Friday, October 26, 2007


When you're a native of Music City and of a Certain Demographic, it is assumed—nay, expected—that you are fond of music, preferably live music. Well, I have fought my inner nature for years, and I can no longer maintain the pretense...

I'm incredibly bored by live music. Doesn't matter what genre - classical, pop, contemporary, gospel, rock, punk, bluegrass, country (especially country), I get bored within 5 minutes. There are exceptions, of course - Nickel Creek, really good Latin beats, Indian - but even with those, I am DONE with sitting and listening in about 30 minutes. I should explain, this does NOT mean I don't like music; I will be glad to offer up my iTunes playlist as proof. But Go-Somewhere-and-Sit-and-Listen (or Stand-and-Listen) Music has absolutely no appeal to me.

I do like performing live music, though. When I'm actually involved in the process. As noted several months back, I did some backup vocalist gigs with a rock band this summer, and I've been singing with my church choir for years now, occasionally as one of 3 miked lead singers at least one Sunday a month. I love doing this. But apparently the Sit-and-Listen gene didn't make it into my DNA.

It took time to figure this out, of course - I mean, when you're considered "artistic" and and you take lessons in violin and piano and sing in Show Choir, you naturally think you like going to concerts like everyone else... even moreso. But I was never any good with the instruments, and merely adequate as a vocalist, truth be told. My musical tastes never fell into any tidy categorizations. My likes are so scattered... I have CDs for Latin church music, Renaissance dance tunes, Gilbert & Sullivan, Sting, Indian/Bollywood, Celtic, movie soundtracks, Japanese anime soundtracks, and a smattering of pop artists... and I'd be hard pressed to tell you WHAT I listen to. I just feel sloppy, since I can never clearly explain what I like to listen to.

3 of my old Youth Group leaders are playing at a Koinoinia reunion concert tomorrow night - I grew up at Belmont Church, and live music was simply HUGE there. I owe so much to these men, and would love to go just to see them again, see how they're doing, just to touch base... but I don't want to have to sit through the concert. I change my mind about going every 5 minutes. If it was a cocktail party or a book-signing, I'd be there, no problem. But my genuine dislike of sitting and listening to music with nothing else to do is making me really hesitant about going.

If I could legitimately take along some needlework project and be allowed to sit in the back with plenty of light and space and listen in peace without having to jump up and applaud or whistle every 2 minutes, or basically STAND to listen for 3 hours (what's THAT all about?!) I would really, really like it. An interesting activity for my hands and eyes, while my ears absorb the sound. But the modern requirement that live music be aerobic; that the audience must continually be on their feet, roaring with approval, makes that impossible.

I guess a full awareness of this disinterest is useful; it means I don't bother considering concerts as an activity anymore. But I feel rather lonely in my dislike; I mean, have you EVER known anyone to say aloud, "nah, I don't really like concerts..."? So I step out into the world, ill-prepared to face the amazement of a society that almost WORSHIPS the concert-going experience.

And don't get me started on my current dislike for live theatre!

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