The Worst Band Ever (?) - White Fang at the O.C. Observatory
It was when the fifth person turned around to stare at me that I realized that maybe it wasn't supposed to be funny.
It had been one of *those* homeschool days: those days when your kid tries to argue his way out of wrong notes on the piano, when your mom's nervous rescue-dog pees in the hallway because the parrot squawked too loudly, when the boys can't be left alone for 2 minutes without starting a fight.
So when the lead singer of the supposed band-of-adults White Fang started his show by pantomiming a pouty phone conversation: "Hey Mom, you can keep talking but I'm not listening! You keep talking! I'm not listening!" before busting into a song whose raucous chorus morphed from "You keep talking, I'm not listening" to "Bongs and Homework - I want to tear them up! Tear them up!" I couldn't really help but laugh so hard, I cried. Here it was, all of the absurd teenage emotion, angry escapism, nebulous angst.
Except, I was the only one laughing.
People were smiling, drinking, headbanging. But I was the only one with mascara running down my face. People seemed genuinely concerned. People are nice that way.
"That excellent song was by White Fang, the best band in the world," the singer declared, "And now this next song is about skateboarding! It's about snowboarding! It's about surfing! And it's about homework! It's called Rip It Up."
Did I mention it's a chubby dude in his 30s wearing a thong?
"Think of it as performance art," my very cool friend comforted me. "He's playing a character, and that character just loves shredding it hard, ripping a bongload, talking to his mom on a landline, and then drinking Bud Light."
As Sartre would describe, here I was, having all of this freedom but no true knowledge. It left me with a feeling of existential, and literal, nausea. So I turned to Google for help, and typed in the phrase "White Fang Band Sucks" and guess what came right up? Their official page.
So they're definitely in on the joke, but I'm pretty sure the joke was on me. Still, I have to admit that there's something really infectious about all of this swagger and blatant disregard for their in-your-face awfulness.
If there is no player above, you can click here to hear a song about "thinking 'bout stuff"
Unfortunately, I couldn't find a full clip or link to their exuberant finale "Bud Light" - and yes, it's an ode to everyone's favorite Dad Beer and everyone's Dad's favorite beer. I have to admit by the end of the performance I, too, was gleefully shouting out, "Bud Light, On My Mind, Bud Light, Every Time." I immediately hated myself.
And on the other hand, I'm spending the summer elbow-deep in the depths of a PCS to rural Alabama. In the summer. And this summer, these guys are going to be ripping bongs, playing music with their friends, and playing for my sister in Madrid. In contrast, the only thing I'm looking forward to is seeing a real-life "swimming hole."