You’re at Café Santropol on a Sunday afternoon. Visibly focused on your work, headphones in, you become aware of a turtlenecked, tiny-hatted, vaguely stinky entity behind you. He won’t tap your shoulder, but as seconds stretch into minutes, you begin to turn your head, not quite toying with the idea of removing a headphone—
Hey! It was really nice seeing you at the show the other night. I wasn’t actually planning on going, but a guy I know works for the promoters and got me on the guestlist. It was pretty tight, we did shots with the guitar player before his set. He was making out with this drunk fan, which was kinda weird, but he was actually such a straight up funny dude with us. They’re rolling out of town today, but he said if anything gets delayed, he’d definitely consider pulling through tonight.
Wait, damn, did I not invite you? My bad! We’re doing a set tonight. You should come! It’s me and two of the guys. I do synths, guitar, and sometimes sing. We’ve got kind of a garage-y sound, but there’s a lot of psych and electronic influences that really come through. Do you play any instruments?
Chill. Yeah I guess our biggest influences have gotta be Neutral Milk Hotel (cliché, I know), The Brian Jonestown Massacre, and The Soft Boys. A lot of people just know “Underwater Moonlight” by them, if they’ve heard of them at all, which is too bad. You’ll definitely be able to pick out The Soft Boys in our set. Sorry, totally don’t mean to be mansplaining our influences. Some of our songs are pretty out there, I just like to give context. I’m not one of those guys, though, don’t worry. It’s honestly whack how the patriarchy lets some men systematically exploit women’s emotional labour. Anyway, do you like music?
Tight. Yeah, Lorde is OK but it’s mostly Jack Antonoff doing the work, so just like, credit where credit is due, you know? I don’t really mess with his Bleachers stuff but some of his work with St. Vincent is actually super innovative. Have you heard St. Vincent?
Wait, sorry to interrupt, but could I bum one of those? I’ve been trying to quit for forever but I always get nervous the day of a show. I have a lot of anxiety that people don’t really see.
Anyways, yeah, St. Vincent really inspired me to play guitar. A lot of people don’t think girls can play guitar, but she’s 10 times the guitarist Jack White is. We’re playing an experimental cover of one of her songs tonight. You’ve gotta come, you’d love it. I think The White Stripes are so overrated. My dad loves them. He gave me a lot of shit growing up. I never really got into the sports that my brothers were into. I was too busy digging through record crates to ever really get involved in all that toxic masculine crap. Kids at school used to beat me up and call me gay. No, no I’m not gay! Haha, just because of the music and stuff. You’re not, right?
Diversity is so important. POCs are everything. I think it was Bukowski who said, “It is not our differences who define us,” and that’s a philosophy that underlies a lot of what my band’s all about. Are you and your dad close?
Yeah I feel that. Relationships are tough. Self-care is everything. My ex-girlfriend and I just broke things off pretty recently. Do you ever model, by the way? I just bought a new roll of 35mm, I’d love to shoot you sometime. I hope somebody brings beers tonight. A lot of the songs we’ll be playing are actually about my ex.
Have you seen Her? Spike Jonze is an auteur. I drink so much sometimes that there are whole weeks I don’t remember. Could I bum another one of those? I process a lot of my anxiety through songwriting. Infinite Jest changed me, but I actually think Pynchon is way more relevant for right now. Sometimes I cry so hard it feels like I’m going to run out of tears. Death Grips are so overrated, my ex never got that. I just don’t really do monogamy, you know? It’s so grounded in heteronormative patriarchy, it gives me anxiety. Do you have any ex-boyfriends?
Wait, sorry, I’ve gotta run to soundcheck. The show’s way up at my place near Jarry, you can catch the 80. It was so good seeing you again! What’s your number? I’ll send you the address. I might be able to get you guestlist, but it’s $5/PWYC anyways, so no big deal. Bring your friends. Could I possibly bum one more of those, for the road? I’ll get you back at the show.