Monday, February 18, 2008
Hank Williams, Jr.- I Can't Change My Tune
Kid Rock taught me a few lessons this week.
I was startled at the visceral reaction I received each time I mentioned to friends that my weekend plans included a Kid Rock concert. The condescendingly elitist views harbored by my associates startled me.
Because I have a jazz site and I usually feature esoteric music at this MP3 blog, I guess some people assume that I maintain an exclusionary sense of superiority. It's actually quite the opposite- as a populist, I desperately long for the music I champion to enjoy a broader base of support.
I can't relate to those who embrace a cloistered sense of isolation within a "scene," be it dixieland jazz or indie rock. I love Bocephus no less than I love Led Zeppelin, M.I.A., Little Richard, Pavement, Miles Davis and Ralph Stanley. They're all part of the same thing to me. (The song featured here is available on this collection.)
Kid Rock understands that. His show didn't just feature guest artists Dickey Betts of the Allman Brothers and Rev. Run of Run D.M.C. (That alone is an astonishing thing if you stop to think about it.) Soul, metal, bluegrass, honky tonk, pop, rap, classic rock, DJ scratching and gospel were part of his three hour show. I didn't spot a single member of the 11,000 fans in the Sprint Center last night who didn't embrace every single one of those styles.
It was beautiful.
While many Kid Rock fans headed straight for nearby strip joints after the show, I walked past Temptations and Bazooka's to visit YJ's, a tiny hipster coffee shop that features live jazz on Sunday nights. Between songs, the bass player asked me about my evening. I told him- and the cafe's five customers- where I'd been. While the bassist wasn't judgmental, the others treated me as if I had suddenly transformed into a shotgun-wielding Dick Cheney.
I was tempted to lecture the tiny tribe of small-minded bohemians about the ironies implicit in their undemocratic ideals.
I just got lost in the bossa nova instead.
Kansas City Click: John Proulx, a jazz pianist and crooner in the style of Nat "King" Cole, appears at the downtown Marriott tonight.