Saturday, September 22, 2007

"You Haven't Heard of APB? Really?"

I was driving down Democracy Boulevard in Bethesda yesterday, listening to a retro-compilation CD of early 80s Scottish indie-funk boys APB. It was a warm day, so the windows were down. At a red light, a pick-up truck stopped to my right. ‘What Kind Of Girl?’ was blasting out. The bloke in the driver’s seat was staring at me, not in a hostile way, but like he wanted to ask me something.

“What year’s that?” he shouted, pointing vaguely.

“1984, I think,” I shouted back.

He looked baffled, began to mouth something, and pointed again, this time at the car. Then I realised. “Oh, you mean the car?” I said. “Passat, 2003.” He looked relieved, began to talk something auto-technical, I switched off immediately, then the light changed and I sped off (I was running late).

That’s the ridiculous mental world that I live in. I genuinely believe that when someone in a pick-up truck stops next to me, he may have enough knowledge of an obscure early 80s band from Aberdeen to not only recognise one of the songs, but to be genuinely curious about what year their biggest hit came out.

This is the same mentality that has seen me waste much precious life-time making compilation tapes and CDs of music I think other people ought to know better. And that they will come to love that music and thank me for culturally enriching their lives. Occasionally it works, a little, but never as much as I think it’s going to.

If it had been a film, the pick-up truck driver might have been into APB. In scripts, characters are supposed to say things that surprise us and confound our prejudices. In real life, though, it doesn’t happen quite so often. Not that this is something I’ll ever learn.


Any major dude with half a heart said...

Oh, I know that disappointment of making mix-tapes for others, and the fools not getting "it". One strategy I adopted was to intersperse the music I tried to promote with songs I knew the listener would like. The way you wrap bacon around the tablet you must give to your reluctant dog. The foolishness of that idea is obvious, and almost invariably revealed when the lucky recipient would not praise the genius of Josh Rouse, but would go on about the Howie Day song, or whatever, I placed as bait.

Then there's the bastard who asked me to introduce him to new music. Happy he didn't wish to be restricted to Coldplay and James Blunt, I made four killer CDs. Lunatic comes back to me, saying he liked about 50% of the songs. Back to Coldplay, you wanker.

Evan said...

Maybe the men in pickup trucks in your neck of the woods are a bit different--I could never imagine a guy in a pick-up showing any interest in a Passat.

No Good Boyo said...

You're in Bethesda? Finest town in Snowdownia, mun, and home to Rheinallt H. Rowlands. Anyhow, Chapter IV of Anti-Danube is now posted, so you can stop killing yourself, innit.

Stay-At-Home Indie-Pop said...

Evan, I don't know why he was interested in my Passat. Maybe he was a mechanic and wanted to tell me about some inherent design fault which means that the car will self destruct on February 8, 2009, at 4.20pm. But I was too darn cussed to stop and listen, so it'll be my own fault.

Beth said...

I would've found it difficult to imagine anyone being curious enough to ask the year of a car, (why??) it would obviously be a music related enquiry wouldn't it?

I have also employed the 'one you'll know, two you won't' techinique when making compilations. I must be losing the art though - the last one I made went unlistened past track two, because the recipient was uneasy about hearing the word 'bitch' in the lyric. It was only Ben Folds - I mean - I'd have thought I was on safe ground there....