I LIKE TO THINK of myself as non-judgmental and accepting of everyone. Having said that, I do have a
secret test that I administer before I grant a person admission into my elite circle of buddies.
At some point on tour (usually in the beginning), I like to perform the test, and so far no one has failed. Thankfully. This is probably because I've been blessed by the road gods with lovely bands and amazing tours.
The test is simple.
Simply play one of these songs at full volume, and if the person in question does NOT sing along or appear to know what it is, de-friend him or her immediately. Done.
1. GOLD SOUNDZ/RANGE LIFE - PAVEMENT
I realize that I may be called a music snob for this, but if you've never heard Pavement, I cannot call you my friend. These two jams, both off of Pavement's 1994 record Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain are perfect for singalongs about being drunk in the August sun, talking about how foxy Scott Weiland is and dissing the Smashing Pumpkins. Choose one, crank it up, and if the van stays silent, you might as well jump out and hitch a ride back to civilization.
2. ANYTHING OFF OF WEEZER'S PINKERTON
What's that? You think Weezer still exists? Like, as a respectable band? Have you been living under a lamestream rock? Pinkerton is the last decent record that Rivers Cuomo & co. released. Any track off this record is a viable option for the test. If your van-mates try to say that they prefer that song "Island In The Sun," which was the theme for that Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen film, RUN. If they attempt to talk about that Red album, run even faster. Any talk of post-Pinkerton-era Weezer is unacceptable, unless you are wondering what Rivers has been smoking for the past fifteen years. Singing about shredding the cello and Japanese penpals who write on pretty stationary is encouraged, and will ensure you are surrounded by good peeps.
3. WAITING ROOM - FUGAZI
This is a crowd pleaser, and if the person in question hasn't heard it, you're fucked. An obvious choice when it comes to Fugazi, but sometimes I forget not everyone grew up listening to Minor Threat. You can throw on the song "Merchandise," which is a close second when it comes to Fugazi songs people love, and if finger pointing does not ensue, you know who you're dealing with. (Lamestream.)
4. SLEATER-KINNEY, BIKINI KILL, AND/OR TEAM DRESCH
If I want to make sure I'm in a safe environment, I play Riot Grrl music. If any variation of the term "angry woman" gets thrown around, peace out forever.
What songs you would use as a test before opening your personal velvet rope for a friendship?