FlavaDave Says: At the Yo La Tengo show at the Vogue, a guy who looked just like character actor Kevin Sussman was not very happy with us.
By the way, it took me forever to Google him because I didn’t remember his name or any movies he had been in, so I’m very proud to present to you:
Anyway, this guy was a few standing rows in front of us. For some reason, YLT decided it was a good idea to play one fucking note for four whole minutes. I love indie rock sometimes.
Naturally, you and I get bored and started to chat. We were talking about how the show was going so far and the fact that the Vogue at the moment literally smelled like shit (I think a sewer line broke).
Obviously, the music is kinda quiet and we are kinda loud. Kevin Sussman keeps looking half backwards and nodding in exasperated disapproval. He did this about eight times.
So, was he a douchebag? I say yes.
Flinchbot Says: You think someone is a douchebag? Really? Man that’s out of character. Look, this Kevin Sussman guy was obviously a music geek who buys into the whole Yo La Tengo thing. I bet he’s got an autographed copy of the Trouser Press Record Guide (first edition) autographed by Ira.
And here we were talking about whatever it was when dude was just trying to enjoy the show. I’d have been the same way when Justin Sullivan, one of my musical heroes, played a mostly acoustic set at Radio Radio. I didn’t pay my money to worship at Mr. Sullivan’s alter to hear some dickheads talk all night through the show. If you want to talk, go to the back of the bar or go outside and smoke. But I paid my money and the entertainment is on the stage, not standing behind me.
Sure, we were getting bored (and “Pass the Hatchet, I Think I’m Goodkind” was freaking absurdly long and horrible). Sure we were talking. But ultimately, we were out of line.
FlavaDave Says: Out of character? I may be a nice guy, but I’m still a snot-nosed 22 year old kid. It’s not me man, it’s the language of my generation.
Look, I know the horrors of the talker. I was at a Ben Folds show with a dude screaming about what autographed limited edition vinyl EPs he had in his Ben Folds collection. Dude, it’s Ben Folds. That doesn’t count as being cool.
To me, the level of acceptable talking is dependant on two factors: the room and the quality of the show.
If you are at the Murat, you paid 30+ bucks to see a national band that, chances are, you can’t see very often. That’s a quiet show. Well, usually it is loud as fuck anyway, so conversations are typically drowned out. But the Vogue is a club. It’s not a shut-the-hell-up kind of place. It’s a drink-beers-and-hang-with-friends kind of place. If Yo La Tengo didn’t want to have that kind of show, they should have booked the show elsewhere. Any venue that has $1 You-Call-Its Retro Rewind nights does not foster a quiet, respectful atmosphere.
My other point has been made for me by Steve in the comments below. The band earned the chatter by sucking.
Could we have been classier? Yes. But we are not the ones on trial here. Kevin Sussman is.
Why does Sussman suck?
a) He didn’t realize the context of the show (as explained brilliantly by myself already).
b) He never made eye contact with us.
c) He never said a word to us.
What kind of spineless ass-cat* uses non-confrontational passive aggression at a Yo La Tengo concert? What were we going to do, stab him with our glasses or choke him with a scarf? What’s wrong with simply turning around and saying “Hey guys, sorry to interrupt. I’m having trouble hearing. Would you mind keeping it down until a louder song comes on?”
But he didn’t. He vaguely twisted his head to the side, paused, and then shook his head like we were uncivilized cro-magnons who didn’t deserve to breathe the same air as the Gods of Ambience onstage.
I agree with you, we could have been kinder to our fellow sulkers. Fine. But two sinners don’t make a saint. That guy (pardon my french) was a douche.
*Thanks to Rasheed Wallace for one of my favorite putdowns ever.
Flinchbot says: Dude, the scarf is the new black t-shirt for the hipster set. Next show we go to, I say we both wear a scarf. sure, it might be 85 degrees outside and we’re heading to Punk Rock Night at the Melody Inn, but dammit, we’re wearing scarves with our torn black t-shirts, shorts, and sandals. Hey Ladies!
So you admit that you were being a douche. Thank heavens I was talking less for a while which makes me less douchy than you (I know, I eventually jumped in a little later on and was probably responsible for at least one “Sussman Glance”). So I’m less of a douche than you and that’s all that really matters at this point.
The only real problem with the Sussman kid was his complete lack of balls. If we were so damn annoying, just man up and say “Hey – move to the back or go ouside, will ya”? But this dude was all weasely and ball-less. That’s not worhty of him being a douche. Throwing a beer at us would be douche-worthy. Whipping his dick out and telling us to lick his little acorns would be douche-worthy. Pulling his pants down and farting in our general direction would make him douche-worthy. Or French.
So in summation, the Sussman kid was not a douche, just a ball-less indie kid who seriously needs to spend the next 32 weekends attending Punk Rock Night. He’ll come out a whole new man. And that’s what we’re all about here – providing a guiding light to those lost in their own dark mental wastelands.