1. A giddy sidewalk gossip girl runs up to you grinning ear-to-ear with the night’s big celebrity sighting and it’s…drum roll…(conspiratorial lean and whisper)…TODD BRIDGES! Huh? Whuuu…. Why? Where? You mean “Whatchoo talkin’ ’bout, Willis”/ Different Strokes / cocaine / attempted murder /Johnnie Cochran client / Christian motivational speaker / Skating with Celebrities / Celebrity Boxing vs. Vanilla Ice TODD BRIDGES! Outside a frickin’ Little Boots show on the Lower East Side? In a puffy Lakers jacket? This is what stimulates giddiness in the youth of the nation?
2. A young kid with a furrowed brow makes a rather convincing case that MGMT are marginally talented charlatans who suck live and don’t deserve their sudden fame, and you find yourself nodding and thinking, Hey, everybody’s entitled to their opinion, especially about MGMT, and you still have a soft spot for young music geeks passionately holding forth on subjects of indie/ alt fakery / fuckery. But then he quickly brightens and tells you what he’s really into, announcing loudly: “The Cribs are, like, the last great rock band!”
3. How many Euro women with platinum dye jobs are gonna try and do bad Debbie Harry/ Terry Bozzio impressions over jacked-up ’80s loops? Why do most of them look like nervous housewives doing karaoke at a sad pub in Leeds? Why do you have to see them putting on their vinyl garbage-bag dresses in the downstairs broom closet next to the men’s room?
4. The one friend in the whole place who you’ve had a good conversation with all night, and who you really feel connected to, goes to the bathroom and upon returning, he/ she informs you that some random person (you can’t understand the name) gave him/ her some “bad coke,” which he/ she just did in the bathroom, and as a result, he/ she is totally incoherent and, well, unavailable, for the rest of the night. You try not to get too judgmental and pout. You fail miserably and go home without saying goodbye. Some things about going to New York clubs will apparently never change.
5. When the best thing you can say about Hearts Revolution is that they’re Crystal Castles if Crystal Castles weren’t surly pretentious assholes with strobe lights. But when you’re a fake rave band, doesn’t it kinda help if you’re surly and pretentious with strobe lights? It’s not like you have any songs or anything to fall back on, you know?
6. Tylenol cold medicine and the four pints of beers you need to get through the evening’s spotty entertainment don’t really mix on a week night. Or ever.
7. When the high point of the night is discussing your coworkers’ new all-girl band named “Kristi Yamaguchi,” and how you’re going to be their evil Svengali and create a scandalous online propaganda campaign to get some buzz going until they learn how to actually play their instruments and possibly write a song. And how this is not really that far-fetched considering half the bands in Brooklyn right now.
8. Discussing politics with people in rock bands. It’s like discussing rock bands with people in politics. As Noel Gallagher once said of New York Times op-ed columnist Bono: “Play ‘One,’ shut the fuck up about Africa.”
9. Politely pushing through the crowd to get back to your group and suddenly being surrounded by a bunch of jocks in tight t-shirts and Yankees/ Abercrombie & Fitch caps. When you try to squeeze away, one particularly peeved bro-ham blurts, “Hey guy, you know you just stepped on my shoe?” You stare dumbfounded. Are they serious? You keep staring. Yes, they’re serious. Dead serious. At a fucking Passion Pit show? Can’t these clowns just stop with Death Cab for Cutie?
10. When the evening’s biggest sales pitch is from someone claiming, “Ian Brown says these guys are the last true Manchester band!” Well, all right, then, I’m glad to hear that Ian Brown is still alive!
11. The World Series. And you even admit that baseball on TV can be deadeningly endless, especially when Manny Ramirez is not involved. But at least nobody on Fox Sports will ever utter the phrase “electro punk.”
12. Electro punk.