Monday, March 31, 2008

Strange Musical Marriages

Via Pa^2 Patois {Edit: whom, I neglected to mention, I found via Winston of Nobody Asked . . . ], one of the stranger marriages of musicians and material you're ever likely to see: The Leningrad Cowboys and the Red Army Choir singing, um . . . you'll never guess, so just play it already.



If that wasn't enough for you, here is a different performance of the full song by the same musicians.

10 comments:

Doc said...

it is jsut...SOOOOO meta it defies comment.

John B. said...

Exactly.

I kept trying to work out post titles that would do this thing's strangeness some kind of justice . . . I finally gave up. It's a rare experience that exists beyond our ability to label it, and this is definitely one of them

R. Sherman said...

Finnish people with weird hair should not be allowed to sing American Southern Rock. I will not argue about this.

Cheers.

John B. said...

Randall,

So--no funny hair, but I take it the Red Army Choir is okay with you?

Ordinarily, I'd agree with you: If someone had approached me with the question of whether this would be cool, I'd have said, This musical mooncow should never have been conceived. But there's something about the sheer joy in this performance and--weird hair aside--the sincerity of it that makes me think that a little musical glasnost isn't such a bad thing after all.

By the way: Lovers of Tom Jones may (not) want to see these same people's performance of "Delilah." The whole time I watched this, I found myself wondering what these guys could do with "Bohemian Rhapsody."

Winston said...

I saw this over at Papa Meloney's also. Sat in awe as I watched and listened. That was two days ago and I still don't know what to say...

BTW, your name in lights and implementation of your secret at nobodyasked has not yet yielded results. Is there some normal latency period to be expected?

John B. said...

Winston,
Re your second inquiry: This morning I got curious and so I did a Google Images search for "MacGyver." Turns out that my post is #2 on the page. How that can be is a mystery to me; I don't think of my blog as a high-traffic site, and one of the things Google does is list its results in order of "popularity." Besides, your site has more traffic than mine does (I assume).

So, yeah: give it time. Mine was posted in November of 2006, and it's only been in the past month that it's been getting the traffic. Alternately, you can do as jd suggested above . . .

Kári said...

I dunno. It all makes perfect sense to me. But then I suppose I've been an admirer of the Cowboys' work for about as long as I can remember, having seen the film when I was only a wee lad.

The film, incidentally, is fantastic. And is no less bizarre a pairing than this, given that it is heavily influenced by the Blues Brothers.

John B. said...

Kári,
Thanks for the context (a movie, you say!?). As you no doubt know, in the States there's more than a little suspicion (that would be the polite way of putting it) of rock & roll made by continental European bands. But this . . . obviously, it won't make some purists happy, but to me once I got past the incongruity/-ies I sensed a sincere joy in their performance. As I've said to you, either here or at your blog, in the past, it's the same thing I sense in Bon Jovi at their "best": camp, over-the-top, you bet; but they know it and sort of revel in all that--like KISS does, but without Gene Simmons' cynicism accompanying the doing of it (the chorus of "Rock and Roll All Nite" aside, which is, after all, one of the indisputably-great moments in all of rock, profit-motive-driven or no).

Anyway. If I thought the Cowboys were merely bad, I wouldn't have posted this video. But I admit it: I like 'em, too, what I've seen of 'em.

Kári said...

Ohhhh, if you haven't seen Leningrad Cowboys Go America then you simply haven't lived, my friend. Get thee to thy NetFlix queue!

Before there was Borat there were the Leningrad Cowboys, brainchild of Aki Kaurismäki, Finland's premier art-house director. Think Spinal Tap meets ... well, Finland, basically. They start off playing traditional Russian folk music, but their career only takes off once they discover Rock 'n' Roll.

John B. said...

[after reading the Wikipedia entry] Clearly, I need to get out more.

They're cool, Kári. Thanks for cluing me in further.