Security Update

Las Vegas sure knows how to police its gaming rooms—surveillance cameras, security guards, pit bosses, etc. For crying out loud, you couldn’t toss a cigarette without a scantly dressed waitress snagging it before it hit the carpet. If only the Las Vegas Review Journal followed the casinos’ lead. In fact, all they really needed to prevent this was a senile octogenarian on an AutoGo 500 with a can of mace. Instead, I have to make fun of an anonymous hack.

Now granted, the Las Vegas “classical” music scene is parched, as it were. And I don’t expect their columnists to be Rhodes Scholars. However, a little common sense, or an internet connection, could have prevented Anonymous from shooting “classical” music four times in the chest and then burying it in an unmarked grave on the far side of Lake Mead.

Guitar series more than classical music

That’s not so Colt45-ish, even though the concert series is titled, “Classical Guitar Series.” But I suppose Anonymous will tell us what guitarist Jason Vieux did to make it more than classical.

The first half of the program includes a three-movement composition by J.S. Bach,

Bang! Uh-huh, classical. Click here.

plus Francisco Tarrega’s “Capriccio Arabe,”

Bang! More classical, though Spanish. If you don’t believe me, click here.

The concert’s first act concludes with a three-movement work by Cuban guitarist, composer and conductor Leo Brouwer.

Yep. Bang! Classical. Click here. A weird pattern is emerging, though.

And the second act?

By the way, I like how Anonymous has turned his halves into acts. It’s as if Anonymous is a jazz musician posing, unsuccessfully, as a “classical” critic who just can’t help using “gig lingo.” That cat can dig.

And the second act? That’s reserved for a suite of baroque dances Vieux has arranged, based on tunes [not melodies, or motifs, themes? Ed.] by jazz guitarist Pat Metheny.

Bang! Baroque dances.

The point I would like to make is that all of these pieces are “classical,” just with varying influences. We’ve all seen this before—fusion. It can be fun, interesting and cool. But, it is in this light that the title becomes derogatory.

Because this isn’t a review (it’s a preview), the author is trying to entice Las Vegans to go see this neat concert. But how does Anonymous go about doing this? By emphasizing how not-classical it is.

He goes on to say a little about Jason Vieux.

Viuex... grew up listening to his father’s jazz records, along with his mother’s soul and Beatles albums.

In other words, Jason is so not classical.

Eventually, Vieux attended the Cleveland Institute of Music..., venturing beyond his classical training to explore improvisation.

Emphasis mine. Anonymous again attempts to imply that Vieux is beyond classical, as if improvisation is definitely not something classical musicians do. To the contrary, improvisation has thrived in “classical” music for centuries, which makes Anonymous’ statement absurdly ignorant.

Here’s the crux of Anonymous’ preview: You should go to this concert of classical music, because it’s not really classical. In fact, the performer is beyond classical; he likes jazz and the Beatles, like you and me. Hence the title: Guitar series more than classical music. It’s hyper-classical, which makes it not classical; it’s better than classical.

It’s this sort of subtle sublimation and backhanded musical-moral bigotry that really ticks me off.

Okay. Something fun: click here; the L.A. Guitar Quartet.


Anonymous said...

Whatever the blog-reading equivalent of standing on the sidelines jumping up and down while your favorite football team marches down the feild to score the winnging touchdown at the Superbowl is, I'm doing it. I couldn't agree more, and this kind of lazy, uninformed writing pisses me off handily.

It's akin to that Hollywood movie trope about the classical musician (always Julliard trained, because obviously no other music schools exist)that toils until s/he befriends some hip rocker/rapper/etc. to free her/him from the tyranny of the printed page (and subtextually, the horrible power of the canon). Ugh.