A status report on the upcoming Fall Tour 2014, including reminiscing on Detroit House Music, college and Robin Williams [...]
A compendium of musings on music and this business we call show
Over the years, I’ve gotten into an ever-increasing number of serious flame wars (I guess even this speaks volumes. The youth of today don’t ‘flame’ because not much goes beyond 140 chars.) But I’m already digressing…
Several acquaintances/colleagues in the Progressive Rock community have finally gotten fed up with my emphasis on the ‘serious’ nature of high-level music making. Relax. Don’t take it all so seriously. This is awkward of course. It causes me to opt out of various ‘networking opportunities’ (festivals) where I know this attitude prevails, but it also makes it hard because I value the friendship of everyone in our little world. It’s sort of like politics: we all should be able to disagree in good conscience, but of course, that’s easier said than done.
Progressive music has had a pathological insecurity complex since he late 70′s. The whole genre got beaten to shit and unceremoniously kicked to the curb first by critics (who never liked prog) and then by fans who made a clean sweep of pretty much everything good, bad or indifferent around 1976. No need to revisit that well-worn newsreel. But the after effect has been a lingering PTSD of such severity for musicians that nobody wants to come across as having anything approaching ‘serious’ pretensions. This has had the completely predictable effect of creating music that cannot be taken seriously.
Take a look at the press release for any Prog album release. Where they discuss the [...]
Four tickets. I love that joke.
A discussion of the current state of music theatre in general and the opera Detroit
I just got my complimentary ticket for the annual ‘Wagner Competition’. I still receive stuff like this for some tangential reason because the Seattle Opera was one of the places I got a bit of money to write Detroit The Opera. And that reminded me. Now that some time has elapsed, I’ve been meaning to mention a few things regarding ‘Detroit’ as well as the state of music drama in general. I’ve been reluctant to talk about this stuff until now for fear of burning bridges. Well, that boat has sailed. If burning bridges can sail (on a sea of chocolatey metaphors.)
Like all arts organisations, the Seattle Opera faces an existential crisis. It has been led by Speight Jenkins for so long no one can remember ‘life before Speight’. But now he is 80 and leaving and everyone is nervous. You can see this in their schedule for the new year. All the hits: Puccini, Mozart, etc. They have no plans to do anything more adventurous for the next couple of years. That is certainly one way to handle uncertainty: circle the wagons.
Other companies, such as the once great New York Public Opera went in the other direction, trying to do shows with such lofty themes as ‘The Tragedy Of Anna Nicole Smith’ and [...]
Part two of the ‘interview’ I did last week with long-time supporter Roger Corton. Part One may be found here.
RCWhat’s up with the Portugese in “I’ll Be Right There”?
JCHI had this dream about two lesbian women fighting.
RCSounds promising so far.
JCH(laughs). It was just these two ordinary women shopping in some city. They’re about to get into their car on the street and they’re having an argument; in Portugese. But because it was a dream I could understand them. The one woman was complaining and worrying and fretting and she’s so upset she’s struggling with the keys to unlock the door. So the other woman just loses it. She goes round to the other side of the car and she just drags the first woman bodily away from the car, shakes her and says something like, “You don’t get it! I love you! Relax. We’re going to be fine!” She was just fed up with all the negativity. “Stop worrying!”
RCLet’s try again. Why Portugese?
JCHI dunno. I love the sound of Portugese. It’s the sexiest language in the world. You can recite the BBC Shipping Forecast in Portugese and it sounds hot. But the point of the dream was how ‘normal’ they seemed. They were having a row. But it was the kind of row I’ve never seen in public.
RCYou’ve seen people argue in [...]