Monday, August 5, 2013

Going down the internet rabbit hole: The 1975
The most dangerous part of the internet? Other than the roving gangs of identity thieves, computer-destroying viruses, scheming Nigerian princes and eBay?
The wide range of different and seemingly endless rabbit holes you can easily find yourself stumbling down. Maybe for hours, maybe for forever.
For example, say you read an article about the Los Angeles Kings hockey team. That gets you thinking about former Flyer Jeff Carter. So you head over to Wikipedia to look at Carter’s career stats. While there, you notice Carter was drafted in 2003 with the 11th overall pick. Pretty good player for not being a top ten pick, you think to yourself. So you look up the results of the 2003 draft to see who went before Carter that year. You find out the 2003 draft is widely regarded as one of the two best draft years in the NHL’s history. Before you know it, an hour’s passed and you’re reading round by round through every player selected in 2003, just to amaze yourself with how deep it actually was.
Recently, I went spiraling down a rabbit hole so deep that it carried me beyond the gates of the internet and back into the real world. So yeah, what’s up Donnie Darko? Can your rabbit costume-wearing psycho-babble match that?
I didn’t think so.

Anyway, so a friend of a friend posted a link on Facebook to a video of Jimmy Eat World performing a cover of Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” on “Conan.”
Being a big Jimmy Eat World fan and possibly an even bigger Taylor Swift fan, I had to watch. So I clicked on the link and enjoyed it. Not great, but certainly a serviceable cover.
Under the video was a collection of related links. I usually pay about as much attention to these as I did to any Spanish class I ever took. Which is to say somewhere near the level of: Hmm … yeah that’s interesting … Butterfly! Wow look at it go!
However, one of these related links caught my eye. I’d never heard of the artist, but the song was called “Chocolate.”

Now, having just watched a cover, I assumed this was another one, perhaps of Snow Patrol’s song “Chocolate,” a song which I’ve loved for many years.
Intrigued by the prospect of someone putting their own spin on such a classic, I put on my swim cap, high-tech goggles and space suit and dove in.
Turns out, it wasn’t a cover at all, but an original song that also happened to be called “Chocolate,” this one by The 1975.
My first thought was to head elsewhere, but the heavily-accented, rapid fire, mostly mumbled vocals drew me in. I moved my mouse away from the “X” on the screen and with that my fate was sealed.
I came dangerously close to wearing out that digital video that day. Soon I worked my way through as much of The 1975’s catalog as was available online.
This process continued through the rest of the workweek, through a weekend and into a new week.
It was during one of these marathon sessions that I noticed the band was coming to my area to play a show, one that started at the ghastly hour of 10:30 at night. I know! They make a 10:30 at night now. Amazing.
The allure was too strong despite the dreadful time slot. Somewhere in the span of about a week, I went from having no knowledge of this band, to being a big enough fan to go see them live.
And I rarely go to shows. I don’t like standing, crowds, loud places, crowds, people, crowds of people, drunk people, crowds of drunk people. The list goes on.
Listen to The 1975 if you’ve got a free second. “Chocolate,” “Robbers,” “Ghosts,” “Me.” Those are just some of the highlights. They’re a synthy, moody alt-rock band from the U.K. so how could they not be cool?

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