Powerful musical contrasts

For a couple months I’d been listening almost exclusively to jazz music, while working on my jazz guide. Then on a whim I decided to listen to a song I hadn’t heard in a long time, Smashing Pumpkins’ brutal rocker “Geek USA,” and it absolutely blew my mind, as if I was listening to the first piece of rock music invented, in a world that had only previously known folk, classical, and jazz.

The experience reminded of my favorite scene from Back to the Future, where Marty — who has traveled back in time to 1955 — ends a 1950s rock-and-roll classic with an increasingly intense guitar solo that completely bewilders the 1950s crowd that has never heard hard rock virtuoso guitar before:

It also reminded me of the 2Cellos music video in which the two cello players performing for an audience in the late 18th century transition their classical music performance into a cover of AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck,” to the shock of the adults and the delight of the children:

It also reminded me of the scene from Murder at the Vanities where Duke Ellington and his band interrupt a classical music performance with their newfangled jazz music:

That is all.


  1. Ben Pace says

    Yup. When I’ve listened to an album too much and I can’t get the value out of it any more, I don’t listen to it for like 6 months / a year. Then when I return, it’s like looking at it with fresh eyes. I always hear things I hadn’t heard before, even if I’d listened to it every day for a month.

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