What follows are the lunch minutes for today, March 28th, 2006. This is only a bullet-pointed summary of the lunch table conversation that ensued today at WFMU and reading it is not considered a suitable substitute for actually eating a lunch of your own.
Food: Brian had a "hoagie"-styled steak sandwich, wrapped in multiple layers of paper which were peeled back gradually, revealing the meaty goodness within. (See picture, right.) Scott, Liz, and I ordered takeout from a local Japanese place called "Nutty Handjob's II", but the delivery guy screwed up the order -- The beginning of a comical chain of events which eventually benefitted us in the form of an extra tray of sushi. This unexpected food was given to Bill, as he found it more enticing than the frozen dinner he'd begun to prepare. Ken ate lasagna, as usual.
Themes: Although many conversational avenues were explored today, the general topic of discussion was Heavy Metal culture, through which the following points were explored:
* Ken's high school radio station, and the "uptight nowheresville squares" who were in charge of it during his enrollment. Ken informs us that records by groups such as Allman Brothers, Traffic, and Grateful Dead enjoy popular rotation at this time, since they are deemed "cool" by majority of station's active DJs. Heavy metal music, however, is deemed completely "un-cool", and anyone who dares play it will most likely not be given a regular show, nor will they be allowed to sleep on cool, lumpy couch in the station's lobby.
* The general suckiness of the band Traffic is bandied about for a good five minutes. The sentiment that "John Barleycorn Must Die" is a particularly sucky Traffic album is met with limited protest from the assembled diners.
* In a moment of swelling pride, I question the legitimacy of anyone who would argue that the Allman Brothers are cooler than the many fine heavy metal bands of that same era. Ken, claiming that cultural amnesia has erased any memory of the myriad metal bands of the day, is unable to counter this. Scott offers a more scholarly argument; says that metalheads (and heavy metal in general), has never been cool and never will be. (Note: Scott is wearing brand new Iron Maiden t-shirt today.) He further reasons that metalheads live in a universe entirely of their own creation, which is populated exclusively by like-minded enthusiasts. This creates a false sense of coolness, since anyone who might disagree with them is obviously still at Allman Brothers concert or asleep on cool, lumpy couch.
* The fact that WFMU does not have a cool, lumpy couch is briefly lamented.
* Conversation then moves to various metal fashions of the 70s and early 80s, when pop metal reigned supreme. It is discovered that during this time, Scott and I -- growing up and attending schools in entirely different parts of New Jersey -- miraculously were owners of the same style of painter's cap, festooned with the logo of California's mighty Van Halen. The existence of a secondary style of painter's cap, featuring foreign-legion styled flaps (presumably for the purposes of shading the neck on long fishing expeditions, or walks to highway convenience store) is briefly discussed.
* Brian points at both of us and laughs.
* Floor is opened up for the discussion of other trends in Heavy Metal culture and fashion, namely the decoration of denim jackets. Talk turns to lively banter of rock instrument (i.e. guitar) shaped pins and rock band patches, and the appropriate ways in which to fasten them to clothing. Scott insists that pins should not be fastened to shirt or lapels, but to the pants -- a sentiment which I dismiss as New Wave hooey and express my disapproval with by expelling air forcibly between tongue and lower lip. Scott cites personal experience as suitable backup for his argument; supposes that my disagreement is evidence of me being "some sort of pussy or something."
* Discussion of pins is dropped in favor of other kinds of decorative features facilitated by the wearing of jackets. I am asked (in hostile tone) if any artistic effort at self-jacket adornment was made by my hand during pop metal era. I admit that weak attempt was made to replicate lightbulb / flower / jellyfish / spaceship from crappy Journey album on denim jacket using gold paint pen and White-Out. Years later, the phrase "Cro-Mags" is written on shoe using same artistic implements, but this is not shared publicly.
* Liz steers conversation in the direction of beards and their relative trendyness when grown by musicians, metal or otherwise. Cites new "Parts & Labor" CD in WFMU new bin, says band members are hot Brooklyn rock combo whose CD booklet is adorned by photographs of many bearded young men. Ken jumps out of chair and begins shouting that un-named, bearded acquaintence recently appeared in local newspaper, could be tied in with beard rock conspiracy movement spearheaded by Devendra Banhart, Parts & Labor, etc. Ken asked to return to seat and to please stop shouting.
* Evidence suggests that conversation is now completely off topic of metal, so discussion turns to someone's idea of housing radio station within large coffee shop. Obvious pitfalls and problems with idea are considered by all. Ken insists to have visited such a place in Berlin at one point; claims they have cool, lumpy couch on which many drunk Germans would sleep. Couch is alleged to hold upwards of 15 drunken Germans at one time, though this remains unsubstantiated at this time. The idea of opening up exotic coffee co-op on ground floor of WFMU is briefly entertained as alternative, with each DJ being made to work several hours a week as part of volunteer responsibilities. Argument over who would be forced to work crappy hours at exotic coffee co-op ensues. Realizations that A.) Megan would likely sneak cups from pot before delicate brewing process was complete, and B.) Brian and Bill don't like coffee anyway, are all considered.
Decidedly un-exotic coffee is made, end of meeting declared.