Tuesday 6.2.09

Start a new week.

Mondays are usually a day when I come in and just sort of figure out how the rest of the week is going to go. Sometimes not much gets done on Mondays. Today was a little different. One of my sign customers called me around 9:30 to ask if I would go to the grade school to take pictures of a helicopter that was going to land next to one of the playgrounds. His son is the pilot. He wanted some better images than what he could get with his point and shoot camera.

Here we see the Army National Guard showing off and recruiting future members.

After, I came back to install graphics on a couple of other vehicles, prepared some work for the rest of the week, picked up a few materials, talked on the phone, met some new people and then went on to one of those dreaded high school concerts. These are the type that combines all of the band variations and all of the chorus variations into one mega end of the year concert.

I had not been to one in a while. The memories washed over me like a bowl of glass shard infested spit from a drooling mangy hound. Yeah, it was almost that bad. 2.5 hours of sour notes and a musical selection that made me want to say what the hell!??

I was listening to the selections… Yesterday, Bridge over troubled water, some Kansas stuff… Kansas – suddenly I remembered being back in high school. I was once class president and took it upon myself to abuse my authority pretty much on a daily basis as I could write myself out of certain class periods. I could also write out a helper. This was second hour study hall and my friend Ted and I would go to his house, which was actually just off the school property, to smoke and listen to his brand spanking new Kansas album on his turn table. After, we would go back to the school to raid the Home Ec. kitchen. First hour was when the girls would do some cooking. The room was empty during second hour and that is when we would attack.

Keep in mind that this was like 32 years ago. Yeah, I’m freakin’ old. Home Economics was called Home Economics back then. I don’t think there were any males in the class. I think they call it social sciences or something like that now. Smoking was cool and much cheaper than it is now. Kansas was some hot shit. People still bought ALBUMS and played them on a turn table. Eight tracks were on the way out and having music on a cassette was becoming the new cool.

Back to tonight’s school concert. Why the old music? And… why perform them at about 3/4ths speed? I wanted to go tell them to kick it up a notch. I was informed that these old songs and show-tunes are the norm at these concerts. That along with the droning sound of the brass, like a sick whale and the crappy acoustics in the gym made for a splendid time.

I would have thought that in 30 years with all the cool new tools… people are smarter, faster, better… that this would not have sounded like something out of a leaky time capsule. I guess the positive thing to look at is that there were a couple of really pretty good moments when they did sound good. Maybe it was a freak accident. No, they actually did sound good a few times. I’m sure that when they get the new band uniforms that they were soliciting for donations, they will sound much much better.

So, that was Monday. We’ll see what happens next.

2 responses

  1. joan

    the reason they don’t utilize the awesome tech tools of today, to put on a rockin concert, is because the government and people of this united states could give a crap about funding the arts. Especially at a school-age level.

    June 2, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    • jsvexperimental

      There may be something to that but I also have to blame the school. A music teacher/band director IS a cool tool, or could be. I certainly do not expect all of the bells and whistles one might get at the Colosseum, or the Energy Center as it is now named… but these people certainly have the (or should) ability to listen and correct some things. I get the feeling that going through the motions is good enough. It’s like listening to an entire church recite responses in a complete monotone manner. Everyone says the words at almost the same time. In the concert, everyone kind of hits their note at the appropriate time. Maybe this IS the best it is at this moment. The only thing that seemed to be completely drilled into the band is coming to attention when the director takes the podium.

      There were some good moments but my overall feeling is that it could have been better. I did not feel that a group of 2009 students were digging 30 and 40 year old music. “What I did for love”… from some high school junior? Give me a break.

      June 2, 2009 at 4:33 pm

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