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An irregularly recurring feature in which the Black Plastic Bag brain trust addresses your questions about music. Send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A friend of Black Plastic Bag writes:
“How fucked up is it that tickets to see Michael Bolton at the Birchmere are $100? Is Michael Bolton really worth $25 more than Peter Frampton?”
How fucked up? Pretty. But it’s worse that either of these guys are now trying to pack the Birchmere when a decade or so back Bolton could fill the USAir Arena and make Celine Dion open for him.
My best guess: Bolton’s biggest hits (basically the entirety of Timeless: The Classics) weren’t written by him, and people who winced at his seal-clubbingly awful takes on “Reach Out I’ll Be There” and “Hold On I’m Coming” can at least take comfort in the fact that he received no songwriting royalties in the process. (Songs he’s written himself have titles like “Said I Love You…But I Lied” and “Can I Touch You…There?” He names his tunes this way…why?) It may also be that Bolton has a nonprofit designed to help the poor, so the additional cost of the ticket price may either go directly to the charity…or allow him to lead by example. Best as I can tell, Peter Frampton doesn’t have his own nonprofit, but Show Me the Way would be a fantastic name for one.