Sunday, November 20, 2011

Loud and Louder

I have been to two concerts of two highly-regarded groups in a week--Ted Leo and the Pharmacists and two other punk bands in a church basement, and Los Campineros at the Black Cat, a DC rock club. And both suffered from over the top loudness.

The sound systems at each venue were ill-equiped to handle the sounds of either group, and the resulting muddled music mix was a thick cereal of noise. But in both cases, the crowd seemed to eat it up with enthusiasm. The difference between the rest of the crowd and me may have been that I was not really familiar with either band's catalog of music, and the fans were--they could make out the songs even with the murky mix. But that should not matter. Judged on the quality of the real sound that was present for all, the fans and all music listeners deserve much more from the groups and the clubs, and until the groups and clubs ensure the appropriate sound, the appropriate place for the fans and music listeners is at home.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Selling Out

It was a cloudy day at first in center of culture in NYC as we lined up to drink at the trough of corporate excess and greed--it was Baron's day of food, talk, and entertainment all bought by Ron Baron to honor his corporate accomplishments and achievements. The corporate honchos talked about their philosophies and played up their growth and visions. A few were thoughtful and impressive, but most were blocked in their vision by their ids, their egos, their libidos, and achievements. One's business plan had at its center a brutal criticism of the geeks who probably had a lot to do with his success as he moved away from them and criticized their complications. Ron Baron set up his philosophy which seem above politics and somewhat enlightened, but in response to a question, he seemed blinded by his own politics, and said the President should resign as a joke (maybe) that was applauded by many in this slobbering crowd.

James Taylor was one of the lunchtime entertainers, and while I wondered why he had sold out his caring soul to the corporate concert sponsors, he gave a warm and pleasant concert. Sting was the surprise headliner, and he seemed to phone in his pedestrian performance with his pleasant songbook sung in a perfunctory manner. The day ended with the handout of a corporate goody bag, and I felt like it was a final nail in a day of selling out to the corporate largesse, and I needed some good spirit from a music-laden Friday night service at Romomu to save the day and the soul.