Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Off-Season Is All About Off-Topic

Ian MacKaye on the bullshit connection between alcohol and music:

You know what a medicine show is? Medicine shows were these touring things in the 19th century. Musicians and acrobats would go town to town, they would perform, and people would gather. And then, between the acts, the *doctor* guy would come out and sell various tinctures and, you know, snake oil, essentially booze. They'd say "this is good for arthritis, and this is good for whatever. Whatever ails you, we have these different kinds of lotions, potions, tinctures." That was called a medicine show. The music created the audience. The salesmen made that audience into a clientele. That's still what happens today. That's a rock club. The bands bring the people in. Between the bands, the snake oil's for sale. [...] Let's make the music the reason for the gathering, let's remove the snake oil[....]

That about sums it up. Like Ian I've always thought 21+ shows are ridiculous. If all you want to do is hear live music and you don't care about drinking, you should be allowed to do that regardless of your age. Bars should be set up like Toad's Place, where you've got a bar area for 21+, and a music area for anyone. And the bar people can still see the show. (I haven't been there in 10 years so I don't know if they still do it like this....)

The incredibly long video I transcribed the quote from a few years ago and is here.

That sounds both ahistorical AND stupid. The first sentence made me think that it was going to be about how alcohol lowers inhibition and lets people be more creative or something (before they get sloppy and tired). Which would still be dumb, but at least have some sort of logic to it.

And don't most concert venues just give the over 21's bracelets? That always seemed like a reasonable solution to me.
I thought it was genius!

As for the bracelets, Ian was basically the one that made that happen, with the voluntary X's on the hands at shows. But no, most places don't do all ages. Concert venues do if they have a bar, too, but bars usually either don't give a crap about under 21 or the law just says you can't have under 21 (unless there's a designated space for them, which not all bars have). In my old band, we mainly played teen centers and VFW halls or whatever, but a few times we played Hat City Ale House in Danbury, and our main fanbase was literally not allowed to attend. That's the thing I hate. If people wanna drink, fine. But if you're 20 years old and you don't drink and you wanna see live music, why should you ever not be allowed to?

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Location: Rhode Island, United States