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Music Amid the Chaos in NYC Subway

New York City is a loud town, known for the blaring of car horns and the profanity-laced salutations of its citizens. But the city’s real soundtrack can be found below ground in the subways.

It is illegal to perform in the subway cars, but on the platform, whether commuters like it or not, music is legal.
For Theo Eastwind, every song’s a single, a one-song audition. Playing in the subway is better than any club for Eastwind, but making a living underground can be tough. There’s no permit required in New York for performers, or buskers as they are known, but the city holds annual auditions to allocate prime times and real estate in the city’s subway system.

Tyrone slater’s drum ensemble got a choice spot on the 2 train platform in Penn station. It allows him to network with musicians and club owners, but it’s really about the riders.

Theo Eastwind, singer/songwriter: “You have the right under the First Amendment in fact to say you hate this saxophone player cause he’s too loud and he sucks, it’s your right to do so, but it’s also the right of the saxophone player to be here and say however sucky I am, I’m expressing myself.”

The ultimate compliment for a busker – a New Yorker choosing to wait to for the next train.
Copyright 2013, The Associated Press

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