This list of songs is inspired by a list published by radio station, KEXP, from Seattle in 2010, as well as, the latest poll taken in 2021 by Rolling Stone Magazine. For the most part, I will faithfully countdown from their lists, from Song #500 to Song #1. So, when you see the song title listed as something like: “KEXP: Song #XXX”….it means that I am working off of the official KEXP list. “RS: Song XXX” means the song is coming from the Rolling Stone list. If I post the song title as being: “KTOM: Song #xxx”….it means I have gone rogue and am inserting a song choice from my own personal list of tunes I really like. In either case, you are going to get to hear a great song and learn the story behind it. Finally, I am not a music critic nor a musician. I am a music fan and an armchair storyteller. Enough said! Let’s get on to today’s song.
KTOM: The Top 500 Songs in Modern Music History.
Song #175: Gang of Rhythm by Walk Off The Earth.
As you know, every 25th song goes to one of my daughters. Today we have Song #4 on Leah’s Top Ten countdown. It is “Gang of Rhythm” by Canada’s own, Walk Off The Earth. Here is the story of why Leah likes this song so much and thinks that you may like it, too.
Like many families, getting organized and out of the door in the morning can be quite a production. The story of how Leah came to know this song, begins with a story from our family routine on a school day morning. There was a time, before I retired from teaching, when the four MacInnes family members would leave our home and travel to three different schools to start our day. I would take the girls and drop them off at their elementary school and then, drive off to my own school across town to teach. Keri would leave on her own and drive to her school in the neighbouring town. Most mornings, our timing would be good and we would all get where we were going at the appointed time. But, every so often, in a fit of enthusiasm, the girls and I would find ourselves in the car with oodles of time to spare. When those rare moments happened, I would often take “the long way” to their school in order to kill a little time. The “long way” usually involved taking a meandering drive through town “just to see what was going on”. 99% of the time there would be absolutely nothing going on but, driving would sync up our timing better and all would be well.
However, one day during one of these short, time-killing early morning drives through town, we came upon an intersection that, if we turned left, would have taken us to the Marina. Normally that intersection is empty and it is no problem to make that lefthand turn but, on this morning, there were two police cars blocking the way and yellow barricades were erected, too. The girls and I looked to see what was happening and could only see that some commotion of sorts was going on, way down at the end of the pier that juts out a couple of hundred meters into the harbour. With the presence of the Police, along with the commotion at the end of the pier, it seemed, at the time, as if something tragic had happened. So, we went to school that day thinking dark thoughts; hoping that there wasn’t a dead body on the pier.
It wasn’t until later in the day that we learned that, what we thought may have been a crime scene was, in fact, a film location for a music video. The band shooting the video turned out to be an up-and-coming Canadian band named, Walk Off The Earth. The video they were shooting was for a new, original song of theirs called, “Gang of Rhythm: Punch Buggy Edition”. As a family, we were very excited to know that Walk Off The Earth was filming in our town. We had come to know them for their viral video of a song by Goyte that they covered called, “Somebody I Used to Know”. In that video, all five band members played the same acoustic guitar simultaneously; using the guitar in differing ways to create all of instrument sounds needed for the song. The video was very creative and slickly done. Walk Off The Earth earned several million views on YouTube with this video and ended up overshadowing Goyte’s original version because of how innovative their take was. In the time that followed, Walk Off The Earth released several other cover song videos that were all incredibly unique and innovative; earning them much praise from viewers and fellow musicians, alike. As popular as they were becoming, it was a lack of original material that seemed to be standing in the way of them really hitting the big time so, a song like “Gang of Rhythm” became a very important to them in helping to establish the band as a serious band, in their own right and not just a cover band. So, when we learned that they were making a video for their song in our home town, we were all very excited.
The video was one of two separate videos that were made for “Gang of Rhythm”. There was the “official” video, which had the band members dressed in prison costumes and working as a chain gang in the fields along the side of a road. For our home town version….which ended up being called, “Gang of Rhythm: Punch Buggy Edition”, the band members used a car to sit in for the instruments used in the song. The action involved opening and closing doors, sliding levers back and forth and so on, all in time with the music. Just like the video for “Somebody I Used to Know”, Walk Off The Earth showcased their incredible talent for making music wth found objects. The video is super cute and shows off our town and, specifically, our beach and pier, to great effect.
Walk Off The Earth were the first “real” band that we ever took the girls to see play live in concert. They were the opening act for another Canadian band, Marianas Trench, at a concert in nearby Oshawa so, the girls got to see them in person, which was a hoot for them. At home, we have watched many of their videos on YouTube together and always marvel at the skill level employed in covering a wide range of existing songs, along with creating videos for their own original work. We all agree that Walk Off The Earth are a band worth knowing. We hope that you like them, too. In the video below, I will play the “Punch Buggy Edition” of “Gang of Rhythm” that was filmed in our hometown of Coburg, Ontario. I will, also, post a few of their other videos below so that, if you have never watched their work, you can get a good taste for how creative and talnted Walk Off the Earth actually are.
So as you watch this video, do so with the knowledge that the girls and I are driving through town on the way to school as this was being filmed. What we thought was a crime scene turned out to be anything but. How cool our detour that day turned out to be! Leah has good taste in music. “Gang of Rhythm” by Walk Off The Earth is but one example. We all hope that you enjoy this musical peek at our lovely hometown.
The link to the video for the song, “Gang of Rhythm” by Walk Off The Earth, can be found here.
The link to the video for the song, “Someone That I Used To Know” by Walk Off The Earth, can be found here.
The link to the video for the song, “Little Boxes” by Walk Off The Earth, can be found here.
The link to the video for the song, “Hello From the Other Side” by Walk Off The Earth, can be found here.
The link to the official website for Walk Off The Earth, can be found here.