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Monday, February 04, 2008

Between the click of the light and the start of the dream

So, my Super Bowl experience was different than any other one I'd experienced. Since Fox 4 usually barely comes in on the rabbit ears, I was convinced I had to go somewhere else to watch. Ryan was in the suburbs visiting family while Jason was in Houston for work, so I opted to hit up a certain bar that I've frequented many times before. The bar is great, has a flat-screen TV and its very nice owner recognizes me. No problem right? Well, after having one beer and watching most of the first two quarters, I decided to head for the exit.

In addition to an uncomfortable seating arrangement and severe soreness in my neck due to wine-induced head-banging the night before, I had to share space behind liquored-up sports fans. Not just the type of fans who like to hoot and holler at good plays and boo at bad plays. I'm talking the ones who feel they must comment about everything that comes on the screen, usually letting out their misery and showing their lack of self-restraint. They typified why I don't go to sports bars to watch games, but this bar is by no means one on any other night of the year.

Thinking the Patriots would blow the Giants away in the second half, I decided to head out for dinner and grocery shopping during halftime. Upon returning home, I switched on the TV to see if Fox was coming in decently. It was, despite a little bit of snow. Luckily, the game was still close, so I figured I'd keep watching. Between the burning of CD-R copies of CDs from Jason's library as well as compiling playlists for our next party, I watched most of the rest of the game. I got to see that amazing Manning pass, as well as that last-second knee-down.

Pretty cool overall experience for the evening, including seeing that Fox bumper using the outro from the Arcade Fire's "No Cars Go." But after the game and during the day today, some people sounded shocked and appalled Fox used a song by the beloved Arcade Fire. Strangely, I think of parallels between my avoidance of sports fans, but also wanting to watch the big game.

Once I saw the bumper for the "NFL on Fox," I thought there might be some outcry or snide remark by an indier-than-thou type. How dare somebody use a song that's not on regular radio as bumper music! Well, face it guys, what we think of as popular indie music does not mean it remains unheard of outside of the "indie rock" world. More like what I call "sub-mainstream," this music isn't performed by an Irish folk duo who only performs in Northern Ireland pubs and doesn't release records. My parents might not know who the Arcade Fire is, but I think my sister and brother-in-law (who usually just listen to Top 40 and rock radio) might. Maybe even those sports fans I encountered had as well. And is this so wrong? I don't think so.

People would like to think there's a firm picket line between those who like "good music" and those who like mainstream music. Well, for the past ten years especially, it's not strange to see an indie band become more popular than a mainstream band without the help of radio or MTV. I mean, come on, Interpol played Radio City Music Hall when they were on Matador. In other words, this music is out there and it's available for anyone, not just those that have passionate taste in music beyond what the radio and MTV hands us.

Keeping that stuff in mind, that's why I don't try to challenge people like those sports fans. They're out there to have a good time, right? I'm out there to have a good time, right? We're just approaching things differently and as annoying they might be to me (and I might be to them in my "shields-up," stoic appearance), can't we just raise a glass to a fun evening watching a good game?

1 comment:

Todd Carruth said...

my son was the one that told me it was Arcade Fire. I think he was fairly impressed. I love Neon Bible but I listened to No Cars Go and I say "Meh."