“The fellow who thinks he knows it all is especially annoying to those of us who do.” -Harold Coffin
Don't be that guy: annoying dude with the guitar
Yeah, I get it. You just learned the chords to the newest, old school Dashboard Confessional song and you're just dying to strategically place yourself in a bustling crowd of people and belt out the lyrics you so painstakingly memorized in an attempt to make people realize how truly poetic and unique you are. Not to mention talented. Oh, and you have awesome taste. Did I mention talented?
And maybe just maybe, that girl from your chemistry class will be walking by when you hit that high note and she'll be so awestruck that her books will depart from her side in slow motion fashion as she turns ever so slightly to see the look on your face. No you're not crying, you're just really really into it. Then maybe, just maybe she'll softly sway towards you as you finish the last verse in a whisper so faint that it's not even audible (thank God). But she knows the words, and she's been waiting to hear them from a guy with a guitar. In the middle of a crowd. In between classes. Sitting alone. Who's really cool. And emotional. But not too emotional. Did I mention talented?
Here's the deal, we get it. you want to be heard. You want to be understood. So I'm here to offer some food for thought. How about you stop wasting all of our time by playing sub-par "music" in a place where we not only can hear you but we have to. Take those 30 minutes and go back to your dorm and practice. Practice long and hard. Then when you think you're pretty close to being pretty good, practice some more. Because right now your combination of power chords, pathetic pitches, and public performance is driving the academic world mad. I'd rather piss on my bare feet then listen to you complain about how Sally won't date you. Especially when Sally is sitting 10 ft away and desperately trying to ignore you. And I know that you think you're the next Trent Rezner and no one understands you and one day it will all make sense when you're a multi-million dollar recording artist. Then you'll sit on the set of VH1 and talk about how you used to serenade the student body in between classes and how no one ever really.... "got it." Well I get it. Really, I do.
So my request is not that you stop, but rather that you get better. If your guitar is really that important and you're really that introverted as to not care about the world around you, then find a dark hallway and write and practice till your fingers bleed and you think you understand Thoreau. Until then, leave the rest of the world alone.
As a slam poet, (want to be) musician, and theatre geek I totally get the draw of public performance. For those of us who enjoy expressing ourselves, performing for others makes us come alive. Our soul springs to life when people listen to what we have to say. Our voice is louder, stronger, and clearer. We are no longer bound by the supposed "status quo" that holds us back throughout our day to day grind. That said, don't disgrace my art by pretending that what you're doing is expressing yourself. You're putting on the front MTV gave you in a dramatic attempt to tear attention from your peers. You're not being creative, you're not being unique, you're just being annoying. I'm not telling you to fit in, I'm just telling you to stand out for the right reasons. Because you may just be the next Kurt Cobain, so don't waste that energy on people who could honestly care less. Instead spend that time focusing on yourself and who you really are, THEN reach out to the world, but in ways and places you know you've at least got a chance at being accepted. Plus, when I'm 5 minutes late for class and trying to get my ass onto that 4th floor asap, I really don't want to hear about your feelings. Give me a flyer. Meet me at the park. But please stop playing in the Ped mall. It's just frustrating.
Then again, I'm that guy with the blog so if you want to write a song about how annoying I am, I'd love to hear it.