Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

In Case You Missed Last Night: Prince and Cee-Lo, "Crazy"

Today's reason to hate myself: for missing Prince play "Crazy" with his opening act Cee-Lo at Madison Square Garden last night. God, that guitar! (This video will disappear soon too, because Prince, copyright, etc. Which is funny, since this isn't even his song!)

14 Comments / Post A Comment

brent_cox (#40)

Oh my God.

Bittersweet (#765)

*head explodes*

Murgatroid (#2,904)

I was wondering how long it'd take before this Prince video was replaced by a giant black box that had the text, "This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by NPG Records Ltd."

I don't know, Dave. Thought this could've used a little Country Strong.

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

Oh. A video of a video. Yeah, too bad I don't go to MSG to watch videos in person.

riggssm (#760)

Hrm. I'm not sure?

Perhaps it's that I've been a gigging musician since I was 10 years old. Or that I went college at [pretentious music college]. Or that I'm a demanding bitch when it comes to live acts.

The clip was linked to me 16 times today and I thought it was … adequate? Nothing terribly exciting. I enjoyed it, inasmuchas (sp?) it was two musicians I highly respect performing together. It just wasn't like, fucken mind-blowing or anything.

As far as musical arrangements go, I actually thought Prince played it incredibly safe and Cee-Lo sounded a little vocally tired.

Too judgemental?

(I, um, agree with everything you said, but wasn't going to say it. Especially regarding Prince's guitar playing, which is often phenomenal, but here was just typical, i.e. it could've been John Mayer. This is getting buzz on reputation alone, not the performance. The rest of the show may have been incredible, I don't know.)

riggssm (#760)

(Let's just sit here and quietly whisper in the back of the classroom then. Wish I could have made it down to see him at MSG or IZOD, just not in the schedule though.)

Dave Bry (#422)

I hear what you're saying. And I would admit that a great deal of the excitement about this comes just from the fact that these two beloved characters shared a stage—I mean, if I was there, when Prince walked out and grabbed that guitar, I would have lost my mind right then and perhaps been rendered less able to judge the ensuing three minutes on pure artistic merit. And I'm all for high standards. But, listening to it again this morning, I disagree with you guys. (Or maybe just have lower standards.) I love the arrangement, simple and spare with the gospelly back-up singers. And Cee-Lo sounds terrific to me, and he holds the stage so well—even when Prince is on it with him, which is very impressive to me. Because anywhere Prince is, it's hard to look anywhere else. And I love Prince's guitar playing! Not to flashy, not too many notes. It reminds me of David Gilmour, actually, in that way, who was always so excellent in his ability to use sustain and the space around his notes to such powerful effect. But I appreciate what you're saying. I'm all for dissent.

Bittersweet (#765)

Agreed, Dave, on everything. The guitar playing was virtuosic but not show-offy, and Cee-Lo's voice is amazing. I gave a mix to a friend the other day with "Bright Lights, Bigger City" on it and he asked if Cee-Lo's voice was some sort of studio special effect. (Nope.)

riggssm (#760)

“The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good.” Stanley Kubrick

At the end of the day, I can honestly say I'm happy when people are listening to talented artists (no matter my personal view of the quality of the song's composition/arrangement or the artist's execution).

Hah, okay, I understand better now Dave. I took your comment on his guitar playing as "wow, it's so amazing! only Prince, right?!" and my reaction was to that, "no, not at all." But I should've remembered you're a freaking music critic and know better, that with virtuosity comes the ability to play simpler sounding things amazingly (David Gilmour is a perfect comparison). My John Mayer comment was to indicate the role reputation plays. He's a very good guitar player, almost incredible, but playing the same thing (with feel and everything), no one would credit that.

I'm still not changing my entire mind, it was definitely great, but I think it could've been much better. I realize my criticism was also off the mark a bit, though. (I also, yes, probably have crazy high standards for both Cee-Lo and Prince.)

Who am I kidding, though, riggssm said it better again, anyway.

DoctorDisaster (#1,970)

I liked the gospel call-and-response, and I think it was really admirable of Prince to keep the guitar restrained! But the rest of the arrangement did seem really odd and flat. The new bass line especially lacks all the personality of the studio version's. Also, am I crazy or is the band missing the jump to the bridge?

areaderwrites (#592)

That Prince Rogers Nelson, he would have been one helluva session guitarist…seriously, it takes a special talent to play what is appropriate to serve the song, and the guitar work was refreshingly not-very-"Prince"-like. LOVE this. Cee-Lo rules!

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