1184 – Air Guitar | Truly Forgettable Tales
Part personal essay, with a side of meanders mixed with a busker and the Purple Peoples Circus all comes together for a perfect bedtime busker benefactor.
Episode 1184 – Air Guitar | Truly Forgettable Tales
[START OF RECORDING]
SCOOTER: Friends beyond the binary, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, it’s time for the podcaster who is here…I’m sitting in…well, I’m sitting in a chair. I’m leaning in. I have my…I’m cupping both my elbows. My left hand is holding my right elbow and my right hand is holding my left elbow. Why? I don't know. It’s comforting right now. It enables me to put my…lean forward right into the mic, keep you company…I wish I had something to silly about it, but it’s so…I just did…okay, so, I just switched my position. So, now I have the old half-elbow. So, now my index finger and my thumb are holding onto the middle of my elbow…either side of my elbow. Thanks, descriptive brain. So, now they’re cupping the end of my forearms near my elbow. That’s the kind of details that make up a sleep podcast.
If you’re confused…usually they’re a little bit sillier and less straight details, but, oh boy, talk about inane. This is…that’s what this podcast is all about. You put your right elbow in your left hand’s palm and then you move it to the forearm…the end of the thing, and then you make a sleep podcast about it, and that’s what it’s all about. Welcome to Sleep With Me, the podcast that’s here to keep you company and take your mind off of stuff so you could fall asleep, to be your friend in the deep, dark night, your bore-friend. I’m here just to keep you company while you drift off, because you deserve a good night’s sleep. This show is not for everybody, but please give it a few tries. That’s what most listeners have said; hey, it takes two or three tries to get used to. The show’s pretty different. But I’m so glad you’re here.
I really hope I can help, 'cause I’ve been there, tossing, turning, mind racing, trouble getting to sleep, trouble staying asleep, dreading bedtime. Now, structurally what we got coming up; support — that’s how the show comes out free twice a week — then there will be a long, meandering intro meant to ease you into bedtime, and then there will be a bedtime story. Don’t even know what the bedtime story will be about yet. That’s exciting for me, but for you…you say, yeah, it’s not that…it’s not…obviously not that important. I could sleep through it or I could listen to it or I could kinda do something in-between. So, welcome to Sleep With Me, the podcast that puts you to sleep. Thanks for making it possible, my patron peeps.
INTRO: [INTRO MUSIC] Hey, are you up all night tossing, turning, mind racing? Trouble getting to sleep? Trouble staying asleep? Well, welcome. This is Sleep With Me, the podcast that puts you to sleep. We do it with a bedtime story. Alls you need to do is get in bed, turn out the lights, and press Play. I’m gonna do the rest. What I’m going to attempt to do is create a safe place where you could set aside whatever’s keeping you awake. It could be things on your mind, thoughts, thoughts about the past, the present, the future, thinking thoughts…or, you know…I don't know, thoughts; they’re there. Thoughts, it could be physical sensations, it could be feelings related to those thoughts or physical sensations or feelings that are just there. It could be changes in time, temperature, routine.
You could be having…dealing with something, going through something, you could be anticipating something or you could be getting over something, or all of those things. You could have something coming up, you could be on the road, you could have guests. Maybe you work a second or a third shift, or…shout-out to those fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth shifts, because holy cow, talk about…the eleventh shift; I guess that does…the eleventh hour, so that does get some love. What about the seventh shift? Is that the lucky shift? You say, oh boy, I would have preferred…and you say, Scoots, again, there’s only…we max out at four shifts; A, B, C, and D. I’d say, well, as far as I’m aware of, there could be…do you really want to get into this in the middle of the beginning of a sleep podcast intro, brain?
I got some contrarian part of my brain that wants to drop shift facts on me. I guess…or maybe I’m the contrarian. I say, well, okay, so, there’s twenty-four hours in a day, right? Okay, yes. Okay, so that’s twenty-four possible shifts. My brain would say, okay, can you give me an example? Sure; 12:00 to 8:00. That’s a shift right there. So, there’s two of them; 12:00 AM to 8:00 AM, 12:00 AM to 12:00 PM, or…you know, whatever. I’m not good at math. So, that’s twenty-four possible shifts right there. Then you have the half…the old…again, I’m not talking about the Hollywood shifts or even the ones that are bathed in…those shifts we have nostalgia for, like working the night shift, baby. That was probably the third shift, right? But I’m talking about the shifts that get no love, because there’s somebody out there working that.
They say, actually, finally. I didn’t think I would like this podcast or you, but I do work from 7:30 PM ‘til, whatever…let’s do some math. Talk about putting people to sleep. Okay, but you don’t…you’ll get a half-hour paid break, so that’s 8:00 PM, and a half-hour unpaid. That’s just my jobs that I’ve been used to. So, that’s eight. So you have to work seven and a half hours. Oh boy, so, this is gonna be…okay, so let’s just pretend we gotta work eight-and-a-half hours. Is that right? My math off? Always is off. Okay, wait, where did I mess up? Oh, so you get thirty minutes where you don’t have to work, but you also have to work a extra half-hour. So, that’s 7:30 to 8:00. Eight plus eight is sixteen, which doesn’t work with a clock. So, you got 9:00, 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, then that’s lunch, 12:00 AM, and then four more hours is 4:00 AM.
So, yeah, 7:30 to 4:00 AM shift; finally. Then somebody else says, actually, we have a paid…so, I work 7:00…or 8:00 to 4:00, or 7:00 to…you know. Oh, boy. Those two — once upon a time in my imagination — then connected, and they didn’t fall in love, but they became very good friends. Is this the beginning…? Oh, thoughts. Whatever’s keeping you awake; that’s what I was talking about. What I’ll do is I’m gonna send my voice across the deep, dark night. I’m gonna use lulling, soothing tones…lulling, soothing, creaky, dulcet tones, though…pointless meanders and…'cause I thought I…part of my brain said, did you just say luling? Not…or luling? Not lulling. That’s where that…that’s why I got mixed up. Lulling, soothing, creaky, dulcet tones, pointless meanders, and superfluous tangents.
What that means is my voice is not traditionally soothing, but it is a friendly voice in the deep, dark night that you don’t have to listen to, and I’ll go off topic as I just did. That’s pointless meanders and superfluous tangents, and I’ll talk about subjects that people never thought they needed…except at conferences. You’d say, oh yeah, we’re in payroll, so we get it. Well, now it’s all automated, but once upon…my grandfather used to talk about this stuff around the dinner table. You’d say, grandpapa, how was your day? Oh boy, ever since this person time-traveled to invent multiple shifts…they said it would increase our efficiency, but it’s created so much work for me. They called it limitless shifts. Really, it was only twenty-four…well, first it was only twenty-four shifts, then…I don't know how they got the attention of our boss.
They said that one day they would make a sleep podcast about it, but I don’t buy it. Grandpa, I agree with you, but…so, they…first they had twenty-four shifts, then they said, go to the half-hour. That’d be forty-eight. Then they said they didn’t think they could count higher than that, but what they could do is…they said, then they will add both of the fifteens. They knew they could round up to fifty, which would be a hundred, and then minus four…ninety-six shifts; that’s what we’re dealing with now. Our boss said, why don’t we roll it out to…we might as well make it an even one hundred. According to old Scoots, that’s what we should do. Then he said, one person each month will get to work the hundred-and-first shift, and they’ll go into work.
