Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Pachelbel Rant

I am Johann's biggest fan, what can I say? Yeah, it's been done to death, they beat it to a pulp at weddings and high school graduations, it's in bad TV commercials, but when I first heard it, I thought Canon in D was prima facie evidence for the existence of God. Simple, moving, hypnotic, and I love it. I am a simple man from a simple village.

But this guy? This is funny, and dead-on true ...

11 comments:

Nanny Goats In Panties said...

Thank you for sharing this video - it was great. My husband (who is a bit of a music fiend) told me to send him the URL because he says he's been telling his friends this very same thing, or something like it.

Steve Perry said...

I think anybody who knows the canon and paying attention has noticed this. One of the reasons I thought it was so funny. I confess I hadn't heard some of the punk-rock examples, but I knew the classic-rock and Blues Travelers and a couple of the others.

Dan Moran said...

Superb. Best use of five minutes I've had today. I laughed hard.

He wants to diss punk (and it can be done) he should listen to some, though. "Basket Case" and "Push" and "With or Without You" may be good (even great) songs ... but they ain't punk. (Yeah, Green Day's had punk moments. "Basket Case" isn't one of them.) And "Torn?" C'mon, guy. You want to insult punk and call it baroque (it's a great line) ... come up with some actual punk. I'm sure he could do it, if he tried.

I'll give him a point on Machinehead -- that's punk, all right. But you've got to listen awful hard to hear Pachelbel in that.

Steve Perry said...

Insulting punk is like shooting fish in a barrel with a shotgun ...

Dan Moran said...

One good thing to do is, when I'm feeling old, I go visit with people who are actually older than dirt, and then I feel young again.

If you'd like to talk smack about punk some more, I would personally appreciate it. It's been a long time since anyone's bothered. Now it's all "the evils of rap," like skinheads aren't actually the root of all evil ...

Mike said...

Have you heard the Los Angles Guitar Quartet's "Pachebel's Loose Cannon"? Funny, and some amazing playing, too: definitely worth a listen.

Steve Perry said...

Every generation of young people feels compelled to re-invent the wheel. There's nothing particularly evil, nor innovative about three-chord punk, which came from three-chord rock -- which came from three-chord blues -- other than that more punk than blues is played loud and often badly.

(Can't play it good, play it loud, was what the early rock guys said, and the punk movement really took that to heart.)

I don't begrudge punk their turn in the spotlight, only the idea that it was fresh and new and innovative and unlike anything ever done before!

Evil? Nah. Adept? Now and again.

I got the same rap from people who saw The Matrix: Oh, look, how original!

Yeah, when H.G. Wells wrote it in the late 1800's it was ...

People who came of age in punk's heyday will look upon it fondly, and rightly so -- it was their music. We all get our turn to stand in front of the big stack and be primal and driven to early deafness. When my father did it, it was Glenn Miller and stuff his parents didn't consider real music. My father told me the Beatles were a waste of space, they weren't musicians at all.

But when Kurt Cobain killed himself, those kids who said it was equivalent to John Lennon being assassinated? Please ...

Mike --

Yeah, I have LAGQ's version of the loose canon on my driving CD. Lot of fun.

Dan Moran said...

Kurt Cobain was grunge, not punk, though I admit, most of the difference was grunge guys wore flannel instead of dirty leather.

It's hard to say how big the loss of Cobain was to music -- we'd have known better in another decade. But it wasn't a tragedy, in any event. You don't get tragedy out of the suicides of adults.

Even when punk was big I knew it wasn't dangerous. Neither is hip hop (though hip hop guys do kill each other way more than punk guys ever did.) Most music is just a way for large corporations to sell young people their culture, and give those young a safe place to rebel, without really ever changing anything ...

Ximena Cearley said...

Yeah, those are alternative pop songs--top 40 "punk"--he's quoting. However, you *can* pull the Canon in D out of, say, "God Save the Queen" (by the Sex Pistols, Steve), "Lucretia My reflection" (The Sisters of Mercy), and "Thanks for the night" (the Damned), all of whom were bona fide punk bands back in the day.

I notice he didn't touch industrial music--offhand I can't call anything by, say, Al Jourgensen that will fit. Although I do notice you can shoehorn the Canon into "Head Like A Hole" by Nine Inch Nails.

I defy you to do it with Einsturzende Neubaten, Test Department, Philip Glass, or Steve Reich.

The thing is, in order to make the exercise work, you almost *have* to use top 40, because the stuff that gets radio play is what will follow you around. Stuff that doesn't sound comfortably familiar won't get played on top 40, and due to the chord structure, the Canon will fit a lot of those. (Kind of like the 7-point plot.) Blixa Bargeld isn't exactly mugging me on the radio the way U2 are.

Steve Perry said...

I'd love to see a guy with an acoustic guitar doing stand-up try Philip Glass or Industrial techo-stuff.
That would be a trick ...

Of course, watching a guy sit in front of a synthesizer for three hours until he hits one disharmonic chord and then stands and bows, or playing a lot of clashing vibrato notes causing the windows in the building to shatter is not my idea of music, so I wouldn't expect to see the Johanns in there anywhere anyhow.

You can play a lot of blues with that I-IV-V progression, and ditto rock. That sequence seems particularly pleasing to western ears, and ole Johann wasn't the first to notice it.

Ximena Cearley said...

My mother took me to a Philip Glass concert around the time Koyaanisqatsi was making the art house circuit in the 80's. It was unutterably boring.