So, I went to a pretty good concert last night. Good meaning that it punched about five years off the lifespan of my eardrums, and the high music quality made it a fair trade. Last night the bands were great, but sometimes it’s a crapshoot when hitting up a rock show; there’s always a decent chance that the bands on the playbill will assault your ears with the instrumental equivalent of prison rape.
There’s nothing worse than bad live music, and despite common practice, increasing the decibels doesn’t mask a lack of talent. Nothing against the guys who are just trying to get their stage practice in, but as with any art, sometimes people just suck. For instance, while I’m a music junkie, I gave up any aspirations at rockstardom years ago. Maybe it’s because I’m too lazy to practice. Maybe it’s because I pick the wrong instruments. Or maybe it’s because I’ve got the natural rhythm of a crackhead with cerebral palsy. Either way, I’ve appropriately given up my share of instruments over the years.
First: the trumpet. In second grade, I huffed and I puffed that horn for all of three days, with the only result being a blown blood vessel in my eye, and the ability to do a passable impression of Rosie O’Donnell before feeding time.
Second: the bongo drums. Since I went to college in Boulder—neo-hippie capital of the world—of course I had to take a stab at the art of handslap percussion. Once the party haze cleared, and sobriety eventually shed light on my skills, I quickly discovered that neither I nor the Grateful Dead sounded quite so talented anymore.
Third: As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, I still try to play the harmonica. I’m no Charlie Musselwhite, but I’m not godawful. But, that doesn’t mean I’ve got aspirations for getting up on stage and torturing anybody with my rendition of Copacabana anytime soon. No, I save those pretentious superstar daydreams for thoughts of sitting at a signing table in front of a mountainous stack of books filled with my drivel, a beer in hand, and a line of fans wound around the building. A guy can dream, right?