Green Day
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New old song

Green Day
By Todd Martens, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

Act: Green Day

Influences: Ramones, Screeching Weasel

The full-throttle guitar melodies are a direct descendent of the Ramones’ tightly-wound, sped-up pop. But the comically bratty attitude? Green Day cribbed that from Screeching Weasel, whose early anthems such as “Amy Saw Me Looking At Her Boobs” and “Jeannie’s Got a Problem With Her Uterus” distilled the Ramones’ urban grit into suburban malaise. (Associated Press)
Amy Winehouse
Act: Amy Winehouse

Influences: Donny Hathawy, The Shangri-Las, Nina Simone

Winehouse is full of personality, and the tabloids love her for it. As for her music, that’s ripped straight from soul and girl-group legends such as Nina Simone and the Shangri-Las. The nightclub, booze-drenched setting of Winehouse’s music is pure cabaret – a stage designed to showcase an artist who’s tightly following the script laid down by her forebears. (Roger Kisby / Getty Images)
Avril Lavigne
Act: Avril Lavigne

Influences: Blink-182, Britney Spears, Hot Topic (retail store)

Avril got a lot of flack for ripping off the Rubinoos and Peaches on her new album, yet she’s been sporting her influences on her wallet chain since day one. Her first album, “Let Go,” set her up as pop’s answer to Britney Spears, a tougher, more-relatable artist for the teenage mall set. A Britney-meets-Blink-182, if you will. And as for Blink-182? See slide no. 1, Green Day. (EPA)
White Stripes
Act: The White Stripes

Influences: Led Zeppelin, all of American roots music, Your grandfather’s LP collection

Perhaps no mainstream rock band has the ability to rip and recycle old record collections into something wholly new as well as the White Stripes. To get a sense of the act’s influences, just look at who the duo has covered: Robert Johnson, Bob Dylan, Dolly Parton, Burt Bacharach and a nearly forgotten country-meets-mariachi tune from Patti Page. (Vince Fedoroff / CP)
Sean Kingston
Act: Sean Kingston

Influences: Akon, Buju Banton, Led Zeppelin

Sean Kingston gives the sounds of Top-40 hip-hop and R&B a reggae makeover. While many have drawn a line between American rap and the Caribbean, Kingston’s influences extend into classic rock. See current single “Me Love,” which is essentially a reggae re-working of Led Zeppelin’s “D’yer Maker.” (Jim Cooper / Associated Press)
Peter Bjorn & John
Act: Peter Bjorn & John

Influences: Jesus & Mary Chain, The Go-Betweens

The act’s “Young Folks” has become one of the most irresistible and ubiquitous tunes of 2007, and the song’s wry, adult take on dating, complete with whistling, is unlike anything else on the pop landscape – at least right now. The act’s sharp and tense guitar work is a nod to Jesus & Mary Chain, capturing an anxious sound that’s always on the verge of exploding. And the group’s late-20s/early-30s approach to romance cribs from the observationally poignant songwriting of the Go-Betweens. (Jeff Christensen / Associated Press)
R. Kelly
Act: R. Kelly

Influences: Marvin Gaye, Isley Brothers, Stevie Wonder, the media

R. Kelly has become one of the most successful R&B artists of all time by alternating between sexually explicit lyrics and a gospel-like salvation, a well-proven formula. But of late, and especially on new album “Double Up,” Kelly has been showing a bit of mean streak, with songs as “The Champ” addressing his critics head-on and even offering lyrics that seem to allude to the child pornography charges against him. (Beatrice de Gea / LAT)
Spoon
Act: Spoon

Influences: Wire, Big Star, Motown

The long-time indie rock faves just scored its first top-10 album on the U.S. charts, and are getting the rest of the world caught up on its minimalist guitar rock. Keyboards dart in and around brief flashes of guitar riffs, a nod to post-punk heroes Wire, while new album, “Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga” shows the band bringing out its soul side (see “You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb”). (Merge Records)
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