It started, as these things invariably do, with an email from a publicist.
The situation was thus: the fine folks from Harley-Davidson were looking to shine the light on the ’72 Harley, the latest and greatest model from their Dark Custom Line, with an all-expenses-paid trip to Chicago’s Wild Fire Harley-Davidson. Fair enough…except for the fact that I don’t own a motorcycle, it’s been more than ten years since I’ve ridden on a motorcycle, and, given that the ride in question – on the back of my brother-in-law’s bike – was so goddamned terrifying (he turned a corner, my feet dragged on the ground, and I was convinced that both our asses were about to hit the fucking pavement) that I’ve never thought for even so much as a moment about buying a motorcycle.
Ah, but the pitch wasn’t just about motorcycles. Indeed, the phrase used to describe the expedition was “a jam-packed day of ass-kicking and whiskey drinking.” Now, not being much of a scrapper, I can take or leave the former, but when you bring up the latter…? Sir, you have my undivided attention.
And that, my friends, is how I came to get…
Because of the designated start time on Saturday and the terribly unhelpful flight times from my home base from Norfolk (ORF) to Chicago, it was agreed that the most convenient time for me to arrive into O’Hare would actually be on Friday…and after this was agreed upon, I then begged, pleaded, and ultimately annoyed my hosts into getting me on the earliest possible flight, so as to be in Chicago for as long as possible.
Coming down the escalator, I was met by a driver holding up a card with my name on it, which is an experience that every flier should have at least once in their life. In short order, I had been deposited at the front door of The Drake Hotel, a gorgeous establishment right in the heart of the city, and – to my utter amazement – I was able to check in immediately, go right up to my room, drop off my bags, and hit the streets of Chicago.
Two words: dolphin boobies. That is not a misprint.
The synth-pop scene has been positively flooded with shitty bands in the last couple years, poseur tools who think whacking a few notes on a synth and acting snotty is all you need to do. But even the simplest kinds of music take sophistication to pull off naturally, and Hey Champ understand that better than most. They also understand astronomy and science fiction, as their (awesome) album Stars is littered with references to steampunk and the Uranus moon Trinculo. Fortunately, those brainy moments are wrapped in some unforgettable hooks, and “Neverest” is one of the hookiest songs the band’s done yet.
And the video…where to start? The band are trapped in some neon pyramid, performing the song for some strange warlord who’s flanked by two topless babes…with breasts shaped like dolphin heads. Your girlfriend will love you for putting this in her iTunes library, but you should probably keep her away from the video, unless you absolutely want to make sure that you don’t get laid tonight.