Don’t take this the wrong way, but I’m sort of working under the impression that most of my readership is even more out of touch than I am. As such, I’m going to begin this post by filling you in on some things you need to know to understand it. Bear in mind that much of what I’m about to tell you might not actually be true. Rather, it’s what I’ve gathered to be the case based on a couple of articles that have crossed my Google Reader in the past two months. Still, I imagine it should suffice for our purposes here today:
There’s this band called LCD Soundsystem. Hipsters love them, I suspect, because they have songs with titles like, “Daft Punk is Playing at My House.” Which is exactly the sort of declarative, faux-over-it, pseudo-intellectual, pop sub-culture bullshit that’s like crack to hipsters. At any rate, the band’s been around for awhile, but their most recent album was named the Best Album of 2010 by artsy publications that couldn’t, as a matter of principle, give that title to Kanye West. And in the sort of uber-ironic move that creates within me a level of loathing that is, at best, pointless, and at worst, going to kill me someday, the band reacted to this development by calling it quits. Not because they imploded beneath the weight of their sudden success; at least, not by appearances: The band simply announced their show in April at Madison Square Garden would be their last. The Twitter account @FakeMTA responded to the news appropriately, and perhaps even correctly, by tweeting: “The L Train will not be running due to severe grief over the breakup of LCD Soundsystem.”
Which brings me to my point here. (There is a point.) Tickets to this event could be procured in one of three ways: There would be a Ticketmaster presale, and there would be a Ticketmaster public onsale. Pretty normal stuff. Or! Or you could drag your skinny hipster ass out into the “feels like” six degree weather we had this week in New York City to stand in line to buy tickets at Mercury Lounge. And we’re talking an old skool line here: First come, first served, bitches. None of this wristband bullshit that foreshadowed the ultimate demise of ticket purchasing from something that required blood, sweat, and tears to a process in which peak pain manifests in the form of a goddamn Captcha which I seriously can never figure out.
So yeah. I read about this ticket line in Sound of the City, and my first thought was: “I should think this is awesome.” Because I like stuff where the people who work the hardest and suffer the most come out best. It feels just. And as much as I thought Duran Duran drummer John Taylor might have gone a little overboard in his bleak assessment that our extreme access to music has made it lose its magic, I agreed with his general theory that when you had to work for your music — when you had to sit your 17 year-old ass on the cold concrete outside Captain Video for several hours, surrounded by 30 year-old nerds, waiting for Rush tickets to go on sale — perhaps you appreciated it a little more. There was a reward to feeling like you’d earned your music that just isn’t there when buying concert tickets or entire CDs for that matter (not that anyone even does that anymore) requires nothing more than a trip to your computer.
What’s throwing me off, though, is this niggling feeling that the line outside Mercury Lounge isn’t awesome at all; in fact, that it’s an enormous waste of time and sort of annoying that a band compelled its biggest fans to stand out in the freezing cold to buy concert tickets. And I don’t think I feel this way just because the band is LCD Soundsystem and the fans are a bunch of hipsters; I’m fairly certain I’d feel perhaps even stronger if the band were, say, The Tragically Hip, because then it would be me and a bunch of broad-backed Canadian men (Seriously, have you ever seen the backs on Canadian men?) wasting our time and freezing our asses off in the cold. I do, absolutely, appreciate that the band did something to attempt to ensure that tickets went to fans rather than scalpers, but I’m experiencing some existential despair over the fact that apparently I’d prefer something a little more efficient and technologically savvy. Nostalgia, apparently, isn’t what it used to be. You think you know yourself …