When they say that, they’ll say it in a rock-and-roll eighties hair band voice that you can’t do on a sleep podcast, but they’ll say, I’m the hundred-and-first shift, with their voice going up and pretending they’re playing air…well, I guess you can’t pretend to play air guitar, can you? There’s a whole ‘nother tangent. I don't know, maybe that’ll be…tonight’s episode will be about, is pretend air guitar, 'cause that’s something that’s…doesn’t make any sense. But, okay, so, what was…? Oh, what was my point that I got mix…? Oh, pointless meanders and superfluous tangents. So, I’m gonna go off-topic, I’m gonna get mixed up, all to keep you company and take your mind off of stuff. These are a few of the things…well, let me tell you why I make the show, then I’ll tell you some of the downsides to the podcast, or the things that take some getting used to.
I make this show for two reasons that I said upfront. One, I’ve been there in the deep, dark night; tossing, turning, mind racing, trouble getting to sleep, trouble staying asleep. So, I know how it feels. I might not know exactly what you’re going through but I could probably relate, and if I can’t, there’s probably thousands of people listening that might be going through something similar and that can relate to how it feels, and a lot of them right now are like, yeah, I know how that feels. It’s tough. Even if it’s something that everybody else would say, that’s not really that big a deal, you’d say, well, okay, great; thanks for…but in Sleep With Me world, people would say, yeah, that is. That’s tough, and if it gets in the way of you getting a good night’s sleep, that sucks. So, that’s one of the reasons I make the show.
The other reason is — to go along with that — I believe you do deserve a good night’s sleep, and you do deserve a bedtime you could feel neutral about or look forward to that you don’t dread, a bedtime…you say, hey, I got that going for me. At least I got old Scoots out there who’s gonna keep me company and take my mind off of stuff, so I’m happy about that. So, that’s one of the reasons I make the show, or those are the reasons I make the show. In the end, if you get the sleep you need and your life is more manageable, your life’s gonna be better, and that’s important to me. I mean, it really is. I can also relate to how it feels when your life isn’t going better and you don’t…you’re not getting the sleep you need. So, that’s why I make the show.
But the things that are different about the show; one is that it’s a podcast you just kinda barely listen to, which…it’s just…it’s not…it’s like elevated background noise that you say, well, okay, I can kinda tune into what you’re saying, but you don’t have to pay attention. Just like I’m out of focus or you’re trying to hold onto beach sand and it’s slipping through your fingers. This is also a podcast that doesn’t put you to sleep, believe it or not. I’m here to keep you company. There is no pressure to fall asleep. That’s why the shows are over an hour, because I’m here to be your bore-friend, your bore-bae, your bore-sib, your bore-bud, your bore-bestie, your neigh-bore, your bore-bor, your bore-bruh, your bore…how about boredy? Is that a thing? I don't know what it would be.
But you say, old Boredy; there’s old Boredy coming to town. There’s my Boredy. It does sound like a…what is that called? Not a pet name, but I guess it would…you say, oh, you’re my Boredy, my sweet, sweet Boredy. I guess if we were making…if there was…whatever era came after the silent pictures and they had music in it, there would be a song about old Boredy. I guess it wouldn’t be me because I’d picture Boredy as someone that’s extroverted and charming. But I’m not…that’s not my job. I’m here not to be listened to and not to put you to sleep, but to be your friend in the deep, dark night. If you can’t sleep, I’m here, 'cause I’m here for you. There’s people listening who can’t sleep or who need a break during the day, and that’s what works about the show.
I’m here to the very end whether you’re awake or asleep, whether you’re listening or not. We’re all in it together and we’re all keeping each other company, in some sense, in some strange, digital sense, because I know there’s a part of me that’s saying, oh boy. So, those are a couple things to know. The other things that throw people off…one, this podcast, it does defy logic. It’s very low on logic, so not…even though I think…I mean, I don't know if Spock would like the show. I think Spock would probably appreciate it, but be like, yeah, no, I don’t listen, but…or Data would say, oh yeah, I use it when I have to challenge my…whatever, my positronic matrix needs a little challenge. I try to actually figure…I actually try to fix your podcast.
That’s how I warm up my…when my positronic matrix drops below 47 Kelvin…which isn’t a temperature, by the way, Scooter. Data is a android on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Data says, yeah, I try to complete your thoughts. It does warm my positronic matrix right up, which is also a love song we were gonna write together, the…about positronic brains and matrices, but it never happened 'cause it was another thing…imaginary thing I procrastinated on. Oh, but so…what was I saying? Oh, this podcast, it doesn’t really make a lot of sense. When you first get here, you might have had some expectations. You might be skeptical or doubtful, and I honestly say bravo, 'cause that’s how I would get to this show. Now I’d be like, what are you going on…? I thought this was a sleep podcast with some sort of Zen stuff.
Or is this gonna be relaxing? I say, kind of. Mostly relaxing 'cause you got a friend who’s just talking to you to keep you company, but not in a sense of…not traditionally soothing, like I said. So, it does take some getting used to. That’s just what a million people have told me over the years. I made this show ten years…easily…yeah, 100,000 people a year said, yeah, I didn’t like you at all at first, and then I gave it a few tries and then…oh, okay, the podcast will never make any logic. I mean, I’m trying to put some logical things together. I’m just…it’s just not my skill set. I said, is this…what is this thing at? Can you reuse a wrench you get at IKEA? They say, not for a…not for our particle collider, sir. I say, well, I brought fourteen of them in a bag, in a Ziploc bag. Can’t you let me in today?
They’d say, once again…also, I have a bunch of wooden dowels. I don't know why I had them left over. But so, I have a bunch of…they’re…I think they’re called hex wrenches, and then wooden dowels. So, I mean, I’m definitely gonna be an asset here at this part…this is a particle accelerator, sir. Exactly; I think if we accelerate these things…what if…here’s the thing; what if IKEA’s wooden dowels were hex dowels? Oh, I should move on with my sleep podcast. Okay. So, yeah, when you get here, it just takes some getting used to because this show…other than friends you would call, there’s not really a podcast where you say, oh, okay, I’m just gonna call you and you’re…okay. It takes a while to get used to that fact. Also, I’m not everybody’s cup of tea, so if you already loathe me, remember, there’s sleepwithmepodcast.com/nothankyou, which has tons of other sleepy stuff on there, other sleep podcasts you could check out.
The structure also throws people off, but it’s a very intentional structure. It starts off with a greeting; friends beyond the binary, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, so you feel seen and welcome, then there’s support so the show could come out free twice a week, and then there’s a long, meandering intro, which we’re about fifteen minutes into. It’s usually fifteen to twenty minutes long where I just kinda go on and on and on and I try to introduce the podcast. It’s different every time for regular listeners so you can’t quite adjust, or whatever parts of you are keeping you up…and you have something new to look forward to. You say, okay, I have no idea what Scoots is gonna be talking about tonight. So, that’s part of the intro, but the other part of the intro is that it eases you into bedtime.
The intro does not necessarily put very many people to sleep. Maybe 2% or 3% of the audience falls asleep. 2% of people skip it, and then some people pay to listen to all-intro episodes, and some people pay to listen to story-only episodes. But for most listeners, the intro is part of their wind-down routine. It’s the twilight of the podcast or the landing strip where you could be getting ready for bed, you could be doing a chill activity, or you could be in bed getting comfortable, because that’s just what’s been shown to work and what has worked for me personally, is having a little bit of a wind-down routine, and that’s what the intro does. Also, it’s just a potpourri; you never know what I’m gonna get mixed up about and go off topic…I already forgot the first two things I got distracted by, and that was before I showed up at a particle collider with my…I don't even know what metaphor I was trying to make there, but I said…I don't know, was I writing…?
