Friday, November 21, 2008

Off-site: FRANKENSTEIN'S KIND and OXYMORONS (sort of!) at YouTube!

Mite Mutant deserves all the credit for digging up these amazing videos.

First, we have this long lost example of mid-'80s creativity from FRANKENSTEIN'S KIND (a band that has, quite UNdeservedly, slipped into Dayton obscurity):



And now, just when you thought things couldn't get any more surreal, here's a video of a drummer playing along with Nick Atkinson's part in THE OXYMORONS' "Day of Reckoning":



If you've never played an instrument, then you might not be familiar with the (common) practice of base imitation to develop one's skill.

If you've ever been involved with any creative art other than music, then you might eschew the practice of imitation as a means to develop creativity. To put it in terms that TINY creative minds might understand, you might think that imitation is for suckers.

However, nothing can be further from the truth. Imitation has been a standard part of creative development for centuries (Benjamin Franklin, in fact, wrote an instructive essay in which he admits that he learned to write well by copying passages from his favorite writers many times over and changing them just a bit each time). The 20th Century witnessed a revolution in pretty much every form of art and invented several new ones. Yet the great disservice that 20th-century thinking did to artists lies in its over-emphasis on complete originality. Certainly, originality is an important element in any finished work of art, but the development of creativity must certainly include the practice of unabashed imitation of previous works of art by which one has been inspired. Seriously, could Jack Kerouac have developed the creativity to write On the Road without first directly imitating his hero Thomas Wolfe in Kerouac's first novel, The Town and the City? Could the ROLLING STONES have recorded Exile on Main Street without first covering the old blues standard "Come On, Come On!"?

And to develop my own (marginal) creative skill, I myself spent hours playing Joey Santiago solos and Bob Mould rhythms note-for-note on my guitar before I ever ventured to record anything I would call "original" (and whatever decency there was in any music I ever made owes a heavy debt to those hours of imitation). With that in mind, I salute both the (unfortunately anonymous) drummer playing in this video AND Nick Atkinson, whose original playing on this track inspired the imitation.

take care

---Jones()

3 comments:

btlsmum said...

Is he able to isolate the drum track in his earpiece? Just wondering.

Anonymous said...

of course you are correct. Those who claim to eschew imitation are at the best in denial and at the worst...outright liars.
Some of the most horrendous music I have heard tries far to hard to be "original" as opposed to offering quality.

Anonymous said...

Wow!
That's incredibly flattering.

I think I'll try playing that again, too. He probably does a better job than I'd do now.

Nick