FISHTOWN CLUB APOLOGIZES FOR DEATHS OF ALT-ROCK ICONS
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In anticipation of what promised to be the most impossibly epic music event of 2016, swarms of Temple University students lined up outside The Barbary on Monday, January 11th. The historic turnout was attributed to the Fishtown club’s introduction of The Lou Reed and Elliott Smith Experience (LRESE), The Barbary’s first deviation from its regularly scheduled Tiger Beats dance parties.
“Even though it’s open to the public, Tiger Beats has been a tradition every Monday for generations,” explained Rain Cornfoot, a 22 year-old Gender Relations major, who’d been bumming cigarettes off pedestrians on Frankford Avenue in the hours leading up to LRESE’s door-opening. “The Barb’s where I was conceived, so I guess you could say that my entire life started here, depending on your religious or spiritual beliefs.”
Cornfoot numbered among the 700+ undergrads that skipped class to get in line for the once-in-a-lifetime event. Some had even camped out since the previous night. All were visibly eager for an unforgettable evening of subtly swaying to lo-fi music they heard on WXPN 88.5 FM, that one time.
“Honestly, I don’t really know [Lou Reed or Elliott Smith’s] music too well,” admitted Mason Jarr, a 21 year-old Film Studies major, who agreed to a candid interview with The Spirit, in exchange for a swig of Kombucha and half a cigarette. “I just recognize their names from soundtracks to Wes Anderson movies, but I’m really hype on those soundtracks, especially The Life Aquatic’s.”
Unfortunately, it soon became apparent that such hype would be short-lived. Only after speaking with another Temple student, 21 year-old Judith Lisbon (who graciously accepted the other half of our cigarette), did we realize that many of the night’s show-goers were in for a major letdown.
“I just have so much respect for Lou Reed and Elliott Smith,” Lisbon said. “For artists of their notoriety, to be playing at such a small venue—when The Fillmore is right across the street—it’s just incredible. It’s so refreshing to know that some artists still value integrity.”
At that point, we informed Lisbon of her misunderstanding: Neither Reed nor Smith would be performing live at The Barbary, due in part to the fact that LRESE was a deejayed event, but mostly because Reed and Smith had been deceased since 2013 and 2003, respectively.
“Oh damn, you’re right!” Lisbon exclaimed, visibly embarrassed after a moment of fact-checking our claims on her smartphone. “I can’t believe I skipped my Pop Culture Criticism class for this! I’m going home to listen to something uplifting, like The Life Aquatic soundtrack.”
Her reaction of shock and disappointment seemed contagious. As news traveled through the line, the crowd began to dissipate. On his way home, we caught up with Jarr, who had this to say about the massive mix-up: “Lemme get another cigarette? No? Then I have no further comment.” By 8:59 PM, moments before doors opened, fewer than 100 individuals remained, including Cornfoot, who was also surprised to learn that Reed and Smith had been dead, but not upset.
“Like I said, this is my spot, regardless of who’s on stage,” Cornfoot affirmed. “I don’t understand all these people being butt-hurt. Like, clearly they just liked Reed and Smith because they thought they were supposed to. Talk about trying too hard.”
In response to the night’s unfavorable outcome, The Barbary issued a public apology on Twitter.
In memory of Reed and Smith, several Temple students are organizing a candlelit vigil outside the Barbary to coincide with Tiger Beats next week. Those interested in attending are encouraged to RSVP on the vigil’s Facebook Page, from which the following event description has been lifted:
Join us this MLK Day (Monday, January 18), as we come together to mourn the losses of Lou Reed and Elliott Smith. With your support, we hope to raise public awareness of these forgotten legends. That way, in the words of their dear friend, David Bowie, “we can be heroes, just for one day.”