Broke all the rules, played all the fools
February 26, 2014 12:08 AM   Subscribe

2CELLOS (Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser) have released a new music video. The period audience are...Thunderstruck.

2CELLOS
Luka Sulic
Stjepan Hauser

More videos, including covers of songs by AC/DC, Guns n' Roses, Michael Jackson, U2, Nirvana, Nine Inch Nails and more.
posted by paleyellowwithorange (35 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite

 
Pretty goddamn cool, despite the fact that you need three or four cellos to actually pull that arrangement off live.
posted by MeanwhileBackAtTheRanch at 12:39 AM on February 26 [2 favorites]


There's always room for Cello...
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:56 AM on February 26 [1 favorite]


distortion still seems to be the secret
posted by philip-random at 1:05 AM on February 26 [1 favorite]


love cello. love electric cello. These guys are wonderful.
...and In the same spirit, Tina Guo.
posted by quazichimp at 1:09 AM on February 26


obligatory ELO link

(the original rockin two cello outfit)
posted by philip-random at 1:12 AM on February 26


Wow are they friends of the cheese.

Nicely done though.
posted by deadwax at 1:28 AM on February 26


I fucking loathe AC/DC and the culture that tends to come with them, but damned if I wasn't just in a debate with a friend last week and I had to say that Thunderstruck is the huge exception with them. There's something about the juxtaposition with the vocals, guitar and drums ... it's all very rhythmic, but they just hit on some kind of sweet spot with this one.
posted by mannequito at 1:33 AM on February 26 [3 favorites]


Elton John brought them with him on tour after seeing their Smooth Criminal cover. He has nothing but good things to say about them. Although their reaction to being described as “homoerotic” we will never know.

I remember Elton announcing them on his tour as being younger than the band’s average age, even when added together. Of course, this being YouTube, I can’t find the actual video. But for fun:
posted by Martijn at 1:44 AM on February 26 [1 favorite]


Previously, which is how I found out about the talented twosome.
posted by Pallas Athena at 2:28 AM on February 26


I'm pretty certain that audience is shocked by the disappointing dearth of cannons in that arrangement.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 3:08 AM on February 26 [3 favorites]


"Hellsongs are a three piece acoustic band from Sweden who produce covers of famous rock and metal songs in a style they call 'lounge metal', with clear female vocals, soft guitars and organ."

Hellsongs - Thunderstruck
posted by Ian A.T. at 4:06 AM on February 26 [4 favorites]


Obligatory link to The Upper Crust - the same flavors in a different combination.
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 5:12 AM on February 26


That would be a mighty tough song to play on a non-fretted instrument.
posted by COBRA! at 5:43 AM on February 26


The imitation of some of Angus Young's famous stage antics was well played.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 6:51 AM on February 26


How have I not heard of these guys? I just watched a dozen videos and these guys are amazing. Thank you.
posted by Random Person at 7:04 AM on February 26


For more awesome cello, also check out Zoe Keating (Discussed on MeFi previously).
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 7:21 AM on February 26


I agree with mannequito's quote: "I had to say that Thunderstruck is the huge exception with them. There's something about the juxtaposition with the vocals, guitar and drums" - spot on. Thunderstruck is a superb primal expression. It can catch my attention in a way that few other songs are able.

... which is why that Hellsongs cover is such a wretched abomination. It strips out everything that is good and important and leaves nothing of value behind. Thunderstruck is not made by its melody and harmonies, it is made by the forces of waves pounding the shores, of battering rams destroying doors, of humans and feet and pounding and stomping and roars and THUNDER.

In general I am not a fan of cross-genre covers but I usually live and let live. This is an exception. I'm pretty sure what they did was warned against in the Geneva Conventions and I take comfort in the knowledge that if they do not suffer on this earth they will surely be punished in the hereafter.

On the other hand, what 2CELLOS did was nothing short of sublime and I will listen to it over and over today. And over.

In closing, let us not forget The Ballad of Truck Thunders. Thank you.
posted by komara at 7:29 AM on February 26 [2 favorites]


I think this 2cellos thing is kinda cool but... I don't get the appeal I guess. Oh well.
posted by lbebber at 7:57 AM on February 26


I'll preface this by saying that 2CELLOS is very good regardless. I guess I feel a distinction between the novelty of "look we're doing rock/pop/hip-hop on ___" vs. "we're rock/pop/hip-hop performers who just happen to play ___." While it's technically proficient, it's unlikely to become one of my favorites in the same way that I keep coming back to Rasputina's High On Life or their cover of Sophie Tucker's 1930 classic If Your Kisses Won't Hold the Man You Love. Or Wax Tailor's arrangements incorporating flute, strings, and voice. Pentatonix doing Daft Punk on voice is an interesting novelty. Daft Punk recursively sampling themselves to create abstract formalisms is something different.

