Wednesday, 23 February 2011

You may recognize yourself, or someone you know, in this this infrequent field resource and spotting guide on concert sociology – the Taxonomy of Rock.

Medicinae Saltator — Dance of Drugs (Acid Dancer)

Medicinae Saltator, or acid dancer, is that guy — and 99% of the time it is a guy — whose dancing, while without hint of self-consciousness (and I do have to give him credit for that part) is a mix between drunken stumbling and the flailing of a person drowning. Even with careful observation it is difficult to discern the rhythm, or even the song, to which he is grooving.

It should be noted that, despite the pharmaceutical base to the genus name, not all acid dancers are drug users. Encountered in the wild, most are harmless, even those under the influence of chemical enhancements. However, close proximity to the medicinae saltator is difficult as most exude a pungent oder, commonly a mix of patchouli, body oder, and clove cigarettes or marijuana.

Given the medicinae saltator’s extemporaneous and unpredictable movements, their lack of awareness for their own surroundings, and limited personal space found in a typical concert environment, the greatest danger in MS encounters comes from the occasional trodden foot or other minor jostling. Examples of normal MS habits can be found in film/video footage from The Woodstock Encounter of 1969 or Grateful Dead shows from 1966-present.

The greatest risk from the medicinae saltator does not stem from a normal concert environment, but rather uncontrolled social gatherings that can quickly degenerate into a tympana circulo, or a hippie drum circle.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

A new installment of my infrequent series on concert sociology — a spotting guide for the concert-going public. It’s possible you will recognize someone you know, or perhaps yourself, in this field resource.

Altus Quinque – High-Five Guy

When a performer so much as approaches the edge of the stage, Altus Quinque — high-five guy — is right there, arm aloft, hoping for a handshake, fist-bump, or other minor acknowledgement from the band.

Altus Quinque shows little concern for the personal space or discomfort of other concert-goers and will reach through any available gap to attain his goal. Fledgeling AQs may exhibit more reserved tendencies, but they are quickly outgrown and easily overcome through regular use of intoxicants or other mood-altering substances.

While stage proximity is important for proper completion of a high-five, the AQ’s sense of distance grows less accurate over time. Field research shows that Altus Quinque will extend their fore-limbs from lengths in excess of 50 feet in a quest for even the slightest contact with someone in the band.

There is a particular sub-species that is driven to reach out during the performance, usually between songs, but occasionally during them. Gentle admonitions may prevent them from becoming an annoyance, however their short-term memory is lacking and they will quickly resume their gadfly-like behavior.

AQs are presumed to be asexual as there is no known female of the species, although actual reproductive habits are unknown. In its natural concert habitat, high-five multiplies spontaneously, much like wire coat-hangers on a closet floor.

Not known to be immediately dangerous, small injuries may result from repeated contact with Altus Quinque. The back of the skull, upper shoulders, and head coverings are most at-risk as the AQ’s sense of space and situational awareness are not typically attuned to their surroundings.

Spotting Altus Quinque in the wild is more difficult at sit-down concerts; club shows offering easier stage-front access than more more formal venues, however you will find high-five guy any time there is live music.