I searched on the web for "Good enough for live music" before starting this topic. To my great surprise, I found nothing matching the circumstances where I had heard the phrase. Maybe it's a local meme and by local, I mean something heard and repeated by word of mouth (or microphone on stage) just in my part of the world.
A meme, on the other hand, is "an idea, behavior or style that spreads from person to person within a culture" (think "lolcats" and smiling dogs). A meme transmits cultural ideas, symbols, or practices, and they change, or mutate, as do genes.
The word meme, coined by the British evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, is a shortening of 'mimeme', from Ancient Greek, meaning "something imitated".
Source: It's a Trope... No Wait, It's a Meme
Maybe that phrase, "good enough for live (music)" is a meme.
I was chatting with a buddy yesterday. He had used the term critical listening last time we spoke and I had done some research. I found a brief description Critical Listening
Critical listening is a form of listening that if usually not mentioned, since it involves analysis, critical thinking and judgment. Making judgments during listening is often considered as a barrier to understand a person, and there's a lot of truth in that.
However, critical listening occurs when you still want to understand what the other person is saying, but also have some reason or responsibility to evaluate what is being said to you and how it is being said. For example, if there's an upcoming election and you need to decide who to vote for, you probably use some form of critical listening when you watch a televised debate. You listen, AND you evaluate.
While experts on learning and communication almost universally demean the importance and value of critical listening, when it comes to real life, listening critically is used every day.
The key though, is to try to understand the other person FIRST, before one evaluates.
Checking back with him yesterday, I found out he was talking about the art of hearing what most people would miss (in live music) but listening carefully, you would notice in a recording.
✄ - ✂ - ✄ - ✂ - ✄ - ✂ - ✄ - ✂ - ✄
On the other hand I've never made a recording I haven't redone or wouldn't redo given the chance.
I recall recording what I was sure was a terrific acoustic guitar + vocal track. It wasn't until I played it back, I heard a persistent scritch, scritch, scritch. I thought there must have been some mechanical noise in the room, or something wrong with the recording process, or the gear, or something. I set up the gear again and hit record. Do you know what it was? A rough fingernail dragging across a wound string in just the wrong way. That performance was good enough for live, but a failure as a recording.
Thinking back, I've heard the phrase most often when a bunch of us on stage have gone out on a limb to play something unplanned or unrehearsed - maybe it was a request, or maybe it was spontaneous jam. Typically it's said jubilantly. Sometimes good enough for live can mean, it could only have happened live and it should live on only as a memory of the feeling instead of a recording that won't survive critical listening.