February 2007


I went to a show the other night — small crowd, nice space, good rock music — and during both sets someone (most likely the same person) shouted “Freebird.” That’s happened at every show ever for the last 30 years, and no one knows why or wants to encourage it to continue. Who yells it? What does it feel like to want to yell “Freebird” between songs? Is it the same feeling as needing to sneeze or vomit? This guy must think, “I am going to yell ‘Freebird’ and people will think it’s funny because . . . oh wait, that joke is so dated no one knows what it means and no one listens to Skynrd. FREEBIRD!”

It makes me sad. Let’s not shout things. Or least we can convince TGWY”F!” to yell a more current song title, such as “Humps!” or “Sofa of my Lethargy!” Or if he must yell at all it should be helpful tips about skin care or where to park downtown.

I must be in a long line of people who have written about people who are compelled to shout “Freebird.” Writing about people who shout “Freebird” might be the new shouting “Freebird.”

p.s. — The Young Sinclairs were really good. They may have been doing covers straight from the Nuggets box set and I didn’t notice, but I was impressed. However they wouldn’t stop playing (they were the opening act) and for a moment I started to panic as if I was at a Guided by Voices concert. Though I like GBV, both times I’ve seen them live I was afraid that they would play hundreds more two minute songs and keep me captive while my car was vandalized and my family kidnapped.

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Last Wednesday’s nonclass, nonwork adventure involved two of my greatest passions: Jeff Tweedy and remaining seated. He played Charlottesville, but it was an all-Richmond crowd. Maybe we can snag Wilco at one of the new theaters coming to town. I say “we” as if I will make any effort to achieve this. I will not.

There are podcasts on the Wilco web site. Our show was webcast(ed?) so hopefully will be available on a podcast. I don’t know what I’m talking about.