Old farts at play

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Rorschach
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Old farts at play

Postby Rorschach » 19 May 2021, 19:20

What do we think of really old guys still self-consciously trying to be relevant?

I was thinking particularly of Paul McCartney and Tom Jones, who have both done 'I've still got it, me' type records recently.

To be fair to Tom Jones, he's been making such efforts for a long time now. It was pretty extraordinary when he did Kiss with Art of Noise and he's carried on doing that sort of thing ever since, particularly working with Ethan Johns.
His latest album, Surrounded by Time, actually debuted at no. 1 in the UK and the critics generally like it. His singing seems amazing for an 80 year-old (much better than McCartney) and the choice of material is .... interesting.

I'm not that fussed about the album but he's not making a fool of himself and he's not gone all pipe and slippers on us. Here's a bizarre example:



McCartney, on the other hand, keeps on doing the McCartney thing and his most recent album, McCartney III was just him and his new songs and playing it all himself. I think the songs are pretty good but his voice is poor. I sometimes get the impression he's trying to channel the spirit of Johnny Cash on American Recordings III and, particularly, IV. The problem is that he doesn't have the gravitas that Cash was able to bring to Hurt and it doesn't really work.
A good album but flawed.

But then, he's curated McCartney III Imagined, in which various relative newcomers (OK, Beck's been around for a while but Dominik Fike is pretty recent) remix and perform the songs off the album. It's only been released to streaming so far but I've listened to it and I reckon it's quite an improvement. It's not all successful but, for example, the first single, The Kiss of Venus, really works for me:

Original version:



Dominik Fike's version:



Maybe this is what he should do in future instead of singing them himself?

Any other examples of old farts trying to remain relevant?
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Walk In My Shadow
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Re: Old farts at play

Postby Walk In My Shadow » 19 May 2021, 19:40

I'll have a think about other examples.

As for Tom Jones, I don't really have an opinion.

Macca, on the other hand, in my humble opinion he's gone nowhere since the Beatles split. I'll be dragged through hell for saying this, I know.

He's written two great songs during his solo career: Maybe I'm amazed and On the wings of a nightingale.

Y'all won't be surprised he was my least favourite Beatle.
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Re: Old farts at play

Postby toomanyhatz » 19 May 2021, 19:45

I've said much about this elsewhere, but whenever Macca is mentioned, I tend to go into instant 'defend' mode, mostly because he's always had a natural curiosity about stuff, as well as a sense of play. He may not have quite the 'sing till I no longer can' gravitas of Cash or Cohen, but I'm glad he's letting that 'lived in' quality shine. When I saw him in concert he strapped on the guitar and did a bit of "Foxy Lady" and for a minute he was transformed into every teenager who's ever cranked the amp in their bedroom while their folks were away. I love that he's almost 80 and he still has that.

For me the most egregious example of this is Mick Jagger, who radiates desperation a bit to my ears. I mean, hatz off to him for staying in such good physical shape, but didn't he say he couldn't see himself continuing to prance around for much longer about 40 years ago? And the songs suck too - he hasn't written a memorable one for years.

By comparison Macca's just having fun.
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Re: Old farts at play

Postby kath » 19 May 2021, 20:00

or maybe... just maybe... whatever you think of the results... musicians who have been into music all their lives are gonna stay that way til they die?

just a possibility.

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Re: Old farts at play

Postby jimboo » 19 May 2021, 20:21

I don't think they are trying to be relevant as such (the buyers decide). Macca just is macca. You could look at him as a composer , no one cares how old classical musicians are. Blues and folk singers have always carried on until death. I guess rock musicians can do the same.
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Re: Old farts at play

Postby Walk In My Shadow » 19 May 2021, 20:40

kath wrote:or maybe... just maybe... whatever you think of the results... musicians who have been into music all their lives are gonna stay that way til they die?

just a possibility.



Bob Dylan. Still relevant to my ears.
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Re: Old farts at play

Postby Jock » 19 May 2021, 22:33

Walk In My Shadow wrote:
kath wrote:or maybe... just maybe... whatever you think of the results... musicians who have been into music all their lives are gonna stay that way til they die?

just a possibility.



Bob Dylan. Still relevant to my ears.

As is McCartney to mine. I don't believe you think he's only written two good songs since The Beatles :D
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Re: Old farts at play

Postby Six String » 20 May 2021, 00:17

Nancy Griffin and Emmylou Harris’ voice lowered noticeably as they got older but their voices still sound good. Granted, Emmylou is not 80 and I can hear the age in her voice but it is still lovely to my ears. Nancy unfortunately left the music business years ago so I don’t know how she’s getting along.

