The Austin Chronicle

Luv Doc: The Real Yoko

Some people aren’t easily able to shamelessly express themselves through movement

By The Luv Doc, September 14, 2018, Columns

Dear Luv Doc,

My possibly soon-to-be-ex-boyfriend was a bassist in a jam band until about a year ago when he decided to quit and go back to school full time. It was a smart decision in my opinion because they weren't really that good, but it was totally his decision to quit the band. Shortly after this happened the band broke up. Not too long after that I found out from a friend that I was being referred to as "Yoko" by his old bandmates. But wait ... that's not the worst part. In our last few arguments he has made reference to the fact that I was the cause of him quitting the band because he could tell that I wasn't supportive of him and his music. I wanted to scream at the time, but I held it in. After thinking about it, I realize I wasn't very supportive of his musical ambitions because the band he was in wasn't good. They were cute, but they really sucked at music. I am worried that if I tell him this he will hate me even more, but if I don't set the record straight I will always be the scapegoat for his shitty band breaking up. What should I do?

– Loco Yoko

OK, you lost me at "jam band," but on the bright side, that phrase pretty much justifies any action you decide to take, up to and including murder. I am fairly certain no jury in Texas would convict you of killing a jam band bassist – especially if he was rehearsing in your house. In fact, I think they would give you a pass on anything short of an actual crucifixion. As any Downtown hotelier will tell you, bass cuts through windows, walls, and doors, but mainly your sanity. People like to complain about the racket of banjos, saxophones, and bagpipes, but bass is like Wilt Chamberlain: It penetrates everything.

Truth be told, I am not entirely sure the Austin jury pool even likes live music anymore. They're definitely into fitness, yoga, and wheatgrass smoothies. They like knowing their food is locally sourced even if it tastes like moldy cardboard. They like taking their tiny condo dogs for walkies. They like zipping around town in their Teslas, but I am not sure how many "locals" still enjoy binge-drinking Lone Star in a dark, inexplicably smoky club listening to some hairy dude masturbate on a fretboard for hours on end. They would much rather Favor some Torchy's and binge watch Riverdale.

I mean, it would be nice if you were one of the three or four die-hard, dirty-footed, trance dancer groupies who populate the mosh pit at every jam band show, but some people aren't easily able to shamelessly express themselves through movement – not even with enough lavender acid to give a white rhino the sweats. Having a preference for a stable time signature and a consistent melodic structure doesn't mean you don't support someone's musical ambitions. It just means you might not want to witness the results.

It might even be possible that you're actually into jam band music – even if your facial expression doesn't show it, but if not, there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. There's also nothing wrong with having higher musical ambitions for your boyfriend. That certainly doesn't make you a Yoko any more than it makes him a Beatle. Therefore, it's best to be honest with him even if it means telling him you didn't like his band or the music they played. Remind him, however, the real Yoko would tell him that his choice to play music should have nothing to do with you. If it does, he's doing it for the wrong reason.

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