February 6, 2009

Buddy Holly "got as close as anyone has to the essence of rock 'n' roll...."

"No one will ever do what he did. Sure, there are imitators -- he's very easy to imitate. But no one can do it with that purity and innocence anymore. There will always have to be a layer of irony or allusion."

Jac has 5 videos by artists in the Buddy Holly "nerd rocker" tradition. He wouldn't add a 6th one, which I recommended, so I'm putting it here:




And, by the way, the angels want to wear my red shoes....

shoes

63 comments:

Pogo said...

What's so funny 'bout peace, love, and understanding?

Hoosier Daddy said...

You actually paid money for those shoes?

john said...

You don't have any classes today, right?

Gavin said...

What's with the yellow skin? Either you're in The Simpson's, have unbelievably aggressive jaundice, or you're banana.

Ron said...

Be careful...we'll be seeing Lego Althouse before you know it...

You get those shoes from Mario Batali?

john said...

I think Ann is getting ready for a big weekend of klomper dancing. Could this be a date with Henry?

Ann Althouse said...

They are not clogs, and the picture wasn't taken today.

Direne said...

The shoes are great but I'm surprised that a Michigander didn't include Marshall Crenshaw as perhaps the best Buddy Holly of the 1980s.

AlgonquinS said...

"Do these shoes make my feet look phat?"

Ann Althouse said...

These are Arche shoes. I strongly endorse this brand. It's at the Arche store in Manhattan that I went shoe shopping with Dr. Helen. No picture of the store at that link. But here's a picture of me trying on shoes there.

ricpic said...

Are the shoes two tone or are those yellow socks in red shoes? My guess is yellow socks. Very chinese by the way.

Ann Althouse said...

Yeah, I just happen to be wearing orange socks. I usually wear white socks with those shoes.

***

I really want these shoes.

paul a'barge said...

I want to buy shoes like that for my wife ... where do I go?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Howard: What was he wearing? Well, uh, let's see, he was wearing a red argyle sweater, and tan trousers, and red shoes... No, he's not retarded. (Sixteen Candles)

ricpic said...

Hey Hoosier, from the ankles up she's all dressed in black, so she can get away with a little whackadinghoy at the feets.

paul a'barge said...

wow, those shoes are expensive!!!

Darcy said...

Those are cute shoes, Althouse.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Hey Hoosier, from the ankles up she's all dressed in black, so she can get away with a little whackadinghoy at the feets.

I'm just havin a little fun.

I still think the money could have been better spent on a good bottle of Scotch.

EDH said...

The profile seems to focus more on "nerd musicians" who who are part of the art school scene. Elvis Costello came up as a working class pub musician.

In that sense, I suppose Costello is closer to Holly, although Holly made his mark much earlier in life, so there was less struggle, and less life.

It is strange how the writer concludes the "essence of rock and roll" is to be found within the bracket of "nerd rock" as performed predominantly by art school musicians.

And you know I prefer the Monkmus video of the DCFC's I'll Follow You Into the Dark with its bunnies and a once cluttered desk.

Ann Althouse said...

That bunnies video always makes me cry.

cobaltbob said...

Nice carpet pattern.

Bissage said...

EDH, thank you very much for that link.

TMink said...

Please allow me to add the Barenaked Ladies to the list as they can be quite nerdy when they put their mind to it.

And I think that Talking Heads singer David Byrne more correctly belongs in Asperger's Rock with Jonathan Richmond and MAYBE Andy Partridge of XTC. The Ramones, well at least the singer and the guitar player, would also fit in with Byrne.

Trey

john said...

I would divorce my wife if she spent $450 on a pair of shoes.

EDH said...

Me too, sometimes, for personal reasons.

Here's Monkmus' commentary.

Dorothy said...

What do Buddy Holly and John Keats have in common?

www.imafeline.blogspot.com

Joe said...

The blog entry strikes me as one of those things someone rights in the heat of a sentimental moment. I'd argue that like them or not, the early Beetles and Beach Boys along with Motown were what ultimately defined Rock and Roll. (Ironically, Ritchie Valens' La Bamba was far more Rock and Roll than Holly's popular fare--after checking out songs on You Tube to refresh my memory, I actually prefer Valens over Holly.)

m00se said...

Are those your socks or do you have a really bad case of jaundice?

Matt Eckert said...

Hey can we see a photo of your ruby red slippers. I mean the house has not fallen on yet.

Jeremy said...

If "saying a lot with the sparest of elements, and not caring if you seem like a bit of a fool as long as you say what you mean" is the essence of R&R, I'd pick Kind of Blue (or maybe A Love Supreme)as the greatest Rock album of all time. What's spare about Holly's affecting modulating yodels?

Eli Blake said...

I agree with the sentiments about Buddy Holly.

But this post might have been more timely on Tuesday, the fiftieth anniversary of "the day the music died."

Eli Blake said...

Moose:

See Gavin's comment at 8:05 and Ann's reply at 9:33.

I'd still rather talk about Buddy Holly. Thanks, EDH.

Michael H said...

Roy Orbison. Don't forget Roy Orbison.

Michael H said...

Another Roy Orbison. And a duet with kd lang.

BJM said...

Anyone else get a Mighty Mouse vibe off the shoe pix?

btw- I love Arche shoes too and quality shoes are not a luxury. The better your shoes the healthier your lower circulation and feet in deep old age, which is a major health issue among the elderly.

Of course these stiletto Louboutin boots are not exactly what I had in mind.

John Althouse Cohen said...

It is strange how the writer concludes the "essence of rock and roll" is to be found within the bracket of "nerd rock" as performed predominantly by art school musicians.

