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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.

***

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?

The Exasperated Show Goer

“Oh My Rockness, which shows are you most excited for this week?”

“Shows? No. No. That’s for you media guys. Shows. You media guys with your geocites and your hotfiles and your 2nd life, 3rd life, 4th life, 8th life, you media guys use your webs and you go all up on your blobs and want to make a nothing story a something story. Shows? Why do you come asking me about shows? So you can go on your FaceSpaces and your Tweeters and write whatever it is you write about an issue that we will solve behind closed doors? That’s for our own house. Don’t sniff on your neighbor’s lawn! I’m a grown man. This is a clubhouse of grown men. And what had happened in this clubhouse, whatever it is that had happened if it even did happen, is between grown men. Not you media guys. No. No. You media guys get up all on your comment posts and climb up on your lampposts and soap dishes and box cars and you go to your beauty parlors and your bowling alleys and you make up a little story about shows so you all can get paid. Come in here talking about shows? This is a team. Do you see an S-H-O or W in team? Do you see it? No. So stop sniffin’ in your neighbor’s dog’s outhouse! Stay inside your own yard and tend to your own crops! Manage your own carrots and your own beets and worry about your own weeds! Shows. You come in here and talk to a grown man about shows… fine, you want a story? Those See Them Jay shows look good. We’d go to those. There. There’s your story about nothin’ outta somethin’ that’s somethin’ having to do with nothin'”

Trust

We’ve been told that we have trust issues. And that’s just not true. We just never trust a band that yells at the crowd to dance, move up, or go talk in the back. We never trust a crowd that arrives early and pays for the right not to listen. Never trust those who dance like a slow swan when an Abba song comes on. Never trust the one who is defiant when defending a band.

Never trust the words spoken to fill the silences. Never trust armchair experts on bank fees, collateral or commodities. Never trust those whose opinions are louder than their beliefs. Never trust hipster jokes. Never trust the website that references free summer shows just to link to something relevant.

Never trust the stranger who tells the stranger, “You should smile.” Never trust the dates the elevator was last checked or the port-o-potty last cleaned. Never trust people who dislike holidays. Never trust the person that reads a novel while exercising. Never trust that the band’s set-up takes as long as all that. Never trust those who insist the sequel was better than the original.

Never trust the person who addresses a group of people on email as “Folks.” Never trust conference room commands to take a real life conversation “offline.” Never trust online outrage.

Never trust anyone who refers to anything controversial as “Something-Gate.” Never trust the one who starts a bar tab for casual acquaintances. Never trust the casual film fan that refers to Robert DeNiro as “Bobby D.” Never trust people who claim they’re only happy when it rains.

Never trust alliteration.
Never trust form.
Never trust the arts.
Never trust independence.
Never trust mantras written using Microsoft Word.
Never trust.

No. We don’t think we have trust issues. Do you?

You opened it!

You opened it. You must now forward this email or you will be killed… with kindness, of course! What did you think we meant?

We want more new people to subscribe to these weekly emails so the needle on our self-esteem meter can move away from “EVEN THE MIRROR CRACKS ITS MOCKING SMILE AT US!” and more towards “Tomorrow probably will be better if we sleep through most of it.”

So can you please forward this on to your friends who like going to shows? If you can’t, no big deal; you will just die… with disappointment at having depressed us, of course! What did you think?

You can even forward this to people who hate shows. At least then we’ll know what it feels like to be in a new inbox, if only for a second or two. Again, if you don’t forward, it’s cool; we’re just going hang up your dead corpse in your bedroom cupboard… before resuscitating you with kisses of forgiveness, obviously!

So show us some love and do as we ask. But if you still don’t want to comply, we understand. But let us quickly tell you some stories about some of the sad, sad people who lost their lives because they didn’t want to comply. Take Helen. She got a similar email. She deleted it. And now Helen’s dead (sending to 0 people = you will die).

How about the curious case of Kevin? Kevin only sent the email to 5 people. Big mistake. Kevin’s eyeballs were pulled out with a fork while he was watching that one scene in “Three Men and a Baby” where you can see the dead kid in the background. (1-5 people = you’re going to either get hurt OR get the biggest fright of your life – Kevin’s scenario encompassed BOTH).

Be like Cindy. Cindy sent this email to 15 people (sending this to 15+ people = you won’t die). Cindy is very much alive, people. Very, very much alive. SO THX 4 DA LUV 🙂 !!!

(To reiterate, if you can’t forward it’s not a problem. Dead people don’t have any problems.) JK! JK! JK! JK! (just kill! just kill! just kill!)