Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Item is Wrong Again

Here's the story:

Headline: "Lynn man arrested following drunken assault at function hall" - Ok, except he wasn't allowed to gain entry. He wasn't inside the hall. The event went on inside peaceably (I was there and had no idea what happened outside).

Wrong, oppositely wrong - The Item says it was an under 21 event. It was an over 21 event, which is why the 27 year old was asked to show his ID by the bouncer, a key event in the story.

It was the benefit show I wrote about below, a very positive thing for the City.

I'm not mad at the Item for publishing the story. I'm mad at the Item for distorting what happened that night, the glaring omission that it was a benefit for the family of a man killed by a drunk driver (but I guess they wouldn't want to write that story), and for needlessly besmirching St. Michael's Hall with sloppy reporting when the crowd inside was one of the best I've seen at a show of its size.

It seems to me the bouncers did a good job protecting us inside by finding a way to prevent a deranged and violent individual from attending. It seems, but I don't know, because I read it in the Item and I can't be sure it's correct.

Mountain Goats - Best Ever Death Metal Band out of Denton

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Trivia at Turbine

Trivia and Karaoke. It's seems like they're every other bar's go to events on slow nights, even Friday nights.

No Karaoke at Turbine, but there's team trivia every Wednesday. I'm writing about it because it's not your average canned trivia by Stump or Quizo. Each week features a new host, usually someone from the neighborhood. The questions are unique, and so far at least, keep sports to a minimum allowing me a fair chance at winning.

It's a great way to get through hump day, and when you work with kids for a living as I do, a way to maintain sanity by talking to adults for a while.

This Wednesday, February 23rd, is my turn to host again.

Categories will be 20th Century Music, Name that Tune, and Mixed Bag. I promise not to make it too difficult. :)

56 Central Sq., Lynn, MA. 8-ish start time.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Went to a great benefit show for Rover

Thy Will Be Done
No Choice
Screams of Erida
As They Look to the Sky

A crowd that could have easily exceeded 300 (I'm terrible at these sorts of guesstimates) assembled at St. Michael's Hall February 19th to remember Chris “Rover” Rybicki, Unearth's first basist, who tragically died from his injuries after being hit by a drunk driver while on his scooter.

I'm not into this kind of metal, but a photographer friend and neighbor was shooting a couple of the bands and I was itching for a live show. Besides, no one could argue with the cause. Proceeds from the show went to Rover's family.

I left impressed.

This wasn't just a benefit show. It was like a reunion. Much to my surprise, I saw people I hadn't seen in years, from when I used to attend shows more frequently. There were also faces familiar to me, though older now, that I vaguely knew but wasn't sure if I had ever spoken to. They were just faces I would see at local shows. It was somewhat comforting, since this particular show was a strain of metal I wasn't well acquainted with.

It was great to have nationally touring acts, and in Unearths' case, an internationally touring act, come to Lynn and draw a crowd from far and wide for a cause that's good. And all the bands were good, too, with incredible energy and professionalism one rarely sees in a local hall.

I hope this show becomes an annual event. I hope we have more shows of this caliber in Lynn.

Unearth from a show in 2008

Sunday, February 6, 2011

60's Soul, Ska, and British Invasion Mod Dance Party at Turbine Friday

Click to enlarge

Prince Buster!

Otis Redding with Eric Burdon & Chris Farlowe on Ready Steady Go, 1966!

A fashion tip?

...more helpful videos to be posted throughout the week.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Snow Day's Take on Music, Marketing and Snobbery (I think)

First, I'm excited to announce that I'll be back at Turbine on Friday, February 11th.

Same music, different name.

"Turbine-a-Go Go" is a bit much to say, I'll admit. I'd like something short.

The last one was well attended and an absolute blast. Yet, I hear some people were hesitant to go because they weren't sure what it was. On the official poster, I had a brief description. It was pretty fine print, though. And "Mod," what's that?
I'm still trying to come up with a name that evokes the right things but is more accessible. All the good ones seem taken, and I'm trying to keep it to a word or two. The idea is not to scare away an audience that would love the music but would be turned off by a word, "Mod" only because they're not familiar with it. I would like it to be inclusive, and if any self-proclaimed mods out there disagree, they can have their exclusive club elsewhere. I love it for the music.

I don't know how I feel about people who would be turned off by something unfamiliar, though. That happens, but my personality is the opposite. I need help understanding, because when I'm stumped by something, I'm immediately driven to find out what it is. So I'll play to a wider audience, get them in there, and perhaps they'll like it. It's kind of what I do with my day job. And I always tell my students, "Know your audience." That's marketing. But wait, I'm also going to be critical of marking later in this post.

Now, I've been called a music snob before. But look at it this way, is the elitist the one accepting of a wide array of musical styles around the world, even including "outsider" musicians, bands who never made it and artists spanning centuries, or the one who limits their experience to a narrow selection of pop stars and doesn't bother to access the 98.44% of other music easy to find online these days? Is the music snob the one who says, "Hey, you should check out this rare track," enthusiastically offering to share in the find, or the one who says, "Nobody listens to this" and returns to a track they've heard a dozen times a week? I argue that the snob is one who limits rather than expands their exposure to something.

Why do I care? I've been personally marginalized by pop music snobs. In middle school, not understanding at all what I was listening to, it was assumed to be "older" music and I was nick named "Light FM." I'm not sure the Ramones would have taken kindly to their music described that way..actually, they probably would have found it funny. My high school years were an improvement, and I found people to enjoy a wider range of things with, musically and otherwise.

But now in my 30's, at a time when this should be all behind me, I'm sensitive to a kind of backlash that began when mass marketers clued in on and defined a "Hipster" culture. Unfortunately for people who love music, they largely defined it around the concept of  "Listening to some band you've never heard of," (though that band can probably pack an arena.)  And the fashion? Hey, I haven't grown a beard (mostly) and I've never worn a trucker's cap. I don't fit the marketing-defined mold and I'm about ten years too late, yet if I dare mention unfamiliar artists in a conversation about music, there's a pretty good chance it'll be taken as a condemnation of liking Lady Gaga, because that's how culture is sold.

 I don't care one way or another if you like any pop star. A suggestion to check out new music is not an attack on whatever you currently like. But, this kind of defensive posture is probably a backlash against the results of ad agencies taking off-the-beaten-path youth cultures and assigning them a particular look and attitude, packaging them up neatly, and selling them to teens with disposable income at the mall. It's not real. And with "Hipster" marketing, it's not too flattering.

True, passionate, music aficionados are just trying to share what they love. Just don't say, "Nobody wants to listen to.." because, apparently, some people do. And they might like a bar or club to hear music they enjoy just as much as you do.

A once popular and relevant song: