Aha Moment: The Rolling Stones and Of Montreal

Friday, April 27, 2012

Kevin Barnes Kevin Barnes (Nina Barnes)

The band Of Montreal is known for its theatrical, over-the-top shows. Frontman Kevin Barnes’ antics and flamboyant costumes recall the heyday of glam rock.

Barnes wasn’t a born performer — as a teenager, he was a loner, painfully shy. On a family camping trip, his uncle brought along a guitar and taught Barnes how to play “Under My Thumb” by the Rolling Stones. “It was sort of a revelation for me — you can learn those simple [chords] pretty quickly, and then the whole world of pop music opens up to you,” remembers Barnes. After he learned the Stones’ catalogue, Barnes started writing his own songs.

Although he fell in love with the pop of the 1960s, Barnes’ own songwriting evolved into something more complex. Of Montreal’s songs are busy patchworks of chords, melodies, and tempos. But if there’s one thing the Rolling Stones taught him, it’s the value of a hook: “not a generic hook, but something that feels special and has that magical spark to it. That’s the thing about the Stones: they always had really great melody lines — and they’re fairly simple — but each one’s fantastic.”

Of Montreal's new album is Paralytic Stalks.

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Bonus Track: Kevin Barnes covers the Rolling Stones’ “Under My Thumb”

 

Video: The Rolling Stones perform "Under My Thumb" on Ready Steady Go! (1966)

    Music Playlist
  1. Under My Thumb
    Artist: The Rolling Stones
    Album: Aftermath
    Label: Abkco
    Purchase: Amazon
  2. Coquet Coquette
    Artist: Of Montreal
    Album: Coquet Coquette
    Label: Polyvinyl Records
    Purchase: Amazon
  3. Let's Spend the Night Together
    Artist: The Rolling Stones
    Album: Singles Collection: The London Years
    Label: Abkco
    Purchase: Amazon
  4. Mother's Little Helper
    Artist: The Rolling Stones
    Album: Singles Collection: The London Years
    Label: Abkco
    Purchase: Amazon
  5. She's a Rainbow
    Artist: The Rolling Stones
    Album: Singles Collection: The London Years
    Label: Abkco
    Purchase: Amazon
  6. Tim I Wish You Were Born a Girl
    Artist: Of Montreal
    Album: Cherry Peel
    Label: Bar/None Records
    Purchase: Amazon
  7. Dour Percentage
    Artist: Of Montreal
    Album: Paralytic Stalks
    Label: Polyvinyl Records
    Purchase: Amazon

Produced by:

Leital Molad

Contributors:

Max Bernstein

Comments [1]

Brittainy

Great article!

May. 05 2012 03:16 PM

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