Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Pet Peeves and Internet Misattribution

One of the little things that annoys me to no end is the way things are constantly attributed to the wrong people online. If you've ever downloaded music, you probably know what I'm talking about. Any jam-bandy type song will be attributed to Dave Matthews, any white-sounding rapper is labeled Eminem, etc. I can't quite figure out why this annoys me so much; I think it's something about the collective ignorance of Americans and their willingness to believe anything they are told sometimes. Because in most of these instances, the work does not sound anything like the person is has been attributed to, but it will exist like that for ages.

Probably the most prominent example is a bluegrass version of Gin and Juice that sounds absolutely nothing like Dave Matthews stylistically or vocally. And yet, I don't know that I've ever seen a version of it floating around the internet not attributed to that no talent ass clown, to borrow a phrase. The song was actually recorded by a small time bluegrass band called the Gourds. I guess what gets my ranker up is that The Gourds sound like they're actually somewhat talented and I'm sure they don't have the deep pockets or legions of fans Mr. Matthews has, yet he's getting credit for their hard work.

Though it also cuts the other way. Weird Al most famously is given internet attribution for pretty much every parody that exists, even if it's a woman singing or some other very clear give away that it is clearly not him. And I read in an interview with him once that he doesn't mind it so much, but often the songs are really juvenile, crass, or hurtful and he's not particularly happy about it being assumed he created it. There's actually so many songs incorrectly attributed to him that some plucky fans have a webpage called the Not Al List dedicated solely to correcting these incorrect attributions.

So I'm not really sure how to wind this post down, other than to implore you to take an extra 15 seconds to properly credit an artist for their work. Or continue to annoy me. Whichever you prefer...

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