austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

What would you think if I sang out of tune?

And in other cultural experiences: there was a (free) concert in the park near bunny_hugger's parents, featuring one of the leading Beatles tribute bands of the south-central Michigan area. I was up for it, sure. I'm fairly sure I've been to Garden State Arts Center-hosted Beatles tribute bands, but, heck, it's a free concert. It was also a free concert with those wonderful tiny cups of ice cream and tongue-depressor ``spoons'' given out, so, good for the town there. It was also held just off campus, where a lot of students were having their orientation weekend, thus throwing way off the host's calculations in finding who'd come from the farthest away (to get a couple free hot dogs). The non-student farthest-away was from Kalamazoo, and it seems like there should be a more specific reason for someone driving 140 (or whatever) miles to attend a Beatles tribute band.

The lead-up to the show was a lot of experimentation with the sound levels, and it seemed briefly they might never get the mix just right. Between songs for the first half-hour or so they would have mutterings about ``turn the guitars down 15 percent ... turn George up ten percent ... turn Ringo's mike off entirely and don't tell him''. I exaggerate the last point, but do note that the band --- dressed in the Early Beatles look of suit and mop --- broke from their selection of Exclusively Early Beatles tunes (things that the actual Beatles might have played in concert) for ``With A Little Help From My Friends'' to give their Ringo anything he could actually sing. (They also did ``Hey Jude'' because that's required by law or something.)

There's no fault to be taken with their instrument playing. The singing was off just enough that bunny_hugger was distracted trying to figure out whether it was Paul or George that was getting it wrong. (I'm not sure either, but, I noticed too.) The performers tried to be reasonably in character for 60s Beatles who happen to be in 2012 Michigan, not breaking accent, tossing off a couple jokes about a nearby town and so. They did slip, apparently, in the pronunciation of ``Michigan'', though. In my and in bunny_hugger's experience British (or Singaporean) accents pronounce ``Michigan'' with a hard ``ch'', as ``Mitch-igan''. Possibly the band didn't know that, or possibly they found people were too confused by it. (Possibly, too, the Beatles learned early on that's not how Americans say ``Michigan'' and corrected themselves. Finding out would require trying, though.)

Anyway, we had a fine time, and they got the sound mix levels worked out by the end. A couple of people, mostly little kids, got up and danced in the abundant available space. And bunny_hugger supported the band's existence in the odd corner of the music industry by buying official drumsticks signed by their imitation Ringo from the merchandise-guy/sound-person.

Trivia: Beryllium is sweet, in extremely minute doses. Source: The Disappearing Spoon, Sam Kean.

Currently Reading: Berlin Embassy, William Russell. If Russell's gossip-gathering sources are accurate, Hitler had a favorite hillbilly song. I'm going to need time to process that. It's like hearing Stalin had a favorite Three Stooge.

PS: Why Someone Should Take That Deal, or, agreeing with chefmongoose's answer given to my previous post's question. For now. Also, just how I'd go about simplifying a calculation so I could do it in my head.


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