Hearsay: Wednesday, October 24, 2002
Be Seen

All that was missing from last week’s Spoonfed Tribe show at the Wreck Room was a carnival barker, in cut-off cargo pants and a tuxedo t-shirt, openly trying to parlay his gig as Spoonfed’s emcee into a date with a hippie chick while secretly hoping against hope that his participating in something as counter-culturey as this Spoonfed performance would absolve him from having voted for Dubya two years ago and from once having worn an orange Polo golf shirt out in public. At the Wreck, you had a solid jam band jamming on stage, painter Jesse Hernandez action-painting on a large canvas stage right, local visual artists celebrating themselves at a Metroplex-friendly group show at 3 Billion Art Gallery ’round back, and as many hippies of various races as you could swing a glo-stick at dancing and drinking all over. It was the Summer of Love, man.

To the average Joe, this artfest represented the best of an art-loving populace’s ability to — in the spirit of Uncle Walt — sing a song of itself. To the rest of us, though, it was a cruel case study in belonging. As with other cliques, in the world of the artsy-fartsy type, you must either be “on the bus” or off, and if you’re not on the bus or not all the way on, you’re basically persona non grata. The Denton outfit Djugdish, which had taken the stage before Spoonfed, absolutely rocked the house with their tasty brand of operatic thrash-slash-hair metal — and the hippies in attendance, all decked out in faux-’70s wear (HearSay included), weren’t even paying attention (HearSay not included). As if hair metal is that counter-counter-cultural. (Well, if it is counter-counter-cultural, it should be “cool,” right? Like wearing an orange Polo golf shirt to a Spoonfed show.)

Which isn’t to say that dissing outsiders is endemic only to hipsters. At the Aardvark for John Price’s c.d.-release party Friday, the yuppies who packed the place proved to be allergic to applauding. This is no way to treat the Metroplex’s best rocker. Could it have been because the ever-fashionable Price favors vintage clothing over brand-name, sweatshop gear? Hmm.

Still, while HearSay can at least understand why aspiring yuppies would want to resist non-yuppified outsiders (’cause a non-yuppified outsider probably can’t help advance a yuppie’s career in accounting), HearSay doesn’t understand while people from the land of Artsy-Fartsy, who themselves should know what it’s like being on the outside, are so got-damn provincial.

A lot of people talk about how bad the music scene is here nowadays — not that there’s not great musicianship going on, but that there’s little to no interest in hearing new sounds and supporting new artists. It could be because shows are becoming more and more like places to be seen rather than places to see great music. For shame.

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