The Story of the Do's and Don's of Show Garb

          There you are, standing in front of your bathroom mirror, putting the finishing touches on your already perfect look for the show you've been anxiously looking forward to for weeks. You're in your favorite band tee that's been cut, sewn, tied, and re-cut. It took you two hours and you still have scraps of sleeve scattered about your room. You have on your favorite pair of jeans with casual holes in all the right places and your roughed- show-going shoes with all their glorious badges and battle scars from the many concerts prior. As you should, you feel confident, secure, and ready for the night of your life, but that's not what this is about. I'm going to tell you about the people on the other end of the spectrum. The ones who don't think about their incredibly awful wardrobe decisions and what they should have done instead.

          Setting: The House of Blues, San Diego, CA. The year is 2006, and I'm 14. I'm tagging along with my cousins to see Cartel (good band, though I'm not a huge fan, just happy to go to a concert with my super cool, older cousins.) After some ticket issues due to lousy venue employees, we finally get inside to find a well-oiled machine of a crowd being fueled by the speakers. Excitement consumes me and I leap into the crowd like a pig in a mud pit. People are crowd surfing, drunken college guys are shoving each other, little teeny-bopper girls are falling on the floor; everything is going as it should be when suddenly... WHACK! I'm hit with a stiletto right to the noggin. Some 20-something girl thought, "Oh, show at the house of blues? Good thing my 5-inch heels are polished! I can't wait to crowd surf and cause someone severe head trauma!" After stumbling around in a concust daze for a few moments, I pull myself out of the crowd to find the culprit. Standing near the bar, flirting with her long-lost margarita, is the woman that came within an inch of stabbing my brain. As I stared at her in her dress, heels, dangling earlings and ten pounds of make-up, all I could think was, "Why?!"

          Now ladies and gents, as a band member, aspiring model, skateboarder, and avid show-goer, I, with great confidence, will tell you that there is definitely a time a place for ever outfit. I'd never go to a photoshoot without my pumps, but you'd sure as hell never catch me riding down Main St. on my cruiser in a friggin' ball gown. Needless to say, this lipsticked glitter girl should have gone a different route with her wardrobe that night. Let's break it down and correct her "Yikes"-evoking choices.

          There are a few factors that need to be considered when deciding on the proper show attire. First of all the venue. This is probably the most important factor. Is it indoors or outdoors? Is it sitting or standing room? In this case, The House of Blues is, of course, indoors and standing room only. The next factor is the type of music/fanbase. Heavier or faster music usually tends to have a rougher crowd. Cartel's music and fanbase indicates a light to moderate mosh pit. You may be bumped around quite a bit but nothing back-breaking. Although, the venue serves alcohol which can alter the violence and coordination of the fans in the pit so I'd say this night was a slightly rougher than moderate crowd due to the amount of drunken fist-swingers. Now that we've established our show factors, let's move on to little Miss Thing's mistakes.


The Answer Isn't Blowin' in the Wind

           21st century America has proven itself home to some of the whiniest, most unproductive citizens in the history of our country. It seems like we all have something – if not a Christmas list full of things – to complain about, with topics ranging from human rights to gas prices to the environment to the banks to education…and sure, we have an endless amount of shit to deal with, but my question is: If it’s THIS bad, why is so little being done to change it?? Much of it is because most young people aren’t being encouraged enough to actually take any real action. I’m gonna have to blame today’s Top 40 stations.

             My conservative grandparents love to talk about Obama’s lack of action in fixing the economy and my liberal mother loves to talk about how all of our constitutional rights are being taken away from us. The woman I buy coffee from on Monday mornings loves to talk about the flaws in our immigration system and T-Pain loves to sing about going home to screw his girlfriend so she doesn’t “go crazy.” Bruno Mars loves to sing about “not doing anything” and Britney Spears loves to sing about simply “dancing till the world ends.” These are the types of messages that currently define the twenty-first century’s mainstream musical culture; these are the messages that get stuck in the heads of every American teen and young adult who turns on the radio or visits a party or shares a friend’s iPod. Reeeal motivational, right? For such a politically-discontented audience, they’re downright counterintuitive. Yet they’re all that the stations are giving us.

            Our local top hits stations need to take some advice from the ’20s and ‘60s! We need the airwaves flooded with more “Strange Fruit”s and “Blowin’ In The Wind”s! Radio music is one of the most powerful mediums to spread ideas because EVERYONE ends up hearing it, and the more they get it stuck in their head, the more it gets lodged up in their brain cavities to be processed. I’m not saying that the stuff playing now has to go away altogether, but for God’s sake I would think that a listener wouldn’t mind the occasional break from party-party-sex-sex songs to reflect on an important issue that affects them in their own daily lives. Maybe…gasp…just maybe, people would actually follow in the footsteps of their progressive music-loving ancestors from the Vietnam War era and the Civil Rights Movement who were also driven by song to unite and fight together for a better world. Pop, hurry up and get political again! We need another movement.

And no, a Lil’ Wayne love song featuring an “Honestly, I’m down like the economy” doesn’t count as raising social awareness. It’s just one more crappy lyric.    

- Tunage

Written by Chloe Austin