Chickens Coming Home to Roost

Hi, Everybody, it's Dizzle here. I am dropping the plural pronoun format we've been using on this blog for this post, since Baby G is not in agreement with much of what I'm about to say. It should also be noted that this post has nothing to do with New Zealand, and is just me expressing an opinion, so if you follow our blog for travel stories, feel free to go to another post - they'll be there. This one is just... well, you'll see.

Over the course of the last several years, there is something that I've been hearing all over. Everywhere I go; a restaurant, friend's house, bar, or even on the street coming out of the speakers of a passing car, I've been hearing Johnny Cash.

I was all set to rant and rave last week about this. I'm a fan of music in general, and have always felt I could hold my own in a conversation regarding it. Sure, I represent the unpopular opinion of not caring much for The Doors, but I've always been openminded regarding anything, new or old, in order to form an educated opinion. But I've never liked the music of Johnny Cash. I don't know why, it's just never appealed to me. Now, normally, this is not a big deal, as, like I said, I don't like The Doors but I don't have to hear them that much. But it occurred to me the other day (while hearing some Cash song at Burgerfuel) that in recent years, Johnny Cash has risen in popularity among a whole new generation.

I didn't pay attention while it was happening, but it was in the span of two, two-and-a-half years that Johnny Cash released a cover of the Nine Inch Nails song "Hurt" (which got tremendous airplay), Walk the Line came out (to critical and commercial acclaim), and Mr. Cash passed away. Every time I turn around, it seems there's one more thing to know about Johnny Cash and I never cared that much to begin with.

Before you start writing in, commenting and emailing us lambasting my opinion of Cash, read on to understand the title of this post.

I was ready, guys. I was all set to type about Johnny Cash and how much I don't care and how annoyed I was that this guy, whom I perceive to be a mediocre musician was getting such a huge blowup lately. I fell asleep right THROUGH the movie, by the way (I am my mother's son). I have been having a tough time relating to his music, and have been getting increasingly frustrated by friends of mine who were listening to him. When I was a teenager, a person who became a fan of someone because everyone else was was called a "Frontrunner" - it applied to sports fans and other stuff as well. I have been considering people from my generation who routinely listen to Johnny Cash to be frontrunners. I felt they joined the Cash train only because everyone else was, and if they'd just listen, they'd hear very little of value. So, like I said, I was set. My knuckles were cracked and I was sitting down at the computer. The Simpsons was on in the background, I had a hot cup of coffee, and I was going to simply finish the post, come what may from my friends who disagree, and vent away.

Have I ever mentioned that The Simpsons is one of my favorite shows? Baby G doesn't dig it as much, but for me, it's been a part of growing up. It's a piece of Americana that has gone global. The show has been on for most of my life, and I even fondly remember nights when I couldn't sleep, and my folks would be up watching The Tracy Ullman Show, and I would wait patiently for the Simpsons vignettes to come on so I could laugh my head off before crawling back into bed. This may seem like a digression, but everyone out there in cyberland should know that The Simpsons is worth watching - at least a little - because episodes of that show are what alien life forms will find of us when we're all extinct.

There is one episode in particular I've always loved, because it was one of the first times I felt the creators of the show branched out artistically. The premise is, Homer eats a hot pepper at the local Chili Cook Off, and it is SO hot, he begins to hallucinate. The sky becomes a rainbow, and there's a talking turtle and fox, and everything is swirly and funny for about 10 minutes. I've always enjoyed this episode immensely, and have long since considered it my favorite. Anybody know where this is going?

Last night, sitting at the computer, ready to post about Johnny Cash and my dislike of his current fame, I heard his voice. Coming from the cartoon fox. On the TV.

And I realized that maybe the Man in Black isn't so bad, after all.

I was humbled, and have altered my post to admit to you, everyone in cyberspace, that even I, am sometimes, a stubborn idiot.

Be good.



Eric said...

I feel the same way about the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. I don't understand the appeal and I probably never will.

Oh yea, one other thing:SIMPSONS RULES!

Paul said...

Okay, the easiest way to respond to this quote is book of ratings style:

The Simpsons: What's not too like, animation, clever geek references, one, no TWO main characters that are basically evil, but funny because they're clueless and cute (Bart & Homer, Burns too, I suppose).

