Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Special Olympics

The world's first amputee-only band, The Special Olympics are special, if by special you mean incompetent and severely limited by their disabilities. If they're expecting to be awarded a prize just for trying, they're would do well to think again. Advertising gimmicks have been a part of performances so long as there have been musicians, but the idea that people would flock to an act so hamstrung by physical defects that they could barely play their instruments is a tall order. Playing the role of the musical freak show can only take one so far.

The Special Olympics feature a one-armed violin player, a guitarist with pronounced stiffness and a lack of dexterity in the wrist of his fretting hand, and a pianist with no fingers. The singer is recovering from paralyzed vocal chords, so his raspy whisper must be amplified considerably to be heard. Each performer is in the process of attempting to find ways around his problem, but for right now the results are quite tuneless and unfortunate.

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