Skip

Did it matter, like really matter?
April 7, 2007 12:42 PM   Subscribe

Have you ever stopped to listen? I do, when it's not bad, always. I've missed trains, I've been late. I've given all the money I had on me. I've been reminded of - X -. I wish I had been there; I fucking love that Chaconne. It's like the perfect prayer.
posted by From Bklyn (105 comments total) 42 users marked this as a favorite

 
You can download the first peice mentioned in the article here (via)
posted by delmoi at 12:56 PM on April 7, 2007


I just read this article in the print edition in the magazine (we get that section of the paper delivered on Saturdays) earlier today while I was eating my lunch. I thought it was great, and I thought to myself, "I should post this to Metafilter!" but I assumed it wouldn't be online until tomorrow. Damn you, From Bklyn!

Gene Weingarten and his pieces for the magazine have been discussed here a couple of times before.
posted by amarynth at 1:02 PM on April 7, 2007


Have you ever stopped to listen to those guys who play the plastic buckets in Times Square? They're pretty cool too.
posted by footnote at 1:05 PM on April 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


Me too, Amarynth...
posted by growabrain at 1:08 PM on April 7, 2007


Have you ever stopped to listen to those guys who play the plastic buckets in Times Square? They're pretty cool too.

Once, while in town for an investor conference, Randy C. Martin, Executive Vice President & CFO of Spartech Plastics joined in. People just, like, walked on by.
posted by hal9k at 1:11 PM on April 7, 2007 [2 favorites]


Those plastic bucket guys are all gonna get the hand cancer.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 1:13 PM on April 7, 2007 [2 favorites]


I think that often people have an undue emotional resonance with a street musician. It seems that they live in a very narrow and confined space inside themselves with little room to allow being touched by outside or new impressions. Then they pass by a street musician, who is usually doing things by rote and thinking about when he/she has made enough tips to quit for the day. They look on and for a moment the discontinuity of seeing someone play music while the rest of the horde shuffles on fires off a response and they stop and reflect. But the musician was really just a convenient mechanism. Not that that is anything but good, especially if it helps breathe some temporary life back into decrepit emotional wiring, but it can lead to an overly sentimental and distorted reaction such as this one.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:22 PM on April 7, 2007 [2 favorites]


Wow. Cool article, thanks. I like to feel I'm someone who often makes a point to stop & pay attention to things around me, but I know when I'm preoccupied or in a hurry I'm as oblivious as anyone.

I used to sing with a jazz band at the Hollywood Farmer's Market. It really felt so weird & awkward to me, I only agreed to do it a couple of times. There I was, singing Duke Ellington for people walking around buying produce and munching on kettle corn as they pushed strollers. If someone stopped to watch, it was like a little victory and yet not satisfying because the atmosphere just didn't fit what I was doing. I am FAR more nervous and self conscious singing for 20 people at a Farmer's Market out in the mid-day sun than I am for 300 drunk people in a dark club. First few times I was shaking. I felt insanely vulnerable.

I mean... when you're a musician do you really want to be singing for people carrying tomatoes?
posted by miss lynnster at 1:23 PM on April 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


Great story, thanks! (I always stop for good musicians, and once I spent my entire lunch hour listening to a sax player on Sixth Avenue—like the lady at the end of this article, I couldn't believe people were just dashing by and ignoring him. But then music is more important to me than work.)
posted by languagehat at 1:39 PM on April 7, 2007


Great piece. I'm not surprised by the crowd's reaction, but I do love that it genuinely reached a couple of people. That's an accomplishment.

We're very conditioned to the murder of music by street performers, and as such we probably don't even bother actually listening to what we're rushing by.

I wonder if the outcome would have been different during lunch hour, or after work, as opposed to before work.
posted by maxwelton at 1:42 PM on April 7, 2007


I wonder what would have happened if he played at the end of the work day rather than the beginning.

At the start of the day, most people have to be someplace on time.
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 1:48 PM on April 7, 2007


I'm a stopper-and-listener too, not least because I used to try and make money that way (although not with Bach). Wish I'd heard this; it's a real hairs-on-the-back-of-the-neck piece. In fact I'm going to listen to it now (played by a 16 year old Hilary Hahn).
posted by carter at 1:48 PM on April 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


Thanks delmoi for the Chaconne link. Would have made for a great soundtrack (15 minutes) to reading the article, had I clicked in here first.
posted by intermod at 1:50 PM on April 7, 2007


Have you ever stopped to listen to those guys who play the plastic buckets

The first time I saw someone play the bucket during a semester I spent in DC. This kid, probably about 15, was banging away. It blew my country-mouse mind, and I irritated my native guides by insisting that we needed to stop and watch for a while.

Yeah, I stop and listen, even to the bad musicuians.
posted by lekvar at 1:53 PM on April 7, 2007


Well, excepting for the fact that the Chaconne link is solo piano instead of violin.
posted by intermod at 1:56 PM on April 7, 2007


Actually, this just made me realize that I do usually stop. Last week I spent about six minutes watching a sax player at the ferry building play the theme from Sesame Street for a little girl. It was really cute.

That said, whenever I see those pancho-clad Peruvian guys playing pan flutes & trying to channel the Gipsy Kings I walk fast as hell until I'm out of earshot. It's all a matter of taste, really. ;)
posted by miss lynnster at 1:58 PM on April 7, 2007


Pearls Before Breakfast?

I think one of the reason that this sort of thing is inaccessible to the average person is because of the attitude hinted at in the title of this article. Perhaps "Pearls before Swine" would have been a better title. At least it would be clearer what sort of prejudices the writer has about these dirty commoners who wouldn't even know good music if it was waiting in their train station for them.
posted by blue_beetle at 2:02 PM on April 7, 2007 [2 favorites]


Exactly what blue_beetle said. Those damn philistines and their....well, their jobs. How dare they ignore this virtuoso; it's so painfully obvious that what he's playing is so much more important than getting to work on time. Clearly, they are so brainwashed by today's society that even the heartbreakingly beautiful zooms right over their heads. Poor plebes.

