June 19, 2008

Listener discretion advised

Our good friend Jack Miller may not be the world's most rabid Dresden Dolls fan, but he has baked cookies for them, which is probably more than you've ever done. Anyway, Jack bought tickets to this week's Boston Pops concert, which features Dresden Dolls front-Kabarettist Amanda Palmer. The BSO then sent him an e-mail asking him if he knew what he was getting himself into.
From: myBSO
Date: June 17, 2008 11:33:12 AM EDT
To: XXXXXXXX
Subject: Attn: June 19 & 20 Amanda Palmer Ticket Holders
Reply-To: customerservice@bso.org

As part of the Pops Edgefest series, the June 19 and 20 concerts will feature alternative rock singer Amanda Palmer of the Dresden Dolls. These concerts will not follow the traditional Pops model and may contain explicit lyrics.
If you wish to exchange your tickets to these performances, please contact SymphonyCharge at 888-266-1200 or visit the box office at Symphony Hall.
I applaud this sort of initiative. I have been to many a concert that could have used such a warning.
As part of our continuing mollification of superannuated subscribers, this week's concerts will feature a big-name soloist playing a very old piece while the rest of the musicians phone it in. If you wish to exchange your tickets to these performances, please contact us or visit the box office.

As part of a misguided effort to appeal to Generations "Q" and higher, this week's concerts will feature the conductor filling time that could have been devoted to music with long spoken introductions and awkward jokes. If you wish to exchange your tickets to these performances, please contact us or visit the box office.

As part of our marketing department's desired pattern of risk-averse programming, this week's supposed new-music concert will be made up entirely of pieces that sound like watered-down John Williams. If you wish to exchange, &c.
Classical Music: second-guessing the audience since 1970!

2 comments:

Henry Holland said...

So, when do you start at the BSO patron services department? :-)

It's hard to decide who's worse when it comes to the endless banter + stupid jokes thing, Esa-Pekka Salonen or Michael Tilson Thomas. I cringe whenever I see a microphone by E-PS's music stand.

As part of our attempt not to appear to be a dead, old, musty museum of an organization, this week's concert will feature a 6-minute piece of European modernism that if you suffer through in silence, we'll reward you with a Mozart piano concerto and Beethoven symphony. If you wish to exchange, etc.

Russ said...

[WARNING: EXPLICIT LYRICS IN THIS COMMENT!]

I attended Thursday night's Palmer show as a fan of the Dolls - and no, not my first time at Symphony Hall - far from it. I was shocked when Amanda changed the lyrics of the opening tune, "Missed Me", a song about a pedophile from the child victim's point of view. The always powerful phrase, "You must want to fuck me" was changed to "You must want to touch me", negating all of the tension that builds up to that point of the song. I was in shock, thinking, "I can't believe the Pops management got to her and made her change the lyrics." (Just my thought - she may have done so completely on her own.) But later in the set, the F-word made several appearances, right where it always has been, punctuating the sometimes bitter, sometimes ironic lyrics. But now I'm more confused about the first edit of the evening after reading that subscriber e-mail. We'd been warned. Why not follow through with full-on Amanda?