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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Being Married Isn't Jail/The Death of the Encore

Whatever guy complains or thinks that being married is like prison is either:
A. A person who has invested 0 dollars in his wife's trust account or an untrustworthy person to begin with,
B. Married to an untrusting woman who is either paranoid, controlling, mean, or evil, or
C. Simply having deep-level communication problems that could be solved rather easily.
Last night my wife of 2.5 years was perfectly fine with letting me go to the Spanish Moon to see These Arms Are Snakes, getting home at 2 am, where she was sound asleep because:
A. After 2.5 years of marriage my wife knows that I will not try to pick up another woman, do drugs, get drunk and drive, or do something else incredibly stupid because I have given her innumerable reasons to trust me, and she knows I will even change the channel when a Girls Gone Wild Commercial comes on when I think she is sleeping in the next room.
B. My wife loves me, loves God, wants me to be happy and knows that my desire for her to be happy is equal to hers.
C. I don't keep secrets from my wife. I am fairly certain she does not keep secrets from me. She knows that with me what you see and hear is what you get. I don't put on heirs and certainly don't care what people think about me (much to the either joy or lament of my friends and loved ones).
Anyway, I went to this show last night and something happened to me for the second time in two months. The headline band played a decent but short show. The band said they had one song left, played it, left the stage, leaving the house lights off and their instruments on the stage. Crowd cheers, leaves immediately. Instruments stay on the stage. House lights stay off. No one goes up to the stage to tear the instruments down, but hardly anyone yells encore because 90% of the crowd has hurried out and the remaining 10% of the crowd is perplexed about what is going on and why everyone else appears to have never been to a show before. House crew shrugs confusedly, wanders to the stage, pulls the instruments off, house lights come on. In the first case the band was The Appleseed Cast, whose fans, myself included, are so obsessive about their music to the degree that we found them, pulled them back onto the stage and forced them to play the two-song encore we had seen on their setlist that moronic attenders stole the moment the last note was played. The Appleseed Cast obliged, surprised and pleased that after three years off the road, SOME people still wanted to hear them play their awesome music, even though they were a little unsure what songs they were supposed to be playing because their setlist was currently on the way to some moron's stash.
The crowd last night was not that way. The majority were apparently hipster wankers, which leads into my question:
Is the current generation too cool for an encore? Must they put on heirs of coolness so intensely they cannot acknowledge their desire to hear another song? Maybe this MySpace/IPhone generation have such a short attention span that 40 minutes is enough of doing anything, and now it is time to do something else, like go outside, pull up Youtube videos on their phones of live performances of the band they just watched and give that a quick go before moving on to something else, while the band, the actual living, breathing, singing, instrument playing band sits in their dressing room wondering why no one cares anymore. Maybe the band enjoys not having to put in the extra effort anymore?
I've been going to shows regularly since I could get a ride to them, some huge well-known bands, some small but underrated, some just plain bad, and this phenomenon is unique to this year. I do not like it. If this is the future of our culture, the future looks pretty bleak.


John T. Meche III said...

I think that there is another option for the guy who complains about marriage being a prison...he needs to grow up! I wanted to insert a choice word there, but the internet being seemingly immortal, I'll leave it. There is something in our culture that pushes adulthood back to approximately age 26. Even after 26, men are viewed as just grown up boys playing with more expensive toys. (See any sitcom ever. The wife is responsible. The man is a child.) America is greatly in need of recovering its vision of manhood, and I don't mean macho bravado (Tim the Toolman Taylor -the most ironic character ever). I mean leadership in the home.

The lack of the encore may be due to a cultural notion that it is inauthentic. Since I'm on a sitcom kick, let's use that as an example. After a few decades of watching them you realize that every sitcom is the same show. Plots just get recycled over and over again with a different cast. Maybe the audience knows that it is supposed to yell for an encore, but because it is an inauthentic thing for them (making them feel like characters in a recycled sitcom plot) rather than real people going to a real concert really desiring to hear more music, they fail to yell for the encore. Or I could be wrong...

John T. Meche III said...

What!? A baby!? When is the due date?

John T. Meche III said...

Get this book.