We Like To Watch

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Betty Felon
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We Like To Watch

Postby Betty Felon » Mon Nov 10, 2003 10:35 pm

Live Music:

When you are watching live music, how do you watch it?

When you watch the singer approach the microphone, what are you thinking? When he/she tilts her head back to sing, what goes through your head? When the song begins does that change?

Do you listen to the lyrics? Do you know the lyrics? Do you sing your heart out? Are you self-conscious about dancing?

Do you just let your body feel it? Is it intellectual? Is it romantic? Is there sexual attraction? Do feel like you know the musician? Do you want to really know the musician? Do you specifically NOT want to know the musician?

Do you watch the crowd? Do you watch a particular instrument? Do you watch a particular part of a particular instrument at a particular time? Do you stare at your shoes?

Do you appreciate style? Do you learn cool moves? Do you learn good jokes? Are you selfish about sound quality? Are you forgiving about performance quality?

Do you wish it was you up there? Is it like looking at the singer through a pane of glass, partially reflecting yourself? (me)

Do you ever prefer recorded music?

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omphale
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Postby omphale » Tue Nov 11, 2003 8:39 am

yo, betty, settle down!!! you definitely need a glass of wine, a massage and maybe a hot bath.

(either that or a kickboxing class, it's hard to say)

actually, let's just make it a couple shots of bourbon (or, as my friends and i like to call it 'fist-fight your friends'). that way you can have it all.

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Betty Felon
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Postby Betty Felon » Tue Nov 11, 2003 10:03 am

meh. I'm honestly curious. There a lot of questions there, but their purpose is help to generate ideas. I didn't want to leave it too vague and get really generic responses. The main question is: How do you watch live music?

Man, I know there are ton of smarty-pantses on this board, but getting people to respond feels like herding cats...

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omphale
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Postby omphale » Tue Nov 11, 2003 10:33 am

sorry, betty, i didn't mean to be dismissive, i was just overwhelmed!


also, i have no definitive answers, because each performance is such a unique experience for me.

frequently i know the people playing in the band that i'm going to see, so clearly that makes a huge difference. Is the singer my boyfriend? and if so, did we just get into some kind of crappy argument about rufus wainwrights new album before the show, or am i anxiously awaiting the end of the show so i can take him home and ravage him? Is the drummer my best friend? is the guitarist someone i dated a long time ago? these things make a big difference in the emotional quality of the performance for me, and also the expectations the performers will have of me in terms of support and feedback. so that can make a big difference in how carefully or critically i listen and watch.

if i know the music very very well and have seen the group perform a lot i am likely to listen criticallyand watch very closely for subtle differences in each individual's performance.

if i don't know the music well it's more likely that i'll just kinda let it envelope me and take me wherever it's going. much more a 'feeling' experience. later i'll think about it.

if i feel like there is something i need to learn from the band i will watch very closely to see what they are doing and how and when and with what kind of attitude.

and sometimes, if the spirit moves me, i will dance dance dance.

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heather
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Postby heather » Tue Nov 11, 2003 11:00 am

I watch live music like this....


I'm totally showing you, unfortunately, you're not here to see it.

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Harry Kellerman
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Postby Harry Kellerman » Tue Nov 11, 2003 1:55 pm

i just kind of stand and watch it, not one thing in particular, though, just different parts of the band at different times. if it's ska i might dance. if there's an open chair i will most likely occupy it and relax while watching the band.

sean
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Postby sean » Wed Nov 12, 2003 6:00 am

if the band is good, i always wish it were me up there.

if the band is great, i table this desire.

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omphale
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Postby omphale » Wed Nov 12, 2003 7:52 am

sean wrote:if the band is good, i always wish it were me up there.

if the band is great, i table this desire.


yes, agreed. and if the band is mediocre i think 'dammit, why did they get this gig instead of my band?!?'

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Betty Felon
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Postby Betty Felon » Mon Nov 17, 2003 2:05 pm

hmmmm...well, I'm not sure what I was looking for...and therefore how to ask for it. Why am I so inarticulate? hahaha.

The thread was partially inspired by Sean's stranger articles that revolve around the "Erasing the Hours" theme. He doesn't go into it in very much detail, but the idea of going to movies, of seeking entertainment, simply to fill the days... I guess I'd like more personal elaboration on the idea from different people.

