23 February 2007

Getting Fickler All The Time

"If it seems too good to be true, it probably is."

Slowly but surely, I'm learning not to buy CD's that get reviewed favorably (or at all) by major publications, as well as to stay as far away as possible from the most widely publicized events. If people are talking or writing about it, I'm probably not going to like it.

It is notably rare for me to be truly invigorated by a performance that costs more than $5 to attend. If it costs more than that, it's because whoever organized it knows that they can get more than that...which in Minneapolis means that it is statistically impossible that everyone who shows up will be there to listen rather than to see and be seen. So count me out from now on.

Call me a grandstander, curmudgeon, or whatever else you want, but I'm starting to get serious about this. As a teacher/mentor of mine once said to me: "Funny. If its got the word 'jazz' in front of it, I'm usually not interested." So, uh, anyone up for a trip to a "jazz club"? How about reading a "classical music" blog? I didn't think so. The more exciting stuff is taking place elsewhere, under names that have not been around long enough to be co-opted for marketing purposes, and yes, occasionally under no name at all. I don't necessarily need or want to be "beyond category" myself. I don't take offense when someone calls me a "bebop tuba player" or a "classical" musician. As a listener, however, I'm finding myself in a "once bitten twice shy" type of situation (actually, I've been bitten many more times than that; it just took me an embarrasingly long time to figure these things out)

That a concert may be accompanied by lots of publicity and high ticket prices is more indicative of the visibility of the performer(s) than it is of their relevance to a "classical" or "jazz" audience.

"If it seems too good to be true, it probably is."

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