Today we journey not so far back into the early aughts with Piebald’s album We Are The Only Friends That We Have. The year was 2002, I was a ripe 19 years old with dyed red hair (cut to emo perfection), making my way through my freshman year in college while selling out big time at the local Hot Topic. That’s where I was at when this album waltzed into my life and became an album that I still count among my favorites.
I guess the genre classification of the music would pop punk/emo rock? Or something like that? All I know is that it sounded good to me. It’s catchy, up-tempo (for the most part) rock with tongue-in-cheek lyrics and a frontman with a voice you either love or hate. Most importantly, and what makes it one of my favorites, is that the album is just fun. There were many a day at said Hot Topic where I picked this as my album choice to help me through my shift when dealing with customers or spacing hangers on a rack (yeah, hanger spacing is a thing). I sang along back then and still do whenever I hear any song off this album, especially “The Stalker”. I actually have two fond memories tied together in “The Stalker” and Hot Topic. Have a listen, while I explain them both.
The first, is synchronized hand claps in the store when the song played. Hands up and clapping, anywhere in the store. The second involved a fellow female employee, who we’ll call Ms. A and a would-be gentleman caller, who we’ll just call Mr. P. He worked at another equally lame store in the mall and would always stop in during her shifts. That all seems harmless enough, but when you factor a change in hairstyle due to a comment Ms. A made and him asking about a movie she saw with her then boyfriend while he was sitting a few rows behind them, he seems a little creepier. I think there may have been a few more incidents, but you get the idea. Anyway, all of us in there store were aware of the situation. So, one day he stops in and I proceed to tell the manager that we should pump “The Stalker” in the store while he was there. Thinking that my idea was brilliant, we did just that. Ms. A was definitely wise to what we did, but Mr. P had no idea he was the butt of our joke. I guess that’s a little mean of us as I recount this. But, oh well. That whole situation worked itself out without getting too much weirder, if I recall correctly. And we all went on with our lives, but this album stuck with me.
Anyway, this has been a fun trip down memory lane, but as always I’ll leave you with a few more of my favorites from the album. Happy Friday folks!