Sunday, July 03, 2011

for the Maximum Leader

Mike is recently back from a trip to Graceland, so I've decided to offer him a link to this famous Elvis-related scene as a belated "Welcome Back!"

I watched that YouTube clip only a few minutes ago and busted a gut. The last time I'd seen the movie in which this scene is featured was... Jesus... years and years ago-- quite possibly in the neighborhood of twenty years ago. During that time, my musical sensibilities received quite an education as both my brothers practiced on their musical instruments-- David on the violin, and Sean on viola, cello, and piano (the latter on his own). What I learned, while my brothers learned, was how to listen to music: technically speaking, there's a lot going on in any piece, any song-- layers of interwoven complexities and contrasts that can create sublime beauty... and can also serve as rich fodder for lowbrow comedy.

Learning music entails surmounting a long series of musical disasters (have you ever heard a kid during his first year of practicing a musical instrument?); one becomes sensitized to those disasters, much the way a demolition expert can see the unique ways in which different buildings implode and collapse. The collapse we witness in the above clip is artfully rendered, since all the actors actually can sing, and are doing what they're doing quite deliberately. The clip depicts a harmony gone horribly, horribly wrong, and I don't think the scene was nearly as funny twenty years ago as it was just now-- now that I'm watching and listening with better-educated eyes and ears.

I hope you didn't defile Graceland the way these gents did, Mike. But if you did, I hope you were at least as awful as they were.


1 comment:

Charles said...

Ah, Spinal Tap! It must be about twenty years for me, too.