Mas N' Steel Concert | 11/30/04
It's too bad I'm so tired because I have so many things to write about that I could make today's entry about forty pages long. I guess I'll start with today's events. Work sucked. Moving on, I went to the Fall 2004 Mas N' Steel concert tonight. I guess I should start with the good points. First, Gamelan was incredible. Just amazing. I admit that in the past they were pretty tedious but tonight, they just had "it". As for Mas, well, the way I've been describing it has been something like this. Let's say you're dating this hot girl who is really cool. After a while you decide to break up. A year later you see her and she's really let herself go AND she's dating some buttlick. You remember all the good times you had but you could never go back. To see Matt Flynn going through the motions of dancing was one of the saddest things I've ever seen. Now he's a guy who loves music. Really loves it and his energy is so contagious that you can't help but get into it with him. So when I saw him kind of faking it it really made me sad. Jeff talked for way too long and I knew it was going to suck when he footnoted that most of the group was new and still learning. His solo was pretty lousy. Technically it was showy. He can play a lot faster than I can and mostly likely more accurately. The difference I guess is that my ears are awesome. And even if they weren't awesome, I could at least tell if I was on the right chord. When he tried to play melodically it literally caused my stomach to tighten. How can you finish a MM and go on to a Ph. D and be that oblivious to how music works? I digress--Samuel Barber most likely rolled over in his grave with the arrangement of Adagio for Strings (Pan). The lower pans' rolls were very smooth, VERY smooth and that impressed me as well as the conducting debut by undergrad David Jackson. The leads, though, were atrocious. Jeff stuck out really badly and the smoothness of the piece was completely ruined. Astrud was fine, saved by a flute solo and (gasp) a very nice melodic solo by Chris but the two generic soca pieces were snoozers with the energy of a sleeping Chompy. I guess that was my biggest complaint. There was no energy at all. Either as a consequence of that or the cause was that there was no groove. Nothing synched up at all--ever. I wish I had been given the chance to direct them this year. Things certainly would have been different.
After the concert I hung out with Matt (and briefly) Michael. We rehashed the good times and drank some beers. Tomorrow I'll start with the backlog of entries from my vacation. Here's a nice quote to whet your appetite: "Hey Big Tex, I poked 'em all."