Last night, after writing that entry about being an indie wanker, I went to see the Mountain Goats. Vegatrain and I were quite excited about it because, obviously, we're music nerds and are obligated to get excited about John Darnielle.
Sadly, going to gigs is a bit of an ordeal for me these days. I have this awful affliction where I love indie music but I hate all the wankers who are at gigs for the wrong reasons. If you're wondering, the wrong reasons include: to look 'hip', to pick up indie girls, to get drunk and draw attention to themselves to the detriment of everyone who has paid to see a band that probably doesn't often come to Australia, and so on. The 'Mumford and Sons' crowd, as I call them*. It's very conflicting for me, because those people are at every gig I ever go to and it drives me bonkers when I just want to watch a band that I really like. One particular thing that annoys me more than it should is hipsters who spend hours perfecting an outfit that they think makes them look 'creative'.
Here is my message to hipsters everywhere: STOP TRYING SO HARD. I have been friends with a lot of actually creative people and the thing is, they will never spend that long making themselves look cool for a gig. They're too busy writing stories and playing instruments, thinking they should probably start getting ready but getting distracted by an idea before throwing on some clothes at the last minute and running to catch the bus. And while I'm on the subject, there is a major difference between finding something a bit funky in an op-shop and making it work and spending half an hour flipping through over-priced cardigans at American Apparel until you find one that makes you look 'indie' but still shows off a bit of boob.
I get way too annoyed by douchebags at gigs. To the point where it's a problem. I have punched jerky guys at both Splendour in the Grass and St Jerome's Laneway Festival, simply because they were clearly ruining the experience for everyone within a five metre radius of them by being drunk during the opening act, climbing on each other's shoulders, pushing people over who were significantly smaller than them and yelling over the music. At a punk gig that would be fine, but when it's the xx or something it really doesn't fly with me. And while I never want to hurt people, if you're as poor as I am and have spent the last fifty dollars in your bank account to see a band you've loved for years and some total fuckknuckle goes out of the way to make the experience unpleasant, it gets a bit frustrating. I now have to actively remove myself from these situations, just because I don't want to get a reputation for being the 5'1" girl who goes around indie gigs punching douchebags. Except for the small part of me that totally wants that reputation. I could call myself 'Buffy the Hipster Slayer'. But I won't, no more punching. No more.
Vegatrain and I missed the bus and we were running late to see the Mountain Goats. I had just written that thing about being doomed to be an indie wanker for all time. We called a cab and jumped in the back. The driver was listening to a local commercial station but because I haven't listened to the radio in such a long time, I sort of forgot how commercial radio announcers operate. The guy was doing his back announcement/promo spot, talking over the intro to some awful dance song. But the thing is, because I listen to a lot of ridiculous music on the internet, I automatically assumed that this was a remix that someone had made of a local DJ making announcements. What's worse is that I wasn't even surprised.
And it gets better. We got out of the cab and were hurrying to the show. As I've mentioned, we were running late and really didn't want to miss any of it. I ran up to the gate, but there was a car driving up onto the path that stopped in front of me. I turned around, slightly annoyed that I was clearly going to have to wait for this car to be let through and thus be even later to the gig. But then, I looked into the window and it's John Darnielle at the wheel with the rest of the band in the passenger's seats. And they were all laughing at me because I really obviously recognised them straight away and was literally caught in the headlights for a moment. Vegatrain and I moved to the side, pretending that we didn't want to go inside yet anyway and just started giggling hysterically like teenage girls at a Miley Cyrus concert.
And sure, they were driving quite slowly and didn't even come close to hitting me but there's a very small part of me that wished they had. As you know, I've suffered more than my share of ridiculous injuries and am still recovering from the latest one. I suffer from a brutal combination of being both a total klutz and a massive hypochondriac, meaning that I actually considered making a list of all the things I wanted checked out before my last doctor's appointment, just so I didn't forget anything. But if the Mountain Goats hit me with their car, that would just be my favourite injury for the rest of my life. You can't top that.
*Seriously, don't ever mention Mumford and Sons to me if you have anywhere to be in the next half hour. In brief, I think they are a mediocre band who have taken all the groundwork done by significantly more talented and original bands, released a commercial tune that they've labelled as 'indie folk' and convinced every douchebag in the world that they are the pinnacle of folk music. If they weren't so successful it wouldn't bother me, but for the fact that there are so many other folk bands out there who are so much more original and talented who get none of the acclaim and attention and financial rewards that Blandford & Sons get. And I go on like this for about thirty minutes. But the best comeback I've heard to that was from a guy who I went to high school with who responded by saying:
"Sure Sarah, but unlike most modern folk bands, they're successful."
Shot through the heart, and I have only myself to blame.