Sunday, May 23, 2010

Country gone lurid

Is this the most beautifully vivid description of a rock music song that you have ever read? It's from today's New York Times review of the Rolling Stones's new reissue of "Exile on Main Street":

It's country gospel gone lurid, and it seems to rise up out of a nap. Nicky Hopkins's piano chords circle around a G at slow tempo in an echoey room. Charlie Watts starts pumping a bass drum at the third beat of the second bar; he's either late or early, but finding his way. Piano and drums roll up to the A chord at the beginning of the first verse, and Mick Taylor bends two guitar strings under Mick Jagger's opening line: "I'm the man on the mountain -- yes, come on up." Onward, Mr. Watts weaves around the beat, smashing down on his high-hat, forming weird and clattering snare-drum fills. He both shapes and follows the group's euphoria and the music's subtle acceleration. The Stones gather around the song like pickpockets, jostling and interfering with it. Keith Richards, playing rhythm guitar and singing backup, quits harmonizing and starts to shout.

"gather around the song like pickpockets" -- wonderful!

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