Marino is originally from Natrona Heights, but now lives in Lower Burrell. A local businessman, he is the co-owner with his wife of Seita Jewelers on Sixth Avenue in Tarentum.
Marino's music was a mix of country and pop, performed with recorded instrumental tracks and a wireless microphone that allowed him to move freely away from the bandshell and through the audience.
Once again Captain Jack's was open. The concession stand in the park sold a variety of food to raise funds for Tarentum Borough's recreation programs. Halushki that had been introduced a couple of concerts ago is a good seller, and they now serve it in two sizes.
Although Marino's music was not my particular favorite, the concert was a great open-air setting to relax with friends, and enjoy some simple food in the shade on a hot summer evening before taking a walk down First Avenue to Candice's for ice cream cones.
The last concert in the 2006 Summer Concert Series will be on Wednesday, August 17, and it will be a Karaoke Contest.
Before and after the concert I was in conversations with local residents who were very distressed about the perceived lack of coverage of the concert by the Valley News Dispatch. My memory was that the VND had done a nice story on the whole 2006 concert series in its "Ticket" magazine sometime earlier in the summer. But the feeling of those who spoke to me was that there should have been at least a short note in the paper the day of the concert. (As far as I am concerned a note that day would have been rather late because most subscribers don't get their paper until 4 PM.)
The discussion raises a number of issues for me. One question is how many times can a newspaper write about an event before it assumes for itself the role of promoting the event rather than objectively reporting news?
Another question is what would have been the genuine news about this concert that had not been reported earlier? I am honestly not sure what a reporter would have said about this concert had one been sent. What made the concert a nice experience for me were a host of intangible factors separate from the music.
A big underlying question for me is: given that information about events is being produced and transmitted in so many new ways that were not used even a decade ago, what opportunities were missed to get the word out? Maybe the VND did miss an opportunity, but are there other ways the concert could have been publicized that nobody used? I ran a couple of Google searches on "curt marino" and "curt marino lower burrell". The artist does not have a web page to announce his own appearances to the world. Ironically, this blog shows up near the top of each of the internet searches. (And I am not even trying to do any search engine optimization to convince people that I am an expert on that artist.)
Tarentum Borough has - or had (it appears to be down now) - a little-used website at http://www.tarentumboroughpa.gov/. The website when I last saw it had more typos on it than the average issue of the newspaper people in Tarentum love to criticize. But that website was not used to announce any of the events happening in the borough, not even the events organized by the borough itself.
I have been experimenting on this blog with an event "microformat" I learned about through technorati. The idea is that if I fill in the form at hCalendar Creator with the information about an event, I can get some code for an article on my blog. Theoretically, the code can be read by programs that are searching the internet for information about upcoming events. There are people trying to make money on gathering and providing information about events. They will find this information useful. So here is where I will insert the code for the next event in the 2006 Concert Series.
== coded entry starts ==
August 16th 7pm, 8:30pm 2006 — 2006 Summer Concert Series— at Riverview Memorial Park, Tarentum, PA
The final concert in the 2006 Summer Concert Series sponsored by the Borough of Tarentum and Old Friends Guitars
== coded entry ends ==
Maybe a robot will read it; maybe not. In time I will learn more about whether these things get picked up at all.
My own opinion is that fretting over whether the VND covers something in this day and age is a waste of negative energy.