It Hardly Matters

Friday, March 24, 2006

Mates of Awesome, or, Prenostalgia

The one thing that is getting me through these first bleak days of spring is the new Mates of State record, Bring It Back. Most of you know that I'm a huge fan. If I had written a year-end Top 10 Best Things Ever 2005, Mates would be number 2, behind Clyde.

Although I've now claimed the band as my own (as I imagine lots of other indie kids have, which is cute and nice and the way it should be), I have Massey to thank for introducing them to me. He is one to thank, as he also inspired me to start this lovely little weblog. Massey is a ball of creative energy wrapped in smarty pants and silliness, and I will miss him when he goes to Vegas then Jersey to become the full-on superstar that he is destined to be. Anyway, that said, Mates will always remind me of him, and of Askur & Embla. See, last year, a dovetail effect occurred, where the music and the people I was hanging out with all made sense in this perfectly prenostalgic way. You know when you are experiencing something, and as it happens, you know that you will think of it always and miss it forever? Well, that's what I mean. (Embla, is there a better word for this? If not, please add to OED. Thanks.)

When Massey, Askur, and I started hanging out at work, we recognized each other as members of the same karass. We got each other through the day-to-day, discussing our frustrations and dreams at lunch amongst the pleated pants in Bryant Park. We did prat falls in the office, danced through the aisles at Staples, threw stuff at each other--acts of insanity to keep sane. We made plans to get out. New jobs, school, whatever, just out. We all ran home after work and did more work, our own work. We wrote and designed and built and recorded.

One Wednesday, we decided to take a break and see the Mates of State at Bowery Ballroom. Embla joined us. We drank beer and bitched about work until they started playing. Lights down, then spotlights up, illuminating blond girl hair and boy drum kit chrome--and WHOOOAH OH OH WOOOOAH OAH OAH there they fucking went. We leapt in the air, closed our eyes, and sang out. We smiled so much our teeth were dry. Beer was spilled, we embraced, we acted like teenagers and bounced off the walls. We were victorious! For that hour, we had won. Incredible.

The next day, and for the next several months, it was back to work, of course. But things were about to kick in to high gear with applications, interviews, sick days, trips on trains, letters of intent, words of encouragement, the soundtrack for which was the Mates' back catalogue: Team Boo, All Day, My Solo Project, and Our Constant Concern. Songs with lyrics like "it's all in your head" and "I color the sky with you./I let you choose the blue." Smile.

Bring It Back is another rapturous, thoughtful, ass-shake. And it couldn't have come at a better time. The boys are gone (Askur to new fabulous job and Massey to school) and I am left. I think of their bright futures and I am so proud of them and happy for them and all good things for them. But I'm prenostalgic at heart, I think, and just want to bring it all back.


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