Sunday, April 17, 2011

Dark W. Might Unify

I was thirty-six going on thirty-seven the first time I spent a weekend in Hillsboro, Ohio. It happened in the spring of 2011 -- a long time ago.  But only if you measure in terms of micro-seconds. 2011 was a big year. The Charlie Sheen tour was just about to start. The Leafs almost made the playoffs. But most of all -- I found my soul mate. In many ways it started off as the worst day of my life; and in many ways it was the best. But we'll get to that.

phone ringing in the background
pageyHey man, what's up?
slippersWe gotta do that review together don't we?

That's how the weekend started. Innocently enough with a phone call to Dwight.
Dwight was the craziest guy we hung around with. And I was chosen to do a death match review with him.
Scary shit.

slippersYou gonna come over to do the review?
pageyI live a 1000 miles away from you. I thought we'd do it over the phone, or email.
slippersCan't do that, Andrew says we have to do it in bed together.

Dwight was like that. You couldn't quite tell if he was serious, or had a serious problem understanding directions. In this case, it turned out to be the latter. It was impossible to convince him that Andrew never said reviewing the albums had to be done in bed together.

slippersYes, we do.
pageyNo, we don't
slippersYes, we do.

This went on for hours. I'm not sure at which point I couldn't take it any longer, but I was there. Sometimes you just have to compromise, and by compromise, I mean give up. Of course by now we were pretty fucking pissed off at each other and both of us refused to travel to meet the other. Foreshadowing our deft skills at compromising, we agreed to meet halfway... In Hillsboro, Ohio. I shit you not.

slippersWhy don't we meet at Ye Old Tavern?
pageyAnother trip to Hillsboro, Ohio?
slippersYeah man, they're having a contest to win a cruise and I want to enter.
pageyI'm in. That place is da bomb.

Now, there is not much to Hillsboro, Ohio, but luckily, both Dwight and I are familiar with all the hotspots. Not known as a tourist destination I tend to go there to just 'get away from it all'. Dwight, on the other hand, loves to enter contests, and 'Ye Old' is known for its bevy of contests to get people in the door.

We've run into each other there on many occasions. Dwight always with a beer in one hand, and an entry form in the other.

The bar is pretty sweet. Lots of good people, and certainly good times. Like Dwight always says of the place: “With true friends...even water drunk together is sweet enough.”

After my long drive, I met Dwight at the signup table, just as he was finishing registering to win his trip.

slippersI'm gonna win, I can feel it!
pageyGood for you.

After such long drives, we caught up for a bit, and had a few beers. Our argument over travelling to do the review was still heavy in our hearts, and while we were civil to each other, the anger in the air was palpable. I was will willing to forgive and forget, confident, not in my being correct, but
rather Dwight's overly incorrect position. Dwight on the other hand, felt we still had a score to settle.

slippersDo you see the shirt I'm wearing?
slippersDo you see what it says?
pageyYeah, pretty funny.
slippersThis isn't a funny shirt. This is the shirt I always wear when I have a score to settle.
slippersTake it literally my friend. You made me drive all the way down here, now you pay!

With that, Ye Old Tavern fell silent, patrons quickly, but silently started to exit to the parking lot. I knew what it meant, and I now knew why we had to travel to Hillsboro...

The local Hillsoboro townsfolk, when faced with adversity and disagreement, settle their disputes with a dance off.
There is no better way to showcase one's strength, skill and logic than with a dance off.

slippersYou're going down.
pageyOh, it's on bitch.
slippersWhere the ghetto blaster?

With the tunes ready to go... we squared off...
Each showing our best moves...

after what seemed hours, we both collapsed.

I'm not sure by how much. But Dwight certainly won the dance off. Not necessarily because he excels at dance offs, and he does; but more-so because he thought of it. It was a good idea.

Worn out after our set, we decided to get down to the other reason we were here... getting into bed with each other the album reviews. We found a quaint, yet reasonably comfortable motel: The Cedar Hill Motel, which met our needs, and our limited budget.

slippersCome down and each chicken with me, beautiful. It's soooo dark!
pageyHa, no time for food, let's start listening to these albums.
slippersNot intoxicate themselves; Not entice themselves. Ah Fuck It!
pageyWhat does that mean?
slippersIt means, do you want to watch some motel porn before we get down to business?

It was during this time that I felt our scarred relationship just might be able to mend itself...

slippersYou're right, we don't have time for games, let's dream different dreams while on the same bed.

I was getting a little frustrated, it seemed like Dwight was just spewing random quotes, and I was having trouble understanding what he was getting at.  I had to remind myself that these games just didn't matter. As soon as we listened to these albums, I could get out of here.

So we hopped into bed and turned to face each other, the mood was much more relaxed, and words were spoken at a hush.
pageyAre you ready to press play?

The answer was given with perfect falsetto:

[Note: If you didn't have a shitty browser, you'd be listening right now]

That changed everything. Gone was the subconscious anger, the need for dance off's and the like.
We jumped on the bed and had a dance party instead.

