Monday, August 01, 2011
Dumb Fun. Serious Business
My goodness, but Kutiman helps me have fun on the Intertunnel.
My older brother sent me this one, via a webpage for music stores and such. The page (I assure you, it's not my brother) contains the breathless "As you watch this thing, about half-way through it you begin to think about the power of this well-crafted song and Jimmy Page's timeless licks."
No. No I don't.
Look, I hate to break it to you, but it's tripe. It's beaucoup lugubrious and mega-stilted. There's a kind of random element to the whole thing, no rhyme or reason -- or meter, for that matter--to the whole shebang.Every time I hear Jimmy Page attempt to play a solo, a vision of a chicken pecking a toy piano with a herpetic beak comes to mind. I've been in a hundred garages and heard a thousand guys who would never emerge from them tell you about songs they've written like Black Dog, and they'd painfully demonstrate them, "This is the part that goes like this, and you do that for a while, and then you do the part that goes more like this, and then I wail while you do something else." The words were always along the lines of Otto the bus driver's advice for heavy metal, "Real songs are about deals with the devil, far-off lands, and where you'd find smoke in relation to water." Black Dog itself is the pinnacle example of what we used to call a "Room Clearer." No one but one person wants to hear that song, and even they lose interest in it about halfway through if you're fool enough to play it for them. There's a very good reason so many versions in the video are being played in a room, alone.
Oh boy. "musical geniuses" are mentioned. Listen; it's dumb fun. There's nothing wrong with dumb fun. People play cornhole and tube behind rusty speedboats and get sunburned in right field waiting for their uncle to ground out to short at the family picnic all the time. People need dumb fun. There's nothing wrong with getting your dumb fun from Led Zeppelin, I suppose, although you could find a lot smarter dumb fun to amuse yourself without risking even dipping your toe in intelligent fun. Kutiman makes dumb dumb fun for me out of all the very serious dumb fun he harvests from the Intertunnel. Can't we just leave it at that, without putting people that can't sing and can't play on Mount Rushmore?
[Update: I just remembered I made a much less interesting gloss in this format a couple of years ago. Kutiman's is better, of course, but I doubt he can make an end table, so there.]