Mar. 12th, 2016

rinue: (Default)
There are a lot of things I seem to do deliberately and cleverly that are complete accidents. For instance, I recently wrote a humor piece for The Toast in which one of the punchlines hinges on Zayn from One Direction having a plot-critical lower-back tattoo. I didn't find out until a month after I wrote it (remember, there's a lag between me writing a thing and it getting published) that Zayn from One Direction is heavily tattooed and is kind of well-known for that.

This is on my mind because one of the most formative "Romie accidentally looks extremely cool" moments took place when I was 18, when I was in a Barnes and Noble, and I saw a Pixies album - definitely not their most famous one, or even second most famous - and thought, "oh, yeah, I've heard them in the background of a movie and like them; I'll grab this." (I am one of those people who stays through the end of the end credits, which makes me respectfully nerdy but not exactly cool.) Except, no, I had not heard The Pixies. I'd heard The Martinis, and meant to pick up something by The Martinis.

My selection impressed the store clerk, and having that album on my shelf (which became one of my favorite albums, even though the first time listening, I spent the whole time wondering why they'd changed vocalists) has been a critical signal to a wide range of people that I am a member of some secret in-crowd. Literally, I have been present when people have said "hey, Romie knows what she's talking about when it comes to music; I mean, she's a Pixies fan." Nobody says this about me for liking Radiohead, or Lou Reed, or Elastica, or Gershwin. (I do get some cred for liking Erik Satie and Erykah Badu. I have not been able to decode what makes music "cool." Not that this has been a priority.)

So, right, whatever, that's a thing that happens to teenagers. However, the cherry on the cake is that today my friend Emily made some reference to the scene in Empire Records where a Martinis song plays, and I thought "you know, I meant to pick up an album by them 15 years ago and never got around to it." So I did a quick websearch to figure out which album, like you do. Turns out? Same guitarist as The Pixies. It was the band he formed when the Pixies broke up. Liking the catchiest Martinis song and thinking "I'll pick up the final Pixies album" seems as intentional as liking "Maybe I'm Amazed" and therefore buying Let it Be.

Wasn't.

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