Setlist: The Dapper Fitting Drinking Hour

The following is a conversation between two insane men; between two unknown.  It is the conversation you overhear between the two drunks at the end of the bar. It is Tom Waits and Chet Baker trying to make sense of this mad world we live and love in:

“How do you think of people listening to this radio show of yours, eh?”

“When someone is listening to the Dapper Fitting Drinking Hour, I like to imagine that person just getting out of the shower, around 9 PM on a Thursday night,” says Lehtola, stepping down from a rolling ladder amidst stacks of reference books. “You know, when I’m getting ready to go out at night, getting’ dressed, shaving, brushing my teeth, {sic} sending out those pointless text messages, whatever, I always like to listen to loud music.”

Lehtola pauses, examining a battered version of Roget’s Thesaurus.

“It’s usually a medley of songs, skewed toward whatever my current mood is at press time. I like to imagine it as my theme music for the night, you know, a lil’ something to bring along for whistling. And for me, doing this is just as important as bringing my wallet, or remembering my keys. I’ve been doing it since I had my first tape player with a speaker.”

“Thursday, schmursday. Stop fillin’ the ego.”

“Well, it’s always struck me as the unofficial beginning to the weekend,” shouts Lehtola, sipping from a hot cup of the Cuban. “There are often good shows on a Thursday, never mind bars with drink specials and the overall good feeling of Friday on the morrow. It’s in everyone’s eyes, radiating out like some beacon in the collective subconscious. That sounds like a circumstance in which a specially tailored mixtape can enhance the atmosphere.”

“You’re fuck’n drunk. Be more spec’fic?”

“It begins with transitions. So much depends upon the beginnings and endings of songs. They have to flow together, like a seamless hand-off-on-a-relay-team-type-thing, you know.” Lehtola yelps at the moon unaware. Exiting the library and stepping out onto the street, seems too commonplace without action. He puts his hood up to represent the youth in his strut. “That’s always something you have to consider. But I also like to have a certain feeling, or mood, when putting together the Dapper. It is about drinking, to a certain extent. And going out on a Thursday night. Those two situations can yield a lot of different emotions. Sometimes I’ll go the dancey route, bands like Casiokids, !!!, Antibalas, Washed Out, Yeasayer & El Guincho. Other times, you go out on a Thursday night, maybe your mood is more grim, more wrecklesss, and you’re drinking, so I’ll play bands like The Walkmen, Gonjasufi, Cass McCombs, Surfer Blood, Drink Up Buttercup, Total Warr, so many options. Or maybe it’s Halloween, and I’m playing Dead Man’s Bones, the Misfits, Suuns, DJ Spooky, ‘Candy’ from Frankie Rose And The Outs and ‘So Haunted’ from Cut Copy.”

“You’re a fraud! You got no philosophy,” demands Waits. “What the fuck do you know about making mixtapes, Bushwick wannabe?”

“Well,” says Lehtola, taking a pair of red earbuds out of his pockets and beginning to untangle the mess of wire, “I believe there is a perfect song for every possible situation a human being might encounter, or find theyselves [sic] in. So, the question is, what do I want to hear when I step out of the shower on a Thursday night, with endless possibilities and adventures ahead of me? That answer is always changing, which is why I like the concept of the show so much. The only thing that doesn’t change is that you always want to look good on such a night, you know, you want to look dapper. And the music has to make for a dapper fit to the mood. So it’s all about about being dapper on two fronts, the physical & the mental, with drinking to boot.”

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– Kory French


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