Perhaps that's not fair of me, and I could be wrong.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 8:40 AM on February 26 [1 favorite]


While we're on unusual interpretations of Thunderstruck: Gordon Duncan on the highland bagpipe. This studio recording doesn't rock as hard as those cello guys, but Gordon's playing technique is astounding.
posted by illongruci at 8:49 AM on February 26


CBrachyrhynchos, I hear what you're sayin'. From the other 2CELLOS tracks I flipped through I get the impression that they are in the "we are cellists who are playing rock right now" camp. This Thunderstruck track is the exception for me - it crosses that boundary. On the other hand there are people like Moon Hooch and Rodrigo y Gabriela who were born to make impassioned powerful (rock?) music regardless of the instruments in their hands.
posted by komara at 8:57 AM on February 26 [3 favorites]


Let me say this is fun and I like it. But it seems like there's some kind of shenanigans with the bowing, like they're flailing around much more wildly than a cellist normally needs to play notes that fast (which aren't particularly fast compared to a lot of classical cello repertoire).
posted by straight at 9:56 AM on February 26


If you listen carefully, you can hear the pixels.
posted by b1tr0t at 9:57 AM on February 26 [1 favorite]


See also, Apocalyptica, the Finnish 4 cello group that's been recording and performing beautiful hard rocking covers of Metallica, Sepultura, Pantera, Faith No More, and originals since 1993. http://www.apocalyptica.com/en/http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apocalyptica
posted by asfuller at 10:09 AM on February 26


Because of the time stamp, I now know the exact moment that I became a lecherous old woman.
posted by Lou Stuells at 11:37 AM on February 26 [3 favorites]


Let me say this is fun and I like it. But it seems like there's some kind of shenanigans with the bowing, like they're flailing around much more wildly than a cellist normally needs to play notes that fast (which aren't particularly fast compared to a lot of classical cello repertoire).

Cellist checking in - looks legit to me. I think you're underestimating how fast you need to push the bow on that pedal note intro, if you're doing a bow for each note rather than slurring it. I also can't see any conceivable reason why they'd fake it, unless they just turned the pitch of the whole thing up (which would be odd).
posted by Sebmojo at 12:21 PM on February 26 [3 favorites]


I really liked this when I heard it, and I love the Smooth Criminal cover, but I have their actual album and most of what they do doesn't live up to this level, unfortunately. I can believe the musicianship is there, but the choices and orchestration of most of what they do is really middlebrow and not very interesting, at least to me. I love cello, classical (including modern classical) and the Zoe Keating/Rasputina/etc. pop and occasionally electronic type stuff, but these guys only occasionally have the killer instinct.

I do love Judgement Day's string metal, though.
posted by immlass at 1:40 PM on February 26 [1 favorite]


Let me say this is fun and I like it. But it seems like there's some kind of shenanigans with the bowing, like they're flailing around much more wildly than a cellist normally needs to play notes that fast (which aren't particularly fast compared to a lot of classical cello repertoire).

Of course there is. The guy on the left is paying homage to Angus Young's shenanigans (language and mooning). The video may be choreographed to a studio recording, maybe not.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 3:06 PM on February 26


Ok, having looked at the bowing on a bigger screen it does look sped up - but try an experiment. Move your hand back and forth for each note in the descending scale, it's about two or three strokes per second. Now double it, which is what they're doing, so you can also play the sustained pedal note; that's pretty fast bow-work and I'm not sure it's physically possible to play much faster than that.
posted by Sebmojo at 3:29 PM on February 26


By the end of the video, Šulić's bow has loose strands flying every whichaway. Is that a natural consequence of fast bowing? A side-effect of some technique he's using? Did he cut the strands before walking on stage and I didn't notice until later in the video?
posted by I've a Horse Outside at 4:41 PM on February 26


It just means he's playing really hard (which he really, really is). I break hairs all the time when I'm playing hard.

Biting them off in a quiet moment is traditional. If you pull them out instead it lowers the tension on the horsehair and eventually all the hairs pop out at once, which is not what you want in a performance environment.
posted by Sebmojo at 4:55 PM on February 26 [1 favorite]


Regarding the reference to distortion above: you don't need much distortion to get that tone on a bowed instrument. Just as much as you get if you play a little hot on a "clean" channel is sufficient. Remember that when Hendrix experimented with electronics one of this main goals was to do what a violinist can do naturally in terms of timbral range.

My favorite "electronic music sounds without the electronics" band is Zeitkratzer:

Zeitkratzer plays Metal Machine Music
Zeitkratzer plays Whitehouse
Zeitkratzer plays Throbbing Gristle
(they even do doubled up vocalist to emulate the echo in the original lyrics on the TG track)
posted by idiopath at 6:18 PM on February 26


These guys are hardcore, but I'm worried that they could come down with a serious case of cello scrotum.
posted by homunculus at 9:50 PM on February 26 [1 favorite]


Martijn: "Elton John brought them with him on tour after seeing their Smooth Criminal cover. He has nothing but good things to say about them. Although their reaction to being described as “homoerotic” we will never know."

I figure if you put together a video like this, you have to be at least a little bet ready for that description.
posted by pwnguin at 1:32 PM on March 2


For more awesome cello, also check out Zoe Keating (Discussed on MeFi previously).

A new dance: ODC, Andy Goldsworthy, and Zoë Keating (San Francisco)
posted by homunculus at 10:45 AM on March 19


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