April 16, 2007



Genji Siraisi was the first person I ever saw play the drums live. He went to my school and played in a band called Pandemonium. One day, at noon, Pandemonium performed in a theater on the fourth floor. They played “Jumpin’ Jack Flash.” It was easily the most astonishing thing that had happened since my last mugging. Why were these people being allowed to play ROCK MUSIC in a school, our school? And, more importantly, how did they figure out where to put their fingers to make the noises that are “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”?

I sat on a black wooden bleacher watching Pandemonium play. I wanted to work up the guts to ask the guitar player—Jeff Tischler, an ENTIRE rade above me—how to play “Jumpin’ Jack Flash.” (I am terrible at figuring out other people’s songs.) I did not. Genji was unbelievably good—this may have something to do with my early fixation on drumming. Knowing little, I already knew he was better than most.

Now he does this, which I know nothing about. He helped form Groove Collective in 198something. 90something?

One night several years later, in high school, I ended up at Genji’s house. We had just left a party where I had managed to make out with a cute girl in the grade above me. Genji and his friends got me high and we listened to John Coltrane’s “Live at the Village Vanguard Again!“ and Miles Davis’s “The Man With The Horn.” The Coltrane sounded like the most incredible music I’d ever heard. When I found the real album, I was disappointed that it did not replicate the original, stoned experience. I did not know what to think of the Miles. Some of it sounded great; some of it sounded like music that I thought I didn’t like. At one point, I went into the kitchen and found a skillet full of a chicken and bananas dish that Genji’s mother had prepared. I ate a lot of it and promptly threw up. I remember nothing else.

Posted by Sasha at April 16, 2007 02:05 PM | TrackBack