That Macca vocal was difficult to listen to. It is as strained as some of the live performances I’ve heard. I’ve never seen him live and at this point never will. I feel the same about Jagger. I won’ t be going to any Stones concerts anymore and I certainly wouldn’t waste money on a solo Mick tour.
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Re: Old farts at play

Postby mudshark » 20 May 2021, 01:51

Rorsch, you've got yourself a multi-pager here. Well done! I've got lots of input, but most of it will have to wait because I'm dealing with the Spring Creek Flood and a bottle of Bulleit. To be more specific: We got fucking flooded again (the 4th 100-year flood since 2016) and I'm watching the wife fixing the fence while having me some rye. For now: I'm pretty much with the guy that said Macca only composed 2 good songs after the Beatles thingy, except that it's 4 and that's he's done those in the same 4 variations, over and over, for 40 years, which in itself is brilliant. Didn't Mozart did the same? I wouldn't fucking know.
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Re: Old farts at play

Postby Hightea » 20 May 2021, 04:23

Paul still has the live it factor. Not sure his songs are new songs are relevant anymore.

Bob Dylan and Neil Young come to mind as still interesting. Although nothing surprising.


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Re: Old farts at play

Postby Rorschach » 20 May 2021, 07:44

toomanyhatz wrote:I've said much about this elsewhere, but whenever Macca is mentioned, I tend to go into instant 'defend' mode, mostly because he's always had a natural curiosity about stuff, as well as a sense of play.


To make one thing clear, I have a lot of time for Paul McCartney and I'm not writing him off because his voice has gone.
But his voice has gone.
I think McCartney III Imagined was a bold move and showed that hasn't totally lost touch with new trends in music. As I said, I don't think it's totally successful but I like quite a lot of it.
But, most of all, I applaud him (and Tom Jones) for not simply carrying on with what he's always done, but for instead making a serious and effective attempt to stay relevant. And I think he made the right decision to do it the way he has, by being humble enough to allow so much control over each song to younger musicians rather than trying to do it all his own way.

Lots of people may carry on being good into their 80s (and I'm not doing that down!) but how many have been able to successfully engage with contemporary music trends?

mudshark wrote:I'm pretty much with the guy that said Macca only composed 2 good songs after the Beatles thingy, except that it's 4 and that's he's done those in the same 4 variations, over and over, for 40 years....


Daft bugger.
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Re: Old farts at play

Postby never/ever » 20 May 2021, 08:04

I'm glad Macca and Jones are still around.

Too many of my musical heroes have died already and too often I wished they were still able to make music.

Being active means that they are still around doing something people care about, even if you don't. Some of Macca's online activities during lockdown were great and wonderful to start your day with.
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Re: Old farts at play

Postby Darkness_Fish » 20 May 2021, 09:24

Aging musicians from any genre certainly have the right to continue recording music, and long may any of them do so. Macca's post-Beatles catalogue is probably the worst body of music recorded by anyone ever, but I don't begrudge him his right to create it. However, I do wonder why, when they've got more money than they know what to do with, and complete artistic freedom, they keep coming up with pointless rubbish. All artifice and no art. It should be ignored, regardless of the name attached.

The opposite example of yer Maccas, Joneses and Jaggerseses is Scott Walker, but even the likes of Cohen, Bowie, Johnny Cash, managed to continue working with some purpose. I don't think age is the barrier, more ideas. And if they don't have any, they can continue recording all they like, but why pay 'em any attention?
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Re: Old farts at play

Postby Rorschach » 20 May 2021, 09:59

Darkness_Fish wrote:Aging musicians from any genre certainly have the right to continue recording music, and long may any of them do so. Macca's post-Beatles catalogue is probably the worst body of music recorded by anyone ever, but I don't begrudge him his right to create it. However, I do wonder why, when they've got more money than they know what to do with, and complete artistic freedom, they keep coming up with pointless rubbish. All artifice and no art. It should be ignored, regardless of the name attached.

The opposite example of yer Maccas, Joneses and Jaggerseses is Scott Walker, but even the likes of Cohen, Bowie, Johnny Cash, managed to continue working with some purpose. I don't think age is the barrier, more ideas. And if they don't have any, they can continue recording all they like, but why pay 'em any attention?



