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Thread: Creative Duos - The Lesser Partner

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    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    Creative Duos - The Lesser Partner

    Just got back from a John Cale show. For those that don't know he was the second fiddle (or I guess viola) in the Velvet Underground. It made me start thinking of creaative duos where one seems so much more dominant and successful than the other. As an example, John Cale's show was in a bar with maybe 200 -300 people, when I saw Lou Reed it was at an amphitheatre with probably 3000-5000 people, and he still regularily plays venues this large.

    For those of you looking for a good show to see, if he comes to your town, go see John Cale. A crazy/eerie version of heartbreak hotel, a great version of pablo picasso and lots of his original work. He did not play any VU, kind of disappointed, but then again he has over 20 albums of his own.

    Can you think of other duos/bands that were great together, pretty good separately, but one definitely has done better than the other?

    My list would include:

    Ozzy vs the rest of Sabbath
    Grohl vs Novoselic
    Cher vs Sonny
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  2. #2
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by donk
    Just got back from a John Cale show. For those that don't know he was the second fiddle (or I guess viola) in the Velvet Underground. It made me start thinking of creaative duos where one seems so much more dominant and successful than the other. As an example, John Cale's show was in a bar with maybe 200 -300 people, when I saw Lou Reed it was at an amphitheatre with probably 3000-5000 people, and he still regularily plays venues this large.

    For those of you looking for a good show to see, if he comes to your town, go see John Cale. A crazy/eerie version of heartbreak hotel, a great version of pablo picasso and lots of his original work. He did not play any VU, kind of disappointed, but then again he has over 20 albums of his own.

    Can you think of other duos/bands that were great together, pretty good separately, but one definitely has done better than the other?

    My list would include:

    Ozzy vs the rest of Sabbath
    Grohl vs Novoselic
    Cher vs Sonny
    Velvet Revolver (the rest of Guns N' Roses) vs. Axl Rose and his hired musicians

    Which one released a rocking album last year that went twice platinum?? Which one actually released an album, period?? Which one has gone on successful club, arena, and amphitheater tours?? Which one appeals to the youth of America and plays mainstream rock n' roll. That's right...Velvet Revolver.

    Axl Rose has been supposedly working on an album on-and-off with hired musicians for nearly a decade, and went on a tour one year that he canceled most of the shows for. Now, the people he hired are finally turning on him. When will Axl ever get it together and revamp something that was once so good by reuniting with his former bandmates. If Slash, Duff, and Matt (+Scott Weiland as replacement vocalist) can sell 2 million records on their own, just imagine what they'd accomplish if Axl was around and had it together.
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
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  3. #3

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    Here's my two cents... from the 'alt-country' genre

    Uncle Tupelo: SonVolt / Wilco - thats a tough call; Wilco has gone 'farther afield' with their music, while Son Volt has stuck to some of the best roots rock I've ever heard. I think Son Volt may be the lesser of the two in my opinion, much of it related to Jay Farrar being something of a hermit and avoiding publicity at all costs..

    The original Jayhawks (w/Mark Olson): The new Jayhawks / Original Harmony Ridge Creekdippers (Mark Olson & Victoria Williams) - I think all the new Jayhawks stuff is dump, and though the latest Creekdippers album was a bit weak, they've made some excellent music. I attribute everything to Olson's songwriting. Gary Louris is a great performer, but leaves a bit to be desired on the writing front. He seems all caught up in being a 'rock star', while Olson is happy to record in the living room of his farmhouse.

    Whiskeytown: Ryan Adams / Caitly Cary - Ryan Adams is an ass, and his solo music is only ok. Caitlyn Cary isn't mush to write home about, but decent. The original Whiskeytown is certainly the best of the three, though a bit dated now.

    The Flatlanders: Jimmie Dale GIlmore / Joe Ely / Butch Hancock - Jimmie Dale is by far my favorite of the three. While not the lesser of the group, you should check him out in The Big Lebowski.
    Last edited by MaineMan; 16 Nov 2005 at 9:25 AM.

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    I suppose devising theories falls under the category of 'creative'. Who invented the theory of 'punctuated equilibrium'? Why, Stephen Jay Gould of course. Actually, he co-developed it with a guy called Niles Eldredge - we don't often hear about the Dr. Eldredge side of the duo do we.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Cyburbian
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    George Micheal vs. That other guy

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    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Crockett and Tubbs....Tubbs was way under-rated.

    Bill & Ted......whatever happened to Bill S. Preston, Esq. (Alex Winter)
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian dobopoq's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister
    I suppose devising theories falls under the category of 'creative'. Who invented the theory of 'punctuated equilibrium'? Why, Stephen Jay Gould of course. Actually, he co-developed it with a guy called Niles Eldredge - we don't often hear about the Dr. Eldredge side of the duo do we.
    Once Eldridge joins Gould in the afterlife, perhaps his stock will go up.

    I would add:

    Elton John v. Bernie Taupin
    Eddie Van Halen v. David Lee Roth
    Paul Simon v. Art Garfunkel
    Sting v. Stewart Copeland & Andy Summers
    Bjork v. The rest of the Sugarcubes
    "The current American way of life is founded not just on motor transportation but on the religion of the motorcar, and the sacrifices that people are prepared to make for this religion stand outside the realm of rational criticism." -Lewis Mumford

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    Cyburbian Boru's avatar
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    Neil Armstrong v Buzz Aldrin & Michael Collins. Maybe just a matter of pot luck as I'm not saying the other two were worse astronauts, just less well known. Like Cale and Reed. Do I get a medal for knowing Collins name?