I like music as much as the next guy; I've been moved to tears by a baritone singing a German aria, but music has it's time and place. And it sure ain't the fucking train station at 7:51AM. Maybe I just lack the aesthetic capacity about which the author of this article seems to enjoy bloviating.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to get back to working. Yes, on a *gasp* Saturday.
posted by quite unimportant at 2:27 PM on April 7, 2007


Yay, Joshua Bell -- great musician.
posted by ericb at 2:35 PM on April 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


This article makes me weep. For the beauty of the music, and for all the things we've missed along the way. Thank you.
posted by po at 2:47 PM on April 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


I have spent a fair bit of time playing music in the street (we called it practicing in public), and found that it's great for developing a thick skin. It also makes one much more grateful for the people that do take the time to listen, so it is a good counter balance for musicians with primadonna tendencies. I do think I would have preferred to see the writer spend more time discussing Bell's reaction. He seemed to take indifferent passersby in stride, but damn, that had to hurt.
posted by Benjamin Nushmutt at 2:59 PM on April 7, 2007


Maybe I just lack the aesthetic capacity about which the author of this article seems to enjoy bloviating.

I think you missed the point. The author isn't stating that he thinks people are wasting their time by going to work, he's stating that people have a "beauty in context" mindset, much like the Immanuel Kant quote that he mentions throughout.

Had they put a rare and beautiful potted rose in the same spot in the train station, it would have gotten much of a similar reaction from the very same people who probably have well-cared gardens of their own. That is to say: They would have hurried on to their jobs, just like any other day.

What makes me embarrassed to be a human being isn't those people rushing on their way to work, it's those people who were a captive audience and who didn't pay a lick of attention ...because they needed to buy a lottery ticket.
posted by thanotopsis at 3:00 PM on April 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


That was a great article. I wonder if he really would have had more people stop in Europe. Somehow, I doubt it.

Also, not one of the videos worked for me. Hmph.
posted by bonaldi at 3:10 PM on April 7, 2007


What makes me embarrassed to be a human being isn't those people rushing on their way to work, it's those people who were a captive audience and who didn't pay a lick of attention ...

Would you feel better if everyone stopped and listened in order to make a public display of their keen musical appreciation?

I'm much more bothered by people who tear through museums and stop at the Degas for a minute and say to each other, "That one's famous," than I am by this.
posted by footnote at 3:30 PM on April 7, 2007


It's perhaps a little unfair of them to have done this experiment in the morning rush, I think -- some of the folks who rushed on by might have felt freer to stop and listen if they were on their lunch break, or on their way home. I'll generally stop and listen to street musicians when I'm on my own time, but that early in the morning I'd inevitably be running to get to work...and I'm very much not a morning person, so it was often a struggle to not run late. No matter how tempting the music, I wouldn't expect the average boss to accept "there was this totally awesome classical violinist" as a reasonable excuse for tardiness.

I've definitely seen street musicians attract crowds in DC if they worked later hours -- those guys with the plastic-bucket percussion band who'd often show up near the Dupont Circle Metro often seemed to get a decent crowd at night. And the South American band that often set up shop outside the Foggy Bottom station usually seemed to get people listening during the evening rush.

(It also probably didn't hurt that the Foggy Bottom station would get a lot of student traffic, and Dupont Circle would get tourists and locals looking for leisure-time fun. L'Enfant, there's not much reason to go there unless it's the closest station to your FedLand job, or you need to transfer onto another line...)
posted by Smilla's Sense of Snark at 3:48 PM on April 7, 2007


This is an awesome article. I wonder, as one who played the violin as a child, whether I would've realised how good the guy was. I suspect I would've thought "He's pretty damn good", and maybe stopped for a minute, but I don't think I would've stayed. And that makes me sad. I guess we've just got to try and experience what we can, when we can.
posted by djgh at 3:49 PM on April 7, 2007


I think it does come down to context though - I've seen mediocre bands pull in a pretty big crowd of shoppers, so as others have said, maybe the morning rush crowd wasn't exactly fair.
posted by djgh at 3:51 PM on April 7, 2007


*using the morning rush crowd
posted by djgh at 3:52 PM on April 7, 2007


It matters.

The other day I was walking in the park and there was a solo tenor sax player playing. As I approached across a long field, I started to get pissed off. He was practicing. Bepop. Starting and stopping lines. Meandering around scales. At that point it became noise pollution and I considered him extremely rude to be subjecting us all to this.

Did he relaly think people liked hearing him jack around (off) on his instrument!? For god's sake, at least give us something decent to ignore!
posted by nonmyopicdave at 3:54 PM on April 7, 2007


The people who appreciated him, for the most part, were those who already had some violin experience. Likewise my friends who are crappy pianists can get off on a nice piano piece where I can't. Or someone who's recently been dumped will look for girls who resemble their previous girlfriends.
If we don't have any experience with a particular subject we aren't going to appreciate something that's really good in it. Which is why it's best to take at least some interest in every subject.
posted by Citizen Premier at 4:11 PM on April 7, 2007


When I was a kid, there was a guy in San Francisco who set up every day by the cable car turnaround near Ghirardelli square who billed himself as "the human jukebox." He had this 3x3x6' construct with a money slot, and about 20 little finger-sized holes with song titles by them. You'd stuff your dollar in the slot, then stick your finger in the hole by the song title you wanted to hear, and he'd open a small flap at head height, stick his trumpet out a few inches and play a nice solo rendition of the song you picked. He was there day after day, year after year through my whole childhood, and he was a pretty good trumpeter. I'd always stop for a song or two when I was by there, and he usually had a small crowd of 5-10 people all the time. I've often wondered who he was, and just how good a living he made doing that, and what became of him.

Also, the best rendition of Mr. Bojangles I've ever heard was an old man with an acoustic guitar, also on that same sidewalk across from Ghirardelli. I can only imagine it now as it's been 20 years, but whenever I've heard another version of it since, it's always sounded flat and wrong.

Austin's street musicians, apart from The King, largely suck.
posted by Devils Rancher at 4:39 PM on April 7, 2007 [2 favorites]


Also, making $32 an hour is making bank. But I guess you have to discount the $20 he was slipped by a woman who recognized him. Still, playing a violin for $12 bucks an hour is a dream job, amirite?
posted by Citizen Premier at 5:14 PM on April 7, 2007


I was always fascinated by the fact that Sonny Simmons played for fifteen years as a street musician in San Francisco between relatively successful careers as a recording jazz artist.

