RANGER AGAINST WAR: Trans Siberian <

Friday, March 09, 2012

Trans Siberian

--Dr. Zhivago (1965)

But my dear, he's the Devil
of course he lies!
--Trans Siberian Orchestra (3.9.12)

A small disquisition on presumption and precision, as this is a hot topic among the leads here at RangerAgainstWar.

First, my knowledge of pop culture has holes you could drive a train through.

Tonight, a friend offered a free ticket to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO). Not knowing the group, I imagined a band of middling classical artists plucked from villages across Siberia, a hodge-podge assemblage who found Tallahassee, football heaven, a worthy stop. I saw them as so pale and sensitive they probably had to wear Burquas in the Florida sunshine, the First Violin fortified by vodka under his folding chair.

My presumption was exactly wrong. Instead, I endured almost three hours of blistering inanity, hard rock cued up to a laser light show, and some sort of bizarre rip-off of the Amadeus story-cum-Robert Johnson crossroads imposed upon Beethoven, read by a James Earl Jones knock-off, sung by four interchangeable Celine Dion power-belters, punctuated by giant Tiki torches which would explode now and then to everyone's amazement.

I understand Baudrillard to the degree possible, and understand postmodern is all about the derivative and repetition, but I yearn for the new style. At least if you're going to copy a style, go Michael Buble or Harry Connick, IMHO. Some sounds are more timeless than others, ISTM.

The crowd was odd, as they are wont to be: Season ticket holders in formal jackets mixed with elderly hippies in concert T's with play dates on their backs. Being Tallahassee, football jerseys were also plentiful.

I will give TSO credit for asking for a round of applause for our "men and women in uniform". They also donate a portion of their take to a local charity, which was Tallahassee's food bank. $1,400 -- not much, but a good faith gesture.

The laser light show hearkened me back to Pink Floyd at midnight planetarium shows from high school days. But as an adult and not in the mood, the attraction was lost. I kept my eyes closed most of the show as I didn't want to fall prey to a seizure. Thank god I had enough tissue to jam in my ears to bring the decibel level to that of a Gravely lawn tractor.

The necessity for precision in understanding brought another botched viewing to mind, with another friend who had invited me to a midnight movie "on Agent Orange". Again I did not do my homework, and instead endured nightmares after what was actually Burgess's "A Clockwork Orange", and not at all the historical documentary I was expecting (which probably would have given nightmares, anyway.)

On the drive home tonight, Prince's "Kiss" played, and I remembered the same tune played on the trip from high school days to A Clockwork Orange. I dug it, but my movie-watching companion used an unrepeatable expletive to express his disgust with the new music; he now likes Pink Martini and is a thoroughgoing Oregonian.

Amazing the things one remembers
when faced with headbanging pyrotechnics one thought one had left far behind.

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Anonymous tw said...

Reminds me of the time I saw J. Geils in a small hockey arena. My date sat there with her hands over her ears the whole evening and she never went out with me again !

Saturday, March 10, 2012 at 6:53:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

I'm always amazed at the range and variety of pop culture, and more so in the Post-network Era. It seems like there's now a venue for damn near everything; there's probably a group somewhere doing post-Nietzschian tabla-based free-form power-pop complete with smell-o-vision somewhere, and there's an audience out there for it...

That said, I am too stodgy for the pyrotechnics of the TSO-type "multimedia" show. I find the lights and buzzers a distraction; I'm too traditional and want music to be about music. If I want to see a light show, I'll go to a 4th of July fireworks display.

The only time I ever really enjoyed the special effects was a Pink Floyd concert some time in the late Seventies, and that was because I was so baked that I believe time stopped somewhere about the third or fourth song. I remember thinking I could actually see the individual pulses of light from the lasers...arena rock really loses something without good weed; I can't imagine going to a TSO concert on acid. Your brain would probably explode.

Sunday, March 11, 2012 at 4:07:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Her loss ;)

Yes, Chief, I'm sure there's an act for everyone; TSO was not mine.

The special effects, though impressive, just seem so tacky to me when married to a musical show. Like you say, unless one is a doper, this sort of thing doesn't much impress (at least, not me.)

Sunday, March 11, 2012 at 7:01:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous CTuttle said...

Why are the a-holes pushing the 'rogue' soldier meme...? I'll guarantee ya that it was a liquored-up squad, following a washed-out RIP wannabe, squad leader trying to prove his leadership 'mettle'...! *gah*

Sixteen Afghan civilians killed in rogue U.S. attack...

Sunday, March 11, 2012 at 7:03:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger basilbeast said...

Whoa, CTuttle, fellow firepup!


Ranger, you should thank your lucky stars if you got any that you don't live next to this place


Monday, March 12, 2012 at 5:02:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger basilbeast said...

I do like these guys


Whaddya think?


Monday, March 12, 2012 at 5:08:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Gots to tell ya, never liked BMG; never liked Stomp . . . both did play here in Tally, though. Hmmm ... The Scorpions is as hard as it gets for me. I like lyrics, usually, so I like to be able to hear them. I prefer music to soothe or motivate me; if it's too loud or hard, I'm sedated.

We've got a fascinating demographic: Rednecks love them some Bocephus, but then there is the "Wayne's World" contingent. Mostly, we'll get the odd group if we fit their travel circuit to ORL or Miami.

Monday, March 12, 2012 at 9:51:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger K.A. Munsey-Carlton said...

Thank God we live in a - so far - free America, where there are many tastes and styles, where there are musicians who are actually playing instruments instead of computers, heck, where musicians, their crew, or anyone else is for that matter is working at all, where Beethoven is introduced to a generation who think he is a big St. Bernard from a movie, and where there are blogs that allow opinions published freely.

I am proud of Trans Siberian Orchestra. Started by some rockers, in Florida who could have went the way of many rockers, they have produced some of the most listened to Christmas music ever, crossing generations and cultures. Not to mention, there is some morality lessons in the new album and show.

Sunday, March 25, 2012 at 12:58:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Vive la difference! For sure, they put on one hell of a show ... just not what I was expecting, and that's why it was kinda pathetically funny, for me.

Again, good on them for introducing classical music, and as-mentioned, a very fine gesture to give back to the community and recognize our service people.

Sunday, March 25, 2012 at 8:37:00 PM GMT-5  

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