Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I'll Toss my Bra Onstage for That

Musicians are a dream of the past, and thank God!  When I was just a young lass, I drooled over lead-singers and electric guitarists, gallivanting across state lines to make sure I didn't miss a single tour.  Heck, I think I may have had a dirty fantasy or two over a drummer and maybe one bassist.  But after my heart was ripped out, stomped on, and served to homeless men on street corners as an appetizer by a Chad Kroeger wannabe and a disc jockey that made DJ AM look like hot shit, I was sooo over "musicians!"  And then I married one.

In my defense my husband was hardly participating in what he referred to as his “band” when I met him.  In my husband’s defense, if being in two bands simultaneously is the worst thing about him, I guess I’ll keep him around.  Especially if he continues to sing karaoke to me in public and maybe one day writes a song about me that brings hormonal 14 year old tears to my eyes.

What brings these thoughts to my mind when I have more important things to think about like ugly sales women and offending Christians?  A blog I read by my old roommate Evan Trapp, and a response blog from Kenny Weigandt.  In compensating for his current instrument of play, Evan has created a Coolness Scale of which to categorize people by that got my female brain ticking.

The Evan Trapp Coolness Scale:
1 - Authentically cool, replicated and copied by 2's, 3's, and 4's.
2 - Not a follower, not followed.  Loner cool.
3 - Doesn’t even try to be cool, but admires cool people.
4 - Tries to be cool but is a total tool.

On the Evan Trapp Coolness Scale, I would say that my husband is a 1/3. He doesn’t scream suave macho rebel hearthrob, like a 1, but he does have an All-American intrigue that I think draws most people to him.  Heck, I think Chad Kroeger poser and DJ Douche Bag even like him!  But he’s kind of a 3 because he knows he’ll never be suave macho rebel hearthrob, and doesn’t make an attempt to be anything other than who he really is.  This almost makes him a 2, but he’s too likeable and social, which keeps him at a 1/3.  Or maybe a 1-2-3?

I’m starting to sound like Monica Gellar in that F.R.I.E.N.D.S. episode where she tries to teach Chandler about the different “spots” on a woman.  Seven, SEVEN, SEVEN!!!

I wish I could have a time machine at this point, to see what my 1-4 coolness rankings would be for different people when I was 16 or so.  And 20; that would be interesting too.  At this current point in time, I would have to rate Adam Lazzara, the lead singer of my favorite band of all time, Taking Back Sunday, as a 4.  He wasn’t even an original member of the band, but he’s managed to piss off all the other members enough that TBS is on their 3rd or 4th bandmate for each instrument.  And let’s face it, TBS never fully made it. Eight years ago I would have fought to the death that Lazzara was an absolute 1 and the next biggest rockstar of our generation.  Even four years ago as me and my gal-pal Megan Sweeney drove our naive little hearts to Seattle and I watched Lazzara perform a solo with an acoustic and harmonica I thought to myself, Bob Dylan look out!  But clearly this man is a 4, and as much as he tries to admit it on their fourth album, he’s still as 4 as Flava Flav on their “You’re so Last Summer” video.

And most lead singers these days are 4's.  They so badly want to think they’re the next Kurt Cobain, but in all reality, Kurt Cobain shot his face off leaving his baby girl in the care of trainwreck Courtney Love, let alone he was as clueless about a guitar as a 13 year old 3 is with a girl, which makes him a 4.  And most lead guitarists are 4's.  They can’t pull their shaggy, guy-liner’ed heads out of their asses and realize that absolutely nothing they are doing is original whatsoever.  They’re the ultimate dime-a-dozen, and they all have dreams of being bigger and better than Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and David Gilmour.  As if Jack White could ever be more innovative than Dark Side of the Moon or The Star-Spangled Banner at Woodstock ‘69.  I guess the whole “is she his sister/his wife/his ex-wife?” mystery is pretty original...

Drummers are the 3's.  They are the most underrated bandmate with guys like Travis Barker finally receiving his credit when he left Tom and Mark to post a video on YouTube of his skillz over a Linkin Park track.  Drummers are also the weirdest looking.  They’re either gangly mo’fo’s with 10 foot arms and legs and a 6 inch wide torso, or they’re über fat and sweaty and defy all anaerobic logic because I am befuddled by the way they keep on the weight despite the vigorous instrument they play.  If a girl says “I’m dating the drummer,” you think: “oh, the one hidden behind all those barrels and symbols that no one ever sees or hears from?”  Yes, evil, but it’s how we women rate men.  Sorry, dudes, but you know this.  Drummers don’t aspire to be anything more than the carrier of the band, sinking back in their corner while they slave away only to be underrated and outshined.

And Bassists are 2's.  Yes, this is a very bold statement, considering most bass players are amateurs.  There’s not much you can do on a bass, and those that find a way to do so are truly amazing.  No one wants to be the bassist, but the fact is we require them.  And whenever I have a say in sound management at one of my husband’s shows, I always say “Turn up the bass!”  Though it’s a simple sound, it gets my heart pounding.  The bass is a sultry instrument, though the ugly step-child next to the guitar, it’s as elementary and necessary as the 1st Grade.  

And who’s number one?  On the Evan Trapp Coolness Scale, the Electric Keyboarders are the 1's.  True, most bands don’t have keyboarders, but lately I have been noticing their emergence and the dynamic they bring to local music.  They’re the new kid on the block and actually require some skill in operating.  Electric Keyboardists personify everything that you would expect in a 3 but have jumped on the authentic cool train along with thick rimmed glasses and gaunt men in skinny jeans and plaid.  They’re not trying to be cool because they’re still pussy dweebs playing plastic pianos.  But they know this, and in embracing it, have become the band’s last 1.

Musicians are going out of style as fast as thick rimmed glasses and gaunt men in skinny jeans.  Tween heartthrobs like Zac Efron and Taylor Lautner are taking over and leaving us 20-something girls behind.  What does Shia LaBeouf have that Brian Aubert doesn’t?  His soft, effeminate voice makes me question his sexuality and read too deep into his lyrics.  And I miss that feeling!  Gone are the days when I went gaga over faggy band dudes, but is this a result of their dying popularity or my aging hormones?  The Jonas Brothers have got something that I clearly don’t understand but seem to have a prepubescent following like that of Elvis. Maybe I’m just getting old and cynical and wishing my husband were home mowing the lawn rather than jamming with the guys.  At least when I see him on stage my knees get weak and butterflies twitterpate in my stomach.  I’ll toss my bra onstage for that.