Thursday, May 25, 2006

Upright Citizen's Brigade Sketch #1



Scene is in a underground rock club. Two friends, Ian and Pete, stand, beers in hand, waiting for the act to come on stage. Ian is clad in total hipster gear. He wears a faux-hawk, Buddy Holly/Rivers Cuomo glasses, dirty white Converse All-Stars, tight worn jeans, a studded belt, and a really tight used chartreuse sweater even though its 80 degrees in the bar. Pete’s wearing a Jimi Hendrix t-shirt and Dockers.


Pete

Man, Ian, I’m so glad you finally brought me to one of these concerts you’re always talking about. I mean we’re really good friends, but I feel like you’ve never totally let me into the musical life that you have that’s so important to you.

Ian

No problem, bro. Just act cool, that’s all. Do you want another Pabst Blue Ribbon or maybe a Schlitz? They’re only four bucks here.

Pete

No, I’m cool. I’m still working on mine. Four dollars doesn’t really seem like such a great deal for a beer that costs like a quarter in Wisconsin.

Ian

Dude, you’re in New York, now. Not Wisconsin. Don’t tell anybody you’re from there. [Looks around to make sure nobody’s listening.]

Pete

Tell who? I’m not even from Wisconsin, I’m from Colorado.

Ian

Well, you’re not from New York.

Pete

I know. I’m from Colorado. [Awkward silence.] Anyway I just wanted to thank you for getting me into that Clap Your Hands Say Yeah CD. It’s sweet.

Ian

Whoa, whoa, whoa Pete. Those guys are so mainstream. Everybody has their album.

Pete

They’re not really mainstream. They’ve only been around for 8 or 9 months and they self-released their album. They’re pretty much the opposite of mainstream.

Ian

Yeah, this coming from a guy wearing a “Jimi Hendrix” t-shirt. What are you trying to do embarrass me? That guy sucks.

Pete

Embarrass you? We don’t know anybody else here. And Jimi Hendrix doesn’t suck, he’s one of the greatest guitarists of all time.

Ian

Guitars are so mainstream.

Pete

What?

Ian

Nevermind. Tonight’s going to be great – monumental, in fact. It reminds me of the time that I saw Yo La Tengo at Maxwell’s the first time they played there.

Pete

Dude, that was 1984. You would’ve been two.

Ian

Whatever. Tonight’s going to be monumental.

Pete

Yeah, what’s the deal with this band again?

Ian

They’re called Luminous Emptiness. Yeah, that’s from Buddhism. They’re so frickin’ indie.

Pete

Rad. I can’t wait.

[The lights dim and the crowd cheers. One single spotlight illuminates a microphone. Another lights the drums, a guitar on a stand, and a bass on another.]

Pete

Alright, here we go. I’m so glad I’m here. This is going to be sweet.

Ian

Monumental.

Pete

Yeah, monumental, whatever.

[Pete and Ian stand there along with the crowd and wait. There’s nothing but total and absolute silence. Pete keeps looking over at Ian who stares at the stage. More silence.]

Pete

Dude, what’s going on? When are they coming out?

Ian

Shhhhhhh. Dude, calm down. Look, look up at the stage.

[Pete looks up excited waiting for the band to come out. More silence. Nothing happens.]

Pete

[Whispers.] Ian, Ian.

Ian

[Agitated.] What?

Pete

Dude, nothing’s happening.

Ian

No way, man. Something is happening. Everything’s happening.

[Pete stops, looks around at all faces who are looking at the stage. He’s amazed. ]

Pete

Ian, there aren’t any people playing instruments which is what a concert is.

Ian

Just free your mind and see what you’re not seeing. Just live in the moment. That’s from Buddhism.

Pete

You mean this is it!!? This is the concert? Nothing!

Ian

Shhhhh. You’re disturbing this for everybody else. God! These guys are so indie. They’re more indie than indie.

Pete

They’re nothing. They’re nobody. Nothing’s going on. This isn’t creative or indie or anything at all.

Ian

I thought you were cool, dude. I brought you here thinking that you could grasp how monumental this experience is. Don’t you see that this is a commentary on music today and society at large? It’s all empty, devoid of meaning.

Pete

No, I see it more as a waste of 15 bucks.

Ian

Why don’t you go home and listen to Guided by Voices or some other sellout band?

Pete

Why don’t you go home and listen to Ashlee Simpson?

Ian

What are you talking about?

Pete

I found your private CD collection when I was looking for my shoes the other day.

Ian

I don’t know what you’re talking about.

Pete

Yeah, you do.

Ian

Goddamn it.

[With this, Ian runs onstage and grabs the microphone.]

Ian

Sheep, here my voice! This is insanity, we all know that this has gone too far. We have to stop the madness!

[Nods and a little bit of cheering from the crowd.]

Ian

Alright, yeah! We should all be able to listen to the type of music we want to. We shouldn’t make people feel badly for liking one band and not liking another. And I’m tired of Chuck Taylors and sweaters!

[Small chant of “Luminous Emptiness” builds.]

Ian

No, no. I’m not Luminous Emptiness. There is no Luminous Emptiness. I’m just a guy and I like to listen to Mariah Carey albums!

["Luminous Emptiness, Luminous Emptiness, Luminous Emptiness."]

Ian

Stop it! Stop it! Alright whatever.

[Pitches the microphone and climbs off stage to back slaps and approval from the audience. Two guys walk by Ian and Pete on their way out.]

Guy #1

That was so indie they should make a new word for it like Hindi or something. Man that was indie.

Guy #2

Dude, let’s go get the new Mariah Carey album.

2 comments:

Coriano said...

"Guitars are so mainstream." (butter)

Colin St. John said...

King just told me there's a scene in "Proof" where a band plays a song of silence. Trust me, I've never seen "Proof" and I wouldn't rip anything off from a Gwyneth Paltrow movie. I only do that with Ben Affleck movies.