What the Hell Are These "Human Directionals" Listening To?

Categories: Only In Houston

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L-R: Terry and Troy
Some "sign walkers" aren't content to simply listen to the selections on their playlists. Shaun Jones is a student who took an advertising job three months ago to help his mother with finances. He's usually posted at the edge of a median, a concrete platform for the young man to showcase his smooth Latin dance moves.

"I listen to reggaeton, salsa, merengue," he says. "I like the bachata artists, like Prince Royce, Romeo Santos, Thalia."

While Jones dances, across town in the suburbs, Jared Ebert, a high school junior, sings while signing. He's a musician who performs with bands at his church. Roll down the window when you're passing by and you're likely to catch him belting out the song playing through his earbuds.

"I actually listen to my worship music," says Ebert, who plays guitar, drums, bass and piano. "This is actually where I get my practice in for singing for church."

He says he listens to Chris Tomlin and Tenth Avenue North for inspiration.

Troy works for a gold shop on Westheimer. He's said he's been doing this awhile and is especially enthused around the Christmas holidays, when he and the other human directionals get to don Santa and elf costumes. Today, he's sporting rainbow-colored headgear, a kind of Wavy Gravy-meets-The Mad Hatter thing.

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Shaun Jones
Not surprisingly, Troy says he's tuned into 93.7 FM, a classic rock station. He's a Pink Floyd man, he says, and gets stoked when any Journey song makes the rotation.

Troy's dedication to a singular style of music is an anomaly for human directionals. Most are like Terry, who's been on the job a year now and has found that keeping the iPod on shuffle while shuffling the sidewalk keeps the day moving quickly.

"I listen to a little bit of everything," he says. "I listen to a mixture of heavy metal, country, alternative. I like anything upbeat, anything with a fast rhythm."

He said he packs his music player for work every day and enjoys Luke Bryan when he's feeling a little bit country and AC/DC and Pantera when he's a little bit rock and roll.

Minor might have been speaking for all his sign-bearing brothers when he likened his work, which calls for attracting people to a message, to music.

"I understand music to be a way of somebody transmitting what's in their soul to somebody else," he says. "That's how I look at music. Basically, whoever wrote it, I'm hearing their heart and soul."





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5 comments
Thenonymous
Thenonymous

Neat! I just assumed it was all the crack that made them jump around like that.

Apple Dávila
Apple Dávila

I wish this article focused more on the fact that they struggle through the hottest times in houston and how that struggle doesn't affect them.

Sammi Lu
Sammi Lu

I thght I was the only one that wondered this..hey whatever u do, do it cheerfully.

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