Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Tuesday, December 13: Iron & Wine and Calexico.

People ask me a lot about the fans, and how they affect the players on the field. Most people say that a home crowd is a blessing, and usually it is. We got great fans in St. Louis, I'll tell you what. But take for example the participatory crowd "wave," where people stand and sit in unison.

When the crowd gets a good "wave" going around the stands, it's distracting. We get excited by the beauty of collective thinking. We're human. So when Mulder's on the mound, the pitch count's at 2-2 and all the sudden 50,000 people are participating in a wave, it's distracting for him. His heart starts pumping a little harder, and he tends to over-throw the ball. If you pay attention to successful waves and their affect on pitchers, you'll see a connection. More batters are walked during waves than during stillness. It is a fact.

Why am I talking about waves on Card Carrying Rocker, a rock blog?

Last night on a whim I decided to forego Krieger and Manzarek in SF and hit STL for some soft rock: Iron & Wine and Calexico at Mississippi Nights. The crowd had a detrimental effect on the concert. They kept shhhing and shushing every time a rumble of human voices arose. The shushes far outweighed the noise, and was more distracting to the bands than the noise itself.

Soft rock. What do we do about soft rock? Where do we put it? In a place like Mississippi Nights, crowds are have been Pavlov-ed into whooping it up. Whooping it up and Iron & Wine do not mix. Iron & Wine, despite having a full band, play quiet rock. They have nuance. Beer and nuance do not mix. Statistics have shown that the more beer a bar sells during a concert, the higher the decibal output. The higher the decibal output, the louder people have to talk, which raises the decibals, and so on and so forth. Then the band starts playing louder, and then what? Louder still.

I say we separate soft rock, which isn't really rock & roll, but simply gently ampified folk music. Put it in theaters or concert halls. Then the white-collars can enjoy their lite rock away from us, the real rockers.

Bob Dylan pulled a clever trick at his 1965 Manchester Hall concert -- the infamous "Judas!" show. As the rumbling and catcalling gave way to foot stomping and rabble-rousing, Dylan decided on a clever strategy. Between songs, he started mumbling really low. Quiet, almost a whisper. No one could hear what he was saying. He kept going, whisper whisper whisper. The crowd, confused, wanted to hear what he was saying. So they got quiet, and then quieter, until the room was a hush. Genius move on Dylan's part because it's counter-intuitive.

Now that's rock & roll.


Anonymous dusty_b said...

make my funk the P-Funk I want to get funked up. btw, funk you tony.

10:43 AM

Anonymous Ray Manzarek said...

cant believe you missed the fillmore gig last night, tones. we rocked that mother-jumper like mama cass in a fuckin' canoe built for two.

& you shoulda been there when i revved the organ intro to 'riders'. coulda heard a pin drop in that fuckin hall, baby, coulda heard a pin drop.

if your not busy, we're in boise this sat. nite!

1:39 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Iron and Wine at Mississippi Nights was a mistake. Sam's beard was the only thing I could see the entire night. It took up half the stage.

11:38 AM

Anonymous Scissors said...

Isn't it hard to hear the music with your mullet flaps over your ears?

11:42 AM

Anonymous Rubby Perez said...

Keep it real!

9:36 PM


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