There are a lot of popular rock and/or roll bands on the planet. Do you know about the most popular ones? We sure don’t! Welcome to Who the Fuck?, a series where the CREEM staff takes a stab at trying to figure out what’s up in the world of arena alternative music. Our first victims: Glass Animals.
The CREEM team asked if I would like to author the first installment of Who the Fuck? I said, “Sure, I’ll go first. But what the fuck is Who the Fuck? This is the first I’ve heard of this column.”
“Your task is to figure out what an amazingly popular ‘rock’ band is all about, and perhaps make some value judgments based on their singles/videos/interviews with the most limited amount of research possible,” Maria Sherman, our senior editor, replied. “Who loves this stuff? Let’s guess.”
Ah. I get it. Good question. Yeah, I can identify those who listen to country music because they dress like they listen to country music (“subtlety” is a concept foreign to country music—probably because “foreign” is a concept foreign to country music), but yeah, you can’t exactly pick out an Ed Sheeran fan in a lineup, yet there are millions of them all around us. The number of fans these artists at the top have is staggering. They have so many fans that I can’t help wondering, “Am I a fan? I mean, I must be, because mathematically there’s no other way to account for all the people who buy the music and go to the concerts.” (Mathematically?) Who listens to this shit indeed?
I feel like a song that is 35 weeks old should be able to make a sandwich for itself.
“There’s this song called ‘Heat Waves,’” Maria continued, “and it has been atop Billboard’s Hot Rock & Alternative Songs chart for 35 weeks. Who are they?”
How long is 35 weeks? I’m not a mother. Is that kindergarten time? Are they walking yet? That also seems like a really long time to like a song. How does anything hold anyone’s attention for more than three to five minutes, let alone 35 weeks? I feel like a song that is 35 weeks old should be able to make a sandwich for itself.
“It is definitely a song,” Maria added. “It also seems like they used to play more instruments, but now they bleep-bloop.”
Hmm. Okay. Well, how bad can it be? Sure, I’ll have a listen.
I realized, however, that this is my first article and I’m not even sure how I’m getting paid for this job yet—hourly, monthly, by the word, I don’t know—so I figured I’d better document my time on the clock like I do for my “real job,” just in case it is hourly.
I clicked on the link for the song that Maria supplied. After sitting through the beginning of yet another one of those goddamn Tom Brady Hertz commercials—for 3...2...1...SKIP ADS—the Ass Glanimals’ hit song, “Heat Wave,” came on.
Some wispy four-eyed kid in a purple shirt was slogging down the middle of a residential street. He was dragging a wagon behind him filled with monitors and speakers. He seemed sad. I wondered how long and how far he had been dragging the wagon. Probably not far since all of his clothes were bright and clean.
It reminded me of the video for the song “Fort Greene Park” by Battles (speaking of bleep-bloop) because in that, too, people are dragging shit around NYC in wagons.
To listen to this I was going to need to be better prepared. Maybe even drunk.
Then the music started and I learned that the wispy four-eyed kid in the purple shirt was the singer for Ass Glanimals because he started crying, or singing, or something. It was terrible. I hit PAUSE.
I recognized that Ass Glanimals were making “music” of some sort, but it wasn’t pleasant music. To listen to this I was going to need to be better prepared. Maybe even drunk.
The time elapsed at the bottom of the video said 0:34.
I ventured over to the internet for a second to look something up and glanced at all the open tabs and noticed that the one for the Ass Glanimals video read “Glass Animals,” and not Ass Glanimals as I had originally thought.
“Hmph,” I grumbled. “Well, that’s no fun.”
What’s funny is at that point I started criticizing the band name that I had mistakenly authored like it was their fault.
“Glanimals? Shouldn’t it be GLAMinals?” I argued with no one.
Ass Glaminals is way funnier than Ass Glanimals, I reasoned. Plus, it allows one to shorten the name to Ass Glam. That’s very important. All good bands have an abbreviated name: Led Zep, Def Lep, Crüe, Priest, Maiden, G’N’R, Stones, Scorps, Sabbath, Jovi, ’Tallica, ’Drake, ’U2. Plus, “Ass Glam” is very chantable. It’s something I always recommend young bands consider when they are choosing a name for their act. It needs to be chantable. “Your band name needs chantability.” I can’t stress that enough.
ASS GLAM! ASS GLAM! ASS GLAM!
I need a nap. For me, that’s just an expression, because I don’t take naps. I can’t sleep on planes, either. “I need a nap” is shorthand that anyone can understand. I was tuckered and exhausted and overwhelmed by all the things that I had to attend to. So much stuff to do. I don’t even know where to begin. You know that feeling when you’re just drowning in tasks that you can’t even see the tunnel, let alone the light at the end of the tunnel, and you’re just like, guhhhhhhhhhhh...
That’s when you start finding reasons to do all kinds of other stupid shit you never would do if you didn’t have to work. Like, “Oh, I can watch this Ass Glam video some more.” Procrastination is the balm.
CUT TO: Me watching the video.
CUT TO: My finger pressing the spacebar key to pause the video.
