…At The Moment Of Our Most Needing, Or If Only They Could Turn Around, They Would Know They Weren’t Alone by Rock Plaza Central: Oh I can, oh I can!

Photography by Katrina

Oh the adventures one has when going to the DMV, or as it’s known in Ohio… the BMV (the “B” is for bureau or butt-fucked or bukakke…. oh, I don’t know and I don’t care). Like death, taxes, and pooping your pants, it’s a guarantee in life, an inevitability that something, SOMETHING, will go wrong.

So me, after 5 years in the big O-H (I-O), with my Florida driver’s license finally expiring Friday, accepted the fact that I’m in Ohio, most likely staying for the next while, and went to get my driver’s license, i.e. it was time to get 100% legal. So, like most intelligent beings, I went online and got ready, printed out offices, documentation needed, the basic process, and even glanced at the laws in case I needed to take the test (online it said it “may be waived” for folks with licenses already).

So Monday, I get up & completely forget to go to the BMV. Whoops. Take two…. So today, I get up early, get everything in my bag, and head to the office down on the east side of town, near work. Nice and early (in case a line forms). No one’s there, so I mosy on over to the gas station to fill up on gas and use the bathroom, when I get back, I see someone enter as if the door’s unlocked, so I thinks, “hey, maybe they’ll let me grab a book to bone up on my driving laws while I wait!”, I peak in and before they yell at me that they aren’t open yet, I explain what I want. No problem, but then they explain that THIS off ice doesn’t do exams and yes, I would need to take one.

So she tells me to head out to an address and gives me vague directions, off I go, no problem, hanging on to that good mood! Traffic.

Okay, okay…

Just get on highway the way she said, I do, it’s the wrong way. No… the way she sent me had me at the wrong end of town!

Okay okay, shhh, it’s okay…

Just go and get there, and after dealing with traffic and too many idiots on the road, I finally do.

Rush up, they’ve been open now for 5 minutes, and I’m told that my driver’s license, birth certicate, divorce decree, marriage certificate, passport, title, registration, tax forms, proof of insurance, utilities, basically, my entire life, are not enough to prove I am me. You see, I don’t have my Social Security card, but no problem, just bring in this or that with your SS# right? Apparently… I failed.

At the BMV, you can still take the test, come back later and prove your SSN and buy your license, so that’s what I set out to do, I am nothing if not flexible! The test… I pass (My eyes have actually improved to where I don’t need glasses to drive anymore! Pretty sweet, eh?), and then head out “oh, just down the street” to the Social Security office…. 10 miles & some construction later, I’m there

It’s okay, it’s okay, shhhhh…

Where I sit and sit and sit some more, until finally I’m called “B106”, woohoo! Get my proof of Social Security number (and now have a replacement card on the way), and then BACK TO THE BMV, BATMAN!!! Where I rush in, skip the front desk and go right back the to guy who helped me.

“Here you go!”

*panting, slightly out of breath from speed walking through the vast parking lot*

“Ah, yes, and your out of state license? Okay, thanks, go have a seat, we’ll call you”

I do.. and I sit and sit and sit some more (shhhhh…. it’s okay, it’s okay), but then I start noticing that no one is getting their pictures taken, or getting processed, or anything and I’m starting to see exasperation on the faces of the employees, a few limbs flailing up in that universal “I have no idea what the fuck is going on” gesture, then I start hearing the words “system” and “down” floating in the air.

Oh shit.

“Hi there! If any of you are waiting to get your photo taken and get your license, well, the system is down… state-wide. It could be down a few hours or all day, we don’t know. You can wait or get your items and come back another day.”

death and destruction death and destruction death and destruction…. shhhhhhhh….. it’s okay, it’s okay.

I wait. I have to… everything expires Friday and I don’t have time this week to come back. So I wait. About an hour or so later, I hear my name, “Aaron?” My brain stumbles out of a self-induced foggy-like coma meant to calm my mind as my body pops up involuntarily (it really wants to leave). I pay my $23 for the BMV experience, get my photo done (my hair is now in a very large state), grab my license & my bag , and get the hell out of there! Oof… I needed some coffee, STAT! Who ever really says that, “stat”? Anyways… Want to see my license?

Who’s the hawtness? I think this may be the MOST legal I have been in the past decade, if not longer! Updated photo, correct address, all car things up-to-date, Social Security card in route, man…. feels weird, almost grown up! Ew. I think I just pooped my pants. Double ew.

So yeah, as you can imagine, I almost lost it today, and you know I’m a pretty easy going guy! Fortunately, I had two little bits of music to keep me sane…. 1) our European vacation mixtape, I got to tell you, I’m pretty damn happy with that one, I hope you are too, I get so sad at the end when the jet is taking off and we are heading home, but then it starts over and hearing Baby’s voice makes me smile all over again….

And 2) the lastest from Rock Plaza Central, …At The Moment Of Our Most Needing, Or If Only They Could Turn Around, They Would Know They Weren’t Alone (damn, have they been hanging out with Fiona Apple or something)?

The album starts off, like it’s album title, with an ellipsis, quiet & leading, but it crawls as it builds to it’s simple “Oh I can, oh I can!” chorus and continues until the horns climb aboard, slowly, some here, some there…. building a story, setting the scene, preface or chapter one. Like their album before, our novelist-led Torontonians have presented us with a concept album, but instead of robotic horses, this one’s based on a William Faulkner novel, which I refuse to learn anymore about until the album has sunk into it’s tenth or 100th listen, I just don’t want it to spoil the surprise! Half the fun of Hazards of Love was figuring out the story….

But unlike the quasi-proggy, Pink Floydy, faux-metal-heady Hazards of Love, Rock Plaza Central is a bit more, uh, organic & metallic, meaning banjos, strings, clunky percussions, and horns with a bit of old-timey country accents dominate. But if that etches a picture in your head, turn it upside-down, shake it, and start again…

Because, it’s only the surface you’ll be hearing…. as with a closer inspection you’ll find elements of Mexican, Indian, and probably near every place in between. If …At The Moment Of Our Most Needing, Or If Only They Could Turn Around, They Would Know They Weren’t Alone were a supermarket aisle, it’d be the “Ethnic” section, which would piss me off, because I hate that word, it’s just so, racist? xenophobic? I don’t know, sounds like you are taking everything you don’t understand to be normal and clumping into a word that says nothing about what you just described!

I digress…. I guess what I’m trying to say, is the album is many things but no thing in particular. It uses it’s own abilities as they are deemed appropriate for song or the moment or the feeling and uses it, it’s doesn’t tie itself down with a set order of instrumentation or song structure, which lets the story run the show, which, if the good lard’s a-willin’ I’ll be able to pick apart as the listens keep coming….

Rock Plaza Central – 01 Oh I Can

Oh I can, oh I can!
Oh I can, oh I can!

Rock Plaza Central – 02 A Mule On Fire
Rock Plaza Central – 03 (Don’t You Believe The Words Of) Handsome Men
Rock Plaza Central – 04 O Lord, How Many Are My Foes

Go show Rock Plaza Central all your love here, here, and here now… Oh and look T.O. Snob’s Music has an interview with them here!

2 comments for “…At The Moment Of Our Most Needing, Or If Only They Could Turn Around, They Would Know They Weren’t Alone by Rock Plaza Central: Oh I can, oh I can!

  1. Zach That
    May 19, 2009 at 4:14 PM

    Very good stuff, thanks for the heads up.

  2. Tsuru
    May 19, 2009 at 4:27 PM

    my pleasure! thought of you & Clues, though completely different, something about both remind me a smidge of each other!

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