Monday, March 12, 2018

Blogday eleven

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Park City Live - Worst Venue Behind the Zion Curtain and Beyond

We prefer to spotlight the Best Of, but this time the WORST gets Zenberg's attention. 

I've attended hundreds of live performances and been to probably a hundred different venues all across the United States. I've seen the best and the worst music halls. I certainly didn't expect the very worst to be located in Park City, Utah. 

Granted, Utah venues are always somewhat challenging, in part due to all the quirky laws that are both restrictive and oppressive. But I've been to dozens of shows behind the zion curtain, and thought I knew what to expect from a mainstream venue in Park City. I like surprises, but I wasn't prepared for the surprises that Park City Live served up. 

At the entrance Mighty Mo and I were "greeted" by security personnel who demanded to see our IDs. They weren't interested in our tickets, only ID, and it wasn't exclusively to insure that we were old enough to attend a 21 and older event. To be admitted, required that we remove our IDs from our wallets and hand them over to a security person who then scanned them into a database. When I asked why such extreme measures were required, I was told that it is Utah State law; an excuse we would encounter throughout the evening. We were also informed that scanning our IDs would give the venue an accurate head count of attendees in addition to being a handy go-to database in the event of an emergency. Once our ID's had been scanned, we received an official stamp on our right wrists. 

Once inside the doors, we presented out prepaid ticket vouchers which were scanned. We then received a second stamp on our right wrists and were allowed to ascend the steps toward the concert hall, where bellowing music of the opening act thundered through open doors. 

I was thirsty, so stepped up to the bar to order a water. I had been standing there for a few minutes when four other people stepped up and were immediately served ahead of me. Thanks for making me feel invisible. I didn't have to wait much longer before the bartender took my order and promptly served up my beverage. A woman standing next to me had ordered two drinks, one of which was in a can. The woman requested that the canned beverage remain unopened to make it easier to navigate the crowd. The shocked look on her face was revealing when the bartender informed her that she was required to open the beverage before handing it to the patron. "It's Utah law" she informed the flabbergasted woman. As the woman gathered up her purse, coat and an open beverage in each hand, we made eye contact and the woman mouthed, "WTF?"

The remainder of our time in the concert hall consisted of blue shirt security personnel telling us, "You can't sit can't stand can't be here... you'll have to move..." I wish I had counted how many times this happened. 

Fed up with the noisy unwelcome atmosphere inside the hall, I stepped out of the hall and into the mezzanine to chill for a moment. I was immediately approached by a security person and was informed that I couldn't take my beverage outside the hall. "It's water" I pointed out to the blue meanie who parroted the now familiar excuse, "Utah State law." 

Back inside, we were again told that we couldn't "stand here, and couldn't be here" too many more times. Fed up, Mighty Mo raised both middle fingers and put them in face of the latest blue meanie. Good thing he didn't press the issue with her because she probably would have punched him. After that encounter, she said "let's get... out of here. I can't stay another second." So we departed as the opening act finished their set.

I would have loved to have seen Matisyahu perform. Plus, we paid a lot of money to attend, but Park City Live was far too unfriendly to endure. 

The restrooms were clean and the sound system was good, but the overall vibe was toxic and unwelcoming. 

The Utah State law mantra seemed like a control lever. I am aware that Utah has some really ridiculously oppressive laws, but this was over the top weird. I don't want to be made to feel uncomfortable at a venue. I'm there to enjoy good live music, and hopefully a good vibe from the venue and the people there. I've never left a venue before seeing the band I paid to see. This was a first. Congratulations Park City Live.   


Thursday, October 19, 2017

Randy Beware

By now, everyone has heard Bigfoot Beware, the hit single by Randy Rose, the singer for the Residents. 

Bigfoot Beware, is a sad story about Randy's dog, Sniffy, who was eaten by Bigfoot in 1963. Now, more than a half century later, Randy has sworn vengeance on Bigfoot and is actively pursuing the beast with the intention of killing him. 

Angelika Schwartz, a noted psychic medium and Sasquatch preservation enthusiast, has voiced concern over Randy's quest and has taken it upon herself to psychically communicate with Bigfoot.

Ms. Schwartz said that she induced herself into a deep trance and contacted Bigfoot to find out why he ate Randy's dog and to warn him of Randy's intentions. Schwartz documented the event by means of psychography (automatic writing), a technique in which an entranced person can write without being conscious of writing.

The result was startling. Apparently, Randy's dog, was quite a terror to the Squatch family, and had repeatedly scared off the wild animals they relied on for food.

Bigfoot also indicated that he's still keeping tabs on Randy, and that it is Randy who should beware. Apparently, Bigfoot doesn't take kindly to threats. 

To contact the great beast, Ms. Schwartz channeled Francis Bacon, to act as an intermediary, (Mmm bacon). Bigfoot's response therefore reflect an overtly Shakespearean English flare. Following, is the manuscript of Bigfoot's reply to Ms. Schwartz's.
This was the land of Squatch long before the walking skunk monkeys camest from across the great deep. We beheld the occupation of our land and our food supply dwindled at the hands of the invaders. 