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    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    I'll add Johnny Rotten vs the rest of the Sex pistols. JR's work in PIL and solo has been pretty good.

    Mick Jones vs Joe strummer as another good example.
    Last edited by donk; 16 Nov 2005 at 12:46 PM.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  10. #10
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by donk
    I'll add Johnny Rotten vs teh rest of teh Sex pistols. JR's work in PIL and solo has been pretty good.
    Erm, there wouldn't have ever been a Sex Pistols without Sid Vicious.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
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    From the hip-hop perspective...

    Ice Cube v. NWA
    Snoop Dog v. Dr. Dre
    The Game v. 50 Cent
    Eminem v. 50 Cent
    Q. Tip v. A Tribe Called Quest
    Rakim v. Eric B.
    KRS1 v. Boogie Down Productions
    "A witty woman is a treasure, a witty beauty is a power!"

  12. #12
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister
    Erm, there wouldn't have ever been a Sex Pistols without Sid Vicious.

    I was thinking post sid. I think the other guitarist tried do do some solo work
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  13. #13
    Cyburbian prana's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Planderella
    Ice Cube v. NWA
    Snoop Dog v. Dr. Dre
    The Game v. 50 Cent
    Eminem v. 50 Cent
    Q. Tip v. A Tribe Called Quest
    Rakim v. Eric B.
    KRS1 v. Boogie Down Productions
    I'm not sure who you are calling the less creative in a few of your examples.
    Ice Cube v. NWA? I would put Dre as the driving force behind NWA as Chronic demonstrates, not Ice Cube!
    Snoop v. Dre? couldn't call either one the lesser creative of the two
    Eminem v. 50 Cent? I see M as creative and 50 as a product of his surroundings.

    But I probably just didn't understand what you were saying.
    "You can measure the health of a city by the vitality and energy of its streets and public open spaces.”-- William H. Whyte..

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by prana
    I'm not sure who you are calling the less creative in a few of your examples.
    Ice Cube v. NWA? I would put Dre as the driving force behind NWA as Chronic demonstrates, not Ice Cube!
    Snoop v. Dre? couldn't call either one the lesser creative of the two
    Eminem v. 50 Cent? I see M as creative and 50 as a product of his surroundings.

    But I probably just didn't understand what you were saying.
    In some instances, I was thinking of masters v. proteges, hence the Snoop/Dre and Em/50 examples. I have never thought of Dre to be this great creative force in hip-hop. To me, he's just the west coast version of Puff Daddy (no, not Diddy). As far as NWA is concerned, I think they lost their swagger when Cube left. He was the better lyricist.
    "A witty woman is a treasure, a witty beauty is a power!"

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    Cyburbian PlannerByDay's avatar
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    Trey Anastasio vs. Phish

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    Cyburbian Wannaplan?'s avatar
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    Cheney & W

    Rather & Chung

    Lennon & McCartney

    Lennon & Ono

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    The Smiths comes to mind. Morrissey has become successful (though he hates it when his friends become successful) as a solo artist and Johnny Marr has kind of flown under the radar with his projects.

    On the subject of rap you have Digital Underground. Tupac Shakur, depsite being overshadowed in the band by Shock G has found much greater success. Although Shock G isn't dead so I guess Shock G fared ok.
    "I'm a white male, age 18 to 49. Everyone listens to me, no matter how dumb my suggestions are."

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    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Cheech (Marin) & (Tommy) Chong?
    Annoyingly insensitive

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    Cyburbian statler's avatar
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    Off-topic:
    Quote Originally posted by Repo Man
    On the subject of rap you have Digital Underground. Tupac Shakur, depsite being overshadowed in the band by Shock G has found much greater success. Although Shock G isn't dead so I guess Shock G fared ok.
    Ah..but neither is Tupac!
    "So, if a city has a personality, maybe it also has a soul. Maybe it dreams." -Gaiman
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    Cyburbian Boru's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister
    Erm, there wouldn't have ever been a Sex Pistols without Sid Vicious.
    I disagree. The Sex Pistols were well established before that tool came along. He created a legacy in that they (the band) and he (vicious) became iconic through him topping himself. But he contributed nothing to their music.Their image was developed before he came along, so he contributed nothing to that. I think if anything it should be Malcolm MacLaren V. The Sex Pistols. He was the brains behind it all, although Lydon might disagree.

  21. #21
    Cyburbian boilerplater's avatar
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    In architecture/planning:
    Poor Mrs. Duany (Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk) hardly ever seems to get mentioned anymore.
    Robert Venturi and Denise Scott-Brown (These accomplished women love the hyphenated names, don't they?)

    Charles and Ray Eames...I didn't know that Ray was a woman until just a few years ago. But who gets the credit for all that cool furniture? Usually its just labeled "Eames".

    In visual art:
    Christo and Jean-Claude (Um, is that her name?)

    Back to music:
    Peter Murphy and Bauhaus, the rest of which became Tones on Tail (who?) and then Love and Rockets. IMO the products of Peter Murphy's solo career have been much more evolved. He pushed into new directions. Love & Rockets just wanted to do the pseudo-punk-alt thing to make some money. David J, the bassist, had a solo album that went nowhere.

    Michael Franti of Spearhead and Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy
    Adrift in a sea of beige

  22. #22
    Cyburbian Mark's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister
    Erm, there wouldn't have ever been a Sex Pistols without Sid Vicious.
    The Sex Pistols did exist with Brian Matlock, before Sid. If you look at Never Mind the Bullocks, Matlock has song writing credits and I believe he played bass on some of the songs. Sid was brought on board because of his antics, not because of his ability.
    Ohhhh Mama, can this really be the end!

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