December 18, 2006

A Play A Day #249


Cray (early forties)
Eddie (late twenties)

Setting: Office space, two cubicles open to audience with four-foot wall between them, both Eddie and Cray's computers are along the four-foot wall, they sit at their computers, Eddie is stage right, it is his computer playing the music throughout the play. Each song must be as indicated. Eddie and Cray's dialogue takes place through the wall, unless otherwise indicated.

Cray: Toots!

Eddie: Yeah, and the Maytals, song's called...

C: "Gee Whiz". Yeah, used to listen to this when I lived on the island, course everything Toots did was gospel down there.... ahh... something else, Eddie, too many bad memories... Jamaica and I just didn't get along after the third arrest...

E: Alright... (computer business while he selects a new song) There.

C: (immediately) Ween... nice... "Nicole"... these guys were so high... all the time.

E: Yeah, that's what I've read.

C: Dude, that's what I did! I must've huffed the nitrous and Scotchguard with Gene and Dean about a dozen times.

E: Really?!

C: Oh yeah. Those guys could ingest so much shit. Amazing... ahh, this song gets boring. Sooo long... truly gone, those boys were.

E: (changing song) Here.

C: The Tupelo... beautiful.

E: Oh yeah, I love this song.

C: Well, "New Madrid" is okay, "Anodyne" is a good album, but nothing tops the raw energy of their first album.

E: Oh... I don't have that.

C: I'll have to bring it in for you sometime. You got a reel-to-reel?

E: A what?

C: A reel-to-reel.

E: A reel-to-reel?

C: (standing up, looking over partition) You know, like a giant cassette player for full-size reel of audio tape... you thread the tape, feed it through the head, tighten it up, press play.

E: I don't even have a cassette player.

C: Too bad, 'cause I've only got the master tapes for "No Depression" in reel-to-reel, that's how they made them 'til the mid-90s, you'd need a reel-to-reel.

E: What!? You have the masters of an Uncle Tupelo album?!

C: Yeah, but just one album. (sits down) That's the only one I had time to help out on.

E: Holy shit, Cray.

C: Needless to say, I've listened to this stuff enough... next...

E: (stunned, selects new song) O... okay.

C: Wait, this is... Bl'ast! Second album, killer song... "It's In My Blood".

E: Yeah... it's the title track. How do you know all this? I mean this album probably sold five thousand copies, max.

C: Actually, I believe it did reach ten thousand... sort of the revisionist skater thrashers of the later eighties...

E: Damn... (selects new track, a game ensues)

C: Yeah, The French Kicks, "Oh Fine", love the sixties soul thing he tries to get to, not quite though...

E: That's a fairly new album... (selects again)

C: Wow... Dashiell Hedayat... haven't heard him since... wow... late seventies, I'd guess, this is one of his solo pieces... no, no... the group is backing him up, yeah that's definitely Gong... "Long Song For Zelda", you can hear David Allen's signature guitar work.

E: Unbelievable.... (new song selected)

C: (immediately) Dungen... "Lejonet and Kulan"... you know I think the world has heard enough of this... it's almost becoming trite now...

E: Jesus... (new music selected)

C: Ravi Shankar... the master... no mistaking that sitar... "Morning Love"... great track...

E: What are you? Where are you coming from? (new track selected)

C: Oh yeah, Spectrum's cover of "Santa Claus" by The Sonics. Loved 'em both, once upon a once.

E: Bam! (new track)

C: Dead Boys, "Sonic Reducer"...

E: Bam! (new track)

C: Aphex Twin, "Bummy" live version, 1997... Denver, I think...

E: Bam! (new track)

C: Cramps, "Teenage Werewolf"...

E: Bam! (new track)

C: Boards of Canada, "One Very Important Thought"...

E: Bam! (new track)

C: "Slumberyard" by Hammerhead. I remember once when I was...

E: Bam! (new track)

C: Bowie, "Five Years". Duh.