I would probably have chucked a quarter in the guys case just because he plays well, but I do not appreciate classical music at 7:51AM. I need something with a pounding beat to wake me up. On the way home on the other hand I'd love it.
posted by BrotherCaine at 5:19 PM on April 7, 2007


so, what's happening ?
is MetaFilter becoming reddit.com with good lay-out ?
posted by Substrata at 5:21 PM on April 7, 2007 [2 favorites]


Wonderful article made very frustrating by the non-working video.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 5:33 PM on April 7, 2007


What makes me embarrassed to be a human being isn't those people rushing on their way to work, it's those people who were a captive audience and who didn't pay a lick of attention ...

footnote : Would you feel better if everyone stopped and listened in order to make a public display of their keen musical appreciation?


It's an amazing thing, the scroll bar. It lets people scroll up and see the full context of my comment, and how I was relating to how my embarrassment wasn't over the fact that people were standing in line, it was that they were prioritizing the purchasing of lottery tickets over anything else.

But thanks for your try anyway, footnote. 0 points.
posted by thanotopsis at 5:34 PM on April 7, 2007


"stop and listen" = pay attention.
posted by footnote at 5:36 PM on April 7, 2007


Citizen Premier, I think they already subtracted out the $20; he actually made $52 and change.
posted by BrotherCaine at 5:51 PM on April 7, 2007


They did a similar experiment here in Australia once, comparing a professional busker to one of Australia's best guitarists, Tommy Emmanuel.

The busker made more, by being a bit more aggressive (engaging people as they went past). Tommy had to dress up like a hobo so as not to be recognised. He sat in the same spot, and didn't make much money at all. Until, that is, he took off the disguise and within minutes had a huge crowd surrounding him.
posted by kisch mokusch at 5:53 PM on April 7, 2007


I think there were a couple of flaws with this experiment that make it difficult to draw real conclusions from it. For one thing, he played for 40 minutes during rush hour. 40 minutes is not very long at all, and people are going to be in a major hurry during rush hour, thinking about their work, probably tired and out of it, ready to zone out for a subway ride. This is not a good frame-of-mind to be in before listening to music. I appreciate great music, but I'm sorry, early morning when I'm just getting going is not the time for it. I agree with others who have mentioned that he would have gotten a bigger crowd if they had done it somewhere where tourists congregate, or at a time and place where people are looking for leisure and have some time to spend.


so, what's happening ?
is MetaFilter becoming reddit.com with good lay-out ?


What do you even mean by that?

posted by !Jim at 6:01 PM on April 7, 2007


When I was a kid, there was a guy in San Francisco who set up every day by the cable car turnaround near Ghirardelli square who billed himself as "the human jukebox."

That would be Grimes Poznikov -- the Automatic Human JukeBox who died from alcohol poisoning in November 2005.
posted by ericb at 6:54 PM on April 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


Also, making $32 an hour is making bank.

I think they already subtracted out the $20; he actually made $52 and change.

From the article:
"When it was over, Furukawa introduced herself to Bell, and tossed in a twenty. Not counting that -- it was tainted by recognition -- the final haul for his 43 minutes of playing was $32.17. Yes, some people gave pennies.

'Actually,' Bell said with a laugh, 'that's not so bad, considering. That's 40 bucks an hour. I could make an okay living doing this, and I wouldn't have to pay an agent.'"
But, that's quite a cut from what his normal haul is:
"'I was oddly grateful when someone threw in a dollar instead of change.' This is from a man whose talents can command $1,000 a minute."
posted by ericb at 7:01 PM on April 7, 2007


Joshua Bell's Official Website.
posted by ericb at 7:04 PM on April 7, 2007


This type of experience is why I am on "teh" (sic) Metafilter.

Best of the web.

Thanks, Bkln, for taking "teh" time.
posted by humannaire at 7:07 PM on April 7, 2007


BTW -- in addition to his classical performances I recommend Joshua Bell's cinematic soundtracks: The Red Violin and Ladies in Lavender.
posted by ericb at 7:07 PM on April 7, 2007


I pass a couple of really bad street musicians just about every day on my way to work, and I mostly ignore them. Every once in a while, though, there is someone with a lot of talent, or just an interesting sound. I stop and listen. Maybe if I was a doctor, or in another life and death profession, I'd hurry to work. But I'm a programmer, and if I'm 10-15 minutes late, I could not possibly care less. That's why I eventually decided to work for myself. Those few minutes here and there, when I can stop and admire a view, or savor a good cup of coffee and pastry, or listen to some good music in the park - they help keep me sane.
posted by bashos_frog at 7:14 PM on April 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


This experiment is silly. Why not have someone recite centuries old haiku in the original japanese? The passengeres would have appreciated it just as much.

I want to agree with the snark of blue_beetle, but the problem here is not the taste of he passengers, it's the pretension within the classical music establishment as well as the "elites" who can pay $100 a ticket to see a famous violinist.

My first complaint is that as talented as Bell may be, and he is very talented, he's still playing someone else's music. The rise in the classical music star is little more than record companies' attempts to charge top dollar prices for public domain music. This is why the classical music "stars" tend to be young attractive men and especially women who look good half-undressed holding a violin. It's like people arguing over which audiobook recitation of Byron is better, and then attributing the brilliance of the poem to the voice actor.

It's very easy to sound brilliant playing beethoven, because beethoven sounds brilliant coming out of a midi sequencer. Beethoven sounded brilliant coming out of that Fisher-price-sounding keyboard in A Clockwork Orange. Beethofen sounds brilliant if you hum it. So the article's fawning over Bell is silly free advertising. It makes no difference to the experiment in the article whether Bell is playing it or a decent Suzuki method student. In no way does it affect whether or not people appreciate classical music on the subway.

And people don't, nor should they. First of all, unlike a lot of the elites paying those $100 ticket prices, most people (i.e. most of the people riding the subways that morning) went to public schools where music education was an afterthought at best. So the ability to discern one piece of classical music from another is lacking in most people, through no fault of their own. Furthermore, I'd bet that most people can't keep time to solo classical music that lacking drums or a bassline, doesn't have an obvious rhythm.

But that's not the fault of the commuters. These same elites run the media companies whose only function is to outdo each other in the race for the lowest common denominator. The Washington Post is the paper that week after week tries to elevate one hack rap act or pop diva after another to art status. If the Washington Post was really concerned about the results of this experiment, they'd end every music review from now on with "...but who are we kidding here, he/she is no Brahams, that's for sure."

