Today on Blogcritics
Home » Music » The Friday Morning Listen: Jimmy Page & The Black Crowes – Live At The Greek

The Friday Morning Listen: Jimmy Page & The Black Crowes – Live At The Greek

Please Share...Print this pageTweet about this on Twitter0Share on Facebook0Share on Google+0Pin on Pinterest0Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

Ok, so…three rock musician walk into a barn…

What? You’ve never heard that joke? Yeah, me neither. It just sorta came to me yesterday while I was watching It Might Get Loud. This film, a documentary of sorts featuring Jimmy Page, The Edge, and Jack White, is a must see for the rock fan. Heck, you can even hate Led Zeppelin, U2, and The White Stripes, and still get something out of the movie. Seriously.

The film provides individual histories of each guitarist, told in a non-linear fashion. Eventually, the three stars meet in a summit of sorts, with the discussions and righteous guitar playing taking place in a temporary sound state set up in a barn. The documentary portions don’t really provide much in the way of new information, but I’m sure that that wasn’t the point. Yes, I’m familiar with the history of U2, but that doesn’t the diminish the fun of seeing The Edge mess around with his insane effects setup. It was also entertaining to see Page revisit Headley Grange, where Led Zeppelin IV was recorded. And watching Jack White make some blasphemous noise out of a hastily-constructed single-string “guitar thing”? Not just for guitar geeks such as myself.

It was fascinating to see areas of commonality illuminated between these guitarists, since they come from three different generations. It’s tempting to try and pin each man’s sound and career arc to their early interests. That does work to a certain extent — Page’s folk leanings can be seen as directly related to skiffle — but that’s not the whole story. The big intersection, one that is really more general, is that they all love music. Sure, this seems like something of a platitude, but it’s the truth: a truth that can seem surprising if we tend to take a more cynical outlook on stardom.

There’s a scene with Jimmy Page at home, flipping through a bunch of old records before finding a 45 of Link Wray’s “Rumble.” The look on Page’s face, as Wray cranks up the vibrating intensity, is one of pure joys. Very cool to see a real guitar hero playing air guitar to his own hero. The best Jack White moment comes with no guitar involved at all. He’s sitting there listening to a record of Son House singing “Grinnin’ In Your Face,” after which he proclaims that it is still his favorite song. A very genuine moment. And people might think that The Edge is nothing more than a pedestrian guitar playing hiding behind a pile of effects units, but it’s clear that what the man has always tried to do is to produce the sounds that he hears in his head. I totally dug watching the looks pass across his face as he listened to tapes pulled from a box of old U2 demos.

And what do generations two and three think about Mr. Page? The answer came when Jimmy tore into the opening riff to “Whole Lotta Love.” Two ecstatic grins spread across the faces of the other guitarists. They just couldn’t help themselves. It was yet another example underscoring just how much these guys are into the music. Are they all rock stars? Yes, but they’re fans too.

The film ends with the trio working out and then performing a version of “The Weight.” Really great stuff. It made me want to go plug in and make some noise. I’m such a guitar geek.

Powered by

About Mark Saleski

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    As much as I don’t particularly care for there respective bands or their style of playing, it doesn’t surprise me that these guys love music. I think, as a musician, that if you ever stopped loving music that’s when you should call it quits.

  • http://marksaleski.com Mark Saleski

    Page said something like near the end of the movie. something about putting off the day when he had nothing new to say on his instrument for as long as possible.

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    Yea… I would never wanna face that day either. Personally, I feel these guys could have used this time to work on a project together instead of doing a documentary. Working on music with new connections / minds(?) helps ward off that day he’s speaking of. Plus, if they really fuse their ideas together without worrying about selling albums, I bet the outcome would be pretty interesting.

  • http://marksaleski.com Mark Saleski

    that would have been interesting, especially if the inner workings of it had been filmed.

    but then it makes me remember the question, how many supergroups have actually done anything good?

