Looks like after seeing his house burn down, Mr. Cash decided to make an appearance on the Spin (although with a least a hundred Cash songs on my iPod, its not too surprising). This song comes from the "middle period" of Cash's career when he was playing up the old-school country aspect, like a tough Kenny Rogers or the like. However, listening to this got me thinking. Johnny Cash really became a bonafide legend when he made his big comeback with Rick Rubin on American Recordings, so who, these days, is likely to pull off such a stunt 20, 30 years down the road? I mean, it is a little hard to compare considering that Johnny Cash first became famous in a completely different era of music – rock was just starting and they're went that many rock stars in the first place. So who could return to their roots, stripped down by a future Bearded One, to resurrect their career?
It's tough. Some of my best guesses so far: Nick Cave (maybe its the vocal similarities), Matthew Sweet (if he just got simple again), Chris Isaak? (Is this a good thing?), see, it's a little hard.
Then, with the second song of the day, it hit me. Stephen Malkmus! Of course, he's no where near as popular as Cash even at Cash's lowest point, but listening to "1% of One", it struck me that in 2030, you stick Malkmus in a studio with a guitar and let him record like Cash did for Rubin and, well, the results might be career restoring (if Malkmus isn't a superstar then – I'm not holding my breath).
Any other ideas for who could pull off even a tenth of the comeback that Mr. Cash did? (email them to me! erik <at> threeimaginarygirls.com)