One of the benefits of living with two people who work for record labels is all the CMJ shows you get into. Last week was exhausting but awesome, and I didn’t even see a fourth of the shows my roommates did, but I did get to see a lot of great bands, including The Hold Steady, who always fucking rock, as well as my favorite new band, The Arcade Fire, who are sort of like gorgeous sepia-toned undertaker rock, or maybe Neutral Milk Hotel if they rocked harder and had a cute girl and Napoleon Dynamite in the band. I cannot impart to you enough how quickly you need to get this album, even though you probably can’t, because even though it just came out last month, they’ve already sold out, and Merge has to press new albums. Seriously! Record of the year! It’s all I’ve listened to since September and I still can’t stop. Find it, somehow, and then go see them live, because it’s somehow a thousand times better than the album, which shouldn’t even be possible in a universe governed by God or mathematics or whatever.
While at show, I was standing by the bar talking to my roommate Caroline, and then a totally surreal thing happened: this guy talking to her said, “I’m sorry, but are you Sarah Brown?” and then he shook my hand because he recognized me from my website. This is so insane to me. It’s only happened once before, when I was shopping at Target, and this guy (hi Dominic!) stopped me and said, “You look so familiar! Do I know you?” I was immediately wary, because even though he looked normal, complete strangers who approach you with questions typically want to turn you on to Jesus or hit on you or ask for money, but then he said, “I know where I know you from! I know you from the internet!” and I just stood there with my arms outstretched like a robot, laden with plastic hangers, because my roommate was a few aisles over with the cart, and said something awesome like, “Oh, hey! I’m just… buying… hangers.”
Anyway, I’m relieved to say that the only times this has happened, the people I’ve encountered have been nothing but cool, inviting me to parties and buying me beers. The guy I met Saturday, Jared (hi Jared!), was a total sweetheart and we talked for a good 30 or 40 minutes about architecture and baseball and beards. And then, in another twist of what the fuck, his girlfriend came over to us, and she was Christina from Merge, and she said “Sarah Brown? Why do I know that name?” and it turned out she knew Joey, my college boyfriend. AND EVEN WEIRDER, when I was at this same CMJ party last year, I met ANOTHER GUY who knew Joey! I swear to God, the longer I live here, the tinier the world gets, but as long as it keeps buying me beers, it’s okay by me.