I also wrote a love song with Data about positronic brains. So, there’s always something to look forward to barely listening to in the intros. Then there’s support, again, so the show could be free. Paying for it’s optional. Then there’s a bedtime story and thank-yous. So, that’s the structure of the show. I told you why I make the show. I love making the show. I gotta tell you. I’m so honored to try to put you to sleep if I can, because for the people that listen to the show, thank you so much. But the main message I hear is, I had no idea I was looking for something like this, and I’m so glad I found it. So, that, by definition, means, yeah, it’s not gonna be for everybody. But for the people it helps, it really helps, and I really hope you feel part of, because I’m so glad I get to do this for you. You know why, 'cause I’ve been there, too. But we’re also just a bit different. So, we get to embrace that here. So, I’m glad you’re here. I work really hard. I yearn and I strive. I really want to help you fall asleep. Thanks again for coming by, and here’s a couple ways I’m able to do it for you for free twice a week.
Alright everybody, Scoots here. You kinda heard me talk about it in the intro, but I guess while I was making the intro, I didn’t realize that the tale…I had a untold tale that I had forgotten about that we could tell related to the intro, which I vaguely remember as…well, I guess I could check. I did leave a voicemail for myself, or a voice…I voice-messaged myself. Let’s see if I can find it. I’m gonna listen to it. It’s only six seconds long. I’ll cut it out and then I’ll be back. Alright, so I said, tomorrow’s episode could be pretend air guitarist or air guitarist tribute band. But of course, then I remembered the one thing that I always forget, which are untold tales…Truly Forgettable Tales; there you go. This is a new ongoing series that’s been ongoing. Neither…it’s never…very little seriality. What do I say? Truly Forgettable Tales.
Somebody remind…can somebody please remind me of that? Maybe I’ll send myself another voicemail and then…so, those of you that have been able to see the Purple People Circus, which is not many of you…but every once in a while, truly forgettable tales come up of how people have joined this amazing circus, associated…not…I don't know if they have…they probably have appeared in the US, but not that I know of. It’s a circus. It’s the one circus…well, many circuses elude me, but this isn’t…one…this is…the Purple People Circus; it’s one elusive circus. Not a metaphor.
It’s a actual circus that’s very elusive, so, may…that’s why…so, don’t feel bad if you’ve never seen it before, but maybe you’ve slept through how they’ve met people, and maybe you’ve…like me, even though I didn’t sleep through it; I was here and then I listened to the episodes and mixed the episodes and converted the episodes and…but I don’t…I know that the last two episodes that I remember making were how they got the moose that…the juggling moose? It was a moose and a best friend, kinda like Pillow Pet, I think, like a stuffy. The moose and the stuffy. The juggling stuffy moose or something, but it was a real moose. Then the break…I think they have a break-dancer, and before…other than that, I just remember…I can just picture the founders of the Purple’s…People’s Circus, but this is backstory, so…once upon a time, there was an air guitarist, and they had a great love of air guitar.
This was before the glory day…I think…I don't think we’re in the glory days of air guitar anymore. I think right now we’re in the glory days of dancing and lip-syncing to stuff, where you do it from a waist-up shot, but maybe even those are waning. I’m sure there’s people waiting in the wings to come back and say, oh boy, am I gonna bring air guitar back. I don't know if it was the aughts or the tens or…I mean, I think there was a documentary about it. There used to be big air guitar competitions. Or it could have been a dream or an assumption I made. I don't know, maybe one of the late-night shows even had it. They said, yeah, we’re just gonna do air guitar, man. Huh, this is interesting from…not that I’m a anthropologist, because clearly…you wouldn’t confuse me with…you’d say, Scooter’s anthropology-adjacent, meaning he uses the word anthropology.
He does speculative anthro…speculative, fictional anthro…speculative…oh yeah, I’m writing some spec-fic, man. Oh yeah? What are you working…? Well, it’s speculative, fictional anthropology. Oh, wow. So, which genre? Oh, well, I was just wondering…I kinda forgot. I was trying to make a metaphor, then I forgot what I was talking about. No, but I was wondering…I don't actually have the wherewithal to do it, but I’m just wondering if the great air guitar…I don't know if…I think it was the first…I don't know if there was a Renaissance, because I think it was just the high point of air guitar. Was it before Guitar Hero or after? I have literally no idea. Guitar Hero is interesting to me because it shows…not to go off topic early, but how…so, okay, so let me set this up for everybody and define these words, because not everybody’s coming from the same place.
Also, this…also, when I’m using words, of course I’m using my words, which may be different than other people. So, as far as I know, air guitar is when someone’s listening to music and they’re playing…pretending they’re pretending a guitar made out of the air. I would say there’s probably a few different ways to do air guitar. One is probably…there’s technical air guitarists, maybe. It’s different than lip-syncing in the fact that you’re not making any noise, though occasionally people will make noise, but I think that’s more of a limbic noise like our friend Antonio causes people to make, where they say, oh boy, who is…oh boy, what is that…look at that pro…whoa, look at the way that person carries themself, Antonio Banderas. That’s my normal reaction, and most people’s.
Not that he’s introduce…he’s not a part of this episode, but always an…his influence is always felt, even limbically. But there’s some people that play air guitar with a flourish, and I wouldn’t say…maybe there is a un…I don't think there’s an unlimited way to play air guitar, but there’s a lot of different takes you could do on it, like dramatic…I guess you could…it probably wouldn’t be great for a long time, but someone…well, I’m just playing folk air guitar, man. Just strumming along. They say, that sounds like a episode of Sleep…they say, it’s not quite interesting enough to be a Sleep With Me episode, but that’s a take on it. So, that’s what air guitar is, pretending to play the guitar, electric guitar. The majority of air guitar is electric guitar, so that’s one thing. You’d say, what are you playing, acoustic air guitar?
You say…or air…you can do anything, but it’s just air…electric air guitar. I don't know, a lot of NBA players have been doing what I would say air piano. Kevon Looney I just saw, but I’ve seen other players do it, too. But also, I wasn’t at the stadium and it was on mute, so I could have…it may have been…but I guess that’s…no, that’s still air guitar. You could play air guitar with music in your head or music being played out loud. I’m sure there’s a Air Guitar Society of America that would say, once…or the Global Air Guitarists; they’d say, please, please don’t mention air guitar. Stick to your knocks and your hobbies. I’d say, you’re probably right, because I went down…once upon a time, way before the podcast, back when I was not…I still…my budget was very small but my…every once in a while I had a need for machinery and hardware and software that I…and this is just…and this is kind of…talked about stuff of…when you can’t sleep.
I thought if I could get the right computer and figure it out, that everything would be okay, really. I don't know if that connection was crystal clear in my mind, but on some level, it was. I thought to myself…and I was like…this was pre-podcast days, not even making podcasts…the podcast existing. But I remember I was into RSS, so I would just read…I think I was…I don't know if I was using Google Reader first or something else, but…so, I’d just be consuming different tech news and other things on…that was one of my pastimes. Also, I thought that would fix…if I consumed enough information, then I’d be just fine. At some point I said, well, you know what’s gonna fix things is me getting one of these Mac Minis and then replacing our…and then hooking up to the TV as the monitor, and then it’ll be the hub of our household, and oh boy, is that gonna be good for everybody involved.
