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Meet Me In The Bathroom

signs that really really f'ing work

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OOH …Here’s One Thing

by Jim Johnsen,
Managing Director, Johnsen, Fretty & Company

Ok Johnsen. Enough with the old timer stuff already.  One more band from the 70’s and we will know you are ready for the glue factory.  

You asked for it. You got it.  Toyota.  


“Yes, I once was mine
Well, that was long ago
And darling, I don’t mind
Yeah, we were just two friends in lust
And baby, that just don’t mean much
You trained me not to love
After you showed me what it was”  The Strokes

In the year 2000 I was pumping out babies.  Slap. Wait…let me rephrase that. In and around the year 2000 my beautiful wife was gifting us with babies.  Needless to say I wasn’t going really hard on the New York club scene (although there was this one night at CBGB OMFCK in the 90’s…but I digress).  So my MI (aka my “music intelligence”) goes absolutely non-existent around this time.   

Last week as I was riding the greyhound in the sky, I had every intention of popping my laptop at 30,000 feet and going to work.  But then I get a sweet window seat in steerage and the buffalo in front of me decides to see just how much weight he has to apply to make the seat go back further than the gearbox will allow.  Success.  His head is now 6 inches from my lap.  Okay then, guess I will not be doing any work.  You know what mam, skip the club soda, I will take a stella.  And then I start to scroll through the available movies.  Beautiful thing about flights these days, they have miles and miles of options.  You could almost burn the whole flight trying to decide what to watch.   Adventure, no thanks…need more than a 6 inch screen for that.  Rated R…not unless you are ready to endure the wrath of parents around you.  Tear jerker…man I cry too easily.  Boom there it is, a documentary on the music scene in New York in the late 90s early 2000’s.  “Meet Me in The Bathroom”.   Cool.  I love music, I always love learning something about something I know nothing about, and hey, maybe if I can riff on this subject someone won’t think I am “bad grandpa”.  

Ever hear of the Moldy Peaches, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Interpol, The Liars and the Strokes?  If so, advance directly past GO, collect your $200 and proceed to the community chest.  Because I had no friggin’ idea.  But I will say, if you want to open a time capsule and peer in on New York just before and just after 9/11, the movie is superb, and some of the music is raw, spirited and quite good.  It’s worth a watch if you have a chucklehead in the seat in front of you.  Have I not enticed you yet?  There are great scenes of Times Square in the year 2000.  Holy wake up call Batman, things have really changed!  And 2000 seems like yesterday.  There is also a thesis that the movie pushes, which is that 9/11 is largely responsible for creating the “new” Brooklyn.  Interesting.  Never would have put those two events together.  But essentially the young musicians of the day, not being able to stand the destruction, despair and asbestos air in Manhattan, walked across the bridge and almost immediately made Brooklyn cool.  A whole flock of hipsters followed and buildings you could not give away all of a sudden were selling for gazillions of dollars.  Note that there were also some bittersweet shots of the Twin Towers in there.  I tried not to cry.  

I could go on, but at this point I can read your mind.  You are saying thanks for another movie review Johnsen, but WTF?  If you are old like me, that music genre means nothing to you.  If you are less than 35, my guess is, unless you are a music savant, you probably haven’t heard of the Moldy Peaches.  And that my friends is exactly the point.  Names come and go, but the song remains the same.  Cool and crazy chick as lead singer.  Already done.  Living in abandoned buildings on a can of beans, but writing music all day and loving it.  Check.  Going from a grungy basement to a worldwide success in a couple months?  Ever heard of that little group called the Beatles?  Can’t handle the fame and the pressure, so you resort to drugs?  Ever hear of Charlie Parker?  You get the point.  But the real point for us business wonks is maybe to remember that we don’t invent merde.  At the end of the day we still have a robust industry because we sell timeshare on signs that really really f’ing work.  Always did, always will.  So the next time I hear “it’s totally different now.  We sell audience not impressions.”  …just shoot me.  

And lest you think I’ve gone to the dark side, while I have developed a liking for the Strokes, particularly since the lead is Julian Casablancas who overcame the demise of his father, John Casablancas, the former CEO of the Elite Modeling Agency who was once a demigod and then just an Epstein, I would still take the following any day:


“Stand by the stairway, you’ll see something certain to tell you
Confusion has its cost
Love isn’t lying, it’s loose in a lady who lingers
Saying she is lost
And choking on hello”  CSNY

Now that’s music.  Wait, what?  I am having a hard time hearing.  You have a slot open at the glue factory on Wednesday?



Securities transacted through StillPoint Capital Member firm FINRA/SiPC
Johnsen, Fretty and Co. is an advertiser with OOH Today

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