Yes. I’m Fine, She Said. Please Stop Asking, You Freak.

Sharing today (via my cousin Jonathan, thank you sir) this brilliant vignette from cellists Stjepan Hauser and Luka Sulic, a scorching arrangement of Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal.” The execution of this piece by these two dueling musicians is nothing short of brilliant. The phrasing, the intensity, the dynamics, and watch the one fellow put harmonics to use! Damn. I could have done without much of the superfluous photography, the action sequences, the camera angles; just show me these two guys playing the shit out of their instruments and it would be entetaining enough. But put on some headphones and prepare for goosebumps. You’re gonna rise some up when you hear this.

By way of context, the original:

And the also excellent 2001 cover by Alien Ant Farm (embedding disabled). I’ve always loved the AAF cover and the video as well. Everything a cover should be. These guys clearly love the song but also love making fun of it. Absurdly self-referential, yet reverent. Chimp included.

I hesitate to mention it, but I do have a bone to pick with Mr. Jackson, though fat lot of good it does me now, I reckon: A crescendo is not a sound, sir. A crescendo is something that is done TO sound. I know there are precious few words in the English language that rhyme with “window.” It is odd though, I think, for a musician to have taken such license with a musical term.

Oh, well. What are you gonna do. Music and a better world.

One thought on “Yes. I’m Fine, She Said. Please Stop Asking, You Freak.”

  1. Just found your blog… great stuff. Many thanks for the ‘Smooth Criminal’ post, absolutely fabulous stuff! Tremendous emotion, musicality, verve and style… methinks MJ would love it, rest his weary soul.

    The cellos remind me mucho of Turtle Island String Quartet versions of contemporary songs, but these guys simply shred.

    I’m now gonna be a regular visitor… keep up the good work!

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