Sunday, February 3, 2008

Killing For Love :: Jose Gonzalez

DON'T BE ALARMED BY THE NAKED PIG GUY! IT'S JUST A SCANDINAVIAN'S TAKE ON THE TRAGIC FLAWS OF CONSUMER CULTURE!


So another fine spirit guitarist I'm obsessed with lately is Jose Gonzalez.

This tune is a great example of why. I've looked up the guitar tabs for this song, and it's infuriatingly simple/hard. By that I mean that the left hand chords are pretty easy, but the right hand has you playing three different syncopated rhythms at once (one with the thumb, one with the fingers, and another with hammer-ons and pull offs in the left hand....sheesh!)! To have such a hella sick guitar part as the musical mantra for the song, and for Jose to pull it off (and think it up in the first place!) is a testament to his chops. Plus, the fact that sometimes he plays a riff for hours before even thinking of lyrics (not uncommon), it kinda gives the song a test-run for the waiting repeat buttons of his future listeners' CD players (I've been listening to this one for days). And those lyrics! Attached to any other melody and instrument, they might not do much, but here, they're kinda the spearhead in this javelin of a song so they can cut more deeply.

What's the point
if you hate, die and kill for love?
What's the point with a love that
makes you hate and kill for?

You've got a heart on fire,
it's bursting with desires.

You've got a heart filled with passion.
Will you let it burn for hate or compassion.

What's the point
if you hate, die and kill for love?
Whats the point with a love that
makes you hate and kill for?

What's the point
if you hate, die and kill for love?
Whats the point with a love that
makes you hate and kill for?

You're killing for love.
You're killing for love.
(etc, etc)

Our man Jose is Swedish, as it turns out - born of Argentinian parents. He grew up with lots of bossa nova music in the house. A lot of his hit songs are covers of tunes by some sweet bands (more obscure to the American than the European mainstream it seems) and I love that cuz he seems to listen to songs as intently as he plays them.

As an example of that and as a bonus - here's his cover of the Kylie Minogue's "Hand on Your Heart".



What? He didn't write it? Coulda fooled me by the way he sings it!....though the phrase "find a new romance" is kind of a dead give away of an 80's pop ballad. Even after I heard Kylie's version (and died a little inside), I still hear his and think of something new...and the chorus just kills me! On an NPR interview, he observed how odd it was that the 80's music video shows Kylie bouncing around so happily on a brightly colored set while she was singing something so intensely intimate and sad. Myself I prefer the animated Japanese silk screens.

I'm diggin' Jose Gonzalez these days because everything about his music (lyrics, voice, guitar work) aids in the expression of what he's getting at in any given song. And yay for that.

If you want a full dose of even more mind-rending songs and music videos, check out his website at http://www.jose-gonzalez.com/ and watch all the videos posted (on the funky upside-down-nature-sceen page) one after the other. They're kinda addictive. And a little intense and disturbing. Especially "Teardrop" and "Stay in the Shade".

1 comment:

Quaking Aspen said...

Wow! So beautiful. I will check him out.