Furthermore, the music is completely out of context for the setting. Brahams, at 8:00am on a workday to the rank and file middle class? Bach??? Why not something with a little more energy? Some Wagner or Paganini? That's how you show of the violin to sleepy commuters. Blast though Paganini's caprices and then tell me that no one stopped to look.

This music was composed before mass transit, mass communications, mass production, and mass emlpoyment, much of it before industrialization and the establishment of a huge affluent middle class. The music does not resonate in that setting. Much of the music, like Bach's, was written as technical exercises or as church music, or in the case of 18th and 19th century composers, for royal courts and the uppermost political elites. There was a shared context and the music made sense intuitively to that audience in a way it cannot now. Similarly, a nightclub audience in 1959 would have completely understood Miles Davis or Coltrane, even if they themselves never played a note. The music sounds like their life. But a nightclub audience now probably would not get it, or it would seem remote. The music would sound like an old photograph looked.

The implicit poo-pooing of the plebes in this article is a reflection of the elite view of classic music as "mood music" or background. Do you really think that everyone who paid to hear Bell the night before stood there thinking "Wow, he nailed that F#!" Of course not. Most of them are there because that's where they think they are supposed to be, giving their high visibility don't-rock-the-boat careers.

Washington DC, where this experiment was conducted, was the first major radio market whose commercial classical music station adopted the "dinner music" format. Rather than play the classical music that you actually have to listen to, that to a trained ear commands your attention to such a degree that it distracts you from whatever else you are doing (i.e. Mozart, Beethoven, the composers everyone has heard of), they instead chose to play lesser known composers because people would tune it in as background at work or in the evenings. In other words, it was classical music your brain would ignore as background noise.

Thankfully, those stations are out of business, their very competent DJs having fled to XM satellite radio over the last couple of years to man that networks' pops, deep classical, and opera channels.

This experiment proves nothing other than (a) cutting music funding in public schools proves the adage "you reap what you sew" and (b) Joshua Bell isn't as great as his agent thinks he is.
posted by Pastabagel at 7:21 PM on April 7, 2007 [14 favorites]


Brahams, at 8:00am on a workday to the rank and file middle class? Bach???

The implicit poo-pooing of the plebes in this article is a reflection of the elite view of classic music as "mood music" or background.


Yeah -- the masses don't deserve Bach. Let them eat cake. Only Musak, John Tesh and Yanni for them!

Dude -- chill. It's music. Either one enjoys and appreciates Bell's skill and talent in interpeting and "playing someone else's music" or doesn't. You seem to be the one espousing an elitist attitude.
posted by ericb at 7:56 PM on April 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


This is why the classical music "stars" tend to be young attractive men and especially women who look good half-undressed holding a violin.

Hmmm. I don't tend to judge musicians on their appearance. Heck, personally, I don't find the following contemporary classical "stars" to be physically "attractive."

Nonetheless, I am a fan of and appreciate their executiion in interpreting and "playing someone else's music."
Kronos Quartet

Luciano Pavarotti

Nigel Kennedy

Robert Silverman

Yo-Yo Ma
There are many more I could add to this list, but I fear that I might fall victim to the "same elites [who] run the media companies [and] whose only function is to outdo each other in the race for the lowest common denominator."

I would appreciate guidance in these matters, as to whom I should appreciate and to whose music I should listen. I have sworn off Bach in the morning. I will only listen to "Wagner or Paganini" when drinking my first cup of morning coffee.
posted by ericb at 8:18 PM on April 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


This is MetaFilter defined (MeFined). Tremendous post. Thank you. [chills and tears]
posted by HyperBlue at 8:25 PM on April 7, 2007


I like the contrast between these two accounts FTA:

1) A hundred feet away, across the arcade, was the lottery line, sometimes five or six people long. They had a much better view of Bell than Tindley did, if they had just turned around. But no one did. Not in the entire 43 minutes. They just shuffled forward toward that machine spitting out numbers. Eyes on the prize.

J.T. Tillman was in that line. A computer specialist for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, he remembers every single number he played that day -- 10 of them, $2 apiece, for a total of $20. He doesn't recall what the violinist was playing, though. He says it sounded like generic classical music, the kind the ship's band was playing in "Titanic," before the iceberg.

"I didn't think nothing of it," Tillman says, "just a guy trying to make a couple of bucks." Tillman would have given him one or two, he said, but he spent all his cash on lotto.

When he is told that he stiffed one of the best musicians in the world, he laughs.

"Is he ever going to play around here again?"

"Yeah, but you're going to have to pay a lot to hear him."

"Damn."

Tillman didn't win the lottery, either.

2) A couple of minutes into it, something revealing happens. A woman and her preschooler emerge from the escalator. The woman is walking briskly and, therefore, so is the child. She's got his hand.

"I had a time crunch," recalls Sheron Parker, an IT director for a federal agency. "I had an 8:30 training class, and first I had to rush Evvie off to his teacher, then rush back to work, then to the training facility in the basement."

Evvie is her son, Evan. Evan is 3.

You can see Evan clearly on the video. He's the cute black kid in the parka who keeps twisting around to look at Joshua Bell, as he is being propelled toward the door.

"There was a musician," Parker says, "and my son was intrigued. He wanted to pull over and listen, but I was rushed for time."

So Parker does what she has to do. She deftly moves her body between Evan's and Bell's, cutting off her son's line of sight. As they exit the arcade, Evan can still be seen craning to look. When Parker is told what she walked out on, she laughs.

"Evan is very smart!"

The poet Billy Collins once laughingly observed that all babies are born with a knowledge of poetry, because the lub-dub of the mother's heart is in iambic meter. Then, Collins said, life slowly starts to choke the poetry out of us. It may be true with music, too.

There was no ethnic or demographic pattern to distinguish the people who stayed to watch Bell, or the ones who gave money, from that vast majority who hurried on past, unheeding. Whites, blacks and Asians, young and old, men and women, were represented in all three groups. But the behavior of one demographic remained absolutely consistent. Every single time a child walked past, he or she tried to stop and watch. And every single time, a parent scooted the kid away.
posted by HyperBlue at 8:35 PM on April 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


Hell, I even stop and listen to interesting sounding machinery or vehicles. It's almost impossible for me to pass an interesting, skilled or unique musician.

