ARCADE LIAR!

**Reader Beware: this post is Not Safe for Hipsters, or NSFH, as it might shatter the fantasies they’ve constructed about Win Butler of Arcade Fire and what kind of person they think he is.**

Sometimes I can’t believe it, but Win Butler, lead crooner and hack Telecaster strumming bafoon of Arcade Fire, is an ASSHOLE. It’s time to pull the curtain on the Indie blogs as well as the band’s cliquey Twitter fan page, ArcadeFiretube, and reveal the truth.

Two years ago in August of 2014, I flew to Chicago, the hometown of my all-time favorite band since 1994, the Smashing Pumpkins, to see Arcade Fire, a newer band I sort of liked at the time (what a handlebar twist of hipster irony!) play on their Reflektor Tour. Arcade Fire were to play two shows back-to-back at the United Center, home of the Chicago Bulls and the legendary Michael Jordan, who was a personal hero of mine growing up. Due to my love of the Pumpkins, I’d always felt nostalgic for Chicago and wanted to see the land that inspired that eclectic quartet and their dreamy ballads which painted my youth and still touch my soul very deeply. The Travelocity bundle was cheap, plus I heard Win Butler was hosting dance parties after the shows in each city and spending a lot of time mingling with fans, which I thought was cool, but more on that later.

I had been on Arcade Fire’s bandwagon for a while prior to the shows, not so much because I was blown away by their music, but because I was lonely in a new town and there was a part of me that wanted to fit in with all their cool, beautiful fans we call hipsters. You know, the kids who were popular in high school, who made fun of mopey goth types like me, who now sport the styles the 90s kids popularized in order to live out a rebellion that eluded them in their youth. In Arcade Fire, I was also searching for a musical haven. The music of my and prior generations was just so mind-blowingly good, I wanted to hear new music that made me feel something, too. Based on some of their earlier works, I felt that Arcade Fire had the potential to be that band in the future, which is why I began following them.

That all being said, Arcade Fire know how to put on a good show even if the tickets were overpriced. Also, the band required all their concert attendees to wear formal attire to the shows at the risk of being turned away at the door – kind of a douchey move, if you ask me, especially when they were charging $100 a pop for back of the house seats. By the way, at what other rock show in the history of Rock ‘n’ Roll were fans required to dress up to be allowed to attend a concert? That seems like the antithesis of rock to me, but I digress.

On the night after the second show, Win Butler hosted an after party at the Beauty Bar in downtown Chicago. His alias at the parties he hosts is DJ Windows 98, and his definition of DJing means hooking up his iPhone into some speakers and playing shitty 80s dance tunes all night vis-a-vis Wang Chung while slugging down bottles of whiskey and glaring at people from behind the DJ platform. Hella weird, right? You can tell that this dude hasn’t been laid in years!

Most of the people at the afterparty were fans of the band who wanted to chat with Win and get his autograph once the afterparty commenced. The city of Chicago has a noise ordinance, so at 2am on the dot, the club shut off sound without warning in the middle of his DJ set. That’s when things got out of hand. The seemingly humble lead singer of this squeaky clean Indie band flipped the bitch switch. He started screaming at the staff of the club, “What the fuck!? Why did they do that to me??? Who even works here!? Who works here!?” When a fan interrupted his tantrum to ask him a question, he shouted, “Stop talking please!” Another fan asked him to sign the album Funeral on vinyl, to which Win yelled, “NO!” and waved the fan out of his sight. As the club started clearing out, various other fans, including myself, tried to shake Win’s hand but were met with nothing more than a cold stare from the man himself until the club’s security guard escorted him out the back door to his black stretch limo.

From that moment, I went from being somewhat of a fan to absolutely despising Win Butler and Arcade Fire. As someone who was lured in by the nicely-nice familial image of seven-plus band members and their three chord coombaya songs, I felt betrayed. That’s a whole lot of ego for someone whose albums have never sold more than 700,000 copies. I was also embarrassed that I’d ever taken interest in something I was so luke warm about in the hopes of fitting in. As one reviewer of the album Reflektor stated, Arcade Fire are fraud.