Rating: A++

Johnny Cash: I am, I admit a Johnny-come-lately (tee hee, get it?) on this one. I first was even aware of him due to Walk the Line, but I found the movie and some of his music fascinating. It's not that it's so technically skilled (it isn't), but that it feels like folksy, popular, accessible Country/Western music. And the dude did a lot of drugs. Rating: B.

(it's funny, but I assumed that NiN covered Johnny's song... but according to Wikipedia, he's the thieving bastartd)

Red Hot Chili Peppers: Can't quite explain it, but they've been one of my most consistent tier II bands since mid high school. I just always like their stuff because of the almost rap-like lyrics and the few ballads. Flea, too, that guy is disturbing, but man can he lay down a bass line. Rating: B+

The Doors: Wow, I *did* like them. In fifth grade. At that point I also really liked G.I. Joe (knowing is half the battle!), so that's all you need to know about my taste at the time. Every year I like them less and less as too simple/overblown. Didn't even see the movie.

Rating: D.

True story: In fifth grade there was this girl I kinda liked that was my friend's neighbor. He wanted to hook her up w/ me (do 5th graders really hook up?) so he told me that she is really into the doors. I had never heard their music, so I ran out stole their greatest hits from my sister. I was so smooth that, on the phone the next day, she asked me what music I liked to listen to and I smoothly replied "The Doors." See I was a player from way back. Right? Right?!?

Anonymous said...

I dont know about Johnny's early stuff, but the Folsom Prison concert/ album is a well deserved classic. Those prisoners were glad to be locked up on that day and a party was had... and Johnny rightly became a folk hero.....

In his later years his voice crackled and warmed like the finest quality leather and he totally renewed my interest in some very hackneyed songs, like Desperado with his poignant heartbreaking renditions.

You wrong as mate.....


Baby G & Dizzle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Baby G & Dizzle said...

So you know, the comment that was deleted was mine, but upon further reflection there was more I wanted to say. My friend Dawn emailed me this:

"...on the topic of Johnny Cash - I am not a frontrunner. As a tidbit about me, I was raised on Johnny Cash and his era of music from my father, from the time I could walk (and, yes, that was before you were born). So, I have enjoyed his stuff long before The Simpson's :)"

I didn't want that excluded.
The way this post has gone is interesting, as now we're talking about The Doors (D-) and Red Hot Chili Peppers (A-), but I think this is a good thing and I appreciate the comments. I'm going to give Johnny Cash another shot, and when we get back home, I'll watch the movie again. I realize the man means a lot to a lot of people, and because of the Simpsons, I've been put in my place.

Also, it's important to realize this is ONLY from Dizzle - I am not speaking for Baby G, here.

Simpsons - A
RHCP - A-; Paul, I think Flea does more than lay out a bass line - if that's ALL he did, the band would've folded 15 years ago. Flea MAKES that band by playing OVER what would traditionally be the bass line. RHCP is a band I forget about until they have a great song on the radio and then I love them again. A couple years ago, they came out with an album called By the Way, which is one of the best albums I own.
The Doors - D-; Whatever.
Johnny Cash - ??; Like I said, I'll give it another shot. People are capable of change, and that many people who ARE fans of his are worth at least a little more consideration. Garth Brooks, however, had a lot of fans at one point, and you ain't gonna get me to listen to him.

Paul, who was the girl? ;)

Eric said...

If you want to get a Johnny Cash CD that you might enjoy and is a little less folksy, try his last one: "American IV: The Man Comes Around". Its from very late in his life. I swear that everytime I hear him do Bridge over Troubled Water, I want to run right up to my wife and hug her for the rest of my life. The NIN cover of Hurt is also fantastic. Oh, and by happy chance, the guitarist for RHCP was the one who reworked the music for the cover of Depeche Mode's Personal Jesus.

Susanne said...

I too am a fan of Johnny Cash. I have liked him since Middle School. My best friend and her mom were really into old music and the first time I heard "The Ring of Fire", I thought it was one of the best songs ever. I agree with Leigh that the Folsom Prison disc is the best by far. I am not a fan of his newer stuff, it is just too folksy and sappy. I like the bad Johnny! :)

Yeah, I hate the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. I just have never gotten into any of there songs, even the popular ones. Their sound is just not something I enjoy.

The Simpson's do rule!! I love clever shows.