(Author’s Note: This essay originally began as a series of threaded Twitter posts. What you read below are lightly edited versions of those tweets — edited both for content and basic typos/grammatical errors.)
A seminal record of 2010s indie pop.
Their concert at the K&K Super Buffet in Rochester, Queens was the first concert I ever covered as a journalist. It was also my first full weekend living in the city.
It was 2012 and I didn’t have a smartphone.
I took a bus there and got terribly lost in Bushwick trying to get to Queens from Crown Heights in Brooklyn. Made it to the show cause a kind teenager realized how lost I was the second she saw me and took me back to the bus station and told me how to get to where I was going to in Queens.
Made it to the show. I’m in this Pitchfork video waiting outside the venue in my leather jacket about 14 and 18 seconds in.
The show doesn’t end til 2:30. I get out of the venue (a Chinese buffet) and discover the buses aren’t running.
It’s my first weekend in the city.
I don’t have a smartphone.
I’m haranguing people leaving the concert to see if any of them know how to get to Crown Heights. Nobody will speak to or look at me.
I get on a subway platform and peak my head in cars that stop in abject terror cause I honestly don’t know how I’m getting home.
Finally a train stops with LED screens explaining the route. 14th St. Union Square is far down the line. I know I can take the 4 back to Crown St-Utica Ave from Union Square because it is the station I walk to after I get off work in the East Village. I haven’t walked home to my place on Crown St. in the dark yet but I place my hopes in being able to navigate on what little familiarity I’ve developed for my new neighborhood.
And I went through all that hassle to see a band that I only really knew for one single. And now I not only know how gorgeous and wistful their whole oeuvre is but that great music is just intimately tied to the very core of my first steps towards being a writer.
Basically, Real Estate means a hell of a lot to me.