I said that Buddy Holly captures the essence of rock 'n' roll -- he's sui generis. I also focused on a few bands who particularly remind me of Buddy Holly. It doesn't follow that those other bands are "the essence of rock 'n' roll." Also, I'm aware that their are other dimensions to rock music than Buddy Holly. I said no one captured the essence better than he did; that doesn't mean others have done it just as well in different ways.

Also, I don't know what you mean by "art school musicians" or why you think it matters. If you mean that as an actual music genre, what are the elements of that genre? If you're talking about their actual class or educational backgrounds, that's irrelevant to music.

John Althouse Cohen said...

The blog entry strikes me as one of those things someone rights in the heat of a sentimental moment.

No, that's not true, I've always been a big fan of Buddy Holly, and my opinion of his greatness or his influence hasn't particularly grown over time. I usually post about music every Friday, and the 50th anniversary gave me an excuse to post about Buddy Holly -- that's all.


I'd argue that like them or not, the early Beetles and Beach Boys along with Motown were what ultimately defined Rock and Roll.

Again, I never said Buddy Holly is the only person who defines rock 'n' roll; I know that there are other facets of rock beyond Buddy Holly. Part of what I like about his music is how extremely basic and limited it was; the flip side is that other people have gone a lot further with rock music. I even specifically said he's on the same level as a few others from the '50s, let alone other decades. Sorry if I didn't include enough explicit qualifiers and disclaimers to make it clear what I meant.

Also, who are the Beetles? I'd like to hear some of their music, since you clearly know so much about them.

EDH said...

I said that Buddy Holly captures the essence of rock 'n' roll -- he's sui generis. I also focused on a few bands who particularly remind me of Buddy Holly. It doesn't follow that those other bands are "the essence of rock 'n' roll."

Point taken. I did read too much into the clip I took from your post by the time I jumped back to the Althouse comment section. Too many open windows, not enough open windows sometime to re-read in context.

If you're talking about their actual class or educational backgrounds, that's irrelevant to music.

I think they are defining influences on the performer, the audience and the evolution of a genre.

sonicfrog said...

Speaking of nerd rock, I'm a "Rock Nerd"... (at least the second Tim Minchin YouTube to appear on Althouse's blog in one day).

sonicfrog said...

I'm having problems getting the pseudo Buddy holly video to work, but in the current display, the singer looks an awful lot like John Edwards wearing Buddy Holly glasses.

Bissage said...

Art school musicians?

Oh My Goodness!

Such emphatic, unadorned, youthful . . . EARNESTNESS!!!

P.S. Nice Rics!

chickenlittle said...

You recycled that exact shoe photo from before--I have a photographic memory.

Cardboard FLOTUS said...

“Well I used to be disgusted,
And now I try to be amused. . . .”

I love that song!

Joe said...

The Beatles are a little know rock group from England or thereabouts. Rumor has it they sold a bunch of records.

The Beetles are insects from the group coleoptera. While they can be noisy, rumor has it they haven't sold any records.

RR Ryan said...

Elvis sure was cute back then, unfortunately he was straight. As an aside, an acquaintance owned the Tropicana in West Hollywood. Google it. Coincidentally, I'm listening to Elvis as I type. Life can be like that.

Cardboard FLOTUS said...

It’s kind of like Paul Simon’s “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes,” except that the shoes are red and there’s no diamonds. No girl either.

Maybe it’s not like that at all.

PJ said...

I'd add Liam Lynch:

Live with Dave Grohl:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jxyv8cDITs

The original vid in full rocker nerd glory:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xz7_3n7xyDg&feature=related


John Lennon was a nerd rocker disguised in contacts for the earlier part of his career.

MadisonMan said...

That's an old picture -- are those shoes still functional? They haven't worn out?

Palladian said...

This topic is something only a straight person could care about.

Palladian said...

Well, aside from the shoes.

Palladian said...

Actually I don't really care about shoes much either.

Why are women obsessed with shoes?

RR Ryan said...

Come on, Palladian, admit it:Elvis was a babe. And a really nice guy, too. Anyone who likes ABBA gets bonus points.

PJ said...

You can buy shoes even when you are having a chubby day, that's why. It's rare that all women can't wear the same cute, hot shoes- some very tall, very skinny boots excepted.

Ann Althouse said...

"That's an old picture -- are those shoes still functional? They haven't worn out?"

No. They are in perfect condition ... except the red is somewhat faded. I wore them to class the other day.

Ann Althouse said...

"Why are women obsessed with shoes?"

I'm not obsessed with shoes. For example, I bought 3 shirts and a scarf today, and I haven't bought shoes in a while.

But one must wear shoes. Shoes can be amusing. Arche shoes come in a lot of colors. One might enjoy wearing black, brown, and gray clothes, but bright-colored shoes.

Palladian said...

"One might enjoy wearing black, brown, and gray clothes, but bright-colored shoes."

Like the Pope? Of course, he wears brightly colored clothing too.

Ann Althouse said...

"Anyone else get a Mighty Mouse vibe off the shoe pix?"

I'm sure you mean Minnie Mouse. But Minnie wore high heels....

RLB_IV said...

In my world, shoes can complete a women

Palladian said...

"In my world, shoes can complete a women"

In my factory, women can complete a shoe.

Meade said...

That is some impressive prodigious knowledge of (rock 'n' roll) music your son displays.

May he and we all some day know True Love Ways.

Ann Althouse said...

"True Love Ways" ... cheesy but divine.

Meade said...

Cheese is good. It's even on the otherwise misguided Atkin's diet.

Ann Althouse said...

Weirdly, over the weekend, I took a vacation from the Atkins Diet and lost 2 or 3 pounds!