****** Musician's Meanderings******
Steve Hashimoto's Journey Journal – News From the Trenches - 04-27-2003:
Well, now that the war's over and Dubbya is everyone's Teflon hero, I guess I can go back to grousing about what passes for peace-time civilization.
What is it, exactly, about club goers in Chicago (and environs) that they generally behave as if they've been raised in the wilderness by wolves? You can complain all you want to about the ingrate French, but I don't believe I've ever had a French tourist perch himself directly in front of the bandstand and then proceed to talk on his cell-phone throughout a set (for some reason it seems like the most clueless have a lemming-like urge to seat themselves right next to the performers).
I'm making a generalization about American audiences based on history, and it doesn't make me a traitor and a Taliban sympathizer, okay? You can go as far back as Bill Evans' Live At The Village Vanguard album to hear people yakking away obliviously in the not-so-background, enough so that Bill (I forget which tune it is) pauses briefly, probably to wish that he could make junkies out of the offenders. There's the famous story about Oscar Peterson trading fours with a table of loud patrons at Mister Kelly's, and the story about a frustrated music appreciator rebuking the crowd at Pete Miller's because they were talking louder than McCoy Tyner's band, only to be booed by the rabble.
You know, in a civilized society when you attend a PERFORMANCE you, as the audience, sign an implied contract with the performers and the other audience members. Some of those people have paid hard-earned money and perhaps traveled long distances in order to hear the performers, not to hear you tell jokes to your date or talk on your cel-phone (when I say "you", of
course, most of the present company is excepted).
My level of frustration finally snapped last week, not at a gig but at the movie theatre. A group of about 8 or 9 college-age idiots were lined up in one of the front rows of the (small) theatre, with their feet up on the seats (something that really bugs me, for some reason; I think it's an ancient cultural thing that's deeply imbedded in my upbringing) and talking loudly throughout the entire first half of the movie. There were other people in the theatre, but naturally no one said anything. Finally I couldn't take it, and I walked up to them and told them to shut the fuck up. They all looked at me with genuine surprise, and to their credit they apologized and behaved themselves for the rest of the movie. I felt bad, but dammit, the movie cost me $16 and the popcorn cost me $4.
So next time
you're at a club and you feel bothered by the rudeness of the person next to or
in front of you, say something. It's your right as an American, by gum, and
anyone who tries to deprive you of that God-given right is a Commie
This week Steven Hashimoto will be ignored at:
SUN. 4/27: A benefit for The Animal Care League of Oak Park, at the Oak Park
Country Club, with John Lewis and Dave Gessner. Thanks, John and Kris.
TUES. 4/29: A jobbing date with Carter Luke. Thanks, Carter
WEDS. 4/30: At CHICAGO MUSIC MART at DEPAUL CENTER, 333 S. State, noon-1pm,
with guitarist Pat Fleming
THURS. 5/1: At PARK WEST, Clark and Armitage, with trumpeter/vocalist Jeannie
Tanner and her band, opening for Kurt Elling. A benefit for The Lathrop Music
FRI. 5/2: At POPS FOR CHAMPAGNE, 2994 N. Sheffield, 9pm-1am, with
trumpeter/vocalist Jeannie Tanner and her band. Then later on, as always, at
THE GREEN MILL, 4802 N. Broadway, 1:30-3:45am, with The Green Mill Quartet
(Barely Winograd, bari sax; Bob Long, piano; Rick Shandling, drums) for The
After-Hours Jam Session.
SAT. 5/3: A jobbing date with High Society. Thanks Carlo, Dave and Al.
SUN. 5/4: At THE GREEN MILL, 4802 N. Broadway, 8-10pm, with poet Marc Smith
and the Pong Unit (Mike Smith, guitar; Dave Flippo, piano; Ted Sirota, drums)
for The Uptown Poetry Slam.
Thanks to Kent Minor for filling May 10 for me; I still need to fill Sat. May
24. Call me at 708-222-6520.