Saturday, October 4, 2008


When I lived in France some 8 or 9 years ago, I listened to this radio station called OuiFm 102.3. It was great. And luckily for me, they stream their broadcast live online, so I’ve been able to continue listening to it ever since. Its especially soothing while I’m analyzing data. In the long hours I’ve spent running tedious statistical tests, OuiFm has introduced me to artists such as Amy Winehouse and MGMT. In fact, the radio station tends to be quite repetitive, so on any given day of data analysis, I was liable to hear Amy Winehouse’s "Back to Black" and MGMT’s "Time to Pretend" about 5 times apiece. It really grew on me. I decided that if my great American novel (that I have not actually started yet) ever gets made into a movie, "Time to Pretend" would be on the soundtrack. I was later dismayed, when Rob and I saw the movie 21, to hear this song in the background during at least one scene. Maybe it had become too mainstream already.

At any rate, I’m going to shift gears here for a minute. This morning we had a neighborhood brunch (the ladies in my neighborhood get together once a month for coffee and chatting—its really quite nice). I am usually by far the youngest in attendance. There is one other couple across the street who are both grad students, but most of the people who live nearby are the age of my parents or grandparents. Whenever I show up at one of the neighborhood events, everyone is very excited and amicable to have somebody new and young around. (My next door neighbor tells me that you have to live here at least 10 years before everybody stops calling you “the new neighbors”).

So, vegan coffee cake in hand, I walked over to the brunch with my next door neighbor. The hostess for this month’s gathering was a lady named Mrs. G who is in her 80’s (or maybe even 90’s?). When we walked in, Mrs. G was delighted that I had brought the coffee cake. As I helped her set up in the kitchen, she apologetically explained that she was running behind schedule this morning because she and her husband had unexpectedly gone out of town the day before. She said that her grandson had called to tell her that his rock band was performing somewhere in Wisconsin, and he had asked if she and grandpa could come. They’d gone, of course, and they didn’t get home until 2 o’clock in the morning!

The brunch proceeded, and my vegan coffee cake was a huge success. I was relieved that it turned out so well, but my motivation for bringing it was more than just being neighborly: I always travel with something vegan so that I am sure I can eat. While we were all sipping our coffee, someone asked Mrs. G what was the name of her grandson’s band. “MGMT,” she replied.


My jaw must have hit the floor. I think I literally squealed, began jumping up and down, and said something to the effect of, “OH MY GOD, YOUR GRANDSON IS IN MGMT?!?!”

No one else had even heard of them, which wasn’t too surprising considering that I was the youngest person in the room by probably 30 years. Judging from my fanatic screeching, everybody else wanted to know who this MGMT was. They asked me what kind of music they played. I didn’t know how to politely say that the subject matter of the one MGMT song I know involves promiscuity (described with a rough term), cocaine, and dying young. Mrs. G led us over to her computer, where she went to the MGMT webpage and pulled up a video of one of their songs. “That’s my grandson,” she said, pointing to the cute one with the curly hair. She also showed me some pictures of him when he was a baby.

When I was getting ready to leave, she told me that her grandson had gotten them VIP seating at the concert. She said that the guy sitting next to them had seemed puzzled by their presence and finally asked, “What are you two doing here?” “My grandson is in the orchestra,” she had explained.

She thanked me again for the coffee cake and said that she would be sure to tell her grandson that I was a fan. Of course, now I'm an even bigger fan now that I know one of the guys in the band has such lovely grandparents!

Thanks for reading.


Anonymous said...

Loved reading about the BRUNCH!!!!!!! and your neighbors, and after walking around your neighborhood today, I can now understand why you like it there,,,,, it all seems sooo connected and sorta like taking a step back in time.... the pretty houses,the QUIET, -------- AND, about the cute little grandparents, and their FAMOUS grandson, it is certainly A SMALL WORLD AFTER ALL!!!!!!! just think, someday you may be RIDING your bike OR RUNNING down the street, and who should appear, but BEN.... ya just never know!!!!! or maybe SOMEDAY he might be at a VERMONT STREET BRUNCH!!!! aren't you glad I"M BAAAAACK>>thanks to ROBBY.. luv you both, mama

amypfan said...

Perhaps the neighborly grandma could get you VIP tickets to an event sometime??

Anonymous said...

Jason and I love MGMT! (They were playing in Chicago last week, but we couldn't go.) What a small world.

Anonymous said...

MGMT!??! thats soooo Cool! One of my fav bands.