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William C. Altreuter
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Friday, July 17, 2009

To George Clinton and P-Funk last night, a show I've really been looking forward to. Apparently a lot of people were-- it was more mobbed than anything at Thursday in the Square I've ever seen. It was also the most racially mixed TATS show I've ever seen. It broke down like this: the African-Americans were mostly my age or a bit older. They've been fans since the 70's. The white people were mostly slightly younger than I am or in their 20's, proving what Things White People Like says: white people like Black Music that Black People Don’t Listen to Anymore. I can meekly protest that I've been a fan since the Carter Administration, when "Flash Light" was on D.C radio every third song, but the reality is that I spent more time in 1978 with "This Year's Model" and "Give 'Em Enough Rope".

It looked to me that the African-Americans had shown up early, with folding lawn chairs, and just set up for the duration. That would be consistent with the way the black community enjoys Junetenth at MLK, and there have been plenty of times at TATS when that would have been a strategy which would have worked, but last night was not one of them. It was impossible to get to a decent sight line and, worse, unless you can get more or less in front of the stage the sound quality at Lafayette Square is pretty bad. From where we were we could mostly hear what was going on, even if we couldn't see, but I really think the event has outgrown the venue. I think they ought to set up a semi-permanent stage on the steps of City Hall for the summer, and rock out down there. There is more room, it wouldn't disrupt the light rail, and it would be an iconic backdrop.

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