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    Well, I guess it’s how you approach the idea and what you actually consider a “supergroup” or if those musicians have an ego. I always like hearing how my “favorite” musicians would sound jamming together AND if they are really in it to culminate their styles,so, with that criteria in mind, I dug:

    Attention Deficit (Michael Manring,Alex Skolnick & Tim Alexander)

    Oysterhead (Les Claypool,Trey Anastasio,Stewart Copeland)

    Tomahawk (Mike Patton, Duane Denison, John Stanier, Kevin Rutmanis)

    Fantomas,Transatlantic, At War With Self, Gordian Knot… But, I’m a “Project” Fanboi:)

  • http://marksaleski.com Mark Saleski

    yeah, now that i think of it, there have been other combinations of musicians that have done stuff that i’ve liked, including the Los Lobos side project Latin Playboys.

    i really liked both Oysterhead and Tomahawk.

  • zingzing

    electronic (bernard sumner, johnny marr… and sometimes pet shop boys) had a stunningly good first album.

    khanate (blind idiot god, sun o))) and OLD guys) did some unique stuff.

    also, you can possibly consider broken social scene… (too many to name). their second and third albums are ridiculously good.

  • zingzing

    and plastic ono band (clapton, beatles, yes, manfred mann, etc, etc.) are just about the best group ever.

  • zingzing

    pob also featured yoko ono, phil spector and keith moon (although i have never run across anything with moon on it… the internet insists it’s true).

  • http://marksaleski.com Mark Saleski

    good points zing. well, except for Electronic….since i hate both New Order and The Smiths.

  • zingzing

    tut tut. the s/t electronic sounds much more like new order. the combined melodic powers of SUM-MARR!!!! is undeniable. it really is a fantastic album. so cheesy, yet so good.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/josh-hathaway Josh Hathaway

    Wow… I’m going to disagree with Saleski on something- like that’s never happened. I agree with Zing that the first Electronic CD was pretty special. “Forbidden City” is one of the best songs ever. It slays me every time and I don’t know why.

    Now to the part where Mark and I agree: bravo to the gents in the film. I’d not realized it was out on DVD. I’m going to buy the shit out of this. Let’s also raise our glass to the Greek CD, which was stunningly good- better than I thought it would be.

  • zingzing

    forbidden city is on the second one, just to make it clear. the second one is alright. i used to hate it, but it’s growing on me. the third also has some great stuff. but the first… probably in my top 3 albums, and i’d have to label it my favorite if i was being honest. it’s not the best album ever, but i just love it so much.

  • http://marksaleski.com Mark Saleski

    sorry zing, my ear parts cringe at the very idea of anything from Smiths, New Order, Joy Division…bleah.

    p.s. just saw something on twitter (from Crawdaddy) indicating that Mr. Page is hoping to have new material out later this year.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/josh-hathaway Josh Hathaway

    Zing is correct. “City” is on the 2nd CD, not the self-titled first. I like that CD but especially that song.

  • zingzing

    “sorry zing, my ear parts cringe at the very idea of anything from Smiths, New Order, Joy Division…bleah.”

    blasphemer! you shall burn. know it now. also know that you should get to your ear doctor.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “Very cool to see a real guitar hero playing air guitar to his own hero.”

    either on the commentary or an extra a producer adds it was the first time she’s seen someone air guitar and playing it correctly.

    Also, it was great to see that the same eagerness watching Jimmy play was mutual. He and the Edge were so excited to learn what the hell Jack was doing on Seven Nation Army, I think.

    “Personally, I feel these guys could have used this time to work on a project together instead of doing a documentary.”

    Yeah, and if they had married my uncle they’d be my aunt. They were approached and agreed to take time from what they were doing to participate in interviews before meeting each other. How exactly was this project supposed to originate exactly?

    “my ear parts cringe at the very idea of anything from Smiths, New Order, Joy Division…bleah.”

    Heh. That help explains why you don’t like The National who I am hearing at ‘Roo as I type

  • Jordan Richardson

    khanate (blind idiot god, sun o))) and OLD guys) did some unique stuff.

    Sooooo good.

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    I can understand Mark not liking Joy Division or New Order, though he probably will in another 10 or 20 years, but am surprised that he doesn’t like the Smiths either.

  • http://marksaleski.com Mark Saleski

    Heh. That help explains why you don’t like The National who I am hearing at ‘Roo as I type

    exactly. if i want to hear lurch sing over indie rock i’ll mash up Interpol with some old adams family soundtracks.

  • http://marksaleski.com Mark Saleski

    it’s all in the vocals christopher. Morrisey goes in my bucket of disagreeable voices. bleah.

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    I just think the Smiths were weak and old fashioned myself. Their best song for me was “Hand In Glove” and even then Sandie Shaw did it better.

