"Wind you up and make you crawl to me / Tie you up until you call to me / Wind me up and make me crawl to you / Tie me up and make me call to you."
-Louis XIV, "Finding Out True Love is Blind"
For a year and a half, the two former frontmen of local band Convoy stalked me. Nothing illegal or perverted-they don't even know my name (which of course, could make things more perverted). But odd, nonetheless. All told, I spotted Jason Hill and Brian Karscig exactly 53 times between Halloween of 2002 and Thanksgiving of 2003.
Could've been either one because, really, I can't tell them apart. No clue. It's a big blur of hipster jeans and shagburns and non-committal mullets. If I ever had to pick them out of a lineup, they'd walk straight outta there like Keyser Soze.
Embracing confusion, friends and I began to refer to the songwriting Siamese twins as HillScig.
"I want all the self-conscious girls who try to hide who they are with makeup / Finding out true love is blind / You know it's the girl in the front with the tight pants I really want to shake up / Finding out true love is blind."
I didn't officially start counting the "Convoy Sightings," as they've come to be filed away, until that fateful Halloween of 2002. HillScig were dressed as KISS at the Casbah Halloween party when it was still held at that big, ritzy hotel down by that big, not-so-ritzy mall built by some hairy dude named Horton.
Every way I turned that night, KISS was on my ass, scary geometrical Geisha face paint and all. That year, I saw HillScig at the Casbah, at the Belly Up Tavern and at SOMA. I saw them in Little Italy and at the movies and at the airport.
We've never met, or even come face-to-face for that matter-so I've never had the opportunity to ask them why the hell they don't just be good isolationist hipsters and leave me alone. And I'd like to ask 'em, because recently, it's gotten worse. They've begun to follow me into my car, in my bedroom and at work. Down the I-5, up to Los Angeles and on airplane flights to Nashville. In the morning. In the evening. At all hours of the afternoon.
They've been knighted into omniscience by pop culture's omniscience-granter: radio.
"And all the tough girls who never want me to see them cry / Finding out true love is blind / And the girls that say, "treat me like a dog until the day I die' / Finding out true love is blind."
It's not technically the same, because now they're in a band called Louis XIV and gothpunk pinup Brody Dahlle loves them. Starlets fawn over HillScig's indie cred and English trendsetters think they're a "mighty fresh cup of tea." But deep down, like every other music fanatic who gloms onto false senses of self-importance, I can't help but think that Brian Karsig and Jason Hill are still just following me around.
"I want those smart girls with your glasses and all your books / Finding out true love is blind / And I want the stupid girl who gives me all those dirty looks / Finding out true love is blind."
It's not often that music has anything of import to tell us, and even less often that it is able to arouse genuine emotion or attachment. And it goes without saying that these rare occasions definitely don't take place in the frozen food aisle at Ralph's at 2 a.m. where I heard "Finding Out True Love is Blind" last week.
Usually the manager has the muzak blaring Dan Fogelberg or some other rock 'n' bore in an effort, my crazy grandmother insists, to make me buy piles of frozen foods I'll never eat, even during the Apocalypse. So I'm perusing the selection of unpalatable Healthy Choice options and I hear this clappy, syncopated beat. It's a HillScig used-car-lot yokelfest-one of three rockin' songs that Junior Manager has programmed onto the loudspeaker for the benefit of the poor souls whose job it is to replenish the cheese aisle at ungodly hours of the morning.
And apparently, everyone in San Diego was listening to their spiffy vocal swagger that night, because now shrill-voiced teenage girls are calling in to 94.9 and 91X to ask "Who was that last band-they're so... giggle, giggle." Now The Killers are calling Louis XIV for tour dates. And now doe-eyed checker girls at Ralphs are asking, "Who's that Junior Manager playing that killer music-he's so giggle giggle."
So really, who was I kidding? HillScig is following every music zombie from here to England's NME awards. And, like everyone else should, I consider myself lucky to be included in the stalking."Wind you up and make you crawl to me / Tie you up until you call to me / Wind me up and make me crawl to you / Tie me up and make me call to you."