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Talking Over Tweedy

Talking Over Tweedy

Date: Jul 02 2007

Themes: Friend, Music


1. Learn Vocabulary - Learn some new vocabulary before you start the lesson.

2. Read and Prepare - Read the introduction and prepare to hear the audio.

It’s hard to play a large room by yourself with just an acoustic guitar. Not only are you the only person on stage and all the attention is on you, but sometimes people will talk through your music. It’s strange that people would pay for a ticket, go to a concert and then just chatter with their friends and ignore the show, but it happens all the time.

Toby recently went to a concert that was full of scenesters and people who were more worried about looking cool than hearing the music. The performer stopped the show and called them out.


1. Listen and Read - Listen to the audio and read the dialog at the same time.

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2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.





Toby:  So did you go to that Jeff Tweedy show last time he was in town?

Marni:  No, but I heard that he was yelling…was he kind of yelling at the audience?

Toby:  He wasn’t yelling, but he was um…He was playing, and it was at the Crystal Ballroom, which is a horrible venue anyway…

Marni:  It is, but…

Toby:  And it was just him and an acoustic guitar. I think most people are used to seeing him with Wilco and just totally shredding…

Marni:  And being amplified...

Toby:  Yeah, and so the show was progressing and he stopped in the middle of a song and basically reprimanded the crowd and actually was being quite earnest and was like, “Is there something I can do? Is there something I’m not doing? Do you want me to play pop songs? I’ll play pop songs.”

Marni:  Wow, that’s kind of sad almost. I mean that the audience wouldn’t respect…I mean, obviously they’re paying to be there to see him perform, you would think they would be quiet and listen.

Toby:  Well he even said that, he said, “I don’t know why you paid 20 dollars to come here if you’re not gonna listen to the show.” And he said, “You know, if you guys would stop thinking about yourselves for one minute, you’d realize that there’s something cool going on here.”

Marni:  Interesting.

Toby:  And he said, “Let’s all take a moment and notice that.” And he took his guitar off and stood on the stage all by himself in front of the microphone with his eyes closed and just waited for people to notice that he wasn’t playing.

Marni:  Wow.

Toby:  Yeah.

Marni:  That’s pretty powerful.

Toby:  And then I guess he went to Eugene the next night and said he felt bad about how he yelled at the Portlanders. But I’ve seen him do that before at solo shows.

Marni:  Really? So this is a reoccurring thing.

Toby:  Yeah. He’s got a reputation for it.

Marni:  So, wow, do you think that it’s him, his music, or do think that it’s his tolerance for it.

Toby:  His tolerance for it, absolutely.

Marni:  Because you see it at other shows.

Toby:  Yeah.

Marni:  That’s interesting.



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Toby says that most people are used to seeing Jeff Tweedy with his band Wilco. They play loud music that’s hard talk over. But when Tweedy played with just an acoustic guitar, the audience didn’t pay attention.

Last time Toby saw Jeff Tweedy, he stopped the show and stood with his eyes closed at the front of the stage so that the audience would focus on his performance. He didn’t yell at them, but he tried to make them feel bad for talking through his music.

Marni asks Toby if she thinks Tweedy had to stop the show because the audience was especially loud or if Tweedy just especially dislikes noisy audiences. Toby says that she’s seen Tweedy get upset with the crowd before, so she thinks he just has a low tolerance for people talking over his music.

When you go to a concert, do you talk to your friends or do you pay attention to the music? Have you ever been to a show where it was hard to hear the performer because so many people were talking?



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Maram Eb

Maram Eb

United States

this lesson very nice and i'm binnger  i don't understand some words

i try every day Kiss

12:33 PM Sep 05 2010 |



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11:15 PM Mar 26 2008 |




 i think  show is a interactive thing between singer and audience.


01:04 AM Mar 25 2008 |





11:45 AM Mar 24 2008 |





11:44 AM Mar 24 2008 |




In my head Jeff Tweedy has a lake of confidence and also not a professional singer.because the best singer should analize the audience first. i'm like the intrest of audience,means which sort of music they like.Sealed

10:21 PM Nov 17 2007 |



Moldova, Republic Of

Excellent lesson!
I’m really pity him, it’s really frustrating! About audience, they are just not civilized. What a shame!

02:50 AM Jul 08 2007 |




I quite liked that lesson, I think it is one of my best

08:37 AM Jul 02 2007 |

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