Monday, June 29, 2009


Once upon a younger you...
You had this perfect vision of yourself at a seamlessly unshakable time in your life when you were more confident or nicer, happier, faster, smarter, more popular, more graceful or stronger.
You stood up to your demons, smashed them with the best of friends by your side, and still had time to memorize all the words to Underoath’s most recent album.
What happens when you wait your whole life for “that time” and then it comes?
You don’t know exactly where to go next. You no longer look at the older, hipper kids with admiration, trying to carbon copy their dance moves and attitude. You become those dance moves.
Tonight I realized that the petty things that I once longed for no longer mattered.
What matters isNights when you pick up your best friend and some liquor and head to another friend’s house.
Then you walk into that house and are told “COME QUICK COME QUICK” and you get pulled into a room where your friends’ new EP is playing on the computer. Mixed and melodic. Only for the ears of the few friends in that house. A preview before the rest of the world is exposed.
It’s brilliant. You’re so proud of your friends and realize that their music is full of hooks yet also drenched in substance. Even if they didn’t already mean so much to you, you would still buy their album.
Then the sneak preview continues. Album art is exposed and you realize that one of your great friend’s has managed to replicate his band’s sound into a visual translation of colour and image.
On the back, etched in scratchy printing are the “thank yous.” Your name is on the list. So are the names of the rest of your family.
This is really happening.
You chat about consumerism and Adbusters. Bitch about Converse selling out to Nike (one of the world’s worst labour/human rights corporate abusers) then in the same breathe confess how much you hated walking around Wal-Mart with a Starbucks in your hand. Your friend reassures you that recognizing and feeling guilt for such an act makes you a better person. You’re still ashamed and vow never to perform such a senseless act. You consumerism slave you.
So back to the liquor store and off to the party. At first you park too far away behind all the other cars that parked too far away.
You mingle with your best buds for awhile. You know the crew: Jenelle, Dan, Sheldon, Christine, Evan, Ethan, Cassie, Eric, Dustin and Selma. Then you agree to do a run to the liquor store again but this time for the sweetest and youngest in the group.
Cassie agrees to come along and you manoeuvre through hordes of scenesters, hipsters and wannabes/preps to the door. On the driveway you hear from behind you, “HEY! You going to the liquor store?” you reply “YES!” You recognize the tall guitarist and his fellow bandmate from that one time you saw them at the Fort St. CAFE in Victoria, BC.
Yep. You are driving 2 Bendsinister members to the Grasshopper’s Liquor Depot. Of course you don’t say anything because you know that your friend with you will do all the talking and inquire about which band they are in and such. And she does. And they are. But you already knew that.
The shorter guitarist wants to borrow your scarf that you bought in Old Montreal and wear it. He drapes it around his neck and saunters into the liquor store but leaves it in the car instead of putting it on his mic stand because he didn’t want to lose it.
Bendsin is intrigued you’ve seen them before and asks you to describe their sound to your friend in the passenger seat. You tell her it’s a “sonic fellatio” (stealing the term from your dear friend Pierre but not telling her that.)One long-haired, bearded fellow chimes from the backseat that “sonic fellatio” sounds like a type of delicious ice cream. You giggle at the irony of such a statement and keep driving down down Summit Drive.
Liquor stores and scarves and Sev Elevs and then talk of life on the road with Bendsinister.
They eat a lot of pancakes. AND I mean a SHITLOAD of fucking pancakes. When they’re not drinking beer of course.
They laugh about how “rock and roll” they are for living the fast life of pancakes and beer.
You go through the McDonald’s drivethru with your co-pilot and she yells for a “chicken burger.” The lady asks which kind of chicken burger and she yells back “a CRISPY chicken burger.”
When you drop off the band because they go on in 15, you take a quick stroll with your friend to go pee.
Behind an elementary school you go while still talking to your sister on the phone to convince her you are not wearing her black jeans. (Women have truly mastered multi-tasking.)
More mingling in the party. You run into your chums Martin P., Emily L, Josh T and miss Laura B. Life is swell.
The band starts and you are up front with your bests. You are all dancing in this living-room turned perfect venue surrounded by familiar faces such as Bob Marley and Cole’s camera.
Bendsinister KILL IT! They play a long set and every song is at its peak energy and technicality. There is no holding back and you laugh as they drain the 26s that you picked up at the liquor store. The heat intensifies and the dancing doesn’t stop. Smiles spread. Hands clapping or clasping. Drinks passed from mouth to mouth. Kisses for sips. Sips sips sips.
