Music, Uncategorized

5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Talk at a Folk Concert

Following up on your Monkey’s post from this weekend, in which he was gnashing his teeth over the overtalkative crowd that ruined an otherwise great performance by the Great Lake Swimmers at the Middle East in Cambridge Friday night.

1. It’s Rude: It’s rude to the performer who is trying to play his songs, and it is rude to the people in the audience who are trying to listen but can’t hear themselves think because you are jammering in the background. Even if you don’t like the music, have some sympathy for the musician as a person and the audience as your fellow man.

2. It’s an embarrassment to us as music fans. What does it say about us as a town (Boston/Cambridge) that we can’t stop talking long enough to listen to music? Your Monkey was embarrassed to be part of a crowd filled with immature jackasses who were too busy thinking about themselves to realize that they were ruining the night. We are the birthplace of the folk revival movement of the late 1950s, a proud tradition that includes Joan Baez and Bob Dylan. Don’t lets ruin it with our selfishness.

3. It Makes You Look Like An Ass: You may be a perfectly nice person 98% of the time, but when I see you talking during a show my blood starts to boil and soon I hate everything about you. I hate the way you look and the way to stand and the way you hold your drink. I hate the way to talk and I hate the way you check your phone and I hate the people you are talking to.

4. It’s Bad for Business: I wouldn’t blame the Great Lake Swimmers if they didn’t want to come back to Boston to play here again. And I’m not sure I would go see them again in the same setting because the audience is just too distracting to have a good time. What does that mean for the next quiet acoustic singer-songwriter who rolls into town? Should they not even bother showing up here? Should I not get a ticket for the show because I don’t know if I’ll be able to hear the music?

5. There’s always a chance the Monkey could snap. Your Monkey is not a violent person. But he has to admit that his blood was boiling and his back was sweating and it took all of his self control not to turn around and start screaming at all of the people who wouldn’t shut up during the performance. It would not have been pleasant for anyone involved. And there may have been others like him in the crowd who were reaching the same level of frustration and aggravation. Just be nice and respectful and other people will treat you the same way.

So people, please. Tell your friends, your colleagues and your coworkers. Save your conversations for before or after the show. if you have to shout because the music is too loud, maybe it’s time to stop talking.

Thanks — that’s enough on this subject for now.


Great Lake Swimmers at the Middle East (or, let’s all talk through a concert!)

Your Monkey is feeling grumbly and scowly today after heading out to the Middle East in Cambridge last night to see the Great Lake Swimmers.

The musical performances were great to see, but the night was really ruined by a shamefully rude crowd who insisted on talking through the whole show.

What a bunch of jabberjaws.

Your Monkey’s heart was breaking for the performers in the Swimmers and opening act Wooden Birds. He would be surprised if either group could hear themselves think on stage.

Your Monkey also felt genuinely bad for all the nice, respectful people at the show who were trying to hear the music but could barely hear themselves think.

At least one person was bold enough to ask the crowd to quiet down, but it didn’t do any good.

Your Monkey was not expecting some kind of church-like silence during the show, but this chatter went above and beyond.

Seriously, people. Why are we paying $12 bucks for a show if we don’t even care enough to listen to what the band has to play?

What is wrong with us as a society if we can’t stop talking for an hour or so?

Are we so convinced of our own importance that we don’t care if we’re rude to the band and the other people in the crowd?

Or are we so self-absorbed that we just don’t notice?

Believe me, you’re not that interesting.

This Monkey certainly isn’t that interesting.

Nothing we have to say is that important that it can’t wait.


Despite the poor reception they got last night, the Great Lake Swimmers and the Wooden Birds managed to deliver great performances.

Here is a Great Lake Swimmers song for your enjoyment.

To get the roughly the same experience that this Monkey had last night, turn the television on, find Fox News and crank it up to full volume behind you before you play it.


Why This Monkey is Smitten With Tori Amos

It has very little to do with her music. Sure, Your Monkey has been a casual fan of Tori A and might even cop to owning a few CDs if we were just talking one on one together and not in a room full of guys from the soccer team.

And sure, the fetching red hair and powerful voice don’t hurt her case either.

But what Your Monkey absolutely loves about Tori Amos is her willingness to throw people out of her shows who insist on talking through her performance. This is by far the best solution to dealing with an increasingly self-centered society comprised of people who insist on talking through everything.

Your Monkey recently went to a Jenny Lewis show at the Boston House of Blues and was irritated by all the chatter that was going on in the crowd. Click here to relive that experience.

Talking during a show ruins the atmosphere  and breaks the spell between the performer and the audience and is generally a pretty rude thing to do.

Not only do you run the risk of upsetting the performer, but you are also preventing fans from focusing on the musical performance because they become too obsessed with trying to figure out why you can’t shut the f–k up for two seconds.

Tori Amos thinks so, too. She has decided to simply toss the offenders out on their ear. Bravo! Check out this story here for all the details.

Oh worshipful, wonderful Tori A!¬† From now on I will call you Tori A-most (As in “a most” wonderful human being). Here is a song to celebrate the beginning of a beautiful friendship.