Notes from a Walkman Junkie: I Like To Bang
I was introduced to the wonder that is Rita Pavone about ten years ago. She is an Italian ballad/rock singer who’s popularity was at it’s height in the 1960′s. I have several Rita memories, but I mostly associate her music with the many New Years Eves that I spent in Italy as her music was often mixed into every playlist.
I have never been especially fond of New Year’s Eve (or any other designated must have fun holiday). They have however, always been consistent…consistently disappointing. Expectations are in general set way too high and are seldom even partially met. My apprehension and mistrust of the holiday began to take root at an early age. Many tales were told by my parents of ill-fated parties and plans gone awry. The most infamous and repeated account was that of a party attended by my parents…and NO ONE ELSE. They had no desire to go to this party, but did so out of obligation the couple hosting the soiree.
My parents tended to avoid most social gatherings and by avoid, I mean my mother hiding in the bathroom and frantically begging my father to call and make their excuses. This was always a risky move on my mother’s part as Dad’s standard excuse would be something along the lines of, “Nancy has diarrhea.” As it turned out, this was a gathering that they should have given a miss. The evening consisted of four people (the hosts and my parents) painfully conversing for six hours while donning ridiculous hats.
Like my parents, I have also had my share of less than banner New Year’s Eve experiences. A few years back, I attended a gathering of sorts with my boyfriend at the time. The evening was going fairly well until I was apparently talking to another gentleman a bit too long. My date approached us and without a word tossed me over his shoulder cave man style and carried me outside (there was no recovering that conversation). Incidentally, this was the same boyfriend whom I had once told was built like a gorilla. I saw that he was clearly offended so I followed up with, “I like gorillas.”
Another year I spent New Year’s in a castle in Italy. The evening would have been grand were it not for the person that decided it was a good idea to bring a BB gun with him. He fired the gun randomly at the wall, causing me to throw myself to the floor while in mid-conversation with other guests. This continued to happen for the duration of the night. Guns and awkwardness aside, the evening was very pleasant. Confetti was thrown, people were struck in the head with squeaky hammers, and fireworks were lit. As everyone gathered outside to watch the colorful display a friend asked me, “Anne, do you like to bang?” We had a slight language barrier. He wanted to know if I enjoyed fire works.
I do not know what kind of uncomfortable, dangerous, embarrassing New Year’s eves lie ahead, but I hope they at least include music that makes it all worthwhile.
On the recommendation of a fine-bummed lad (you know who you are) I have been listening to Grizzly Bear, a psychedelic/experimental band from Brooklyn. Their lovely voices are accompanied by whistles, piano, banjo, and several woodwind instruments. I love them dearly and think they would be a splendid addition to a New Year’s Eve hat, gun, bang party.