Walking the busker-dense parts of cities like Seattle, SF or Portland has always been a rather delicious sort of hell for me.

Then again, because I'm the sort that stops to listen, I'm generally broke, but sometimes a little genuine appreciation is more nourishing anyway.
posted by loquacious at 8:49 PM on April 7, 2007


I really liked the article too. But to be fair, most people during the morning rush hour commute have probably purposefully tuned out everything around them, and are focused on getting ready for work, so I think it's a little bit unfair to say conclude that they mostly didn't notice -- they weren't even trying to notice, they were actively trying not to notice. You could probably have gotten the same result if you had GW Bush juggling aborted fetuses with a tip jar.
posted by Rhomboid at 8:52 PM on April 7, 2007


Most people have a hard time recognizing something as "good" without it being pointed out to them and being trained in it. Venue is also an indicator of quality. All this article does is hint at why the arts are treated as second class priorities in life.

And yes, I stop to smell flowers when I see them.
posted by furtive at 8:55 PM on April 7, 2007


reap what you sew sow
posted by BrotherCaine at 9:03 PM on April 7, 2007


Pastabagel -

I'm going to have to respectfully disagree with you. I wept when I watched the bottom video on the page. I've never heard his playing before, but it was one of the best violin performances I've heard.

Just because someone else wrote the music doesn't mean that the performer isn't an artist, too. Do you think actors aren't valuable just because they don't write the words they say? Or dancers because someone else choreographs them? Or Elvis, or Frank Sinatra, because they never, ever wrote one of their own songs?

Writing something and performing something are separate, yet both intensely creative acts. I've heard several of these songs before, and Bell is really exceptional. Plus, that Stradivarius sounds NOTHING like MIDI.
posted by MythMaker at 9:05 PM on April 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


If anyone has a video of Grimes Poznikov, please post a url for us that never seen him...
posted by IronWolve at 9:16 PM on April 7, 2007


By the way. I thought the experiment was interesting, but the writing was awful.
posted by delmoi at 10:11 PM on April 7, 2007


From roughly 1979 to 1985 I did a fair amount of street music (mostly on balafon) in Firenze, Amsterdam, New York City, Boston, etc. Sometimes I made some halfway decent money for a day's work on the street, and sometimes not. I had some memorable experiences, for sure: some good, some not-so-good. An old woman (in her late 70's at least) in the Hague once stopped to listen for awhile, then invited me to her home for tea and stroopwaffels! She was a charming lady, and she regaled me with various interesting stories of her life. Wonderful!

Then there was one day in, of all places, Hartford, Connecticut. I used to work with another percussionist who had a fantastic collection of balafons, and we got a gig through one of those Arts In The Streets type organizations. So there we were at lunch time in the business district, duetting on these two enormous balafons which looked phenomenal and sounded fantastic: nice and resonant. I am not exaggerrating when I say NO ONE stopped to listen. Not a single soul. Furthermore, everyone that passed us by seemed to be making a very concious effort to not even glance at us as they passed. I imagined their inner voices telling themselves "Must not acknowledge existence of interesting world beyond the Insurance Industry!" It was, well, eerie, actually. I think I started to wonder if we were even there.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:46 PM on April 7, 2007 [3 favorites]


I totally concur. Has my attention span been killed by the web or was the writer paid by the word?
posted by bumpkin at 10:54 PM on April 7, 2007


Oh, and the first person who comments with something like "Well maybe you're just no fucking good!" gets a one-way ticket to Hartford!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:59 PM on April 7, 2007


Nice take on DC. I like the part about the kids. video went well with the story, but the writing seemed a little, tone deaf.
posted by minkll at 11:05 PM on April 7, 2007


Even though it seemed like they set it up for this result pretty carefully, thanks for the article.
posted by Shutter at 11:11 PM on April 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


The article is way too harsh on the people in the metro station. They're not just wandering about aimlessly, they're single-minded businesspeople, on their way to a job. To offer such a wonderful performance in such an inappropriate venue is like trying to serve ice cream on a roller coaster.
posted by tehloki at 11:24 PM on April 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


This experiment seems fail to take into account quite a few factors, not least of which is the sort of social contract most of us generally adhere to when commuting, maintaining boundaries of privacy and personal space. That usually includes one’s attention. The situation is highly unlike a formal concert in that the audience at the latter is there on a voluntary and conscious (except the people who sleep through it!) basis, whether or not they had to pay a substantial sum to attend.

To draw some totally inadequate comparisons to other fields of artistic endeavour: what if some of the world’s “greatest” actors were performing scenes from Shakespeare in the metro, would you deride the passers-by for going about their business? What if one of the world’s leading chefs cooked a nine course banquet in the plaza, should the passers-by be obliged to stop and eat it? What if the world’s leading perfumier was spraying perfume around the plaza, should the passers-by be forced to inhale it? Not to diss Maestro Bell, his Stradivarius, or the towering achievements of J.S. Bach in any way.

I’ve paid my dues as a street musician and it does wonders for the humility, and requires nerves of steel. Why should people pay attention, however good you are? Demanding people’s attention can be rude. The commuter may be bombarded with muzak, flashing lights, advertising and people begging for money (which I guess amounts to the same thing) seemingly every second. It’s a fact of modern city living that one deals with the thousand novelties and fresh faces encountered every day by filtering them, for better or worse. The phrase “urban rat-race” springs to mind.

The notes of even the greatest artist under such circumstances must fall through the air like the million tiny seeds of a forest- how many will reach fertile ground? They are being released into the wild, in a sense. Those few who could obviously be seen to pay attention- who knows in what way this improved their day, or longer? And of those who did not appear to react- many of them may have been affected in more subtle way.

How often do we think to pay attention to our surroundings, and can we bear to do so? How often do we look at the sky, or indeed anything above eye level? Listening to Bach is a lot like looking at the sky.