    Is there any music from Manchester that you do like?

  • zingzing

    jordan, somehow i didn’t figure you for a khanate type. actually, i don’t figure i’d figure anyone as a khanate type, but hell, i don’t think anyone is. they’re just so strange. inflicting it on another person is one of the greatest joys i know.

    chris, joy division and new order are so different. sometimes, joy division makes me cringe a bit. too dark for their own good, but they’re so often beautiful. new order is one of the greatest bands ever. such convoluted structures, such technical experimentation, such ridiculous lyrics (none of it makes sense, except now and again, he’ll come up with a little couplet that’s totally great. he’s so charming). new order was in the right place at the right time and did the right thing with it. that they were also so good at pop was the blessing that took them from great to gods. (and the album art… oi.)

    moz has a voice that’s easy to love or hate. that’s true. but to deny johnny marr’s awesome guitars (so many layers, so much jangle) is just wrong-headed and foolish. look past the vocals, mark, and you’ll see one of the great 80s bands. how marr made the music for the s/t debut right out the gate, i’ll never know. so many interlocking patterns… how he was able to work them out before getting into a studio is just ridiculous. he is a musical genius.

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    Not quite sure why you are explaining to me that JD & NO are so different, zingzing.

    I worked with Factory and Factory Benelux for a while and I love pretty much everything by New Order apart from the most recent stuff, which is pretty lazy contract filler standard.

    As to Joy Division, I used to love “Closer” the most, but for the last 20 years or so I have much more love for “Unknown Pleasures”, which is pretty close to perfect.

    I love almost everything by them with the exception of “Love Will Tear Us Apart”, which I think is dire.

    As to the Smiths, I don’t dislike Morrissey’s voice, I just find the group dull and had to bite my tongue on the subject whilst working for Rough Trade.

    As to Johnny Marr, I find him as bafflingly over-rated and dull as post-Jam Paul Weller.

    If I wanted to listen to jangly guitars – and I often do – I’d rather listen to bands like the brilliant Orange Juice and the other Postcard bands like Josef K or early Aztec Camera, all of whom do it far more beautifully, or even someone like the late, great Alex Chilton, all of whom I also had the good luck to work with.

  • http://marksaleski.com Mark Saleski

    can’t look past the vocals zing. i’ve never been able to do that.

  • http://marksaleski.com Mark Saleski

    and as far as manchester bands go, my list is pretty short. it might stop at the Buzzcocks. i’ve had people try to convince me of the brilliance of the Stone Roses but it just doesn’t work for me.

  • zingzing

    the fall? THE FALL?

    not being able to look past the vocals sucks.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Oasis?

    [ducks behind sandbag barricade]

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    I’m kind of the opposite, Mark. If the lyrics suck I lose interest, almost regardless of the quality of the singer, whereas great lyrics, such as those of the mighty Fall – and thanks for bringing them into this convo, zinger – can make me like almost any kind of voice.

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    Doc, I’ll get your coat…

  • http://marksaleski.com Mark Saleski

    not being able to look past the vocals sucks

    there’s a sort of gothy something-or-other to most of the vocalists that i don’t like. what happens is that i hear it and get absolutely zero emotion from it. even if that’s not the intent (and it’s probably not), it all comes across as very cold to me.

    just for fun, here’s a list of stuff i can’t stand, all based on vocal ick:

    Joy Division
    New Order
    The Stone Roses
    The Smiths
    Electronic
    Pet Shop Boys
    Roxy Music
    Crash Test Dummies
    Elliott Smith
    Bonnie Prince Billy
    The National

    i’m sure there are others but i you get the idea…or maybe you don’t. maybe it’s just a personal resonance thing.

  • http://marksaleski.com Mark Saleski

    If the lyrics suck I lose interest,

    definitely the opposite. i’m not a lyrics person at all. heck, i don’t even know most of the lyrics of my favorite songs!

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Chris, I actually quite like Oasis, especially their early stuff, although I have to be in the mood. There are a couple of tracks of theirs, though, when they get into a really solid, loud, jamming groove – as with “Bring It On Down” and “Columbia” – which I never get tired of listening to.

  • zingzing

    mark, did you stick crash test dummies in there for a joke? they’re all quality bands you mention, until…

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    Mark, I’m not quite sure how you can actually say that you don’t know the lyrics of your favourite songs. It’s rather like saying you enjoy books without reading the words.

