Video for said song
I first heard of Gotye sometime last year from an email list I’m part of with a bunch of super hip music snobs from DC, NYC and Boston. I gave his album a quick listen and decided that if I wanted to listen to Peter Gabriel sing indie rock I may as well listen to Peter Gabriel sing indie rock. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scratch_My_Back) Which incidentally is not a bad album, his cover of Arcade Fires “My Body is a cage” is definitely interesting.
So I didn’t really give him any thought other then seeing his name pop up here and there until recently when I was at the Full Moon Party in Thailand speaking to some Aussies about music. I asked them if they were Architecture in Helsinki fans and they were surprised I knew them so they asked me what I thought about “Somebody I used to know” by Gotye, but they pronounced it correctly, and I had never actually heard someone say his stage name, I assumed it was pronounced Go Tie, so I told them I hadn’t heard it. They seemed shocked I hadn’t heard it and told me it was super popular and to check it out. It wasn’t till a week later in Cambodia that I heard the song playing in the hostel I was staying in and made the connection. Keep in mind that I was traveling all over Asia the previous couple months, and was way off the new music radar. A couple days after that though I went to France and heard this song about 300 times in 5 days. Every time I was near a radio it was playing. Which brought up several questions for me. The first I already mentioned: Is this guy a huge Peter Gabriel fan?
Second: Is he a huge Elliott Smith fan? Or is it just a coincidence that the song titles and choruses are the same. Elliott Smith: “Somebody that I used to know” I’m a huge Elliott Smith fan (or was, till he stabbed himself in the heart) and I love this song, so it’s hard for me to hear somebody say that line and not make the connection. It could also be like Katy Perry copying the title and line “I kissed a Girl” from Jill Sobule and then pretending she had never heard the original, even though it turned out they had the same record executive or something like that. (I’m kind of embarrassed I know this fact, does it make it better that Sobule said it herself at Iota last year?).
Third: Break-up duets seem to me like their own little genre. There are millions of break-up songs out there, but very few give two points of view into the break-up. There are a couple other then this that do jump out at me. I tried bringing this up with my email group but didn’t get any takers, I think it’s because they’re afraid to talk about any album more than two weeks old. I did get this response from my friend Greg.
Benjamin Gibbard and Jen Wood/Jenny Lewis (I guess on the album its Wood but I’ve seen Ben and Lewis do this live, so I’m not sure).
The Pogues (Shane MacGowen and Kristy MacColl
Are there any other similar songs? I feel like I can think of some in the back of my head but can’t bring it up
Fourth: I’d like to say I dislike this song but aside from it’s current ubiquitousness in media, I’ve played it myself way to much to pretend I don’t like it
Fifth: I may have found my Halloween costume
Sixth and final: My friend Dan sent me this cover video in January. It’s pretty entertaining. Way to be on the ball Dan