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Friday, November 4, 2005

The Jump Cut

Posted by on November 4 at 15:12 PM

The only thing that’s interesting about the Rubber Soul V. Revolver debate (otherwise, yawn), is that you guys have hit on the key moment of the 20th Century, a sort of Jump Cut in time: 1965 into 1966.

Things were churning in 1965, but it’s all still anchored to the past. ‘66 explodes. 1966 gives us: National Organization of Women (NOW); Ralph Nader’s Unsafe at Any Speed; the Freedom of Information Act; Bergman’s Persona (which, interestingly enough, includes a bizarre “rip” or “jump cut” in the middle of the movie); the first Velvet Underground sessions; Stokely Carmichael first utters the phrase “Black Power” at a rally in June; Time’s “Is God Dead?” cover; Antonioni’s Blow Up; Susan Sontag’s Against Interpretation; Eight Miles High; Beatles come out against the War; mini-skirts and go-go boots, protests instead of peace marches. None of this was possible in 1965. And there it all is, just a few months later in ‘66.

You can certainly hear this “jump cut” when you compare Rubber Soul (‘65) and Revolver (‘66). The guitars on Revolver are distorted and backward…and studio effects abound. Rubber Soul is punchy, but it’s not modern music. This is not why Revolver is better (which it is in its own right), but they are two albums where, listened to side by side, you hear the 20th Century changeover. Kind of exciting.

Now: Brahms or Dvorak? I pick Dvorak!!!