Oh God, They're Actually Doing It

Metro is going to propose that music be allowed at subway entrances. My feelings on this have been quite clear. Please see here and here. The Metro proposal will involve auditions to make sure that all the music is appropriate. There will be no "mudbucket music" allowed. So, Asian dude playing that one string instrument at the Dupont South entrance...FUCK YOU. You have not been approved. Metro is going to sanitize the street performers so as not to offend anyone's sensibilities. In other words, it will be completely soulless and lame. They are taking music and destroying its soul. Why would we expect any less from DC?

And it wouldn't be DC if someone didn't inject politics into the whole matter:

John Butterfield, 52, who works in publishing and commutes on the Orange Line from Court House to McPherson Square, welcomed anything "that brings a smile rather than dead silence and boring people walking." But he doesn't want musicians who win an official "seal of approval" to "squeeze out current musicians."

"I worry that we end up with elevator music," he said. "That rubs my libertarian bent the wrong way."

OK, John. No one asked you about your "libertarian bent." No one cares. Although I share many of the same worries as you, I get the feeling that you're a bit of a pretentious asshat.

Just in case you're inclined to support this malarky, there's also this:

...the Metro Performs! program would include music, theater, literary arts, mime, magic and dance.

The horrible emphasis is mine. I don't think anyone supports magic shows or, God forbid, mimes. Mimes! When you're accosted by a creepy man in clown make-up who is stuck inside his make-believe box, I want you to think to yourself, "Rusty is always right."


  1. This is a horrible idea, but when Metro is intent on doing something, it's a done deal regardless of what customers may say to the contraty.

    As a compromise, maybe they could limit performances to weekends and between rush hour?

    Mines and dance... I hope metro is prepared to handle liability issues.

  2. It will be between rush hour. Doesn't matter. Mimes.

  3. as long as they play: (come on everybody sing!)
    Hail to the Redskins!

    Hail Victory!

    Braves on the Warpath!

    Fight for old Dixie!

    Run or pass and score -- we want a lot more!

    Scalp 'em, swamp 'em -- We will take 'em big score

    Read 'em, weep 'em, touchdown - we want heap more

    Fight on, Fight on -- 'Till you have won

    Sons of Wash-ing-ton. Rah!, Rah!, Rah!

  4. If the auditions mean that they get rid of the Andean wankers with their generator and amp at the L'Enfant plaza entrance, I'm all for it.

  5. NO. MIMES. Unless physical contact is allowed.

    But I do like the sweet old man at Pentagon City Mall. He was belting out "Feliz Navidad" for all he was worth last week.

  6. As a New Yorker who deals with (often MTA-approved) subway musicians all the time, the Asian one-stringed instrument guy is among the best of the bunch. The sanctioned stuff just makes me want to turn up my iPod. 90% of the time, subway station music is a pain in the ass, and even the 10% who I want to hear don't make it worthwhile.

  7. My favorite is the crackhead who bangs an empty coke can with a stick in from of union station.

    Boy, I hope his agent gets him a Meto audition.

  8. OMG, thats funny you mentioned the Feliz Navidad dude at Pentagon City, I passed him twice last week in an hour and there he was pourin his little heart out with that song. Is he blind? Performers like him are real and non-annoying and you don't mind chucking some duckets into their buckets. MIMES and the like?? OH PLEASE!! If Metro put half as much thought and energy into easing crowding on the trains, those poor Metro riders wouldn't be so grouchy. Thank GOD for my motorcycle! I ride to work in these subfreezing temps JUST to keep from riding that Metro, the Green line is like riding a school bus! I pity the mimes who approach the wrong DC commuter on a bad day.

  9. What?

    Is their really an official Redskins song, or did anonymous make that up?

  10. No, that's real. My roommate sings it when the R***kins are winning.

    I don't hear it that much.

  11. Forget Music (though as long as the dreadlocked sax guys and the dreadlocked fingerboard tapping guitarist are approved, I'm cool with it)

    Forget Mimes

    Pole Dancing is where METRO needs to be looking for real entertainment options

  12. yes the asian guy! are we talking about the same one thats always on the orange line in arlington?

    he is quite fucking good.

  13. for someone as progressive and liberal as you, rusty, i'm surprised you're not willing to be a little cultured.

    there's more to music than shitty indie rock. i've heard some excellent performers in the new york subway, and i think the same quality of performance can be found here. who knows, maybe you'll find ME playing at your local station!

  14. and they're going to get paid 48 dollars an hour for this. awesome.

  15. DC needs a naked cowboy. or robot man.

  16. Rusty-your bitching got you mentioned in the Express today (in case you didn't know)... congrats and keep up the good work! Bitch until you're blue in the face-it's quality stuff

  17. I hope I pass the audition!

  18. I will be happy as long as the musical selection doesn't include Mr. Greengenes. If I hear one more D.C. dork rep this band I will shove his BlackBerry in his asshole.

