Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Mass hysteria on CD


A friend and I (both loveless but not necessarily lonely) talked over the phone last night and somehow the conversation drifted towards which artist (or pseudo artist) is holding a valentines concert and where. I am told that valentines day is the time when concert artists and producers make tons of money from suckers out there. He ticked off the list - from Richard Merck and Isabella, Sharon Cuneta, Gary and Zsa Zsa, Regine, etc., etc. Then he asked me "don't you miss going to a valentine's day concert?" I was stumped, because truth to tell, I can only recall one and only one valentines day concert which I and a significant other actually went to. But yes, I do wonder what music they sing at those concerts - must be a collection of the truly cheesy musical pieces ever written (King and Queen of Hearts? Can This Be Love? Endless Love? aarrrghhhhhhhhhhh). Then he said "well, you can always buy the cd." Most artists today scrimp on recording costs and just produce recordings of their concerts.

I think that this whole phenomenon of selling "concert recordings" is ripping off people in a grand way.

We Filipinos love to sing. I can tolerate impromptu choral renditions during sprinking sprees where seven people sing a song together, each person singing it in a separate tone and pitch. I can also spend a whole night in a sing-along bar listening to the many ways Frank Sinatra's "My Way" can be sung, recited, declaimed, chanted, bawled, or even acted out. What the heck, I can even forgive and forget mass singing during concerts where I spend hard-earned money to listen sana to the artist sing his or her song, but end up being tortured by the sound of ten thousand people singing their guts out.

I have great tolerance for sentimentalism. I have profound respect for everyone's inalienable right to make total fools of themselves.

But what I can not stand are concert recordings being sold as albums that actually include portions where the audience sings instead of the artist. This is not only a cop out, it is a major rip-off. People pay hard-earned money buying cds to listen to and consequently enjoy music, not mass hysteria. If people want to witness mass hysteria, they need not pay for it. All they need to do is watch on TV how some religions leaders with atrocious clothes whip people up to a frenzy. Applause before and after a song is tolerable although just as tacky. But whole refrains and practically half of the song being sung by the audience - now, that's pushing it too far. It ceases being cute.

If the Philippine recording industry wants people to value Philippine music, they need to provide more quality.

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