Saturday, August 20, 2005

To Have A Look Or Not To Have A Look ...

Jay, my friend in Raluca Agape, which I went to see a couple Wednesdays ago, popped up in an IM screen recently to tell me that my blog entry about what the bands wore that night at Elbo Room was causing a bit of a stir in the Ralucan camp.

I wasn't sure why. Everything I said was true. I didn't think any of it was mean-spirited. "It's just blogging," I reminded him.

He said that the band had decided, before the gig, that everyone would wear what they wanted, lest individuality be quashed.

"Otherwise," he said, "you get the Spice Girls."

I've been mulling that over. First of all, the Spice Girls all had a different look, yet the fact that each had a different look was what lent them their sense of cohesiveness. Their sameness stemmed from intentional difference. Second of all, everyone reading this has heard of the Spice Girls. So maybe their schtick wasn't such a bad thing. Maybe marketing works.

Jay is a marketing mastermind. I think he'd agree.

The whole question of whether or not bands should have a look stemmed out of a discussion with Composer Dave (who's also in a band) as we were listening to "Space Age Love Song" by A Flock of Seagulls one day.

"See?" he said. "This is when bands dressed for the stage." Dave is in a '60s cover band (Look for The New Invaders under my Links) and they have several looks. One is very matched, the others are very individual, but every outfit everyone wears has a '60s feel. (Dave was pleased to have an excuse to buy blue suede boots.)

Jay doesn't think a band needs a look. I disagree. The more I think about it, the more I side with Dave. Everyone doesn't have to wear the same outfit necessarily, but I think there should be an overarching style that ties in with the band's sound. I think the look is part of a cohesive message about a band and its music.

Or maybe if it's your goal to play the occasional gig at Elbo Room for 50 people, it doesn't matter much what you're wearing. Or does it?

Yeah, it still matters. Which, of course, is just my opinion.

And if I've ruffled any Raluca Agape feathers anew, remember: It's just blogging.

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