Talking during shows: the musicians' perspective - Kurt Ottaway

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This week's Beatdown deals with the whole idea of talking during shows, as it seems like a fairly frequent occurrence regardless of who's performing. I offered up a few viable theories as to why it happens and asserted that, for the most part, I sincerely don't believe that anyone truly intends to be disruptive or disrespectful by carrying on conversations while the players are playing. Naturally, as I pondered things from the fans' perspective, I wondered how the chatter affects the performers, if they're bothered by it or if they even notice at all. So in due dilligence, I asked a few musicians for their take, and I'll be posting their thoughts on the blog throughout the week. Kurt Ottaway, a stalwart of the Denver scene who currently leads Overcasters and previously helmed the Tarmints and Twice Wilted, weighs in with his thoughts after the jump.

"A few of my rock-and-roll friends in the last decade have tried out acoustic sets in various venues, and, much to my dismay, loud conversations were going on around me, to the point where I told a person next to me at one point: "Could you please keep it down? I'm trying to hear every word he's singing -- because he has the guts to get up with nothing but his voice and an acoustic guitar behind him." The guy replied to me with a scowl, "Why? I can do what I want." Something to that effect, and I said it shows poor taste. Last Friday, I was at the hi-dive to see the Wheel, and the whole crowd was chirping around me at more of a low volume. Some people were attentive, but many others were chattering. I really didn't like that. It's not that I expect people to be dead silent at a bar when they have drinks in their hands, but I guess it's the risk you run when you do more acoustic-slanted music. I suppose as a musician you want everyone in the room to be transfixed. But in a traditional rock venue its just like smoking: Some people are rude and don't care. Maybe we should fine them for noise pollution or body odor, too. We all love humanity, and there are things we don't love about humanity. I definitely try to keep my mouth shut when somebody is singing a song they care about." -- Kurt Ottaway

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