Pastabagel said: “My first complaint is that as talented as Bell may be, and he is very talented, he's still playing someone else's music. The rise in the classical music star is little more than record companies' attempts to charge top dollar prices for public domain music. This is why the classical music "stars" tend to be young attractive men and especially women who look good half-undressed holding a violin. It's like people arguing over which audiobook recitation of Byron is better, and then attributing the brilliance of the poem to the voice actor.”
This is a handful of acoustically-challenged red herrings. (Though I get where you’re coming from with regard to the sexy marketing angle… but are you having a go at Mr Bell for being too attractive?) Also, I believe that Byron’s poetry would survive not being read aloud much better and in a quite different way to that in which Bach’s music would DIE if not performed live. Much of classical music performance is a living oral tradition passed on from master to student, and from performer to audience; it isn’t only about notation, the printing press, the recording industry, historically informed performance research, and the rest.
posted by Coaticass at 8:39 AM on April 8, 2007 [3 favorites]


Gee, Pastabagel... some people actually care about music.

To diss classical music because the musicians are "playing someone else's music" is simply baffling to me. Do you expect actors to only appear in plays that they personally wrote (and should we have simply burned Shakespeare's plays when he died?)

Most musicians spend most of their time playing work written by other people. Do you really expect people to only write music that they personally can play themselves?

And statements like "Beethoven sounded brilliant coming out of that Fisher-price-sounding keyboard in A Clockwork Orange" don't really give you points for musical acumen (for the record, that's done on a custom Moog, by one of the great analog synthesists).

Perhaps you're simply joking?
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 10:17 AM on April 8, 2007


That was a really good article Bklyn, thanks for posting it. Although it was a bit long, I really enjoyed the parts involving Kant, and the ideas of what is considered beauty.
posted by samsara at 12:04 PM on April 8, 2007


So I'm in Istanbul right now and I just heard the evening call to prayer. It was so beautiful that I started crying. Then I looked around -- not one of the tourists around seemed to notice the music (and there were a lot of them).

My conclusion is that most people are simply dead and not capable of responding adequately to beauty even when they have travelled thousands of miles to find it.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 12:05 PM on April 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


Joshua Bell is a showman, as the article points out, so I'm a little puzzled that he didn't play more showy pieces. A 14-minute masterpiece of structure like the Chaconne is not going to attract most people who are just passing through -- the rewards of that piece are not immediate. It really needs to be experienced from beginning to end. I understand that's the gimmick of the article -- playing the "masterpieces" for the plebes -- but I'd be willing to bet he'd get a different reaction if he played stuff like the flashy virtuosic "Pope's Concert" from The Red Violin. He plays that stuff in his own concerts, so I don't know why he didn't here.
posted by speicus at 1:13 PM on April 8, 2007


If he had played something which was pure technical challenge, flash, and zazz, like Flight of the Bumblebee, or Winter, I think more passersby would have been sufficiently distracted from their daily routine to realize that Bell was no ordinary street musician.
posted by tehloki at 2:31 PM on April 8, 2007


I don't know. If I heard a musician like Joshua Bell play "Ave Maria," I know I would stop. I would probably shed a tear or two because this song is so incredibly moving and I'm mental.
posted by LoriFLA at 4:39 PM on April 8, 2007


My conclusion is that most people are simply dead and not capable of responding adequately to beauty

Yeah sometimes it really looks like the world just doesn't appreciate ..yet in some occasion the surface tension is shattered and the "soul" is touched.

I have seen people showing putrid, entrenched hate and contempt .. unconsciously hidden behind what many people would recognize as "a perfectly fine, even warm person" only because one display managed to touch the right nerve and what was hidden (to the very same person) become evident.

Similarly , I have seen a filthy smelly homeless man rising to defend a girl from harrasment and being beaten for that..and his good deed being recognized only because enough people were really paying attention and helped him...was it luck or was it attention ?

You see..I didn't know about Joshua Bell until now, but the tune the played struch a deep chord with me because it remembered me of a violinist I heard when I was maybe 10-12 ...I still remember that violinist and the incredible fascination I felt for what he was playing. So much that I am now rushing to get whatever Bell plays on the net.
posted by elpapacito at 4:41 PM on April 8, 2007


lupus_yonderboy : "To diss classical music because the musicians are 'playing someone else's music' is simply baffling to me."

Good thing that isn't what Pastabagel was doing, then, isn't it? He's dissing the cult of the session artist, not classical music. In a Beethoven piece, the most important person, by far, is not the first violinist or second violinist or timpani or conductor, but the composer. Bell may be an excellent session musician, but that's what he is. Imagine your favourite band, which has skilled playing in it. The artist you're listening to both created and played that music. Now, take Bell. He may be awesome, but he's only done half of what your favourite band member has done. And yet, to boost sales, he's been elevated to the same level.

At least, that's Pastabagel's argument. I don't know if I agree (I'm distanced enough from classical music that I don't know if musicians are really being granted kudos above and beyond what they deserve or if the kudos are in line with their quality).

Saying that this is "dissing classical music" is like telling me I'm "dissing electricity" if I complain that the names of watch battery types are confusing.
posted by Bugbread at 5:11 PM on April 8, 2007 [2 favorites]


Okay, two things.

One, he wasn't playing music that "normal" people couldn't understand. It wasn't the musical equivalent of reciting classic haikus in the original Japanese. He wasn't playing John Cage or Schönberg*, he was playing Bach, Schubert et al. It's accessible music. It's hard to play but it's easy to comprehend. Simply put, it's farkin' beautiful music. You don't need years of education to enjoy it. It grabs you by the lapels and kisses you on the mouth. No come-hither glances or suggestive smiles, no, Bach and Schubert have their tongues down your throat at hello.

Two, an interpretive artist isn't a lesser artist than a "creator" artist. Should Billy Holiday be considered as a second-grade artist because she didn't write her songs? That kind of sentiment is piffle.


*Personally, I love Cage and Schönberg, but I recognize they're not everybody's cup of tea.
posted by Kattullus at 7:17 PM on April 8, 2007 [3 favorites]


Bach and Schubert have their tongues down your throat at hello.

Well, I dunno about that, but Cage had his hand rather close to my private parts when he wrote 4':33"
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:49 PM on April 8, 2007 [2 favorites]


I think pastabagel's getting my vote for a one-way ticket to Hartford.

I'll agree with the selling of young classical musicians, they _are_ in it for the money, after all.

But it absolutely matters who plays it. I can't find any links (I've looked, and looked again) but if you listen to Yo-yo Ma and then Mstislav Rostropovich and then (I guess, I've never heard him play it) this Mr.Bell playing Bach's Chaconne and then anyone else - you're going to hear four different pieces. (And I'll argue that Rostropovich will, if you actually listen, blow your head off).

