Talent and Rage

Blog 3

Well so what does that look like, a parallel universe of music that frees me from needing to really hear much of anything outside it at this point? That makes everything you play me seem kinda superfluous and trite, perfect, amazing but unnecessary? Offensive to the level of whatever commercial success it may be enjoying because I am moved more by things made by a luggage technician at the Cleveland airport? Boring because we may well have toyed with and abandoned this direction you are so excited about years ago?
Some of you may think my sister Kira and I have accomplished some things in music, participated in some history, even written or played on music that is in your I-thing.
But Kira and I would certainly agree without hesitation that we play with someone unknown to you whose talents and abilities dwarf us and have since we began in high school. In fact, in conversations we have agreed that he has more talent than both of us put together.
Yah, go ahead and object to the word “talent” use whatever word you want, but we musicians see these freaks who are born out of the gate spitting out precocious music they have no business making.
How does a 19 year old so grok the concept and culture of blues and it’s subsequent rape by rock’n’roll that they can write songs with titles like “Mama, I’m on your Rag” and “Done my Woman Dirty,” go out to the garage in the middle of the night fueled by coffee, dirtweed, stolen popcorn and Jack Daniels and record them? And it isn’t that they are authentic, though all the right cues are there, they are postmodern informed and simultaneously hilarious and… perfect? With open tuning on the acoustic guitar and a deep south accent and phrasing? And you laugh and cry and know you are in the presence of genius?
Sure he read every Keith Richards interview ever done, bought Son House albums etc etc, did a post graduate study and summed it up in a half dozen or 20 four-track gems. But man, that is ACCELERATED! And why? For a record deal? How? Thinking the riches were around the corner? No, pretty much pure unfettered inspiration, a channeling, a “click” that is then transformed from nothing but thought into nothing but soundwaves captured on an old cassette.
While he was doing this I was studying classical music and writing ornate prog rock. There was no chance whatsoever of me “getting” classical music the way he got blues. I was failing and fumbling about. I got in the Screamers and looked good. I even occasionally managed a gem.
But Glenn Brown was mining a vein and pulling out sophistication. He always did. He always still does.
And he can do it in a dozen styles. Rock, Funk, Reggae, peculiar instrumentals, noise (I mean the knob twiddling noise popular in 2013 back in 1978) country, etc…all done with a mature fucking OLD MAN humor that YA JUST DON’T KNOW WHERE THE FUCK IT COMES FROM.
So, to get back to the original point…when you play me Jack White…. I just don’t care. He’s just doing a Glenn Brown thing and not very well. I mean, it’s great. It’s perfect. It’s amazing.
But I’d rather listen to crappy recording my friend made 35 years ago, bouncing between two cassettes. Rich ol’ everything he touches turns to gold Jack White…why should I care? It goes by, I nod my head, if I’m feeling generous I will acknowledge your excellent taste.
But honestly, beneath it all, is a howling punk rock rage at the world; it’s stupidity and blindness an unfairness and general loathsome existence.
I don’t need your music. I have my own.

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