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Flaxen Haired Darling

“I’m the blonde! get to be the princess!” the words echo in my mind 25 years later. The year was 1989. The location, Hillsborough, California. I lived across the tracks in the less ostentatious suburb of Burlingame. Preschool was cancelled that day due to the rain and we’d just finished watching the biggest blockbuster since E.T., The Princess Bride. When the movie commenced, we decided to play the characters. “Well, I’m the prettier one! I should be the princess!” I stomped my foot indignantly. The girl’s mother frowned and picked up the phone. I’d insulted her flaxen haired darling. Play time was over.

I don’t remember her name now, but the point is moot. Blondes learn from a young age that they are special. Now that I’m an adult, the argument is less over who’s the princess and more over who gets the guy. Instead of, “I’m the blonde! should be the princess!,” they know they already are. It’s more like, “I’m the blonde! should get the d*ck!,” and they do.

Fast forward to 2011. After just 3 months of lessons, I’m dating the hottest guy in the studio. It’s against the rules, but we are barely discreet about it. A sideways glance across the Ballroom, a giggle at an inappropriate time, a hickey in a visible spot make it glaringly obvious. All the Orange County Stepford Wives at the place change their demeanor toward me. Instead of hello, now I’m paying $900 a month to be snarled at by spoiled brats on the sidelines and disgruntled divorcees. 

The whirlwind ends and another gets him. She gets him the same way I did. She’s older; crow’s feet show the wear of her ravaged mind. She’s like them. A golden haired mold of homogeny and silicone. She broke the rules but they don’t care. They flock to the golden one. Instead of hello, they get to know her name, inquire about the kids, invite her out for drinks. She broke the rules but it’s OK because she’s sameness and I’m different. He, too, adores the golden one, and not just because of her gold. He speaks to her in soft tones. He strokes her arm like the mane of a timid puppy. He stays with her for years, buys her petty things. He becomes a live in lover, masseuse, and nanny. He does all this because the light of this golden trophy enshrouds him in the glow. Society approves of this match!

Like the raven black of my hair, I fade like a shadow on the wall, a shadow in his mind, and then I’m not at all.

All the Single Ladies!

Single women are fighting a tough battle. If you’re single, it’s your fault: You’re too clingy. You’re too aloof. You’re too smart. You’re too dumb. You gained ten pounds. You lost too much weight. You’re outspoken. You don’t have a backbone. You’re too nice. You’re too mean. You’re too successful. You don’t have a job. You’re too creative. You’re too dull. You’re too aggressive. You’re coquettish. Is it any wonder we feel inadequate 100% of the time? To echo Marilyn Monroe, “if you can’t handle me at my worst, you don’t deserve me at my best.”

OC Duds Pt. 2

The second variety of these studley duds is far more dangerous than the first. They are not after your financial capital…yet. Rather, they are testing the waters to see if you really are the BBD, or “bigger, better deal,” and they should leave their current partner to be with you. These rovers of South County already have fiancees and girlfriends. But they are unsure about committing to the woman they’ve been stringing along for years, which is where you come in. They’re narcissistic athletic types who beat the Orange County odds. They did not end up in rehab for heroin or pill abuse. They know they are in high demand. They also know that their women know it. So when they make eyes at that brunette spinner waitress at Javier’s, Barbie orders valium chasers and pretends not to notice.

My first encounter with Studley Dudley Numero Uno occurred 4 years ago when I moved to Laguna Beach from San Francisco. I worked at a trendy health food store in the area straight out of college – hey, I’m a Liberal Arts undergrad who finished school two months after the market crashed, don’t judge me – and said dud was my boss. We’ll refer to him as Phil, short for philanderer. This dud’s backstory is narcissistic to say the least: good looking half-Polynesian surfer whose natural tan is the envy of all the South County WASPs. He’s dark complected, yet not swarthy enough to be considered too exotic for the demographic. Before the grocery store gig, he used to cut hair for Toni and Guy. This was most likely the plot to be Edward Scissorhands in the land of horny housewives. Nevertheless, I should have known by his former profession and noticeable lack of bulge from his skinny jeans (yes, skinny jeans!) that he was not the man he claimed to be.

