Thursday, October 1, 2009

Arlene's Grocery Alternative Music

I watched a concert online via Arlene's Grocery Tuesday September 29. The band consisted of two young white males. The vocalist also played the drums while the other performer played a keyboard. I'm not entirely sure what genre of music they played; I’d have to call it alternative. The stage was dark with the exception of Christmas lights that wrapped around the keyboard frame and over to the drums, which I thought was sort of cool.

When I first tuned in they were playing a rock song that I did not catch the name of. However, the following song consisted of an offbeat piano, drums and an occasional violin. The vocalist was singing in a whining voice that could catch the audience’s attention without being hard on the ears.

The band performed their own songs as well as a song called ‘Dedicated to Noah’ that they claimed someone else wrote. The Dedicated to Noah song was about a guy named Noah who dreams of a lavish lifestyle but is stuck in a 9-5 job with a boss that he hates. The song material was very relatable. The song started off slow with just the piano, after about a minute the drums came in for a solo. Since the vocalist also played the piano during any intense drum measures he would stop singing in order to focus only on the drums.

During the performance of songs there was relatively no audience interaction. However in between songs, the band addressed the audience as if they were friends, even thanking an audience member by name for buying them drinks.
The last song they performed was titled Amy. It starts off with a happy melody played out on the keyboard. Amy is a pen pal, who writes a guy letters and sends him porn which was really odd. The song was barely a verse long, most of it consisting of the singer repeating “A-M-Y and I…” The audience was very receptive of the band as many people shouted encore after the song was over.

This bands performance reminded me of our discussion in class about the emergence of Rock as a genre of music directed towards white middle class youth with themes about partying, dating, and material possessions. While listening to the song Dedicated to Noah, I couldn’t help but think back to the movie we began watching in class about the music industry focusing on the youth in recent times. I’m assuming by the age of the performers and the content of the song Noah was a young man who had typical 20 year old issues and couldn’t bear the weight of having a mediocre job and no money. The song was relatable however it lacked heartfelt emotions.

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