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22 July 2009

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I really like that one too. <3 :)

Jenn

There are two adorable men. Alan has good genes to go with his good jeans. ;)

This is great, thanks! Thanks for the teevee vid clips last time too. Alan makes a great rep for Newfoundlanders. MP in about 20 years, ya think?

Hey,

Just catching up on everything. Work is double hectic, family is keeping me running . Looking forward to seeing you in September, however I don't believe I'll be going to Rhode Island on the Sunday after the Buffalo show :( Sorry. I hope everything is going well on your end and hope to talk to you soon about everything. Take care and hugs.
Michael.

Alan oughta take his father out on the road with him for a tour. Tehy're really good together.


2 quick questions for ya. Do ya really think the beard will be gone when Alan goes back to GBS (boo hoo hoo if so) and what do you think about house concerts generally speaking? I was considering going to one but the more I think about it, it sorta squidges me out. Any input?

Hello, TeeGee. I love your idea of a Doyle & Doyle tour. So much charm and talent on one stage - an absolute winner for sure. Be sure to bring two really bright spotlights. Actually, they could bring the whole family along...there's a wealth of talent to be found there.

Yes, I do think the lovely beard will be gone, though I'll still hope I'm wrong till proved otherwise. Maybe he'll keep the deadly sexy soul patch though.

It's rather difficult, and probably quite unfair, to generalise overmuch about house concerts. As is the case with most things in life, the truth is probably spread out across a spectrum of experience. I'd think the tone and atmosphere of any such event would be largely dependent on the makeup of the people in attendance, which goes back to what kind of people it is whose house in which the concert is taking place, as well as to how those people go about filling up their available seats.

I've only been to a handful of house concerts, and while I personally didn't really enjoy any of them very much, I have indeed seen a difference in how things were handled. One couple I know has a group of musically savvy and socially sophisticated friends who consistently come to their house concerts because they are genuinely in search of new music experiences - and, of course, they want to feel all clique-ish and insider-y and uber cool because of the performance intimacy...there's no sense pretending that this isn't a major appeal of house concerts in the first place.

But these folks (most of them, at least) have the emotional maturity and social grace not to turn the event into a crass fandom feeding-frenzy; there's no pressure put on the artists to "hang with" the audience members before or after the performance, no gauche scramble for the trophy-photo-taking, no fake socialising...and no presumption of "friendship" or false-familiarity insiderdom when they next see the same artists perform at any other venues. This particular group of people have the not-so-common sense to realise that when the other person is getting paid to be there, that isn't socialising...it's work.

All in all, that group is about the best I've seen of the house-concert experience. Other times I've gone to house concerts have been much less appealing. That fan feeding-frenzy and the expectation put on the artists to pretend to be buddies with people who pay for just that accesss and opportunity, with any interest in music coming in a distant second...well, those kind of times left me feeling deeply ashamed to have been any part of the thing in the first place. It's at its worst when it's painfully clear the artist is having to make quite the effort to get through the "social" part of the job, with the demanding customers either not noticing or not caring so long as they get what they came - and paid - for.

Speaking only for myself, I tend to avoid house concerts altogether now, even the ones likely to have a classy and polite audience. I can never get away from that feeling of general sympathy/empathy for the artists, mostly because I don't exactly believe many artists see playing house concerts as their ultimate performance goal.

Then again, I always feel sorry for those who have to play for the drunken fools in pubs too. Maybe house concerts are a better gig than pub gigs are, though house concerts do tend to attract more of the type who are in it to get their own little piece of performers (to get "something more" than "somebody else" got), especially the ones who think their money will surely buy them their way into Insider Intimacy, an attitude I have grown thoroughly disgusted with over the past years. Crass greed vs. inebriated stupidty...hmmm...if forced to choose, I'd have to go with the latter, I suppose, though there's likely more potential career advancement in the former. Better not to be so forced, though that's all too often a luxury the artist lacks.

But that's just me; my perspective is permanently impacted by all the needy, greedy, grabby, abusive, self-absorbed shit I have seen take place for years now. There's no reason you have to feel that same way; if everyone felt the way I do about it, the artists who really need house-concerts $$$s to keep making music would all go under.

If there is someone whose music you want to hear who is playing at a house concert nearby, go and see for yourself what you think about it all, but go with your eyes open to how those around you are treating the artist who is performing there. If there are people who are using the event to try to make themselves feel a bit less obscure by purchasing "intimate" access to someone "famous," there's no reason why you have to be any part of that selfish shit. Go and enjoy the music, contribute a share of the money the artist needs to keep doing what he or she does, say a polite "thank you" when it's done and have yourself a good time. If you do go, I'd like to know what you think about the experience.

Michael, thanks for the update. I am just now getting busy with planning out the August/September travel (I have thoroughly enjoyed the break from travel-planning, even though I have even-more-thoroughly missed the point and purpose of that travel) and should have some actual details soon.

I'm really glad we'll be seeing you in Clayton and Buffalo; don't worry about Rhode Island - that's a long haul and it would have been a shitty drive for you there and then back again the next day. We have to head back that way anyway to fly to our respective homes on Monday, so we'll find our own way there.

I'm hoping you're still on for a few of the October shows too. Have not even gotten near planning out any details for those yet. I really have been enjoying that part of this break.

I think Alan would make an excellent MP, Kris, and in fewer than 20 years, should he ever feel so inclined. His is an important and an articulate voice for Newfoundland. Now I am getting that goofy "I am so proud of him" grin, predictably so.

Lisa, Alan's genes/jeans are impeccable. Always. Jenn, we are in complete agreement too.

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