On Never Being Cool

Some years ago, I had a long commute and needed something to get me through the humdrum of the drive to and from work.

I got myself a new car radio with Sirius satellite radio that included a connection to my first generation video iPod. I couldn’t wait to check out the radio. There were so many channels! There was one that I gravitated towards – I don’t remember the name of the channel but it played indie rock. I know, I know, how pretentious am I that I’m telling you all that I listen to indie rock…

One day, this track came on that instantly took hold with me. I spared a look at the radio dash as I was driving and read that it was from a group called Ratatat from their album Classics. I went home that day and ordered the CD.

I loved it. I almost instantly made the track “Lex” the music track that played when anyone landed on my MySpace page.

Who is “Ratatat” and what kind of music do they play? From Wikipedia: Ratatat (pronounced RAT-ə-tat) is a Brooklyn-based electronic/instrumental duo consisting of Mike Stroud (guitar, melodica, synthesizers, percussion) and producer Evan Mast (bass, synthesizers, percussion).

I hung out with friends soon after I got the CD and I couldn’t wait to play it for them. I put it on in the car, telling them of this new band I found out about.

Okay so let me back up for a sec.

One of my closest buddies, Monica, is really into music. If we’re hanging out and I’m driving, I don’t play any music in the car because I’m afraid it won’t be up to her standards. To be fair, she has never said anything about my taste in music and would never actually say anything because it’s not the kind of person she is.

On the flipside, there’s always great music playing in her car when she’s driving, stuff I’ve never heard anyone play before and will probably never hear anywhere else.

Which brings me back to the moment when I put on Classics for Monica and our friend Soerha. I felt that this would be a pivotal moment, one in which I, Bushra, introduced good music to my friends.

I started up the CD and it began to play over the car speakers.

Monica: “Oh yeah, Ratatat. Do you have the first CD? That’s pretty good too.”

D’oh, d’oh, d’oh, d’oh, d’oh.

No, I did not have their first CD. I don’t even know if I was aware that they had another album, that Classics was their second collection.

I knew then that I would never be cool enough to hear of good music first.

In the end, it’s okay because at least I then knew about Ratatat even though it wasn’t before anyone else. But I’ll be honest, I’ve never had to be that kind of a person anyways. What mattered was that the band was officially on my radar and I have been enjoying their music ever since.

A couple of weeks ago, Ratatat’s latest album, Magnifique, released. I’ve been really liking it. I don’t have a Myspace page anymore that will automatically play a track once someone lands on my page to snoop so instead, I’ll embed two of my favorite tracks here:


Cream on Chrome

Have a great day everyone!

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