Celebri-spiral™: Enough Already

Our culture is in a celebri-spiral. We're conflicted over our ridiculous, growing celebrity culture consumption via magazines, websites, and TV shows. In 2007, my love/hate conflict made me take to the blog-o-sphere. All writing on this site © Dave Singleton 2009.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

March 14, 2007: My Anti Celebri-spiral Night at the Josh Groban Concert

Josh Groban fell into my lap last night. No, he wasn't drunk. He was singing at DC's Verizon Center and tickets to his concert showed up as a surprise last minute gift from my close friend Mary Ann.

Here's what I knew about Josh Groban before his show. He has a "pop-era" voice and musical sound; big, booming, but contemporary. I love three songs of his: You Raise Me Up, You're Still You, and You Are Loved. He's got dark wavy/curly hair and seems tall and lanky. That's it.

Here's what I learned about him personally during his show: nada. And that's a good thing.

I loved his show. With his understated but charming, youthful personality, and lack of personal stage banter, he gave the audience a great gift, in addition to his soaring voice. He allowed us to experience art without the typical trappings. You know what I mean. I was able to experience the music and project my own feelings onto the experience without thinking about who he's dating, what scandal he just overcame, why some dumb soundbyte from Entertainment Tonight won't get out of my head, or how the tabloids dished his most recent social outing.

As I looked around at the packed stadium, I was not alone. The crowd may know a little more about him, but he's not Nick Lachey, Sting, Madonna, Robbie Williams, Mariah Carey, Barbra Streisand, Pavarotti, or even Michael Buble; other singers who are in the public celebrity zeitgeist. Still, he's selling out stadiums, eliciting adoration, and receiving platinum records without trading in the currency of his own celebrity.

I didn't learn about the concert by reading People magazine. A friend told me. I didn't discover the songs of his that I like by listening to a gossipy top 40 radio station or TV talk show. I tried his music on iTunes without knowing who he was. And now that I have seen him live, and like him more, I won't Google his personal life, or look for entertainment stories on him, even though my first inclination was to satisfy some prurient curiosity. I want to keep this experience just as it is.

On second thought, I did learn one factoid at the concert. The title of his new CD is Awake. Hmmm. I can relate to that.


Blogger Unknown said...

How refreshing...to be interested in an artist simply because you enjoy his work and not because he was shoved down your throat by MTV, VH-1, the powerful record labels and music industry publicists. Aimee Mann is my Josh Groban...

Wednesday, March 14, 2007 8:56:00 AM  
Blogger Dave Singleton said...

Interesting. Aimee Mann. I know that she is related to someone famous in the film biz, she plays guitar and sings plaintive songs and I have a couple of her tunes, including I Could Make a Killing.

It's different isn't it, to enjoy an artist without the baggage?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007 11:00:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love Josh!

Thursday, March 15, 2007 8:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How uplifting it is to see such a throng of enthusiastic fans filling the house for an artist who is just about talent. No flash. Just a huge voice that makes the hair on your head stand up (in a good way ;)). It gives me hope that the same country that will devour every news bit about Anna Nicole or Britney is the same country that appreciates such an artist as Josh Groban. It tells me we're hungering for a sophistication and experiences that "raise us up"---pun intended.

Friday, March 16, 2007 4:50:00 AM  

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