To put it another way Brando did a brilliant Stanley Kowalski, Treat Williams? not so much.

What I liked best about the piece was that in the article they interviewed all these people who passed through, and got their impression. The theorizing I wasn't so hot for.

And that 'reddit' snark is an interesting point. At what point is MeFi like social aggregator (is that what they're called?) sites? I always thought it was in the greater relative intelligence of the responses. YMMV...
posted by From Bklyn at 11:26 PM on April 8, 2007


If I'm late to meet a friend, then I rush by. Every other time I try to at least pause and listen. If I'm out on the street just strolling I will generally stay to listen to the whole song and if I have any change or a dollar on me the musician is getting that change.

Unless they're playing that frikkin Celene Dion song. In which case, they get nothing but my scorn.

(I realize that for economic purposes, some musicians play this music because it is popular and might get them extra dough. But I still loathe that song.)
posted by Deathalicious at 12:47 AM on April 9, 2007


"...for economic purposes, some musicians play this music because it is popular and might get them extra dough."

Nonetheless, Celine Dion will not be tolerated. Any street musician doing Celine Dion covers will be shot. It's for the greater good.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 1:40 AM on April 9, 2007


I thumbed through the entire article in Opera Mini on my phone, over Easter weekend amidst celebration and food. Totally worth the trouble, thank you.

There are a few mp3s of renditions of the Chaconne (solo Violin, too) available via the ever-plentiful ClassicCat.net. I heard this piece first on the online streaming version of BBC Radio 3's Discovering Music program(the stream still appears to be available). Then as now, it interrupted work. For the record, I'd stop and listen any day, though we don't have street musicians in Bangalore, at least not the violin-toting kind.
posted by stumbling at 2:20 AM on April 9, 2007


I'd stop and listen any day, though we don't have street musicians in Bangalore, at least not the violin-toting kind.

Hmmm, no street players there, eh? That's too bad. There are certainly lots of violinists in India, though. Guess they're all in the concert halls.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:20 AM on April 9, 2007


I used to stop and listen to street musicians, but stopped once I realized that I'd end up being accidentally rude. That is, I'd hear someone playing something good, and I'd stop to listen, but what they were playing would just keep going on and on repetitively, and I'd lose interest and walk away. I realize that my facial expression probably reflected my eventual boredom, so it would be ruder for me to stand in front of the musician looking gradually more bored than just to walk by and listen without making it obvious to the musician that I was listening.

Kattullus writes "Two, an interpretive artist isn't a lesser artist than a 'creator' artist. Should Billy Holiday be considered as a second-grade artist because she didn't write her songs? That kind of sentiment is piffle."

If a player is awesome, that's awesome. If a composer is awesome, that's awesome. If a person is both an awesome player and an awesome composer, that's awesome x 2. But what is awesome times two? Is awesome like "100", in which case awesome x 2 would be "200"? Or is awesome like "infinity", in which case awesome x 2 would still be just "infinity"?

I don't pretend to know. Personally, I think a person who does two things awesomely is a bit more awesome than a person who just does one of them awesomely. But I'm certainly not going to go to the mat to defend that gut feeling.
posted by Bugbread at 5:24 AM on April 9, 2007


metafilter: awesome is infinity
posted by tehloki at 5:32 AM on April 9, 2007


They could have played something a bit more, modern, n?

When going out to eat, I've often heard the phrase, "There are two types of people: those who've worked as wait staff and those who haven't." It illustrates the 10% - 20%+ divide on tipping perfectly. Similarly there are people who have played an instrument and those who haven't. I have taken a few music appreciation classes at college level, not to mention my season tickets to the opera (BoBo in training!). I did not start playing an instrument until recently. I could have easily explained why a certain Shostakovitch piece was better or deconstructed it for a paper before, but playing an instrument is the only way to truly know the depth of difficulty apparent in a piece beyond purely sonic appreciation.

As others have pointed out better than I, this is the case with these particular Bach pieces. Yes they moved me, yes they were very good. They were not, however, like the first few chords of "Smoke on the Water". There are a multitude of pieces that, in the few seconds he had to grab someone's attention, would have appealed to even the most untrained ear. This is a terrible, pretentious litmus test:

"Did these people fall asleep during Opera Week and Andover? My God they have the schooling of a Brown student! And using the lottery, how incorrigible! Why don't they just convert their trust fund over into a high yield managed hedge fund? Ah, but we can save their children perhaps, in a 'White Man's Burden' sort of way. If we can whisk them off before their completely un-pedigreed parents corrupt them."

This is why the rest of America hates intellectuals.

Oh and if the author was impressed by the children he obviously has not spent time with a 4 year old who would have been impressed with a poor rendition of chopsticks.
posted by geoff. at 7:02 AM on April 9, 2007


I guess Classical music isn't as good as people say it is.
posted by seanyboy at 7:03 AM on April 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


I think it's not so much the music as it is the experience. Meaning, when you're not mentally prepared to experience beauty, something that is normally considered beautiful cannot be appreciated in the same way.

This is for the same reasons churches having waiting spaces, as when you step into a place of worship you first prepare yourself (or somewhat cleanse yourself) of the profane technological world outside.

Here we have a violinist playing in the midst of the profane, amongst beaurocrats. Some could even "be afraid of the street people." There's a distinct separation here that even the sound of beautiful music cannot bridge.

Fascinating stuff.
posted by samsara at 8:20 AM on April 9, 2007


geoff. writes "Oh and if the author was impressed by the children he obviously has not spent time with a 4 year old who would have been impressed with a poor rendition of chopsticks."

My kid (1 year old) loves when I do a death metal growl. If the author of the article is going to be that impressed with kids' musical tastes, he's probably going to have to start building up his collection of Devourment and Cryptopsy CDs.
posted by Bugbread at 8:23 AM on April 9, 2007


I'm not sure if anybody is still reading this, but I play violin outside the Adams and Wabash loop station in Chicago once a week. It's how I cover most of my Amtrak expenses. (I have to pay $50/year for a license, though, which sucks).

I love Joshua Bell, he's done some amazing things.

