Last night I was out of town when I couldn’t handle the cottonmouth anymore and had to stop into a gas station for the cure. I grabbed a couple of Snapples because if they’re good enough for Jerry Seinfeld they’re damn well good enough for me, and headed up front to check out.
The skinny black dude behind the counter was oddly soft spoken and I was ripped out of my god damn mind so I was itching to get back to the car, crack open my tea and suck down Marlboro reds like I’m someone who can afford seven dollar packs of cigarettes. With that in mind, I was more or less in the standard “let’s hurry up and get this shit over with” version of autopilot.
Dude asked me if I was into football and, caught a little off guard, I responded with an obnoxious forced laugh followed by “eh, I’m really not a sports person.”
Naturally, there was a short but pronounced awkward pause. My fried brain was trying to figure out whether he was just making small talk or getting to a point about something. He asked if I was into hip hop and I said “yeah, kinda” or something like that and he handed me a cd. Said it was his group, so I looked down and checked it over real quick before grabbing my change. It was a single featuring a song about OSU football. Kind of lame, but the guy’s working towards something meaningful to him; he’s putting himself out there, and that takes some balls. I was about to turn around and walk out the door with my free demo when he blurted out “just a dollar.” Wasn’t crazy about paying for some random cashier’s elevator pitch, but it’s not like he was asking a fortune for it so I said what the hell and handed the guy a dollar.
These days, anyone with a mid range laptop and Bittorrent can download FL Studio and become a “producer” so admittedly, I expected it to suck. And it did.
It was cool though; reminded me of all the local music we used to have in my home town not so long ago. Everyone had a band back when I was in highschool — mostly metal, and most of us sucked. But that didnt matter because it was fun as hell and we were unleashing our shitty teenage creativity.
…and smoking a ton of mids but at least we were staying out of trouble. For the most part.
It was all pretty shortlived, in retrospect.
But until I ran into this dude, it had been so long since the venue down the street was the hangout spot that I totally forgot local music existed, what with Spotify and YouTube and hwhatnot. For five or six years though, it was all I listened to.
It was raw and underproduced with virtually no shot at ever hitting the limelight, but it was fucking awesome and made for a one of a kind soundtrack to a lot of shenanigans.
Final thoughts: support local music and any other creative shit you can get involved in. Its entertaining and being part of a community is priceless. Everyone has a place to fit in if you look hard enough.