A personal diary keeping people abreast of what I am working on writing-wise.

Monday, October 02, 2006


First, my good friend and editor Maryanne Snell interviewed me for the Eclectica literary journal. Given how much we have worked together and the years we have known each other, I think Maryanne has a pretty good insight into what I do and so the interview is incisive as a result. I think, too, my comfortability with her gets me blabbing a little more openly. Read it here.

More interviews will be coming soon. I find it interesting how in depth people get with me, but no one ever asks me about my personal life. Everyone tries to draw me out on the Lance Scott question, for instance. "Is he you? Did this happen?" But no one ever says, "Well, what's your life like? Are you in a relationship?" and so on. If I was in another art form, they would, so I guess I'm saying it's odd to be doing work where I'm less a personality and it's about the work. Not that I wouldn't lie through my teeth, anyway.

Second, it's been a while since I've ranted about people at concerts, largely because my senior citizen's residency doesn't let me out for as many shows as they used to, but the ranting is back, so prepare.

Saturday night's Dirty Martini sold-out release party was a blast. The girls were in fine form, and even admitted that the previous night's concert at a larger venue had worked a lot of the jitters out. "Easy Kill" is my total live favorite, but their cover of "When Doves Cry" is also pretty exceptional. McKinley does the main vocals, and they've stripped the arrangement and made it sultry and slow. Very nice.

The concert was at the Mission Theatre & Pub, which normally hosts cheap movies and not live music. Sound-wise, it's actually not a bad place, but for actually hanging out and listening, it left a little to be desired. If they are going to sell more tickets than there are seats, then they should actually clear more areas for standing. Anyone without a chair was in the back or to the side, so no real dancing, a much more reserved atmosphere.

I ended up in a side pocket with another writer I know, Bill Cornett. For the first half of the show, we had a decent view, but we had to contend with what I liked to call the Tool Box. This was a handful of guys all wearing polo shirts tucked into their pants who stood around talking about cars and things of that nature. One of them was enthusing over the car he was going to be buying. He was going to get in the shade of "Root Beer Metallic." I swear to God, that is apparently a color. I immediately took out my moleskin and flipped to the back where I keep the list of fake band names and wrote down "Root Beer Metallic." They also had some girls with them, a couple of which could be described with some rather harsh words that rhyme with dimbulb (though, that word works on its own, too). The thing was, none of them shut up. They talked constantly, regardless of the dirty looks that myself and a guy in front of them made. I know they saw me. I made eye contact. It was clear. But no, they kept talking. Remember, kids, if the music gets louder, you don't start talking louder to be heard over it, you shut up.

I thought the Tool Box was going to be the worst of the night, but there were two guys who were a darker shade of asshole than Root Beer Metallic. They actually quieted the Tools down, as these dipshits harshed everyone's good time.

Well into Dirty Martin's set, these knuckleheads came over and stood in front of all of us. There was an empty space there, yes, but that was because there was a particularly large pole. We had all positioned ourselves so that we could see around the pole. For our inability to agree on how much talking was acceptable, we had created a balance for how we placed ourselves. These guys ruined it.

As soon as they were on the pole, they ignored our protests and our shuffling. One of them started taking pictures with his cell phone, holding it up in such a way that if I didn't move, I'd actually be staring through his fucking cell phone myself. What is that? Why do these imbeciles want to watch a concert through their phone? No one needs any more shitty phone pictures on Flickr. Honest. And we were only twenty feet away. The band looked smaller on screen than they would if he just watched with his own eyes.

The other guy kept text messaging from his Blackberry, so on either side, we had to look past their electronic glowing things. When they weren't focused on their machines, they would crack jokes to each other and laugh in such a way that can only be described as cackling. Sorority girls would be sickened by these two nimrods' giggly pillow-fight glee. And they were middle-aged men. The guy with the phone could have changed my grandfather's diapers the first time he wore them.

A couple songs into this behavior, I realized there was something I could do that would be much more delicious than telling these guys to fuck off. I moved in front of the pole, getting as far over into the path of the cell phone as I could without bugging the people sitting down. It seemed to work, because by the time I stopped pretending like I wasn't doing anything and turned around, they were gone, probably going home to take a bubble bath and text each other back and forth while looking at grainy concert photos.

Why are people such incredible douchebags?

Currently Reading: The Book of Fate by Brad Meltzer

Current Soundtrack: Gorillaz, Demon Days (they're here again)

Current Mood: irritated


Chynna said...

I was wondering if I was the only one getting really pissed off at concerts these days and everyone else was always having a great time. I know I'm getting grumpier as I get older, but it really seems like the tallest, loudest cockheads on the planet decide to stand right in front of me every time I go. It doesn't matter where I move to, either, more will shove right in front of me and chortle. Sometimes even lean back into my personal bubble. For once it'd be nice if it was the group of short, mousy girls who just want to watch the show that slide in the front. I wouldn't mind that at all, so long as tall hats don't manage to come back into fashion or anything.

And the electronics... gah.

Jamie S. Rich said...

Crowds are a big reason I go to less concerts these days. I hate that stupid dance you end up doing to keep your view. I always get some guy in front of me who keeps shifting his weight back and forth, so I have to flow with him to keep his head out of my sight line. I imagine it's a chain reaction that goes all the way back: he shifts, I shift, someone behind me shifts, on and forever.