23rd and Willow

2011 January 13
by mockers

On the fourth beat of the fourth bar of “Fell in Love with a Girl” by the White Stripes there lives a flam.  It sometimes strikes me as amazing that I can describe the location of a flam as I would a geographical place.  As in, “You can buy a bag from the guy in front of the 7-11 on the northwest corner of 23rd and Willow.”  The northwest corner of 23rd and Willow and the fourth beat of the fourth bar are equally real places to me.

Do you guys know what a flam is?  According to the famous web site “drumsetfun.com” (I am not going to link to it because it is scary and I am worried that it will give your machine the same virus that you get when looking for Lady Gaga websites to jerk off to…I mean, not that I would know) a flam is “a distinct sound created by two successive drum strikes made by the two sticks. It is essentially a way to embellish any given note and play it in a ‘fancier’ fashion.”  I don’t know if I would have described it that way, but what happens to the snare on the 4th beat  of the fourth measure of that song is definitely a flam.   It’s a really good flam too.  You get four bars of heavily-distorted guitar intro before the flam.  If I had been drumming, I would have done some elaborate (as elaborate as I could manage anyway) buildup and fill.

Instead, Meg White gives me this clumsy, sloppy half-assed flam…and it is perfect.  In fact, this flam provokes an internal and  involuntary reaction every time I hear it.  I want to stand up.  I want to shred guitars and jump up and down and kick over microphone stands.  I want to fucking rock.  For a split second, I see a whole different existence inside that flam.  It’s the world that would have resulted if I had stepped on stage when I was invited up on that fateful day in 1999. According to Hugh Everett, in some universe I did step up.  I wonder how that turned out.  Too bad that universe isn’t as easy to find as the guy with the bag on 23rd and Willow and the fourth beat of the fourth measure of a silly White Stripes tune.

The spring semester started at school last night.  As a few of you know, I am pursuing a PhD at a school that is two and a half hours away from my house.  Once a week I drive for 5 hours and attempt to be “scholarly.”  I am only doing it to try to tear academia down from the inside, but they are smart and pretty quick to sniff out my ruse.  I have been working harder to fit in (and not flunk out) lately, but I am afraid I am about to go native.  I am going to end up as a pompous communist douchebag if you guys don’t help keep me sane.

Last night’s class was filled with the same people from last semester – a Korean guy, a Chinese guy and a lady that used to pursue patents for a living.  They all drive me insane…except for the time that the Chinese guy was pissed at the Korean guy and they were trying to argue in English.  They were so passionate about their views and so limited in their ability to communicate that they finally just ended up making nonsensical noises and furiously gesturing at each other.  It was awesome.

The highlight of last night’s class saw the professor suggesting that I quit my actual job and let my wife support me while I went to school.  I asked him for a teacher’s permission slip to take home to my wife.  This was especially funny to me because the guy is kind of famous in certain circles and was definitely not used to people hitting him with crappy one-liners.

The patent lady cackled, the Korean guy attempted to understand what was funny by tilting his head to the side like a collie at a whistling competition and the Chinese dude just sat there fantasizing about weird porn (probably).

So anyway…I know things aren’t off to the greatest of starts here at mockable 2.0, but I don’t really mind too much.  I have found that no matter how busy I make myself in a subconscious effort to garner sympathy and blow jobs, I need to write to keep from going nuts.  So I’ll write…and I hope you stick around.

6 Responses leave one →
  1. 2011 January 13
    emily permalink

    I would pay good money to see two non-english speaking people argue. I am glad this site is back active and will try to get in a guest mock or two.

  2. 2011 January 13

    Music , writing, and the guy in front of the 7-11 on the northwest corner of 23rd and Willow will do the trick, but not necessarily in that order.

  3. 2011 January 13
    dto permalink

    Ok…hold it. Fourth beat of the fourth bar…right? She’s got all the time in the world to think of someting to play and she comes up with a fucking flam? And you’re totally jazzed about that? A FLAM!!?? A flamadiddle or a rattamaque and then the flam for christ sake. The flam needs a set up. Silence (tacit) would have been better than just a lame goddamn flam. I get the feeling this loser counts off each tune by clicking her sticks together held high above her head and always blames the bass player because the time is fucked up on every tune they play without a click track. There’s twenty six original rudiments and she picks a flam. The word flam even sucks. Elvin Jones couldn’even spell flam.

  4. 2011 January 13
    Strangeart permalink

    I am passionate about flam…oh, wait, that’s flan. Never mind.

  5. 2011 January 13
    squawvalleyskip permalink

    I don’t think I’ve ever intentionally listened to even the whole first four bars of any White Stripes song. Not that I remember anyway. Maybe I’m showing my age. But stick around? Oh, yeah. I’ll be sticking around.

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