Song Of The Day 6/14/2016: George Jones & Elvis Costello – “Stranger in the House”
Nowadays in the age of gang-driven electronic outbursts and improved plastics, unexpected musical combinations ain't no thing. It's part of something we used to call culture jamming, which we could technically still call it, except I guess it sounds the little bit offensive to both cultures and jam. This is how it's all evened out, with rappers appearing on country records, classical musicians showing up with heavy metal outfits, and young starlets under the age of 25 all showing up at Wayne Coyne's house dressed in confetti and pylons. Back when there was more segregation between genres such random dyads were eyebrow-lifters, maybe driven by mutual misunderstandings of clashing genres. Which Of Course Never Happens Now. Over the next few days I thought we'd focus on a few of these, some of which -- like today's -- turned out for the better. Others which I hope we'll get to are just your normal brand of weird and uncomfortable, but there's at least one that I'm going to defend that I never thought I would up until last week. Don't ask me how it happened.
In general overview of Elvis Costello's career his 1981 collaboration with George Jones probably doesn't look that odd. But back then Costello was still -- at least partially incorrectly -- perceived as a punk, the kind of folks many would have assumed -- also at least partially incorrectly -- country musicians would have run down in their GMC Sierras. And Columbia Records, who had both musicians at the time, tried to play on the comic implications of the pairing: On the cover of Jones' album of duets "Stranger In the House" came from, My Very Special Guests, the names of all his collaborators (Tammy, Waylon, Willie, Linda Ronstadt, etc.) are displayed on the backs of director's chairs. Costello's chair is knocked over.