“What band are you in?” the man I’d met only 60 seconds ago asked me.
I smirked as I felt the overwhelming urge to lie come over me. I clearly don’t look like a rock star in my day to day life and was looking grungy with my dirty hair and leather jacket. I had the whole back story ready.
“You must recognize me from the Devon Phieffer Review. We got our start on the east coast.”
Referring to my very first appearance in a band seemed like an easy out. No one needed to know it was a band that my dad created with me as a baby and my brother as a toddler. Needless to say the band is no longer together due to creative differences.
Instead I looked at my friend, who is actually in a few bands here in Seattle and decided to be a good human and not start the thread of lies.
“I’m not in a band,” I said, and let those two talk for a while.
I was tired and ready to go home, as I’d ventured out on a Friday night to see a different friend of mine’s band, and now that they were wrapped up, I was ready to get back into sweatpants and get into my Friday night sleep catch-up coma.
The man started talking about his music, and I asked him the next logical question, “What kind of music do you play?”
“Sad,” He said shaking his head and really stretching out the word. “Sad.”
Lack of sleep and a few drinks almost had me laughing out loud. And since he learned that I wasn’t in a band, apparently I knew nothing about music so “sad” would have to suffice as the best musical descriptor.
“But what is the genre?”
“I don’t like to really put things into genres.”
I looked at my friend, and out of respect for him kept my mouth shut. It was literally the most stereotypical Seattle response this man could have had to some very basic questions about his music.
I was mostly just trying to be polite anyways. I looked at my friend, blinking, eyes screaming you better save this or I’m going to snap on a stranger.
“Well I think what Carly means is if you could tell us what kind of instrumentation you have that would be helpful.”
That was not what I meant. But I would find that information helpful gleaning any sort of value out of this conversation.
It was piano and some strings and drums. I could work with that.
Then the man went on to talk about how he got one of his tracks on the Starbucks soundtrack that plays on a few hour loop when you sit in the coffee shop.
“That’s pretty cool!” I said, “Well done. You must be really proud of that.”
“I actually went around to different Starbucks locations, and would wait like two hours for the song to come on. Then I’d go up to the barista and say, ‘This song is great. Can you tell me who does it?”
“Now that’s sad,” I thought to myself. We weren’t jiving. And that’s ok. But I didn’t understand the purpose of any of this conversation, and I’m learning to pull the plug before I just unleash my innermost thoughts offending everyone around me.
He said he had to go, and told my friend it was so nice to meet him, and then said, “What’s your name again?” when he turned around to me.
“It’s Carly,” I told him, thinking to myself I need a fake name like when in the show Will and Grace, Karen goes by Anastasia Beaverhausen when she wants to slide under the radar. Not that I wasn’t doing a great job of that already. But just so I had it on the ready for when I snapped at someone in public.
I took a breath and said my goodbyes. My bed was calling to me, and once I logged in about ten hours of sleep I knew I could be a better functioning human in society. Until then, I’d dream about the Devon Phieffer Review reunion tour.