this bird has flown

I would like to imagine that people in New York—especially people at a Boredoms show—would be erudite enough to know that yelling “Freebird!” isn’t funny. Not ironically, not-post-ironically, not as an anthropological field research study, not ever. Honestly, two months after the Beavis And Butthead episode that aired over a decade ago, it stopped being funny. Forever. In perpetuity. Amen.

“Freebird!” isn’t an ironic joke to me, it’s a tragic reminder of the swampy cultural abyss that is the “Sunshine” State. In Florida, the ghost of Ronnie VanZant still sags limply, like a confederate flag on a humid, windless day. The song’s 14 minutes are a bloated as an alligator’s rotting corpse on the emergency lane of I-75. It makes “Stairway To Heaven” look as swift, lean and lively as a Bad Brains song. Just hearing it makes me itch a row of imaginary mosquito bites until I’m scabby and raw.

So for whatever reason, someone yelled “Freebird!” at the poor, hapless Boredoms. And someone yelled “Rock And Roll McDonalds” at Fantômas. And someone yelled “Slayer!” at every single show I’ve gone to in the last three years.

Here’s a handy guide to the “clever” things that you yell at shows...
(And some succinct reasons why you’re an asshole)

1. Yelling the song you want to hear
What you’re saying: I sure would like to hear [insert song]. What’s the most obnoxious way I could express this?
What we hear: Look, band. I know you went through the trouble of making a set list because I can clearly see it taped to the monitor. I know you’ve been diligently practicing your set for weeks and weeks. I know you take great pride in the show you've worked so hard on delivering us. But could you tailor it to my specific tastes, like, immediately?

2. Yelling someone else’s song
What you’re saying: Oh, man. This delicious non sequitur will really get a rise out of all those uptight squares at the Clutch show.
What we hear: I was in gifted class so I have an inflated sense of self-worth. Everyone please revel in how weird and irreverent I am.

3. Yelling “Slayer!”
What you’re saying: What a brilliant juxtaposition between the sensitive mewing of Mirah and the thrash metal of Slayer!
What we hear: Slayer’s really funny because I used to like them when I was 13. But I abandoned them ever since I discovered my self-importance and sacrificed my true drives and opinions in favor of impressing others with my carefully calculated façade of "sensitivity" and "intellectualism."

4. Yelling "Slayer!" at a Slayer show
What you’re saying: I like Slayer.
What we hear: Slayer!

5. Yelling “Freebird!” as a joke.
What you’re saying: I still think it’s funny to yell “Freebird.” Even though it’s been 12 years since I’ve ever heard anyone besides myself even politely snicker at it.
What we hear: I wish people liked me. I must the only one at this AC Newman show without a girlfriend. Try harder, man! Try harder!

6. Yelling “Freebird!” as a ironic meta-joke
What you’re saying: I’m sooo beyond those stupid assholes who yell “Freebird” at shows. I take great pride in knowing I have such a solid grasp on cultural trends that I can be just a tiny step above them... even though they are so banal and insipid, I wonder how they can pull themselves away from Desperate Housewives to even drag their pathetic husks to a bar (haha, zing, dude!). Also, I still think Alf, Care Bears and Steve Perry are inherently funny and that’s why they are all drawn on my shirt in magic marker.
What we hear: Woo. I sure love to drink PBR!

7. Yelling “Freebird!” sincerely because you seriously want to hear “Freebird!” right now.
This has never happened.

For more information on yelling "Freebird," consult your local library. Or read this awesome thing.


Blogger trmw said...

This is the best blog entry ever. Thanks Chris.

8:31 PM  
Blogger Christopher R. Weingarten said...

And you are the greatest blog reader ever!

And by the greatest, I mean "probably the only one!"

12:03 AM  
Blogger trmw said...

yr on my feeds dude! i check my feeds. i'm even linking you from my blog. so i'm like a meta-god blog reader now.

8:00 PM  
Blogger Christopher R. Weingarten said...

Fuck is a feed?

3:11 AM  
Blogger trmw said...

an rss feed is this thing you can use to bookmark blogs and check up on which oones have updated without having to visit each of them specifically. this explains more.

(i feel dorky)

4:07 PM  
Blogger Marie said...

you know what's good to yell at a show? "play _13_ songs." also, "whipping post."

i am shocked you didn't know about feeds. luddite!

4:47 PM  
Blogger Marie said...

also, i LOVE alf! c'mon! don't take away my fun. willie!

care bears suck, tho.

4:49 PM  
Blogger Hyphy said...

When in doubt, yell "DJ good, singer bad"

6:05 AM  

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