Now, our Squatch families liveth in hiding as the dwellings of the skunk monkeys continue to encroacheth upon our lands of inheritance. These evil beasts hath displaced our tribe, and hath driven us into the shadows where we watcheth and waiteth for our day of deliverance.

I rememberest all that hath taken place.

Fifty-three solar cycles past, that little dog becamest quite a nuisance. The dog and its young skunk monkey, the one thou callest Randy, would recklessly tromp through the woods and frighten off our prey. 

And it came to pass, that one day, the dog had frightened away a jackalope that we were desiring to feast upon, therefore we resorted to locust larvae for sustenance.

And it came to pass that whilst we were feasting upon the locust larvae, I perceived a sweet odour lofting upon the misty air; the unmistakable scent of cooking flesh. And it came to pass that I departed from the wilderness to discover the source of the sweet odor and maybe find some food to bring back. 

And it came to pass that as I passed through an open field that I encountered an unsuspecting cat. Sustained by the stringy flesh of the feline, I pressed on toward the source of the smoky meaty odor.

And it came to pass that from the levy, I beheld a family gathered together, holding what appeared to be cattails over a fire. Intrigued, I crept closer and discovered that it was the one whom thou callest Randy and his elders cooking cattail shaped flesh fastened to the ends of long sticks.  

And it came to pass that as I hid myself in the shadows, I beheld that the vessels from which they were drinking were within my reach. I waited, silently, patiently and when the family was distracted by one of the meats falling into the hot coals, I put forth mine hand and sprinkled some dream powder into their beverages. 

And it came to pass that the adolescent skunk monkey retrieved the charred, ash covered meat from the hot fiery coals. Burning his fingers in the process, he, without haste placed the steaming meat upon a table next to the beverages. The meat looked and smelled so delightful, but I patiently refrained myself and moved not. 

And it came to pass that after inspecting his burned fingers, and determining that there was no significant harm done, the adolescent picked up the meat, brushed off some of the ash and bitest off a portion. And it came to pass that the meat was hot upon his tongue and without hesitation, he reached forth for his beverage and began drinking. And it came to pass that the family, humoured by the entertaining set of events, joined together in laughter. And it came to pass that they raised forth their beverage vessels in unison, uttered a celebratory chant, and consumed their drinks. 

And it came to pass that they fell fast asleep because of the dream powder I had administered unto them. And it came to pass that whilst they slept, I gathered together what meats I could carry, and departed back into the wilderness with my spoil.

And it came to pass that no sooner had I embarked, that I heardest the tumultuous noise of the little dog who was in hot pursuit. And it came to pass that the creature overtook me at the levy and began to nip at my heels. 

And it came to pass that I madest an attempt to dissuade the creature by offering some meat, but it persisted, leaving me no alternative but to quiet the annoying pest. Permanently. And it came to pass that I returned to my family in the wilderness with the spoils of the day.

And as for the one whom thou callest Randy, and his evil designs toward me, mayest I now speaketh directly unto him.

Whilst it is true that I ate thy neighbors cat, I didst not eat thy dog. I only ate its heart. I gavest the rest to my family, who delighted in the bounty of that fruitful day.

Randy! I watcheth thee at all times. And it shall come to pass that thy words wilst condemn thee, wherefore, that which thou sayeth, that shall be done unto thee.

Randy, be ye ware.




Sunday, October 15, 2017

This Little Piggy...

Mom always said that I think about things too much. 

For example:

This little piggy went to market
This little piggy stayed home
This little piggy had roast beef
This little piggy had none
This little piggy cried "wah wah wah" all the way home.

OK! I'm no stranger to metaphor, symbolism and allusion but this one has me baffled. 

This little piggy went to market seems straightforward enough. The big toe is the fattest "piggy" and is therefore taken to market to be sold. Easy!

This little piggy stayed home. Based on the previous definition, logic suggests that piggy #2 needs to be fattened up more before it can be taken to market. Or maybe this little piggy is a truffle hunter, far too valuable to sell for meat. Family pet?

This little piggy had roast beef. What? I know that pigs will eat anything, but I've never met one that dines on roast beef.  Allusion perhaps, but for what? High quality Purina Pig Chow? The good life?

This little piggy had none. Hmm... a vegetarian pig? If so, did it have tofu? Maybe it had none because the bigger piggies are more aggressive and ate all the food. I doubt that this little piggy had Nun. Pigs aren't in the habit of eating Catholics.

This little piggy cried "wah wah wah" all the way home. Castration? That'll put the ouch in your pouch! Poor little piggy :-(

BUT... why toes?* Not everyone has five toes and some have six. Is the narrative modified to accommodate for less or more toes? If so how?

More questions than answers here. 

* "Aren't they a lot like little piggies?" Old Far-Seeing Art of Inverness