Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Rolling Boners

The Rolling Stones - 19th Nervous Breakdown

Found at

I've always had trouble with the Rolling Stones. I first came to their era, and pop music in general, through my early high school love and quest for technical proficiency (and boy did I find it), first through the blues-rock guitar solo and then through the things that normally surrounded it. The Stones, however, weren't one of those groups. Keith Richards wasn't giving us five minute solos bent into the stratosphere, Charlie Watts wasn't drilling fills into every nook and cranny like Keith Moon etc. I thought that all their efforts were meant to simply convey Mick Jagger's attitude (granted, they partly are). Since then, however, I've realized that, first, good music really is not as connected to proficiency as I once thought, and second, proficiency isn't all about the narcissistic (albeit sometimes brilliant) bombast of an individual musician. Take this song. Every bit of talent, most notably that of Bill Wyman and the late Brian Jones, is channeled specifically into giving this song a complete and complex feel. Wyman's bass isn't for brooding, its for butt shaking. A closer look, however, will not see it crumble. You will only be more amazed that this song didn't turn into "Moby Dick" (the Zeppelin one not the Melville one). I'll have to try to stomach more Stones in the future.

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