Monday, October 17, 2011

Improvised Indifference

I gladly paid the five dollar price of admission at a music venue this weekend. Misery ensued.

I don't expect to be presented with an award when I attend a jazz gig, but I certainly don't want to get the sense that I'm doing penance.

The bandleader ignored the audience of twelve. The interaction between the musicians was similarly minimal. The dreary atmosphere resembled a forced detention for students who'd misbehaved during high school band class.

Although the band's concept was solid, it wasn't enough to overcome the morose vibe. If you're not going to put on a show, at least act like you want to be there.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)


Anonymous said...

The Kansas City Jazz Orchestra under the direction of Kerry Strayer put on a fine show Friday night at Unity on the Plaza.
Congratulations to all.

Anonymous said...

Well, you didn't identify the band and from what you wrote it's unlikely he/she would read your post, so is this just venting? ;)

Happy In Bag said...

I'm pretty sure that most of the members of the band in question monitor Plastic Sax, Anon 304. They'll immediately know this post is about them. Venting? Yes.

Happy In Bag said...

A member of the band in question left the following comment. He used his real name, but I've decided to post his response in this fashion to protect the band's identity:

Bill, for the short amount of time you were there that must have been pure gulag-ian misery, I apologize on behalf of the bandleader (even though he shouldn't have to) and the rest of us onstage. Thanks for saying the concept was okay, but thanks even more for venting.

I suppose it's good to know that dedication to composing original tunes, getting a band together, scheduling hours of rehearsal, hustling work for little to no pay, and attempting to create new audiences for a very specific and personal musical endeavor doesn't really mean anything if there isn't an abounding exuberance at every opportunity.

I can assure you that there was plenty of interaction with the musicians onstage. I'm not sure what else we can do besides listen to one another, be encouraging and try and zone into what was one of those "off nights" for several of us. Believe it or not, just because it doesn't LOOK like we aren't interacting, we actually could be. And we were.

Look, I'm not saying that you don't have a completely valid point. Even in a dreary setting with an audience full of friends, a group should SEEM interested and excited. I have many friends on this scene that can be "up" and "on" regardless of setting and that's a skill that not everyone has. At any rate, it is too bad that you didn't enjoy your (brief) time with us *Plastic Sax edit* night. I'm certain that pointing out the deficiencies will make us all better entertainers in the future - we'll be mindful of it and that can only beget good. We're all looking to improve in every way and sometimes it takes an outsider pointing out some of those facets.

Happy In Bag said...

Another musician left the following comment. He used his real name, but I've decided to post his response in this fashion to continue to protect the band's identity:

Unfortunately I wasn't able to be there for the gig, though I have a hard time believing *Plastic Sax edit* would be anything other than completely killing in my place...

I think *Plastic Sax edit* night Bill and the band would've all been better served to just have a few glasses of whisky and check the baggage.