For those of you who’d like to get some extra credit on yesterday’s assignment, two pieces, one short and one long:
Roy Edroso at Alicublog, on James Brown. (This is the short one.)
Philip Gourevitch in the New Yorker, on James Brown. (Long.) The latter contains a detailed description of his show that pretty much matches the one I saw, but is, of course, about a million times better than my description.
czucky Dimes said on December 27, 2006 at 3:57 pm
The recent passing of Mr. Brown and the accompanying replay of his music reminds me why I hate rap and hip-hop so much. Namely, that it is garbage performed by clueless, no-talent posers. Although JB is credited as an influence on these mopes, it’s hard to understand how they seem to have missed the most important lessons.
brian stouder said on December 27, 2006 at 4:25 pm
Two nits to pick –
reminds me why I hate rap and hip-hop so much.
Well, that’s rather ‘zero-sum’ of you, eh? A person can simply ignore one form of art while not lessening their enjoyment of another (My 19 year old son and I just had an interesting conversation about Marshall Mathers [whose work he admires very much] versus my fave – Pearl Jam; and we could see the appeal that each might offer)
a detailed description of his show that pretty much matches the one I saw, but is, of course, about a million times better than my description
bzzzzzt!!!! I have been accused of being a ‘fluff’ participant in the proceedings here at NN.c (over in Leo-land) – and at at the risk of sounding EVEN MORE like a Madam Telling Tales toady –
that is simply wrong. The NN description of a James Brown concert was descriptive and visceral.
As one who has never been to such a concert, skipping the New Yorker guy’s delicate dissection of the godfather’s phrasing and nuanced tonal inflections, and going straight to how it felt to experience the effect was 1,000,000 times more meaningful…and therefore that much better.
But, I readily confess that pleasing rubes like me ain’t necessarily a writer’s road to riches (although maybe it IS!)
MarkH said on December 27, 2006 at 5:31 pm
Sorry, Brian, no dice. To czucky, I say, “Amen!”
All artistic tolerances aside, you can’t tell me you can discern one rap “song” or “artist” from another just by listening to it. To me, that’s what makes any art, or artist, great: individuality from great talent (two words – James Brown). Hip-hop and rap have neither. It’s just bad attitude writ and blasted large. It’s a free country and all, and these forms of, um, expression can and will exist if they have to. But I’ve heard enough over the years, don’t “see the appeal”, and reserve the right to leave the room. Ignoring it has no effect on my enjoyment of anything else, either. I have had these same discussions with my 17-year-old son, and like some of the things on his ipod. But, there’s usually music involved. Actually, his favorite group is Led Zeppelin, fer cryin’ out loud!
Really, M&M vs. Pearl Jam??
ON THE OTHER HAND…agree about Nancy’s description. I’ve seen many acts at the Agora in my time in Columbus, and couldn’t imagine a James Brown show in that venue, let alone at midnight in a miserable Columbus winter. Now, I can.
Also, hesitatingly, the sweaty Albert King hug.
nancy said on December 27, 2006 at 6:36 pm
Trust me, Brian. It’s better. (Thanks for the fluffage, just the same, wink wink.)
basset said on December 27, 2006 at 10:11 pm
the only live performance I’ve ever seen in Columbus was Jesco White the Dancin’ Outlaw at the community building in German Village.
I don’t get to Columbus much.
mary said on December 28, 2006 at 1:06 am
mary in LA here. I see there’s another lower case mary who saw James Brown I saw him in some theatre in Westchester County NY in 1970. I went on a whim with two guys I knew from summer art school, and it was amazing.
On another topic altogether, one that seems really lame in the same thread as the hardest working man in show business, I spoke to a reality show winner in Trader Joes the other day. I saw Jeffrey Sebellia, winner of Project Runway, shopping with his toddler son. The tattoo all over the front of his neck was the giveaway, since this was in the Silver Lake Trader Joes where lots of guys dress like he does.
nancy said on December 28, 2006 at 1:10 am
If I ever have a Celebrity Brush With Greatness thread, Mary, you’ll have to sit it out. Angelenos have to have their own league.
mary said on December 28, 2006 at 1:15 am
Jeffrey Sebellia? Grocery shopping? That gets me marginalized? Sheesh, that’s a pretty low standard.
nancy said on December 28, 2006 at 1:19 am
Reality-show stars are the new George Clooney.
mary said on December 28, 2006 at 1:24 am
I have to share something that happened today. I am taking a week off from work, hanging around the house. I have an elderly gay couple across the street. Weimer and Bill have been together for 45 years. Bill’s been in bad health off and on for the past two years, starting with a heart attack two years ago.
My day started with taking older son to his school for his team practice. Younger son came along for the ride, and the in-house brit stayed home. As I was coming back, I suggested to younger son he check with the gay couple to see if they wanted him to walk their dog. I had heard Weimer had been not feeling well. We rounded the corner and I saw the in-house brit’s car was not in front of my house. I had the most strange feeling of foreboding. Really bad. I called him on his cell and he was at the hardware store. I said to him, “Oh, I thought maybe you had to take Bill to the hospital or something.” Why I said this I have no idea. Neither of us has ever taken Bill to the hospital, or had even seen Bill in a pretty long time. I called Bill. He answered the phone right away. He said he was expecting his nephew to call back, because he needed a ride to the ER, he was having chest pains. His nephew lived about an hour away. I told him I would take him to the ER, which younger son and I did, carrying him to my car.
I am not the sort of person who puts any stock in ESP. I have never had a premonition in my life. But today I knew that Bill was going to the hospital. I’m still very spooked.
He was having a mild heart attack, by the way, and he’ll be in the hospital for a few days at least.
Dorothy said on December 28, 2006 at 9:23 am
Mary that is an amazing story. I am not an overtly religious person, but I really do believe that a higher power was involved here. It might sound hokey, but I truly believe that God works in mysterious ways.
brian stouder said on December 28, 2006 at 11:05 am
I’m pretty much a heathen – or at best, ‘unchurched’; and I absolutely agree with what Dorothy said.
I suppose the stone-cold counter argument would be that Mary is no doubt an observant, intelligent person – to the extent that even a seemingly innocuous little anomaly struck her as meaningful. Maybe in the past she has missed similarly portentious little anomalies, and (at a subconcious level) her brain took note, and learned – so that THIS time her subconcious said “Oh HELL no!! Not this again!” and summarily hit the alarm button…..
and even if something like that is the ‘real’ explanation for the premonition, still – it is an amazingly complex (aka – miraculous)process, eh?