OK. On what do you base the assessment that Macca's post-Beatles work has been pointless and Cohen's has not?
I mean, for example, I enjoy quite a lot of McCartney's solo work, so it has a point to me. I get that you don't like it, but why do you think it's pointless? What intrinsic value did Cohen, Bowie and Johnny Cash have, that he does not?
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Re: Old farts at play

Postby robertff » 20 May 2021, 10:39

What does it matter to anybody what these 'old farts' do with their time whether it's to make music, perform or whatever? Nobody makes you buy their music or go to gigs, so if you don't like what they do don't pay the money, easy isn't it? They have earned the right to do what they want and as they have been making music for all their working lives why shouldn't they continue and if there are that many people who are still interested enough in what they do, why should they stop?

Artists don't stop because they reach an age, why should musicians? No one forces you to buy music, pay to go to gigs or even listen so don't.


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Re: Old farts at play

Postby Rorschach » 20 May 2021, 10:47

robertff wrote:What does it matter to anybody what these 'old farts' do with their time whether it's to make music, perform or whatever? Nobody makes you buy their music or go to gigs, so if you don't like what they do don't pay the money, easy isn't it? They have earned the right to do what they want and as they have been making music for all their working lives why shouldn't they continue and if there are that many people who are still interested enough in what they do, why should they stop?

Artists don't stop because they reach an age, why should musicians? No one forces you to buy music, pay to go to gigs or even listen so don't.


.


I don't think anyone's actually disputing that. Darknessfish's point, as I understand it, is that he thinks that McCartney is artistically pointless so why does he bother. He was clear about saying that McCartney had the right to keep on going.

And, by the way, only used the expression 'old farts' for fun as a quote from Beefheart.
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Re: Old farts at play

Postby robertff » 20 May 2021, 11:05

Rorschach wrote:
robertff wrote:What does it matter to anybody what these 'old farts' do with their time whether it's to make music, perform or whatever? Nobody makes you buy their music or go to gigs, so if you don't like what they do don't pay the money, easy isn't it? They have earned the right to do what they want and as they have been making music for all their working lives why shouldn't they continue and if there are that many people who are still interested enough in what they do, why should they stop?

Artists don't stop because they reach an age, why should musicians? No one forces you to buy music, pay to go to gigs or even listen so don't.


.


I don't think anyone's actually disputing that. Darknessfish's point, as I understand it, is that he thinks that McCartney is artistically pointless so why does he bother. He was clear about saying that McCartney had the right to keep on going.

And, by the way, only used the expression 'old farts' for fun as a quote from Beefheart.



I really don’t think McCartney could care less if someone thought he was artistically pointless, he loves making music and there are plenty of people around the world who don’t agree with that statement, so that is why he bothers.


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Re: Old farts at play

Postby Rorschach » 20 May 2021, 11:25

robertff wrote:I really don’t think McCartney could care less if someone thought he was artistically pointless, he loves making music and there are plenty of people around the world who don’t agree with that statement, so that is why he bothers.


More or less what I think, but I'm curious to know why Darknessfish considers him artistically pointless. He's not daft and he often makes interesting points so I'm interested to hear what he has to say.
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Re: Old farts at play

Postby robertff » 20 May 2021, 12:58

Rorschach wrote:
robertff wrote:I really don’t think McCartney could care less if someone thought he was artistically pointless, he loves making music and there are plenty of people around the world who don’t agree with that statement, so that is why he bothers.


More or less what I think, but I'm curious to know why Darknessfish considers him artistically pointless. He's not daft and he often makes interesting points so I'm interested to hear what he has to say.



Perhaps it's simply because he doesn't like the music of the three he mentioned. After all, 'Macca's post-Beatles catalogue is probably the worst body of music recorded by anyone ever', so there is some kind of clue there as to why he considers him and others artistically pointless.


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Re: Old farts at play

Postby Darkness_Fish » 20 May 2021, 13:30

I knew I shouldn't have dragged my hatred of Macca into this. However, I can't stand by and see people make slanderous accusations such as "not daft" and "interesting" against my good name. To be fair to Mr McCartney, he probably has branched out a little more than some of the old rock/pop duffers of yore, but I still wouldn't want to hear it. But whenever I'm subjected to a new song, it seems to be very much a quick cheery ditty dashed out in no time, offering nothing new. I don't want to appear ageist or anything, but he's lived a long life, he's probably had life experiences none of us could even dream of. It just seems to me that if you were an artist with his resources and experience, you'd want to impart something of more depth, it just doesn't seem that creative, more of a reflex action of someone merely doing what they do.

To add a positive, at least he's not recording covid songs with Dave Grohl. I'll give him that.
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