Jimmy Fallon had Neil Young on his show a couple of nights ago, and they did something historic: Young recorded Willie Nelson’s song Crazy directly to a Voice-O-Graph vinyl recording booth.
Music is subjective, so I suppose people will disagree, but I thought after Young was done, even knowing he was going for minimalist, that the result was a badly sung song accompanied by a weak guitar with poor sound quality. Young has never appealed to me – I have never picked up on the vibe that made him famous.
He’s done a whole album of similarly recorded songs. Kitschy.
How much of our taste in music is suggested to us? The clothes we wear are entirely the result of suggestion. Ties are getting narrow again, as Fallon and others are wearing them that way. Is music the same – do we learn to like various acts due to subliminal suggestion? Or is it like the fashion business – follow the leader? I cannot imagine why else such mediocre talents as Lady Gaga and Britney Spears achieved stardom. And I imagine that if Neil Young walked into a recording studio today, unknown, that he would be ushered out as quickly.
Fallon’s in-house band, The Roots, by the way – if we can objectively agree on what is musical talent, that would be it. That is one energetic, gifted group of players.