Tuesday, July 26, 2011
What is good taste in music anyway?
Sunday night Mike & I went to Falls Fest, a little annual street festival in our village of Menomonee Falls. When we got there, we saw a nine-piece "show band" playing in the biggest tent. Four of the players were on horns, doing the exact horn-man dance you used to see musicians doing in bands like Sam and Dave's back in the Sixties. These guys were so energetic in their dancing that I wondered how they still had breath left over to blow their horns. Oh yeah, two of them looked young enough to be in high school. Youth helps.
All the musicians wore shorts and tee shirts, except for the female singer - surprise, surprise. She looked foxy. I did miss the matching outfits we used to see in the old soul groups - they were dressed to impress.
I'd give you more description of the band, but I couldn't get close enough for a really good look. They were LOUD. I was mesmerized by the horn dancers, though, so kept watching from a distance.
They played some really excellent blues and soul music from the old days. I asked Mike, "How do these young kids even know those tunes?"
Finally our ears adjusted enough to venture into the very back of the tent. We were warmed up for dancing. They played great versions of "At Last" as done by Etta James, "Play that Funky Music White Boy," "Brown Eyed Girl," and lots more.
And then the music died. They followed all their fine rhythm and blue-eyed soul with "Proud Mary," "Dancing Queen," (or something really disco like that) and (for their finale), "Sweet Caroline."
Really! What were they thinking? Mike and I gamely danced, but I was horrified.
* We've all heard "Proud Mary" more times than we ever need to again.
* Disco? Soul-less.
* And Neil Diamond? I have no words.
I realize that I'm a music snob, and this experience made me think about musical taste. How do you define good musical taste? I'm not naming this young band because I don't want to be mean and I do believe that LIVE MUSIC ARE BETTER!... However, I want to understand how this band had the good taste to choose brilliant tunes from the 1940s on up, and then include such pap at the end.
What is good taste in music, anyway?