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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The impetus

Since Jojo McSweeney seems to only sorta believe in giving opposing sides of an argument equal time, I feel compelled to post my response to Kyle's letter of Monday, April 10.

A little background: I start my day by breezing into work 45 minutes late (8:45 is the new 8:00), checking my email and reading the three blogs in the column on the right of this page. On Monday morning, I saw Kyle's note about the crazy Art Brut show at Haverford College. Late Tuesday, Joey posts a vituperative response from a Haverfordie who was at the show. So here's my note of Monday afternoon.
Since Kyle called me out, Jojo, I guess I have to respond to his note.

First, nice work on your DJ gig. (The girl that screamed "JOJO!" when you put on Gnarls Barkley? Me.) During Franz Ferdinand's set, I wasn't paying as much attention to the crowd as Kyle was since I was dancing stupidly in my own little "I will attract Alex Kapranos's romantic attentions with only the power of my interpretive dance freakout" world. The crowd did indeed suck, though. No one mustered much enthusiasm for Franz, and I don't know how one would rock out with his cock out to Death Cab. I mean, I saw a girl reading a textbook during Franz's set, OKAAAAAY? Girl, it is SATURDAY NIGHT. Leave that AP calculus shit at HOME.

Behavior like that would surely be more appropriate and expected at Haverford College, right? Oh, I was so very wrong.

Kyle walked right into the basement like he owned the place. Since I'm older and fatter and dorkier than the Havernerds (but I'm not yet a "grup," Joey--I read that New York Mag article too, dude) three officious Haverford kids stopped me and demanded "Tri-co ID! Where's your ID? Do you have Tri-co ID? I wanna see ID!" Oh, I'll give you ID, kids. You need me to go buy another keg for you, too, since I've got five years on most of you? A tip for the hipster doofus Amanda Scheer Demme-lite clone at the door: If someone wants to PAY to come a show in your stinky basement, JUST TAKE THEIR MONEY, MARK THEIR HAND AND SAY THANK YOU. Honey, I may not have gone to your fancy-pants liberal arts college, but I have A PAYING JOB. You can't intimidate me by making me pay a whole $10 to get in.

Bearing in mind that Kyle and I went to the University of Pittsburgh, we could not stop saying "This would never happen at Pitt!" The university sponsoring a foofy, artsy British indie rock band and an synth combo in spandex, fishnet shirts and bitchin' Richie Sambora leather hats in a dorm basement? A friendly and orderly keg line in the dorm laundry room? Smoking of both legal and illegal substances indoors? Kids drinking straight from a handle of Banker's Club and sharing it with the band during their set? And no pushy cops shutting the party down just as it gets good?! You would NEVER go to a show like that at Pitt. So we were kinda amazed.

I don't really know what Kyle expects me to say about Gil Mantera's Party Dream, since he was standing right next to me. I rubbed up against their sweaty sweatyness when they dove into the crowd and laughed my ass off when they did a vocoderrific cover of "Dreams" by Fleetwood Mac. We got sick of being stepped on and pushed around by overzealous 19-year-olds, so we stood on the riser at the back of the room to watch Art Brut, who were hilarious and delightful. They open their set with the opening riff from "Enter Sandman." Eddie Argos looks even more like Tony Hadley in real life. Very fun indeed.

The aforementioned Clare P.
I mean, come on! Had Joey posted what I had to say about the Art Brut show (and other shows I might mention) Haverford Indie Popster would not be writing that little invective.

Kyle and I were discussing this lil' tiff last night, and he made a good point: It all comes down to sweet, sweet alcohol. Had we been as hammered as the Haverford kids pouring onto the stage and being told by Eddie Argos to take a big step back like they were playing Red Rover at day camp, we won't lie: We too would have been in the pit, gleefully smashing into each other and the random 19-year-olds whose party we crashed. But we weren't, and we didn't.

Or, to ask my previous question in a different way, does NOT wanting to get stepped on and coated in a mixture of sweat, Jack Daniel's, patchouli oil and bongwater mean we enjoy the band any less? I think it's possible to be the tipsy, dancing superfan screaming "DO 'TRACK #1' AGAIN!!! AND DON'T LEAVE OUT THAT SECTION I LIKE IN THE MIDDLE 8 THIS TIME!!!" one night and the person tapping her feet and enjoying not just the band but the whole (to use a Lit Crit-tastic word--I know 'em too, kid) milieu another night.


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