There is only a single time that one knows that they themselves, in times past, were not yet themselves.
It was while dancing on this bed, in a sleepy town in Ohio, that both Dwight and I, came to discover this.
As you age, you have the tendency to fight your destiny; much like Dwight and I fought coming to Ohio.
Like we fought the interpretation of Andrew's simpleton writings. Like we fought during the dance off.
Like we fought for the right side of the bed.

But at some point in time, at that point, it just is. It was at this point, when Dark W. Might was born.

The rest of the weekend was really just a blur, and at the same time, a frozen moment.
With renewed vigor, we strapped on our listening gear, and prepared to give an honest rating to the sounds we heard.

Our first album was Vampire Weekend.

At first listen, this album seemed quite creative. We were both listening quite intensely, forgetting each other were in the room at times.  During certain moments, between tracks, or during a purposefully place lull in the music, we would give each other a quick look. Often times, a glimmer in one's eye, was met with half smile from the other.

But the glances toward each other soon faded. Was our destiny not to be? Or were we so in tune to the tunes,
that ignorance to the other was a signal of musical bliss?

Was our unity just a fading moment in time? Or were we intertwined in time?

While our headphones pounded the college-like beat of the Vampires, were our hearts beating out of time?
We must have both had that thought at the same moment, because we both looked up in sync, and

Dark W. MightStar Wars!
pageyAlas, what at first seems really rad, turns out to just be bad.

Well, it isn't that the album is bad. It's not. Certainly not Star Wars bad. Dwight and I had a compelling and thorough discussion as to the problems of this album. Well, maybe no so thorough. Since we were now Dark W. Might, we agreed on everything and really didn't attempt to question what we were thinking.

slippers"whatever is too interesting will lose my interest."
pages“the smörgĂ„sbording of music”

It did get to a point, where we were slightly concerned Vampire were also on the same wavelength as we were...we were discussing how college they sounded, and then, as if to toy with us, they started singing about college.  I mean, if they wrote that song for us, that's pretty fucking cool. But if they didn't, they're just jerks.

We had a question and answer period after the album was over to help determine our overall feelings.
pageyWas this album creative?
slippersWhy yes, yes it was
slippersAre they technically proficient at workin' the musical instruments?
pageyWhy yes, yes they are
pageyDid the reggae shit suck Dwight's fortune cookies?
slippersWhy yes, yes it id

We decided to rate the albums like one can gauge their excursions to the mall.
Hanging out at the mall on the weekend can be a great thing, as you all know, but it can also suck.
Most trips end up somewhere in between.

We ended up giving this an "at the mall" rating of

"we're bored at the food court dude!"

We didn't take a break after Vampire Weekend, we just switched the side of the bed we were on, and with eyes closed, dove right into Cat Power.

After the onset of the opening chords, and with first whisper of the vocals, we both opened our eyes and read each other's thoughts.

Dark W. Might *thinking*This is not pissing me off.

This album started out strong. And continued to hold its own as it progressed.
All of the gripes we held about Vampire Weekend, were not realized
during this listen.

pageyGood sound
pageyA Keeper
pageyFeels like I've listened to this forever

This album doesn't need much discussion, like all good albums, it speaks for itself.

We gave this the "at the mall" rating of

"dude, let's dance in front of the Orange Julius!

The verdict was in, Cat Power won.

After the albums were listened to, we popped in the Everly Brothers, because gee whiz, we had a hankering for it for some reason.

We weren't quite sure what to do after we were done with our task.
We were tired.
We had driven 100's of miles to meet in Hillsboro.
We had a dance off
We had a dance party.
We listened to music.
We drank beer.

We headed home - and although many thoughts raced through our minds, we barely spoke (we were in separate cars of course). We drove through the night and made it home a little past five o'clock on Sunday morning. We'd only been gone two days, but somehow our towns seemed different - smaller.


  1. A couple things that I feel need clarifying:
    1. Most of this is true.
    2. Pagey loves to make things sound funnier than they actually were.
    3. I won 2 out of 13 contests that I entered.
    4. I feel like a trip to Hillsbro, Ohio is a trip we should all make once a year... together.
    5. Pagey, I have your toothbrush.

  2. Well, now one of two things will happen. The awesomeness of this entry will either inspire others to get off their duffs and make a pick, or it will be so intimating that everyone will just give up.

    Either way, I appreciate the dedciation both of you showed to the Death Match. Anyone willing to drive to Ohio to pick Cat Power is alright by me.

  3. re 4: I agree with the annual trip. I think we could take over the tavern just like old days.

    re 5: slippers, I have your soul.

    z'tude, are you implying one wouldn't want to go to Ohio? You're missing out.

  4. The awesomeness of this post is true. Maybe those who still have to reach a decision (my team included) will find it takes the pressure off, since your collaboration is unlikely to be bested.

    Also, the awesomeness of The Greatest is true.

  5. I think Mark should finish off the rest of the death match, since he seems to be the most competent person left (myself included).

    However, I don't understand how someone who appreciates all the finer nuances of Led Zeppelin could end up picking Cat Power over Vampire Weekend.