    Doc, as I said, I’ll get your coat!

  • http://marksaleski.com Mark Saleski

    re: 35. i can say it because it’s the truth. i know bits and pieces of the words but not the whole song’s worth. i know it’s odd, but it’s how i listen. definitely more focused on the music. always have been.

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    That is so weird!

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    No, I can see why Mark would say that. Some lyricists are really good, but for the most part we’re not looking for these people to be Poet Laureates.

    And a lot of my favourite music doesn’t have any lyrics anyway.

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    Doc, you are familiar with the expression “I’ll get your coat” aren’t you?

    It’s fine not to care about the lyrics if you’re listening to someone like Focus, but if you claim to be a fan of some particular music which the creators of chose to do as a song and then don’t even bother to listen to the complete thing, that is definitely weird!

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Yes, I know the expression, Chris (although I was never that keen on The Fast Show), but since this is the only conversation on BC which is interesting me right now I’m choosing to ignore the hint.

    Lyrics are a popular music convention and it’s very difficult to get a piece of music to sell without them. As a result there are an awful lot of songs out there with awful lyrics which are only there because the artist/record company believes they have to be. If they’re halfway decent I will give the artist(s) credit for trying but like I said, as a general rule these folks are far better musicians than they are poets.

  • http://marksaleski.com Mark Saleski

    weird or not, that’s how i am. i hear lyrics in fragments, almost never the full song. and good lyrics can’t save a song built on lousy music or bad vocals…at least that’s what my ears say.

  • Jordan Richardson

    jordan, somehow i didn’t figure you for a khanate type.

    My musical tastes pretty much run the gamut. I’ve long talked about my love for Sunn O))), drone, Pyramids, Bing Crosby, whatev. I no know boundaries, mang.

  • http://marksaleski.com Mark Saleski

    yeah, jordan likes country AND western!

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    “They were approached and agreed to take time from what they were doing to participate in interviews before meeting each other. How exactly was this project supposed to originate exactly?”

    So, what I took from the article was that they were actually somewhat enamored with each others styles. So, they wouldn’t have agreed to an interview if they didn’t already have an interest in each other,right? I mean, I don’t know how easy it would have been to change the subject matter in regards to the free time that each of these musicians had,but, if the person documenting this session was a real fan of music, I don’t see how that idea could have never crossed their mind. AND, as Mark said, they still could have documented the inner workings of the project. Anyhoo, the remark I made wasn’t necessarily meant as a knock on the documentary. It’s just that, as a musician myself, I feel that making music speaks a lot more than talking about it. Sure, those guys have great influences and it can be pretty emotional to watch them connect as Human beings. But, to me, the crafting of brilliant songs speaks way more as to who they are than anything else…

    But, Bicho, I wouldn’t expect you to agree with me because the only time you respond to my comments is when you think you can find some sort of flaw in my way of thinking.

  • http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=463156 JC Mosquito

    The deluxe version of Unknown Pleasures has a great live album tacked on as a bonus CD – made me rethink the whole JD as World’s Most Depressing Band concept. Now I figger they’re the World’s Most Depressing Rock and Roll Band, which is a fine but important distinction.

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    Hi JC, I’m glad you like Joy Division but I’ve never thought of them as depressing myself.

    There are literally thousands of other bands and/or singers that are truly depressing, including all the lame outfits whose act is a copy of earlier performers, something that has been going on for well over a decade now.

  • zingzing

    chris rose: “Not quite sure why you are explaining to me that JD & NO are so different, zingzing.”

    because you offhandedly dismissed them in one sentence without distinction. also, i read you wrong. but that’s why, if you were asking.

    “I love almost everything by them with the exception of “Love Will Tear Us Apart”, which I think is dire.”

    you blaspheme just to blaspheme, methinks, ye blasphemer.

    “As to Johnny Marr, I find him as bafflingly over-rated and dull as post-Jam Paul Weller.”

    or as overrated and dull as the jam for that matter… they had some good songs, but why they rose to such prominence is beyond me.

    “I’d rather listen to bands like the brilliant Orange Juice and the other Postcard bands like Josef K or early Aztec Camera, all of whom do it far more beautifully.”

    i never really got into any of those bands, but not for a lack of trying. i’d easily take marr’s jangly stuff over them, but then again, it was marr that defined what i think of when i think of jangly guitars, and i’d bet it’s the other way around for you. but i find those bands a little too fey and feathery for me.

