Saturday, September 22, 2007

Genius knows more than one song

I think that one thing being a genius is, is that within the narrow area you are a genius in, you have versatility. There are lots of musicians I really like, who basically have one song. It's a good song. I like it. But its one song. Well, below is a video of Bob Dylan performing "Mr. Tambourine Man" in 1964, and "Like a Rolling Stone" in 1966. Two years difference.

Two years difference.

There's more. Doing Country with Johnny Cash

And it keeps going. A video from 2006. Only they won't allow emedding with this one. It's new music, but the video is mostly a montage of video of performances thoughout his carerr. There's a funny comment on the YouTube page.

This was probably a pretty easy video for them to make.

it probably went something like this:

"Bobby, could you come in? We need to shoot a video."


But check it out. Good song.


JimII said...

That is pretty cool. It is funny how Bob Dylan sounds so much like Bob Dylan that I had to concentrate to see the destinction in the first two songs. I mean, it is there and it is radical, but my brain just puts it as Dylan. Not unlike what I do with the Beatles.

Johnny Cash & Ray Charles both jumped from genre. I guess less so with Cash. But everyone listened to both of them.

I wonder if listeners are more compartmentalized now. Or, perhaps we haven't had a genius in a while.

Of course, Kid Rock did a country song ;)

Matt Dick said...

Well with Cash, what struck me is that he looks exactly like Tom Cruise. Of course if Cruise plays him in the movie I'm unlikely to see it.

Jim, you are right, super performers often go beyond genre. There are contemporary artists capable of it. Cash didn't go from country as much as he just appealed to a wider audience. Ray Charles did as well. I'd argue that Bette Midler crossed several genres and at least two generations. I actually find Celine Dion tremendously unappealing, but she is nothing if not a cross-over story.

From our youth, Prince crossed-over/fused a bunch of styles, and if you count the songs he wrote, he's crazy-versatile.

The human genome didn't change much from the 1960s to the 1990s, so the geniuses are out there, they are just doing things you don't necessarily like.

Check out Lisa Ekdhal to find a pop-singer who can go quirky jazz.

The greatest modern example in my mind is Danny Elfman, who made a pretty smooth transition from Oingo Boingo to classical music scores.

Paul Simon has been .. wait for it ... all over the map. Fusing African and South American sounds has been his baliwick for a while and he's a genius. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan was a Hindustani worship performer who hit it big with some Hollywood types -- his stuff is fantastic. Check out:

and play the clip of Mustt Mustt, it's just amazing.

JimII said...

so the geniuses are out there, they are just doing things you don't necessarily like.

That's right, people other than straight white men are capable of doing things in the world.

JimII said...

That was meant to be snark at my small mindedness, in case I missed the mark.

Matt Dick said...

I didn't notice that I'd strayed from white men, you started out with Ray Charles and Johnny Cash and at least half of them are non-white.

Josh and Luke, should you read this, I'm going to throw some middle east/central asian music on all peers for you guys to grab.

Josh Gentry said...

Jim, Jae said the same thing about Dylan being Dylan. I guess I understand, though I don't have the same experience.

Cash pretty clearly busted the Country genre. Not only with tunes like "Ring of Fire," but his last series of albums on American totally busted genres. Some of the most memorable songs from those albums are covers of Sound Garden and Nine Inch Nails.

Matt, I'm still waiting for some tunes.

Matt Dick said...

Mustt Mustt went up last night. It's the bomb.

More tonight, though I may go to some serious East African -- Papa Wemba perhaps.

Josh said...

"Mustt Must" doesn't do it for me, but I quite like the Papa Wemba song.

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