Tuesday, March 27, 2012
An old man vents.
But this is not my usual philippic about awards shows.
It's about a bigger problem:
Now, I'll admit from the outset that I could give a rat's ass about Lady Gaga or Amy Winehouse or nearly any other contemporary talent. It's nothing against their contemporaryness. It's just that my tastes--while broad and eclectic, run in different areas. My prerogative.
But tonight the "entertainment" at the awards show was a quartet called "The Midtown Men" whose claim to fame is that they were in the original cast of the "smash Broadway hit" Jersey Boys. So their entertainment consisted of re-warmings of songs from the 50s and 60s, from Frankie Valli to the Mamas and Papas.
I've spent some time thinking about this, I've spent time listening to the originals of the songs the Midtown Men imitated. One thing was clear: You could actually hear the words. And the melody. They were both important. Just not at the same time.
Listen to the Beatles. You can actually hear their poetry.
And Simon and Garfunkel.
And scores of others.
Much of what I hear, see and read now gets the mix all wrong. Everything is turned up an extra notch so you can hear it. It's all too loud. Too shrill. Too insistent. Further, there is no hierarchy. Everything, every voice, every instrument, every riff is of equal importance. It becomes a melange of all colors...black.
It's like when a client asks you to bold "the important words, phrases or sentences" in a piece of copy. Before long, so many words are bolded, the regular type stands out.
Maybe this is just the venting of an old man who doesn't understand what "the kids today are listening to."
Guilty as charged.
However, that doesn't change what I believe.
When everything is turned up to 11, you can't hear anything.
Posted by George Tannenbaum at 10:38 PM