Don’t worry about my…about all the other things going on in our lives or my life or the way my actions are…I’m gonna get this Mac Mini and oh boy, is it gonna be great. Turns out, it didn’t work that way, but I did get the Mac Mini. I got a refurb. That’s kinda what I do, or…especially back then. So, I was watching and then I said, oh boy, this is nice specs on this refurb Mac Mini. So, that helped me justify that I was getting significant savings. Eventually the Mac Mini came and I unpacked it, got it set up. Then at some other point…and I guess…I don't know, I still don’t understand quite what went wrong. At some other point I saw a sale. Now, maybe this is where it went wrong, but I’m pretty sure it was a sale on a Guitar Hero guitar and the game, which still came on the disc.
I guess a DVD-ROM probably it was, back then, and that it was…oh, it was for the Xbox or the Xbox 360, maybe, but it came with a USB plug. Then I said to myself, oh boy, is this gonna be…is this gonna fix things? Because the living situation was…I didn’t have my daughter. Not sure if I was married or I just had…I was living with my future wife, now ex-wife, and my brother was living with us. I’m pretty sure that was the living situation. I said, you know what’s gonna totally bring joy to this household is not just the Mac Mini, which hasn’t quite brought joy to it yet, but I’m…don't worry; my fingers are still crossed that if I…that this…that…also, that then this Guitar Hero…and I mean, I know we’ve all been there. I was like, oh, just picture the nights; all three of us taking turns on Guitar Hero, and the joy it’s gonna bring.
So, I don't know…and again, I got…that was another deal. It was not refurbished, but I guess it was a package deal. Like, came with a guitar…maybe I gave it as…I excused my behavior by giving it as a gift to my brother or my wife, I think, at the time, or future…yeah, no, we were married. I was like, oh, that’ll be…so, that’ll make it okay. Not that any of this isn’t okay. Guitar…just in the context of…just where my mind was wandering to. But what…there was a little wrinkle in there, but this is a ten-minute…really, that’s not really going anywhere interesting. So, I don't even…but talk about sleepy. So then…I mean, well, one thing; the anticipation was real. I was like, I can’t wait to get behind this Guitar Hero and get…oh, Guitar Hero; I forgot I was defining things.
So, Guitar Hero…and then I think it was Band Hero or something like that as a game that now you can play on your phone, or you…it did become popular again in VR, I think. I remember playing it at my sister’s house, something similar where you were more hitting notes. But basically it was a game where you would pretend to play guitar and you would press buttons on this guitar controller that looked like an electric guitar. It had four different buttons and then a thumb…a strumming button. You would…there would be obviously a avatar on the screen and they would be fame…semi-famous or…and obviously this was early days of…oh, then you can buy other downloadable add-ons or future editions with more songs, which I probably did before I even got the game working.
Of course, this was my first…was this my first Mac? It may have been. It may have been also part of my excitement. Even though it wasn’t gonna be my main computer…'cause I said, this is it. I did; I really thought this is gonna…this was well before streaming or anything, but I thought, oh, this will be a music hub and whatever. That’s just what I thought, gaming and all that. But so…okay, so, what happened…oh, so, Guitar Hero is a game, a video game, or…I’m sure it still exists, but there’s other versions now, like Dance…why don’t they call it Dance Hero? Maybe they do. There was Dance Dance Revolution. That’s better in the arcade, though you could buy a pad for it. But Guitar Hero was cool 'cause the controller was pretty decent.
The other thing was I had this controller until I moved to this place, when I was getting ready to move to my current place, so, 2018. So, this had to be in the aughts when I did this. It had to be in the early…before…somewhere before…whatever. It was in the aughts. So, okay, so…oh, Guitar Hero is a game, basically a button-mashing game, but you’re mashing more than one button. Sometimes you gotta mash two or three at once depending on the difficulty level, hold a button…and it seemed…it looked really fun. But what happened was I booted this thing up I’m sure when the other two of them were at work, and I was like, oh boy, I’m gonna be working from home today really hard, and fixing every…don't worry; when you two get home, everything will be fixed. So, I boot up this game and there’s lag.
To this day, I was never able to figure out the lag because it was some sort of strange lag. What do I mean when I say lag? Typically, lag is when…easily seen when you’re watching some sort of video and then you’re listening to the audio and it falls out of sync, and one is lagging behind the other. Either you’re hearing the dialogue first and the video’s catching up or the video’s ahead and the dialogue’s behind. So, for Guitar Hero…I can’t remember what the lag was, to be honest with you, but it was bizarre. So, I don't think it was the music because…I guess it was the button-mashing lined up with the music with what I was seeing on screen. So, I took a game I had never play…it pretty much made it almost impossible, but of course I was not being…I was not willing to admit defeat, right?
So, I was like…I can’t remember which song, but…Take It Easy; that’s the song. It wasn’t Low Rider, but it was the song from…that was in the movie Dazed and Confused, but I don’t remember…Slow Ride; that’s different than Low Rider. So yeah, so, that was the song, 'cause it’s burned in my brain now that I brought it up. I kept at it not just that day, but I said well, I’m gonna have to put work on…what I was working for myself at the time; I said, well, I better put all work on hold and figure out this one…if I can eventually…also, I think other levels and songs were locked, maybe, but also, everything else was way more complex than this song at the easiest level, which I could not overcome because of this strange lag. Now, at the same time, I said, okay, I broke it; my…I said, okay, I’m also gonna look at…what’s the problem here?
The internet. So, I said, okay, let me get googling, search some forums and get to the bottom of this lag. Looking back at it now, I can almost guarantee the lag was processor-based. The video…there wasn’t a lag in the video but it was…this was when Apple…because I bought it refurbished, it was one or two generation processor behind, and this was just when we were getting into multi-core processors. So, I think probably…talk about a metaphor. I was one core short of what I needed, whether it was…or two cores short, because it was either dual-core and I needed a quad-core or maybe it was single-core and I needed a dual-core. I don't think they had more than quad-cores back then. Those are just the brains of the computer, the CPU. This was when…it’s cool Apple went back.
This was when Apple was still making their own processors, and then for a while they used outside processors, which created a whole ‘nother hay day, which was me kind of getting into hackintoshing. I thought I was gonna talk about air guitar, but holy cow. So, yeah, so, I just kept at it until I eventually…no one…it wouldn’t be fun for anybody else to say, hey, let’s play this game together. It’s pretty much impossible to enjoy because I can’t pin down what the problem is. But it’s some sort of microsecond delay that causes it to be impossible to accumulate points, and while whatever the delay is is consistent, it’s also…our human brain is not meant to comprehend it 'cause there’s music and there’s visuals and there’s button-pressing.
If you could train your brain to detach all those…you’d have to basically download some sort of program into your brain. Which, I mean, that’s how I beat…eventually I could score whatever the worst score was on that level and get there. I guess we’ll just talk about…we’ll do another episode about the Purple People Circus, maybe, but let’s just keep on computers for here. Let’s just see where this goes, huh? Talk about a untold tale. Or maybe this is my…maybe I’m…maybe this is my own backstory. Well, yeah, let’s go with the story; you’re right, and maybe we’ll talk about computers again, because maybe this…that is what happened. This person just happened…so, that…this is…let’s roll with it. This is live creation. Holy cow, live bedtime story creation. I’ve never directly done this, but in a parallel world…we’ll just use the parallel world theory.
