Melodicas and Gorillaz

My son Jude goes to college in St. Pete, so for an early birthday gift, I bought him tickets to Gorillaz in Orlando (10/21/2022) and I was chuffed in that he still wanted to go with his old man. He got into Gorillaz as a teenager as he started to explore music more independently, beyond what I’d turned him onto and while I was a little bit familiar with Damon Albarn, Blur, and this venture, Jude would share all the records and I listened through his ears, digging what I was hearing.

I think Gorillaz is a genius concept, it’s like Plastic Ono Band or Mountain Goats, where it’s pretty much Damon’s show, but the framework allows for all sorts of guest artists (Elton, Bobby Womack, Lou Reed, De La Soul, Mick Jones of the Clash), and the expansive backing band continually morphs as a result, taking bows as applicable, while keeping it cohesive. The animation by Jamie Hewitt also allows kids a gateway to the music band – in front of us was a 12 or 13 year old girl with her parents, absolutely over the top into it. Her first concert, I bet, which was great to see. I also think Albarn should get more props for completely switching gears stylistically, in a sort of Dylan or Bowie-esque way Highlights for me – “Up on Melancholy Hill” (so Kinks-like), “Momentary Bliss (i.e. “We Can Do Much Better than That”, “Clint Eastwood” (of course) and “O Green World” (really nice shifts, musically).

Since this is a version of social media, I have to slide in a humble brag or me-connection, so let me say this was the second time this year I’ve seen someone play melodica onstage (the other being Belle and Sebastian). I play melodica on a track or two on every record I’ve done for YEARS, so you know, this makes me feel vindicated.

Published by Doug Hoekstra

Father, wordsmith, musician, creative.

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