This is a prime example of what I love about this guy. When Mr. Brown first told me about the film Brick back in… oh, whenever the heck that was, I was completely turned off by the fact that it starred the kid from one of my most hated shows of all time – third rock from the sun.
Then I saw it. From there on I have NEVER questioned Joseph Gordon-Levitt ever again.
The fact of course is that you can not judge an actor by a starting role – I (and much of the movie-going public of the 80’s) had much the same reaction to Johnny Depp and look at the heights he’s soared to. I don’t love all Depp’s movies, but he gets the benefit of the doubt*. And so does Joseph Gordon-Levitt. So when I saw a clip on the youtubes of Levitt covering Nirvana’s Lithium all by his lonesome up on a stage with only a guitar I was intrigued. You know, I’m not the biggest Nirvana fan – I think Kurt Cobain was an incredible songwriter** but I don’t love the band the way some do. When you watch this clip though, a clip of JGL performing one of the band’s early charting singles, pay special attention to his little break-down in the middle, during which Mr. Levitt makes the excellent point that all too often, as the consumers/victims of pop culture that we are, especially in this post-internet, post-everything culture, we let the circumstances of a star interfere with us simply enjoying their music. And yeah I do that a lot, and I’m glad that every once in a while a guy like Joseph Gordon-Levitt shows up and pulls a Don Juan*** by smacking me on the back of the head and reminding me not to take myself so damn seriously.
P.S. – Levitt is conducting this performance in conjunction with his website/production project hitRECord which I’ve only just found out about (so the video worked as a promotional tool sir- good show!!!) but it appears to be pretty damn cool; a sort of open-collaboration with others from across the web simply for the sake of creating. Now that’s something you don’t see everyday and again, serves as another character point in Mr. Gordon-Levitt’s favor.
* Except when he works with Tim Burton, and that’s not Mr. Depp’s fault. I’ll see another Tim Burton flick when he does something original or at least in the ballpark of a Big Fish, Ed Wood or Mars Attacks again – and it doesn’t star Depp and Helena BonhamCarter.
** I’m hot and cold with a lot of stuff, but Aneurysm is to this day, one of the best-written rock songs I’ve ever heard (see below).
*** Carlos Castaneda’s, not Byron’s