Wednesday, October 07, 2009

the thom yorke solo show at the orpheum sunday night is still resonating for me. it was a really exciting event to be a part of. if i had to choose only one criticism of our current musical climate it would be that there doesnt seem to be alot of special musical events anymore. bands are either doing the verizon-something-or-other-theater or they are doing some contrived performance, in some contrived space, in some forced attempt at being different or unusual. these events often end up so 'artistic' that it seems more like marketing. in contrast, the orpheum show was a timeless display of the power of a really great musical experience. there was an electricity to the darkness before the band came out. we were then witness to a really pure experience of music. music. it was about the intrinsic substance of bands and musicianship. there was obvious great virtuosity but was not jammy, showy or particularly well polished; mistakes were made and unfinished song sketches were performed by yorke with just vocal and guitar or vocal and piano. a friend put it well saying that it was an unusual combination of being a really artistic evening without being at all pretentious.

it was a really impressive lineup of musicians. for purposes of full disclosure i must admit that flea is my friend and i am admittedly biased in favor of him but still...he is such an amazing player now. he continues to inspire me to become a better musician. but everyone on stage was an accomplished musician. some famous, some not. in an age when people are mixing and matching different celebrities for marketing reasons, or to combine catalogs, it was really nice to see a 'supergroup' built by shared virtuosity and musicianship.

if a listing music industry wants a new generation to care about supporting a music industry. create musical experiences that deserve their support. these evenings are timeless, transcending not only time, but also current musical styles and taste. i know. i saw flipper club lingerie and x at the whisky-a-go-go over two decades ago. i will now add thom yorke at the orpheum amongst all the others on that list.