Phil had phelt up all the new-hires prior to me working there. I was a 20-something cliché: a wide-eyed, giggly girl who was enthusiastic about the future (this was prior to Obama’s four-year flop). He was tied into a relationship that would probably end in nuptials. I took his flirting as harmless small talk. A brush of the hand on my hip as he passed my register, warm breath on my neck as he stood behind and examined my cash box, sensuous baritones rippling through my ears telling me to “go to break” when it was time for lunch. He looked hopeful as he inquired, “So, what are you doing later?” “Going to Hennessey’s with some friends. You?” “Oh. Eating dinner….with…..my……….girlfriend. Andthengoingtobed. She’s rich, you know. Well, her family is. She actually works at MAC, but she’s a good investment, you know?” **insert Hipster hair flick here**

I ignored it for a while. And then I was fired up. All this back-and-forth must mean something! It’s meant to be! He’s the soulmate I’ve been searching for! He WILL leave his girlfriend for me! We WILL get married and have gorgeous mocha colored children! He would not be saying these things unless he really meant them, right? RIGHT?

It was House night at Brussels Bistro, a tightly packed restaurant turned after-hours club in downtown Laguna. I was already 3 drinks in with my friend, Russian Supermodel, and we were grooving to the beats of Sander Kleinenberg, one of our favorite DJs. Phil shows up with his arm candy, escorts her to the bar, and dumps her there with some frumpy females. He stands in the corner, disregards Russian Supermodel, and watches me dance. When Arm Candy is not looking, he approaches me. Left hand on hip, breath on my neck, sensuous baritones rippling. He hesitates. “See you later,” he says, grabs Arm Candy, and goes.

Phil is in hot water with Arm Candy. He must redeem himself, so he does what any douchey dud would do: unfriends me, constructs your standard “psycho bitch” tale, and ignores me from then on. I’m convinced that Passive-Aggressive Personality Disorder and lack of bulge must be directly proportional!

OC Duds

Slade Smiley from the Real Housewives of Orange County grosses me out. Typical OC dud — er, dude. He is an unmotivated slacker who doesn’t work, doesn’t pay bills, has various legal troubles, and wants to be supported by his trophy girlfriend. Sounds about par.

What is it about these OC guys that promotes such losery behavior? Word to my South County sisters: you can provide for him ’till he’s drained all your financial capital. But at the end of the day, there will always be someone blonder, bustier, and with a more beneficiary bank account to deter your live-in gigolo’s affections.

So Why Are They Here?

The 8 o’clock hour arrives and aloof loner types stand against the wall avoiding eye contact and staring out the glass panes that line the building. The music has started but no one is on the floor. They are huddling near the back, pouring hooch from a suspicious paper bag into half-filled coke cups. Powder, Poser, Pretentious, Plump Girl and Mother, all there.

Plump Girl says she’s been dancing since 4. But art school could not afford charisma. “So now she’s a big fish in a small pond,” gloats Mother. “She’s the best.” “Yeah, I’m the BEST!” echoes Plump Girl.

Powder, Poser, and Pretentious could not tell you what their favorite dance is. They have watched Dancing with the Stars a few times but don’t give a hoot about the sport. “Dancing is not really about dancing,” Pretentious says. “It’s about having fun and spending time with your instructor. We’re going to Vegas next weekend – the Bellagio, of course two rooms. What do you think? I’m separated, NOT divorced. Yet.” “Dancing is all about sex,” chuckles Powder. “Actually, it’s about winning. I always win because I know everyone,” interjects Poser.

Students searching for surrogates.