Being a Musician/Spartacus

Greetings from the super exciting I-80E , en route to Salt Lake City after finishing up the second of twenty shows of the tour with Jack’s Mannequin and Steel Train. The first two nights have been fantastic (thanks Ventura and Sacramento), not to mention there has been some reaalllly gooood music on this tour.  You don’t believe? Come to a show!

The last two nights were extra fantastic because we’ve been dealing with business so much lately, so it was great/cathartic/fun to get on stage in front of a new (grateful) audience and remember how it feels to actually do what we love in front of people who appreciate it.  After the show some guy even said to me: “your music was so good that I wanted to die, in a good way!’ I’m not sure how death by music can be good, but he reassured me that indeed it he was paying me the highest form of flattery.

It’s a curse and a blessing that I feed off the audience so much. I’d rather be one of those real-deal dudes who doesn’t care what the audience thinks or how they respond. “Fuck it. Love it or hate it but this is MY MUSIC.” I would love to say that and actually mean it.  Don’t get me wrong. It’s great when we get positive reactions, but the power I give to the audience is quite dangerous, as I found out a few weeks ago….  

Cut to: a beautiful sunny day at the Silverlake Jubilee, a cool little two-day festival with a bunch of local LA bands. We hit the stage to a full crowd, anxious to hear some new music and give the thumbs up or thumbs down (a la Spartacus at the mercy of Caesar’s judgment).  As soon as we began, I could see that we were going to win the crowd over (the typical signs of happy-shiny people dancing to the music, cheering, clapping, etc). I thought I had received a sufficient dose of audience affirmation to feel validated until out of nowhere, a thick-mustached-guy in the front row co-opted my attention with a “HEY! You Suck!! Fuck yewwwwwww!!!” flipping me off and so offended and disgusted by our music that I’m sure he was frothing at the mouth. I had never been heckled before (if this even counts as heckling). I tried so hard to not pay attention to him and focus on the rest of the (grateful) audience, but he was completely in my head. And to make matters worse, neither Matti nor Dan noticed him at all, so I  began to wonder if maybe I was crazy, and this guy was just my personified fear of not being loved by everyone in the audience.  Real or imaginary, I found no solace or comfort or protection on stage.

He stayed a few songs,  anger never subsiding, and then with one final middle finger in the air turned and marched away….

After he left, I finally re-noticed the packed crowd in front of us, still happy and shiny and dancing, and I took a deep breath and got back into my groove. I guess lady danville isn’t for everyone, or at least not for this particular thick-mustached heckler.

 -Michael

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9 thoughts on “Being a Musician/Spartacus

  1. Taryn Huston says:

    Well, that mustached jerk is definitely missing out.
    I find myself jammin’ out to Cast Away and the Ship Song [as well as all your other songs, of course!] in the car with the window down pretty much every day.
    You guys are incredibly talented and make beautiful music, don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise!

  2. Kael says:

    i concur!! you guys are awesome. shun the non believer!

  3. Maddie Rodrigues says:

    YOU GUYS WERE AMAZING!!! I was right in the front row in Sacto and I wanted you to play for three hours straight! ❤ I love Lady Danville. Don't let that mustache man let you down, obviously he has some issues.

    I just want to be friends with all of you! 😀 Have a great tour. ❤

  4. Anya says:

    Hmm. You know who heckles? People who are so childish and miserable that they want to spread their bad vibes to the shinyhappies. They’re easily spotted because they tend to sport unfortunate facial hair and a generally scowly demeanor. The hecklers are the people to whom you MUST say fack it.

    What I said after maybe three bars of your first song in Detroit when you opened for Ben Folds: “These guys are incredibly talented.” I’d wish you luck, but you don’t need it.

    Happy Tour!

    • Christa says:

      “You know who heckles? People who are so childish and miserable that they want to spread their bad vibes to the shinyhappies.”

      This is probably the best way to describe hecklers, haha.

  5. Asakura Sena says:

    Never mind the heckler, you guys are amazingly talented

  6. christa dh says:

    I wish people weren’t such vocal jerks sometimes. That said, you guys are GOOD musicians, and you’re great people, too. Can I mention that 5 of my top 10 most frequently listened to tracks (according to last.fm) are your songs?

    And at least at your shows that I’ve attended: for every Complainy McGee that annoyed those of us there to enjoy your music, there were at least 3 of us that loudly defended your honor, haha.

  7. Ah Michael, we all love you! I think it is awesome that you can voice your insecurities regarding the heckler. He’s just mad that he doesn’t have the balls to get on stage and do what you guys do and the fact that you are freaking rockin’ it pisses him off even more. Love you Michael and all of Lady D!!

  8. laura says:

    i wish he had been imaginary, but the idiocy and cheap beer that he was breathing into my ear felt a little too real. you guys were wonderful at silverlake, as usual. hurry home to la 🙂

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