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Just Two Chords
I try not to be a musical snob, but sometimes I just can't help it. About ten seconds into Karen Elson's performance of the title track from her new album The Ghost Who Walks, I was ready to give it a pass. By the end of the performance, I found a new page-worthy video.

A good friend of mine and one of the best musicians I know once gave me some eye opening advice. When I asked him how he could listen to such crap music, he said that he tried to find something - anything - interesting in everything he hears. Whether it's a chunk of cool rhythm, or a nice melody line, there's often something worth paying attention to and learning from. I took that advice to heart, and that short conversation changed my musical perception in a huge way. (Thanks, Buddy!)


To be fair, Elson's composition does contain more than just two chords - six, by my count. Two minor chords, their relative majors, and a couple of secondary dominants do not make for a particularly exciting harmonic progression. But what producer Jack White did with those few chords is pretty cool. By song's end, it has evolved from a humdrum two-chord strum to an interesting interaction of melody and rhythm.

Watching this performance reminded me of Wakko's Two Note Song - possibly the coolest animated musical short ever. And even if you don't think The Ghost Who Walks is a complete winner, you have to admit the instruments are nearly page-worthy themselves - a Gibson extravaganza!

Click the image to watch the video in a pop up window, or catch it on the big player on my Music Video page.
 
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