Then they cover the forever-epic “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey and everyone loses it. Actually, loses it. You tape it. All your friends’ faces lit up by swirling colours and enthusiasm.
The show drops and we all need another drink and some fresh air. Our Bendsin friends say “HI” outside with hugs and kisses and a couple pictures. You chat it up with the crowd then start to see an infiltration take place.
This once safe haven of indie kids starts to be disrupted by other people who don’t get the music and have never heard/nor care to hear Bendsinister perform!
You stick with your crew and have multiple conversations with the oh-so-genuine Jeff from Sleepless Nights hailing all the way from Halifax. They played last night at the Loft with Rah Rah who you also talk to at this party.
Jeff works at a call-centre in and spent far too much time wasting his years from 19-25 and is now finally fully realizing that life is for the living. He knew EVERYONE’s name and was uber easy to talk to. From interesting stories about knowing Wintersleep and Holy F*ck before they ever were, to the glorious sounds of “Contrive.” He likes your corny joke to the drunk kid who tells you about Super Smashed Brothers and all you say to him is “You’re Super Smashed, brother.”
He touches your back and you mingle back through the crowds just trying to make friends and connect. Connect with the good scene.
The scene of indie kids who know where the real dance music is at.
The vibe outside is one of its own. Celebrations of the best types and reconnecting with things that you may not have missed so much.
You realize that in high school all those kids who were so damn cool have started to annex a moment created by the originality of indie-rock stars and they definitely don’t appreciate or even come close to understanding what they have just dragged their six packs and attitudes into.
Names aren’t important, but you know those kids in high school that always thought their shit didn’t stink because they were on the football team or wore a size zero, yeah, those people. Now don’t get me entirely wrong here. There were certainly a few diamonds in the rough. Well maybe not diamonds but certainly rubies in the shale that were nice to see again but none of the others have changed. They only made my friends feel uncomfortable to be themselves in an environment that is supposed to be theirs to embrace, remould, rediscover and deliver.
It gets chauchy all of a sudden. Too chauchy.
You say so long for now as you drive four friends to a different part of Sahali and go back for the others. Being mostly sober for the first time in quite awhile (as the DD) has been an overall good experience for you know that some encounters would have gone differently if, say, you drank a bottle of wine before.
When you come back for the rest you park the car closer and go to lock the doors that your previous passengers didn’t, and get out with the fucking keys in the ignition. ALL The doors locked. Shit.
So back inside you go. Mingling with everyone else, calling for a spare set and being reassured by those there that shit happens and it’s all good. Now there’s only about 10 kids that were there for the music. The party has turned into a typical testosterone pumped kegger.
ONE of your friends is being smothered by a sinister guitarist and the rest of the scene fam is on protective duty making sure everyone in the crew is doing ok. It’s great to see everyone pull together and unite when we become an island.
One friend and you go out to the car to check the situation and all is sealed tight. When you make it back to the door you fight through some more post-high school jocks trying to not pay cover and just drink their beer. Your friend clasps your hand tightly and leads you through a sea a familiar faces that you wish you were no longer confronting because the rules of engagement and interaction have changed.
Back outside for lots of hugs and touching as people are drunk and some are super happy and others just way too sloppy. Even the sinister guitarist puts his arm around you complaining about how dizzy he is. OH my.
Your keys arrive and out the door you go saying goodbye to your new friends in Sleepless Nights.
Just as everyone piles into vehicles Jeff shows up to see what’s up. You say goodbye one more time and offer him to hang out but know that the night has winded right down and all you want (after you get your friends home) is your keyboard.
The gang meets in a familiar parking lot, plans to hang out, just us, on Monday and toasts goodnight. I drive 4 wonderful people home then arrive myself.
Texts with one special friend ensue and I poor myself a triple Caesar at 3 am and sit down at my computer to recollect and try to make sense of a night...just to realize that it’s way more fun to go with it then try to understand it.
Here we are. It’s exciting and real and false but ultimately true.
Nights like this show you that your friends are your family and music is the true currency that connects us in a way everyone outside fails to understand. Without the scene, the songs and the people, we would just be mediocre.
Oh, and p.s. in a fight, Rambo (aka Craig) would totally own Terminator (aka Jeff.)

There were SOO many accents there for a second.

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