Friday, March 10, 2006

In The Stills of the night.

The drinks were free at the Strut magazine party last night, until 8:30 PM at least. And by then I had had enough to drink that I was willing to buy a few more even though it involved standing in one line to buy poker chips and then standing in another to trade them in for the actual vodka and oranges. (Is that what they call screwdrivers?)

Strut was a Montreal-based magazine, but now it is a Toronto-based magazine. I once was a Montreal-based human, but now am a Toronto-based one. I suppose that's why I decided to go to this party, even though I don't usually go in for the fashion magazine crowd (too fashionable) or the indie rock crowd (too fashionable). The indie rock crowd was there (at The Church, this place on Queen East is called) because The Stills were going to be playing. The Stills were a Montreal-based band, but they are now a New-York-based band.

Anyway, there were a lot of people who looked familiar at this party (read: promotional event). One said to me, "It's such a McGill crowd!" It was true. Soon enough, I was on the back fire escape with a few alumni. I could see some flashing lights in the distance through the rising smoke, but I couldn't tell what they were no matter how hard I squinted.

Back inside, there was a man in a suit with my friend Amy. He was leaning in, the way drunk people do and it was funny. He asked her if she wanted to come to meet The Stills. "I'm a friend of the owner," he said. And she said we'd like to, yes, we'd like to meet the band.

And so I followed. We went down a staircase and through the basement and then outside through the garden and then into the green room. There was a table full of drinks and I wondered if I should have another. The table also had fruit on it, but bananas were all that were left and you should never eat bananas in mixed company. The Stills were there too. Not on the table. In the room around us, I mean.

We were there for only a minute -- it felt like just a minute -- before someone came to inform us that it was time for the band to go on. We all marched out single file and for a moment I thought, "Maybe I'm about to go on stage with the band. Maybe I'm a member of a rock band."

I stopped marching to consider this. The lead singer and guitarist of The Stills went around me and did a double take. "Hey, I went to high school with you," he said.

"Yes," I agreed.

Did I?

The fellow -- his name I have since learned through the Internet is Tim Fletcher -- did look familiar. As did Dave Hamelin, the other singer and guitarist.

(I don't have my old yearbooks with me... Anders? Lindsay? Can you look that up for me?)

My rock-star story doesn't have a particularly exciting end. I followed my friend and the guy in the suit and the band to the back of the stage. The Stills swore in French to get pumped before facing the crowd. "Ostie de crise," they yelled at 10:38 p.m. (I wrote this down in my notebook, though I wasn't actually on assignment.)

I ended up back upstairs, but spent most of The Stills' set looking for someone I had lost in the crowd. I guess I should download their album now, though. Legally, I mean.

Wait a second... The Stills didn't used to be the ska band The Undercovers, did they? Goodness gracious. I'm just having a flashback to skanking it up in grade 8 or 9.

Time keeps on ticking into the future, doesn't it?

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