I’m not sure how common knowledge it is that bands check YouTube for footage of their own concerts. But believe it, it’s true. The band finally got our first look at how the rap segment of the set looks from the audience. We watched some footage of the rap from Oxford, which was the first night where the Naive New Beaters weren’t on the bill and lamping with us onstage. All responsibilities for raising the roof, pacing back and forth, etc, was left up to Greg and me. It didn’t take much watching of the video clip to realize that our lamping is severely out of hand. We were scuba swimming and Godzilla stomping back and forth with no shred of discretion.
Darwin suggested that from now on, we stand in one place with our arms crossed and just groove. I’ve felt like an awkward lamper from the get go, and am consequently relieved to tone it down.
Last night, we played in this Norwich venue that had been built inside in an old stone church. One of the staff told us that Nirvana had played their second European show ever at that venue, as the opening band, playing with their original pre-Dave-Grohl drummer. Many mystical music history stories like this float our way on this tour. In Glasgow, there was talk of how Oasis was signed in the backroom of King Tut’s, and how No Doubt had played there. As much as a part of me is aware about the myth of celebrity and how people are just people, I like the glamour of these tales. It gives me a thrill, all the same, to be retracing these footsteps.
Riding next to Darwin in the front seat, I listened to him give a phone interview this afternoon. I love listening to Darwin interview. Even though it seems they’re transforming into a chore for him, when he’s on, he’s on. It kinda boggles my mind that, such a short time ago, it seemed natural for me to be the frontman alongside Darwin, because, these days, he is such an obvious charismatic focal point. Darwin talked about how 2nd rate pop music (which forms the majority) is the most useless, disposable music, but that good pop music is, inversely, the highest echelon of music. About how he studies pop music. He talked about Nietzsche’s theory that says art must draw equally on passion (Dionysus) and logic (Apollo). I’ve been listened to Darwin pontificate about such things since we first hung out in 2007, and I’ve always sensed that flash of genius in him. But then, I could list a half dozen other New York City friends (Dan Fishback, Ching Chong Song, Shilpa Ray) who I’ve equally believed to be undiscovered prodigies. If this amount of success had never happened for Darwin, I may have eventually second guessed myself and concluded, “I guess I never met anyone who could really make it,” or “I guess you can go through life and none of your friends who show promise actually go anywhere.” But this relatively modest taste of Darwin Deez success has affirmed for me that famous celebrities are just ordinary talented people, and that many an ordinary talented person could be declared a star in an instant. The lines are blurry, shrouded in the illusion of hype, high quality photos and videos, navigated by a mystery mixture of luck and skill and perseverance.