Thursday, December 16, 2004

Oom pah pah Oom pah pah

In the space of the last 45 minutes, I have witnessed not one but TWO bands -- one full, one brass -- belting out holiday songs. The high school band playing in Rockefeller Center, which was performing some Tschaikovsky piece from the Nutcracker, should have come with a warning label and a gratis pair of wax earplugs. If the dancing had matched this music, the Nutcracker would have been performed by an army of drunken chimps in tutus. The professional band in matching Santa hats playing in the Time Life lobby was much more melodious. Lest you think me a grump, though -- the raggedy rhythms and ear-bending tones of the high school band brought the bigger smile to my face, especially the bass guitar player -- a gangly, buck-toothed, head-bobbing fellow of about 14, who couldn't have looked more excited to be playing "We Want to Wish You a Merry Christmas" for a crowd of tourists and hip-shakin' toddlers. Brought me back to my own days as an excited and proud performer in the good ol' Youth Symphony. Ahh, New York.

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