As a solo project featuring guest performers, Flock of Dimes had to perform with limited instrumentation and prerecorded tracks, which creates a sense of “musical inauthenticity.” Like folk musicians and the singer-writers of the 1970s, Flock of Dime’s bandmembers primarily sang and accompanied themselves on guitar. Unlike both, however, Flock of Dimes played on electric guitars and keyboards; the band also used prerecorded music, including drums, synthesizers, and reverb, to provide the beat and sound. This contradicts authenticity’s traditional meaning—in which musicians perform without technological enhancements (which carry connotations of commercialism). Under this definition, Flock of Dimes “sold out” to technological shortcuts: using reverb, echo and electric instruments as well as combining its live performance with “canned” music. In fact, the musical elements in Flock of Dimes’ performance reveal progressive rock influences, especially in songs in which Wasner and Harkin played keyboard. Without its introspective lyrics and apparent improvisation, Flock of Dimes’ performance would have sounded too highly produced.
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...ed in its music. The stage was also small, which minimized stage decoration. Behind the band hung a curtain of Flock of Dimes’ album cover for If You See Me, Say Yes, consisting of an eye, a red backdrop and black and white patterns. This simple design represented the concert: Flock of Dimes did not come to preach about important issues or any other pretentious purpose but instead to share themselves and their music.
Overall, Flock of Dimes delivered a passionate concert featuring sophisticated music and a friendly atmosphere. Though “musically inauthentic,” the band nonetheless conveyed genuineness through spontaneity, improvisation, and introspective messages; merely playing in the humble backroom of Cat’s Cradle, too, projected authenticity. I had never heard of this band before the concert, but after their riveting performance, I will continue to seek them out.
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