Wednesday, September 14, 2005

too many choices is no choice at all

as nuvo points out, there is way too much shit going on in indy this weekend. why can't event organizers look at the calendar beforehand and say "oh, everything in the whole damn world is already happening that weekend, so maybe i should pick some other time"? honestly, on an average weekend i feel lucky if i can find some event that i'm interested in attending (not that i actually end up going much of the time), so why not space out big events between the other 51 weeks of the year? despite impressions, this town really does have a decent amount of culture, so why have it all occur on the same weekend when nobody could possibly see it all?

the whole first half of september seems to be that way. naturally there was lots of stuff happening on labor day weekend, but there were too many conflicting events last weekend, too. last weekend we had to choose between three "big" events—the midwest electronic music festival, the greek festival at holy trinity greek church, and the penrod art fair at the indianapolis museum of art—and on top of that, virago & i also wanted to see jason webley at the melody inn. because there just wasn't enough time to do all those things even if we had the energy and motivation, we ended up going to MEMS on friday and the greek fest on saturday, skipping penrod and jason webley.

this coming weekend is even more absurdly overbooked: there's masterpiece in a day, oranje, the irish fest, and the french market at st joan of arc (the catholic parish, a brisk walk from my house, where my parents still attend). and that's not all... nuvo also mentions "fiesta" and "tim and avi's salvage fest", two events i've never even heard of, perhaps because there is always way too much shit happening on the second weekend after labor day.

this is complicated by the fact that bobby vomit & i long ago agreed to perform at dj empirical's birthday bash in cincinnati on the 17th, which means we probably won't have time to do any of the indy events except for a brief trip to masterpiece-in-a-day (and the only reason i know we'll be going to that is because i need to pick up my unsold art pieces from big car; i won't have time to join in any of the contests). not that i'm particularly upset about missing any of those other events.

our friends in the cool cleveland band infinite number of sounds will be playing both at dj empirical's party in cincinnati and at oranje in indy. they will play early at the cincy show, then drive here to indy to perform at oranje. even if i wanted to do that, it's not really an option for me: bobby & i will be playing short "transition" sets in between the other acts at dj empirical's party, and even if we don't stay in cincinnati that night (which is yet to be determined), i'd at least like to stick around for some of the "dance party".

i could have submitted to play at oranje this year... hell, i could've submitted to be a visual artist there this year... but i never bothered. i considered it but never too seriously, and when the submission deadline came and went, i just shrugged it off. oh well...

last year, i submitted to both oranje and the midwest music summit. considering that my music is pretty avant-garde, i figured that i would probably be rejected by MMS (the huge corporate event full of music industry people) and accepted for oranje (the "progressive" sponsored-but-"indie" event). after all, the marketing for oranje really pimped how "progressive" the event was going to be and how they were going to select "the most progressive" bands.

of course, what actually happened was that i was chosen for MMS but not for oranje. my oranje rejection could've been for any number of reasons... maybe they just didn't like the fact that i sent them a hand-lettered cdr (though i did design a custom cd cover for their custom cdr; in contrast, i sent vinyl to the MMS people). but when they announced the bands for oranje 2004, i was severely disappointed: a bunch of indie-rock bands, a few club djs, and melk the g6-49. out of something like 12 bands and several djs, melk was the only act on the bill that struck me as even in the same ballpark as "progressive".

now, i understand that terms like "progressive" and "experimental" are very subjective, so if you'd never heard anything weirder than john cougar mellancamp, i can imagine that an indie-rock band or a house dj might seem fairly "progressive" to you. but misleading marketing is a pet peeve of mine, and this left a foul taste in my mouth. in the end i didn't go last year, and didn't even feel like spending the 15 minutes it would've taken to submit this year. although it was probably a good time (lots of art and music all over the place), the overbearing and misleading (in my mind, anyway) marketing really turned me off. possibly for good. maybe i'm just being bitter and selfish because my pride was hurt when such a supposedly "arty" event rejected me in favor of musicians who are much, much more mainstream. but then, i've gone to a lot of "experimental" and "noise" shows, so when someone markets their event as "progressive", my expectations are pretty high.

this year's schedule is possibly a little better... the music seems to range from "somewhat leftfield" to "smack in the center of the field". i'd even like to see a couple of those acts. but i suspect i'll have a better time just staying at dj empirical's birthday bash in cincinnati.

1 comment:

dj empirical said...

i very much appreciate your playing my show, guy.

if you want to stay over, that can be arranged (the apartment upstairs is empty at the moment.... shhh!)