Monday, November 27, 2006

Mags Pop Culture History 101: College, and What the Title Means

Wherein we left off, I had just graduated high school. (That was one of the happiest bloody days of my life, by the way; it was seriously up there with wedding and childbirths. I didn't get drunk, I didn't go party - I went swimming in the lake with Tricia. And I believe that was the day of the swimming citation that we received for swimming too far into the cove. That was one of my finest law-breaking incidents ever. But I digress.)

High school and early college (at the University of Missouri in Columbia, MO. Oh, by the way, "Rock, Chalk, Suck On It," K.U.!) was the time of the jangly floppy-haired white boy music for me. I had just gotten my first CD player at about the time The Unforgettable Fire came out, and it was one of the very first CDs I bought. I think I bought Life's Rich Pageant early on, too; Green came out my freshman or sophomore year in the dorms, and it is largely the soundtrack that plays in my head during that portion of the movie of my life.

(Another digression...who would play you in the movie of your life? I always used to hear that Drew Barrymore should play me. That's probably as good a fit as any, but I kind of wish I could find someone new. Maybe Reese Witherspoon, who could play me, except 40 pounds thinner? I'd be OK with that!)

The first two years of college, I had a lame-ass hanger-on of a boyfriend who I ill-advisedly allowed to follow me from KC. (As little as is said about that, the better. He lived in his car. A winner!) As I started to avoid him more and more, I began re-formulating friendships that had started in high school and moved up to college, and meeting other various cool people through my old friends.

The crux of our nightlife revolved around two clubs in Columbia that are still in existence, The Blue Note and Shattered. (Damn, the latter has a really skeevy website now! Ladies' Night? What the hell?)

The Blue Note is a revered (and justly so) club - in the early days, a warehouse, and then later, a renovated old movie theater - in which all of the great bands played....Uncle Tupelo, Poi Dog Pondering, Bob Mould, the Violent Femmes, Fishbone, The Rainmakers - lord, I can't even remember a quarter of the bands I saw there. (And that had nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that they'd serve me enormous cups full of Long Island Ice Teas when I was 17.)

Shattered was the "punk club," a nasty little dive in a drippy little basement. (After one sweaty, condensation-filled night, looking at the cigarette butts, beer, and general scooge all over the floor, I observed that it was "the dance floor that made its own gravy.") People in black, only black. Maybe white to be ironic.

We dahnced. To the Bauhaus. To the Ministry. To the Sisters of Mercy. And on the "Retro 80's night" - that was still new, then, mind you - we'd get shitfaced and sing "Major Tom" at the top of our lungs. And we smoked and smoked and smoked. And we snuck in bottles of Rhinelander beer ($6.99 a case! In bottles! No shit!).

Funny, as awful as that place was, now that it's nigh on 20 years later, it seems only like the BEST FUN EVER. Just for one night, I'd like to be that goofy 20-21 year-old with some of my best buds in the world, knowing that I wasn't hip but having a really fun time pretending to be. I think that, honestly, is my secret self; the one inside the soccer mom who cuts coupons to stretch the paychecks. Sometimes, she burns a little on the inside.

Hey, now, hey now now...sing this corrosion to me. (I'm singing it to you, yo.)

3 comments:

clark said...

Ah, Madge, but you take me back through the years. REM's "Green" is strongly evocative for me, too. I got it just after my move to Chapel Hill, NC. It reminds me, among other things, of Brown's Ale and my first real autumn with real Fall colors and the like.
Also, your mentioning of Poi Dog Pondering-- what a trip. They played a lot on UT's West Mall my senior year, though I heard they were more of a come-and-go operation (called "Poi Dog Ponder") and less of a real, cohesive band. Months after graduation I found myself in Chapel Hill and heard Poi Dog's "Pulling Touch" on the car radio. Great song. Very sexy and reminded me so much of Austin. It was a big, jolly surpize to learn that Poi Dog was making a showing for itself.

-Clark

Lee said...

Go with Drew Barrymore. She's way hot. So are you. Perhaps I could be played by Stephen Colbert?

Karla said...

Your inner self and my inner self should meet and be little angsty yet happy Goths together.....

And I agree with Lee, you are SO Drew.

Lee, you can certainly go for Colbert as your "you"...I don't mind!