Guitar versus violin

My kids are involved in some kind of Greek “play” next week. I would be oblivious to this except that my wife asked for some music clips for the bad deity (heavy guitar) competing against the good deity (beautiful violin). It was a Devil Went Down to Georgia moment and I jumped right on it.

There were restrictions on the selections. For example, the clips had to be about 30 seconds, minimizing vocals. (The focus is on the differences in the music, though I suspect we want to avoid further spooking
Paul McCartney conspiracists. The vocal restriction put the kabosh on everything in my ZZ Top collection. After the gratuitous power chords, they jump into jump into vocals. The masturbatory intro to Dire Straits’ “Money for Nothing” would have been perfect, except the violin deity is supposed to prevail. (Fooey.)

Combing through my collection was fun, but I had to rule out most of it: Leo Kottke (not electric), Van Halen (risk of provoking the “David” versus “Sammy” argument among parents), Nirvana (depressing), Ozzy Osbourne (too familiar), etc.

A few hours later it hit me: AC/DC. Yes! The number of excellent riffs posed the opposite problem of which one to choose, but I ultimately settled on Back in Black.

Finding an isolated violin piece was tricky. The Celtic group Dervish has great stuff, but it’s mixed with flute and accordion. And too good. Tchaikovsky would have been tolerable before my kid’s nine months of “dance practice” drained any enjoyment I ever had of the Nutcracker. (Curse you, Drosselmeyer; why couldn’t you have given Clara the Gibson?) I finally found a nice Itzhak Perlman rendition of Brahm’s Concerto in D to sample from.

I clearly put too much effort into stuff like this, but I hope next time I’m called upon to provide musical background, there’s a tighter theme like “multiple artists doing the same tune.” It’d be fun to have Neil Diamond’s “I’m a Believer” run against the Monkees’ and Smash Mouth’s.

14 thoughts on “Guitar versus violin”

  1. AC/DC? :-O

    What you needed was some Lobby Lloyd and the Coloured Balls, who make AC/DC sound like The Easybeats 🙂

  2. Perlman’s take on Brahms must sound wonderful. I have Rachel Barton. It’s a little bit flat, but it still isn’t bad. Now by heavy guitar, does the spouse mean loud electronics? Or does acoustic even count as bad if it just happens to “weigh” a lot making it “heavy.” Ur ur ur!!!

  3. Now by heavy guitar, does the spouse mean loud electronics?

    She primarily means weighing heavily. Eric’s “No One Like You” would also have been an excellent choice. (Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train” and “I Don’t Know” both have appropriately excellent introductions, but the music doesn’t last as long and I was feeling too lazy to really dub.

    I will have to hear some Lobby Lloyd and the Coloured Balls to fully experience how they can make AC/DC seem like the Australian equivalent of the Beatles 😉

  4. Hum…there’s always late-90s bands for heavy, fuzzy guitar. I mean, you *do* live in Seattle 😉 And there’s always G’n’R…or Ozzy…Megadeth…Metallica… Can you tell how I spent the 1980s?

  5. Back in Black is a good choice indeed.
    I am voting for the Monkee’s version of “I’m a believer”. Neil just doesn’t do “it” for me :p

    I hope your parents stay safe.

  6. Train Of Thought – Dream Theater
    Master Of Puppets – Metallica

    Distorted guitar is hard to miss on those albums.

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