Saturday, May 20, 2006

Mayfest, Tony Romanello Rocks and the Popularity of the Stupid and the Absurd in Today's Youth

Saturday, May 20th

Fae and I attended Mayfest this evening with one goal in mind, and that was to see Tony Romanello perform for the first time since the break up of the original band. Tony also performed last night at Mercury Lounge, but we had to miss that show. Tony is this amazing cat, and seeing him on stage again was incredible. The line-up included a new rhythm section, Phillip Zoellner on Keys, and Andy Callis returning to rhythm guitar! Aside from the unbearable swelter of the Summer upon us, we had a great time!

Mayfest appeared to be in different form. An event that is supposedly a forum of art and community, lacked local artists for years. Slowly, they incorporated more local music acts, still, local artists were void from the exhibition. I was glad to hear that my good friend Neil Cluck had a tent on display. I guess they finally listened.

I discovered why art suffers in Tulsa. This evening, I discovered why. Tony is and always has been an artist, amazing musician with both skill and soul, a great person and a performer. Yet the crowds stayed in their seats.

The next band set-up on stage, two guys with microphones and one guy on Keys...they began their set, and before they even began, a crowd was forming near the stage, a crowd of modern "hip" youth types. The band began...imagine bad karaoke, imagine bastardized Atari new wave nerd, let's not imagine any further, this band sucked! The vocals were horrible, they were singing over melodies that were very familiar, it was unoriginal, absurd and stupid. Jumpsuits and hats with fuzzy animals, musical orchestration so blinding simple that the keyboardist just stood there...this is what made this band! The sad part? The crowd continued to grow. The so-called "hip" youth of the moment were dancing away like they had found their soul-touching musical messiahs, and they paid reverence to virtual pseudomusical idiots that reeked of their lack of talent. For those of you who have the audacity to tell me that they are tapping into that notion of knowing the audience or knowing the market, let me kindly remind you of Britney Spears and the other untalented musical insults that are marketable. The formula is this: stupid gimmick + regurgitated danceable 4/4 time beat + tapping into an older or retro sound and/or musical style = dozens, if not hundreds of ignorant Tulsa teens dancing to their ridiculous concept of "cool".

The talented and rich of heart and soul are passed by the trend of established mindlessness. Tony Romanello deserved the respect of a formidable audience...only, none was to be found.


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