However... though I know a good sized chunk of classical repertoire, I'd never use that on the street. I play songs that make money. If I'm pressed for time, I play Jay Unger's "Ashokan Farewell" about six times in a row, which always gets a crowd because they remember hearing it on the Civil War documentary or maybe someone played it at their grandpa's funeral. I'll play "The Flowers of the Forest" because it's a famous bagpipe tune and it makes old ladies cry (and they drop fivers, always). After that, someone usually says, "Play Devil Went Down to Georgia!" (which can't really be played solo) - but you can get them excited by starting in on Orange Blossom special, burning through the georgia shuffles and then playing the riffs from "Devil," which they recognize, and then you see them smile really big so I usually role right into Union Maid, or I'll slow down into an old Steven Foster tune.
Then if they say, "Play something pretty," I'll play 15 measures out of a Vivaldi concerto or something before I tear it all apart again into a good 20th century reel, or maybe Gravel Walk or something Irish.

I have never made less than $40/hour playing violin on the street (except in Kalamazoo - usually make around $20).

The problem is that Joshua knows good fiddle music. He stayed up in Appalachia for a year or something and recorded this huge album of American folk music. The sort of songs that sound good without a giant symphony orchestra behind you. The sort of songs that remind people of drinking around a campfire, or their grandpa's funeral, or their dad and their uncle banging on a piano in the living room, or something. You have to give them a memory in order to yank them out of the shittiness of their daily commute. Beethoven is simply not going to do it.

Here's an experiment. Put Bell out their with his strad for a half hour and let him play music that he thinks will make money. I guarantee he could do it - the guy is seriously gifted and really groks american taste. But Paganini? Come on. What would you do if someone got up on the mic at your favorite bar after work and started playing Paganini at you? Maybe, if you're part of the 2% of Usians who loves classical music, you'd be happy. But odds are (and this is speaking as a violinist of 19 years) you'd be happier if I played Devil Went Down to Georgia and jumped around a bunch. Because it's fun.

Odds are, you'd give me a fiver, too.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 8:39 AM on April 9, 2007 [15 favorites]


Also, making $32 an hour is making bank.

At that rate it'd only take him around 100 000 hours to cover the cost of his instrument.
posted by howling fantods at 12:46 PM on April 9, 2007


You don't need to purchase a Ferrari Enzo to win a street race.
posted by geoff. at 1:40 PM on April 9, 2007


geoff. writes "You don't need to purchase a Ferrari Enzo to win a street race."

No, but he already has the Stradivarius.
posted by Bugbread at 2:02 PM on April 9, 2007


Weingarten did a Q&A about this article today on Washingtonpost.com.
posted by amarynth at 4:38 PM on April 9, 2007


Ha! That Q&A is one giant Weingarten circle-jerk.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 7:49 PM on April 9, 2007


I just came across this article coincidentally after having read quite a bit about the Jazz/Classical artist Moondog this morning.

I'm a bit surprised he was not mentioned either in the article or here in the comments. Moondog worked as a street musician in Manhattan in the 1950's as the preferred method for getting noticed; he even preferred it over playing at venues or clubs. And it landed him studio recording deals as well as friendships with classical big wigs like the conductor of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.

Despite being in another time and place, this still sort of flies in the face of the author's premise. And like others have said, I think their results would have been much different if they picked a more leisurely time of day, and more accessible, varied, or interactive approach. Whereas many street musicians are trying to get noticed, in a sense, these guys were almost trying not to get noticed. I agree that the author's condescending classical music elitist tone was annoying through most of it too.
posted by p3t3 at 9:40 PM on April 9, 2007


HyperBlue - nice take.

BabyB - I agree, in part. I can't get inside Josh's head for the selection but his gig and busking are not congruent and the pieces selected are not well-suited to busking. The article clearly presents an orientation, however, toward a somewhat false dichotomy in the idea of presenting the plebes with the finest and the highest.

Sol LeWitt died today. His stuff is clearly among the greatest works of art created in the 20th century, but it CANNOT be appreciated in a 15-second commuting zoom.

So, sure, the premise is slanted. It's also hilarious. I found the presentation compelling and moving even though I grokked the ground rules. After all, Joshua is a showman ;).
posted by mwhybark at 9:45 PM on April 9, 2007


Hey everybody, I'm a composer and a performer. Worship me.
posted by speicus at 12:32 AM on April 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


You're awesome, speicus. Like infinity. Or maybe 200.
posted by Bugbread at 2:26 AM on April 10, 2007 [2 favorites]


To all the people suggesting Bell should have picked a different time or a different piece of music, you are missing the author's point. This is Joshua Bell, playing Chaconne, on a Strad! This kind of pure artistry transcends your simple time table and petty problems, and if you don't recognize this, you're hardly deserving of the title "human."

You rocks, you stones, you worse than senseless things!

/infinite sarcasm
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:11 PM on April 10, 2007 [3 favorites]


five deleted posts! Is that a record?
posted by mwhybark at 8:15 PM on April 10, 2007


five deleted posts! Is that a record?

More than five ... and a MetaTalk thread on the very subject.
posted by ericb at 8:18 PM on April 10, 2007



I bet more people would have stopped in New York!
posted by Maias at 12:40 AM on April 11, 2007


This story tugged at my heart and fogged my mind. I can see why its so popular.

Well, I guess there's no room in this modern world for old Blackie here, but if you don't mind this reporter is going for one last ride.

*sniff*
posted by dgaicun at 5:40 PM on April 11, 2007


That was a truly bloated piece of writing.
posted by dydecker at 12:36 AM on April 16, 2007


Side note - if you look in the Q & A the 8th or 9th to last question is a link that says Josh Bell video (which I assume is supposed to be a link to the full video). However when you click on it you get a link an article on the Fah Wong bus. Anyone know where the real video is?
posted by jourman2 at 6:15 PM on April 16, 2007


Kind of like when the lady at the department store wants to spray people with perfume. What? You don't want to be sprayed? You have someplace you're going? You must be some kind of uncultured heathen who hates smelling nice.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:55 PM on April 16, 2007


Ane little did you realize you were passing up being sprayed by... THE BESTEST PERFUME SPRAYER IN THE WORLD!!!
posted by miss lynnster at 7:20 PM on April 16, 2007


« Older The burrito tunnel.   |   At firrst you think it's an... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post