Fray Bash - Tongiht's Musical Selection
09/30/2008, 6:46 AM #
There hasn't been any music playing for a few minutes now, and since it's almost time for the first champagne toast. Kind of in the mood to dance in the courtyard himself, Lono takes up the cause to discover what's going on. Threading across the dance floor takes no small effort. For one thing, he's still a little loopy from the colita that twiffer had passed him an hour ago, and for another, he has to maneuver around Fritz Gerlich, who is a much bigger man than you might expect, but unfortunately, exactly as good a dancer. With the music off, he's speaking awkward French to a woman with wide hips, a timelessly mom-style haircut, and a prim, pouting mouth. Her nametag has half a dozen crossouts, and all that's still legible is the letter T. She looks like a girl scout leader, but she is giggling like a brownie.
"Coucher avec tois serait Paradis," coos Fritz.
Tempo purses her lips and wags a finger. "Il serait L'enfer, garcon vilain."
Lono's having a hard time registering this unlikely scenario, and tries to shake a little of the heaviness out of his head, a little of the dimness out of his eyes, and does his best to sidle by unnoticed and, please God, untouched. He swerves well clear of Sgt. Rock and Col. McPhee (who are raving incoherently about some booze they drank in the sixties), and smiles briefly at bright_virago, a shimmering light there in her gown, and finally he elbows his way to the dj booth to figure out what the hell is going on.
The booth isn't much, just a crappy squat kind of structure made out of two-by-fours and plywood, with some shelves inside, painted a kind of dingy white, with a bunch of cds stuffed into milk crates. There's an old amplifier with a cd player stacked on top of it, and wires going everywhere, empties piled up on every available surface. It's like some project dreamed up in college--all it needed was a heap of dirty clothes in the corner to bring it to its half-assed apotheosis. It's shadowy in the recesses, and as Lono approaches, he can hear voices inside, as if from far away. As he gets closer, four familiar heads resolve themselves in the light of a candle and the savory haze of a Cuban, and four voices resolve into an argument.
"Look," says thelyamhound, "I think this is really perfect. Orchestral death metal: you either can dance to it or throw some roundhouses. Your choice." The candlelight glistens fitfully off his dome sometimes, when he turns the right way. Sweet summer sweat, perhaps? Lono decides he'd rather not ask.
"Well, the Fischerette made me stop listening to anything orchestral. Too mainstream, she says. Disappointed in me. Maybe there's something Brazilian? They got any Maracas da Morte?"
"And I can't do death metal without the banjo, myself." Skitch's expression looks like what would happen if Doc Savage had stumbled into a secret whoopie cushion factory. "No, I mean it," he says, unconvincingly. Between the three of those guys, there's about a fifth-grade schoolroom's worth of smirk.
But the skinny dude with the shaggy blond hair is different. He has his arms crossed and he's brooding a little. Lono edges up to him. "What did you want to play, Dandelion-man?"
"You hear of 'Pretty, Pretty Boys'?"
"Uh, is that a band?"
"A band? It's the perfect band it you want to have a pink chamagne toast. They dress all in pastels, right? And sing like The Chipmunks."
Max shouts from across the booth. "Well, maybe if this thing could hook into your iPod, we could actually play it."
Pissenlit scowls at this, and sinks a little deeper into his funk.
Skitch holds up a cd in front of the candle. "Oh yeah, Tiffany Twisted! I haven't heard them since high school. No one does better grunge fusion."
"Well, they're good," says Max, "but they're no Thelonius Crunk either. I always think it sounds pretty pedestrian without the atonal riffs."
"Nice alibi," says Hound, obviously disagreeing.
Lono utters a long-suffering sigh and promises himself this will be the last time. "How about some Led Zeppelin?" he says. "Everybody loves Zeppelin."
Max looks scandalized, but Lono continues.
"Or how about some classic rock? I mean, doesn't this look like a classic rock crowd to you?"
"Y'know," grins skitch, "I may have just the thing." He mutters something to the other three that's hard to catch.
"Well, only if they have the Gipsy Kings version."
"I vote for William Hung."
"Actually, he was," says skitch. "Er, or so I heard, uh, not that there's anything wrong...damn."
"What about the Wilson Phillips version?"
It's too much, just too damn silly. Lono's had it. "'Night, man," he sighs to pissenlit, who's closest.
"Relax," says Max, "You can't leave yet. I think I got one."
He snaps shut the cd cover, and just like that, ska rhythms start bumping out of the speakers, accompanied by what sounds for all the world like a steel drum. ("Steely knives," says Hound, "A buddy of mine plays a set backstage sometimes.") But the groove is so familiar, it's on the tip of Lono's mind. Desert highway? Something like that, and seems appropriate. Makes him wonder why no one ever seems to leave this lovely place.
Oh well, it's almost time for the feast, and people are starting to gather. Maybe something interesting will happen.