iPoding, Together*

Hey, cool kids: want to be even cooler? Dweebs, dorks, doofuses: want to be cool? Boy, have I ever got the thing for you. Just the thing for all you cats.

What follows is quite possibly - no, is the best idea I've ever conceived. I'm rather proud of it, too. It's been my brainchild. My baby. My special little personal pet project that I've been piloting all across this country the past few years. Detroit, San Francisco, Chicago. Some town in Indiana. Most of northeastern Ohio. Unbeknownst to your city and its residents, you have all witnessed this incredible movement-in-the-making in one form or another.

Perplexed, law-abiding citizens could have sworn they saw an apparition take to the streets, amid a loud, amateur recitation of... London Calling? Sleepy souls have been shaken awake by obnoxious hollering in the alley - noise that was somewhat reminiscent of but not nearly as good as Born To Run. Some dude brushing his teeth, getting ready for the early shift at the steel mill, yeah he could've sworn he heard an a capella version of Let It Be last night. You know all those people in the restaurant? In the bar? What they saw those kids thrashing around and losing control of their limbs to was Separation Sunday. They weren't having corresponding seizures. The stomping on the roof? The breaking glass? Southern Rock Opera.

To some of you, namely my parents, this will only further solidify my place in this world as a social outcast.
Three square meals a day, clean sheets, a roof over his head, a college education... all that for this?

To others, the below will seem like the most brilliant bit of brain juice ever spilled - the worthiest model ever devised, the most forthright social experiment ever carried out - and these people will burn with envy that they weren't the first to think of such a thing. And then they'll try it out for themselves. In public. And they will
love it. It will be obvious. You will clearly see them loving it.

This is by no means a complex thing, so I'll spell it out in the simplest terms...

Grab someone who likes to rock out. This could be anyone. A friend. A friend of a friend. An acquaintance. Someone you don't even particularly care all that much for. A stranger, even. The bottom line is that this is the most important component of the plan, so whomever you choose, just be sure that you've seen him/her rock out, heard he/she likes to rock out, or get the vibe that he/she is capable of letting go of all inhibitions for one reason and one reason alone: the sake of rocking out. Got 'em? Great. (Secret: once you have mastered most everything in this post, you will come to view a companion as an enhancement - something that is not entirely necessary to execute and enjoy all of this, but rather a great add-on. Yes, you will come to learn how to do this alone, free of embarrassment, I swear.)

The next necessities are far from immaterial materials. They are requisites, and critical ones at that. Without these, you will just look even more stupid than you're already about to look. So make a list, check it twice. Two (2) iPods. Two (2) sets of headphones. One (1) good - and I mean really, really good - rock album. Any of the aforementioned albums are fine choices. Prime, credible choices, if I may say so myself. Lastly, one (1) public place. It can be anywhere. Just get out there.

You see where I'm headed with this, don't you? I told you it wasn't rocket science. In fact, it's really just a better version of those long car rides or first few dates where you were so bored or incredibly in love that it compelled you to share a musical experience with someone - with a lone music player and a single pair of headphones, one headphone in each of your ears. That poor person. That lucky person! How cheesy. How romantic! What could be worse? What could be greater?! It either meant nothing or everything. The other person either understood just how important the song was to you, or he/she crushed your hopes by not listening to the whole thing or deeming it "nice," or worse - "good." Perhaps that person didn't get the guitar solo coming out of their allotted headphone?

Now for the synchronization, which is just a really big word for the fact that you'll be listening to this crap at the same time. Though I've deemed all above components to be the most important component, this is seriously the most important component. You've got to hit "play" simultaneously. So, at this point, calmly hand both devices to the person with the steadiest hand. This may or may not be the most sane or sober individual, so screen with caution and choose wisely.

To reiterate: do all of this - every last bit of it - not in your own home. Do it out there, in public. The underlying premise here is acting a fool. Play your part. Step it up. Be a rock star. It feels great. Earth seems small, life seems manageable and you seem larger than anything that ever lived. I swear! Or at least that's what it does for me...

To give you an idea, I have done this seated at (nice-ish) restaurants, at bars, walking on sidewalks, running in streets, in alleys, atop roofs, on fire escapes, in deserted dead-ends - usually between the hours of 11:30 p.m. and 5 a.m., for effect, and 10 times out of 10 at max volume. Turn it up to 11, don't be shy. Pretty soon, you and your compadre will, or should, be screaming along with your favorite crooner and playing air instruments like it's nobody's goddamn business. The high hat and snare. The cymbal crash. Ripping those frets on the six-string as if your hand was a spider. Plucking those big, honking bass strings with bent-over tenacity. Throw in the occasional keys from the piano or sax for good measure and, of course, do not forget the flashy, "Diamond" Dave Lee Roth jump kicks and relentless head-banging. Also, run everywhere the night takes you. Don't walk. Be urgent about these things, please. Apply liberally, as necessary, and if done correctly, you should awake the next day with a sore neck from all the antics and whatnot.

You will garner stares. A whole mess of 'em. People will laugh (insecurely). Dogs will turn their heads, cock their ears and whimper. Couples will stop dead in their happy tracks to marvel at your collective, anti-social display of disheveled derelict-ness. At your exquisite exhibition of reckless abandonment, at your disregard for almost all set social norms. At all the excess going on in front of them. You are amazing. You are a novelty. You are practically anything you care to be...

And every last one of them will die a little inside (minus the dogs), wondering if they ever experienced such a feeling in their youth. 99 percent of the time that answer will be "no," and they will smile and look at each other to pacify the ounce of pain that's stirring inside them. Now, why in the name of Bowie didn't I do those things when I was young, agile and able to? For the love of freaking Freddie Mercury, at what point did my life become such a stinking pile of crap? You know, because you certainly can't be acting this way forever. 45-year-old wedded men shouldn't be trying this. They'd just look silly. Not that we don't or anything. I'm just saying. It usually comes to a crashing halt when you have those little things called children.

*Individual results may vary. Please do not consult your physician to determine if iPoding Together is right for you. It is (ridiculous) (for everyone). If carried out properly, with maximum humility, with minimum composure, iPoding Together will help you begin to view life, and the world in general, in vivid, bursting colors. In vast crescendos and arpeggios. In distortion and feedback. In the very stuff dreams are made of, where stuff = double kick drums. Due to the very nature of the iPoding Together ensemble, common side effects include, but are not limited to, heightened senses of: coolness, stardom, actual musicianship, self fanfare and other fleeting feelings, as well as non-fleeting feelings, such as broken shoes.


Jes said...

Dave - you pretty much rule. This just made me smile and I had a pretty sad moment just before this. And I'm sending this to my friend, Pete, who will also love this. http://donquixote.livejournal.com/ (that's pete's blog)

Can we rock ensemble when I am in Chicago next? Sweet, thanks.

P.S. I have to send you Josh Ritter, if I haven't already (or if you don't already have him) He's GENIUS.

mundane affair said...

yes, jes! we're totally trying this when you're here. and yup, love josh ritter -- the animal years in particular.

pete said...

i'm pete, a friend of jes'. brilliant brilliant idea. i've reported it to the tumbleverse (jes also links to my livejournal up there) & it has already been re-reported by another friend on there. the dominoes are falling, my friend. next time you're in sf, i'm so in on this.

mundane affair said...

pete! thanks for the shout out. please let me know how you guys like it. i trust you'll kick some serious ass.