El Paso Music Scene

The Divine Comedy

Somewhere in equipment heaven resides a beautiful pristine 120,000 watt P.A system loaded with all the goodies that make our mouths water. Resting on the clouds are personal monitors with independent Eqs. Huge enclosures with trifold speaker setups that wobble the eye balls in their sockets await the push of bass frequencies. Digital processors linked through analog tweakers are on standby waiting for a gentle tone to break their gates. Oh how our antenna tremble with the all out sensory explosion. This is paradise, the swollen reality.

Here on Earth (ground-control) things don't always end up so good. We walk into a club to see quite a different story. Are we in the stone age? What happen to the convenience of an equalizer that actually moves? Monitors, what monitors? We put up with what is offered to us and sometimes we shine with our best performances. "Well, at least it sounded good in our heads." We can blame our horrible shows on the damned sound system. We can blame the band before us for busting the cones and making everything sound like it was underwater. We can blame the cheap microphones for making the drum set sound like pots and pans. We will complain about the overpowering vocals in our monitor setups. Heck, we can just about conger up any justification for our crappy shows. These P.As, these slaves of our anger and work horses for our causes take all the blame with mouths shut. They don't come back full of excuses or apologies. Let us consider these sound systems in purgatory, the club as a sort of waiting room for true death.

There is a hell to all of this. It spreads its wings in the form of excess, lust and self absorption. We become adulterers toward the tiny inadequate P.A systems that we have at home. The source of these sins is the same sound system that we find in heaven. The mother of all P.A.s ready for our every action, it's horns visible, it's talons sharp. She is here on Earth in a pure form of Satan himself, his indistinguishable digital jargon hard to decipher. Everything is set up for a great show. Something happened. Even with the technological marvel at our disposal, the band forgot how to play for a night. The performance was terrible and everybody in the crowd could hear it clearly, perfectly like scratching on a blackboard. Charon was itching to use his oar.

Nicholas Matta
2005. Aux78

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