As I noted recently, comics after Jonathan Winters are off my screen. [Male ones, anyway, I know, if anything, even less about female stand-ups, but don’t have the same specific objections to them.] Nobody’s ever accused me of being humorless, so I don’t feel bad about this outlook at all. What surprises me is how much reinforcement my attitude has gotten over the years. I thought The Sophisticates was a huge indictment of all the stand-up society. When I first moved to Boston in the late ’70s, comedy clubs were undergoing quite the boom. So I went to a show, I don’t remember who. I found the atmosphere relentlessly icky. Making members of the audience uncomfortable and encouraging those who were yukking it up to look down on them was a clear component of the act. It was a divisive collective experience the opposite of what I enjoyed about music performances. The final conclusion I came to is that far too many comedians are like what I consider the utter worst kind of fiction writer — those who create feuds and disasters in their own life to use as raw material.
I attended this show. I was absolutely obsessed with both bands and thought, if anything, the B-52’s stole the spotlight. (Though I was reduced to quivering atoms by the end of the evening.) I launched a furious campaign to review the second B-52’s album for the Boston Phoenix and it was as much pure pleasure to write as anything I had experienced up until then. Biggest surprise — a reminder how the earliest B-52’s were insanely stripped-down and full of punk-pop events at the same time.
My piece for the Arts Fuse. Yes, Corea is the lead photo (taken by my wife, who has done camera for all our Newport Jazz trips), but Halvorson is the star.
((And I must add that, between us all, if getting there and back is this much torment ever again, it will be the last Newport Jazz I attend. Awful.))
Weird article that proves the opposite of what it claims to. Or, as the old saying goes, “If all artists are successful, none of them is a success.”
Certainly a topic not written about often. And Acocella nails all the angles. Have to agree, also, that solo musician performance is the most stressful. No band, let alone orchestra, is going to have nervous attacks all at once. I did know that Glenn Gould claimed he was being a modern like fellow Canadian Marshall McLuhan. But strangely enough, I did not know about the Daniel Day-Lewis spasm.