- Sticker Syndrome
- Indie Gets the Chicks
- Sammy's Studio
- August 10, 2004
If you make it to a lot of shows on any consistent basis you're gonna accumulate some amount of free band merch. Yet, we live in a society where free things aren't free things at all, but are thinly veiled marketing ploy-attacks. So, it happens that I accrued a couple of stickers from a sub-par band that shall remain nameless (for the protection of the innocent). After said show I slapped one of them good ol' stickers on the case of my computer 'cause, well, it's been done before and the more color on the beige box the better.
Now the lesser of the stickers that I received from the band I threw in a drawer I use for miscellany purposes. The sticker was well received by others of its kind as well as a few dead batteries, a broken Slinky, and some year old gum. That's the kind of drawer this one happens to be.
It was several months later that I decided I had better clean out the miscellany drawer before I forget that those batteries are dead, that the gum is stale, and that the Slinky doesn't slink. Out came items to meet their judgment day leading to either a quick toss in the can or a re-entry into the coveted junk drawer in a slightly better arranged manner. When I came to a small pile of random stickers I thought, "Why not artify the bare areas of my personal computer?" And so it was that I slapped a second sticker from the sub-par band onto the canvas of my computer case. Yet, this knowledge was kept for me from some time later being as it was that I have amassed a large number of stickers on the case, and what an easy thing it is for a person to forget which stickers have been stuck and which have not.
Arriving at the front steps of the party I was greeted by a handful of familiar faces and many more of those who I had never before graced with my acquaintance. I chat up some folks and spot a good friend in the kitchen trying to open a pop-off bottle cap by twisting. Always looking for a chance to be a minor hero I swagger up to my partner and inform him of his faux-pas. And since I want to gloat in my victory I stick around to exchange words that I hope will only solidify the awe which I believe to have inspired in my good friend.
A rare occurrence does then transpire. A face I have seen not in 3 years appears next to my kitchen companion. She is a face which launched a thousand blushes on my late-blooming high schoolian face. Ah, she is an old crush. Can I now take advantage of the vast expanse of knowledge of wooing the opposite sex that I imagine I have learned in my college years? Can I take vengeance on the yonder years of yore by finally parlaying a successful encounter with this girl through charm and wit? Will my high school hang-ups be shattered forever if I can absolve myself of missed opportunities and lost chances?
This is what I'm up against. The girl informs me she's in a band, she writes for a fairly popular (but not too popular) Seattle zine, and she just came back from a Golden Shoulders CD release party. Here's my chance! I can deliver obscure references, mention I just bought the latest LP from the hippest new hot fresh band! I can make up a story about hanging out with Colin Meloy after a secret show in Burgandy! It is in this moment that I think that there is a God, and that he doesn't just want to torture me with ripping pants at inopportune moments. This is, in fact, a pop culture miracle. A veritable post-modern religious experience.
The next juncture in this three-way kitchen dialogue contains me a) inexplicably becoming paralyzed in the mouth and b) experiencing irony to such an extent as to make it possible to transcend the bodily experience and view chaos theory under the microscope of my daily life.
Kevin, okay? Kevin's my friend in the kitchen at the party where I re-meet the girl of my dreams. He's also the guy that was just over at my house lamenting to me the pains of breaking up with his girlfriend. Oh god, it was terrible. Crying on my pillow, which I realize as I write this that I have yet to wash. Which is, besides way gross, very un-Zen. The things he said were all the common things. Things which anyone could say, and probably will say. But, he said the fates were after him, and that his life was cursed from the start. Nothing ever goes right and something always goes wrong. Wheeze, cry, choke, slobber.
So, back in the party we're at the part where my future wife is moving away from detailing her biography of the last three years and beginning to probe into the sphere that is my interactions in life. I remember this part slow and with unnaturally soft lighting. She asks me what I've been doing. Here I meant to go into rapturous detail about the real crank show I went to last night. Or, I could have told her about band rehearsal, anything, something, as long as it pertains to the sub-genre of indie rock. That is all it will take. These people are so simple, mentioning any activity involving counter-culture is like the Illuminati's secret handshake, and you're in. I do want to be "in" with her because biologically I am chasing propagation and pop songs about perfect love. Which, is, ya know, happiness and happiness isn't so bad. In fact, it's supposed to be why we're here, right?
In my speechlessness, my relapse into high school, I fail to form any words beyond a guttural caveman drawl. My buffoonery leads my, remember, good friend Kevin to speak up and talk for me. I think, "Yes! Kevin! Go, go, go! If you can just get me started I can take over the controls and speak for myself." Yet, Kevin continues on about what I've been doing for the last three years, what my favorite food is and, most importantly, which bands I deem cool and uncool. It was like listening to your parents tell Aunt Edna over the phone what her little nephew is up to, and how the sixth grade was. Except, this was happening to me as a young adult. This is when I'm supposed to eschew an aura of self-confidence and all I can do is allow my friend to substitute for me because I am indeed sick and much too unhealthy for this conversation.
And, it comes out: I somehow love this shitty band because Kevin saw not one but two of their stickers on a personal object in my room through his bleary crying eyes. He, oblivious to what has just happened, continues on about how great I think this really pretty awful band is. So, it's done. I gave a fleeting thought about trying to denounce the sin of liking an entirely ridiculous rock act but thought that getting into a bickering with Kevin about whether or not I do enjoy the musical creations of a band that I have plastered all over my room, will not make me anymore credible as a person that any girl will want to spend time with or, for that matter, settle down and raise three kids alongside.
She loses interest, walks away and finds someone who isn't still hung-up on their sixteen year old psychosis. I think, "What sell-outs for this shitty band to attempt their feeble marketing scheme on me by handing out their low budget stickers so that kids will post them on stop signs so their shitty band can get a little more publicity than they deserve". What a bunch of utterly fucking louts.
- Deux y Achtzehn/100
- Jacob Daley
- Meine Piepsige Badewanne Ist von den Kleinen Smurf Spielwaren Voll