Letters from the Editor of the Great Abyss

Birds and Bees,

What do transitional phases in life, Billy Idol, “beef,” your biological clock, singing in the shower, and In The Venue have in common? Autumn.

See, New Year’s Day should be as important to your biological Calendar as the new season of American Idol is to your tastes in music: insignificant. Having made your splash into society as a student and still being one, your “year” starts in late August and collapses into the next one somewhere around June or July. If anything, the first of January is a halfway marker. But your year starts when classes start. And classes start in fall.

Around the Great Abyss, fall is the favorite season here in the Beehive State. Sure, winter brings joy to All Who Ride, spring brings relief from the harsh weather of winter, and summer brings relief from school/life (or at least it should). Fall, though?

Just go look outside, or take a quick drive through Immigration Canyon-it’s beautiful outside these days, easily the most scenic and picturesque of every season. Colors are everywhere.

The weather is always too good to be true. But more than anything else, fall symbolizes something much more incredible than the scenery or weather outside: a new beginning. Even more than that, change. And who doesn’t enjoy switching it up every now and then.

Here in the Abyss, change is important to not getting sucked in and spewed out year after year. And I wouldn’t want anybody to come out for the worse. So let’s talk change.

Ever sing in the shower?

You should, it’s fun. As long as that freak landlord of yours isn’t peeking or listening, you’re already completely naked and might as well enjoy the freedom of the one place you’re supposed to be fully exposed. But why not just sing in the shower everywhere?

Not literally. Obviously. But there’s a person during that solo recording session in your own, personal, wet sound booth singing who is totally uninhibited, wild, carefree, confident and happy with the ability he or she typically doesn’t have.

Billy Idol said it best:

“If I had the chance, I’d ask one to dance, and I’d be dancing with myself (woah-oh)!”

Idol’s point still stands strong even after Molly Ringwald stopped being cool and hair crimpers were deemed obsolete; the best dances and dancers happen when nobody’s watching, or even better, when you don’t care whether they are or aren’t. So where’s the beef?

Somewhere around 500 West and 200 South, that’s where. My boy Calendar and I have been frequenting concert venue In The Venue (formerly Bricks, but any name is better than the one they have now) for quite some time now. Despite how good the acts on stage are (The Shins, Ben Kweller and Muse, to name a few) there’s something going awry at In The Venue; people aren’t getting down.

Sure, there’s you and your friends going insane in the front of the crowd, freaking out, flailing your body in every which direction, dancing until the last beat drops-exactly what you should be doing during a show, having a great time. But then there’s the rest of the crowd (and wait, here comes the generalization we’ll catch hell for…).

Clad in trucker hats, black shirts and studded belts, with boys in their girlfriends’ jeans and girls in their boyfriends’ arms, standing still, and sometimes breaking to sway to the left a little bit, these are those people giving you the vindictive “he’s not from our planet” looks when you decide to get your dance on. Does anybody remember laughter?!

It’s almost as if there’s an accusatory tone launched against those careless enough to have a good time. We’re not talking about moshing or interrupting other people’s concert-going experiences, either-simply dancing will get you the Evil Eye around here.

Not that this terrible phenomenon doesn’t happen at other places-The Cure show crowd recently at USANA was stillborn until the last song. But it doesn’t help In The Venue that they have, by far and away, the worst crowds and the most impersonal, condescending event staff around (make the connection, people).

Such a waste, considering what incredible bands they get and what a wonderful little place they have on their hands.

So what do we dancers do? It’s fall. We change things. And we dance.

Take it from Billy-it’s better our way, anyway. Dance however the hell you want to dance, at In The Venue and out.

The people who like you now will like you more at the sight of a more comfortable, less inhibited You, including, well, you.

Let’s change things around here, and the fire in your shoes might spread to other people. The Abyss won’t tell you where to not see concerts, but it will make a note of where you should be dancing:

With yourself. And sweat, sweat, sweat, sweat, sweat sweat sweat sweat sweat, OWWWW!

To disco balls and mirrored walls!

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