A friend and I were loafing around and trying to decide whether to go see “Joker” on Sunday, because, I don’t know, why not?
If you want my thoughts on it, fine. It offered an excellent portrayal by Joaquin Phoenix of a mentally ill man but was, unfortunately, directed by the guy who made The Hangovers One through Three. Too bad.
Anyway, forget about “Joker.” While my friend and I, both anxious, indecisive people, pondered our movie options, the algorithm on YouTube in all its glory randomly put on a band called The Sound. My life will never be the same.
The album, “Jeopardy,” reminded me of Joy Division, a band I’ve been greedily consuming all summer. So that’s probably why YouTube blessed me with The Sound. Even the album cover, a black and white drawing of a man and woman, the man blindfolded and the woman eyeing something unseen suspiciously, is mesmerizing.
And the music is lovely, definitely in the vein of Joy Division, music for moody bastards like me. But I’m going to go ahead and say this: It’s better. It’s catchy and dynamically rich. The guitars lines are impishly minimalist. The synthesizer lines are hypnotic and insist on your attention. The lyrics are dark and I’m pretty sure, “I Can’t Escape Myself” is my new theme song.
After the movie, I came home, listened to “Jeopardy” again and knew I had to have it.
After a professional meeting on Monday morning, I was feeling nervous, because I’m terribly agoraphobic and being in new places and meeting new people fills me with flashes of extreme dread. I often text loved ones and demand they tell me everything is OK. It usually is.
Since I was in Denver, I hit up a record shop to find a copy of the CD. Alas, no dice at the first one. I had an assignment to start and I planned on writing a column about the Joker movie. This column. I was beginning to get anxious. Although Monday is my day off from my day job as a pastry maker, I felt guilty for wasting time in record shops.
But I’d identified my White Whale for the week and it was “Jeopardy” by The Sound. I turned my truck around and blazed a trail north to another record store.
Goddamnit, they didn’t have it there, either. Sure, I can get it online, but that’s no fun. Defeated, I turned west and headed for Arvada and home.
Inspiration seized me, and I said, “Screw it, you are about to pass Wax Trax Records. Stop and take a look.”
Not only did they have the album, the tab on the shelf said this: “Brilliant early 1980s U.K. Post-Punk. And! A huge favorite of everyone who worked here circa 1980-1982!” The CD was affixed with a piece of scotch tape that read: “Their Godlike Debut! Loved by all at Wax Trax!”
The woman behind the counter said it is a great album and called out to another employee who agreed. I marched triumphantly to my truck, slid the CD into the player and floated home.
Call me emotionally needy, but I love the tacit approval of independent record store employees.