But maybe in that world is a totally different person…looked nothing like me, 'cause I don’t…that’ll be easier to tell. There was someone going through this exact same thing. I mean, probably in the world there had to be…if there was enough of those games sold and enough of those Mac Minis sold…yeah, there was someone else going through it, and her name was Darlene. So, Darlene was going through the same thing, this…I would say maddening process of thinking these shiny things of technology were gonna fix things or solve things, and…but Darlene’s way of dealing with it was that…to set it all aside. For me, I said, what do you mean a car without oil can’t run? It runs just…I got no idea what you’re talking about. But Darlene was in just a different place than I was.
So, Darlene just set everything aside and said, wow, this is very frustrating. Tried it a few more times, did try to research the problem, which was elusive. It was like, huh, it could be that you’re just…it could be some sort of strange processing thing or it could be some codec, and it…but it’s a bit baffling and a bit hard to fix. Even the things I tried to fix, I don't even know if I added a delay somewhere. It didn’t work. Or maybe you had to try to overclock. Who knows? Darlene even said to herself, I’m gonna return this game and get my money back, and actually followed through on that. Said, hey, this…turns out this…I thought it said it was compatible with what I have here but it is not, so I’d like a refund. Now, luckily at the time, Darlene was supporting a local game store, so they said, okay, is store credit okay?
‘Cause we’re gonna have to sell this refurb. We’re gonna have to sell this out-of-the-box. Darlene said, great. Now, Darlene was also someone that was asking for help and they said, well, what…again, they said, okay, let’s help find you something that’s gonna work with that. Wow, you’re playing games on that. She’d say, yeah, actually, I have a couple controllers. Trying to get some emulators running. But then Darlene’s attention didn’t…eventually I’m sure that Darlene picked out a new game and stuff, but Darlene was more curious. Like, huh, I really liked certain things about that game and certain things I was anticipating about that game. In Darlene’s world, this was pre-air…hype air guitar or peak air guitar. I don't know if you could say it’s peak air guitar if it’s the first peak, though.
Though people maybe from the sixties, seventies, eighties, and nineties might say that…dude, there was other air guitar eras. Maybe there’s a air guitar historian. Let’s just see what happens, honestly. I’m just gonna search air guitar for podcasts. How do you spell guitar? G-U…oh, there is one. So, there is an official air guitar podcast. That’s weird, though; it didn’t come up. Let me just search for air guitar. Okay, well, let’s see all shows. There’s a lot of stuff that’s un-air-guitar-related that comes up. So, there’s a podcast niche that does seem to not be well-covered. Oh, our friend Hal Lublin’s podcast is one of the top ones. A wrestling podcast for max fun. So, they must have talked about air guitar on there at some point. So, anyway, if you’re thinking about starting a podcast…it could be about air guitar, which is interesting because…I guess that’s why this was a tale forgotten told.
That was one…eventually one of the things Darlene did try, is a podcast, but I’m getting ahead of myself. Because what Darlene did was…started…she immediately connected some of the feelings of playing air guitar with her memories of…what she was anticipating playing Guitar Hero was gonna be like, which I’m sure came into the design of Guitar Hero. So, Darlene just got into playing air guitar for fun, mostly to punctuate things, and it became one of Darlene’s things that her friends and coworkers would say. I think what it…Keanu…and that was…what was that movie called? Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. I think they play a lot of air…so, there you go; there’s another era of air guitar, the Bill and Ted era of air guitar. But what happened, just to catch…get a little bit…get this story progressing…Darlene also lived in a urban area.
We’ll just imagine it’s San Francisco even though it was not San Francisco. Darlene started going out and liked to go for walks and would go through tourist areas, and started to notice buskers or street performers, as they’re called in the US. But it was also Darlene’s memory of being in European cities and seeing buskers or whatever…that’s just what we Americans refer…we say…you know what I mean. I’m Americanizing it…European words. That was one of the conversations Darlene had, and they said, I’m…the person was trying to talk to her with one of those whistles in their mouths, the robot people, the shiny…you know what I’m talking about, the shiny robot people, statue people, with the zoom whistle in their mouth. So, there’s a recommendation; don’t try to have a conversation with them, especially when they’re working.
Darlene said, I wonder if there’s room in this world…this wild, wild world of buskers and street performers, to…for a air guitarist. A lot of people were territorial and so, they would dissuade Darlene for their…not for their own purposes because they didn’t know they were doing it, but really, they say, well, I find that threatening. But eventually someone’s…a magician, of course, said, you know what I think about, is the people that are painting paintings. You don’t just see them painting paintings here. Sometimes you’ll be on the beach and they’ll be painting paintings there. Darlene said, I don't follow. The magician said, well, that’s how I got into street performing. Magic isn’t…'cause this was during peak…this was around the time of peak street magic, you know.
I don't know if they ever called it Blainia, but this was early Blainia, you know; David Blaine. I think the aughts were when Blainia took…I mean, that’s when I…and I was…I had Blainia, for sure, just in case anybody’s wondering. Yeah, holy cow. But so, they said, well, that’s how I got the idea to start doing street magic. They were like, I do have Blainia, just like Scooter was saying. She said, who’s Scooter? They said, never mind. But they said, what I would…one time I just saw people doing it…painting the paintings, right? Then I start…I said, well, maybe I’ll just do…I’ll practice magic at a park, 'cause there’s so many great parks in San Francisco, like Dolores Park. Now, a lot of them…the magician actually went on a tangent and said, not a great park for most magic tricks 'cause…could be…'cause of the unpredictability of the wind.
They said, eventually I had to find parks that were a little bit more…had more tree barriers. But I was also looking for the sun because you want to be in the sun where it’s warm. They said, eventually I could find perfect times and perfect parks to do it at, and then people would start watching me as I got better at some of my tricks. I even…my learning was accelerated by trying to do the tricks in the windy parks, too, so it really helped advanced some of my close-up magic skills and stuff like that, and subtly gave me confidence. But one thing I noticed was as I started to gather crowds…I would get birthday parties, but eventually people started asking me if I had a permit, and I had to enter the official world of busking, and that’s how I’m here today.
Then, yeah, it is territorial, and…but I think there’s some unique advantages you might have to being an air guitarist if it is viable. The first thing would be setting your expectations, but not using your expectations…respecting your expectations, too. Darlene said, what do you mean? He said, well, of course I would want to be…of course I wish I had Blainia, and my name’s Blarn, so it’d be Blarnia, but…so, I don't think I’d be…people would just more say Blarny. Anyway, of course I want to be the next…I want the world swept with Blarnia. So, that’s a expectation that I have to respect, but also say…that hasn’t happened, right? So, do I want to keep doing magic out here if that’s not gonna happen or not? That’s a choice you can make.
But at the same time, other than getting the busker permit…and not everybody likes my magic and not everybody’s a fan of mine, and that’s fine. But there’s not gonna be anyone that’s gonna say, never do magic again, even though I think that. Or if they were to say that, I’d say, I don't know if I could respect the viewpoint of someone that would say that. They say, never do…you never practice magic again. I’d say, well, that’s impossible. One, magic lives within me. Two, doing magic is practicing magic. Three, there was something once called practical magic, which is different. Four, I work in practical effects, which…the place we…this is only my hobby, by the way, Darlene, which is fine, too, but…I love doing this, but I don’t love it all the time. But I’m getting better and better and better. You know what I mean?
