact that not only does he use a lame-ass MySpace post as his only outlet for prop giving, but he also has a dancer lip-synch Donna’s song in that lame-ass video.

In closing, if you’re going to throw a few beats in something and then label it as your own, at least give credit to the original creator! …and learn how to f’ing write a sentence, yo.

So, here is some credit to you, Donna Hightower. Listen to her songs, watch her videos and then go buy Donna Hightower records.

donna hightower
The only bit of information on the singer I could find is the following from Ron Wynn at All Music Guide:
“Little” Donna Hightower had a dynamic, big voice and made some fine shouting records for Decca and RPM in the ’50s. Unfortunately, she never landed any hits, but that wasn’t due to any lack of skill. She not only had range and power, but was equally compelling doing sentimental, soft ballads. She was backed by the orchestras of Horace Henderson and Maxwell Davis on the Decca and RPM material, respectively.

Enjoy. :)

donna hightower records

Donna Hightower – This World Today is a Mess

Donna Hightower-Kiss Me (Bésame)

Donna Hightower – Stormy Weather

Donna Hightower – If You Hold My Hand

Donna Hightower – If You Hold My Hand Lyrics
If you hold my hand, things won’t be the same.
If you hold my hand, things are about to change.
Summer’s gone, spring is gone, life goes on and on and I’m just bored to tears.
If I could find a little space to paint a smile upon my face and hide the years.
If winter comes and I’m around to see the snow upon the ground, what can I do?
When I don’t have the will to fight,
the coldness of the summer nights are the darkest blue.



The Little Ones – Lovers Who Uncover (Remix Vs. Original)
Wednesday July 16th 2008, 4:51 pm
Filed under: The Remix vs. The Original

remix versus original

Crystal Castles MySpace
Crystal Castles Wikipedia

Crystal Castles vs The Little Ones – Lovers Who Uncover, 2007

Download Crystal Castles vs The Little Ones – Lovers Who Uncover mp3 from Pitchfork (while available).

The Little Ones MySpace
The Little Ones Wikipedia
The Little Ones Website

The Little Ones – Lovers Who Uncover
from Sing Song, 2006

Download The Little Ones – Lovers Who Uncover mp3 from their MySpace page (while available).

Crystal Castles vs The Little Ones – Lovers Who Uncover Lyrics
Where do all the lovers meet with one another,
in an effort to uncover what has happened to the silent days?
Despite ones on the corner, dream of something warmer.
A semblance of our old ways, what has happened to our handmade days?

Oh no.

We can pull a map out detailing the direct route.
Young ones grow anxious to proclaim their advances to the fray.
If we don’t wake up and the truth never comes up.
You will never have our old lane
You will never have a right of way.

Oh no. Hey-oh! Oh no. Hey-oh!
Oh nooooooooo.

Where do all the lovers meet with one another,
in an effort to uncover what has happened to the silent days?
Despite ones on the corner, dream of something warmer.
A semblance of our old ways, what has happened to our handmade days?

Oh no. Hey! Oh no.

And won’t you show us where your heart is?



Tilly and the Wall – July 17th, 2008 at Emo’s – Austin Indie Concert.
Wednesday July 16th 2008, 1:59 am
Filed under: Austin Concerts 2008

Playing Emo’s Thursday July 17th, Tilly and the Wall with Belaire and Ringo Deathstarr.

Tilly and the Wall MySpace
Tilly and the Wall Wikipedia
Tilly and the Wall Website


Biography from Wikipedia: Tilly and the Wall is an indie pop group from Omaha, Nebraska. They are particularly noted for having a tap dancer, Jamie Pressnall, instead of a drummer. The group formed in 2001 after the demise of several Omaha groups, including Conor Oberst’s Park Ave., of which Neely Jenkins and Jamie Pressnall (then Jamie Williams) were members. Their first show was an open-mic night at the now defunct Ranch Bowl. Their first release, Woo!, was recorded in Conor Oberst’s garage, self-published, and distributed at shows around the Omaha area.

Tilly and the Wall – Pot Kettle Black
from O, 2008

Tilly and the Wall – Lost Girls
from Bottoms of Barrels, 2006

Tilly and the Wall Lost Girls Lyrics
Girl, I know the hall looks dark
and the storm it seems so scary.
Your face lit up on beats of lightning.
You start, you start running.
And your eyes are like screaming.
And since there is no end and no beginning, you will run.

Girl, I know the woods look dark
and the trees they seem so deadly.
The girls around you are so frightened,
You start, you start to panic.
And your courage starts to vanish.
And the world it really is on fire.
And it burns. It burns. It burns.

Vivian, your life is told through 19 thousand pages
in a world too unreal to behold.
Your innocence has faded.
Faded all your blues to gray.
Your skin has bruised through moving days.
Glue is peeling back away.
Curling. Cracking. Painted.

Girl you’ve been rolled up in colorful carpets.
Your blood is rushing, look around you.
You’re froze, you’re frozen quiet.
And your eyes they are widened
Room unfurnished, no light for nightfall.
Just rugs for rolling you up.
You know you can’t get up.
When you do, you swear you will run.
You will run. You will run. You will run.

No one will ever save you if no one can ever find you.
Lost girls. Lost girls. Lost girls.
(Girl I know the hall looks dark when you’re all alone.)



Lucero – July 16th, 2008 at Emo’s – Austin Indie Concert.
Monday July 14th 2008, 5:37 pm
Filed under: Austin Concerts 2008

Playing Emo’s Wednesday July 16th, Lucero with Sleepercar and Glossary.

Lucero MySpace
Lucero Wikipedia
Lucero Website

lucero

Biography from Wikipedia: Lucero’s punk rock roots flavor their now “country-ish” music, while their southern roots give them the twang that they have come to be known by. The band played for the first time in spring 1998. Since 2001, they have played between 150 and 200 shows a year across the United States and Canada. They have released six full length albums (as of fall 2006), the latest entitled Rebels, Rogues, and Sworn Brothers.

She had a weakness for writers and I, I was never that good at the words anyways.

Lucero – Nights Like These
from Tennessee, 2002

Lucero – Nights Like These Lyrics
It’s nights like these that make me sleep all day.
It’s nights like these that make you feel so far away.
It’s nights like these when nothing is for sure.
It’s nights like these I don’t want you anymore.

Yet I’ve only got this one wish,
that I was good enough to make you forget
the only boy who ever broke your heart.
‘Cause nights like these tear me apart.

It’s nights like these the sad songs don’t help.
It’s nights like these your heart’s with someone else.
It’s nights like these I feel like giving up.
It’s nights like these I don’t seem to count for much.

The beer tastes like blood and my mouth is numb.
I can’t make the words I need to say.
She had a weakness for writers and I,
I was never that good at the words anyways.