Since I’m of Native American descent myself, it’s okay for me to mock my own people, without being racist.
That said I’d like to complain about a form of busking that has really become a plague: pan flute blowing Inca’s (or whatever tribe they claim to be from).
You know what I’m talking about: small bands of mezzo-american looking guys, dressed-up like there’s a John Wayne Adversary Convention, mismatching colours and symbols from a variety of tribes, wearing bigger feathers on their hat than the winner of the 1974 Mister Pimp Contest. Sure, they might really have native American blood flowing through their veins, but nonetheless they’re as fake as the FX in an Original SyFy Movie.
And I’m not just complaining because they dress like the way we ‘White Men’ expect them to dress, but also because of the way they make music.
They have a full PA-set installed on the street: speakers, microphones and a console with pre-recorded backing-tracks. Those backing tracks sound awful: midi-instruments and an over-the-top drum sound that even an 80’s pop record producer would have called bombastic. To top it all of, they do a kind of pan flute karaoke, with such an immens reverb, echo and chorus, it’s like they’re doing a gig in the Batcave.
And then there is their repertoire. 90% of the time you pass them by, they are playing Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” or “Candle In The Wind”. The closest they come to actual ‘native’ music is “The Sound Of Silence” by Simon & Garfunkel, which was actually a rip-off of native American music in the first place.
These guys are always accompanied by a small lady wearing something made of lama-wool, selling cd’s with the same crap on it, while shaking to the beat with a string of shells that don’t even live in the Andes.
No, these people are not buskers. They are part of a commercial entertainment industry which gullible passers-by think are genuine, exotic and authentic, but are in fact dressed-up business men faking to be their own grandparents.