Star Wars Barbershop: Moosebutter and Corey Vidal

Corey Vidal and Moosebutter were nominated for the People’s Choice Awards for Vidal’s video rendition of Moosebutter’s song. Moosebutter is an acapella group, and they took several of John William’s soundtrack themes and wrote Star Wars lyrics to them. What’s ironic, now, is that whenever I hear John Williams’ Indiana Jones theme, I think of Star Wars—“Fly the Fal-CON through an as-ter-oid!” and when I hear Jaws, I think, “Wooooo-KIE, Woooooo-KIE; Some-one get this walk-ing car-pet.” Fitting, perhaps, because John Williams is identified with Star Wars —and while we may remember all these great themes, I wonder if when we hear them, we say: Williams also wrote the Star Wars theme. Notice that Moosebutter doesn’t sing anything from Star Wars but you feel as if you’ve heard that theme too. An Aural Illusion, or an Aural Allusion. Hmmm.

Enjoy.

Corey got a lot of flack for lipsynching to Moosebutter’s song—but if you look at Youtube right now, there are hundreds of imitators of Vidal’s video. Though scolded for being unoriginal, Vidal brought a new form–the Brady Bunch Look Four Part Harmony Video. He deserves credit for the form, as well as the idea to take Moosebutter’s song and put it in a popular venue like Youtube. In many ways, Vidal has bumped up the recognition of Moosebutter’s songs–like a mass market ad campaign. In the same way a commercial that borrows a song from an obscure group can suddenly bring attention to that group, Corey brought attention to Moosebutter. The video received more than 3 million hits. Moosebutter thought it was great, and rumor has it, they have a contract with Warner Music–which may be why the video on this blog entry might not work. Moosebutter gave Corey their blessing to do the video–and Corey gave his blessing to the Video Response that Moosebutter made. Corey even put it on his Youtube showcase so it would get as many hits.  Vidal, in the end, was showcasing his video talents–what he could do with an interesting song. This is the heart, by the way, of Creative Commons License—and lookie there, the attention got people a big contract!  Woo-hoo!  (Except there’s bound to be more control on HOW things are distributed, shown, played with….)

Anyway, reception of creativity is often just as interesting as the creativity itself.

6 thoughts on “Star Wars Barbershop: Moosebutter and Corey Vidal

  1. Kater January 13, 2009 / 9:59

    This is in the same vein.

  2. Dave July 19, 2009 / 9:59

    Nice post, but I take issue with your claim that Corey has been fair on Moosebutter. He has not.

    Corey MUST look at the comments on his video. If so, he must know that nearly everybody who comments on it thinks that Corey is singing. Most also think that he wrote the song.

    Yes, Corey says “vocals by Moosebutter” in the info for his video. But he knows full well that NOBODY reads the info. As all the comments reveal, there are thousands of people who think that Corey has written and performed this song – and Corey has made no effort to correct them

    He is gaining fame on the back of other people’s creativity.

    • Karen Marshall July 1, 2010 / 9:59

      Dave, it is true that I didn’t know whether Cory was singing or lipsyncing but once I found out I didn’t think badly of him.
      His presentation was and is unique, creative and very entertaining.
      The fact that we question whether he wrote or sang the song is part of the wonder of the style in which it is presented.
      Your comment that ‘he is gaining fame on the back of other people’s creativity’ has a decidedly negitive tone to it.
      I can’t see how one can feel negatively toward someone or something that all the people involved in are happy with.
      Perhaps you are one of those unhappy people who are unable to share in the joy of anothers success.
      A great man once said, “Most people are about as happy as they choose to be.”
      Hopefully, you will learn to choose more wisely in the future.

  3. jstueart July 19, 2009 / 9:59

    Wow, Dave. That’s a lot of supposition. If someone makes a product and puts the truth on the package, is he responsible for people who DON’T read the package?

    “He knows full well” is really reaching. He’s done his part. How much more can he keep repeating –oh, that’s Moosebutter–every time he has an interview. He’s said it.

    The public is responsible to be aware. Just like I need to look on the side of my coke and realize–oh, while it says 24 g of sugar per serving, there are TWO servings in the bottle. Is Coke to blame or am I to blame for not reading what’s there?

    Derivation is a proper form of creativity, and fully legal. Creative Commons licensing thrives on offering people the change to “remix” other people’s work. And Corey Vidal did that. He changed the form of the work. Just like photoshopping someone’s flikr photo. Derivation is creativity. Otherwise all those rap artists who background their music with pop music riffs from the eighties are merely riding on the back of someone else’s creativity, and Michael Bay is living off your love of Transformers dolls.

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