A Review of a Mid-Sized Farm Town’s Municipal Band

A Review of a Mid-Sized Farm Town’s Municipal Band

Arriving late on bike to the open-air ampitheater on the banks of the scummy creek, I found the Jefferson Municipal Band already midway through a medley of tunes from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, so rather than fight for a spot amongst the herd of octogenerians, I set up my lawn chair back near the lone port-a-potty.

In recent years, thanks to a donation of paper clips from the local bank, the band has at least shown an improvement in continuity, since the sheet music doesn’t blow away any more. Plus, the new, green polos purchased by a raffling off of Dr. Johnson’s rider lawn mower gives the 45-piece orchestra a real professional appeal. But, unfortunately, Monday’s season finale was the same safe, worked-over performance we’ve had for each of the past four years under conductor Mike Jacobs.

At 55 years old, and approximately 400 pounds, Jacobs has the spitting image of a man digesting a Michelin tire—and his bands play with equal constipation. While most people with an elementary knowledge of coronary health would tend to believe Jacobs is ready to drop over dead at any second, the man continues to put out performances that seem to indicate he believes he has a long, long time to engender any kind of legacy in the local scene. This critic, at least, is not so delusional.

Again this year, the fatuous director gave us an absolutely punchless rendition of Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever.” The horns sounded tepid, as though playing with ice picks stuck far up their assholes. And the flutist may as well have stood on stage stark-ass naked because everyone as far back as the football field could see she wasn’t wearing a bra, which those droopy pups sorely needed.

After a quick verbal hand-job to Mayor McPhelps for purchasing the ice cream floats, our incredibly large, bloviating conductor Jacobs whipped the band into a sonic treachery that at least according to my program went by the name, “String of Pearls.” Had Glenn Miller known the tune he made famous would come to this shoddy affair, he might have just as easily wrapped his lips around a Colt 45 before ever agreeing to play the song again.

The aesthetic low (again this year) was compliments of Rachmaninoff’s Second Concerto. Charlie Michaels’s 15-second barrage of snare hits to rousingly cap off the movement was an absolute terror I hope not to repeat in my lifetime.

Last but certainly least, that fat wad of stammering idiocy Jacobs concluded the evening by thanking those cheap steel-asses over in the Daughters of the American Revolution and led into a complete torch-and-burning of “America the Beautiful.” For years, the low brass has pushed the envelope of human-sound-making, and this year they completed their transformation by ignoring all posted rules of dynamics, tonality, and rhythm. They’ve given the local crop of heathen dump-truck worshippers a run for their money by engulfing “amber waves of grain” in flatulence and steamship boat-belching.

Afterwards, we all enjoyed a nice ice cream social. Janet’s apple pie was marvelous.

At any rate, I’m hoping next year’s centennial year of the Jefferson Municipal Band will find in it the courage to possibly kill, or at least mortally wound, that fat somabitch Jacobs. Or at least play something, anything that doesn’t appear on a Disney soundtrack.

Dunstan McGill