Tag Archives: live music

Forfeiting Your Memories

If we are standing in an audience at the foot of an admired musician, and I see your hand raise and wobble around while holding an illuminated LCD screen trying to capture a picture or recording of said performer, I can’t help but shake my head. Chances are, your production value isn’t going to be of any quality worth reproducing, and more importantly, you are missing the point of live music. It’s about being there in that moment without distraction, appreciating the art in front of you. While it is being performed. You lose the beauty of the moment when you allow your iPhone in. Essentially, what you are saying is that your reality is less interesting than the story you are going to tell about it.

Put down your cameras, people, and just be present.

I once attended a Wilco show at the Orpheum (circa 2009) where Jeff Tweedy literally held a video-recording spectator’s phone hostage, accusing the offender of “forfeiting their memories to an imperfect medium.” Maybe that was a bit harsh, but I respect the principle behind it. If you spend your night zooming and clicking in an effort to capture the event on your smart phone, you are robbing yourself of the real-life experience, and what’s better than being totally engaged in the here and now? By electronically documenting the moment, you are letting go of something that was uniquely yours (your memories and personal experience), something that no one else can have, and giving it away, and there’s something somber about that loss.

I’m not saying I’ve never been guilty of this behavior, because I have stage photos (never recordings) from the past (though certainly not since Tweedy reprimanded the audience for living life second-hand). I’m also not saying it’s the ultimate crime if you are watching the show from behind your iPhone screen, or that I like you any less for doing so. More accurately, I’m just sharing some fresh food for thought, encouraging you to have a more present, and therefore more fulfilling, experience next time.

Besides, what are you planning on using that picture for? Are you going to look back at the out-of-focus blur fondly? Or are you just posting it to your social media outlet of choice to prove that you were there?

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Last Year in Music

This list is more so that I can look back and remember the music I saw in 2010, and less a post that you will be interested in reading. Only those of you who enjoy reviewing the year in music (Wade, I’m talking to you) or who accompanied me to the majority of these shows (Jax) might have an interest in this. Otherwise, please kindly overlook.

By the looks of it, my January was devoid of live music. I don’t know how I feel about this.

  • Lucero ~ February 5 ~ Minglewood Hall
  • Eric Clapton  ~ March 5 ~ FedEx Forum (this is Music Bucket List material right here!)
  • Third Day ~ March 7 ~ FedEx Forum
  • Lucero ~ March 12 ~ Mercy Lounge
  • Lucero ~ March 13 ~ Marcy Lounge
  • Couch Fire ~ March 21 ~ New Daisy
  • Galactic ~ April 16 ~ Minglewood Hall

And here marks the beginning of festival season, which was full of waaaaayyyyy too much good music to individually list. Just know it was awesome.

  • Beale Street Music Festival ~ April 30 – May 2 ~ Memphis, TN
  • Hangout Beach, Music, and Arts Festival ~  May 14 – 18 ~ Gulf Shores, AL
  • KC and the Sunshine Band ~ May 29 ~ Sunset Symphony
  • Wakarusa ~ June 3 – 6 ~ Mulberry Mountain, AR
  • Black Joe Lewis ~ June 11 ~Levitt Shell
  • Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival ~ June 10 – 13 ~ Manchester, TN

Back to life, back to reality.

  • Chris Tomlin and Toby Mac ~ July 7 ~ Hope Presbyterian Church
  • ZZ Top ~ August 1 ~ Desoto
  • Tom Petty ~ August 12 ~ Bridgestone Arena
  • Lucero ~ August 21 ~ Rock 4 Love, HiTone
  • Lucero ~ September 25 ~ Lyric Oxford
  • Avett Brothers ~ October 29 ~ The Ryman Auditorium
  • Girl Talk ~ October 31 ~ Mai
  • Iron and Wine ~ November 14 ~ Minglewood Hall
  • Lucero ~ December 23 ~ Minglewood Hall

Started and ended the year with Lucero, sounds about right. And if this list is complete, which I cannot confirm that it is, then it looks like I saw Lucero seven times last year (I’m including their Bonnaroo set, for those of you who like math and don’t see how things are adding up).

And now I’m ready to start on 2011!


Cory Branan’s Got an Evil Streak

And he is a lyrical genius.

And those are only two of the many reasons I am going to Otherlands to watch him play tonight. His clever use of words and playful language twists make a logophile’s heart flutter, and his guitar picking is out of this world. And he puts on a great show. And he told me he thinks I wear cute dresses (wait, how did that slip in there?!). Don’t mind me, just know that these are all good reasons to treat yourself to some stellar live music tonight at 8:00.

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Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles

I am crazy about live music. Going to shows is absolutely one of my favorite activities. Lucky for me, several of my favorite artists are homegrown, which means I get to see them on a fairly regular basis. Others are not, which entails that I make special arrangements to catch a show. But still handfuls of others were before my time and have since disbanded, quit touring, or kicked the bucket. In this category resides The Beatles, whom, try as I might, I would seemingly never have the opportunity to enjoy live.

Until now. Or at least it’s the next best thing.

For Christmas, my parents gave Jax and I tickets to the critically acclaimed Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles, which will be rocking the Orpheum this weekend. From what I’ve heard, this show is grand. Better than grand, it is amazing. Note for note, word for word, and outfit for outfit, these guys supposedly give a flawless performance that takes you straight back to the Beatles show you wish you had been around to see. They cover the gamut; they hit the quartet’s clean-cut Ed Sullivan days, veer over to their trippy Sgt. Pepper experimentations, travel down Abbey Road, and make a stop at every junction in between.

A whole-hearted thanks to Mom and Dad seems appropriate here. *Thanks, parents!*

The Magical Mystery Tour is coming to take you away….

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