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    I thought we’d chatted about music often enough for you to know that I knew the difference, zingzing. Plus which, I fail to understand how you got that I was offhandedly dismissing them from the following sentence: “I can understand Mark not liking Joy Division or New Order, though he probably will in another 10 or 20 years, but am surprised that he doesn’t like the Smiths either.”

    No, I genuinely don’t like “Love Will Tear Us Apart”, it is lametastic and trite, in start contrast to almost everything else Joy Division did.

    Yes, The Jam had some good songs, really good songs, with great lyrics, brilliant music and some attitude and style, which Weller never has had, which is probably why he hangs out with those other clueless sad sacs in Oasis!

    I am totally gobsmacked that that you can dismiss the Postcard bands as fey and then champion The Smiths. That is about as sensible as dismissing Elton John as camp and then championing the Scissor Sisters.

    Anyway, the Postcard scene predates the Smiths, which makes the latter derivative as well as lame, so there :-p

  • zingzing

    chris: “I fail to understand…” etc.

    as i said, i read you wrong. also, i see anything i think might possibly be disparaging of new order and i go blind. part of that blindness may have been leftover from mark’s… absolutely ignorant and evil remarks. i was a mad bull at that point. i had seen red. there was no turning back.

    “No, I genuinely don’t like “Love Will Tear Us Apart.””

    it’s certainly not my favorite, but sound-wise, it’s like a little flag pointing towards the future, it’s beautiful and i think the music and the lyrics play off each other so well. but i do prefer “disorder,” “transmission,” “she’s lost control” (12 inch) , “decades,” almost any number of joy division songs. still, i wouldn’t leave it off a best of, because it’s a hugely important recording.

    “I am totally gobsmacked that that you can dismiss the Postcard bands as fey and then champion The Smiths.”

    i know, i know. but like i said, it was the smiths that defined that sound for me. history (and your last sentence) be damned. but i think marr brings a toughness to the sound that the postcard bands (excepting joseph k perhaps) just didn’t have. i’ve got a bunch of the postcard stuff on record, but only orange juice and joseph k’s stuff on my computer. i’ll give it a whirl fairly soon. it’s been long enough that i can come to it with fresh ears.

    you ever heard paul haig’s solo stuff? he’s championed as some sort of god over in scotland, and although he’s certainly got some good solo singles, i’ve yet to hear a solo album that’s all that great. he actually worked with bernard sumner on one single (“the only truth”) and, although the song is pretty cheesy for the first few minutes, it builds to an incredible finish. the guitars are pure heaven.

  • http://marksaleski.com Mark Saleski

    absolutely ignorant and evil remarks

    yep, that’s me…ignorant and evil!

  • zingzing

    sorry, mark. i meant to add “obviously not the possessor of one bit of a human soul.”

    i am praying for you: oh, bernard, please bless mark with your healing presence, so that he shall know peace. oh, hooky, please bless mark with your mark with your healing presence, so that he shall know goodness. oh, steve, please bless mark with your healing presence, so that he shall know love. oh, gillian, please bless mark with your healing presence, so that he shall know auditory information.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    An interesting interview on NPR today, New Study Sheds Light On Consonance And Dissonance.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    The comments section is interesting, too.

  • http://marksaleski.com Mark Saleski

    bernard’s healing presence makes me want to jam an ice pick in my ear. maybe if he didn’t sing…

  • http://marksaleski.com Mark Saleski

    re: #52. yeah, interesting study. don’t know if i found the comments all that enlightening. when people bring in western music theory to supposedly explain things (like, is a perfect 4th consonant or dissonant), they forget that it doesn’t work for things like microtonality.

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    Mark, maybe the hearing problem you have that is stopping you from getting any lyrics, perfectly good singing and a whole host of great modern music would be assisted by the ice pick treatment.

    Let us know how it works out for you!

  • http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=463156 JC Mosquito

    Re: 51 – zing – I never thought you could be so Catholic – reciting a litany of saints to intercede for Mark’s conversion. Next thing you know, you’ll be praying the rite of exorcism for all those possessed by mainstream music daemons. Dominus vo, y’all.

%d bloggers like this: