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Mum's the Word

Gabriel and I have the most divergent musical tastes of any two people I know. We once spent about an hour naming all the bands and musicians we liked in the history of music, and we found absolutely no common ground.

His likes skew towards obscure indie genres that generally make my ears bleed. When I'm over at his house and he's trying to blast a party mix from his iTunes, I have to scream, "Will you please play something—anything—from Billboard's top 5,000?!"

Sure, I gravitate to mainstream-sounding rock and pop that is, in actuality, relatively unknown, but none of my CDs make people want to slit their wrists.

In light of this information, you'll appreciate this phone conversation I had with Gabriel yesterday:

GABRIEL: Go to a concert with me.


GABRIEL: Tonight.

PRINCE: What is it?



GABRIEL: Mum. They're from Iceland.

PRINCE: Oh my god! Strike one! What kind of music?

GABRIEL: Sort of like electronica, uh, electronica-pop, sung in Icelandic.

PRINCE: Jesus Christ! Strike two!

GABRIEL: Well, they might be singing in English, but you can't really understand what they're sayingthe lead woman sort of sounds like Bjork.

PRINCE: I hate Bjork with a passion! Strike three! Why are we even discussing this? You lost me at "Iceland."

I ended up going, of course. In the car:

PRINCE: Why would anybody want to see this music live? Are there gonna be a lot of kids there on ecstasy, dancing underneath strobe lights?

GABRIEL: No. It's a sit-down concert.

PRINCE: Holy crap!

At the Orpheum:

PRINCE: Strike one: there's a laptop computer on stage. Strike two: there's a big black case filled with "things." Strike three: there's a step ladder.

GABRIEL: What is the step ladder doing there?

PRINCE: Just so you know, I might have to go out periodically throughout the evening. I need breaks in my torture.

Two opening acts. Some guy on his acoustic guitar who had good songs and was a good singer, but had no understanding that a performer has a relationship to his audience. And then: shoegazing teenagers that included a vocalist with a red scarf wrapped around his head who emitted faux-ethereal noises into the microphone.

PRINCE: Why are teenagers playing this music?! Teenagers are supposed to rock!

GABRIEL: Nowadays, this is rock.

After the concert, in the car:

PRINCE: You know, I respect Mum and understand them and appreciate what they do. And their songs weren't half-bad.

GABRIEL: Mum was amazing! I wasn't expecting to like them live so much. Wow. Wow!

...This coming from the only person in the world who has ever followed the sentence "That movie had absolutely no plot" with "It was one of the best films I have ever experienced in my entire life."

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