please stop tickling me

In which we laugh and laugh and laugh. And love. And drink.

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Location: Portland, Oregon

Otium cum Dignitatae

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Canucks, Redux!

Caro, over at The Love Rhombus, has the following to say about a certain treasured sitcom of ours:

"But I hate the show, because despite it's occasionally funny moments, it boasts the most irritating cast of characters in the history of situation comedies. His wife, his mother, his father, his brother, even the character Romano plays - they're all fucking douchebags. The whole lot of em. The show should be called Everybody Loves This Buncha Douchebags."

She's right. When the hell did someone say, "Hey, let's do another show exactly like every comedy on television since The Honeymooners!"...Actually, they rarely say anything else. It's the endless slobbering from critics that accompanied this show that made it such a hard swallow. Man ain't a genius. Just a douchebag.
In any case, last time I was slobbering about the greatness of all things Canadian, Caro (under her former nom-de-keyboard, Unity) echoed my great love of the band Broken Social Scene. Well, they were here last night, and I gotta tell ya': my moratorium on live music still stands.
Problem One: I know most of the soundpeople in this town, and they're all drunks. Last night this manifested as barely being able to hear the vocals at all, while the bass drum might has well have been in my ear drum, and the worst guitarist of the four (!) made most of the audible noise.

Problem Two: The bands themselves are often a problem. B.S.S. phoned it in last night, if you ask me. They looked like they were on junk (or very tired, or drunk), and sounded like it. Feist's vocals were lackluster at best, and as I said, if your first name ain't Lynyrd and your last name ain't Skynyrd, you do not need four fucking guitarists and two drummers. And the beauty of a lot of their stuff is in its subtlety, which does not translate well to a crowd of people who will scream like banshees over the observation that it is Friday Night. Which brings us to...

Problem Three: The crowds at enterprises such as this are nothing but a headache. When they're not screaming at each other that they love this song and have been waiting to hear it all night, and how wonderful that it is being played right now while we're standing here talking about it, God we're lucky, they're trying to act clever in the choice of things that they are screaming at the band, or spilling their overpriced cocktails on you. And since you don't have a choice in the matter...

Problem Four: Your beverage will indeed be overpriced. Matter of fact, considering how annoying the entire scene is, the price of admission is, too. I blame TicketBastard for this. What other industry has such colossal balls as to allow their sales to be adopted by this hellish entity that exists largely to make us all despise the concept of "value added fee" just a little more?
"Hey, what is it that your company does?"
"Well, we co-opt the ticket sales of every venue available. Then we charge more for the tickets, since you're lucky to have us here, selling you tickets."
"But couldn't they just be sold by the local venues themselves?"
"They are: we just profit from it, for some reason."
"I see. Do you coat the tickets in cocaine or something? Why are you able to charge more for them?"
"Because we're TicketMaster, and folks gotta make a living. Administrative costs don't get paid by money that fails to grow on trees, you know."
"Oh. Can I shoot you now?"
It's infuriating. And if the band isn't even making it worth your while, why do it?
I'm also cynical because I've worked in rock n' roll too long. I once swore that I would never again go to an outdoor festival in particular if I wasn't working there. Why subject yourself to long waits for the porta-potty, extortionate rates on necessities like water, shitty food if any, and the sad sight of all your favorite stars melting in the sun, doing flaccid takes on their music?

MacBeth and I went downstairs to the bar last evening, after B.S.S. did two painful versions of my two favorite songs, "Shoreline" and "Almost Crimes". We got talking about the big event for World Aids Day, December First.
It sounds to me like the sound guy isn't even someone who has done a live show before, mostly a studio engineer. I'm not really qualified to run the board, but I've promised to be on his ass at all times, if he's ruining the sound quality.
He actually said, "Well, it's not like it's a concert or anything..."
MacBeth quickly replied, "But it is a concert."
I'm also not certain whether or not the light guys are going to drop off gear and leave, or set it up, too. So I might be back in my old Lighting Director role: me, knowing what I'm doing, marshalling a bunch of volunteers, who don't.
And they need people to load in and out, which I'll help with. And I might be doing the underwriting announcements:
"We'd like to thank the good people at Glaxo-Wellcome-Kline-Beelzebub for their generous tax-credit-producing donation, which will no doubt assuage their conscience about Aids medication being too damn expensive for most Africans, who make up the bulk of the world population that has it. Kudos, guys."
It's true: if they didn't make the profit they make off of tremendous markups, they wouldn't then have the money to do the research to discover new drugs...Which no one can afford, but they do exist, which is good. I think it's karma though, that these same drugs are so often sold by Canadian firms for so much less. They didn't create the drugs, but they also have no less right to profit from them. Damn social types; I thought they didn't like profit!
Or maybe everything will go off without a hitch, my lady and I will get all dressed up, dance the night away. Who knows? And this episode of Stream of Consciousness Theater will return after these brief messages...



Blogger Jacq said...

It's been awhile since I've gone to a regular concert. Maybe to hear local bands, but that's about it. The crowds just need to sink themselves into their seats, drown in their beers and shut the *&^( up! I hate people whining about their songs not getting played. If it's in set, cool, but if not, too bad.

5:50 AM  
Blogger Unit said...

Rich, you're so badass. That's for agreeing with me about The Show That Cannot Be Named. And how jealous am I that you saw BSS? They've been here a coupla times and I can never go because I'm either getting fucked up or fucked. You know how it goes. And seriously, you have the best blog on the internet.

8:58 PM  
Blogger Unit said...

Whoa, and when I said, "That's for agreeing with me about yadya yadya yadya.."? I actually meant, "THANKS for agreeing yadya yadya yadya.." okay? Okay.

9:00 PM  

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