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November 29, 2012
I mentioned in my last article that I was building a recording studio in my apartment for a project I'm working on. Well, the recording studio is built, and I may as well announce now that I'm working on my first album (hence the diminished number of blog entries lately). My brother Richard has already laid down most of the drum tracks, and I'm starting work on bass, piano, and everything else I'm going to play. I anticipate releasing it sometime this spring. Anyway, since I'm in a musical mood, I was inspired to write an article about a musical subject. Since I mostly listen to music on the radio, I very rarely get a chance to see the people performing the music, which can lead to some mix-ups in my head. You'd think a guy whose career depends on being able to hear the difference between an oboe and an English horn wouldn't make these kinds of mistakes, but I'm embarrassed to admit that you're wrong. These are eight musicians that I mistook for someone else upon first hearing their work.
8. Alice Peacock
I love listening to music while I do pretty much everything. My family gets Dish Network, and my favorite music channel on Dish is called Shine. I later came to find that Dish's music channels are provided by Muzak--it's literally the exact same signal feed that gets pumped into the grocery store. Anyway, one of my favorite songs that gets played regularly on Shine is called Parallel Life. The woman singing it sounded a lot like Sheryl Crow, so I assumed it was Sheryl Crow. You'd think, since Dish Network displays the title and artist on screen for every song they play, that it'd be hard to make a mistake like that, but you're forgetting how lazy and unobservant I am. After I'd already heard it dozens of times, I looked up the song online and discovered that it's actually veteran folk singer Alice Peacock. Her songs have been used in feature films and television commercials, so you've probably heard her music, even if you don't recognize her name.
7. Gin Wigmore
I'm a sucker for a female singer with a husky voice. I adore Macy Gray, even though my dad thinks she sounds like Donald Duck. When I first heard Gin Wigmore's song Don't Stop in a Lowes commercial, I could have sworn that she WAS Macy Gray, although I slowly figured out that she wasn't on subsequent hearings. More recently, she appeared in a James Bond themed Heineken commercial featuring her song Man Like That. Upon seeing her, It became quite clear that she is most definitely not Macy Gray.
6. Maia Sharp
I just thought Maia Sharp was a dude with a high voice at first. My bad.
Right now, there is a trend in pop music of female singers with bubble gum voices doing this sort of half-sing/half-rap thing. Artists like Ke$ha, Nicki Minaj, and Cher Lloyd are at the forefront of this trend. I have mixed feelings about it, but I'm generally cool with it in limited doses. So when I first heard Karmin's song Brokenhearted on the radio, I was convinced that it was by Nicki Minaj. Now, Nicki Minaj irritates me, but I was willing to give her a chance because I liked Brokenhearted a lot. Gradually, I realized that Karmin sounded way too white to be Nicki, so I switched to thinking it was Ke$ha. It wasn't until I heard THEM (Karmin is the name of the group, not the singer) on Pandora with the album cover right in my face that I figured out who they were.
I have to admit right up front that I absolutely hate Fun's We Are Young. If it comes on the radio, I change the station. I can't explain why, exactly. It doesn't completely make sense. There's just something about it that I can't stand. I don't hate all their music, just that one song. Anyway, when I first heard Fun on the radio, I thought they were The All American Rejects. There was not a shadow of doubt in my mind. It made sense. The AAR is another band that I generally like, but with one song (Gives You Hell) that I despise and change the station when it comes on. And it didn't help that I heard a DJ on the radio mistakenly say that We Are Young was by The AAR. It wasn't until I saw Fun on The Colbert Report that I realized they are a completely different band.
3. Lady Gaga
This is a little embarrassing, considering how famous Lady Gaga has become. When she first started to get a lot of radio airplay, I believed that Lady Gaga was really Gwen Stefani as some kind of character, sort of like David Bowie becoming Ziggy Stardust. Their voices sound sufficiently similar, and they look enough alike. Even after seeing Lady Gaga on TV, I still thought she was Gwen Stefani in a silly costume. It became my own personal conspiracy theory. The more contrary evidence was presented to me, the more I dug in my heels. I really believed, for a long time, that they were the same person. They could have performed a duet on live television and I would have claimed one was a hologram. Ultimately, though, I had to let it go. I may be crazy, but I'm not that crazy.
2.&1. Colbie Caillat & Sara Bareilles
I don't think anybody could blame me for getting these two confused with each other. They both became popular around the same time, their songs sound very similar, their voices sound even more similar, and their names are difficult to pronounce and even more difficulter to spell. I like both of them, but I simply cannot tell them apart. They could be twins separated at birth for all I know.
If you liked this article, you may also enjoy reading Aerosmith: The Geffen Albums.