There’s a nice coffee house about two blocks from my house. It’s a pleasant, relaxed place to get a good cup of coffee or tea and a decent snack (everything from dainty madelines to hearty sandwiches, and an all-you-can-eat buffet on friday nights). Several clubs and organizations meet there regularly to discuss things like organic gardening, knitting, etc. In short, it’s a great neighborhood hangout.
They also have live music. Last night, the act on the bill was Oak Ash and Thorn. I’ll give you a moment to go check out their website. Don’t worry, I’ll be here when you get back.
Familiar with the concept, now? Good. And for those who didn’t check the website, all you really need to know is that this is three guys who sing English folk songs (mostly about beer) a cappella. The only instrument they have with them on stage is a soprano recorder much like this:
which they use more or less as a pitch pipe.
There was a sound system, yes. Three microphones, one for each member of the band, but they were only turned up high enough that the songs could be heard in the back row of a room that holds, maybe a hundred people when it’s crowded. It was low enough that if you were in the way back of the other room ordering a coffee, you could hear that there was music but the words weren’t clear.
And yet someone called the cops because of the noise.
When Mr. Twistie’s rock band played there two months ago – and four months ago – nobody called the cops. That’s for a four man electric rock band with a pretty darn loud sound system.
Nobody called a few weeks ago when Avalon Rising (five members, much louder sound system, electric guitar and bass) was there playing their special brand of souped-up Celtoid music mixed with Jethro Tull covers.
But we were there when the police arrived because Oak Ash and Thorn singing The Wind and the Rain from Twelfth Night were too loud.
The mind boggles.
That is all.
Oh, except for this: support your local music venue! Good live music is not a nuisance.