I know I go out to stop thinking. To distract myself from those voices in your head that constantly tell you to be a better person... "Work Harder. Go to the gym more often. Keep in contact with old friends and family. Drink less. Eat Healthy. Be nicer. Volunteer for something that matters. Do something about this war. Educate yourself. Be BETTER. BE BETTER. BE BETTER." And the voices will not cease...endless repitition...until you go to the movies, or get lost in a book, or go rock out at the rock show.

But, of course, that's only part of it. There are other parts of it for me, that I'm not always aware of unless I reflect on it. The aesthetic the draws you in, attracts you for so many reasons. The community of like minded people...sometimes revolving around some sort of ideology, spoken or unspoken. The insights gained, both personal and universal. Appreciation of the craft itself. And, of course, the individuals on stage...either you identify or admire or both...in any case, they are special.

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anthropomorphizing_kitty
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Postby anthropomorphizing_kitty » Sat Feb 14, 2004 7:48 am

I too watch thinking about it being me up there. I also think about it predictively. I know that's most likely not a word, but what I mean is I listen and predict what changes will be coming, if I feel a place where I imagine a drum roll would fit in nicely, I'll look to the drummer, and I dance the same way. I'll dance to a song I've never heard as though I know it by heart and usually I'm write but sometimes I leap valiantly into the air and come crashing down to the ground with no particular percussive event to support my fall. I also get lost in 2 or more part harmonies. Listening to TLW's shows on the KEXP archive shatters me.

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Endo23
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Postby Endo23 » Sun Feb 15, 2004 8:40 pm

For me it's sort of all of the above, you know... depending on the show.

When I was young and naive and liked smoking pot by the bushel, I went to Phish shows, and I stood extremely close and either a) noodle-danced my heart out with all the other 'trippies' or b) watched the guitarist and tried and figure out what the fuck he was doing (which worked better than one might expect, actually). I felt no sexual attraction for any member of the band, but would've loved to hang out with them. A big part of the experience was the comraderie of the other showgoers.

At Dismemberment Plan shows, I would dance furiously and completely un-self consciously, because that's what you do at a D Plan show, right? I would often berate members of the crowd who refused to dance yet stood near the front of the stage, because I thought it was inconsiderate. I often watched their drummer with my mouth agape, because he was a complete madman. And I laughed at Travis' bad jokes, especially the ones about Conor Oberst. RIP.

At a Long Winters concert, I laugh and smile a lot and strum the occasional air guitar, and don't really dance much because "What will all these hipsters think?" I sing along unapologetically, though. I scream requests, but only near the end of the set when they haven't played my favorite songs. And I feel guilty about it. And I think these guys would be a hell of a lot of fun to kick it with. And I try to figure out some of the chord changes, but I don't pay too much attention to the technical stuff because I'm having so much fun.

At Radiohead shows, I go into a euphoric trance that is genuinely better than sex or just about anything else I've ever experienced. I dance to "Idioteque" and cry to "No Surprises" and exchange hugs with the people around me, because we all feel blessed to be alive when this band is performing. I feel similar about Bjork, but it's an inward-directed sort of bliss, and it's fused with sexual desire and attraction.

Sometimes I want to be on stage, but if the band is truly amazing, I'm happy just to be in the audience. I mean, the worst part about being in Radiohead is that you never get to see Radiohead perform live...

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anthropomorphizing_kitty
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Postby anthropomorphizing_kitty » Mon Feb 16, 2004 8:40 pm

Mmmm...I definitely know what you're saying about the radiohead shows...and they only seem to be getting better, eh? I've been to three now and each one is better, although regretably, also larger.

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Endo23
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Postby Endo23 » Tue Feb 17, 2004 12:57 pm

yeah, they just keep getting better. i was aware of this at the hollywood bowl show, even through my trance... not only were they producing all of these incredible sounds, but they were making it look effortless... which it is certainly not. their stage setup is kind of inconceivable at this point, it's so complicated... and yet they traverse this technical terrain so well it seems completely organic... incredible. let's hear it for radiohead's roadies, huh?


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