Too Cool, Too Fool
“It’s the crowd that’s just as important as the band in making a show incredible; because as good as Nirvana was, if they were in front of a bunch of stiffs, that show wouldn’t have been so great.” – Jack Black
I can relate to this because I’ve lost count of the times when I’ve done my best as a musician in front of a bunch of moneyed stiffs who are too cool to acknowledge anything. We previously played in a place where people live near the rail tracks, and the audience will give the ‘cool people’ a run for their money when it comes to manners. We’ve been more well-received by college students who have never owned a single vinyl record or heard of boutique American indie music. As much as I try not to be picky about crowds when I play, some are just more preferable than the others. Some venues are just not worth coming back to, but then so many hole-in-the-walls and cramped dives just makes you fall in love with the place, warts, roaches and all.
On Playing Music That Makes You Happy
It’s not that I can’t play a more popular style of music, having gone through my first garage punk band in high school, as session guitarist in college/post-college for a lounge/swing band, a gospel rock cover band, a church band and a skate-punk band. I spent more than ten years as a singer-songwriter with a battered acoustic, playing folk blues-influenced ditties anywhere I’m invited. I even had an aborted metal/punk band that only recorded a demo tape but never played live due to lack of a drummer (the demo tape is lost now, thank you and to save ourselves from embarrassment).
I can play what a lot of people would pay to hear, but for only one thing: I will not be happy in the long run. It’s just hard to be happy playing music that I myself wouldn’t bother to listen to when relaxing. It bores me to play music where I do not need to feel anything and very few people in the audience would notice. I can only be happiest playing music from my deepest dreams, music I imagined, music that really brings out my real feelings. It’s something I would enjoy playing, audience or none, even if it’s just in our living room. I am not that young anymore, and it’s time I gave myself a break and played something that I want right now.
The Appeal Of DIY Electronic Music Performance
(or as I would rather put it, why bother performing home-made electronic music?)