So, I don't even know right now as we’re talking about it — which is curious — what my expectation is currently, other than to say, hey, I’d like to get a little bit better at these tricks and learn a new trick for…I’m trying to get into seasonal…a little…make my act a little bit more seasonal, maybe perform at the Dickens Fair, have some things going, but…and Darlene said, I think I get it. So, maybe I should just play air guitar for the love of…dancing like no one’s watching, almost. The magician doffed their top hat and a bunch of birds flew out. They all laughed. So, that’s what happened. Darlene started going to parks and playing air guitar while walking but paying attention. Sometimes music in Darlene’s head…then eventually reasonably set the speaker at a reasonable noise, sometimes with headphones, which would really get people watching and taking pictures.
If it was the era of social media, maybe people would have taken pictures or videos of Darlene without Darlene knowing it, and then there could have been a debate around whether this…we could laugh with or…people…you know what I mean? But Darlene didn’t have to worry about that fact. But what she had heard from the magician, she probably wouldn’t have worried about it, anyway. Again, this is…this just happened to be wherever…this was just the perfect time to be doing it. Darlene became — well, only known to us who are sharing this, 'cause this was a tale never told — one of the foremost air guitarists in the world. Even using mash-ups…that was one of the things Darlene did. Because again, then busking…this is only ethereal performances. Darlene’s not recording any of this.
So, while it is a little bit of a grey area…but Darlene would be playing mash-ups, particularly mash-ups of Bette Midler with heavy metal, anything Darlene could find that had a good guitar, but then playing the hits and then spending time making set lists and looking for new mixes or songs and then seeing…then starting to realize the world of other air guitarists and saying, oh, okay, I can see, whatever, classical music with electric guitar is a thing, and also collaborating. So, then there was…Darlene would do stuff with Shakespeare, or even the magician, so…but more for fun and for the fun…the audience’s fun. That was one of the things Darlene did, was…it didn’t really take off 'cause this was early podcast era, but did a kind of busking podcast. But Darlene just kinda kept at it and kept trying to find new ways…also, the seasonal idea really worked.
So, then Darlene would do Halloween-style ones, dressed up, and particularly getting a permit and everything and then doing it in a big city was a thing. But also, Darlene actually was encouraging the magician to be like…you know what? You’re really a mentor-type busker figure, and maybe you could use your practical effects. What they started was what became known as the great unofficial buskers’ parade, which was…this was something that was not just in their area, 'cause I think maybe there was a zine and…maybe this was what their podcast was even about. But it came out in a collaborative process of like, hey, what do we do…? It did create more tension because there’s collaborative buskers and individual buskers, right, and buskers that kinda have…they say, this is what I do, this is how I do it.
It’s very…I’m a statue…I’m not gonna change. I’m a golden statue with a whistle. If I need to paint my clothes again or whatever it is…but that’s what I’m gonna do. It’s working, and I’m this statue. There’s two other statues that are different glitter coats, and people keep talking about somebody coming out with a pink statue, a purple one. I don't know how I feel about it, but that’s…I don't need to be…I gotta be…time on my platform, making…doing my act. But there was also buskers that were down for this. One, because being in a parade is pretty fun, especially a parade of buskers doing their thing. Also…and this took a while; you can’t just explain it. You do have to experience it, which is what they would try to explain to the other buskers, is that it really helps your skill set.
Juggler, air guitarist, magician…like, moving and performing…whatever, person that’s juggling on a unicycle; holy cow, trying to be in a parade on a unicycle, singing…and then again, you’re singing and air-guitaring, and all those things can kind of form something together, and then making it seasonal…again, there’s a couple seasons, but they would make seasons out of the summer. Summer in the City; that’s one of the ones they called it. In the city, it’s the summer, and we’re doing our thing. So, then what Darlene got into…because again, she did have the freedom to kinda just travel, and…now, it turns out, the air-guitaring itself was not super-profitable, right, just because it was easy for people to kinda also do air guitar. Once people realized that…Darlene wasn’t the only one.
For a while, she was, but Darlene was on the earlier side of posting stuff, not just Darlene’s air guitar; mostly these parade videos and videos of other buskers, and getting their permission to say, hey, I’m gonna monetize this video and…to promote you and say where you are, but I’m gonna use the money to kinda…they said, oh, okay, I’m game for that. They had a deal. So, then Darlene started…just enough to be able to travel, 'cause Darlene said, well, I think this is what I want to do. I just don’t know how I’m gonna do it. I love busking. I love most buskers; not all. The next thing that happened was Darlene was on a flight and realized…and again, setting the expectations, but it was like, oh, what about a board game like Busk-Off or something?
Darlene’s like, that’s interesting 'cause the whole thing that got this started was Guitar Hero, and I don't think there could be a busking video game where that’s the main thing, but it could be like a Sims thing where you’re a busker or a street performer. But they said…Darlene said, what do you mean? Just talking to somebody on a flight. Now, eventually what it became was something a little bit more than that, which was an immersive game out there in the world, which is more a game for buskers, again. But again, this was something that Darlene could get on tape, which was…so, buskers would…it wasn’t…again, this is, whatever, twenty years ago or something, so it seems like it…or maybe even twenty-five years ago, but what now would be seem as attempts to go viral or whatever. It wasn’t Darlene’s intention.
It was more of like, let’s give…let’s travel these places where there’s busker parades and at a given time, particularly high-traffic tourist times in the tourist areas at the time when busking wanes off but there’s still a audience out there, they would do…this is how some of the buskers organized. Then some people…again, it wasn’t all bread and roses or whatever. But then Darlene got this idea of like, oh, instead of making it a board game, we could make it a bored game. The person was like, well, what do you mean? She said, well, it can be really boring being a busker. There’s a lot of down time because there’s a couple lulls during the day, and then there’s just days that are just unpredictably not busy, or it’s the tourist season, but all the hotels are booked by a conference, and then you gotta wait ‘til the conference gets out, and that’s where I’ve gotten all these wild ideas.
But Darlene said, again, something that makes it fun for the buskers that want to participate, but also encourages…that is for the audience. She was like, I can film it, but it’s more creating the local awareness of busking or busking as a opportunity to…performance, because there’s been a increase in great busking around the world. Maybe that was another podcast she could have started or maybe she did; Great Buskers, or whatever. So eventually Darlene started offering these challenges. Again, in our current context, it would seem like it was something that it wasn’t, but it was like, serenade a cat. Whatever, perform for fisherman. This was in San Francisco, places where there was arches; like, perform something arch-related or make your act fit this. Perform on a rainy day.
Then again, particularly seasonal stuff, which really did help. I mean, just at those times. But again, the buskers had to relate to like, oh, there’s…now we’re having these spikes in income, but we had to balance it out the rest of the year…of like, yeah, what it’s like…what is trick…busk…I mean, now we all do it; busk-or-treats. Trick…tip-a…tip-and-treat, where merchants have the candy and it’s like trick-or-treating, like a trick-or-treat parade, but that there’s buskers and the busker gives you secret coins when you tip them, or not…yeah, I guess it’s…and then you can turn those in for even more candy. That was another thing. I don't think that’s what’s called…I think that didn’t gain popularity here where I am. That’s why I’m misquoting it all.
But all these things led up to Darlene becoming this legend in the community, but really realizing…at some point being like, when was the last time I played air guitar, right? So, Darlene kinda let it go. But again, this was kind of locally community-based…a lot of the activities, and easily copied. So, it did…even though Darlene kinda stopped doing it, it had developed a life of its own. So, it wasn’t like she was a centralized project. Darlene was just on the inspo, you know? So, this was how it had increased…but Darlene had had a little bit of savings, but not a limitless amount, and…oh, the other thing was most people didn’t know what Darlene looked like because the camera was always pointed outwards. Some people did, but Darlene, again, started performing under her new name.
