Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Music to my Ears

I realize this is an awfully bloggy thing to do, but I need to use this space to register a small complaint about civic life here in Washington, DC. A wonderful part of riding the Subway in New York is occasionally happening upon a musician performing in the station. It's a little thing that takes you out of your day for a moment-- sometimes all the way to Peru, or to China, or to 1982-- and many of the musicians are quite good.

The quality control, it turns out, is thanks to a audition and regulation process-- one that costs the MTA slightly more than nothing. In Boston, where there doesn't appear to be any audition process, the results are, at worst, slightly annoying, and at best, a similar delight.

Why can't DC let a little music fill their cavernous Metro stations? It's not just frowned upon here, it's illegal, which just seems like an unnecessary and eversoslightly fascistic law. When I'm the mayor of this town...

Also, pause to remember the WaPo article from two years ago, wherein America's most talented violinist played outside L'Enfant Plaza Metro (outside, not in-- even the Post can't flout the law), and nobody stopped to listen.

Slightly pathetic, maybe, but he still made $32 in 45 minutes, which seems like an alright rate to me. Lift the ban and it shouldn't be too hard for some moderately talented musicians to make a half-decent living this way.