Tribute Bands

I don’t get tribute bands. I don’t get them on any level whatsoever. On Saturday, I was compiling a “Perfect Albums” post on my blog for Led Zeppelin’s first album, when I came across a Zeppelin tribute band, Led Zeppelin Story.

YouTube was lousy with this band’s videos. The casual observer might mistake the tribute band for the real thing were it not for the HD quality of their videos. Found at YouTube from AgatteR.

As you can see from the video, this band is a pitch perfect replica of the legendary band.

But why? Why would a musician spend all their hard-earned skill and talent emulating a band you’ll never surpass in talent? Why spend so much time and energy playing music for which you’ll receive only refracted recognition?

I love Led Zeppelin. They are one of my favorite bands, but as a musician, however much I admire their work, I’d much rather put what skill and talent I have to use on behalf of my own songs.

I can’t imagine spending a career as a musician doing covers only, especially covers of only one band. And there’s something very strange about adopting the identity of another band.

From a music-lover’s perspective, I guess I can understand the appeal of tribute bands to this extent: If you’ve never seen Led Zeppelin, tribute bands are likely to be the closest you’ll get.

But still, how satisfying is that pale imitation of the original. Am I missing something?

Safety Fart

Sure, call me juvenile. I don’t care. I giggled at this, as I often do when watching Aqua Teen Hunger Force:

This, of course, is a parody of the 80s hit, Safety Dance:

A Bowl Of Cherries Today

Bowl Of Cherries

On the way out the door, I grabbed a bagful of cherries to eat for breakfast at work this morning. I didn’t consciously grab them for this reason, but once I got to work I realized I couldn’t have had a more appropriate breakfast.

Life is absolutely a bowl of cherries for me today.

I’m still warmed by the afterglow of Obama’s acceptance speech. It wasn’t his best speech but it was a very politically tactical speech that was nevertheless superb. It certainly wasn’t his most inspiring speech but I was still moved not so much by the speech itself but by the historical moment.

My life experience has thankfully given me a what I think is a fairly unique perspective on race in America, at least for that of a white, male Minnesotan. That experience deserves its own post, with which I promise to follow up. Suffice to say, at the outset of this Democratic campaign, I was fairly skeptical of America’s willingness to support a black man for president.

So though I’ve known this moment was coming for quite some time, the moment it happened, the moment actually accepted my party’s nomination for president, I was surprised at how moved I was.

I spent a year and a half of my high school years in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where I met virulent racists. There was the kid who tried to beat up a black girl on her first day of school because she was black (that was her only day at that school). There was the kid whose father had turned their basement into his own personal armory in anticipation of the race war he believed to be coming. There was the friend who found a Klu Klux Klan sword between the walls of his house while his family was renovating a room. There were the gallows I spied driving past a corn field one day.

These racist kids I knew learned racism from their parents and had they stayed in Indiana, there’s little to lead me to believe that they’d ever change.

So, to witness the history that took place last night inspired me to have more faith in my fellow Americans and today, I am the proudest I’ve ever been in my life to be an American.

So, yeah, today’s a pretty good day.