I can’t even remember what it was called. Darl? I don't know. So, started going and become…participating in these other communities as a air guitarist, and, again, developed a new level of air guitar love and then love of fellow buskers and street performers. But what’s interesting is eventually Darlene was approached by the Purple People Circus because the reality was…they said, we need help with this, what you’re good at. Darlene said, what do you mean? They said, well, we have this circus of intrigue and we want to keep it intriguing, but we still…we don’t know any of this internet-type stuff and you seem to have…'cause they knew who Darlene was, right? We’re not looking to get more attention or lose our intrigue, you know? But we want our…and Darlene said, okay, cool. They said, you’re such a inspiration.
We’d love to work with you and have you be a part of the Purple People Circus. So, Darlene joined them and then they, again, started working together. That’s how now when you see…you do get that great air guitar performance, which is mixed in, which does…I think the thing with the air guitar performance is…what they helped Darlene realize is usually best as a punctuation or whether it’s used in a short way or a long way or in association with other things…and that air-guitaring can be a meditative act on your own. But that’s not necessarily a long-term performative act. Darlene knew that, too. Maybe that’s why so many things developed out of just the air guitar. But yeah, I think that’s it. That’s one of these tales that’s just always…whenever I think of air guitar, then I wonder about other stuff, then I remember Guitar Hero, then I forget and I say, oh no, forgot about Darlene, one of those people that really did some cool stuff out there in the air. Alright, goodnight, everybody.
[END OF RECORDING]
(Transcribed by Leah Hervoly)
Truly Forgettable Tales
History of the Night Shift / Labor History
Guitar Hero Impact
Video Game Peripherals
DOWN TO BUSINESS
I’m cupping both my elbows in exactly the way you’d expect
It’s just so comforting, I don’t even have something silly to say about it
Deep Dark Night United
Evelyn (Polysleep; Helix Sleep)
Stop Hate Fundraiser / Orlando Park Stop; Patreon; SleepPhones; Emily Tat Artwork; NAPAWF; Anti-Racism Resources; Ukraine Relief; Crisis Textline
Odoo; Polysleep; AquaTru; Helix Sleep; Progressive; Zoc Doc
Thoughts: They’re There
Shoutout to the 11th shift workers
Is the 7th shift the lucky shift?
Do you really want to get into shift facts with me, Contrarian Brain?
In my eyes, there’s 24 possibles shifts in the day
I’m talking about the shifts that get no love, whatsoever
Finally someone, talks about the 8pm – 4am shift
How did I get here?
Did you just say looling?
My grandfather used to talk about shifts around the dinner table
Half hour shifts make it 48 total
Now we’re dealing with 96 shifts
One person each month gets to work the 101st shift
I guess you can’t pretend to play air guitar, can you?
Pretend Air Guitar
I really want your life to be better
Elevated Background Noise
My sweet, sweet Boredy
That sounds like a Tin Pan Alley song
I’m not charming enough to play Old Boredy in the musical
This show is very low on logic
Data uses the show to warm up his Positronic Matrix when it gets low
I understand why you might have expected some Zen Stuff here
I try to be logical, but I’m not good at it
What do you mean, you can’t reuse an Ikea wrench for this particle collider?
I also have a bunch of leftover wooden dowels
What if Ikea used Hex Dowels?
The Landing Strip to Bedtime
I really never know where this is going
I forgot I had an untold tale about Air Guitars in my brain
I voice messaged myself about this
Truly Forgettable Tales
Shoutout to the Purple People Circus
That’s one elusive circus
I think the last episode was about a Juggling Moose and a Stuffy?
Once upon a time, there was an air guitarist
The Glory Days of Air Guitar
I’m Anthropology Adjacent
I’m writing some speculatively fictional anthropology
Has there been an Air Guitar Renaissance yet?
Explaining Air Guitar
Lip Syncing vs Air Guitar
A limbic reaction to Antonio Banderas
There’s a lot of different takes on air guitar
Folk Air Guitar isn’t that interesting
The majority of air guitar is electric
A lot of basketball players have been doing air piano
Once upon a time, back when my budget was small but I had a need for hardware…
If I could just get a good computer, I’d be on the right path
I was into RSS, looking for tech news
Pre-Podcast Days (PPDs)
The Mac mini would become the hub of our household
Man, this is some nice specs on this refurb-ed Mac mini …
A sale on Guitar Hero
Oh boy, will this fix things
Me, my then wife, and my brother lived together
Oh, the joyous nights we could have playing together!
A gift to myself through my brother
Explaining Guitar Hero
Was this my first Mac, too? Whoa
Why didn’t they make Dance Hero? Oh wait they had Dance Dance Revolution
It looked fun, but …
There was some sort of lag
A bizarre amount of lag
It was impossible, but I wouldn’t admit defeat
“Low Rider” vs “Slow Ride”
I put all my work on hold to beat “Slow Ride” on easy difficulty
Then I tried to get better internet
Back when Apple had the Quadcore
Then I used to Hackintosh
This experience was impossible to pitch successfully
Let’s put the Purple People Circus aside for a second
Let’s roll with it – this is now a Personal Essay episode
Adhering to the Parallel Worlds Theory
In a parallel world, Darlene was going through what I did too
Darlene planned to return the game and followed through (I did not)
Darlene was supporting a local game store, so she got store credit
In Darlene’s world, it was peak Air Guitar
Wow, there’s an official air guitar podcast!
Can Peak Air Guitar exist if there was just one peak?
Darlene connected her feelings of playing air guitar with her feelings of playing Guitar Hero
Then she just got into playing air guitar
The Bill & Ted Era of Air Guitar
Darlene lives in a SF-like city that’s not SF
She sees buskers around
Don’t try to have a conversation with a busking statue person when they’re working
Is there space in this world for an air guitar busker?
