Friday, July 20, 2007

Unyielding Commissioning Understands

Coming up only to show you wrong. San Diego blogger Rosemary took in a Band of Horses show the other night and lead singer Ben Bridwell ended up giving her the finger during their hit song, Funeral. You can see the video here:

In her posting about the incident, Rosemary is upset. No one wants to get the finger, especially from a band you adore and have been looking forward to seeing for over a year. Bridwell later apologized to the audience, but upon receiving said finger, Rosemary bolted from the club, perhaps justifiably furious. In her post, she shares the fact that she did not watch the opening acts (a pet peeve of mine - it seems no one wants to give openers any respect nor learn about new acts these days). She also makes it clear that she pushed her way to the front, in part so she could film the performance.

This creates a quandary regarding just who Rosemary is. Either she's a fan or she's a journalist (i.e. blogger). If you're a fan, then why would you want to spend one of your favorite songs looking through a viewfinder and trying your best to keep your camera steady? If Bridwell looked down to see one of his fans was paying more attention to their shot than his performance, particularly someone who has pushed their way front and center, perhaps he has the right to be offended. But if she is a fan, and this is how she chooses to experience the show, then why should Bridwell be put off by that? She has the right to be offended as well.

However, if she is filming from the perspective of a blogger/journalist who wants to put this up on Youtube and be part of the online indie-rock community, then fleeing after receiving the finger is unacceptable. Journalists stick their necks out all the time and deal with the consequences involved with getting the footage/interview/experience they need to tell a good story.

In her post, I feel like she's trying to straddle both sides of that line. It reads as though she had her "blogger hat" on - at least during Funeral, in which case she had no right to take offense. I still sympathize. No one wants one of their favorite bands to come down on them. But when you chose to film the performance, you are no longer just a fan. I recently started bringing a camera to concerts so that there would be some visuals to go along with my reviews. I often feel terribly guilty about pulling out the camera and blocking everyone's view. If the quality of my pictures appears less than ideal, it's because I always take a few and then put the camera away for the rest of the set.

Bridwell addressed the incident in greater detail in an interview with Pitchfork. I totally understand where he's coming from, and he seems justified in his irritation with this trend. Feel free to judge for yourself. I haven't taken video at concerts for the very reasons he states. I'd rather watch the show with my eyes than my camera. (Hat tip: Brooklyn Vegan)

Son of Mustang Ford on the road again. Adam Franklin is on a solo tour supporting his new album, Bolts of Melody. It's his first release since a 2003 album that Toshack Highway split with Sianspheric. If you're unaware of Franklin, he was the frontman for hard-luck shoegazer band Swervedriver. I don't think he's been in town since a 2002 show at Schubas where he played an acoustic set at which my brother and I asked him to play "Last Train to Satansville." He immediately did. After the show my friend Dave (who is borderline in love with Franklin) and I spoke to him for about fifteen minutes. He seemed somewhat exhausted by the music business and neither of us were surprised that he took some time off. Bolts of Melody is somewhere between his two previous outfits. The first song, "Seize the Day" previously appeared on a Toshack Highway EP, but has more of that Swervedriver fuzz included this time around. He'll be at the Empty Bottle on 10/18. I recommend going.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Is everyone supposed to friends now?

Imagine if this was the Sex Pistols back in the glory days (or, you name the punk rawkin' act of yesteryear)! Audience would get spit on and/or worse and no one had to give interviews or apologize for shit. I guess those days are gone. I think the band are the biggest wusses here. I'm the last guy to be a macho dickhead but it seems that the kids need to loosen up. Waaaayy up..