Last night I took part in the high school ritual known as the “Talent Show.” It was largely against my will; the jazz band was asked to play, so, of course, we had to. I was stuck waiting for the “dress rehearsal,” then I had to wait until 7 till the show started, and we didn’t play till about 8. Enough of my bitching.
First off, although the gig was called a talent show, it was really a fundraiser. It didn’t really matter if you had an ounce of talent. If they thought people would come to see you pretend to make music, you’re in. While yeah, there are some kids who actually are good, most of it, as far as I could tell, was kids singing terrible pop tunes, accompanied by some backing track, who have little to no stage presence. Yeah “talent.”
It might as well have been a rock concert the way people were talking in the audience. While the jazz band was playing, and yes, I’m well aware that the youth of today are rather un-stimulated by any kind of “art music” (which is bull), it seemed as if about only 1/3 of the crowd was paying attention. I could audibly hear the murmur while we were playing some standards. No respect whatsoever (which is more bull. Jesus, kids these days). I mean at least pretend right?
My band director was saying that he played in his high school’s “talent show.” He and a few of his bros played actual music, like Nirvana. Now kids are doing the Harlem Shake (yes, I’m serious) and singing stupid pop tunes, that have less than zero musical value, and will be forgotten in about 2 years because that is the way things work. It really frustrates me when I go to things like these and dances and other social type functions (and I’ll be blunt, these few and far between), and all I hear is thumping bump and grind “music.” There is some good dance music out there, and there are some great slow ballad stuff from ye olde tymes. But no, the kids like their music like any other part of their lives, fast, short, and requiring the use of 1 or 2 brain cells. Come on. I can only hope it will be better at college.
I mentioned the Harlem Shake earlier. I’ll just throw my two cents in on that: It’s shocking the first time, because you don’t expect it, after that, it is a unsettling combination between funny and depressing that this is an actual craze.