My wife signed up for all sorts of really cool courses over the next few weekends. Some part of me, mentally still 25 or so, thought to myself "great! I'll go see some bands that would not interest her". Today, during lunch at that good new grilled fish place near my work, I read the local alternative paper, the Dallas Observer, to ascertain whether any cool concerts are in play. I found that at 8 p.m., in the city of Grand Prairie, somewhere between forty five minutes and an hour from here on the road to Fort Worth, a concert featuring Death Cab for Cutie and Franz Ferdinand will be held.
I rather like Franz Ferdinand, notwithstanding all the needless hype they experienced, because they share a trait with me--a deep respect for the work of a quirky band called Sparks. I also enjoy Death Cab for Cutie, whose songs typically have good lyrics, and I say that as one who never sees any episodes of "The O.C.". To me, both bands are excellent models of a modern major general pop experience--bands that, curiously could have released their records in 1984, when I was 25, and "fit in" the alternative scene (an odd time of good bands and concert halls filled with clove cigarette smoke).
Yet my non-25-ness comes out these days when I ponder attending a concert I would probably enjoy. When I was 25, some 21 years ago, I have no doubt but that I would attend the concert. But now, I got to the website for the venue, and find that:
a. a ticket is 30 dollars;
b. the service charge for the ticket is 7 dollars and change; and
c. parking at the venue is 12 dollars.
I must admit that I spend 49 dollars with some shameful abandon on a number of things, so the issue is not entirely economic, but the notion of driving a goodish way to an 8 p.m. concert, hearing three bands, not to mention hearing my ears ring, getting home around midnight, and dealing with the sheer crowdness of it all somehow strikes me as a curious way to spend my evening--particularly when my dogs Beatrice and Teddy would then be home alone all evening.
Perhaps my thinking is colored by the fact that I am listening to a free set of recordings by fellow Creative Commons artist Zikweb, whose "free to download albums" have been streaming from my computer as I get a world of things accomplished today. I had done a remix of one of his songs this week, turning a great chilled melodic instrumental into a gaping chasm of dark ambience and discordant random piano keys, through creative use of my sampler. Perhaps, also, I have in mind that a new softsynth costs less than 49 dollars,and also that the new recording softstudio I have my eye upon is only 70 dollars, within the cost of a half a dry cleaning bundle of those fifty dollar admissions. Perhaps I even realize I could get the latest CD by each band for 30 or so. For that matter, I may go to a live show of some sort, but perhaps it will be by a local folkie, for much less money, involving much less hassle.
But perhaps, just perhaps, I'm 46. That idea does not frighten me. I usually rather revel in it. But I note it here, as a kind of surrogate for a memory, as to why I do not go to many live shows anymore.