  19. Asian single instrument guy is appreciated. But what do we have to do to get just one black guy on trumpet? C'mon. A little Christmas music?

  20. Making fun of mimes? Making fun of mimes??!! Hey, why don't you just say the easiest, most obvious thing in every situation? What's your next post going to be? "Racism is Bad!"

    God, this blog sucks.

  21. Hey fuckface, who told you that you could write? Your mom?

    Of course she's going to say that. SHE'S YOUR MOM.

  22. To my credit, DCist, Read Express, and a bunch of other blogs mentioned this story and I was the only one (that I saw) to mention mimes.

  23. It's not "to your credit" that you mentioned mimes and no one else did, genius. The other blogs simply declined to go for the painfully obvious and unfunny "joke."

    "You know who sucks? Them mimes suck!" Good one, Shecky.

  24. Well the other stories were positive and mine was obviously negative. So, it's perfectly fair to bring up mimes. Mimes are universally despised. How can people be supporting a plan that involves mimes and magic shows?

  25. Yes, mimes are universally despised. And white people can't dance, black people talk in movie theaters, and George W. Bush is dumb. Also, guys like football and girls like shopping.

  26. You're confusing degrading sterotypes with a legitimate gripe.

  27. Your dislike of mimes is not a "legitimate gripe." It's low-hanging fruit, and it's boring and unoriginal.

    If you write this kind of lazy, obvious, cliched dross, don't be surprised when you get hammered for it.

  28. The dude above me is totally a mime.

  29. The dude above me is totally a fucktard.

  30. It looks like we have another reader taking things a bit too seriously under the cloak of anonymity.

    You should sit out a few plays, bro.

  31. The dude above me is totally a fucktar- er, shitty writer.

  32. last spring, my teacher once told me that i missed my calling in miming. but i still might punch a mime in the junk if he got in my way on the metro. maybe the mimes could show everyone proper metro etiquette. and tourists how to buy a ticket. i'm a little iffy on the magic tricks bit. a unicycling magician might be alright though.

  33. I hope the dreadlocked guy that plays at Rosslyn and a few other stations in DC stays.

  34. whyiamstartingtohatemetroDecember 06, 2006

    Everyone against this should comment on at this link...


  35. whyiamstartingtohatemetroDecember 07, 2006

    Metro responded to the comment I sent in and here is their response.

    Thank you for writing to Metro's Red Line Team. We appreciate your taking the time to provide your concerns and suggestions regarding the proposal to allow entertainment in the Metro system. A copy of your comments will be made available to our Marketing Department for their review. All feedback is being compiled and will be made available to the Board of Directors prior to a final decision. The idea of adding
    entertainment outside of Metrorail stations is being promoted by the Rider's Advisory Council and was met with a public applause at the most recent Town Hall Meeting in Rockville.

    The Board has expressed concern about the possibility of entertainers impeding the flow of riders in the system. They are especially interested in ensuring that any entertainment initiative is not disruptive to the operations and environment of the Metrorail system. They are expected to consider the proposal at their regular meeting on Dec. 14. Under the proposal, Metro would ask local arts councils in the six jurisdictions where it operates to identify performers they deem appropriate. The selected performers would be paid by the arts councils, not Metro.
    Performances would not be allowed on Metrorail trains or in the paid area of the stations. Performances would be allowed outdoors at designated station entrances between April and October. Performances would be allowed only during lunchtime and at the end of the day, not during the morning rush hours.

    Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts on this important topic. We look forward to continuing to serve you and improving our services for you and all of our patrons. Please contact my team directly whenever you have any questions or concerns related to the Red Line. To speak to a
    Red Line Customer Service Representative for Comments, Complaints or Suggestions, please call 301-562-4605 weekdays between the hours of 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. You can leave a message at all other times or email us at redline@wmata.com.

    If you ever need to speak with a Customer Information Agent for assistance with general questions, please call 202-637-7000; Mon-Thurs: 6 a.m.-10:30 p.m., Fri: 6 a.m.-11:30 p.m., Sat: 7 a.m.-11:30 p.m., Sun: 7 a.m.-10:30 p.m.


    Bob Hester
    Red Line Customer Service Manager

  36. There are already musical performances at most Metro stations where the escalators have been "modernized". At the Tenleytown station, I get to hear the sounds of whales humping, like on those new age soundtracks, all the way up and down the main entrance tunnel, every morning and night.

    Anybody else notice this? Only at the brand spanking new "modernized" escalators do you hear that awful screeching noise. Not only does the project take forever and a year to finish per station, the end result is crap. Typical result of bureaucratic ineptitude and union labor apathy.

  37. wow thanks for more useless projects Metro. Good to see all the money I'm spending on the toll road every day is being used.

    Doesn't matter if they actually build the line to Dulles (why they even need this who knows there's a perfectly good DEDICTAED HIGHWAY for it). But god to know that us who are paying for it will probably all be retired or dead before it's in use.