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We're Not Listening

Where Do We Go From Here? - Put'emup, Put'emup, pt. 2

Andy and Anthony ended up being roommates for their freshman year of college, as well as all of the years after that. They did their best to not scream at each other (in fear of getting a noise complaint), and instead, they spent the majority of their in-dorm time singing along to Saves the Day and Say Anything, along with a slew of emo favorites and Broadway tunes.

The visual arts program called to Andy just as the computer science major called to Anthony, and for a while, they were set on getting their degrees in the respective fields and continuing on to a life that didn’t involve singing (or playing bass, another hobby Anthony had picked up in his childhood).

When the year 2006 rolled in and everybody came back from a long winter break, the band finally came to fruition. It was a seemingly normal night at the dining hall, and the two pairs of best friends were both in line to grab some of the nearly-inedible grub, but one person in particular hadn’t tied his shoes.

Andy ended up stumbling forward and hitting the floor with a large thud, sending his plate flying through the air, and along the way, he slammed into nobody other than Chance, who also dropped his food and lost his balance. In the end, the scene had turned some heads, but the only person who was openly laughing was Mick, a good-natured laugh as he helped both of them up. (Anthony was off to the side reveling in secondhand embarrassment.)

Apologizing a thousand times and offering laundry money, Andy couldn’t let it go even though Chance had laughed it off. Anthony walked over and called his friend an idiot just as Mick invited the two to eat with them at a booth in the dining room. That’s what college is about, right? Making new friends, even if you don’t know them for a hole in the ground.

And somehow, the four of them clicked. After that night, it seemed like they’d grown up together, and after learning about all of their musical endeavors that didn’t feel like anything more than hobbies, it just made sense that a “jam session” would happen eventually. Granted, Mick was stuck using the cheap bongo drums he brought to college as a makeshift substitute for his real set, but it still counted, and before long, they had clicked even further.

Andy and Anthony had roots in emo and pop-punk, Chance had most of his influences in rockabilly and classic rock, and Mick was a part-time ska kid and dug anything with a catchy hook. It almost seemed like a stretch to imagine it all coming together in a way that wasn’t horrible, but they managed, and my god, have they managed.

Eventually it was just accepted, the fact that the four of them were kind of a steady band. There really wasn’t a set day that went by and caused them to think, “Huh, I guess we’re official now”; it just sort of happened. And when it did, when each of them realized that there was something more to their lives than the majors they were studying, the next big thing happened: deciding on a name.

There were some real stinkers they came up with. Very rarely does a band change their name in the middle of their career, so they had to choose carefully to ensure a reasonable name that wasn’t too ordinary, nor too odd.

The Psychos, Ear Wax Museum, Mystery Pisser, Farting on the Wings of Triumph, Birdie, Chicagogo, and That’s News to Me were some of the names they’d come up with. It was a process. It was a rainy Tuesday as they hung out in Andy and Anthony’s dorm room watching music videos when Mick had suddenly laughed to himself.

Andy looked over at the bearded drummer. “What’s up?” he asked.

“No, nothing, it’s…it’s stupid,” Mick shyly countered.

“Spit it out, dude,” Chance urged, shaking him by the shoulder.

He merely sighed and squinted, as if this were the hardest thing he’d ever said. “I have another dumb idea for a name.” Nobody said anything, so he went on. “Put’emup, Put’emup.”

Anthony narrowed his eyes, his legs dangling over the edge of his lofted bed. “That’s…a little less dumb than the names we already have. But what the hell does it mean?”

Mick blushed as he explained, “I dunno, it just kinda came to me.”

“It’s from the Wizard of Oz, isn’t it?” Andy wondered. “And other stuff too, I guess.”

“It’s just a suggestion. I don’t know if it’s trademarked or anything,” Mick went on. He didn’t have much to bring to the name-table in general.

Anthony shrugged and said, “I like it. I dunno, it kinda suits the style of our music.” The original tunes they had were loud and obviously inspired by the rock bands they worshipped. It packed a punch.

Suddenly, Andy jumped down from the bed he was sitting on, thudding against the carpet and holding his arms out. “Just picture it – we headline a show, and the band that plays before us announces us and everybody would know who we are. It’s a perfect name! Let’s stick with it.”

So they did, and that summer rolled by. The band now known as Put’emup, Put’emup had gotten a few gigs at a local venue due to Chance’s connections – his boss at the music store he worked at throughout high school knew the guy who owned the place, and so every week they’d play a gig alongside other local up-and-coming bands. They hadn’t quite made it yet, but everybody had that inkling that they were on their way.
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(I dunno about anyone else, but I think That's News to Me would be a pretty neat band name to be honest.)