E: Shit, sorry, no challenge there... okay... now! (new track)

C: "Raining Men" by The Weathergirls, again, duh.

E: Sorry again, go! (new track)

C: "The Things You Love", by David Brusie. Love his work.

E: But no one's even heard of him...

C: Really?

E: No.

C: Hmmmm.... weird, I thought, you know, Brusie, everyone must know...

E: Again! (new track)

C: Huh... oh yeah, J-Live, "Braggin' Rights", not his strongest, but...

E: Now! (new track)

C: "Raging Red" by Dear Leader... awesome anthemic rock song.

E: Okay... I give up... (stands up) they told me down in HR that you were interesting, but I never knew that one person could know so much about music.

C: Well...

E: Why aren't you, like... a rock critic or something.

C: That wouldn't work.

E: What do you mean, I've been randomly selecting songs for the past couple minutes and you know all of them almost instantly, song titles, artists, albums, the years... number of copies sold... are you... ummm... what's that guy, from the movies... the, uhhh... what was his...

C: Rainman?

E: Yeah! Wait! How'd you get that when I didn't even finish the question?

C: Figured that's where you were going with it.

E: You're like that guy... Rainman. I mean you're a technical writer, why don't you use your writing ability to be a rock critic or something like that?

C: Already told you that wouldn't work.

E: Why not?

C: (stands up) Because I hate writing.

E: But... you're a technical writer.

C: Exactly, if you really liked writing why would you just produce this crap all day?

E: Well, it's writing...

C: Technically, yes. But, spiritually, emotionally, creatively... no.

E: Well, you could still write about music, right?

C: If I liked writing, doing this job would kill me. So, no, I couldn't write about music, because I still don't like writing.

E: But the music would carry you through that problem...

C: No, because I don't like writing, and I like music even less.

E: What!!?

C: Can't stand it.

E: No... stop lying, Cray...

C: I'm not lying. I don't like music, at all.

E: And you expect me to believe that after what I just witnessed here?

C: Yes. Why wouldn't you?

E: Jeez, I don't know, could be because you know just about any song that I randomly select from my collection; a collection that has so much miscellaneous and hastily downloaded shit in it that I think I'd be lucky to name one-third of it by ear. Hell, one-quarter even.

C: Well, I don't like music.

E: Arrgghh! Not possible.

C: I don't, but I love songs.

E: Ahhh... no you don't... same fucking thing, Cray... same damn thing... songs and music.

C: They're not. I know songs, I listen, I memorize them, but I don't know music... just songs.

E: Well, you don't have to understand music to love it.

C: I do.

E: A little kid might not know what a rainbow is, but he can still love it.

C: No, he loves the image of the rainbow, but he doesn't understand the rainbow, so his love is superficial and fleeting.

E: Ah... come on, he understands that he loves the pretty thing in the sky after the storm, he doesn't need to understand it to love it.

C: I do... music confuses me, it's amorphous, undefined, until you arrange it in a song... then, I memorize them... I listen to songs, not music.

E: But songs ARE music!

C: They are OF music, Eddie. Big difference.

E: No. No difference.

C: A rainbow is not a storm, but it is usually of a storm.

E: But then how do you enjoy the beat, the rhythm, the melody, the tempo.

C: They are only of music, too.

E: This is... rather ridiculous... you know that, don't you.

C: I guess I can see why you might be confused.

E: Confused? That's an understatement. Here you are, some sort of musical genius...

C: (correcting) Song...

E: Whatever, song genius, and you tell me you hate music.

C: Sorry, but it's true.

E: How do you get any enjoyment out of the song without enjoying the underlying music?

C: Lyrics, stories in my head, imagery, knowing that it has a beginning, middle and end. All those things bring me satisfaction.

E: Shit, you're amazing... I need the music... I love the music. Without the music, you know, without the music, I... I can't get no satisfaction.

C: Any.

E: Hmm?

C: I can't get any satisfaction.

E: Very funny. No, I was just using the Rolling Stones song...

C: (genuinely confused) Who?

(lights out)


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