Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Hitting on the Moonshine, Rocking in the Grain

Now's a good time for a shout-out to another one of my office mates, who defended the shit out of her dissertation and earned, in the ancient scholarly tradition, a toast with expensive booze in plastic cups. She's moving on to much bigger and better things, which, by the way, she's going to rock harder than Zeppelin rocks the live version of "The Ocean" on How the West was Won. Yes, I mean it, that hard.



Anonymous said...

Nice job. Drink up the "Jesus juice", as Jacko would say.

P.S. I'm the #1 comment here? :)

Anonymous said...

sure, maybe, but:
harder than pj harvey and bjork rock satisfaction live?
i doubt it.
they fucking steal that song right from underneath mick & keith's geriatric coke-besotted noses.

congratulations to your pal.

Soon-to-be-Jaded Dissertator said...

I concur with your assessment of our colleague's chances to rock hard, PGS, but she'll only rock that hard if she doesn't get lost in the darkest depths of Mordor and Gollum creeps away with her Ph.D.

In any case, let's keep this streak going and ramble on with our own dissertations.

Just don't distract me with ridiculous claims about how Hot Dog is a good song and we should be done (relatively) soon too.

Pseudonymous Grad Student said...


Why do insist on hating on "Hot Dog"? It's a good song.

Kalynne Pudner said...

Congrats to your office mate! I well remember that day...and the good booze in the plastic cup. Salut!

Jimmy P said...

hot dog: not our best work.

crabby abby said...

While I have nothing against Zeppelin, it's hard to see why anyone would think that live version of "The Ocean" is better than the studio version.

I'm just sayin' ...

Pseudonymous Grad Student said...

Crabby Abbey --

Are you serious? have you heard it? Bonham's drum fills are so awesome!

crabby abby said...

Dude, I've not only heard it, I've played it. I suppose it comes down to what you care about. It's true that the embellishments are fun. (Though, one might add, it may be that their fun is predicated on/grounded in one's prior experience of the original recording.) But that comes at quite a cost. It's a bitch of a tune to play, and the groove depends crucially on tempo. Listen to how controlled things are in the studio version -- and how musical the band can be as result. Bonham is a beast, but precision and time-keeping were never his strong suits. Listen to the first ten seconds of the live recording, then check out the tempo by the 2:40 mark. Two points: (1) it's considerably faster (hell, Bonham rushes the tempo in the first ten seconds of this version!), but more importantly, (2) it's just not as good. This groove needs room to breathe. At the faster tempo, it's just rag tag.


VAP said...

So I was a skeptic about the PJ Harvey and Bjork claim. As I watched the first minute of the youtube clip my skepticism remained. Then Bjork starts to take this perverse joy in singing the lyrics.

I have now watched it 10 times today and it gets better each time. It is sexy in the strangest way. My critical thinking course is definitely watching it tomorrow. I have no idea how to make it relevant, but sometimes pedagogy must take a backseat to kick ass music.

Thanks Anon 10:36

Pseudonymous Grad Student said...

Crabby Abby --

Alright, dude (and just in case, I mean that in the gender-inclusive sense of "dude", in case you're noy actually a guy), I'm listing to the track right now.

I concede your point about the tempo. It speeds up after the breakdown. And, the band gets sloppier in that last verse before the coda. I'd never really paid attetion to that before, and you're right.

HOWEVER. I'd never paid attention to it because by the time I get past the second verse I'M FLYING HIGH ON THE PURE EUPHORIA OF ROCK induced by the first two verses. The fast tempo (relative to the "Houses" version) gives it urgency, Page's sound is more raw, and--at least in those first two verses--the band is rock solid and tight. They hit the ones on the second bar of the phrase so hard and so together that it almost makes me pee my pants with joy.

Anonymous said...

yer most welcome, vap.

agreed; very sexy.

part of why i myself would never show it in a class (that and its irrelevance), but then that's just me.


crabby abby said...


We might have to agree to disagree on this. I grant completely that the raw feel to the live version is absent in the studio version. (Though I think this is less a function of the performance per se, and more a function of the fact that it's a live performance.) And I wouldn't want to suggest that accelerating the tempo is always a bad thing. My point here is that, in this particular case, I think the sloppiness is expensive vis-a-vis both the quality of the groove and overall nuance. To my ear, the live version's sloppiness simply outweighs its merits. But this, I think, is simply a matter of taste; as long as we agree on the facts, that's all that's left. And far be it from me to begrudge anyone their pants-wetting ...

Besides, I just saw the PJ Harvey/Bjork clip that others have been discussing, and I hope we can all agree that that performance rocks!