You Mean That Isn’t … ?

We’re headed back to 2001 for today’s episode of “Man, that singer really sounds like that other singer.” You’re watching the first season of “Scrubs,” the episode guest-starring Sean Hayes as a new intern that might be cooler than JD. Toward the end, you hear “Camera One,” a song with a singer who sounds a lot like Michael Stipe. “Camera One” eventually makes it to Number 22 – and Number One on the Adult Album Alternative chart. You call your local radio DJ and ask for it. That’s when you find out “Camera One” isn’t REM, but Josh Joplin Group.

To be fair, only parts of “Camera One” are REMesque. I would say it’s solidly in the male singer-songwriter pocket that was popular at the time, even if that singer was backed by a band. Remember Semisonic? Five for Fighting? Train? Josh Joplin was right there, giving radio and MTV what they wanted.

Josh kept making music, both for himself and for corporate clients such as Coke and HBO and Nike. IN 2008, he co-founded a new band, Among the Oak & Ash. Here’s that band’s cover of The Smiths’ “Bigmouth Strikes Again.” It’s Josh singing lead, so yeah, it’s gonna sound a bit Stipey.

At some point, Josh switched back to the name he grew up with, Josh Blum, and started the production company NarrowMoat. He also hopes to publish a children’s book he wrote, “Polar Bears Are Cool.”