Thursday, May 17, 2007

Evolution of J-Pop – Part One.

(There is no Part Two.)

These two tunes have often struck me as being remarkably similar - even considering the limited range of rock music. But I bet that the rationales behind them represent opposite ends of the spectrum of human thought.

First up is Yoko Ono at the Rolling Stones' Rock and Roll Circus of 1968. Her band, the Dirty Mac, is Keith Richards (on bass), Eric Clapton, John Lennon and Mitch Mitchell, and famed fiddler Ivry Gitlis.

I love this track. I'm a contrarian bastard. Most people tell me they can't stand Yoko's singing, and as proof they're right they point out Gitlis' long-suffering 'haven't crapped in a week' expression. I think that's just his natural look. You try to hold a piece of wood against your shoulder with your chin and see what faces you pull. The YouTubers comment that Yoko's summoning spirits, but I don't know if they made that up like the "name of UR crush will appear but dont break chain or u'll dyee" thing YouTube has got going on or whether somebody actually claimed she was.

Whatever she's doing, I'm sure it required Thought and Art and stuff. She was a noted artist when most of her backing band were playing conkers in the churchyard. Check out the Fluxus thing.

That clip was just her bit of the Dirty Mac's set. Click this one to see them play the Beatles' Yer Blues. It's a stonkin' performance too. You don't get people of that caliber playing together every day.

On the other end of J-Pop evolution, we have the This clip from Tarantino's Kill Bill doesn't actually show them, and I haven't ripped the bit of the DVD where you can see them performing it because I'm a lazy, tight-fisted bugger who prefers just to surf YouTube.

Don't they sound like Yoko? I'm convinced that the actual amount of work, thought and art that went into the' "Woo Hoo" is hovering around the "not much" mark. Shame Vonage had to overexpose the tune with their crappy ads.

"Woo Hoo" is actually from 1959, so in that dismayingly post-modern way it is both older and newer than the Dirty Mac track. Figure out for yourself what that means for evolution.

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