This past month I was dog sitting for a friend. Iâ€™ve mentioned in the past that Iâ€™m not really an animal person and this experience pretty much solidified that for me. In the dogâ€™s defense, I canâ€™t imagine a studio apartment on Hollywood Blvd. was his ideal summer destination. The very first day I had him, he peed in the elevator! This was my panicked response,
1.Watch in horror as the dog liquifies 90% of his body weight and expels all retained water onto the very small surface area of the elevator floor.
2.Ride the elevator to your initial destination, apologize profusely to the people stepping into the elevator from the lobby as you ride it back up to your floor. Eye contact is recommended while apologizing, then face the floor like a shameful Samurai about to commit seppuku. Run into your apartment, drop the dog off, look for cleaning materials that you donâ€™t have.
3.Leave your apartment carrying a roll of paper towels, Windex, and dish soap because youâ€™re 24 years old and thatâ€™s all you have.
4.Call the elevator again, wait for it to come back up. Enter the elevator, it smells like wheat, oh my god, it smells like wheat.
5.Wish you had committed ritualistic suicide as Step 2 implies.
6.Alternate between wiping up the floor and frantically jamming the â€śdoor openâ€ť button. Hopping between two, comically small, comically far-away spots that arenâ€™t covered in pee.
7.Apparently, when you jam the â€śdoor openâ€ť button for too long the elevator enters â€śemergency mode.â€ť In all fairness, the elevatorâ€™s assessment of the situation isnâ€™t wrong, itâ€™s just not helping.
8.Ride the elevator back to the lobby, explaining to the fire marshal over the intercom that emergency intervention isnâ€™t necessary at this exact moment, but that a crisis councilor may be required in the immediate future.
9.Ride the elevator for 20 minutes, spraying Windex on the floor. Experience the most unpleasant high of your life from Windex and ammonia inhalation.
10.Return to your floor, not sure if youâ€™re crying because your eyes sting or because this is not how you imagined your life turning out.
11.Sleep on the couch for three hours in the middle of the afternoon. Return to the elevator later to realize someone elseâ€™s dog has peed on the floor and they didnâ€™t bother cleaning it up.
12.Optional but not recommended: die.
When I first took the dog, I had hoped maybe, at the very least, a cute girl might stop and ask to pet him while I was walking him. Instead he scanned the sidewalks of Hollywood Blvd. quadrant by quadrant, in grid-like formation looking for garbage to eat. In another life he would have made an impressive bomb-sniffing dog as heâ€™s incredibly meticulous. If youâ€™ve never known the joy of separating a feral dog from a discarded diaper on Hollywood Blvd., trust me, your time could be better spent. The one time a girl did stop and ask to pet him the interaction went as follows:
Girl: â€śAw, heâ€™s so cute! Can I pet him?â€ť
Girl reaches down to pet him, lightly placing the palm of her hand on his forehead
Dog: Immediately begins gagging and expels a steady stream of actual garbage onto the floor. The sound resembles a combination of sneezing, coughing, soup bubbling over in the pan, and phlegm being caught in the back of your throat. Thankfully it is slightly muffled by the sounds of the girl screaming as her shoes are covered by wet balls of newspaper, a Carlâ€™s Junior wrapper, a ketchup packet, and other, less identifiable trash.
Girl: Oh My God! Whatâ€™s wrong with your dog?
This playlist is available on Spotify. Search â€śLong Distance Listening Partyâ€ť or my user name, Mileserickson-354.
Long Distance Listening Party
Punk Rocker, TeddyBears, Iggy Pop
The Only One, The Dolly Rocker Movement
A Tip From You To Me, Jack White
Lady of the Ark, Kyle Craft
Trouble (Bonus Track), Girl Ray
Lust for Life, Girls
The Ecstasy Once Told, The Dolly Rocker Movement
Foxes, Midnight Sister
Punk Rocker, TeddyBears, Iggy Pop. This song is essentially the spiritual predecessor to Gorillaz
â€śSome Kind of Nature,â€ť which you may recall as being the first song ever featured on this playlist. The formula is as follows: writing a poppy, electronic, modern alt rock song and then hiring an old punk rock singer, whose style of singing is totally at odds with the instrumental, to sing the lyrics. It worked very well for the Gorillaz, and it works here to a lesser extent. I think in the case of Gorillaz, Damon Albarn knew how to utilize Lou Reedâ€™s vocals to greater success. The production on â€śSome Kind of Natureâ€ť leans into Reedâ€™s Robotic, slam poetry style of singing. Whereas in â€śPunk Rocker,â€ť I wouldnâ€™t be surprised if Teddy Bears had finalized the instrumental before Iggy Pop even saw the inside of a studio booth.
Lady of the Ark, Kyle Craft. My first impression of this album was that, judging by the cover, I genuinely thought it was a Final Fantasy soundtrack, because Kyle Craft has hair like an animĂ© character, which I guess could be a compliment if youâ€™re a fan of that kind of thing. The sleeveless jacket/vest doesnâ€™t help, though I should specify this song is decidedly un-Japanese, despite the artistâ€™s appearance. Heâ€™s definitely going for that Edward Sharp brand of Folk Americana. This weekâ€™s playlist is full of 2010s/2020s songs that sound like â€™70s songs and â€śLady of the Arkâ€ť is no exception. Although, where â€śTroubleâ€ť feels straight out of 1979-1983, I imagine â€śLady of the Arkâ€ť would also feel at home on an early 2010â€™s alternative station with â€śOf Mice and Menâ€ť and Group Love.
The Ecstasy Once Told, The Dolly Rocker Movement. While â€śThe Only Oneâ€ť feels like a sort of jam band take on artists like Ween or David Bowie, â€śThe Ecstasy Once Toldâ€ť is an attempt to tackle Ennio Morriconeâ€™s classic theme for The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. Using the themeâ€™s melody as a sort of sample in this alt rock, Grateful-Dead-y reimagining, itâ€™s not as good as â€śThe Only One,â€ť the standout of the album. I donâ€™t think this song is trying to be anything more than the kind of gimmick songs popularized in the time period of the original movieâ€™s release. The film Space Oddity comes to mind.
Foxes, Midnight Sister. â€śFoxesâ€ť sounds like the kind of song that belongs as a B-Side on an Elton John record. It sounds so much like an Elton John song that I actually googled it to make sure it wasnâ€™t a cover. Itâ€™s good. I like songs where you can tell just from listening to it that the piece was recorded somewhat ironically.
Miles Erickson is a recent graduate of CalArts, published author, and currently enrolled in a prestigious, four-year, student loan repayment program. Long Distance Listening Partyâ€™s vague intention is to discuss topics framed in the context of what Iâ€™m currently listening to.