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My most recent single release - "My True North" - is now available on Bandcamp. Open my profile and click on "audio clip".

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Any Other Crabby Listeners Out There?

Few things annoy me as predictably as public speakers and musicians who rely on their charm and/or notoriety to "wing it". Unless asked to speak or play extemporaneously, what excuse does someone have to not prepare or rehearse?

Not long ago, I watched yet another arrogant, under-prepared individual try to bluster his way through a fifteen minute speech. He didn't appear to be working from notes. But even if he was, his remarks had no discernible theme - certainly not one related to the event - the speech had no flow, the whole debacle demonstrated no respect for his audience. Sitting there, I was reminded of a Kinks concert from many years ago. Each time those clowns flubbed a song - or depended on the audience to fill in a lyric they didn't take the time to memorize - I got more incensed. I paid money for this? Despite loving their music at the time, I never bought another Kinks record.

I'm not expecting perfection. Seams show, mistakes are human, and I actually don't enjoy speeches or
performances so buttoned up they strike me as sterile. And it's also possible my crankiness about off-the-cuff performances is connected to my own propensity for being hyper-prepared. But it seems to me there is a subtext to the sloppiness these improvisers foist on us, the listeners - "You are not important enough that I would spend time preparing or rehearsing."


  1. Sounds like Christmas Eve. Some people clearly prepare in an attempt to do their best and entertain their family. Others don't mind practicing with their family watching.

    1. Anonymous; Interesting observation. I'm inclined to cut my family slack; they can "practice" all they like, while I'm watching or not. Anyone who is "entertaining me" in a purely social situation like that is, for me, held to a different standard than a public speaker or musician being paid for what they do. Thanks for commenting.