In the grand scheme of things, I think it’s safe to say that not many people know about Kraftwerk. Folks who are considered nerds about music history know that they were fairly popular in their own right as pioneers in the field of electronic music in the early 1970s and know that they then went on to heavily influence early hip-hop, electro, new wave, and dance music. But ask your average music fan who they are and you’ll probably get a blank stare. I don’t say this to sound elitist. I mean, really, they’re an odd bunch of guys from Dusseldorf who are enthusiastic about technology and bicycles. In a parallel universe, perhaps they’re megastars.
I didn’t really start listening to them until college, when I had been enmeshed in the dance music scene in Pittsburgh for a few years and started to research the music, as I tend to do with everything. I found that listening to Trans-Europe Express while doing my homework seemed to help me to concentrate. When the baby came along, the husband began testing his nascent theory that Kraftwerk’s music tapped into some primal area of kids’ brains by playing The Mix for him. Consequently, the baby was a huge fan from an early age, loving the crisp beats and rhythms, weird sounds, and whole songs devoted to such wonderful things as robots and calculators.
And then we named our kitten after Florian Schneider, one of the original members. In case you needed a reminder, our other cat is named Greedo, after the Star Wars character. Yes, we are nerds. No, we are not ashamed.
A few weeks ago, the Museum of Modern Art announced that as part of a Kraftwerk retrospective, the band, now only containing one original member, would be performing each of their albums there over the course of about a week. When the husband told him about the shows, the baby actually teared up. (Read: Shit, now we REALLY HAVE to get tickets.) Each show would only have about 300 tickets, which would be $25 each. This was huge news, and music nerds all over the world counted down the days to February 22nd, when tickets would go on sale at noon. (Pittsburgh plug: Pittsburgh-based company ShowClix snagged the ticketing rights for the event.)
Yesterday, after a lot of fevered coordination, we had a team of people at the ready to purchase the two tickets allotted to each person. I had to be on my computer at work, which meant that I had to actively ignore anyone who stopped by to talk to me. (By the way, sorry everyone who came to my office and was greeted by my icy stare.)
Over 50,000 people tried to buy about 2,500 total tickets. I was not one of the lucky buyers. But my husband was. We decided that he and the baby would attend the Monday night performance of The Mix. I was bummed that I wouldn’t be attending, but the baby getting to go was the most important thing. Besides, we decided that we would all go up and have a long weekend in New York City. Nothing wrong with that, right?
The best part was telling the baby the news. Prepare to have your day made: