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Show Etiquette Part Deux

1.) Venue sound guys are also DJs. And yes, they take requests. Approach them at your leisure, but it’s best to do it when the band is sound checking because that’s when sound guys have nothing to do.

2.) Earplugs are for losers. You should absolutely never, ever wear them at a show. Not only do these barely perceptible cushy things look 1000% lame to ear hole watchers, but furthermore no medical study has EVER shown that regular exposure to extremely loud sounds in a small room has EVER affected one’s longterm ability to “hear.” EVER.

3.) If you can’t hear what the person standing next to you is saying to you mid-song, simply nod and smile… just nod and smile. (Legal disclaimer: this MAY lead to a kidney donation or having to read your friend’s novel.)

4.) At some venues, unisex communal bathrooms have been deemed “alt.” The coolest thing to do should you find yourself with strangers in a unisex communal bathroom at a show is to giggle uncontrollably until you finish your “business.”

5.) Wearing deodorant to a sold-out show “kills the buzz.” Don’t do it. If you absolutely have to put something under your arms try gently used cheesecloth.

6.) Know the words to the song? Sing along! Not entirely sure you know the words to the song? Sing along!

7.) If you go “solo” to a show – try “accidentally” spilling beer all over the most attractive person you can find. It’s a great “icebreaker” and you’ll laugh about it in bed later that night.

8.) If you’re really into a song, try to knock your neighbors off their feet. This friendly act is called “moshing” and is mostly done during “ballads.”

9.) In a band yourself? Great! Bring your band’s stickers and put them all over the venue’s bathroom walls. This is the quickest way to get “signed.”

10.) Did you get a festival badge? Great! Wear that badge around your neck everywhere. At all times. Forever.

Show Etiquette

1.) When a band says from the stage, “How’s everyone doing tonight?” – tell them. “Actually, not so great, Thurston. I’m a little distracted by how much I just spent on this domestic beer in a plastic cup. Annnnnnd, the hemorrhoids are back. But we all sorta saw that one coming, am I right?”

2.) If you’re a really tall individual and are standing right up front; congratulations! You are statistically more likely to be a “CEO type” than people of average or below average height. Heck, we could even be staring at the back of the next President of the gosh darn USA! How neat would that be?!

3.) Between sets, it’s polite to pitch in and help the next band with their set-up. If you don’t know where to plug something in, just find the nearest hole. Also, all those levels on all those gadgets they have? Two words: ADJUST THEM.

4.) On the guest list? It’s only respectful to notify the venue at least 48 hours in advance of the show so they can print out a giant banner in your honor and string it up behind the drums (i.e. “the skins”). And don’t you worry; they won’t forget the ice cream cake.

5.) When you hear good music with a good beat, do you like to move your big hair rhythmically? It’s common courtesy to first remove your shoes, go to the bar, fill them both with rum, then give one of each to the neighbors directly in front of you and behind.

6.) Your cell phone sure is a fun gadget, isn’t it? Seriously, who even thought of all that neat stuff?! And it takes pictures too?! Amazing! Just remember though; indoor shows can get pretty darn dark. If you want to take great looking pics with your cell phone at a show, you may want to consider bringing along an extra set of lights and their respective riggings. Ask the venue for a few ladders to borrow too. Also, don’t over think things like what you choose to “shoot.” Take pics constantly throughout the entire evening and you’ll fix it “in post” later.

7.) When in doubt – sit down.

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Lefty Loosey Righty Tighty: trailer

Watch the trailer for “Lefty Loosey Righty Tighty” – an “existential comedy” I wrote and produced. Want to see the full 90 minute film? Get in touch!

Lefty Loosey Righty Tighty

Here’s a sneak peek scene from my upcoming film, “Lefty Loosey Righty Tighty.” Want to watch the full movie? Get in touch!

Curation

Did you know that Microsoft Word absolutely refuses to recognize the word curation? Write “curation” and Word will get all red squiggly line-happy on you, essentially refusing its existence. Is that cartoon Clippy passive-aggressively telling me curation is dead in this digital age of information overload? That we no longer have a need for selectivity, particularly online? Nope. I don’t buy it. Curation is alive and well, Clippy. And it’s most definitely a word. (Somewhere Bill Gates is frowning at his program’s faulty logic… as he flosses his teeth with the gold strands of King Tutankhamun’s dinner jacket.)

Let’s talk about curation with regard to the online world, if for no other reason than to stick it to that little red squiggly line (that’s so punk rock, I know). We’re confronted with this word a lot because Oh My Rockness is a curated show list website, I guess. By that, I mean we highlight only a small selection of the (mostly) indie rock shows happening around town. So there could be some 500 “indie” shows (we’ll do an exhaustive study on the definition of “indie” shortly after we’re freshly dead) on any given night in New York City alone, and we may list 15 of them. Why mention only 15 in this “give me absolutely everything and give it to me RIGHT NOW” wide web world we seem to get lost and exhausted in? Why not just throw all 500 shows up on the homepage and see what sticks? Lots of other sites do that, after all. Well, quite simply, we don’t want to go see the vast majority of those 500 shows on any given night. Do you?

Of course employing such selectivity, it might be tempting to assume that curators of all kinds believe themselves to be some great arbiter of taste. In our example, that we think those 15 “chosen” shows we listed had first floated down to our homepage from some great cloud in the sky where only the inarguably “Best” things reside. Two things: 1.) We ditched that Philosophy lecture to go play skee-ball, so we don’t know about such cerebral matters and 2.) Maybe curators just want to be helpful. Like Mother Theresa. Except, you know, not like Mother Theresa AT ALL.

Ok, fine. Try as we might, we can’t guiltlessly sugarcoat the nuanced subject of curation with such cheery dismissiveness and an all-too-neat naiveté without mentioning the downside. Highlighting what one likes, i.e. curation, also means one is NOT highlighting what one DOESN’T like. And as they wordlessly say, that silence can be deafening. If a band, or a show, or an album, a painting, a book, a pair of shoes, a hat, a mustache, whatever, is being ignored by you, the curator, there’s the assumption that a negative judgment is being made upon these unnamed things by the very fact of their exclusion.

In other words: If it’s not on the site, it must suck! That’s an easy takeaway to be sure, but you know what they say about assumptions (something about making a “as” out of “sump” and “tio,” I think?). Maybe that’s why MS Word won’t recognize the word “curation”; it’s too un-PC. It’s too dangerous.

But here’s the rub: Being exclusive doesn’t have to equal elitism. Forget such silly snobbery. Don’t let the idea of online curation die because of that hangup. Curation doesn’t need to say, “This stuff here is the ONLY stuff that matters” or “This stuff here is more intrinsically worthy of your love than other stuff” or “Accept the superiority of this if you know what’s good for you!”

No. Curation can simply say, “Hey, here’s some stuff we like that we think you might like, too.” That’s not called snobbery. That’s called being nice. And anyway, who really wants to know ALL of their options for everything? I sure don’t. That would most likely lead me to curl up in a fetal position in a dark corner somewhere and have my mind slowly burst apart at the concept of an endlessly expanding universe. And I’d much rather watch whatever Kim Kardashian’s classy next move will be on the old TV.

So to all the present and future online curators out there, I say “Keep curation alive!” But I digress… for now. We can dig much deeper into this fantastically exciting concept soon (please stop pouring gasoline on yourself… No! No! don’t you DARE light that match!). But right now, we have a secret meetup scheduled with that pretentious Clippy. That talking paper clip with the bushy eyebrows just made our list of things to curate today.

(originally published on http://blog.omusicawards.com)

“App.”

Wow. We’ve been getting SO many requests lately for an Oh My Rockness “app.” And while we’re certainly flattered there’s that much interest, unfortunately we’re not really taking on any new apprentices these days. Please don’t take it personally. It’s just that we already have this apprentice who started 7 years ago (gee, he must around 9 now) and when he’s not in his cage, or racking up bill after bill for his stale breadcrmbs, he does fairly decent data entry work for us (although the only band he ever seems to list is “HELP ME HELP ME FOR THE LOVE OF GOD HELP ME”… guess that band must have a really cool new sound or something).

Wait, what? What’s that? Oh. For serious? Well, this is certainly embarrassing. Our Rockness partner just whispered to us that “app” actually stands for ” appetizer.” Oops! Well, that certainly changes things for the better. OF COURSE we can create a Rockness appetizer for you! Actually, that’s been a dream of ours for quite some time. Allow us to set the table for you with four delicious words: Fried Peanut Butter Poppers. It’s like the jalapeno kind but with… get this… peanut butter instead of… get this… jalapenos. Did your taste buds just die in our arms tonight?

Oh, there’s just one sticking point though: how would we deliver this “app” to you from our Inter Site? Let’s see… maybe when you… go to our free summer shows list…or our Twitter even… or My Rockness… yeah, that’s it… we’ll have one of those technically integrated wedgies (oh… our Rockness partner just whispered they’re actually called “midgets”) for the Netpage that says “Get Rockness App” and when you click it with your mice… while also saying “ZAP IT” real loud to your screen… a warm Fried Peanut Butter Popper would eject from your… floppy drive! Tah-Dah!

Wow, we just let you in on the inner mind workings of a super smart live music web blob. Your welcome (Rockness partner just whispered that it’s actually “you’re welcome,” not “your welcome.” Sorry partner, but your wrong on this one….. your so wrong… but don’t worry, 2 out of 3 ain’t bad.)

Dale Murphy Uses an Autopen

Dale Murphy had a lifetime batting average of .265 over 18 seasons
8 of these seasons were remarkable
6 were slightly above average
4 were inconclusive
And 2 were poor
Dale Murphy was a Brave
When the Braves were terrible and played on TBS
During the day
When no one was home to watch
During those eight remarkable seasons
Dale Murphy was the only reason
the channel wasn’t changed to—
“No whammys! No whammys!”
But Dale Murphy wasn’t a baseball player you wrote to
Everyone knew that
Because everyone knew
Dale Murphy used the Autopen.
The Autopen replicates real signatures
On glossy things, and cardboard things
And wood things and leather things
Harry S. Truman was the first U.S. President to use the Autopen
Dale Murphy was no Harry Truman
Not in 1980
1981
1982
1983
1984
1985
1986
And not even in 1987
When Dale Murphy hit 44 homeruns
Dale Murphy retired in 1993
Playing 26 games as a Colorado Rockie
Hitting zero home runs
And driving in 7
Where’s your Autopen now
Dale Murphy?