I’m certainly late to the Time Crisis game. But the thing about it is that even as a newbie, I feel like I’m already part of the gang. Ezra Koenig, lead dude from Vampire Weekend, sits on the mic with a couple buddies just shooting the shit about music and pop culture. My understanding is that since its inception in 2015, the show has sometimes had a political bent (glomming onto some Bernie nonsense) and has had Hollywood types on. But this past season (season 9) it was mostly Koenig and his co-host, Jake Longstreth, having meandering conversations about bands and songs and, weirdly, a lot of Grateful Dead and Guided by Voices.
Do you remember all those late-night dorm room conversations about stuff? You bring your knowledge. The kid from some other city or town brings his. And then there’s the babe-in-the-woods sponge who owned one cassette that his mom gave him on his twelfth birthday, and it was either Thriller or the Footloose soundtrack? And the mention of one band would lead to another that would lead to another, which would spin off into a weird discussion about what was prog rock really? And between each switch, one of you would run to your room to grab a tape or CD to throw in the dude’s boombox to show him what you were talking about. And so your conversation just moved into what amounted to a living mix tape. A journey of discovery and knowledge sharing that is loose and fun and mind-expanding. Even if it’s just a few idiots sitting in a dorm room doing their best to prove their taste. I had these in my life. And to this day I still will not engage with Velocity Girl no matter how hard my buddy swore by them.
Well, to some extent, this is that. But with guys who are seemingly way more educated about this stuff than you and your dumb friends. Though they don’t beat you up with that knowledge. Koenig is clearly a smart guy with a deep history and current involvement with the music and recording history. So he could be snobbish and even a little erudite in his approach to musical conversations if he chose to be. But. no, he is pretty chill in his approach. Connecting modern bands and music with random stuff from the past that I’ve never heard. Ever. But since it’s an Apple Music (to which I’m a subscriber) podcast, I get long snippets of music inside the show and can easily jump out to listen to anything and everything they mention to catch up to the reference. This, my friends, is what discovery is all about. And it’s a really chill time.
Music isn’t the only thing on the crew’s minds. They discuss movies, TV, snacks and basically anything and everything that tangentially touches the topic at hand. Again, not unlike how conversations between friends go. Or dumb websites, for that matter. Even if one of those friends is cool enough to be married to Rashida Jones. It’s a fun and educational hang without feeling challenging or like homework. I will admit that some of my joy is derived from Koenig mentioning my current and long-time city of Montclair, NJ constantly and consistently in loving terms. I’m such a homer. I suppose that was my hook, but I stayed for the great chats and the modern ability to hear about a band or artist for the first time and then ten seconds later have their entire oeuvre in my pocket. Life is amazing that way.