Aha Moment: The Rolling Stones and Of Montreal
Friday, April 27, 2012
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)
Under My ThumbArtist: The Rolling StonesAlbum: AftermathLabel: Abkco
Coquet CoquetteArtist: Of MontrealAlbum: Coquet CoquetteLabel: Polyvinyl Records
Let's Spend the Night TogetherArtist: The Rolling StonesAlbum: Singles Collection: The London YearsLabel: Abkco
Mother's Little HelperArtist: The Rolling StonesAlbum: Singles Collection: The London YearsLabel: Abkco
She's a RainbowArtist: The Rolling StonesAlbum: Singles Collection: The London Years