Crowds at Lollapalooza 2010.
A couple days ago many of us bade a fond farewell to 2010 while welcoming 2011 with open arms and wide-eyed optimism. It is that time of year where we were supposed to take some time to reflect on the past year and figure out a few ways to improve our lives. Yup, I’m talking about those dreaded resolutions that rarely get actualized and often leave us with the same guilty feeling we tried to leave behind in the previous year.
In the event you didn’t make a resolution for the New Year, but still want to put yourself through the suffering, I’m here to help only this list of potential betterment that will not include anything regarding weight loss or lowering your alcohol consumption. These suggestions are meant to increase your good times and good taste over the course of 2011.
1. Buy a Record Player: Sure, it’s the 21st century and ever song is merely a click away, but the pure enjoyment that comes from dropping the needle and hearing those slight imperfections as it grooves across the vinyl is unsurpassed by any MP3 playing gadget you may have gotten for Christmas. Purchase a record player, a smoking jacket and some Chet Baker albums and become the envy of all who enter your domain. Plus, most vinyl releases come with a download code so your iPod won’t get lonely.
2. Attend a Festival: Let’s face it, New York has yet to replicate a festival environment worth your hard earned money so it’s time to start saving so you can pack up and travel to one of the many worthwhile festivals in the United States. If you’re craving palm trees and sunshine then hit Coachella. If you’re the outdoorsy type, Sasquatch may be more your speed. If you can’t be pulled away from the city life, then hit Chicago for Lollapalooza. If you want to camp out with a bunch of hippies who love indie rock, then try Bonnaroo.
3. See the Support Acts: New Yorkers are a spoiled lot so we take some things for granted, but one thing we should refocus our attention on is support bands. Most concertgoers can’t be bothered with the early arrival time and roll of the dice that goes into seeing an opening act, but more often than not, bands we come to love pay their dues in those coveted slots. So next time you’re heading to a club, don’t simply write off the openers. Give them a shot. You never know when you’ll find the next National.
4. Don’t Believe Everything You Read: This is an interesting notion from a guy who pretends to be a writer a few times a week. I’m not saying you should stop absorbing all the information that the online and print media has to offer, but that we should take more time to digest it before treating it as gospel. This is specifically meant for music fans that take the grading of records at face value and don’t give promising young acts a fair shake because one site or rag panned their record. Everyone has different taste – decide for yourself.
5. Just Dance: Yes, I’m aware that not every band has the ability or desire to make crowds want to shake their rump, but when a band is truly giving it onstage, the audience shouldn’t be afraid to follow suit. New York crowds are notorious for their crossed arms and uninterested gazes, but let’s make 2011 about having fun since that’s the reason we go out in the first place. Forget all the posturing and just let loose; it may help you adhere to that more traditional resolution of shedding a few pound.