Nothing to add, it was just more of the same. The elapsed time said 0:54. So that was 20 more seconds. How long is this song?
At this point, watching/listening to this song has become a Jackass stunT.
While I didn’t pay any more attention to the sulky four-eyed kid in the lavender shirt (it’s lavender, not purple. Also, he is indeed wispy, but he seems more sad and forlorn, “sulky,” which is odd for someone who has written a No. 1 song—what else do you want, man?), I did notice that all the cars on the street were parked on the wrong side. England? I assume it’s an English street because it’s lined by brick houses that look more like warehouses than homes and every front door is mere inches from the curb. Or should I say centimeters from the curb? I suppose they probably have a weird word for “curb” in England, too, huh? Of course they do: kerb.
So. Every front door was mere CENTIMETERS from the KERB.
Oh, wait. If the video is shot in England then they use Her Majesty’s ass-backwards Imperial Measurement system like us, huh? I swear I saw a road sign that was metric. Maybe they’re in Wales, or Ireland, or—what are the other dinky-ass countries on that island? Some are metric and some aren’t?
Anyway, I went back to work. I discovered that I would prefer to shoulder the burden of all the tasks I have to complete rather than listen to more Ass Glam—Glass Animals, whatever.
At this point, watching/listening to this song has become a Jackass stunt. “Hi, I’m Johnny Knoxville, and I’m about to listen to a Glass Animals song!”
I was about to hit play when Tania (my wife) called. She was crying. The last time Tania had called me crying was nearly 10 years ago, when she had been sideswiped by some shithead—she was texting while driving, so she was a certified, card-carrying shithead—on the freeway and had just crawled across the ceiling of her Honda Civic on her hands and knees and emerged from her upside-down car.
Tania had stopped at Target on the way home from work to pick up some supplies, but when she returned to the car, her car key was nowhere to be found. This was the source of her distress.
“I don’t [SOB] fucking [SOB] [SOB]...FUCK!...[SOB]...I just went inside [SOB]...shit...I looked fucking everywhere...”
She lost our Subaru key fob somewhere in Target. And while that’s a rather minor inconvenience in anyone else’s life, Tania’s life has been stretched to the breaking point of late. For one, she’s basically been working 24/7 for a couple months straight on dozens of high-stress projects, all of which have gone completely sideways. She also gots the Covid. She still gots the Covid. A catalog listing the entirety of Tania’s most recent woes is available upon request, but I will mention that the most notable incident in her history is that she lost her wallet at Disneyland just two weeks prior: driver’s license, ATM card, credit cards, cash, the whole thing, all of it, gone. So she was already feeling worthless, and disparaged, and stupid, and losing the keys to the car was, as you can imagine, a devastating blow to her ego. Nothing makes you feel more stupid than losing THINGS. Especially the little things that you think are just little things until you lose them and then you realize they’re actually really big things.
“It’s okay, behb,” I cooed (I didn’t say “behb,” we don’t talk like that, but it would have been appropriate here if we did talk like that). “It’s no big deal. It’s just a key. I’ve got another one right here.”
The Subaru has two key fobs. And I would have hopped in our other car to deliver it to her except that our other car is imprisoned in our garage because our friend’s nephew, who was house-sitting for us last month, crashed into the garage door and completely totaled it. (That incident can also be found in the catalog of Tania’s woes.) A crumpled aluminum shell still hangs sadly in front of the garage, but it is inoperable. And because of “supply chain issues,” we have to wait three months for a new one to be installed. So we have one car.
“Calm down, Tania. Take a deep breath,” I said.
That’s what I said out loud, but really it was me who needed to take a deep breath because in my head I was like, “DA FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU? How do you lose your wallet AND your car keys in the same month?” I wanted to shake her. Like a baby.
“Calm down, David,” I said to myself. “You can shake the baby later, right now she needs your love and support. Warm fuzzies, David, she needs warm fuzzies.”
You’re right, me. Warm fuzzies. I can shake the baby later.
“Don’t worry, Tania, everything will be okay,” I said as soothingly as possible. “I’ll call an Uber and I’ll be there in a minute.”
It took nine minutes for the Uber driver to arrive. I noted that I enjoyed the peculiar Armenian music the Uber driver was playing more than the Ass Glam song. I wondered, how is Ass Glam No. 1 and this isn’t?
Tania looked adorable with her arms crossed, all pissed off, leaning against the car she had locked herself out of. I hugged her tight and gave her a kiss. “There, there, behb...”
So, in conclusion, after watching/listening to “Heat Wave” for 54 seconds over the course of 11 hours and 24 minutes, we have learned that the name of the band is Glass Animals and they might be from England. And that’s why their song “Heat Wave” has been No. 1 on the Billboard charts for 35 weeks.
Guess what? Disneyland not only found Tania’s wallet, but they mailed it back to us with everything in it, even the cash. Thank you, Disneyland. AND AND AND! And I went to Target the next day where a nice lady rooted around in their lost-and-found box before holding up a Subaru fob.
“This?” she asked.
“ASS GLAM!” I squealed.