by carl wilson

Bizarre Love Triangle:
Skye Sweetnam Steals Joel Gibb's Boyfriend

I've been resisting complaining about this, but I've just seen the iPhone ad that uses Skye Sweetnam's new single, "Music Is My Boyfriend," as its soundtrack and perfectly unobjectionable as the song is, I got annoyed. Can it really be a coincidence that the title is the same as Toronto's own The Hidden Cameras' song "Music Is My Boyfriend" (that's a good quality but slightly distorted live recording), which was released on the album Mississauga Goddam in 2004, and the title of which has also been the band's semi-official slogan for years?

Given the eccentricity of the phrase, and the fact that Sweetnam (who co-wrote the song with the Matrix, I believe) is from Ontario herself, it's kind of hard to swallow this as a golden stream of pure coincidence. (Though it might have been unconscious pilfering.) Since my general stance on plagiarism is "yes," it's not like I want everyone to lawyer up, but it'd be great if Skye and Capitol Records handed Joel Gibb and crew some kind of acknowledgment. Although it could be that even the tide of missed-target Google searches this will generate will bring a few new ears to the Cameras.

But Skye, honey, I'm afraid music still loves Joel best.

(Later: I was mistaken - that iPhone ad is actually using CSS's "Music Is My Hot Hot Sex," not the Skye track - I mixed them up because CSS also uses the "music is my boyfriend" line in that song! Plots thicken, pots call kettles black, etc etc.)

General | Posted by zoilus on Thursday, November 01 at 11:00 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (12)

 

COMMENTS

"isn't this for the new touch-screen ipod and not the iphone?"

I didn't even know there was such a thing. Clearly my reporting on this affair has been deplorably shoddy.

Posted by zoilus on November 5, 2007 1:36 PM

 

 

once i was approached by a manager about being Skye's "rythm guitar player" - they were going to get a boy to play lead.

it was a pretty terrible phone call.

as for music is my boyfriend... Music gets around. Music is a lot of people's boyfriend.

Posted by J.S. on November 5, 2007 11:13 AM

 

 

isn't this for the new touch-screen ipod and not the iphone?

that's why they use the song's "my music is where i want you to touch."

i'm just relieved that it's css that's on the commercial and not ms. sweetnam...

Posted by brian on November 4, 2007 8:34 PM

 

 

isn't this for the new touch-screen ipod and not the iphone?

that's why they use the song's "my music is where i want you to touch."

i'm just relieved that it's css that's on the commercial and not ms. sweetnam...

Posted by brian on November 4, 2007 8:34 PM

 

 

I think it is a case of cryptomnesia. It would be a little too shameless otherwise.

Posted by Michelangelo on November 3, 2007 11:51 AM

 

 

Ah, well! First, it turns out that the iPhone commercial is the CSS song, which i should have recognized - I knew that Skye had a song of this title so when I heard the line, I assumed that was what it was. It had been a long while since I'd heard "Music is My Hot Hot Sex" (whose chorus begins "Music is my boyfriend, music is my girlfriend") but now I'm hearing Skye's track and the distinction is clear. CSS throws another twist in, as they've been on much the same festival circuit as the Cameras, but I can see how they might have felt they were legitimately running with the theme.

Scott, you're right, I hadn't thought of the Duke title - it's so much more gallant in its tone, "mistress" and "boyfriend" belonging to such different registers. If the Skye track were called "Music Is My Lover," I wouldn't consider it an encroachment so much.

Posted by zoilus on November 2, 2007 9:25 AM

 

 

Both should credit Duke Ellington, who called his autobiography "Music is my Mistress," likely before any of the musicians named in this article were born.

Posted by Somewhere There on November 2, 2007 9:00 AM

 

 

When Skye was 15, The Hidden Cameras were playing Bloor St. United Church and selling baby blue "Music Is My Boyfriend" shirts to the thousand people in attendance. www.musicismyboyfriend.com was also the official website of the the day.

Also, interestingly enough, Joel's family lives in Bolton, which is Skye's hometown. Confluence!

Really, though, the sentiment is too good for just one song.

Posted by Owen on November 2, 2007 1:02 AM

 

 

The old site that had the interview doesn't seem to have it anymore, but the text is here: http://skyesweetnam.forumsunlimited.com/lofiversion/index.php/t728.html

The interview's originally from 2003.

Posted by Dave on November 2, 2007 12:09 AM

 

 

Um... http://youtube.com/watch?v=pQ20JosnbwQ

Posted by Dave on November 2, 2007 12:04 AM

 

 

Woops, her video

Posted by Dave on November 2, 2007 12:03 AM

 

 

Not sure when Hidden Cameras used it, but the first time Skye started her own "Music Is My Boyfriend" meme was one of her early interviews, about age 15, before her first album debuted (iirc). She was asked if she had a boyfriend and replied "music is my boyfriend"; afterward she dropped the line in updates (was also a suggested title for her second album but she picked the worst one -- best being "Pink Bulldozer").

Anyway, I heard an iPhone commercial with the CSS version of "Music Is My Hot Hot Sex" with an identical line, so I'm confused.

Her video is pretty great, album is...uh, jury's out.

Posted by Dave on November 2, 2007 12:02 AM

 

 

 

Zoilus by Carl Wilson