XXV. "A (few) Listening Story(s)"
Adore by the Smashing Pumpkins
Greater Washington D.C.
A bar called Dreemo's. It's being torn down soon so people in the high-class condos erected in its place can enjoy the view of the Washington Monument and the Capitol, now seen by the hundred or so people on the dilapidated rooftop deck. I order a pitcher of Widmer's Hef — it's summer; "yes, lemons please" — while I notice a friend at the jukebox in the corner. I had been thinking he is going to the bathroom.
- Right now Bon Jovi is playing.
We sit down on one of the nicotine-stained couches and I pour us two frothy yellow beers and he says,
"Wait for it…"
and a plucked acoustic guitar from the Smashing Pumpkin's "To Sheila" bleeds into the real cacophony.
The remaining fifteen tracks of Adore follow two more pitchers.
Joshua Tree by U2
New York, NY
Upper East Side.
A pub called Biddy's. It's only two years old but already there are respected dart teams and six-nights-a-week regulars moving constantly and consistently in and out of the green wooden door. J.J. is bartender and partial owner. He remembers everyone that comes in and gives you at least one drink for free if he knows you. He runs the music with a remote from behind the bar.
- Someone puts Dave Matthews on the jukebox.
J.J. is quick with the remote and Dave Matthews gets a zipper ripped silently across his mouth.
The jukeboxer complains.
J.J. tells him to "fuck off" with a thick Irish accent. "You just paid to listen to U2 so you can learn something."
The Joshua Tree in its entirety spills out of J.J.'s remote.
Moon Safari & The Virgin Suicides by Air
New York, NY
The Affordable Art Fair. A cocktail party before the official opening. Free Grolsch pints – the fancy ones with the champagne-esque opening technique. Over the sound system they play incessantly for three hours of drunken art appreciating the French band Air. I see no galleries from France represented.
- I talk to a photographer from Brooklyn who shares the appreciation for Air.
I remark often – too often – how happy Air makes me.
More "Playground Love"
Kelly is watching stars somewhere. Air flows.