My head perked up. I put my beer down.
“What did you say?”
“Bomb the Music Industry!, they do a song called ‘Shower Beers.”
“You’ve got to be shitting me.”
“No, it’s a real song.”
“Dude, Bomb the Music Industry! is my favorite band of all time!”
“Really, mine too.”
You have to understand that until this conversation, I have not met anyone outside of my high school friends that liked Bomb the Music Industry!, let alone listened to them. I’ve written about BTMI! multiple times, emphasizing the importance of sharing them with everyone I know. From the comradery of a good punk rock show, to the dark reality of a drunken Jeff Rosenstock telling my friend Jordan and myself about how unhappy he was, I’ve never felt a unifying factor quite like the mutual love for something obscure, yet relatable.
And not obscure in that shitty, pretentious way, either. We don’t revel in our low fan base. Fuck, we don’t ever consider ourselves elite because we’ve found something great that only a few people know about. That’s because artistic expression, at its heart, is about community. You can listen to your seldom-heard live recording of Netrual Milk Hotel from a closed down venue while you’re stewing in your loft over all the people rocking out to the In the Airplane over the Sea station on Pandora, and that makes you scum. You are that person that can relate to people, but chooses not to because no one is worthy of your approval. You were doing blank before everyone else was. Fuck you, buddy. Don’t we all wish we were all as lucky as you; to be old and hip? It must sting your 24 year-old wounds so much to find out people who are younger than you are just discovering something you like. My mom doesn’t hate you for listening to Sam Cooke; don’t get your American Apparel briefs in a bunch when you see 15 year-olds wearing Green Day t-shirts. I’m sorry that common folk have been trying to climb up your lonely throne and disturb your counter-culture reign with their unworthy, mutual opinions. I really am. I come from the opposite side of town, where when we like something, we want to share it; and sometimes, that’s harder than it sounds. I’ll be sure to think about you the next time I go to a show and have fun in the company of strangers, singing my heart out and doing stage dives. Get fucked.
BTMI! is every city’s local band. You can see them play an all age show, everywhere in the country on a semi-monthly basis, for under 10 bones; yet never find even the slightest trace of their music in the hipest of hip music stores in hip-city. That’s because anyone with an internet connection can enjoy their entire discography completely free of charge, without even combing through an underground torrent community for shits-sake. Without your system of discriminating factors, what fun is our music to you?
Meanwhile, for you average Joes, if you get your jollies from Dave Mathews Band, you don’t have much trouble meeting someone with similar tastes. Now, if your favorite band is a D.I.Y., self producing ska/punk collective that uses purely word of mouth to advertise their donation based label, a chance encounter like this is certainly something special. And, thus, you must react as such:
“Sam, Give me a hug, right now.”
I blacked out after this.