These days, a mashup can be just about anything. Usually, a mashup is created by one person. But last night, we saw some musical mashups that had no clear leader.
The Sly Debacle
My observations about last night’s Sly and The Family Stone Grammy reunion mashup:
1. No band leader
This was true bastard pop. There was no father figure. Everyone was doing their own thing. A good mashup has to have a leader. Just like a football team has to have a coach, a musical performance has to have a director. But more importantly, a winning football team has to have a winning coach. So a successful musical performance has to have a successful musical director.
2. No performance purpose
If this was mashup was to edify Sly and The Family Stone, then I don’t think the artists were clued in. It sounded like a cacophony of disparate musical personalities. The greatest homage to Sly would have been to stick to the melody of the song and celebrate the song, not the artist’s voice. Use your talent to raise the consciousness of the music, not as egotistical posing.
If I had my way…
I would have communicated to the artists a clear and concise vision and outcome. My outcome would have been to edify Sly. I would have been on the stage leading and calling the plays. I would make the song the number one focus and individual artistry would come last. And when Sly came out on stage, I would direct the other musicians to lay back and show some restraint and give Sly the floor. And I would have had a clear ending that locked in the purpose.
In reality, here’s what happened…
Sly left the stage while the music was still playing. I doubt that was scripted. It seemed to me that he left out of frustration–but he did it gracefuly. Musical cues were missed at the end. Guitars were soloing over each other. Everyone was looking around for someone to take charge but nobody did.
The performance was frustrating to me because I’m a huge Sly fan. Fresh f*d me up for a long time! I couldn’t believe anything could be so funky. It was so damn good it hurt.
But alas, I didn’t get the call from the Grammys. Maybe next year. 😉