Finding Lyrics Everywhere
October 6, 2010 12:19 PM   Subscribe

The Gregory Brothers do it with YouTube videos (as seen previously on the blue). Gabriel Kahane and Sam Krahn did it with Craigslist. Phil Kline and Bryant Kong did it with Donald Rumsfeld. Making music from found lyrics is booming.

Marchel Duchamp famously took found objects that weren't meant to be art and turned them into art, while John Cage and others took found sounds and incorporated them into music. Similarly, composers and musicians are taking classified ads, answers to interview questions, and other texts not meant to be art and setting them to music. Some examples, such as Kahane's Craigslistlieder, create humor from the incongruity of goofy texts set to serious music. Others, such as Ted Hearne's Katrina Ballads, provoke and comment on the original text. If you've an hour to spare, try this recent episode of New Sounds that covers these and other examples.
posted by sgranade (8 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Somewhat related: spoetry — spam-derived poetry.
posted by defenestration at 12:43 PM on October 6, 2010

spam derived music compiled by Brad Sucks in (roughly) 1994 (?)
posted by victors at 1:07 PM on October 6, 2010 [2 favorites]

Then of course you have the inverse: YouTube google-fu fails me but back in the 1950s Stan Freberg or one of his contemporaries pretended to interview a politician, and each reply was a snippet of the chorus from some popular song from the era. There was also a version from the 1970s, using stuff like Atlanta Rhythm Section's "Do it no matter what the people say" line.
posted by crapmatic at 1:33 PM on October 6, 2010

Robert Ashley.

That is all.
posted by Theta States at 1:52 PM on October 6, 2010

I just encountered Pogo, who makes songs entirely out of sound samples from films. Slightly reminiscent of kutiman's Thru-You. My favourite is "Upular" from Up.

This is almost good enough for its own post, but seems to fit the theme of this one nicely.
posted by PercussivePaul at 2:08 PM on October 6, 2010

Gate 5.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 2:11 PM on October 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

Reminds me of Palinsong.

defenestration: "Somewhat related: spoetry — spam-derived poetry."

See also Spamlands 1, 2, and 3, animated shorts based on "the semi-sensical text found in the filter-busting portion of spam messages". They're oddly compelling, and more than a bit disturbing...

[This Klassic Komment™ brought to you by the second thing I ever posted to Mefi, nearly three years ago today]
posted by Rhaomi at 5:37 PM on October 6, 2010

From the highlighting-the-unintentional-stupidity-of-political-talking-heads angle: EBN's "Watch Television" (which is brilliant for many reasons, not the least of which is the ridiculous faces Quayle is making in between lines).

From the precedents-in-found-sound angle: Steve Reich's "It's Gonna Rain"(sort of) and "Come Out".
posted by eric1halfb at 2:22 AM on October 7, 2010

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