Work: Surviving the Arts

Exploring issues of sustainability in the arts.

-by Scott Pinkmountain

Production Fatigue Part II: Risk and Relevance Vs. Auto-Tuning


A couple months ago I got to see the Pixies play for my first time. It was an outdoor show for a few hundred people – a relatively intimate concert for them. The set was a mix of old and new songs, all of which they played tightly. The sound at the venue was clear and balanced, the crowd was amped and singing along with the older tunes. There was even the occasional intimation of slam-dancing. I should have loved this show.

And yet, it kind of left me flat. It was so solid, so well-executed, so seamless, even the distorted feedback solos sounded clean and under control. The band was using expensive in-ear monitors, there were guitar techs and everyone was playing pricey gear. No one onstage moved more than a foot or two out of their designated spot. There was little-to-no banter or visible communication between band members. It felt safe. Continue reading