Deafness...But Not Mine

I rocked my last official show with the Kelsey Miles Band (KMB) on Saturday night at the Lazy Oaf rock club on the far east side of Madison.

It was musically super tight I thought, with the exception of the random guy who jumped on the drums to noodle during one of the set breaks. We had some nice jams and so I ended on a proverbial "good note" with KMB. But I feel a need to apologize to any audience members whose eardrums bled. A few people told me the volume was way too loud for the small venue, even with earplugs in, and they had to scream to converse with their friends. Sorry. I wasn't in charge of running the sound,* but I know it's never fun when the awesomeness of an otherwise good band is lost in a cacophanous barrage of distortion that mashes all the musical nuances into a petrified, dessicated phallus of gorilla feces, which is then jammed forcefully and repeatedly into your ear canal. I can only surmise that the rest of the band's goal was to use volume to crush any distractions that might compete with the band's sheer rocking power, such as talking, but I think that was a mistake, so apologies to you, audience, for what it is worth in retrospect. I tried to keep my own volume reduced, which wasn't too hard since someone had turned my vocal microphone down to an inaudible level on the mixing board. Not that the vocal harmonies would have been appreciated through the jet engine roar of the rest of the mix...

It's like if a rock band plays in the forest of a remote Norwegian fjord and there is no one there to hear...

...well, actually someone would probably hear this band because it was just too goddam loud. It's a shame when perfectly good rocking is wasted like that. My rule of thumb is always to keep the volume below that which my mom can comfortably tolerate. At those levels, the contrapuntal nuances of the various musical compositions can be discerned.

But whatever...it's in the past.

*Note: I actually make a point of staying away from management of sound and lights at shows, because I recognize the value of leaving this to trained professionals. Many of my musical contemporaries try to cut costs by doing this stuff themselves, but it's rarely a benefit in the final analysis. My preference is to always hire pro sound and lights for shows, if the venue doesn't provide it, to ensure it is done properly, even if this has an added cost. I'd much rather put on a fantastic show than a mediocre one, even if it means losing some of my own performance fee to this kind of essential overhead. That being said, bands should keep a budget and not play shows that they can't afford.

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