Saluton EAR FARM nation! This is exciting.
To the fiercely loyal who may chafe at welcoming another voice to offset Matt's tyrannical reign, fear not. I'm not here to rock the boat. Instead, think of me as the Cousin Oliver to EAR FARM's Greg Brady (but when you do so please conjure this image instead of this one) - a mischievous, eager newcomer with his hand in the cookie jar of good music (Don't tell Alice). Actually, scratch that, I believe they canceled the show pretty shortly after Oliver's midseason debut. Okay, I guess think of me as the first wave of change that EAR FARM will be undergoing in the coming months. It all starts here, and I'm honestly thrilled to be a part of it.
Right then, onto the music.
Earlier yesterday afternoon, Matt and I headed over to the Puck Building with the express purpose of seeing Takka Takka. We were late. So here is my public apology to Takka Takka, a band that so many different people have been telling me to check out for at least the last two years believing that they are the EXACT kind of band I would dig, as well as a band that apparently started their set right on schedule. I'm sorry Takka Takka, I missed the bulk of it. However, I did manage to see their final three songs and was left with mixed emotions. By mixed emotions I mean a combination of elation at seeing a band for the first time that so clearly spoke to my love of cleverly turning melodies, direct and earnest lyrics and vocals, and an unfussy delivery and self-disgust for never making it out to any of their 467 previous shows I could have easily seen. Apparently, they've added a third guitarist fairly recently, which in my estimation is a very very very good thing. I just used a "very" for every guitar in Takka Takka, see how much better that sentence reads as a result? Exactly. But hey, isn't the whole idea of the "newish" EAR FARM to get multiple perspectives at times? And who am I to write on a band which I've only seen play three songs live? Matt, what was your opinion?
I've seen Takka Takka something like 200 times (lie), and I love them more than I love my cat (another lie). As songwriters, as musicians, and as people - love them. Great band. Readers of EAR FARM already know how I feel about Takka Takka. However, it would appear that the organizers of CMJ do not know anything about my feelings towards them, nor do they know anything about how I feel about waiting in lines. But they will know soon, this I'll make sure of. And if they did already know these things, then they are just mean.
So. What's the deal with waiting in lines? Am I right? What? It's not just me that hates waiting in lines is it? Didn't think so. Well then, friend line-hater, pull up a chair and let me spin a tale of line-waiting so harrowing it's bound to make your back hurt empathetically and might even prematurely gray some of your hair as you read. I'll do my best not to recount the details of the "great wait" in real time because, frankly, you don't have the time (not a lie).
The important details:
- - as part of an agreement for running the CMJ ad you see on the bottom right side over there (scroll down, it's white) I was told I'd be given a CMJ pass, something all of us involved with After The Jump were granted. VERY cool.
- I was never explicitly told how/when/where to pickup said pass other than to get the pass just like everyone else.
- when I arrived at the Puck building to retrieve my CMJ pass, I was asked if I was a "performer" or "press."
- my speedy skills of deduction led me to answer "press" - look, it was my first time downtown. Noo, I live downtown. It's an expression. It was my first CMJ with a badge. Or so I hoped.
- I got in this "press" line and there I stood. Quietly. For 50 minutes (true). Fifty. Five-zero.
- standing there doing long division in my head, I found myself tapping a foot along to some groovy sounds coming from the distance. Through many walls... it's a guitar, it's two, it's three... it's Takka Takka!
- as if I were turning to look at the stage, I turned to face the wall where the sounds were coming from; and then, over.
Oh right. Well, what did you think of The Section Quartet (see above photo)? They done set the stage on fire after Takka Takka, re-imagining such rock staples as the Strokes' "Juicebox", Radiohead's "Paranoid Android" and Led Zeppelin's "Heartbreaker" (more on this in a moment) with feverish precision and a storm of violins, viola and cello. If King Arthur had ruled over Williamsburg, this band would be rocking his Court methinks. And how bananas was Eric Gorfain's violin solo on "Heartbreaker"? It somehow managed to tap into the whole tightrope Jimmy Page tiptoed between brutish force and technical fluidity in the original while adding even more grace and flair to the piece. Ridiculous. You caught that, right?
Mother fucker say what?! You're kidding right? Because I know you came to visit me while I waited. Not once, or twice, but three times you came to see how I was holding up. That's right people, my story didn't end with Takka Takka's set, nor did it end at the end of the "press" line. Let's get back to a bulleted list format to save us all a bit of time. Lord knows I'm due a refund of some kind here... might as well take it back in blog time. Too late? Screw you, keep reading.
- - the end of the "press" line saw a confused woman tell me that I'd just waited in the wrong line and that I would need to head over to the "pre-registration" line. Fair enough. A total waste of my time, but I felt like it was nearly 99% my fault.
- the "pre-registration" line was noticeably shorter, I had hope.
- after twenty minutes I reached the end of the line. Confident, I handed a different woman my ID. She searched. For a while. My heart sank.
- "I'm sorry, but your pass just isn't in here. You're going to have to wait in that (she pointed to another looooong line) line over there where they'll print you a new pass."
- this nearly made me cry, but just then I could've sworn I heard a string quartet version of "Paranoid Android" coming from the general area of the muffled sounding wall stage. "Muffled sounding wall stage" is what us "line people" had come to call the Day Stage, and we imagined it was located someplace near the center of the Earth, for that is how far away the music sounded. However, the faint refrain of classical Radiohead was enough to pick up my spirits.
- like a whiny child shopping for clothes with his mother I muttered "but I just waited in line for over an hour" to the poor CMJ worker. She looked upon me with pity, didn't say a word.
- I left the comforts of my second line for the frightening newness of yet another line. This one looked long. Even longer than the previous two. I took a deep breath.
- after another 25 minutes or so, just about the time I really got used to this new, third, line, I got to the front of the line. The people working this line clearly knew they were wearing an imaginary sign that read "The Buck Stops Here."
- within seconds of handing these last resorters my information I was given my very own CMJ badge. Finally! So efficient!
- (inner monologue: "Oh, but it's crooked (see above photo) - looks so sloppy!")
- (secondary inner monologue voice: "Shut up OCD head, you got it! Now get going before they create a fourth line for you to wait in!")
So um, is it to late too just say "Takka Takka, The Section Quartet @ CMJ Day Stage - no comment"?