Every once in a while, I’ll catch a band on TV that just knocks my socks off. Sometimes I’m way ahead of the curve and sometimes I’m lagging so far behind that people laugh and say, “you’re just are figuring that one out?” This mainly from my daughter who, like most teenagers, thinks her mom is an old fuddy-duddy. But sometimes, I get it really really right.
For example, a few years ago, while channel surfing, I caught a glimpse of a group of guys against a red curtain on the corner of a stage, playing banjos and guitars. I cruised past the channel and then went, “wait…what was that?” I backed up and was enthralled by a completely unique, powerful, fun performance on the Grammy Awards, a show I’d long ago stopped watching because it had become so boring, predictable and out of touch. (Plus, I never did forgive them after Jethro Tull beat Metallica for “Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance” in 1989.)
Which is exactly why after the song was over (with no further mention of who they were), I continued my surfing.
Months later, I heard that song on the radio and gratefully discovered Mumford & Sons. Sigh No More became the first album (aka CD) I purchased the day it was released since the mid-90’s. It was and is that good! (Imagine my disappointment when I learned I’d just missed them playing at the 9:30 Club in DC, by just a few weeks!)
Second case in point: In January 2010, I was watching Letterman (also something I don’t do very often), and caught a band of which I’d never heard, though I recognized the song from a car commercial and always thought it was snappy. Always a sucker for horns and amazing vocals, I got sucked into The Heavy’s mind-blowing performance, hook, line and sinker. Apparently Letterman did too, because to this day, The Heavy is the only band to ever play a Dave-requested encore on his show. They seriously rock!
Earlier this week, I was watching the Today Show when a fun-loving bunch of guys emerged from a 1970’s limo, clad in tuxedos replete with ruffly shirts and bow ties. They went on to perform their new song “Locked Out of Heaven” and I was SOLD on Bruno Mars! (This is the one to which my daughter said “DUH!”…lol…okay, so I’m not always that cool.) Admittedly, I don’t care for his mellow, romantic tunes, which is all I’d heard before. But when he kicks it up (and breaks it down) ala James Brown…whoa. Hold on to your hat!
I grew up and discovered music at the very beginning of the MTV era, when over-processed, conceptual videos were how hits were made. It’s really awesome that amazing live performances still exist. Even better is the fact that the next generation, or at least part of it, still wants to make this kind of music. It almost makes me forget that I have laundry baskets older than these kids! LOL