Blainia aka Peak Street Magic
A street magician advised Darlene
I definitely had Blainia
Dolores Park wasn’t great for most magicians
He needed more tree barriers from the wind
Practicing in the Park
Blarn the Magician
Of course Blarn wants the world to be swept up in Blarnia
If someone told Blarn to never do magic again, he wouldn’t trust them
Darlene should play air guitar like no one’s watching
Playing Air Guitar while walking
This was the perfect time to be doing this
Darlene became one of the foremost air guitarists of the world
Playing Bette Midler / Heavy Metal Mashups
Then she’d collaborate with Blarn or Shakespeare
This was just for fun
Darlene’s seasonal work was a great idea
A Mentor-Type Busker Figure (MTBF)
The Great Unofficial Buskers’ Parade
Being in a parade is pretty fun
Air Guitar itself was not super profitable
Darlene had the idea for a board game
This idea evolved into an immersive busking game in the real world
This was like 25 years ago
This wasn’t an attempt to go viral
Let’s make a bored game
Darlene would create busking challenges / performance scavenger hunts
Busk or Treating
Darlene stopped doing it, but it kept going on, inspired by her
Most people didn’t know what Darlene looked like
She started performing under a new name, maybe Darl
She then started participating in other communities as an air guitarist
Darlene was eventually approached by the Purple People Circus
They need her to help keep the circus intriguing
Darlene has internet savvy
She learned that air guitar is best as a punctuation on other things
Or a solo meditative act
And that’s Darlene’s story
Nicole, Jenny, Margot, Matt, Maddy, Marianne, Liam, Sam, Judith Lee, Elise, Maya, Audrey, Emily, Timo, John, Laurie, LC, Michelle, Kelly, Grant, Spirit, Ana, Lori, Deborah, Kristin, Paul, Christine, Anna, Patty, Steven
Title: Air Guitar | Truly Forgettable Tales
Deep Dark Night United: Evelyn (Polysleep; Helix Sleep)
Plugs: Stop Hate Fundraiser / Orlando Park Stop; Patreon; SleepPhones; Emily Tat Artwork; NAPAWF; Anti-Racism Resources; Ukraine Relief; Crisis Textline
Sponsors: Odoo; Polysleep; AquaTru; Helix Sleep; Progressive; Zoc Doc
Patreon Thanks: Nicole, Jenny, Margot, Matt, Maddy, Marianne, Liam, Sam, Judith Lee, Elise, Maya, Audrey, Emily, Timo, John, Laurie, LC, Michelle, Kelly, Grant, Spirit, Ana, Lori, Deborah, Kristin, Paul, Christine, Anna, Patty, Steven
- The Ol’ Half Elbow
- Contrarian Brain
- Limitless Shifts
- Pretend Air Guitar
- Elevated Background Noise
- Old Boredy
- Low on Logic
- Some Zen Stuff
- Purple People Circus
- The Glory Days of Air Guitar
- Anthropology Adjacent
- Pre-Podcast Days (PPDs)
- A Mentor-Type Busker Figure (MTBF)
- The Great Unofficial Buskers’ Parade
- Busk or Treating
- The Hokey Pokey
- Air Guitar
- Tin Pan Alley
- Spock / Data / Star Trek
- Large Hadron Particle Collider
- Guitar Hero
- Antonio Banderas
- Air Society of America
- Macintosh / Apple
- Dance Dance Revolution
- “Low Rider”
- “Slow Ride”
- Hal Lublin
- Tights & Fights podcast
- Keanu Reeves
- Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure
- David Blaine
- Practical Magic
- Bette Midler
- Busk-Off!, a board game
Notable Talking Points:
- Thinking Thoughts
- Thoughts: They’re There
- Shoutout to the 11th shift workers
- Is the 7th shift the lucky shift?
- Do you really want to get into shift facts with me, Contrarian Brain?
- In my eyes, there’s 24 possibles shifts in the day
- I’m talking about the shifts that get no love, whatsoever
- Finally someone, talks about the 8pm – 4am shift
- How did I get here?
- Did you just say looling?
- My grandfather used to talk about shifts around the dinner table
- Limitless Shifts
- Half hour shifts make it 48 total
- Now we’re dealing with 96 shifts
- One person each month gets to work the 101st shift
- I guess you can’t pretend to play air guitar, can you?
- Pretend Air Guitar
- I really want your life to be better
- Elevated Background Noise
- Old Boredy
- My sweet, sweet Boredy
- That sounds like a Tin Pan Alley song
- I’m not charming enough to play Old Boredy in the musical
- This show is very low on logic
- Data uses the show to warm up his Positronic Matrix when it gets low
- I understand why you might have expected some Zen Stuff here
- I try to be logical, but I’m not good at it
- What do you mean, you can’t reuse an Ikea wrench for this particle collider?
- I also have a bunch of leftover wooden dowels
- What if Ikea used Hex Dowels?
- The Landing Strip to Bedtime
- I really never know where this is going
- I forgot I had an untold tale about Air Guitars in my brain
- I voice messaged myself about this
- Truly Forgettable Tales
- Shoutout to the Purple People Circus
- That’s one elusive circus
- I think the last episode was about a Juggling Moose and a Stuffy?
- Once upon a time, there was an air guitarist
- The Glory Days of Air Guitar
- I’m Anthropology Adjacent
- I’m writing some speculatively fictional anthropology
- Has there been an Air Guitar Renaissance yet?
- Explaining Air Guitar
- Lip Syncing vs Air Guitar
- A limbic reaction to Antonio Banderas
- There’s a lot of different takes on air guitar
- Folk Air Guitar isn’t that interesting
- The majority of air guitar is electric
- A lot of basketball players have been doing air piano
- Once upon a time, back when my budget was small but I had a need for hardware…
- If I could just get a good computer, I’d be on the right path
- I was into RSS, looking for tech news
- Pre-Podcast Days (PPDs)
- The Mac mini would become the hub of our household
- Man, this is some nice specs on this refurb-ed Mac mini …
- A sale on Guitar Hero
- Oh boy, will this fix things
- Me, my then wife, and my brother lived together
- Oh, the joyous nights we could have playing together!
- A gift to myself through my brother
- Explaining Guitar Hero
- Was this my first Mac, too? Whoa
- Why didn’t they make Dance Hero? Oh wait they had Dance Dance Revolution
- It looked fun, but …
- There was some sort of lag
- Explaining lag
- A bizarre amount of lag
- It was impossible, but I wouldn’t admit defeat
- “Low Rider” vs “Slow Ride”
- I put all my work on hold to beat “Slow Ride” on easy difficulty
- Then I tried to get better internet
- Back when Apple had the Quadcore
- Then I used to Hackintosh
- This experience was impossible to pitch successfully
- Let’s put the Purple People Circus aside for a second
- Let’s roll with it – this is now a Personal Essay episode
- Adhering to the Parallel Worlds Theory
- In a parallel world, Darlene was going through what I did too
- Darlene planned to return the game and followed through (I did not)
- Darlene was supporting a local game store, so she got store credit
- In Darlene’s world, it was peak Air Guitar
- Wow, there’s an official air guitar podcast!
- Can Peak Air Guitar exist if there was just one peak?
- Darlene connected her feelings of playing air guitar with her feelings of playing Guitar Hero
- Then she just got into playing air guitar
- The Bill & Ted Era of Air Guitar
- Darlene lives in a SF-like city that’s not SF
- She sees buskers around
- Don’t try to have a conversation with a busking statue person when they’re working
- Is there space in this world for an air guitar busker?
- Blainia aka Peak Street Magic
- A street magician advised Darlene
- I definitely had Blainia
- Dolores Park wasn’t great for most magicians
- He needed more tree barriers from the wind
- Practicing in the Park
- Blarn the Magician
- Of course Blarn wants the world to be swept up in Blarnia
- If someone told Blarn to never do magic again, he wouldn’t trust them
- Darlene should play air guitar like no one’s watching
- Playing Air Guitar while walking
- This was the perfect time to be doing this
- Darlene became one of the foremost air guitarists of the world
- Playing Bette Midler / Heavy Metal Mashups
- Then she’d collaborate with Blarn or Shakespeare
- This was just for fun
- Darlene’s seasonal work was a great idea
- A Mentor-Type Busker Figure (MTBF)
- The Great Unofficial Buskers’ Parade
- Being in a parade is pretty fun
- Air Guitar itself was not super profitable
- Darlene had the idea for a board game
- This idea evolved into an immersive busking game in the real world
- This was like 25 years ago
- This wasn’t an attempt to go viral
- Let’s make a bored game
- Darlene would create busking challenges / performance scavenger hunts
- Busk or Treating
- Darlene stopped doing it, but it kept going on, inspired by her
- Most people didn’t know what Darlene looked like
- She started performing under a new name, maybe Darl
- She then started participating in other communities as an air guitarist
- Darlene was eventually approached by the Purple People Circus
- They need her to help keep the circus intriguing
- Darlene has internet savvy
- She learned that air guitar is best as a punctuation on other things
- Or a solo meditative act
- And that’s Darlene’s story