Hearsay: Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Everybody — shut the fuck up!

That’s what HearSay has been wanting to yell at nearly every acoustic show that your writer’s been to over the past few weeks. It seems that there’s just something about quiet songs — or the weather — that’s been bringing out the voluble asshole in everyone. Now, HearSay understands that not everyone goes to clubs to hear the music, as much as to bullshit and get hammered. Still, some of these musicians can get very engaged with their music, making it hard for anyone with an empathetic bone in his or her body to ignore them.

Like, gasp, yours truly was hanging out at The Bronx Zoo sports bar on a recent school night while a guy and gal played covers on stage. In the middle of their set, your columnist realized he was singing show tunes at the bar. What an asshole. At that moment HearSay’s awareness of the incidental “music” that occasionally accompanies real music blossomed.

Incident No. 1: Tim Locke’s show at the Moon last week. He got quiet, the dumb-asses got louder, especially two chicks seated nearby (and isn’t it always the chicks? Like, didn’t they get enough attention in high school or something?). The gals were essentially yelling at each other, talking, of course, about a third party that HearSay bets wasn’t at their table (else the talking gals not only would not have been talking about her, they would have been complimenting her hair or her shoes or some shit — fer sure). (About the show: Tim Locke is a monster — his world-weary voice never sounded better, and his songs came through crisply, no little thanks to Byron Gordon on bass and Austin Barker on lead. Locke’s new c.d. is coming out in a few weeks. You’re a sucker if you don’t buy it.)

Incident No. 2: The Keith Wingate Trio’s gig at the 7th Haven a couple of weeks ago. There were a lot of people actually paying attention, HearSay admits. But what pissed your writer off was a small group of guys and dolls who sang “Happy (frickin’) Birthday” while Wingate and his backup — Lucas White on drums, Chuck Brown on bass/lead vocals (both are members of the smart-rock outfit Solomonic) — were in the middle of a song. (About the show: Wingate really let loose, actually funneling his sound through some sort of distortion device — maybe going for that Holdsworth/Metheny vibe — and taking an extended trip through Abbey Road, in between Scofield and Metheny tunes. Catch him at one of his monthly gigs at either the Black Dog Tavern or 7th Haven.)

Incident No. 3: Darrin Kobetich’s excursion to the Wreck Room a few weeks ago. You would think that Kobetich’s brand of heart-wrenching bluegrass/jazz would attract a sedate group. Unfortunately, not this time.

The moral of the story: It’s morally acceptable for proactive listeners to kindly tell their louder brethren to turn down the volume on the cackling and yelling. Either that, or tell the bouncer to toss ’em the hell out.

Contact HearSay at hearsay@fwweekly.com.

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