tal wilkenfeld at the great american music hall

Tal is a talented young jazz/rock bass player and composer. On October 8, 2016, she and her band performed in San Francisco, doing mostly new original material.

They also did an imaginative and dreamy version of the Smiths' 1985 hit, "How Soon is Now?" — a masterpiece of studio technical wizardry that's notoriously hard to perform in concert. They used the song as an opportunity for extended instrumental solos.

The band, which consisted of Tal on bass, guitar, and vocals, a guitarist who also plays bass, a keyboardist, and a drummer, is finding itself musically and commercially.

They reminded me in some ways of the classic bands fronted by bass players, like Roger Waters of Pink Floyd, Dusty Hill of ZZ Top, and John Lodge of the Moody Blues.

Early in her career, Tal did, indeed, become known to the public by way of her association with the classic rockers. One might say that she was born too late. She would have fit in well with the musical stars in the era of peace, love, and huge hair.

The crowd was a mix of thirty-something urban hipsters and fifty-something businessmen, being served drinks at their tables by waitresses of indeterminate age.

It's been a long time since I felt out of place at a concert, not fitting into any of the prevailing economic or demographic patterns. Even so, everyone was polite, as one might expect from persons of conventional background and upbringing.

I used to go to concerts because they were one of the few places one could fit in. They were where the diasporic tribes of displaced misfits saw each other.

But music, as we are often reminded, is a business, and the prevailing model seems to be selling food, alcohol, and trinkets. That's where the money is. The ticket price is just a downpayment for a Saturday night out on the town.

cactuspear home
comments to comments at cactuspear dot org