In previous posts, I spoke of how I enjoy listening to older bands, such as Bruce Springsteen and Pearl Jam. One thing I like to do on Sunday mornings is watch Saturday Night Live from the night before. The show is now on its 40th season, and it has been a constant in my life since I was a teenager. Yes, it has had its ups and downs, but at the same time, even when the sketches don’t work, you have to respect the cast doing everything they can to make it a success. SNL also seems to introduce new music acts that go on to success each season. I remember when Nirvana was on the show, I couldn’t wait to see them perform.
This past November 22, Bruno Mars performed with Mark Ronson (Ronson was announced first). At the time, I didn’t quite understand it, as Bruno Mars recently hosted the show himself, and now he is back performing with someone I had never even heard of. Well, they played a song called “Uptown Funk”, and it was one of the more original things I had seen in a while. Mars danced and sang as if he was transported back to Motown, while Ronson stood to the side and beat on his guitar. It was such a odd pairing, but the performance was electric.
After watching it, I wanted to figure out who this Ronson guy was. He didn’t look like the standard 22 year old boy band type kid. Turns out Ronson is pushing 40, was from the UK and has been a DJ, music producer and produced the late Amy Winehouse’s break through album “Back to Black“. The guy has really worked his way up the ladder, the song, Uptown Funk is now #1 on the Billboard Music Chart. He is on quite a roll, and the album that “Upton Funk” appears on, came out this week and is called “Uptown Special“. I’m not one for new music, but I downloaded it on iTunes, and have listened to it at least five times since. It contains a harmonica piece from legend Stevie Wonder, as well as many other artists and is overall a great listen. What is even stranger to me is that this is not the type of music I listen to at all. However, its encouraging to see someone a little later in life, at least in the music industry, break through and be recognized for creating something amazing.
It makes me wonder, with so many choices out there, whether music, movies, or any other form of entertainment, if we sometimes pigeonhole ourselves too much based on previous things we have enjoyed? I certainly wasn’t seeking out music like this, but it struck a nerve with me and I think it is going to cause me to wipe the dust off of my old guitar this weekend, and see if I can figure out some of Marc Ronson’s great new songs.