Thursday, February 11, 2010

Ballad of Billy The Kid

Who doesn't love this guy?

I've been listening to a bunch of Billy Joel lately. He's one of those guys I listened to constantly in the 80's because a) he was still churning out the big hits, and b) my mom listened to him. Back then he was pretty cool, boppin' around in his videos in sunglasses like he was a good lookin' guy or something. And he could back up his bravado because he was married to Christie Brinkley.

He's also one of the guys whom I have witnessed growing old, and unlike many of his contemporaries he has decided to age the way a normal person would. There's a definite dignity to that which I very much respect (just look at Elton John's wigs to illustrate my point- that being said, I love Elton too).

Here he is again with those features more exaggerated:

It's time for me to start improving my caricature skills, and to do that effectively I think I need to practice realistic portraits first so I get all the features down before I start exaggerating them. This one is a lot rougher than the straight portrait, but I think the ideas are there... busted-looking nose, sunken-looking eyes etc. I'll post an improved version when ready, maybe a younger-looking Billy this time.

These songs are second-to-none, by the way. It's too bad he's essentially retired form songwriting because he really does craft a solid song... verses and choruses all loaded with hooks, satisfying rhyme schemes, and they always tell a story. He doesn't cheat you either- listen to his songs, they always seem to have four or five verses, a bridge will repeat with an entirely different set of lyrics, and when you think the song is ending, a whole new verse starts up that adds a new wrinkle to the situation.

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